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Renewing bonds in the West End

Laurels to Livingstone College officials for taking steps to renew and strengthen the school’s bond with the West End community. In the news earlier this year for shootings and other violent crime, the West End has seen a surge in citizen involvement and the establishment of a Salisbury Police Department substation. But one of the bigger difference-makers could come in the form of the largest institution in the West End — Livingstone. College officials and residents have been meeting for several months, and today Livingstone will host the inaugural West End Classic, which the college says will be an annual event. A parade will be followed by a family fun day and football game, to which everyone will be admitted free of charge. Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins Sr. said this event is just the beginning — the college will host academic and sports camps and tutoring for West End children — and he believes ties between the school and the West End community “will only continue to strengthen and improve.”
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Dart to a proposal by Rowan County commissioners Vice Chairman Craig Pierce to require cyclists to register and pay tax on their bicycles and buy liability insurance. Pierce’s idea was one of a half-dozen proposals commissioners voted this week to send to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners to evaluate as potential legislative goals. Pierce said he wants cyclists to comply with the same rules as motorists. Other commissioners rightly questioned the wisdom of the proposal. If people can’t afford cars, can they really afford to pay tax and insurance on a bicycle that might be the only way they have to get to work? Still, only Commissioner Jon Barber voted against the measure, with others saying they’ll trust the statewide association to determine its merits. Let’s hope that body sees the folly in it.
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Laurels to the people and organizations making an effort to spur and support entrepreneurship in Rowan County. The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and RowanWorks Economic Development Commission have been working together since last year on an initiative called EntreRowan that has produced a business plan competition at Catawba College and free one-on-one business counseling at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, among other things. This week, a Chamber of Commerce breakfast was highlighted by presentations from local entrepreneurs to a panel of potential investors, in the style of TV’s “Shark Tank” series. They included 13-year-old Knox Middle student Kerry Campion, who has developed a device to reduce swelling and pain in an injured limb, and Johnny Bousselot, who wants to expand his already successful sauces. There are probably lots of people with great ideas out there, and all they need is encouragement and investment of time, money or expertise to take off.

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