Sunday sampler

Lots of Christmas parades and holiday-related stories on the front pages of N.C. newspapers today.

Raleigh: Readers of this feature likely know I’m no fan of the big fat thumb the GOP legislature has placed on the scales the last seven years. It continues, as the N&O notes. Now the legislature wants to intervene in a criminal case involving the Moral Monday protesters. If people ever wondered about the heavy-handed tactics of a bullying government, this is where they’d look.

Charlotte: The Observer continues its investigation into safety at North Carolina prisons, this time focusing on shoddy and inadequate communication equipment. “In interviews with the Observer, more than a dozen current and former prison employees described a potentially life-threatening problem: The two-way radios that officers are issued often don’t work properly, leaving them without a crucial safety tool.”

Asheville: The Citizen-Times features an AP story about the rapid growth of private and religious schools in which state tax money helps pay tuition. “Program opponents say the savings accounts take money from public schools that districts can’t afford to lose. Little time was offered for legislative debate about the savings accounts this year. There’s no published study yet comparing academic outcomes for students in the North Carolina programs compared to public school students. ‘There’s no accountability to the taxpayers that these programs are actually producing what they’re supposed to,’ said Leanne Winner with the North Carolina School Boards Association.”

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