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Darts and laurels

Dart to the N.C. High School Athletic Association for taking a hard line against Salisbury High School’s football team. The Hornets got in trouble for playing a student who was academically ineligible because of excessive absences last year when he was at North Rowan High School. It’s not as though Salisbury set out to break the rules in order to field a star athlete. With all respect to the student in question, David Dubose, he was a third string receiver who never started ó and who now wishes he’d never played. On paper, the NCHSAA has reduced Salisbury’s perfect season to 6-4. In reality, you have to wonder what kind of records North Rowan High School keeps since Dubose’s transcript showed he had the credits and grades to play.
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Laurels to falling gasoline prices and Salisbury’s recent effort to see how local prices compared to other markets. Salisbury drivers have long complained that the price at the pump is higher here than in other cities they pass through. After City Council expressed concern, city staff put that theory to the test, checking prices in Statesville, Raleigh, Greensboro, Concord, Winston-Salem and Charlotte on three dates. Salisbury’s prices were very competitive by comparison, the city found. Rockwell resident Judy Brown took questions about area gas prices to the national level in the media. “It’s still bad,” she said in a Sept. 2 USA Today story. “It’s a nightmare here.” And indeed it was. But conditions have steadily improved. A month ago, newspaper headlines heralded gas prices that had fallen below $3 a gallon, and this week you could buy it for $2.02. We’ll take that bit of good news and hope it keeps coming.
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Dart to the theft of a state Division of Aging laptop in Atlanta and the fear it has caused North Carolina senior citizens. The agency sent out letters explaining that, even though the information is password protected, the computer holds Social Security numbers and other information for about as many as 80,000 people. That raises the possibility of identity fraud. The advice given to concerned seniors is advice that all consumers would be wise to follow if they suspect personal information has fallen into the wrong hands: Put a fraud alert on your credit report, with follow-up monitoring.
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Laurels to birthday boy Billy Graham, who marked his 90th year Friday at his home in Montreat. Although beset by serious health problems, Graham was still able to enjoy a gathering of family and close friends, according to an Associated Press report, and he has received more than 100,000 birthday greetings ó testimony to the lives he has touched and the admiration he has inspired during his many decades of evangelism. A two-day birthday commemoration continues today at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, where visitors can enjoy free tours and tape a video greeting for Graham. You can get more information and send greetings through www.billygraham.org.

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