It was big news this week when Sen. President Pro Tem Marc Basnight was called before a grand jury delving into the shenanigans of the John Hyman Foundation and former U.S. Rep. Frank Ballance — a story Don Carrington has been investigating and writing about for 18 months. The Raleigh News & Observer acknowledged the Locke Foundation and its reporting in its Thursday story. To read Carrington’s series on the Hyman Foundation and Ballance’s involvement, visit Carolina Click on “CJ Exclusives,” “Exclusive Series” and then “Frank Ballance’s Foundation.” Meantime, Richard Wagner’s commentary on state funding of nonprofit groups – a $750 million per year enterprise – was published in the Littleton Observer, a publication that also relentlessly pursued the Ballance story while other media showed weak interest. “No one, except the auditor, seems to have made major efforts to see how the money is spent,” Wagner wrote. As the Ballance case has demonstrated, state leaders have to find a way to “tighten the spigot.” But first the political class in Raleigh has to acknowledge the existence of corruption.”