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Laurels: ‘Games of skill’ moved where they belong

Laurel to the Salisbury City Council for taking action last week to limit business to its highway-business zoning that border on gambling and are disguised with names such as “fish games.”

The decision effectively will prevent additional stores from opening up in downtown as well as within 500 feet of churches, child care centers, schools and city government facilities.

Called games of skill by some and games of chance by others, the businesses have no place in the core of our city and certainly not next to a school or church. If the business’ operations comply with state laws, its fine for them to open up shop where they’re allowed, but downtown is an example of a spot where they shouldn’t be.

Our downtown should showcase the best of our city, and we don’t think “games of chance” or “games of skills” fall in that category.

Laurel to the town of East Spencer for its decision to hire Phil Conrad as interim town manager.

Conrad, who previously worked as Granite Quarry’s manager, leads the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization. He’s a good choice to help East Spencer through budget planning and steady a town that’s seen too much turnover in its town manager slot of late — three people in four years.

Conrad parted with Granite Quarry on good terms and looks to be committed to helping East Spencer find firm footing for the 2020 fiscal year, which starts in July.

Laurel to the Sheriff’s Office and Rowan County commissioners, who approved a contract last week that offers improvements over what’s available now for inmate health care.

The commissioners approved a contract with Virginia-based Mediko, which comes at a cost of $727,895 for the first year.

Inmates certainly don’t garner any sympathy from the public, but they should not count suffering from health problems as part of the punishment in jail.

Jails cannot and should not be full-service medical facilities, but the contract, among other things, increases hours nurses and other medical personnel are on duty and on-call. For example, licensed nursing staff will be on duty 24 hours per day and seven days per week.

That inmates won’t have to worry about waiting for nurses to arrive in the morning to receive care is a step in the right direction.

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