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Darts and laurels

Laurels to United Way contributors who’ve helped the local pledge drive hit the $1 million mark. That’s almost two-thirds of the way to the $1.78 million fundraising goal set for this year. The drive continues through Nov. 14, so there’s still plenty of time to make a pledge or donation — and remember that your contributions stay here in this community to help fill a multitude of needs. For more information about United Way and the agencies it supports, visit http://www.rowanunitedway.org/. (And while you’re online, check out the Salisbury Post’s video of Koontz Elementary students’ musical “thank you” for the United Way Day of Caring project at their school.)

Dart to yet another election-related hoax designed to spread confusion and misdirection. The N.C. State Board of Elections is warning of fraudulent messages telling people that they can now vote by phone in North Carolina. It’s an interesting concept — press 2 for a straight party ticket? — but there’s not an app for that, not yet at least. You can’t vote by phone, no matter how smart your phone is. Elections officials have not yet determined what individuals or groups may be behind the vote-by-phone messages, which have also been reported in Florida and Virginia.

Laurels to new facilities at the Hefner VA Medical Center designed to enhance the  care environment and improve treatment. The recently completed projects — a new hospice, a “hoptel” for out-of-town vets who need overnight accommodations and a “Main Street” themed market area — are part of a longterm shift to create a homier atmosphere for vets in lieu of the sterile efficiency of traditional institutional settings. Based on the reviews from veterans at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week, the new facilities are a welcome addition and will help brighten the days of ailing veterans and their families.

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