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Darts and laurels

Dart to lifting the cap on tuition increases at North Carolinaís 16 public universities. At this stage, nothing has been decided and wonít be until early next year. But the UNC Board of Governors this week discussed removing the 6.5 percent annual cap as they consider ways to offset steep cuts in the state budget. Board members arenít eager to raise the cap, but without improvement in the state revenue outlook, more program reductions loom. Thatís not a good option, either, but the answer isnít to shift more of the tuition burden to students and their families already struggling to pay existing fees. Board member Burley Mitchell Jr., quoted in an Associated Press article, got it right when he warned that rising tuition fees fly in the face of the stateís original intent that its public university system provide educational benefits that ěas far as pacticableî are ěfree of expense.î Nobody expects public college to be free, but it should be affordable for average families.

Laurels to traditional turkey dinners at Thanksgiving, even if the grocery bill gives you heartburn. As reported earlier this week by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the price of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie has risen 13 percent in the past year. That wonít be any surprise to regular grocery shoppers, whoíve seen similar heft increases as many food commodities. Even with the increase, the estimate of about $50 for enough meat, dressing and cranberries to feed 10 people sounds like a bargain ó especially compared to what it cost the turkey.

Dart to brazen lawlessness that attempts armed robbery in the middle of the day on a college campus. Fortunately, the Catawba College student robbed by three men in an SUV Thursday afternoon, wasnít injured and helped police corral the suspects from Charlotte. Authorities usually warn that victims shouldnít try to follow perpetrators, but in this case the young man did it right. He stayed calm, didnít put himself in additional danger and relayed information that enabled police to zero in on the fleeing suspects and make a quick arrest.

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