Raleigh: The N&O features a three-part series on bail reform. “The law in North Carolina says judges and magistrates must confine people before their trials only if they pose a danger, threaten to flee or might destroy evidence. Yet statewide, 67 percent of people arrested for misdemeanors in 2017 got a secured bond from a judge or magistrate — meaning they had to pay, put up collateral or hire a bail bondsman to go free before their trials.” And, based on this series, this should be addressed and changed.
The News & Observer also features a Charlotte Observer story with a breathtaking lead: “North Carolina paid prison officers more than $45 million in overtime last year, about 10 times more than it did in 2011, data show.” Apparently, the state can’t hire enough guards.
Fayetteville: Readers who like true crime stories will be interested in this story in the Observer about law enforcement’s pursuit and arrest of the man police believe kidnapped and killed a 13-year-old girl. The Observer reviewed hundreds of pages of search warrants and court orders to show some of the inner workings of the investigation. Powerful reporting and writing here.
Charlotte: The Observer writes of developers using shady means to get people to see them their property. “That ends up targeting people that are economically disadvantaged, and may not have the knowledge to say ‘OK, I need to sell my house, I haven’t been able to sell it any other way. Now here’s this guy that showed up on my doorstep — that’s the way I should go,’ ” he said.
Hickory: Because it’s February, the Daily Record asked six people their opinions on why Black History Month matters. Normally I wouldn’t highlight this, except for the annual questions white people raise about “when do we get a White History Month?” Any time we can fight ignorance, we should.