Unlike last Sunday, today is a good day for the front-page journalism of N.C.’s newspapers.
Charlotte– The Observer writes a scary-when-you-think-about-it story about inefficiency and ineptitude among state medical examiners, who, in some cases, didn’t even inspect the bodies before them. They aren’t state employees; they’re appointees paid $100 per case. Lawsuits ensue, thank goodness.
Winston-Salem– In honor of the White House Correspondents Dinner — an occasion in which the press seems oblivious to the way the occasion makes the media look — we have the Winston-Salem City Council, which spent $81,000 since 2010 on travel. Of course, this is occurring at the same time the council is considering raising taxes and cutting city staff. I suspect taxpaying citizens of Winston are saying, not cool. Or worse.
Hickory – With Google’s big announcement of another multimillion investment in Caldwell County, it would be interesting to see what’s happening there. Forget it. Same with Apple’s data center in Maiden. You’re not getting anywhere close. “Cedar Grove Baptist Church is located beside Apple’s property on Startown Road. Nancy Painter, who is the wife of the church pastor Brad Painter, said one of the tech giant’s security vehicles makes regular daily visits to the church parking lot. It’s like the church and parsonage has its own security, she said.” Fascinating security story in the Daily Record.
Lenoir — A core value of every good newspaper is looking out for those in a community who have no voice. The News-Topic does that with a package of stories on how the needs of low-income residents for help with food and energy bills are outpacing the resources of county government. And some people who have qualified for food stamps are waiting weeks and weeks to get them because of a computer backlog. Good community journalism.
Normally, I would add Charlotte and Raleigh to this list for its first of three-part series on government loopholes and tax breaks. Despite the headlines — Where did the $1 billion go? — I couldn’t figure out how bad it really was as so many of us benefit from some of them. Maybe it’ll come clearer to me on day 2 and 3.
And normally, I would add Greensboro to this list for its insightful coverage of the intersection of college athletics and academics. Unfortunately, it’s not on the front page.