Sunday sampler

The first week of January is always a tough one in terms of standout journalism. Newsrooms are exhausted trying to produce stories for papers when there isn’t much news, thanks to the holidays. Government and business don’t start up in earnest until next week. And today’s front pages reflect that.

Asheville: Wildlife and transportation officials are searching for an answer to the number of animal deaths crossing highways in the mountains. “Bears are crossing the road in rising numbers. That increased traffic, combined with the ever-growing flow of people, cars and tractor-trailers over the four-lane highway, is leading to more wildlife-vehicle collisions, animal deaths and human injuries.” They are even thinking about bear bridges.

High Point: Amid the opioid crisis, the possibility of hope when it comes to heroin. The Enterprise reports that “Police responded to 164 apparent heroin overdoses in 2018 as of Dec. 18, down from 316 in all of 2017.” The story is protected by a paywall, but here’s a copy of some of the story on the front page.

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