Sunday sampler

If this Sunday is an example, newspaper staffs are hard at work after summer vacations.

Asheville: The Citizen-Times explores wage stagnation in Western North Carolina and reports moderately good news. It’s gone up 8 percent year over year to $796. “‘This is the largest annual absolute and percentage increase in at least 15 years,’ said Tom Tveidt, an economist and founder of Syneva Economics in Asheville, adding that the database goes back to 2001.” I say moderately good news because the area still lags behind state and national figures.

Asheville: The Citizen-Times also analyzes the news last week that the GOP is the state’s third largest “party” behind Democrats and Unaffiliated. “Here’s the party pooper for Dems: The figures show the number of registered Democrats in the state dropped by nearly 130,000 over the past five years, while the number of Republicans increased by more than 26,000.”

Charlotte: Because I don’t live in Charlotte, the story about how the police department has responded to officer-involved fatal shootings didn’t interest me that much. But what does is how the Observer is covering it: with a three-part series on the status of the promised changes the city made a year ago.

Fayetteville: I live near a lake with a dam, which is maintained by my neighborhood association. It’s also used by people who aren’t members of the association. So, the Observer’s story about private dams damaged by Hurricane Matthew interested me. Homeowners are thinking of suing the city of Fayettevile for help repairing the dams. Fayetteville says it can’t legally use public funds for private projects, a concept which is laughable to anyone who pays attention to development.

Raleigh: The N&O has an excellent write-through on the efforts the UNC Board of Governors is undertaking to change the university system. The board sounds a lot like the GOP Congress, acting “disturbed” by things the president says and does, and then going along with him. I work as, basically, a contract employee of the university and I assure you that the cuts I’m seeing are not to the benefit of the students.

Raleigh: While state legislators often say they want government to operate like a business, that seems to stop when it comes to “the customer is always right.” So when the government screws up, it boomerangs to hurt citizens. And in the case the N&O writes about, the most vulnerable ones. Sixty people have gotten notice that the state had been putting too much money in their disability checks for more than 10 years, and now it planned to collect.

Wilmington: “Last year, 55 babies were born drug positive at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. That’s more than one a week…. Those newborns join the ranks of about 400 children in New Hanover County currently in need of foster care.” A good piece about what opioids are doing to children and the system.

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