This week in local journalism: Fighting a flag, racehorse deaths, Black History Month

February 11, 2019

Caitlin Byrd of the (South Carolina) Post and Courier brings us this story of a man who spent years fighting against a confederate flag flying on a tiny patch of land next to his ice cream shop  — and why he’s walking away.

Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic investigated why one racetrack’s horse deaths were twice the national average.

Scott Sexton of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal unearthed a story about a school crossing guard having transportation issues — and the parents who came together to get him a car.

At the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, Rick Armon (with illustrations by Brian Shellito) took the time to FOIA lottery records to find attorneys willing to tell the stories behind the interesting names of trusts set up by people who want to keep their winnings secret.

The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, wrote about a clinic that swindled the military out of $65 million. Part of it appears in the article, but don’t miss reporter Brett Kelman’s story behind the story on Twitter.

AL.com out of Birmingham, Alabama, has this satisfying video of the planned demolition-by-explosives of an interstate bridge ramp.

Scott Thomas Anderson of the Sacramento News & Review has a three-part look at the difficulty of counting the homeless population in that California City.

It’s Black History Month, and this week we are seeing stories about the experiences of African-Americans. Here are a few. Send us your Black History Month projects and features to news@poynter.org for inclusion in a later roundup.

Max Bryan of the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas, spoke to black leaders about the challenges they and their predecessors faced in pursuing excellence in the segregated South:

Antioch for Youth & Family Director Charolette Tidwell, who grew up in Fort Smith in the 1950s, specifically recalls an incident at an ice cream shop while she was in elementary school.

“I was fiddling in my pants to get my money out, and a man said, ‘N—–, get away from this window,’” she said. “That registered in my head.”

Midway across the state, the Bill Bowden of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock has this piece about a black student who was quietly admitted to an all-white school in the 1940s. Her deathbed “confession” opened up an entire history for her family.

Editor’s note: Send us your great projects, deep dives and interesting features to ballen@poynter.org.