Sunday sampler



I include the Observer’s front page to show what the result of the new design. (Courtesy of the Newseum.)

Asheville: The Citizen-Times has two good ones today. First, a piece on how long it takes to run DNA tests on rape kits and the impact on real people. And it’s not good. More than 200 in Buncombe County alone going back years. “When I found out that rape kits weren’t getting tested, that was the next stab in my heart, and I cried for days,” Laurie said. “I knew it was everywhere and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I am up against huge problems here.'”

The second piece in the Citizen-Times attempts to answer a question that I suspect many communities in N.C. and the South have: Why are wages here lower than other places in the country?  “The answer might be simple: Asheville has an economy with a mix of companies that do not make many of what economists call “high-value” products.” It’s a good piece, explaining economic theory is clear, easy-to-understand (even for me) language.

Burlington: 1,500 people rally in Mebane Graham in support of the Confederate monument there because they feel it’s threatened. If you wonder about the strength of the “heritage not hate” crowd, it’s here.

Fayetteville: I like stories about people openly carrying guns in public. They put the spotlight on the nation’s gun laws…and how the principles meet the practice. The Observer writes about a man walking around the Cross Creek Mall carrying an AR assault-type rifle. It’s apparently legal and it apparently alarmed people. (As you read this, imagine the guy were African American or a Moslem.) The debate rages.

Lenoir: The News-Topic has the fun story of the day out of Rhodhiss. The town believes — and has publicized — that the fabric used to make at least the first flag to go to the moon was manufactured in a factory there. Now, someone with the state Department of Cultural Resources says no. My favorite line: “The person he spoke to said that according to information on the Internet, his story was incorrect.” (The story goes on to explain each side.)

Raleigh: If you need another reason to hate insurance companies – and by extension, the General Assembly — the N&O provides one.  Basically, life insurance companies can hold onto unclaimed policies until the policy holder would have reached the age of 100 as long as the insurer hasn’t been notified of the person’s death. And of course, some beneficiaries may not be aware of the existence of the policy.

Winston-Salem: The Journal tells a horrible story about an adult care center that has now been closed. How this kind of thing continues to occur should shame us all. “Inspectors found that residents left the center on Reynolds Park Road and stayed away for days at a time with no one to check on them. Officials said residents were having sex in the woods with other residents who had sexually-transmitted infections or who lacked mental competence.”

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