Opinion Roundup: Remaking NC prisons, investigator Google, March Madness, protecting schools and more

Remaking NC Prisons (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)

Friday, March 16, 2018 — A round up of opinion, commentary and analysis on: NC prison policy changes, Raleigh police turning to Google, scammers target immigrant community, March Madness, preparing to arm teachers and more.

LAURA LESLIE & MATTHEW BURNS: Deaths of NC prison workers spur changes (WRAL-TV analysis) — Policies and procedures have been changed, safety equipment is being distributed, hiring has sped up and more training is being conducted at state prisons, officials told lawmakers.

EMERY DALESIO: NC speeds prison hiring after 4 died at understaffed lockup (AP news analysis) — North Carolina prison officials say they’re revving up efforts to fill vacancies at a lockup where four employees were killed.

CULLEN BROWDER: To find suspects, Raleigh police quietly turn to Google (WRAL-TV analysis) — In at least four investigations last year, Raleigh police used search warrants to demand Google data not from specific accounts of suspects, but from any mobile devices that have veered too close to the scene of a crime.

SUSAN GLASSER: When the President Calls You a ‘Son of a Bitch’ (Politico analysis) – Chuck Todd rattled off a few recent White House trends: “Shooting from the hip,” ignoring and alienating advisers, going “by his gut,” and bashing the media while “begging for compliments” from them. This, said Todd, now in his fourth year as the buoyant host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” is the presidency as Donald Trump has always envisioned it. “What you think is crazy,” he told me, “he thinks is successful.” Barely 24 hours later, Trump seemed determined to prove the point. In a raging, manic performance at a Saturday evening campaign rally for a House candidate in Pennsylvania, he attacked the “fake” American press corps, crowed about his accomplishments and belittled the “low IQ” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) — while stopping the rowdy crowd from booing at the mention of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un he will soon meet. As for Todd, Trump singled him out by name, calling the veteran political journalist a “sleepy son of a bitch.”

KATHLEEN PARKER: Just stop, Hillary. Please (Washington Post column) — She can’t let go. She can’t stop talking about what happened. She wrote an entire book about it. Now she’s telling people in other countries about why she should have won. In India last weekend, she told an audience that she won in all the smart, cool places — and then hit a pandering low that puts a catalogue of others to shame. Hillary Clinton just can’t quit herself.

Mother: Don’t execute my son because of his race (Charlotte Observer column) — After NC lawmakers repealed the Racial Justice Act, a judge sent Marcus Robinson back to death row. The NC Supreme Court will make the final call.

STEPHANIE CARSON: Immigrant Community Increasingly Targeted by Scammers (Public News Service analysis) — RALEIGH, N.C. – Scammers are targeting North Carolinians, with the state ranking 16th in the country for numbers of scam reports.

ELIZABETH LELAND: How strong readers become a strong workforce (EdNC column) — How well children read by third grade can determine how well they do in life. But learning to read, it just so happens, involves more than words on a page.

JOSEPH EPSTEIN: I Loved College Basketball, but Now I Feel March Sadness (Wall Street Journal column) — There were scandals as long ago as the 1950s, but lately they’ve become more blatant, and uglier.

JOE QUEENAN: How I Learned to Tolerate March Madness (Wall Street Journal column) — I have ridiculed the pathetic shooting, the hyperventilating announcers. No longer. I am getting with the program—bring on the bracket!

ALEX GRANADOS: Charter leaders ask lawmakers for more money (EdNC analysis) — A parade of charter school leaders came before the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform and asked lawmakers to stop shortchanging charter schools when it comes to funding. Pamela Blizzard who led the founding of Research Triangle High School in Research Triangle Park began the day by telling legislators that her school gets about $2,100 less per student than Durham Public Schools. Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, was sympathetic to her plea but said she needed to provide more specific information.

One reason almost all mass shooters are male (Charlotte Observer) — From Parkland to Las Vegas gun violence, we shouldn’t scapegoat mental illness. We should look at what leads men to become violent.

LAURA LESLIE & MATTHEW BURNS: Preparing teachers to use guns in schools ‘not easy’ (WRAL-TV analysis) — President Donald Trump and some North Carolina lawmakers have suggested that allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons might be the best way to prevent school shootings, but experienced firearms trainers said such a move isn’t simple.

LIZ BELL: Council stumbles on strategy to smooth early childhood transitions (EdNC analysis) — Health and education representatives struggled to find a common starting point as they dove into a large task: creating a coordinated system of care and education for children from birth through third grade. The state’s early childhood and K-12 education systems are largely disconnected, as are the bodies that oversee them.

SARAH LINDENFELD HALL: Local group celebrates efforts to protect student-athletes from sudden cardiac arrest, gears up for more work (WRAL-TV analysis) — In the past year, Christ Saves Hearts has been working with state legislators on efforts to provide more help to student-athletes.

KIRK ROSS: The Black Boxes Around Environmental Bills (Coastal Review column) — As Sunshine Week draws to a close, CRO’s legislative reporter Kirk Ross shares his experience in covering the oft-cloaked legislative process in the N.C. General Assembly.

Democratic legislators seek money for pipeline attachments (AP news analysis) — North Carolina Democratic legislators want Republican colleagues to locate funds to help businesses attach to an expected natural gas pipeline in eastern counties.

CATHERINE CLABBY: Mapping Local Air Pollution (N.C. Health News) — An NCCU project is one step toward more precise views of air pollution risks in understudied, urban neighborhoods.

JEFF HAMPTON: Construction firm settles suit for $10 million over Hatteras power outage (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot analysis) — The island was without power for eight days, costing businesses and vacationers thousands of dollars.

‘Dateline NBC’ examines Bordeaux murder case (Fayetteville Observer reports) — The 2012 murder of Fort Bragg soldier Kelli Bordeaux will be explored in Friday’s episode of “Dateline NBC,” according to NBC News. The one-hour installment for the news-magazine program is called “Deep in the Woods.”

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