Editorial: Collaborations producing positives

Feb. 08, 2014 @ 03:03 PM

We applaud a new initiative aimed at youngsters as a proactive move against gangs in our community.

Hundreds have already signed up for the first anti-gang poster contest, put together by Melissa Elliott and Ronald Gregory, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office gang resource officer and the Vance County Schools superintendent, respectively. Elliott said it is a chance for students to express themselves.

The project is part of Teens Against Gangs. Prizes are nice, but the awareness created among so many will reach far deeper.

Along with the recent activities of the Vance Gang Awareness Partnership, we’re seeing engagement by the community against a problem not easily tackled.

We hope the leaders of these efforts will remain resilient and continue to make headway. They are making our community a better place.

• Speaking of the sheriff’s office and tackles, 13 weeks later, we’ve not heard of arrests or citations from an incident on the campus of Northern Vance High School.

Northern hosted J.F. Webb in football to close each team’s season on Nov. 8. Following the game, a brawl broke out, involving staff of the teams, players and others. A Northern staff member was seen on top of a Webb football player. Helmets were used as weapons. Pepper spray was used to restore order.

Video and still pictures have been reviewed, and both Vance County Schools and Granville County Schools delivered their investigations and punishments within four weeks.

But conspicuous by absence is action by the sheriff’s office.

• Working together makes a difference for Henderson and Vance County. Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments and the commissioners of Vance County just gave another example.

Five qualified tenants are preparing to rent homes which have been idle, even vandalized multiple times, since being built or renovated through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Up against a deadline, with the county’s taxpayers about to take the hit, a new approach found a successful answer.

Six more houses owned by the county have an approaching deadline this fall.

Next time the conversation moves toward a problem, minds should open, not close, in reaction. There is so much more we can all do together rather than going it alone.