News & Observer

Wikipedia Commons/ Hkeely

 In an era where many consumers get their news from Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, how do complex stories of corruption, crime and power get told? And what are the challenges facing today’s shrinking cohort of investigative reporters? 

Image of green urine sample bottles
Steven Depolo

Earlier this week, state officials released results from the first round of drug testing for some welfare recipients. The findings show little evidence pointing to widespread drug use among beneficiaries of the state's Work First public assistance program. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield pen
frankieleon / Flickr Creative Commons

Enrollment errors with Blue Cross and Blue Shield created challenges for 25,000 customers. Several factors contributed to the problem including an extension to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and a software transfer within Blue Cross.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

A recently released memo from a deputy commissioner of corrections says that Governor Pat McCrory spoke twice with Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry about expiring prison contracts.

Pat McCrory
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Pat McCrory reportedly used his personal influence to help his friend and major political donor, Graeme Keith Sr., renew a $3 million contract with the state.

Chuck Liddy / News and Observer

It is the responsibility of the N.C. Department of Labor to protect the rights of workers.

But a new report from the News & Observer finds that state investigators for the department did not collect $1 million in wages that were owed to 617 workers in 2014.

Image of video poker
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly three years after North Carolina outlawed Internet sweepstakes games, a new report shows how hard owners fought to keep them going.

  

They spent $10 million on lawyers and lobbyists over four years.

The investigation has led to the resignation of one member of the state Board of Elections.

Some of the money also went to political campaigns in North Carolina, but the report says there were no violations of campaign finance law. 

University of South Carolina Press

In his 13 years at the Raleigh News and Observer, J. Peder Zane says he tried to perfect the art of the newspaper column. 

Zane came to North Carolina in 1996 to be the paper's book review editor after years as a reporter for the New York Times. His journalism experience informed the way he would tackle his own commentary: by connecting today's newsmakers to the complex characters in American literature.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

    

Gov. Pat McCrory filed new forms with the State Ethics Commission that show previously undisclosed travel expenses. 

The governor now says outside groups paid for seven of his trips in 2013, totaling more than $13,000. The money comes from appearances at national governors' conferences, including four backed by the Republican Party. 

The governor says it is appropriate for those groups to pay for his travel. Critics say failure to show the expenses on the original form follows a pattern of nondisclosure at the governor's office.

Joseph Sledge, photographed at Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro, N.C. Thursday, February 28, 2013.
ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

In 1976, Joseph Sledge escaped from an Elizabethtown prison and within 24 hours, mother and daughter Josephine and Ailene Davis were murdered. 

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