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Darts and laurels (10-25-14)

Laurels to all those who have pledged to the United Way during its annual fundraising campaign. The United Way, which supports 15 agencies throughout Rowan County that help people learn to read, escape abusive relationships, find shelter after disaster and much more, has raised more than $1.1 million in funds and promised support. At a report meeting Wednesday, we learned schools have raised thousands of dollars apiece for the effort, and one of the fundraising divisions has already surpassed its goal. But the need is even greater. The United Way hopes to raise nearly $1.9 million this year, 3 percent more than last year. If you have given to United Way this year, thank you. If you haven’t given, consider doing so. It’s not just for a good cause. It’s for a lot of good causes.

Dart to the recent spate of homicides. The first were on Oct. 8 in Spencer, when three masked men burst into a home and shot to death Antonio Walker and James Walker Jr. On Oct. 11, Aaron Phillip Vaughn was found dead in a home on Victory Street in Salisbury, also killed by gunshot. Then, early Thursday, Antonio Montreal Chambers was found shot to death in an apartment at Colonial Village in Salisbury. Spencer Police, aided by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and N.C. SBI, deserve laurels for making three quick arrests in the Oct. 8 killings, but this deadly two weeks is disturbing.

Laurels to the Rowan-Salisbury School System for putting its surplus technology on sale to the public. The school system is undergoing what it calls a “one-to-one digital conversion,” putting a laptop or iPad into the hands of every teacher and student in third through 12th grades. Part of paying for that plan is to sell off technology that is outdated or the school system no longer needs, such as computers from high schools where the one-to-one plan has been implemented. While it would have been easier for the school system to sell all the technology to a corporation, school system officials decided to make it available to the public, and at some attractive prices. Macbooks, for example, will go for $100 to $200, depending on the style, and iPads will be sold for $150, well below what they would cost new. School system employees will get first look at the sale, which opens to the public Nov. 1.

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