Rallying to stop bullying in Rowan

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 26, 2014

Laurels to the organizers of an anti-bullying rally being held today in Salisbury. The group hosting the event for the second time, Stop the Silence, was formed last year after 11-year-old Daniel Safrit took his own life. Daniel’s parents said he did it because he could no longer take the bullying he had endured at school. Today’s event will include food, games and music, but most importantly it will attempt to raise awareness about bullying, educate people on how to spot bullying and prevent it, and empower young people to overcome the bullies in their lives. The rally is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 110 N. Lee St. The 100 block of North Fisher Street will be blocked off for the event. Nothing will bring Daniel Safrit back, but maybe events like this will make the community more aware of kids like him.

Dart to scammers of any stripe, but this week particularly those posing as Duke Energy employees and preying on local residents and businesses. Two men showed up at the home of a western Rowan County couple and one told the husband he needed to check the power lines or the house might catch fire. When they walked around the house, the man assaulted the 89-year-old resident and took his wallet. Meanwhile, an accomplice went into the house, took the 85-year-old wife’s purse and cut the phone line. In another attempted scam, someone claiming to be a Duke Energy representative called several local businesses, telling them they were late on their power bills and needed to pay up or lose electricity. Authorities urge people and businesses targeted by these thieves to contact Duke Energy if they get a similar call or if someone shows up at the front door claiming to be with the company. If you’re not sure, close the door. And if you’re afraid, call 911.
Laurels to Salisbury City Council for its recent approval of downtown development grants that take some of the sting out of expiring state incentives and might prove a lifeline for the historic Empire Hotel. The General Assembly adjourned this year without extending the state’s historic preservation tax credits. That means the program, which has been credited with spurring $1.5 billion in statewide investment since 1998, will cease to exist at the end of the year. That might have doomed Charlotte businessman Jeff Carroll’s possible $10 million mixed-use redevelopment of the Empire on Main Street. The city’s program, which offers four grants — three could go toward new construction and a fourth for rehabilitations only — could offer the Empire project $200,000. That won’t make up the $750,000 in lost state incentives, but helps bridge the gap and puts the city “ahead of the game,” Carroll said.