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Black Hawk to the rescue

Laurels to the expert rescue operation that extracted an injured climber from tricky terrain in North Carolina’s Linville Gorge wilderness area early this week. An Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter crew based in Salisbury played a key role, partnering with Gaston County EMS’ helicopter aquatic rescue team to safely remove the climber, who fell Monday while rappelling in the gorge. The rescue was just the most recent of many civilian-aid missions performed by the National Guard. In fact, it’s at least the second mountain rescue the Salisbury-based crew has performed this winter. In January, again partnering with aquatic first responders, a Black Hawk team went to the aid of three hikers who were stranded in the N.C. mountains in brutal conditions, at 4,000-foot elevation. With 30-mph winds and deep snowdrifts, evacuation by land was deemed too time-consuming and treacherous, but the Black Hawk hovered over the site, lowered civilian team members and then hoisted up the freezing hikers. Such rescues in treacherous environments are dramatic and potentially dangerous, but it’s just part of a day’s work for the Guard’s expert teams.
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Dart to yet another accident in which a car pulled into the path of a motorcycle, according to police. Such crashes happen all too frequently and almost always result in serious injuries to the motorcyclist, as was the case with Tuesday’s accident on South Main Street. Musician David Myers sustained multiple injuries, including spinal trauma and broken bones. He faces a long road ahead, but many riders don’t even survive collisions with cars. The arrival of milder weather means more motorcyclists will on the road. Help keep them safe by being vigilant and watching for two-wheelers, especially when you’re pulling onto roadways, making left-hand turns against traffic or changing lanes on multilane highways.
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Laurels to Kannapolis City Schools for winning some national recognition for a technology partnership with Cabarrus County government. The KCS’ Magna Award, handed out by the National School Boards Association, honors systems for innovative programs that advance learning and encourage community involvement. The Kannapolis program was both creative and born of economic necessity. After state technology funding dried up, the school system needed a way to boost its technology capabilities without additional funding. One solution was to partner with the county to get access to the Cabarrus data center, which gave KCS more digital capacity without requiring server expansion at the other end. It’s a great example of using existing community resources to solve a problem.

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