Sunday sampler

It’s a good day to be a state newspaper reader.

Charlotte: With words and video, the Observer tells a stark story of how dangerous prisons are. Reading the list of guards and employees killed within prison walls is painful. And part of it is danger of the state’s own making. “In prisons across North Carolina, severe staff shortages endanger officers and inmates, a Charlotte Observer investigation found. At some prisons, including Pasquotank and Bertie, more than one of every four officer positions was vacant last year, state data show.”

The Observer also reminds us that it’s not just national elections that attract dark money — local elections get it, too. Great. “HB2 and the national prominence that that put on Charlotte gives groups more incentive to play here,” said UNC Charlotte political scientist Eric Heberlig. “They see how local decisions can be relevant to their national agendas.”

Fayetteville: Most college basketball fans are aware that high school private schools can attract top high school players. Private schools and public schools have different rules when it comes to students participating in sports. The Observer examines that and whether it gives private schools an unfair advantage.

Greensboro: N.C. has some of the best, least expensive public universities in the nation. Despite that, more and more high school students are going out of state to college. The News & Record looks at why. And there are a number of reasons. The top out-of-state destination surprised me: Liberty University. The other surprise for me was that of the top 10 destinations, four were online schools. It’s a good piece.

Raleigh: Maybe the UNC Board of Governors should read the News & Record’s story. The N&O takes a hard look at the politicization of the board. “The entanglements have led to questions about the board’s independence and its ability to make decisions in the best interest of the 225,000 students enrolled in the university system. Faculty leaders have voiced opposition about the board’s intervention into campus and academic matters in recent months.”

Carteret County: Last week I praised the Daily Courier for stripping a story across the top of the page about enrollment for Obamacare beginning Nov. 1 for Obamacare. This week, I praise the News-Times for the same thing: 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.