Yearbook editor baited campus to no avail, Buffalo News recalls tragic plane crash, Tennessean watchdog story finds scam worth millions

This week in local journalism

February 15, 2019

The (Durham, North Carolina) Herald-Sun’s Martha Quillin and Jane Stancill bring us this story about an editor who knowingly included racist pictures in the University of North Carolina’s 1979 yearbook to expose the issue — and was stunned when no outcry came.

That staff of The Buffalo (New York) News this week commemorated the 10-year anniversary of Flight 34o7, in which 50 people died when a commercial airline crashed into a home. Jerry Zremski writes about the charitable efforts spawned by the crash, and examined how the crash impacted American aviation’s safety record. And Bruce Andriatch, assistant managing editor, interviews Karen Wielinski, who “lost her husband and her home the night of the crash.”

Brett Kelman of the Tennessean in Nashville has this investigation with the headline of the week: “A Tennessee clinic swindled the military out of $65M. This is how it got caught.”  Take note of this explanation inside the story: “To understand the details … The Tennessean reviewed and cross-referenced hundreds of pages of court documents from 15 separate federal court cases, including criminal prosecutions, search warrants, forfeiture proceedings and a whistleblower lawsuit.”

Kelley Bouchard of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald brings readers an update on the 20th anniversary of the murder of an area teenager — a case that’s still unsolved.

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Beccy Tanner of the Wichita Eagle has this interesting tale of a woman who sold her family farm, and then gave part of the proceeds back to the Kaw tribe she says it was unlawfully taken from.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Susan Taylor Martin has this piece on a man wrongly issued a tax refund to the IRS, which sent him a check for nearly $1 million after he reported $18,497 in income.

This week was Valentine’s Day, and a couple of places went beyond the usual last-minute-gifts feature. Carmen George of The Fresno Bee had this story on a group of ‘widows mamas’ who get together on Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, The Modesto Bee’s Deke Farrow has the story of a couple who had been married more than 70 years but didn’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Lea Skene and Grace Toohey of The Advocate in Louisiana have this shocker about hazing allegations at a Louisana State University fraternity. Bonus: a graphic on LSU’s problematic Greek history.

Finally, bears must be coming out of hibernation this month. Here’s a Clarion-Ledger story about one climbing into a deer stand, and here’s one from The Virginian-Pilot about one climbing into a garbage truck and going for a ride.

If you see a great local story, let me know by emailing or tweet at me @barbara_allen_. Until next week!