Sunday sampler

Asheville: Do you know where in your city the most violent crime occurs? My guess is that you’re wrong. The Citizen-Times did its readers a favor by pointing in a few directions.  “But according to a neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of police data by the Citizen-Times, crime isn’t a problem only downtown, with surrounding neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of the two most serious types of violent crime — rapes and homicides — than the city center.” The story itself is intensely local to Asheville — I used to live there — but it would be an interesting story for other publications to mimic.

Wilmington: GenX, a toxic chemical used in Teflon and made by DuPont, has been found in the Cape Fear River and the area’s water supply. The Star-News has been all over this story for a few weeks, explaining and exploring the ins and outs of the chemical, which cannot be filtered out of the water supply. The linked story isn’t the one on today’s front page because I couldn’t find that one — about high school athletes in summer training drinking the water. This link is to a Q&A about the chemical.

Raleigh: The idea that letting just about anyone carry a concealed gun is crazy to me, yet it makes great sense to the people the state’s voters send to Raleigh. “The state House passed a bill this month that pits gun owners against each other. It would nearly eliminate concealed handgun permits and the training that goes with them, and would set the minimum age at 18 to carry a concealed gun.” Let me point out it eliminates most of the training. The justification for it makes little sense to me, either.

Greensboro: Because I’m a Democrat in a blue city that was gerrymandered to dilute our voting power and Greensboro is now represented by two Republicans, including one who lives two counties away, this story on gerrymandering interested me. No surprise that its point is that people like me have little voice in Washington. “Yet the data suggest that even if Democrats had turned out in larger numbers, their chances of substantial legislative gains were limited by gerrymandering. ‘The outcome was already cooked in, if you will, because of the way the districts were drawn,’ said John McGlennon, a longtime professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Democrat in the 1980s.”

Charlotte: I had the privilege of meeting Billy Graham several times and interviewing him at length once. I liked him. I can’t say the same for his son, Franklin. The Observer has an outstanding piece examining the role Ruth Graham played in her husband’s and son’s lives. “Instead of changing with age, Franklin, now 64, has dug in. He has said and done a lot that’s proven controversial, including questioning President Barack Obama’s Christianity and pulling his ministry’s money out of Wells Fargo when the bank ran commercials featuring a lesbian couple. ‘Like his mother, Franklin is unusually driven,’ Wacker said. ‘Driven by ideas and also by a sense that it’s his job to promulgate his views and save the culture.’”

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