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Teachers post with care on Facebook

Baby brain power

Schools set policies for use of social networking sites BY KATHY CHAFFIN


Six-month-old Lincoln Perkins wears specialized net that reads electrical impulses in the brain for research in Kannapolis.

Research: Is intellect linked to mother’s milk? BY EMILY FORD

ANNAPOLIS — Lincoln Perkins celebrated his 6-month birthday by becoming the first baby in a new breastfeeding nutrition study at the N.C. Research Campus. Distracted by researchers and recruiters playing peek-aboo, Lincoln recently sat under a dome of cameras and forgot that he was wearing a hightech net over his head. “There’s your brain,” Dr. Carol Cheatham said as an image of the electrical activity coming from Lincoln’s scalp appeared on a computer screen. “He has a perfect head.” Lincoln’s mom, Yvonne Perkins of Kannapolis, agreed. Perkins chose to wait in the hallway while cameras on the geodesic dome photographed Lincoln, which took about 10 minutes. She said the youngest of her five children gets fussy if he can see her. Later, Perkins held Lincoln on her lap as he looked at 100 images on a computer, while 128 sensors affixed to the net recorded his brain activity. Cheatham tests for recognition memory and the brain’s sequencing function, both abilities that she suspects are affected by fatty acid levels in


University of North CarolinaChapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, wants to know if the levels of fatty acids delivered by mothers through breastmilk have a measurable effect on the memory ability of their infants. In other words, she’s trying to figure out why breastfed babies generally have higher IQs than formula-fed babies, and she suspects that fatty acids play a role. Her research could change the way pregnant women eat and how pediatricians treat their youngest patients. The breastfeeding project is Dr. Carol Cheatham, assistant professor with the University of North one of three ongoing nutrition Carolina's Nutrition Research Institute, moves Lincoln Perkins’ studies in Cheatham’s lab. chair in a dome of cameras, all trained on him. Cheatham needs 200 3month-old breastfed babies, 80 the brain. lyzed using state-of-the-art in6-month-old formula-fed ba“He was a little unsure struments at the $1.5 billion bies and 100 16-month-old todabout the attention and this Research Campus, tell dlers. Children must enroll bething on his head in the beginCheatham about the genetic fore they reach the required ning, but he’s a very laid back make-up of mother and baby, ages, and all participants are baby and once he forgot about as well as nutrients in the paid. the cap on his head, he was breastmilk. Pregnant women can join happy,” Perkins said. “I couldn’t wait to be a part the database and participate From the initial consenting of this,” said Perkins, who saw after their babies are born. process through the memory a flyer recruiting babies for The studies are going well test, the painless procedure the study. “It’s an exciting opbut slowly, Cheatham said. took about an hour. Reportunity for me to be involved “Recruitment is the biggest searchers had collected breast- with something that can furobstacle,” she said. milk from Perkins and saliva ther the research about how To spread the word about from Lincoln three months great breastfeeding is.” her research, she’s hired Julie earlier. Cheatham, a neuroscientist See BRAIN, 7A The fluids, which are anaand child psychologist with the

Rowan-Salisbury and Kannapolis City school officials say their staff receive training on what is — and what isn’t — appropriate social networking on the Internet. “We talk about this quite a bit,” says Delores Morris, assistant superintendent for human resources in the Rowan-Salisbury School System. And just in case they need reminding of the possible consequences of inappropriate postings on Facebook or Myspace, she says administrators and principals will bring up cases from other counties. “We use those as examples of what can happen,” she says. A Wake County eighth-grade teacher was suspended recently after reacting angrily on her Facebook page, saying that she was subjected to a “hate crime” by Christian students. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Feb. 16 that Melissa Hussain was suspended with pay while investigators review her case. Parents objected to comments on the teacher’s Facebook page about her conflict with Christian students. Morris says the local school system addresses inappropriate social networking in its Internet and the Educational Program policy, as well as the educators’ ethics code.


Board to refine school choice BY KATHY CHAFFIN

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will consider a draft of administrative guidelines for school choice zones at its meeting Monday. Proposed guidelines to be presented by Dr. Walter Hart, assistant superintendent for administration, address transportation, school choice renewal, the athletic wait period, school choice procedures and a timeline as well as marketing. The public meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s administrative offices at 110 S. Long St., East Spencer . “It’s the devil in the detail type things,” said Board Chairman Dr. Jim Emerson of the proposed guidelines. “We’re going to make sure that we’re going to do something that we can live with and that we won’t have to be making constant changes.” Emerson said athletics will be one of the big issues board members will discuss at the meeting. “For ninth graders, that’s not going to be an issue,” he said.


Springlike weekend boosts $20 on 20th BY SHELLEY SMITH

Locals supported locals Friday and Saturday during the second $20 on the 20th campaign in Rowan County. Business owners said the beautiful springlike weather definitely helped to boost sales. Stitchin’ Post Gifts owner Pam Coffield was amazed at the support she received Saturday. “The promotion is definitely successful,” Coffield said.

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ey locally because they know 100 percent of their money will stay in the local economy. “The campaign has really created a lot of public awareness.” One Stitchin’ Post customer, Robin Stutts, of Mooresville, said she buys loPAM COFFIELD cally as much as possible. Stichin’ Post “I think it’s very important that we support our local econ“We’ve had a terrific re- omy,” Stutts said. “We need to sponse. discover what we have local“Amazingly, people are ly versus going to cities.” just coming in to spend monStutts said she regularly

“They know 100 percent of their money will stay in the local economy.”

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Raymond Lee Burch Johnny Lee Graham H.B. Grissom, Jr. Vanessa Maria Hampson Daniel Floyd Holland

visits the downtown areas of Salisbury, Mooresville, Huntersville, Concord and Statesville. “I’d rather go there than a mall,” she said. “It’s more eclectic. “Every time I go (to downtowns) I end up finding something different. These towns are full of new and unusual things.” Gary Thornburg, employee at the Literary Bookpost,

See $20


Robin Stutts contributes to the local economy as store owner ON 20TH, 7A Pam Coffield rings up her purchase at Stitchin’ Post Gifts.

Christine Alexander Rafferty Charles Lee Readling Margaret Williams Wagner Glenn Edward Yost, Sr.


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