Darts and laurels – Hateful language hurts everyone
Dart to now-former Salisbury police officer Bill Torrence for the hateful language he reportedly used in a Facebook posting. In a news release Friday, the city said Torrence made an “inappropriate and inflammatory posting … concerning current events taking place in our nation.” Right now, protests are taking place across the country over several incidents in which police have killed African-Americans. Whether he believed the use of deadly force in those incidents was justified or not, Torrence wasn’t helping relations in his own community with his posting. That’s why the city and Police Chief Rory Collins deserve laurels for acknowledging that not only was Torrence’s online activity contrary to police department training, it “hinders our efforts to serve in partnership with our community,” and for taking action to fire Torrence on Friday.
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Laurels to Rowan County and Salisbury officials for bringing open minds to a meeting this week on zoning for the former Salisbury Mall. The 320,000-square-foot facility has been seen, at various times and by various people, as a godsend for the county, which bought it in late 2013 with an eye toward future space needs and as a weapon in the sometimes rancorous relationship between commissioners and city officials, who feared it would be used to enact an exodus of county employees from downtown Salisbury. Newly elected commissioners Chairman Greg Edds says he doesn’t see it that way, and that the board is ready to work with the Salisbury City Council, which previously denied a special use permit to allow government services in the mall. Lets hope both parties find a way to make the best use of the massive complex for the good of Rowan residents.
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Dart to Sandy and Casey Parsons for skipping a hearing this week on custody of their two youngest children. The adoptive parents of Erica Parsons — the teenager who has been missing for three years — had the children taken away from them early in the investigation into Erica’s disappearance and have since moved 2 1/2 hours away, to Fayetteville. They haven’t been charged in the disappearance, but they face potential prison time for fraudulently getting benefits in Erica’s name, among other things, after she was gone. Casey Parsons was reportedly hospitalized for ongoing medical problems – problems that seem to worsen whenever she has a court date. But that didn’t prevent Sandy Parsons from attending the hearing. The proceedings would quite possibly have ended with the couple losing all parental rights to their youngest, but they could have at least shown that mattered by showing up.