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Originally published: 2013-01-11 14:45:53
Last modified: 2013-01-11 14:45:53

Our View: Education can land you in the state capitol

Thumbs-up: to the first county baby of 2013. Lolit and Dean Shields of Zionville welcomed their first child, and the first baby born in Watauga County, at 11:51 p.m. Jan. 1.

Thumbs-up: to Watauga teacher, and the N.C. Teacher of the Year, Darcy Grimes, on being selected to introduce Gov. Pat McCrory at his inaugural ball today. Choosing an educator to make the introduction hopefully sends a message that McCrory will make education a centerpiece item of his administration. More than 3,500 people are expected to attend the event. Watch the gala presentation, which begins 8 p.m. Friday, leading up to the announcement, at

Thumbs-up: on the choice of inducting the late Hugh Morton into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Morton was known as one of our state's most vocal and active conservationists, but lesser known was his prowess as a photographer, including sports photography. The honor is a well-deserved addition to Morton's legacy.

Thumbs-down: to a plant disease spreading through western states that has taken root in North Carolina. Thousand cankers disease is responsible for the widespread death of black walnut trees. Butternuts are also susceptible -- a concern since Watauga County is home to the champion butternut tree in the state. Visit for more information.