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Sunday, February 6, 2011 | $1 Extending runway called key ingredient for airport’s future BY EMILY FORD Extending the runway at the Rowan County Airport by 1,000 feet would improve one of the county’s most valuable economic development tools, officials say. A 6,500-foot runway would allow nonstop flights to the West Coast to take off from the airport, as well as improve service for corporate customers like Food Lion, said Thad Howell, airport director. “Runway expansion is very important to attract new customers but also take care of ones who are there right now,” Howell said at the Rowan Coun- Take a flying leap… If you’ve always wanted to jump out of an airplane, soon you’ll be able to try it here, 8A ty Chamber of Com- HOWELL merce’s Friday Forum. A longer runway would allow planes to take off with a full tank of fuel and lift most of the take-off restrictions Food Lion faces with the current 5,500foot length, Howell said. If the runway has slush or standing water, Food Lion’s pilot must reduce his load or even can- cel his flight, Howell said. At 6,500 feet, the runway could serve nearly all general aviation aircraft, including NASCAR teams. The total cost of the runway extension, as calculated in 2008, is $22.4 million. That includes land acquisitions and rerouting Airport Road. The extension must go south due to unsuitable topography at the north end of the runway, Howell said. State funds could cover up to 90 percent of the cost with a 10 percent local match, said Rick Barkes, deputy director for the N.C. Department of Transportation Aviation Division. See RUNWAY, 8A JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST fILe PhOTO The estimated cost for a runway extension at Rowan County Airport is $22.4 million. The state would pay the bulk of the cost. Fired officers plan legal action against East Spencer FANS SHOW THEIR COLORS Six lost jobs over last year; chief stands by reasons for dismissals BY KARISSA MINN JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST Gary Atwell of Spencer proudly shows off his Green Bay Packers gear in a preview for today’s Super Bowl. Terrible Towels, Cheeseheads in vogue as Steelers, Packers take the field Meeting legend I Bart Starr a thrill f you’re sitting near the Rev. Judy Klusman during today’s Super Bowl, be prepared. “Put your earplugs in,” she says. “I warn you, I yell and holler a lot.” Klusman, a Wisconsin native who moved to Salisbury in 2007, is an unabashed Green Bay MARK Packers fan. WINEKA It started Steve Clark says he gets plenty of attention from other Steelers with her mother, who still lives in Wis- fans when they see his Pittsburgh tag. consin, rooting on her beloved Packers. Rowan County resident. der Coach Vince Lombardi “It’s a multi-generational Super Bowl XLV features by winning the first two Suthing, and it’s hard for people two blue-collar cities and two per Bowls, then endeared itwho didn’t grow up as Packteams that maybe have the self to a new generation of ers fans to understand,” most loyal, national fan bases fans with quarterback Brett Klusman explains. in professional football. SupFavre and two Super Bowl As with many Pittsburgh porters of teams such as the appearances in the 1990s. Steelers fans in the South, Dallas Cowboys and WashToday’s Super Bowl chamSteve Clark became a devotington Redskins might dispion wins, in fact, the Lomed fan with the Steelers pute that, but today they’re bardi trophy. teams of the 1970s, which watching with everyone else Meanwhile, the Steelers featured players such as Ter- the Terrible Towels of Pittsare going after a record-setry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, burgh take on the Cheeseting seventh Super Bowl vicFranco Harris, Mean Joe heads of Green Bay. tory. In Super Bowls, the Greene and Lynn Swann. These clubs have tradi“I love the black and tions that are hard to match. See FANS, 8A gold,” says Clark, a lifelong Green Bay set a standard un- [|xbIAHD y0 0 2ozX Today’s forecast 52º/31º Sunny, nice Deaths Doris Lucille Allgood Almeda “Pete” Shive Barger Edith Louise Eller Basinger Mary Ida Drye Cauble Everett Debell Crockett for father, son BY MARK WINEKA Devout Green Bay Packers fans Terry Osborne and his son, Madison, made the pilgrimage in November 2009 to sacred Wisconsin ground. Lambeau Field. As part of their weekend, which culminated with a Green Bay victory in the Sunday game in Lambeau over the visiting San Francisco 49ers, the Osbornes spent a long time Saturday in the Packers Hall of Fame. Near closing time, Terry Osborne wanted Madison to see a couple of photographs showing West Rowan High graduate and former Packers offensive lineman David Dreschler. In the distance, Osborne noticed a group touring the hall that seemed to be led by — could it be? — Packers great Bart Starr. Osborne was sure it was Starr and decided if an opportunity pre- EAST SPENCER — Six officers have been fired from the East Spencer Police Department in just over a year, and five are considering legal action against the town, with at least two already preparing lawsuits. Mark Smith, Jason Sawyer, James Rivers, Jonathan Helms, Cassandra Rankin and Kenny Williams all were dismissed from the department between December 2009 and January 2011. All say the reasons given for their dismissal aren’t accurate. East Spencer Police Chief Floyd Baldo declined to comment on the dismissals or the former officers’ statements. “I stand by every word in the letters of dismissal to be BALDO the absolute truth,” he said. According to a letter sent by Baldo, Smith was fired Dec. 23 for two instances of conduct unbecoming an officer. Baldo wrote that on Dec. 9, 2009, Smith lied about seizing a holster involved in a shooting investigation and falsified documents to hide the seizure. He continued that Smith also admitted on Dec. 9, 2009, that he failed to turn in evidence of “an alleged shooting in which (Smith was) the alleged victim,” storing it at home for nearly a month in- SMITH stead of placing it into evidence as required. When asked about his dismissal Thursday, Smith said he forgot about the inexpensive nylon holster in his drawer and didn’t purposely keep or hide it. He said Baldo knew Smith had the holster but did not bring it to Smith’s attention for 12 days. “This is my supervisor and also the evidence custodian,” Smith said, referring to Baldo. “He said what I did was willful spoilation of evidence — well, what was he doing?” Smith said the second incident involved his property — a bulletproof vest and a pair of handcuffs that were damaged when he was shot in November 2009. After placing photographs of the items into evidence, Smith said he told then-chief Ron Hines that he would be keeping the handcuffs as a memento at home. Smith said he continued to wear the vest to work for three weeks before he was written up. Smith said he has consulted an attorney but decided he can’t afford to file a lawsuit. Sawyer’s dismissal letter includes a list of five instances of conduct unbecoming of an officer, specifically dereliction of duty. SAWYER Baldo wrote that on May 21, Sawyer “knowingly and willfully failed to write a report on a felony larceny in which you had detailed knowledge that the crime did occur.” See STARR, 8A Herbert Lee Johnston Gilbert Lee Jones Ted Delano Meacham Kenneth Emmitt Robbins Martha S. Sweeney Stough Contents See EAST SPENCER, 8A Books Business Celebrations Classifieds 5D 1C 3E 4C Deaths 6A,9A Horoscope 9C Opinion 2D People 1E Second Front 3A Sports 1B Television 9C Weather 10C


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