Sunday sampler

Good stuff from N.C. newspaper front pages today.

Asheville: The Citizen-Times has two good ones. First, a piece about how 10 county employees got more than $2 million in pay bonuses over the course of three years without a word of public discussion. “Contracts and vaguely worded budget ordinances approved by commissioners show former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene, now the subject of a federal investigation, exercised broad authority with little direction to implement extra pay.”

The second story is about a prisoner in the county jail who died after apparently ingesting meth. Two unidentified witnesses to the death say the official version of the events in the jail is wrong and that the prisoner’s life could have been saved. Her death is tragic. Meanwhile, thanks to the General Assembly, “Video surveillance was taken that day, but it is not a public record under North Carolina law.”

Raleigh: Meanwhile, the N&O follows its outstanding jail deaths project with a story about inmates in serious physical distress but remained behind bars. “Dr. Marc Stern, a former medical director for Washington state’s prisons, said when jails struggle with inmate health care, the cause is usually traced back to funding.”

Charlotte: Seventy-three people are homicide victims in Charlotte so far this year.  “Victims were business owners, parents, veterans and students. The victims have a median age of 29. More than 60 percent are black men. And at least three-quarters were killed with a gun.Some were trying to get their lives back on track after getting involved with crime; some were just barely starting their lives. Nine victims so far were younger than 20.” The Observer intends to tell their stories and asks the community for help. Commendable.

Forest City: The Daily Courier has a strip story across the top of the page about enrollment beginning Nov. 1 for Obamacare. I congratulate the paper for making health care an important news judgment issue. If the Trump Administration is not going to let people know about health care options, the news media should. Commendable.

Winston-Salem: The Journal localizes “#MeToo.” “Paige Meltzer, the director of the Women’s Center at Wake Forest University, said the “Me Too” movement has united men and women in the uphill battle against sexual assault and changing societal mentalities.”