Sunday sampler

It’s a good day for interesting, unexpected stories on the front pages of the state’s papers.

Asheville Citizen-Times: When a law enforcement officer shoots someone in the line of duty, it’s important to examine what happened and why. The paper reported that officers are rarely charged with a crime, which may be fine, but it’s hard for the public to tell.  The SBI  typically investigates those shootings. The findings are submitted to local district attorneys and are almost always withheld from the public.

Burlington Times-News: Three years ago, a 39-year-old woman never made it to her expected destination, her mother’s house. She disappeared and investigators are still looking for her. As television seems to select missing women stories to focus on, it’s a wonder they didn’t choose this one.

The Charlotte Observer: Finally, a look at the appeal of Danica Patrick beyond the cliche. To some racing fans, Patrick’s arrival is irritating, based on a perception she doesn’t belong in the sport because she didn’t grow up in it and, perhaps, because she’s female. To others, she’s the perfect package of style, speed and sexiness in a sport that has never been known for its diversity.

The Fayetteville Observer: How well does a program for wounded soldiers care for our vets? Not all that great. The report also uncovered concerns that the battalion’s physically wounded and mentally impaired soldiers were being overmedicated, partly because of a lack of communication and controls. The report quotes one command team member as saying, “half of the warriors are ‘stoned’ on psychotropic drugs.”
The News & Observer: For everyone who believes that lawmakers see themselves as deserving of better treatment than their constituents — I’m one — this will cause you to grit your teeth. A cadre of veteran state lawmakers will retire at the end of the year – and special perks in state law allow them to land with a financial parachute….A North Carolina law that allows the state’s part-time lawmakers to add an expense stipend to their base salary when calculating retirement benefits boosts their pensions by more than 30 percent, according to a News & Observer analysis. The percentage of salary lawmakers receive as an annual payout also is more than double the rate afforded most state workers.