Sunday sampler

First, the front-page story count:

Four stories: Durham

Three stories: Lenoir, Winston-Salem and Sanford. Charlotte and Raleigh had three – one was a wire story. Wilmington had three – two were wire stories. Asheville had three – two were on the same topic.

Two stories: Gaston, Greensboro, High Point, Monroe

One story: Hickory, Shelby

Greensboro — Say you’re a county and you have a population that has a need for treatment of drug addiction. Say that the best treatment is at least 30 days in rehab. So, do you consider cutting the number of people you treat and reducing the number of days of treatment to 14? Most people would say no. But if you can save big money? Well…The News & Record brings us up to date with the future of substance addiction treatment in Guilford County.

Raleigh— Along similar lines, Wake County got out of the business of providing mental health services to county residents, believing private companies could serve them better and more efficiently. You know how this is going to turn out. The News & Observer: “As a result of errors and miscommunication, some people with mental illnesses or disabilities arrested for nonviolent offenses have been jailed for months in Wake County, waiting for court-ordered psychological evaluations that might help set them free – and lead to better treatment. The evaluations are supposed to take seven days.”

Fayetteville — I applaud the Observer for going to Oklahoma in pursuit of a story. Fewer and fewer papers do that kind of traveling when it doesn’t involve a sports team. The Observer went to Tulsa as part of its year-long effort to illuminate the problems of and possible solutions to crime. In this installment, the story is about an innovative pre-school program that is helping children graduate.