When longtime N.C. Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, left office under a cloud, including accusations of sexual improprieties with underage legal clients, few people would have expected that Soles would return to the public stage to be honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is billed as one of North Carolina’s most prestigious awards. Carolina Journal Executive Editor Don Carrington looked into Soles’ award and found no evidence of any records associated with it. Carrington’s questions helped scuttle the planned award ceremony.

The Wilmington Star-News, WWAY Television, and WRDU Radio’s morning program cited CJ‘s work in reporting the story, while Carrington discussed his findings with Chad Adams on WLTT Radio. CarolinaPlottHound.com also promoted Carrington’s work.

Meanwhile, the Durham Herald-Sun published CJ Managing Editor Rick Henderson‘s column on the state’s ongoing efforts to ban Internet sweepstakes operations. The Mooresville Tribune printed John Locke Foundation Vice President for Outreach Becki Gray‘s CJ column on tax reform and economic growth. The Kernersville News picked up CJ columns from Director of Research and Education Studies Terry Stoops, who discussed delays in Gov. Pat McCrory’s State Board of Education appointments, and Director of Fiscal Policy Studies Sarah Curry, who assessed North Carolina government’s revenue outlook.

N.C. Senate Republicans promoted in their daily press emails Henderson’s Internet sweepstakes column, along with JLF President John Hood‘s columns on pending partisan fights and a new book challenging conventional wisdom about health care. Senators also highlighted CJ Associate Editor Barry Smith‘s report on the state Child Care Commission‘s proposed ban of religious instruction at NC Pre-K centers. The Senate emails cited Associate Editor Dan Way‘s reports on the progress of a bill targeting two key Obamacare provisions.

Grassroots North Carolina promoted on its website Way’s article chronicling a legislative rally in favor of Second Amendment gun rights.