Sunday sampler

Many newspapers featured stories on their front pages about helping the needy during the Christmas season. That’s nice and expected and valuable. I’ll highlight one from the:

Wilmington Star-News on homeless students. I select it because the account of a 15-year-old student resonates. Remember being a teenager and how everything mattered? Now think of being homeless.

Raleigh — The N&O asks a key question that every institution of higher learning should ask itself: Which comes first at UNC-Chapel Hill, academics or athletes? Or, in a nicer way, as the N&O says: “Can top-flight athletics and top-tier academics “coexist” in Chapel Hill, where academic reputation matters and sports teams strive for national titles?”

Greensboro — Commuting sentences of prisoners at the end of the year — and the end of an executive’s term — is always dicey. The N&R reviews several of the decisions that Gov. Bev Perdue must make on 50-some pardon requests. My overall sense after reading the story was sadness.