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Opinion Roundup: N.C. prison system problems can't go unnoticed

Posted June 13

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on the need for change in N.C.'s prison system, sobering numbers on the struggle to achieve economic well-being, a key mental health program facing potential budget cuts and more.

Prison funding, oversight need thorough probe (Fayetteville Observer) -- If any elected official in Raleigh expresses shock over the beating death of prison guard Meggan Lee Callahan, don’t believe it. They’re either putting you on or they’re not intellectually fit for elective office. Meggan Lee Callahan’s beating death, allegedly by a convicted Fayetteville murderer, was mayhem just waiting to happen.


STEPHANIE CARSON: Economic Stability of NC Families Falters (Public News Service column) -- North Carolina families are not as financially secure this year, compared with prior years. That's according to the Annie E. Casey 2017 KIDS COUNT Data. Tuesday. The state ranks 37th in the country when it comes to economic well-being, behind neighboring southern states South Carolina and Tennessee. The state was 30th in that category last year.


TAYLOR KNOPF: Clubhouses For People with Persistent Mental Illness Fears State Cuts (N.C. Health News column) -- Clubhouses such as Durham's Threshold help a population that's hard to serve and they depend on state funds - and they face another round of cuts.


Roy Cooper’s unnecessary grandstanding (Charlotte Observer) -- NC governor scores political points, but hurts his cause, by calling for special session on redistricting.


Life expectancy gap in North Carolina reveals lack of trust (Fayetteville Observer) -- If you are born and raised in North Carolina, chances are that you aren’t going to live as long as the average American. That fact — not the alternative kind, but the real deal — emerged in data reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine and was highlighted in a chart on the website fivethirtyeight.com. North Carolina joins virtually the entire South in lagging behind the national averages for life expectancy.


JENNIFER ALLEN: Park Improvements Target Runoff Reduction (Coastal Review column) -- Tools for slowing the flow of polluting stormwater runoff were the focus of a recent event at the Cedar Point Recreation Area, part of a collaborative effort to restore water quality in the White Oak River.


D.G. MARTIN: China and North Carolina: Thucydides and Charlie Soong (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- During the past few days, the release of North Carolina native Graham Allison’s book, “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” and Allison’s visit to his home state focused attention on the United States’ relationship with China.


Why we shouldn’t try to normalize terror attacks (Wilmington Star-News) -- All deaths or acts of violence are not created equal. Or perhaps we should say they are not equal in their impact. When we were editors choosing which of the hundreds of world news stories to include in the next day’s paper, we realized how dark our decision making had become: “Twenty killed in China plane crash,” the wire service headline read. “Any Americans?” the news editor asked? “No? Make it a world brief.”


Build infrastructure (Greensboro News & Record) -- President Donald Trump’s best idea so far is to launch a massive infrastructure program. But his plans need a lot of work.

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