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Getting kids dressed for success

Laurels to Belk. The retailer last week donated 1,000 school uniforms to Kannapolis City Schools and Cabarrus County Schools, with 800 of them going to students in Kannapolis. And they’re needed. Ellen Boyd, the Kannapolis City Schools public information officer, said the system had already been getting calls from families waiting for the uniforms. Uniforms are, among other things, meant to help close the obvious gap between students from well-to-do families and those less fortunate. Barbi Jones, vice president for communications with United Way of the Central Carolinas — which helped Belk determine where the donation would go — said the new uniforms would help ensure needy students “look like everybody else” and feel more comfortable when they return to school. And Boyd said that allows the schools “to get down to teaching.” Sounds like, thanks to Belk, a lot of students will be dressed for success.
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Dart to the former tenants who set up a meth lab in Sharon Deal’s rental home in China Grove and left the house a dirty disaster when they were evicted for not paying the rent. Unfortunately, it’s not a rarity. There were 561 meth lab busts in North Carolina 2013, the most since reporting began in 2003. In Rowan County last year, there were 10 meth lab busts, double the number three years ago. But those aren’t the numbers that mean the most to Deal. The law requires the home be cleaned of contaminants, tested and repaired before Deal can rent it again. She estimates that will cost $10,000 to $12,000, an amount she said will take two years to recoup if the home stays rented. Deal called it “one of the saddest things when you go into a house and see everything that’s been destroyed.” Even sadder, the lives that have been damaged by meth, including those who had nothing to do with it, like Deal.
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Laurels to Gary Page, who is riding off into retirement after six years as Rowan County manager and nearly four decades in government. Page came to Rowan County in May 2008, just in time for the recession that crippled economies large and small and hit the county hard. He’ll be remembered by some for decisions and recommendations that weren’t popular, like eliminating jobs and buying the former Salisbury Mall. But he kept a steady hand and helped the county weather the storm, and he also oversaw consolidation of the Rowan and Salisbury 911 services and an upgrade of the radio system used by emergency services. Page said this week he regretted not being able to bridge gaps between county officials and those of its largest municipality and school system. An unfailingly nice guy, he surely would have if it were possible. Page deserves thanks for his service to the county and well wishes for his retirement.

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