New growth for downtown
Laurels to the Rowan Redbuds Garden Club for sprucing up downtown Salisbury’s streetscape. The new club partnered with the city (with an assist from Godley’s Garden Center) to install new plantings in the city’s 17 concrete planters, and its next project will be to install new garden beds at the Rowan Public Library headquarters, where the club holds its meetings. The next time you’re downtown, check out the club’s handiwork and take a moment to appreciate the hands-on volunteer hours that go into such beautification projects. Meanwhile, if you really dig what the group is doing and want to help, contact Anganetta Dover at 704-638-0575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dart to the wanton destruction of wildlife. Here in Rowan County, we recently had the ghastly spectacle of a flock of geese being shot and clubbed to death at Rowan Memorial Park in what appeared to be a planned extermination. Meanwhile, across the state, federal and state authorities are trying to stop the illegal killing of endangered red wolves. At least nine wolves have been found shot to death this year — six in the past month — near the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, the site of the nation’s only red-wolf recovery project. The pace of the killings makes it unlikely that all of these are accidental shootings by hunters mistaking the red wolves for coyotes. Like the slaughter of the geese, the wolves’ deaths appear deliberate, premeditated and devoid of any human care or concern for a fellow creature.
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Laurels to a well-deserved national honor for Dean Smith, who this week received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. The University of North Carolina coach’s extraordinary achievements on the basketball court are, of course, legend among sports fans. Beyond the long string of championship teams, however, this high civilian award recognized how Smith used his success to impact many other areas, from racial integration to promoting personal integrity, academic success and community involvement. Sidelined by a degenerative neurological disorder, Smith couldn’t attend the White House ceremony, but his wife, Linnea Smith, was there to proudly accept the award for this genuine Tar Heel hero.