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Trooper tribute

A much larger than usual crowd turned out for a special “Meet me at the Pole” observance at the Williams Township School flagpole Friday morning. Gathering in memory of and to honor Master Trooper Kevin K. Conner of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, killed in the line of duty Wednesday morning, the group prayed and joined hands singing “Amazing Grace” after Gloria Baxley, wife of Trooper Brett Baxley, read a poem, “The Thin Blue Line.” Trooper Conner’s children are students at Williams Township School. His wife, Miranda Fowler Conner, is a music instructor at Southeastern Community College. (Deuce Niven, TLT)