Yes, I know it’s almost Christmas and N.C. newspapers have many Christmas stories on their front pages. Key word: almost. Meanwhile, newspapers are doing their jobs, trying to get government to be transparent.
Asheville: The Citizen-Times has been all over the investigation into the former county manager and how she appropriated/spent taxpayer money. Now the paper has requested information on payments to her life insurance policy and thousands of dollars spent on gift cards, among other things. The county attorney denied the public records requests, saying the information was part of a criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, in Fayetteville, the Observer wonders aloud if a closed meeting of the City Council to consider a baseball stadium parking deck and a deal with the county to build a joint 911 center was legal.
All I know about either of these cases is what I read in the newspapers. I do have years of experience in four different North Carolina cities observing governments trying to keep their actions under wraps. It’s not good for democracy, and newspapers are to be applauded for seeking more information.
Asheville: Can you replace your thumb with your toe? Doctors did it to a Bryson City woman, and the Citizen-Times tells the fascinating story. “The big ‘moment’ is when we’ve got clamps on the artery and so far the toe is transferred, but it’s still white — it’s not alive,” Lechner said. “When you let that clamp off, and you see that thing turn pink…”
Greensboro: I was hoping this profile of Rep. Ted Budd would not be on the front page because it’s a weak, one-sided ode to Budd and his service. He represents much of my liberal city, including me, and he’s an arch-conservative. The paper couldn’t find a single dissenting voice? On the other hand, the paper does celebrate the A&T Aggies football team for finishing the year undefeated!