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Giving students a ‘wow experience’

Laurels to all the volunteers who took part in a “beautification day” at Knox Middle School on Monday. The school’s new co-principals, Michael Waiksnis and Latoya Dixon, say they want to give kids a “wow experience” on the first day of school Aug. 25. So far, they’ve got plenty of help. In addition to their assistant principals, they were joined by students, parents and neighbors who wanted to help Knox put on its best face. Meredith Burton hasn’t even taken classes at the school yet, but she joined fellow rising sixth-grader Maggie Alexander for the workday because, she said, they “wanted to make the school look nice and help out with everything.” The Rowan-Salisbury School System plans renovations as part of a $40 million capital agreement with the county, but that could take a while, and students like Meredith and Maggie deserve a “wow experience” now. If you missed the first beautification day and would like to help, a second is planned for today, 8 a.m.-noon.

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Dart to the demise of the Rowan Express East transit service. Rowan County started the service with great fanfare in 2010, and it was well-deserved. On the heels of the successful Rowan Express South service — which takes passengers to China Grove and Landis and links the Salisbury and Concord-Kannapolis bus services — residents in eastern Rowan asked the county to expand in their direction. With grants, the county established a service that ran seven loops a day through eastern Rowan towns and to frequently visited destinations. But the ridership never really materialized, and the 2010 Census designated the area as urban, meaning the county could no longer use rural grant funds. Residents in eastern Rowan will have access to the on-call RITA service, but only one day a week, making it far less useful for the few people who actually counted on Rowan Express to get around.
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Laurels to Terry Parham, who didn’t give up on a quest and in the end provided closure for a family. A China Grove resident, Parham owns more than two dozen rental houses, and tenants have left a lot in them over the years. But the prior experience didn’t prepare Parham for what he found in a Kannapolis house after a renter vacated. Tucked away in a closet, inside a box, were the cremated remains of Dennis Donald Norway. The box also contained a wallet with, among other things, a driver’s license and a photo of a little boy. But none of that helped him track down the man’s family. In a final effort last week, Parham contacted the Post, and a little boy reading the resulting article realized those were the remains of his grandfather. He was the boy in the photo in Norway’s wallet, and had wanted to visit his beloved grandfather’s final resting place since his death in 2008. Now he can.

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