Tar Heel Editors Speak Out

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The worst thing about the grim news on the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is realizing that so many of those people did not have to die. Nearly a year after the storm slammed the island last September, a report from George Washington University estimates that the death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico was nearly 2,975. That’s a far cry from the 16 deaths initially reported by Puerto Rican officials ...

... There is plenty of blame to go around, including failures on the part of Puerto Rican authorities. ... The biggest share of blame lies squarely at the feet of the federal government of the United States, which is supposed to move in when a disaster is too great for a locality to handle.

... FEMA and local officials should make sure that better plans and adequate supplies are in place the next time disaster strikes.

Congress needs to provide more aid to help Puerto Rico improve its economy, get out from under debt and build better infrastructure. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. It is this country’s moral obligation to take care of them.

Dowa Thermotech, a Japanese company which manufactures industrial furnaces and offers heat treatment for metal parts, announced [last] Tuesday morning it will build a new facility in Sanford. The new facility will be located in the Central Carolina Enterprise Park.

The $22.5 million investment is expected to bring 109 new jobs with an average yearly wage of approximately $35,000 to the area, according to officials.

The project will begin with a small warehouse and office space for the sales and service of the company’s product before expanding to a full manufacturing facility in the fourth year. According to Bob Joyce, executive director of development for the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, the finished facility will be approximately 50,000-60,000 square feet in size, situated on a nine-acre plot of land across from Conveyor Technologies.

... While it will be a few years before the Dowa Thermotech facility is up and running, this is certainly a positive development for Sanford moving forward.

... Marion officials voted this week to name Bigfoot as its official animal, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer. Yep, North Carolina has the Plott hound and Marion has Sasquatch, a mythical woods creature that walks on its back legs and is the size of an ape or human.

Good for them. Instead of turning its collective nose up at the Bigfoot storyline, the community there chose to embrace it. ... the town will host a Bigfoot Festival on [Saturday].

... Is Bigfoot real? There’s plenty of debate on both sides but precious little evidence.

Does that matter? Not in Marion, where elected officials saw clear to have a little fun and gain a little fame rather than reject the subject of Bigfoot.... Sometimes it’s OK, heck even fun, for our communities to own and celebrate the stuff that makes us different. In Marion, that happens to be the thought that a Bigfoot may lurk in the foothills. We congratulate them on a well-placed sense of humor.

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