Sunday sampler


Many North Carolina newspapers featured the Women’s Marches on their front pages. Many also published strong enterprise stories.

Raleigh: If newspapers vanish, this is the type of story that we’ll miss the most. The N&O traces how state money came to help the business of a former state legislator and political donor. But don’t worry. Everyone involves says there was no quid pro quo. “But this earmark primarily benefits a business co-founded by a powerful former state lawmaker who has long supported politicians of both parties with campaign donations. That includes Dixon, who was elected to the legislature in 2010.” But this is my favorite line: “He also said the money was available in the budget and if he didn’t spend it, someone else would.”

Wilmington: While I’m at it, there’s this from the Star-News: “Earlier this month, the N.C. House unanimously passed a bill that would have provided $2.3 million in state funds, largely for equipment and personnel, to address emerging contaminants such as GenX. The state Senate promptly declined to take it up.” The Senate leader thinks the company should pay. (Meanwhile, the state continues to spend millions to defend its ill-advised redistricting plans.)

Fayetteville: The Observer takes a closer look at McCollum Ranch, an “alternative religious organization” in trouble with the law. “The Sheriff’s Office has arrested McCollum and nine women from the ranch on multiple charges, including involuntary servitude of children, fraud and conspiracy.”

Asheville: The Citizen-Times has more on the creepy gym that filmed women’s butts and posted it on Instagram with stupid sexist comments. “The gym owner shot video of female members’ rear ends as they were bent over equipment, doing push ups, then added comments including “Dayum!” and “Humpday!” over them, before posting the video on Instagram. Added emoticons of a bulbous peach and a sunglasses-wearing smiling face did not help.”

Statesville: The Record & Landmark devotes its entire front page to coverage of violent crime in the community. “There were two homicides, four people shot and another four stabbed in a 50-day period beginning Dec. 1. In the same time, there also were more than a dozen reports of gunshots and nine armed robberies, two of them at banks, according to data provided by police.” Impressive commitment to a serious issue. (Front page courtesy of the Newseum.)