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Editorial: Celebrate positive things happening in Salisbury-Rowan community

Amid a pandemic that has picked up steam, it’s nice every once in a while to focus on positive things happening in the community. So, here are a few examples:

• Let’s start by celebrating a little community spirit created by East Spencer and Spencer.

The two towns united last week for National Night Out events, offering food, fun, hay rides and an opportunity to build bridges with local law enforcement. Other local municipalities provided similar offerings, including in Landis, where there was free Gary’s Bar-B-Cue.

Spencer Alderwoman and former East Spencer Police Chief Sharon Hovis said it best when she said there was a sense of fulfillment in seeing people meeting one another in public. Even as the pandemic waned during the late spring and early summer, people largely stayed in their own bubbles — many for health reasons and others for comfort. The more than people can build connections with people who live near them, the further away Salisbury and Rowan County move from being a collection of people living within borders on a map.

• How about Quanera Hayes, who made a name for herself when running track at Livingstone College, getting the women’s final in the 400-meter race at the Olympics?

Winning a medal is worth plenty of celebration but making an Olympic final is a rare feat most people can only dream about.

Hayes finished seventh in the final race with a time of 50.88. She can also call herself one of the fastest seven women in the world at the 400-meter race.

• Some might dread it, but it’s also good that students and teachers are just days away from returning to class.

The 2019-2020 school year was far from normal, with classes canceled for the last half of the year. The 2020-2021 year also was far from normal, with worries about COVID-19 top-of-mind. This year won’t be without virus worries, particularly amid the current spike, but students are scheduled to be in class five days a week, which will be a boon for those who have struggled with remote learning.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education can ensure students are able to stay in class five days a week and take a step toward slowing the spread of COVID-19 by requiring masks in buildings. It should just be piece of cloth, not a political football.

• It’s worth celebrating, too, that Rowan County’s average private-sector wage is among the highest in the Charlotte metro region.

This statistic, pointed out by Rowan Economic Development Council President Rod Crider, differs from typical measures of income in that it calculates what a working person earns. Household income and per-capita measures are divided among people whether they work or not.

Crider says the private-sector wage is a more accurate indicator of the marketplace in Rowan County.

“You can make more money and enjoy a higher quality of life in Rowan,” Crider said.

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