Love the art on that front page.
Greensboro — I’m always impressed when high school students stand up to be counted. The News & Record writes about students protesting bullying and discrimination of LBGT students…and the school system’s policies addressing that. It also happens “in the hallways, in the lunchroom, on the bus — all the places students are where there may not be too many school personnel around,” Stroupe said. “Students still get nasty notes … put on their lockers. They get bumped into lockers. Things like that still happen.”
Asheville — Fascinating story in the Citizen-Times about the city’s growth, and one that can be done by every news outlet in the state. The Asheville metro area is the only one among 15 in North Carolina with a population growing only because more people are moving to the region, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released in late March. It also shows sizable growth in Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington. Greensboro, less so.
Burlington — There’s not a parent around who doesn’t know that 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds make some of the dumbest decisions imaginable. Only North Carolina and New York automatically try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. This spring, New York legislators are poised to change their law, leaving North Carolina the only state in the U.S. that — to paraphrase what the state’s juvenile justice director said last week — treats 16-year-olds like 45-year-olds. The Times-News outlines the research that suggests changing this practice is wise. There is even a bipartisan state bill proposed to change it. Of course, this is the legislature we’re talking about.
Fayetteville — I wish every legislator would read the Observer’s coverage of military issues. It’s top drawer. Today’s is about reports of sexual assaults in the military on the rise. Its report is straight forward and damning, if you care about those kinds of things.
Raleigh — Prepare to be outraged. The News & Observer’s story on state contracts leads with an anecdote about a Harvard professor named Rubin who was paid about $950 an hour to produce a study. The state hires hundreds of professionals like Rubin every year on personal services contracts, sometimes at seemingly high rates to fill what are supposed to be temporary needs for more doctors, attorneys, engineers and the like. Earlier this year a legislative unit that evaluates public services found that agencies are using the contracts to evade oversight. The contracts, which cost the state an average of $22 million a year over the past five years, have been so misused that they should be eliminated, according to its report.