Sunday sampler

The holiday season is certainly upon us, with Christmas and Hanukkah stories on the front pages of the papers in Charlotte, Greenville and Elizabeth City, among others. That is a Sunday sampler another week. This week, it’s news.

Fayetteville— The Racial Justice Act interests me, mainly because I’m interested in the death penalty but also because of the number of convicted criminals trying to use it to change their sentences. The Observer examines both the death penalty and the Racial Justice Act in a well-done package of stories that, by the way, is difficult to find on the front page of its website. “Now, the Racial Justice Act, other changes to death penalty law and a decline in jurors’ willingness to sentence inmates to death are raising questions about the future of executions in the state. It’s unclear when the state will resume administering its ultimate punishment.”

Greensboro — Making donations to police fraternal organizations has always been dicey. For years, it’s been known that most of the money donated doesn’t actually go to the cause. Still, at this time of year, it’s good to remind people and that’s what the News & Record has done. For instance, the Greensboro Police Officers Association only gets 30 percent of the donations raised by the fundraising company it hired.

Wilmington — UNCW is one of the most popular and faster-growing state schools. The Star-News tries to answer the question, “what’s next?” (And thank goodness, it goes beyond the school’s new rebranding slogan, “Dare to soar.”

Winston-Salem — The Journal does something similar with Wake Forest, which is examining ways to commercialize its research. The story’s lead: “A new kind of light bulb that could eventually bring $400 million to $500 million a year to Wake Forest University is just one of the research results that hold promise for replacing the royalties from a wound repair system whose valuable revenue is stuck in legal limbo.” Yeah, I’d read the next paragraph.

Shelby appears to have an interesting story on the possibility of the legalization of marijuana in N.C. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be posted on the website. (The answer: not very likely with the current makeup of the General Assembly.) This appears to be happening more frequently on some of the state’s newspaper websites.