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Families First-NC Inc. is one of Rowan County United Way’s 15 member agencies. Our agency has been known as the “little agency that reaches all families.” We do this through education for all family members, support and encouragement of pregnant/parenting teens, safety for children through supervised visitation/safe exchange and the court child-care center and addressing bullying in the pre-K, K and first grades of Salisbury’s schools.
That is a lot of services for one little agency, but we make it work with the help of United Way. Without the donations of the generous people of Rowan County, we could not exist. If you would like to make a contribution, please send your donations to Rowan County United Way at 1930 Jake Alexander Blvd. West, Salisbury, N.C., 28147. Or if you prefer, you can go to www.rowanunitedway.org and set up your donation online. What’s raised here stays here!
— Rita Kotarsky
Salisbury

Rita Kotarsky is office manager for Families First-NC, Inc.
In 2008 Congress authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The national announcement and proclamation ceremony took place at the wall memorial in 2012.
The main congressional objective is to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as POWs or listed MIA. Also, to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
The preparation for this national event is from 2011-2014. The execution of the main efforts will be from 2015-2017.
Locally, celebrated Vietnam war correspondent and author Joe Galloway has been appointed to serve on the anniversary commemoration advisory committee with the Department of Defense. Galloway and his wife, Dr. Grace Liem Galloway, live in Concord.
North Carolina has one of the largest veteran populations in the nation. However, recent listings indicate only a few N.C. communities, organizations, etc. have signed up for the commemoration.
We are getting older, and this may be our last hurrah. Close to 40 percent of those who served in Vietnam have already died after making it home.
We members of the newly formed Cabarrus Veterans Coalition have been reaching out to organizations and communities in the region.
Please visit the national website, www.vietnamwar50th.com and see what we all should be doing. Then, take a look at the participating partners list and see others committed nationally.
— J.H. Stanley
Kannapolis

Stanley serves on the Cabarrus Veterans Coalition board.
Given the often poisonous political atmosphere these days, I applaud anyone, regardless of party affiliation, who answers the noble calling to run for public office. It is a formidable job that requires intelligence, vision, courage, and leadership. That said, I want to offer my hearty endorsement of all five Salisbury City Council incumbents in their bid for re-election: Mayor Paul Woodson, Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell, Brian Miller, Pete Kennedy, and Karen Alexander. This is a group of exceptional individuals who work remarkably well together, and have never allowed a personal agenda (if any even has one) to trump the common good.
I’d like to offer a special shout-out, however, to two members I’ve known for a long time. Maggie Blackwell has exhibited extraordinary devotion to this city during her four years in office: walking neighborhoods, serving on multiple task forces, and personally addressing every matter brought to her attention. One example is her recent efficiency in solving a chronic traffic problem in my downtown neighborhood.
Karen Alexander, just appointed to council in January, has proven to be an incredibly quick study, wasting no time getting up to speed on every issue and winning laudable respect for her sound judgment and wise consensus-building.
A vote for these two, as well as their current colleagues, would indeed cement Salisbury’s progressive path toward a bright and prosperous future.
— Mary James
Salisbury

Doug Wilson is a candidate for the Kannapolis City Council. When he asked me to write a letter to support him, I agreed to do so because I feel Doug has the ability, training and background to help lead Kannapolis in the next years.
Doug is a lifelong resident of Kannapolis and knows the history of the city and is aware of the plans for the future.
He’s a successful business man, senior vice president and general manager of Publicom Inc., where he has been employed for 28 years.
He’s been married for 36 years to Cathy Julian Wilson, has two daughters and three grandchildren and is active member of Trinity United Methodist Church.
He served on the city of Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Commission from 1988-2001 and was chairman from 1995 to 2001.
He has served on the Cannon Memorial YMCA Board of Managers. He has been president of the A.L. Brown Booster Club since 2001. During these 13 years, the Booster Club has raised over $750,000.00 to help support the athletic program at A.L. Brown High School. He was head women’s basketball coach at A.L. Brown from 1998-2006 and also has been a head coach at Kannapolis Middle School and Concord First Assembly. These teams won eight championships over a 14 year period.
Doug Wilson is well qualified to serve and give guidance to Kannapolis as a member of the City Council.
My vote is for Doug Wilson. I encourage you to vote for Doug Wilson.
— Ray Moss
Kannapolis
With the retirement of our mayor and two city councilmen, plus two councilmen running for mayor, we are going to see dramatic changes to our Kannapolis City Council.
There are eight people in the race. After thorough investigation, talking to many others and the candidates who have responded to my request, I believe there are three who rise above the rest and should get your vote. They are Darrell Jackson, Diane Berry and Doug Wilson. All three have worked in business, volunteered for city projects or boards and are driven by a passion for Kannapolis and a willingness to serve, not by an agenda.
They are committed to seeing Kannapolis grow in a positive manner and will work hard on our behalf. Please vote on Nov. 5 for Darrell Jackson, Diane Berry and Doug Wilson for Kannapolis City Council.
— Grant Rader
Kannapolis
On Oct. 28, I fell as I was leaving the K-Mart. I didn’t know how much I was hurt. I just knew I couldn’t get up at that particular moment. A couple sitting in a car immediately came to my aid. I can’t thank them enough. They were very kind to me and my grandchildren, who were with me. The children were upset, and the couple calmed them with their kind words. I didn’t get their names but I want to thank them publicly. We read so much about bad things going on around us, I just wanted to let people know there’s a lot of kindness when you really do need it.
— Sandra Blackwelder
Lexington

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