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Darts and Laurels

Laurels to those who attended the second Community Conversation hosted by the city of Salisbury. They were small in number, but strong in civic spirit, and full of good questions and ideas for the city’s elected and appointed officials. They largely focused on the community’s youth, asking about opportunities for young people and even what their churches and organizations can do to help broaden those horizons. The city deserves laurels, too, for launching this series of neighborhood meetings which give residents a better chance than they might otherwise have to meet the people who make decisions on their behalf and express their desires and concerns. The next Community Conversation will be in early summer. We hope the participants will be larger in number and still strong in civic spirit.

•   •   •

Dart to the insidious and pervasive illicit drug trade that continues to create addicts and prey upon their addictions. This week, Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten and other law enforcement officials announced a victory in the fight against that dark industry. After a year-long investigation across several counties, multiple law enforcement agencies had arrested and won convictions against 26 people producing and selling methamphetamine. Some of the $4 million worth of meth had been made in mobile labs — one Salisbury pair car blew up as a result. More disturbing, though, was the revelation that meth had been “cooked” numerous times inside a store bathroom at Concord Mills Mall. Even if it happened after hours, who might have been unknowingly exposed there to the hazardous materials used to make the drug? The sheriff’s announcement this week marked a victory, but the fight goes on.

•   •   •

Laurels and congratulations to Liberty and Justice, the bald eagles at Dan Nicholas Park, on the recent hatching of their first eaglet. The adult eagles, which live in captivity because they are both disabled and could not survive in the wild, had produced eggs four years in a row, but none had been fertile until this year. Even so, they’ve taken to parenting like experts, keeping the eaglet warm and providing its meals. Since federal law doesn’t allow parks to keep bald eagles able to function in the wild, the eaglet will begin a transition to its new life at about eight weeks old. Liberty and Justice will again be empty nesters. But who knows? They may have more chicks. And they’ve already added to the population of the majestic national bird.

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