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… Give East Spencer charter school another shot

Perhaps Muhammad can demonstrate his commitment to the charter school by stepping aside and pledging not to be involved in the process in any way, directly or indirectly, and be so sincere as to put that in writing.

— Stephen Owen

He did tell the Advisory Board at the interview that he would step aside if that made a difference to the board’s members.

— Eddie Goodall

It’s his idea so why step aside? No, he is doing the right thing; never take no for an answer. Once his name is cleared from any wrongdoings, the truth will come to the light and it will be approved.

— Mack McMillon

“State funding is too valuable to give up after one try. That money could be a stabilizing force for a new school.”

Here’s the rub. That “state funding” will be taken from Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Too many well-meaning people believe that there’s a source of state funding that’s over and above the allotment for K-12 public education. There is not.

Every dollar allotted to this or any charter school will be deducted from the already scarce resources of Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

— Ron Turbyfill

… Salisbury City Council meetings moved to 5 p.m.

Special thanks to the two new council members who pushed hard for transparency and public accountability regarding the time that City Council meetings begin. Civic participation is vital to enhancing the public’s trust in local government.

— Jeff Morris

At a meeting in December, when the issue was first brought up, Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell said that when the council had previously asked citizens if they would like to change the meeting times, no one responded. I call bull.

— Chris Borre

… Gun violence: From problems to solutions

I am forced to deduce too many Americans who get guns are just too angry, too stupid, too dangerous or too insane to trust with firearms, and have no real concern for any human life whatsoever, not even their own family and friends. …The only rational conclusion is to tax guns to the hilt. The more guns cost, the more lives of crazy idiots will be saved.

— Ernesto Meyer

Tax them, you say? Wow is all I can say to people like yourself. I have my concealed-carry permit and carry with me always. Why? Because of the growing crime in this city. … Criminals are the ones who will randomly shoot in a crowd, home or business because they do not care who they hurt. I honestly hope I never have to use my gun to stop an intruder, but if they are in my house and are threatening my family, then I will have no choice.

If they were to tax guns then, yes, it would make it harder for law-abiding citizens who work hard for their money and spend on their homes. Look at all the other countries being attacked by ISIS. Guess what — they are in “gun free” zones.

— David Pruett

I know I’m aging myself, but in my day, if you were PO’d at someone, you had a fist fight and usually both people survived. Guns are made to kill; that is their only use.

— Jennifer Doering

Sheriff Auten, you are 100 percent correct. One of the answers to fixing the problem is to get tough on sentencing these folks that use a gun in a crime. Make it a mandatory five-year sentence for possessing the gun on top of whatever the crime is they are committing. We have become so slack in our judicial system. We look for ways to not send people to jail/prison instead of finding ways to prevent crime.

— Phillip Bradshaw

You also need to have a prosecution that is not so quick to make a deal and a court system that doesn’t allow the accused to wait years before facing trial. There is not much that is “speedy” about the trial process.

— Eric Shock

There has been a steady decline since 1995, when the violent crime rate in this country was 684.5 per 100,000 residents to 2014, when the rate had dropped to 365.5 per 100,000 residents. Violent crime, in other words, is down by half of what it was 20 years ago.

— Jay Hanig

I don’t get into fist fights anymore. I grew up a long time ago. And, let me assure you, someone can kill a person with fists. … If you don’t want a gun, that’s fine but please don’t try and tell other people they do not need one.

— Greg Tarpley

The only solutions that the liberal left has suggested does nothing for illegally obtained guns. They only want to make it harder to obtain a weapon on the citizenry that can obtain them legally. The left has no new solutions. Sheriff Auten is correct; it is time to put mandatory prison time on gun-related crimes.

— Ronnie Fulcher

North Carolina had a gun law years ago that required a minimum sentence of 10 years. It was never enforced; it was only used as a threat to get guilty pleas for a reduced sentence. The DA gets credit, the courts have less work, the jails are full, and perps get out early to harm more innocents.

More feel-good pablum for the liberal masses.

Only the victim can stop a crime, yet the liberals and the Dems keep wanting more laws that disarm and hinder the victims.

— Pat Orsban

A criminal’s worst nightmare, including criminal politicians, is that their intended victim will have a gun. Guns make it dangerous to engage in criminal activity; this is why liberals favor gun control. The issue is not about guns, it is about control.

— William Campbell

Radical liberal Democrats whine when the deaths are up. Now the deaths are down so they whine about assaults being up. When will this idiocy end?

— Calvin Hughes

… NAACP head challenges Pierce mindset

I agree with President Teamer. I like Craig Pierce, but I cannot allow his word to go unchecked, even if he is helpful to significant causes in our community. It most certainly is not a personal issue to counter his hurtful words. It’s a matter of respect, duty and politics. I think Craig’s personality is much like mine; we need people around us that will help tone us down, rather than let our mouths get us in trouble, politically!

— Kenneth Muhammad El

Whites dare not speak openly and candidly about race out of fear of being labeled racists. Blacks dare not speak openly and candidly out of fear of being called sellouts. Sadly, I do not think that day will pass in my lifetime. There are too many people for whom racial harmony is bad for business.

— Bruce LaRue

… Dr. Libby: Rockwell’s treasured family physician liked delivering babies best

She was a wonderful doctor. She delivered my second daughter. She was such a kind person and treated her patients like family. When my oldest daughter was in the hospital, after Dr. Lombard left, the mother of the other child in the room asked me which grandmother she was. She was surprised when I said she was our doctor.

— Mary Little

My husband is the first baby she delivered!

— Karen Puckett

Wonderful lady. I’m named after her. She delivered me, my siblings and my oldest son.

I learned a lot from her. She took such great care of our family. Have always loved her.

— Tanya Goodman

Dr. Libby was Dr. Oliver’s nurse when I was born in 1943. I remember the old office next to the old Moose’s Grocery in Rockwell and the stone house where they moved to. My aunt and uncle lived in the apartment upstairs for a while. … Happy Birthday, Dr. Libby! Dr. Libby also delivered my first child.

— Carol Miller Edwards

… The big cheese: Lee Hinkle has kept family pimento cheese business going

My family started trading at Conrad and Hinkle’s around the mid-1920s. … When my daddy would pay the bill at the end of the month, Mr. Hinkle would give us a bag of candy. They delivered groceries for years. …

I have been a fan of Conrad and Hinkle’s pimento cheese for many, many years! Wish I could get it in South Carolina!

— Jacqueline Summers

This is not only a wonderful story about pimento cheese, but also a tribute to some really great people. Customers are greeted and treated as if they are part of the Conrad Hinkle family. They also have the best cut of meats around. So excited to see this business grow and prosper. Couldn’t happen to nicer folks.

— Debbie Auman

Conrad Hinkle pimento cheese and my wife’s vegetable beef soup — delicacy in cold weather!

— John Bost

… GeoRene Jones: People in poverty live by different rules

The thing about Ruby Payne’s work is that she explains but does not excuse. As such, it explains why many of our social welfare programs that simply give money to those in poverty are doomed to failure. To escape from generational poverty, an individual must make hard decisions and sacrifices (including turning their back on their own family and support system). Thus it comes back around to individual choice.

— Eric Shock

Making the hard decisions and sacrifices required to leave generational poverty first requires cultivation of a future story and personal interaction (relationships) with people who help shape it. Individual choices for change are made on both sides: those leaving and those welcoming, encouraging them to the future.

Making good choices is an acquired skill but it can be learned; however, without guides to point out the dangers along the way, the learning curve for making positive choices is too steep and too painful to nurture consistent success.

Relationships with individuals who are in economic stability provide the emotional/spiritual support needed to learn about alternatives and practice making good choices.

— GeoRene Jones

… Salisbury teen found shot, dead in car

The investigations of more than 10 unsolved murders of “persons of color” have been hampered by witnesses from the community refusing to come forward out of fear, mistrust for SPD and its prior leadership. When I was a prosecutor in the late ‘80s, the SBI was involved in almost every murder. Almost all of them were solved. I call on the new interim chief, Brian Stallings to call in the SBI to help investigate this crime. That was something the ex-chief would not do.

— Todd Paris

The citizens of Salisbury have a good Police Department staffed by good officers who, by and large, give it their best effort each and every day they are on duty, and at times when they’re not. So to denigrate them is to be greatly mistaken.

Someone spoke about the TV program “The First 48” in relation to Salisbury not figuring out something in 48 hours. While on occasion they do solve something in 48 hours on that show, maybe you want to take into consideration just how many cases they handle that take way longer than that. It’s just they sifted through their caseload to find those few that fit that 48-hour description.

… To those that complain the loudest, I’d ask just how much have you done to help the police in their job in Salisbury? You can’t sit back, complain and expect miracles when you, yourself, are not willing to step up to the line. …You get in return just what you put into it.

— Barney Barnhardt

Rest In paradise, Babygirl. My prayers go out to her family.  Such a sweet girl, she always smiled at me in passing. She will truly be missed!

— Felicia Martin

… Sam Foust: Public housing has its place

Thank you, Sam Foust, on setting the record straight. Public housing has been a part of my family’s lives for years. My grandparents raised their six children in Pine Hills. I grew up there as a child and moved back as an adult to care for my disabled mother until she passed. I am proud to call myself a resident of public housing and, yes, I pay rent.

— James Lambert

Kudos for this intelligent and most informative narrative and response. Thank you.

— Sue McHugh

… Evans remembered fondly in place he always talked about

I had the privilege of attending this noble event. Although I was impressed with the turnout, despite freezing weather, I was more impressed with the accolades with which Coach Evens was showered. I left thinking how much richer my life would have been had I known this man. Sounds like someone we should name a school after.

— Chuck Hughes

… 7-year-old Riley Brilliant is a survivor — and a hug machine

This family is a true example of what a Christian family is. Riley is the most loving child, he can teach us all something.

— Clancy Fleming

So proud of this family. Riley and Lizzie light up a room. So proud to call them part of my family!

— Lyndsay Tomlinson

This child is a walking, talking, breathing, living miracle. It has been a joy to watch his growth, both in person and through his parents. This entire family is incredibly special to me, so, if there was a chance that a child could make it and thrive, it’s Riley. God bless them all!!

— Charlotte Cherry

What a wonderful story of a true champion. I am so blessed to have had the privilege to watch him on the ball field. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story.

— Linda Hawkins

I am so glad to know you guys. Every time I leave your house I always have a smile on my face, and love every minute there.

— Shela Sapp

What a heart-warming story, Susan Shinn. A wonderful family. Riley is miracle. God’s blessing on Riley and his family.

— Shirley Hoosier

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