Sunday sampler

The coronavirus and racial justice dominate many front pages in North Carolina today. First, the virus:

Irony is not dead as readers see stories about coronavirus cases on the increase in their counties at the same time that their elected sheriffs proclaim they won’t enforce the governor’s executive order requiring people to wear masks in public.

In Hickory, 42 new cases Saturday, the largest one-day gain in cases. Meanwhile, the Catawba County sheriff says the executive order is unenforceable.

In McDowell County, the first paragraph of the McDowell News announces the sheriff won’t enforce the order. The second paragraph: “On the same day, local health officials announced that seven additional McDowell County residents had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of known positives to 203.”

Rockingham: “As Rockingham County’s reported COVID-19 cases jumped by 13.5% in three days, Sheriff Sam Page announced on Friday that he will not enforce Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order requiring citizens to wear masks in public.”

Jacksonville: The Daily News reminds us: “Compared to the last four weeks, North Carolina is forecast to likely exceed those numbers over the next four weeks.” Onslow County says it will enforce.

Several newspapers throw shade – probably unintentionally – by also publishing this national AP story: “But now, some places that appeared to have avoided the worst are seeing surges of infections, as worries shift from major cities to rural areas.”

Raleigh: The N&O explores how masks became so political. (I say Trump, but that’s just me.)

Now to racial justice:

Burlington: The Times-News publishes a story based on a small, unscientific survey of residents seeking the answers to these two questions: “What is one area/issue you think Alamance County can address to overcome systemic racism? How can that goal be achieved?”

Winston-Salem: “A group of Black Lives Matters protesters gathered downtown Saturday evening to demand more accountability from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and better treatment for the inmates detained in the Forsyth County Jail.”

Then, also in the Journal, there is this story about a mayoral candidate’s racist Facebook post. And this one about the racist post by the racetrack owner.

Greensboro: The News & Record publishes a look at how Christianity is intertwined with the Black Lives Matter movement. “As a faith leader, it is my obligation to speak against injustice. Jesus was a victim of injustice. If I don’t mention that when I preach, I’m complicit.” — the Rev. Richard Hughes.

And still other good stories:

Asheville: The Citizen-Times has a package of stories on why police didn’t arrest armed counter protesters (white men) at a Black Lives Matter protest. “Police Chief David Zack defended his officers’ decision to not immediately arrest heavily armed counterprotesters, saying they were concerned about the possibility of a gunfight breaking out in a crowded public area.”