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Darts & laurels: New access to old records

Laurels to John Brindle and his staff at the Rowan County Register of Deeds office for bringing the office’s priceless records into the 21st century. The records have been digitized and can be accessed online. Formed in 1753, Rowan started out as a vast territory. From 1770 to 1836, the county went through several reductions, with parts of it going into Guilford, Surry, Burke, Iredell, Davidson and Davie counties. As a result, according to Brindle, Rowan has 25 percent of the land records for North Carolina. Those and much more are accessible on the county’s website. (Go to www.rowancountync.gov/GOVERNMENT/Departments/RegisterOfDeeds and scroll down to “Online Document Search.”) Would it be possible to do the same with court records?

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Dart to Alzheimer’s disease, now considered one of the nation’s largest public health crises. Pat Summitt, who died of early onset Alzheimer’s, proved to be both a championship women’s college basketball coach and a champion for fighting the disease. Well-known people typically step out of the spotlight and go silent when they learn they have Alzheimer’s. Summitt took two important steps after her diagnosis in August 2011. She went public with her illness and, along with her son, created the Pat Summitt Foundation. Summitt stepped aside as the Lady Vols’ head coach, but she stayed with the team for the 2011-12 season and met cheering crowds everywhere she went. Sadly, the disease progressed, and she died last month. Her foundation has flourished, though, and pledged $500,000 annually for the next five years to the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic, set to open in December at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Summitt was warmly remembered at a UT celebration of life on Thursday. Her impact will be felt for years.

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Laurels to the Landis Board of Aldermen for breaking with the tradition of sending a contingent to the annual ElectriCities conference in Myrtle Beach for what some appeared to use as a vacation. A public records request from the Salisbury Post earlier this year revealed that town board members ran up a $17,000 tab for rooms, meals and more during the 2015 conference, all paid for with town funds. Some of those officials lost re-election bids. Now board members are shunning the expensive outing and their predecessors’ free-spending ways. Sending no one to the annual gathering may be going too far, though. As the operator of an electric utility, Landis is a member of ElectriCities and needs to stay abreast of new developments. Maybe someone will share methods to reduce residents’ power bills.

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