Photo: An Interstate in North Carolina
Jimmy Emmerson / Flickr

NC Senate Plan Would End Driver's Education Requirement

North Carolina teenagers would no longer be required to take driver’s education under the Senate’s budget proposal. That means they would no longer have to sit in class for 30 hours, or spend a few days behind the wheel with an instructor. In its place, Republican senators want them to score at least 85 percent of the questions correctly on a written test (instead of the current 80 percent), and spend 85 hours driving with a parent or qualified adult (instead of 60) before getting a license....
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Dry soil image
Darren Hester / https://www.flickr.com/photos/grungetextures/4187619970

North Carolina Slips Into Drought

Supreme Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage Expected To Boost Health Coverage

The right to marry in any state won't be the only gain for gay couples from last week's Supreme Court ruling. The decision will likely boost health insurance among gay couples as same-sex spouses get access to employer plans.The logic is simple. Fewer than half of employers that offer health benefits make the insurance available to same-sex partners who aren't married. Virtually all of them offer coverage to spouses.By marrying partners with employer health plans, people in same-sex...
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Image of Ramon, who helps out with a Know Your Rights training session.
Ramon Zepeda

Foreign-born farmworkers are vital to the American food system. But while most of the produce that ends up on American plates is handpicked, the day-to-day lives of people laboring in the fields still remains more or less invisible. Ramón Zepeda is a 28-year-old working to change visibility of farmworkers.He grew up in a small farming community in Jalisco, Mexico. Most of his family members have spent time in the fields, and he has devoted his life to working in solidarity with underrepresented workers.

An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 from London-Gatwick landing at RDU in 2005.
Ken Thomas / Wikipedia

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is offering area residents a chance to learn about a process for establishing a long-term growth and efficiency plan.

RDU Spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin says the airport is launching its 18-month master plan study process.

Dry soil image
Darren Hester / https://www.flickr.com/photos/grungetextures/4187619970

Parts of North Carolina have slipped into drought for the first time in two years. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the drought extends from the Triad to Charlotte and points west.

Jamie Kritzer is a spokesman for DENR.

"People need to pay close attention to what's happening in their areas and follow any water restrictions that are being put in place in those local areas," Kritzer says.

Photo: An Interstate in North Carolina
Jimmy Emmerson / Flickr

North Carolina teenagers would no longer be required to take driver’s education under the Senate’s budget proposal.

That means they would no longer have to sit in class for 30 hours, or spend a few days behind the wheel with an instructor.

In its place, Republican senators want them to score at least 85 percent of the questions correctly on a written test (instead of the current 80 percent), and spend 85 hours driving with a parent or qualified adult (instead of 60) before getting a license.

A Confederate monument
Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

The shooting of nine African-Americans earlier this month has prompted national debate over whether the Confederate battle flag should continue to fly at the South Carolina Capitol.

Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag to be taken down while President Obama said it "represented more than just ancestral pride" during the eulogy of Rev. Clementa Pinckney Friday.

Chad Biggs (left), 35, and Chris Creech, 46, were the first gay couple to be wed in Wake County.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

In a 5-4 ruling today, the U.S. Supreme Court said all 50 states must recognize marriages between same-sex couples. The decision also means those couples can now get married anywhere and have their marriages recognized in all states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the decision for the majority. Each dissenting justice also wrote his own opinion.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about this morning's ruling.

The Music of Matt Phillips

Jun 26, 2015
Adrian Gilliam

Singer-songwriter Matt Phillips has been involved with many musical groups in his life, from the North Carolina Boy's Choir to a high school band to his church band.

He started street performing after high school, alone, for some money and found a lot of fans. Phillips' music combines the singer-songwriter genre with pop, funk, blues and jazz.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Phillips about his solo career and upcoming album.

A picture of a dctor holding a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos / Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers have chosen to not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

Republican state leaders, including Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, have said that, even if the federal government initially subsidizes new people enrolling in Medicaid, the program would eventually cost the state more than it saves.

A student veterant leaning over his desk.
Carly Swain / UNC-Chapel Hill

Fifteen military veterans are wrapping up a week-long academic training bootcamp at UNC-Chapel Hill designed to help them transition easier into college. It's part of a national program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.

Lara Taylor, director of Carolina's orientation, says some vets come straight from service, while others have been out for a few years.

Orange County Historical Museum / http://www.orangenchistory.org/

In the wake of the mass shooting last week in South Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory has joined a growing number of Southern governors who are moving toward abolishing the Confederate battle flag from things like government buildings and here in North Carolina--license plates.   

Hillsborough is one of the oldest towns in the state with a strong legacy tied to the Civil War. The town is now faced with questions about its historical Confederate markings and what is appropriate going forward.

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On The State of Things

Image of Ramon, who helps out with a Know Your Rights training session.
Ramon Zepeda

Making Visible The Lives And Labor Of Farmworkers, Meet Ramón Zepeda

Foreign-born farmworkers are vital to the American food system. But while most of the produce that ends up on American plates is handpicked, the day-to-day lives of people laboring in the fields still remains more or less invisible. Ramón Zepeda is a 28-year-old working to change visibility of farmworkers.He grew up in a small farming community in Jalisco, Mexico. Most of his family members have spent time in the fields, and he has devoted his life to working in solidarity with underrepresented workers.
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Reporting on the lives of American military personnel and veterans.

Can Technology Ease The Burden Of Caring For People With Dementia?

A doctor I interviewed for this story told me something that stuck with me. He said for every person with dementia he treats, he finds himself caring for two patients. That's how hard it can be to be a caregiver for someone with dementia.The doctor is Bruce Miller. He directs the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco. According to Miller, 50 percent of caregivers develop a major depressive illness because of the caregiving. "The caregiver is so overburdened...
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