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Opinion Editorial

Who would have thought that you could qualify for a public pension and not be a public employee?

Some goings-on during the final days of this year's regular session of the North Carolina legislature exposed that fact, although certainly a few state government insiders were aware of it.

A provision appeared in a piece of legislation that would have added the employees of the N.C. Sheriff's Association to the state's Local Government Retirement System, the pension fund that pays retirement benefits to local government workers.


I would like to take this opportunity to let your readers know of an unprecedented move by Eddie Caldwell (Executive Vice-President of the NC Sheriff’s Association).

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association, worked with Rep. Shirley Randleman, to introduce legislation to close a critical loophole for officers and deputies who become disabled as the direct result of an incident while performing their duties and then have to medically retire. Officers and deputies were eligible for this benefit after one year of service.


Linda Suggs, chair of the board of trustees of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, last Friday announced that due to a 50% reduction in the organization’s operating budget, NCCAT will be reorganizing and shifting resources to best serve the teachers and schools of North Carolina.

Due to the resizing and restructuring, between 35 and 40 positions were eliminated, but both the Cullowhee and Ocracoke campuses remain open.


According to the CTIA, a wireless trade organization, there were 1.8 trillion text messages sent in 2009 by US mobile device users. That figure represents nearly 6000 texts for every person in the country. However, since I don't text – the figure can slightly be downgraded. On the other, all indicators are that the rate of texting has increased over the past two years. Of that 1.8 trillion, one can only imagine how many times “what's up?” was digitally conveyed.

Before I proceed I will make the customary concessions. There are, of course, sensible and practical applications of this new-fangled technology. There are instances when a timely message cannot be received as a voice communication. A message sent by a phone can serve the same function as an email or a mobile device can tie into the internet and send an email. Unfortunately, in a decade or two we may have additional data available for the study of carpel tunnel syndrome.


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