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A couple of weeks ago, the Easley Administration rolled out a new approach on North Carolina’s disastrous mental-health system.

Actually, it rolled out Mr. Fix-It: Dempsey Benton, the legendary master city manager from Raleigh who is now Secretary of Health and Human Services. Benton outlined a plan to fix the system.


Well, it turns out that The News & Observer has been working for months on a major series about what’s wrong in mental health.

The administration figured the best strategy is to get ahead of the story. Now, when the story runs, Easley & Co. can say: We’re on top of it.

They may be. Now.

This is a welcome reminder that – though newspapers are cutting back and, we’re told, dying off – they can still give government a well-placed kick where it does the most good.

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