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We are more than halfway through the Rowan County United Way “Raised Here … Stays Here” campaign. I am so thankful for everyone who has made their pledge to support our 15 local agencies. Thank you. I believe it is going to take all of us to make our goal to support those in need in Rowan County. It is worthwhile to repeat that last year your local United Way provided services to more than one half of our county population, or approximately 72,000 folks.
Friends, the money you pledge to your local United Way stays here to support our citizens. Surely all of us can help in some way. We know that many folks are facing economic challenges but are pledging at least $52, which represents $1 a week.
If you are a business, please consider a personal or corporate gift to your local United Way. If you have employees, would you conduct a campaign to allow your employees an opportunity to support their United Way? Please don’t say no for them; rather, allow them to decide if they want to make a pledge.
Don’t sit back and depend on your neighbor to give. Join with your neighbor, take ownership and be an active part of your local United Way.
Making a pledge to your local “Raised Here … Stays Here” campaign is the right thing to do. Please call the Rowan County United Way office at 704-633-1802 or go to www.rowanunitedway.org and click on donate. You can make a difference.
— Dr. Jim Duncan

Jim Duncan is chairman of the Rowan County United Way Campaign.

Three years ago I met Veteran Services Officer Elaine Howle at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center. I was a homeless veteran who was battered, broken, abused and on medication, with no hope or dreams of ever being anything better. This lady went through my military records regardless of the fact that I may have appeared to be on drugs, going through withdrawal. She overlooked my faults and did the paperwork on me.
I didn’t believe there was help, let alone hope. But I met another soldier back from Afghanistan in the Social Services office who gave me information on Ms. Howle and made me feel as though he knew she would help me. When I called, she gave me an appointment right away. She went through my records and told me all the things I had been treated for in the military. I told her I had a dependent son who had Downs Syndrome, a neuro-muscular degenerative disease and was also classified as severely mentally retarded. 
She helped me and my son and saved my life. Please do not take this away from Salisbury and replace what is not broken with something non-functional.
I call on every veteran who has been helped by Elaine Howle to help send petitions to stop these people elected by veterans who don’t want to provide us with the help we need. This lady cares because she is a veteran, has seen the plight of many veterans and is willing, able and dedicated.
Our system is not broken … just the elected officials representing us. From the petty squabbles I see in the paper, I sure know which of you on the Board of Commissioners will be replaced. We are tired of the same old dumbness, and I hope this letter encourages others to write and speak out. This is about losing our full-time VA representative in Salisbury. Please, let us petition and make noise to stop this from happening.
— Donna Draper
Rowan County

Opening day of Obamacare was embarrassing enough; but President Obama’s language made it even worse. He refused to negotiate with Republicans in delaying the individual mandate, saying it would “defund” Obamacare. That’s partly true, but calling the Republicans “hostage takers” was hypocritical. It was Obama himself who “defunded” Obamacare $2,000 per person when he delayed the employer mandate. The Republicans’ proposal to delay the individual mandate amounts to only $95 a person. So who’s the real “hostage taker?”
No one in the mainstream media admits that the government shutdown occurred simply because Obama refused to give the middle-class the same breaks he gave corporations. Instead, I heard a journalist say that conservative Republicans are “infecting” America.
Isn’t this déjà-vu all over again? You decide …
On April 10, 1938, in Austria, a completely new leadership, promising social and economic justice and universal health care, was voted into power. The country’s previous leader had tried to stop this by suggesting they raise the minimum voting age to 24, because students were so hardcore for change.
But the tens of thousands of cheering people who took to the streets prevailed. The press, aided by Hollywood, helped ensure this. It seemed the only Austrians suspicious of the new government were the mountain people, which in Austria, meant anyone who didn’t live in a big city.
I have an old “Life” magazine published a week later (April 18, 1938). In an article titled “Austrians learn to do the Nazi salute,” the author brushed off the mountain people’s suspicions, implying that these people never trust government anyway. The article ended with a warning: “Some observers expected that Austria may become the center of an underground anti-Nazi movement infecting all of greater Germany.” There’s that word “infecting” again.
That new leader, Adolf Hitler, is gone. But his spirit lives on in Iran’s government, which incidentally, Obama won’t call hostage takers and won’t refuse to negotiate with.
— Steve Pender

In a few paragraphs, I would like to introduce you to Tom Kincaid, a member of the Kannapolis City Council and a candidate for mayor of Kannapolis.
Strong leaders have always stepped forward in critical times in the history of Kannapolis. Today, and in the next few years, Kannapolis will face new challenges that will take us to even greater advances. We must be prepared to move forward.
Tom Kincaid has the gifts, talents and abilities to lead our city forward.
He’s a successful business owner who deals almost daily with local, state and federal laws.
He meets daily with families who are facing crisis moments and anxious times.
He always faces life with enthusiasm.
He’s a good listener.
He’s always open to suggestions.
He’s an active church member.
He’s involved with many community programs.
He’s a strong family man, husband and father.
Tom Kincaid is a leader and a promoter of good will. He says, “I make only one promise to the people of Kannapolis: My door is always open and I will listen to you.”
— Ray Moss

I’ve just returned from a candidate forum for the city of Kannapolis mayoral race. It would be difficult to imagine anyone attended who did not recognize that Darrell Hinnant stands out as the most qualified participant in that forum.
Mr. Hinnant’s qualifications for mayor were well displayed. No one among these candidates could articulate responses to match Mr. Hinnant. He is a rare talent able to think on his feet with answers and opinions that have substance. He was the only candidate who used more of his allotted time to answer the questions and discuss solutions than to simply restate, in so many words, the problem.
If it’s important to elect the most experienced and best qualified person as our next mayor, then it is important that your vote is for Darrell Hinnant.
— Jim Rutledge


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