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Editorial: Is Rowan complacent?

Happy grads

A Livingstone College Graduate takes a selfie as he walks out to the graduation on May 6, 2017 in Salisbury.
KRISTI CRAVEN/ SALISBURY POST

Kyle Petty will perform with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra at Pops at the Post on June 3 in Salisbury.

Dart to the notion that Rowan County doesn’t need population growth. A poll on the Salisbury Post’s website recently asked the question, “Would you like Rowan County’s population to grow?” With the exception of 96 I-don’t-knows, the respondents were evenly split, with 444 checking “yes” and 444 checking “No, we’re fine the way we are.” It’s good to know many are happy and satisfied with life in Rowan County. But do we really think our work is done when it comes to building a stronger and more equitable local economy? There’s a difference between contentment and complacency. Life is good for many residents, but the county needs an influx of jobs that pay well so more families can plug into North Carolina’s prosperity. Branding experts say our community is better than many of us give it credit for. Amen to that. Our businesses and tax base need growth, though, and that won’t happen without more people choosing to call Rowan County home.

Laurels to the college graduates walking across local stages and into the future this spring. Livingstone College recognized 150 graduates on Saturday. This week, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will hold commencement exercises on Friday, followed by Catawba on Saturday. Don’t forget Hood Theological Seminary, which will hold graduation exercises on May 20. Higher education is an important industry in Rowan County, and these graduates are some of Rowan’s finest products.

Laurels to Kyle Petty for agreeing to a return engagement with the Salisbury Symphony for the June 3 Pops at the Post concert. The former NASCAR driver sang and played the guitar with the symphony in February. At Pops, he plans to perform two of his songs,  “Hard Times” and “Movie Cowboys.” In addition to racing and performing, Petty is known for the positive steps he took after his son Adam’s death in a racing accident at age 19. Kyle, son of racing legend Richard Petty, joined with other family members in founding Victory Junction, a camp “where children with serious illness would be able to experience the joys of childhood and forget about being sick for a while,” as the website says. The 23rd Annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America sets out from Portland, Oregon, this Saturday to raise money for the camp.

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