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Tighter security the right decision

Laurels to Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and other county officials for moving quickly to address security concerns at the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office after a prisoner escaped from the facility this week. A deputy brought Jameel Stephens-Maddox into the office Wednesday and handcuffed him to a metal bar in the prisoner holding area. As the deputy spoke with the magistrate, Stephens-Maddox worked his handcuffs off, ran from the building and made his way over a fence topped with razor wire. Stephens-Maddox then eluded a sizable contingent of officers and dogs looking for him and remains on the loose. On Thursday, Auten presented several security concerns at the magistrate’s office and asked for them to be addressed immediately. The county is already getting prices from contractors who provide fencing and other security for detention centers. And the sheriff’s office is also reviewing the actions of the deputies involved. In the wake of something that shouldn’t have happened, it’s good to see government taking action instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.
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Dart to ticks and mosquitoes, two summertime pests that can do a lot more than pester. They can make people very sick. In 2013, Rowan County had 13 reported cases apiece of tick-borne Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. For each of those illnesses, two of the cases were confirmed, and at least one Rocky Mountain patient was hospitalized long-term with complications. Likewise, mosquitoes can do more than feed on you. They can leave behind viruses including West Nile and different forms of encephalitis, as well as a new one this year, chikungunya. These viruses can lead to life-threatening illnesses. Protect yourself. Learn how to avoid ticks — and the right way to remove them, if you must — and how to repel mosquitoes. It could mean a lot more than a more comfortable summer.
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Laurels to the Community Care Clinic, the donors and volunteers who make dental care possible for people who would otherwise not have access to it. The clinic recently received a $5,500 check from insurance company Delta Dental of North Carolina to help pay for dental care. Delta Dental has given about $15,000 toward the effort so far. The clinic also got a grant from the Office of Rural Health to fund a part-time dental assistant position and increased hours for hygienists and dentists. But it’s not just money that keeps the clinic going. People like Dr. Vaughn Hendrix, who is paid for some of his time and volunteers more hours as he has since the 1990s, also make it possible. It all comes together so local residents who meet the agency’s income criteria can get treatment they need but couldn’t afford on their own.

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