The reporter and the research

Pat Stith, 62, came to The N&O in 1971. He has spent much of his career investigating state government and has won numerous state and national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. This spring, he was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame.

For this series, Stith spent four months interviewing more than 100 people, including law enforcement officials, highway engineers, lobbyists, truckers and legislators. He reviewed thousands of pages of documents from the General Assembly, state departments of Crime Control & Public Safety, Transportation, and Revenue, the Federal Highway Administration and the General Accounting Office.

Stith and database editor David Raynor acquired databases dealing with weigh stations, overweight permits and overweight fines.

Have a tip about a possible story? Stith can be reached at (919) 829-4537 or