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Darts & laurels: At last, help for East Spencer

Laurels to Rowan County commissioners for giving East Spencer much-needed attention. The county will be receiving $48,000 from Tuscarora Yarns soon, incentives due back since the company closed its China Grove plant. Commissioners voted to redirect that money to East Spencer in the form of N.C. Manufacturing Institute classes, to be offered free of charge, probably at the town hall. East Spencer’s 1,500 residents have an average household income of about $15,000, and unemployment is high. Town leaders work hard to improve East Spencer’s situation, but they’re spinning their wheels if the greater community of Rowan won’t help. This initiative should be just the beginning. 

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Dart to the difficulty of diagnosing  Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that can stump patients and doctors. After years of being treated for Alzheimer’s disease,  singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. After three weeks of correct treatment, the 80-year-old Kristofferson’s memory was almost normal, his wife told Rolling Stone. “All of a sudden he was back.” The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and a skin rash. But Lyme can also cause problems remembering names or words, slowed thinking, brain fog and difficulty following conversations. The Centers for Disease Control estimates there are about 329,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year, but only about 30,000 are confirmed and reported to the CDC. Researchers must find a more effective way to test for Lyme disease.

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Laurels to Foster Road residents who made their feelings known about the possibility of having a new elementary school in their midst. They talked and the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education listened. The property owner may have had the more effective response; breaking up the tract of land the way the school system had in mind was not acceptable. Meanwhile, the school board heard county commissioners would probably oppose the Foster Road site, which was more expensive. Now school officials are focusing on the current site of Cleveland Elementary, where there should be room to continue classes as workers put up a new western elementary to replace Cleveland and Woodleaf. Will this site satisfy Woodleaf families accustomed to a school 11 miles away from Cleveland? The school board is resigned to the fact that it can’t please everyone; its job is to make sure this location won’t cause undue hardship for any students or families. Let’s hope this can be worked out without having to start searching for yet another site.

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