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Fighting back against school violence

Laurels to Team Good Life, a group formed by Salisbury High School students to counter violence, bullying and other issues that negatively impact teenagers. Salisbury High students Ronald Robinson and Jada Cuff formed the group not long after classmate Shaleek Williams was shot outside the school gym in early February. They and other members of Team Good Life have produced a 20-minute video they recently screened at Salisbury High and hope eventually to show at schools through the Rowan-Salisbury system. They’ve gotten support from teachers, the school’s resource officer and others including Salisbury High Principal Luke Brown. But it’s the students themselves who are the true catalysts of the effort, and can be the agents of change. Mildred Chinaka, an intervention prevention counselor, said they “are the tools that can eradicate … violence.” Here’s wishing them success, and a good life.
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Dart to the “guilty until proven innocent” attitude that cost a Salisbury man his business. Robert Isenhour apparently did nothing wrong, but that didn’t matter when a disgruntled former employee accused the 36-year-old Isenhour and another man last year of robbing him and his girlfriend at gunpoint. Isenhour spent five days in jail before making bond. The case dragged on, with delay after delay, until a prosecutor determined there was insufficient evidence to continue and noted the arresting officer found the alleged victims to be untruthful. The disgruntled employee, meanwhile, had been convicted of robbery; his girlfriend was nowhere to be found. The charges against Isenhour and the other man were dropped, but the damage was done. He’d lost half the clients from his lawn-care business. Some said they could no longer trust him. He’s moved to Florida, where he hopes to start fresh.
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Laurels to N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz for developing a plan to replace expiring tax credits for redeveloping historic structures. The Historic Rehabilitation would be administered by the state Historic Preservation Office, which falls under Kluttz’s department. And Kluttz, the former mayor of Salisbury, well knows how valuable that kind of investment can be. Since 1976, Rowan ranks among the top five counties in the state for projects using federal and/or historic preservation tax credits, with 71 projects generating $27.4 million in investment. Those are all income-projects, meaning commercial uses that brought jobs to Rowan County. Since 1998, there have been 48 projects in the county, including residential, that have gotten tax credits, accounting for investment of $21 million. In announcing the plan, McCrory said historic revitalization “means jobs, economic development and a rebirth of many downtowns.” It’s an opportunity to preserve our past and help secure our future.

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