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Darts and laurels

Laurels to Dr. Carol Spalding, who began her tenure this week as the third president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Spalding put in three decades at Florida Community College at Jacksonville, starting as a GED instructor and rising through the years to president of one of the college’s five campuses. She takes pride in coming up with creative solutions, such as converting a shopping mall into a community college campus. In her first 24 hours on the job here, she addressed 300 people in an assembly and gave out 35 awards. Already she has attended a meeting about education and workforce needs in Rowan and Cabarrus, addressed the Salisbury Rotary Club and toured the N.C. Research Campus. That’s a good start. RCCC will have a presence on the Research Campus, and Spalding wants RCCC graduates to find jobs there, as well. Good jobs. She worries that qualified candidates for good positions will have to be recruited from elsewhere. “What we really have to have are educated people,” Spalding told the Rotary. That can’t be emphasized enough. Welcome to Spalding and husband Francis “Fran” Koster. Thanks for taking on this challenge.
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Dart to air pollution that drifts into North Carolina from power plants beyond the state’s borders. State Attorney General Roy Cooper renewed his effort this week to spur federal regulators on the matter. North Carolina and the Sierra Club filed a motion that asks a federal appeals court to quickly hear the state’s request to curb 13 states’ pollution. North Carolina has done more than most states to improve air quality with its Clean Smokestacks Bill, Clean Air Plan and other clean air legislation. Yet a third of N.C. counties fail to meet federal air quality standards, and emissions from other states appear to be a factor. Cooper filed suit in 2004 against the Tennessee Valley Authority, claiming TVA was violating pollution control requirements mandated by the federal Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency already denied a petition from Cooper in 2005, but he’s not giving up. Good for him.
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Laurels to one family’s investment in better lives for Rowan County dogs and cats. A gift from Don Webster Jr. and wife Betsy has helped establish a spay-neuter clinic in Rowan County, beside Lazy 5 Veterinary Services. The Webster Low-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic & Adoption Center is named for the late Don Webster Sr. and his wife, Ruth, avid animal lovers who hated to see any that were stray or homeless. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in shelters because uncontrolled reproduction leads to more cats and dogs than anyone wants. Spaying or neutering your own pet is a good first step toward fighting that problem. The Websters have now made that more affordable.

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