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Darts and Laurels: Move forward, don’t obstruct progress

Dart to the reason for which Rep. Larry Pittman said he voted against a district map for the N.C. House.

Pittman, a Republican whose district extends into Rowan, told Post reporter Liz Moomey that he objects to courts forcing change in district lines when it’s not an election year — an obstructionist viewpoint by any measure.

State courts have ordered redistricting because of partisan gerrymandering, and maps are due by Wednesday.

Pittman’s vote wasn’t going to hold up the maps, as the lone Republican voting against them. And Pittman wasn’t going to change the fact that the legislature needed to draw new maps by voting “no.”

Now, is the time to move forward with district lines that don’t allow legislators — Democrat or Republican — to choose their voters. With his “no” vote, Pittman seems uninterested in that task.

Laurel to the work of Doug Smith and the defense team that helped prove Witt Darnell Alexander was not in the area when a 25-year-old pregnant woman was killed in 2018. And dart to the reality that Alexander served 14 months in county jail, awaiting trail on a murder charges, before the Rowan County District Attorney dropped the charge.

In a story published Friday (“Witness to murder reportedly used drug”), reporter Shavonne Walker wrote a timeline contained in Alexander’s court file shows he was walking around uptown Charlotte and at a Salisbury convenience store buying gas and snacks around the time of the murder. A key witness to the incident also admitted to smoking crack cocaine before the shooting and when he identified Alexander from an image displayed on a cellphone.

Public defenders provide an invaluable service and Smith was right when he said the case reflects the need for funding institutions that protect innocent people.

But situation is still tragic for all those involved. Alexander spent years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit — murder. And we’re still without a culprist in the tragic murder of 25-year-old Mariah Nicole Turner.

Laurel to Shane Pierce, better known as Abstract Dissent, and the many artists and attendees who made the first-ever Graff Park Paint Jam a success.

The event raised several hundred dollars to make improvements to Salisbury’s graffiti park — an outlet for a fast-growing form of public art. It was a nice way for dozens to spend a Saturday evening, too.

We hope that the city of Salisbury will encourage more events like Saturday’s and consider providing some funding, too, to match money raised by the community for improvements.

An improved graffiti park would be an asset for the many people in Salisbury looking for an outlet to express their creativity.

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