Skipped last week because it was Easter, both in my life and on newspaper front pages.
Asheville — I start with a personal favorite from the Citizen-Times on the disruption of the music industry. It’s a favorite for two reasons: I teach the topic, and what’s happened to and is still happening to music is happening to all media. If you grew up with records, moved to tapes and are still on CDs or iPods, you’re quickly going out of style. Catch up.
Charlotte — Think racial disparity in arrests are a thing of Ferguson, North Charleston and “somewhere else?” How about Charlotte? The Observer: “Though African-Americans make up less than a third of the city’s driving-age residents, they are pulled over by police more frequently, receive more tickets and are the subjects of roadside searches twice as often as whites.” The survey is filled with interesting statistics, and to its credit, the police department is taking action.
Durham — 94 percent of the graduates of UNC system schools are satisfied with their education, according to a survey the Herald-Sun reported on. My favorite: 74 percent of Chapel Hill alumni rated the education they received as excellent. Bear in mind, of course, that the legislature is doing its best to strip funding from the system because…well, because.
Raleigh — The N&O is filled with great stuff. First, the former head of the State Employees Association of North Carolina misspent half a million dollars that wasn’t his. Second, Craig Hicks, accused of killing three Muslim students in Chapel Hill in February, is a symbol of a gun control debate. (Yes, some make the claim that we need fewer background check questions and more guns out there.)
And third, the state hasn’t counted dozens of workplace deaths each year. “Dozens of North Carolina workers die each year with little or no notice from state officials. No inspector asks questions, no one demands reform, no one pays a fine. Often, that is because of narrow state and federal laws that prohibit state investigation. Sometimes, though, labor investigators retreat after heeding an employer’s argument that workplace safety laws don’t apply.”