Sunday sampler

When President Trump goes loony, it’s a shame that newspaper headline writers follow him right off the cliff. Trump tweets about Obama and wiretapping and compares it to Watergate and McCarthyism without any evidence. Newspaper headlines written without skepticism, add credence to the claim. Sad! Still, there’s good stuff there, too.

Asheville and Winston-Salem have stories about HB2 and its impact on basketball tournaments on their fronts. The Citizen-Times notes that, unlike the ACC, the Southern Conference will play its tournament in North Carolina (in Asheville). “Here in this mountain city, where the Register of Deeds Office stayed open late just to be one of the first places in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, many begged the Southern Conference to keep its annual March basketball tournament in Asheville. Don’t punish the diverse and inclusive people of this city for action taken in Charlotte and Raleigh, they said.” It’s a good piece.

Winston, meanwhile, takes a broader look, attempting to peer into the future of HB2 and the NCAA. “Dupree projects the state taking an economic hit of at least $250 million if the NCAA eliminates North Carolina venues for the next four-year cycle. The town of Cary has said its 27 baseball, soccer and tennis bids for the next cycle have a potential $12.5 million economic impact.” The pressure is on the legislature to repeal the “bathroom bill,” but I’m betting intransigence has set in.

Raleigh: You know how confusing medical insurance is? You know how confusing hospital bills are? The two meet in astronomically confusing ways, the N&O reports. “Those who are healthy prefer the higher deductibles to sky-high premiums because they’re not paying for services they’re not using. But when they do get sick or injured, they may experience sticker shock.”

Charlotte: The Observer has an excellent story on the regulations inhibiting craft brewery expansion…and how big money contributions from wholesale distributors to state politicians may influence legislation. “McGrady introduced a bill in 2015 to relax beverage laws, including the 25,000-barrel limit. Initially he had three GOP co-sponsors. He remembers them coming into his office, sitting on his beige couch, and telling him they could no longer support the bill because of pressure from distributors.”

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