The countdown to Election Day is on, and candidates are hitting the trail in North Carolina. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited the state earlier this week and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton stops in Winston-Salem later today, in a joint appearance with first lady Michelle Obama. What do the presidential campaigns do for candidates down ballot? And how close is the gubernatorial race? Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest. 

An image of former state senator Josh Stein
Public Doman

Democrat Josh Stein and Republican Buck Newton are vying for the open seat left by Attorney General Roy Cooper who stepped down to run for governor.

A gif image of a timelapse of host Frank Stasio's right underarm microbes grown at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab.
Courtesy Julie Horvath

They live in every nook and cranny of your body, from your belly button to your armpits. A new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences explores the secret world of human microbes. Host Frank Stasio speaks with biologists Julie Horvath and Rob Dunn about the implications of microbial diversity for human health, and about Frank’s own armpit ecosystem.

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast we talk with Michael Kruse, a senior staff writer at Politico.

Black On Black

Oct 25, 2016
Saba Taj

Artists of color share their thoughts on race and identity in a new exhibit at Raleigh’s Visual Art Exchange called “Black on Black.” A range of community programming expands the artist’s ideas beyond the gallery walls with educational events about music, film, justice, dance and preserving family history.

Cover image of Wedding Bell Blues, a new mystery novel by Ruth Moose
Courtesy Ruth Moose

An eccentric yet beloved, homeless bride-to-be, her freshly-murdered fiancé and an evasive white rabbit are some of the residents of Littleboro, North Carolina, a town where mysteries abound. They are also the conjurings of author Ruth Moose, that come to life in her new book “Wedding Bell Blues” (Minotaur Books/2016).

Host Frank Stasio talks with Moose about developing her cast of characters, and about picking up where her last book left off, a book she first wrote more than 25 years ago. 

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Even by the relative maniacal standards of 2008, this is shaping up to be a pretty remarkable week for presidential politics in North Carolina.

PHOTOS: A Day Of Mural Painting In Durham

Oct 24, 2016
a woman paints a mural in Durham
Nicholas Byrne / WUNC

This past weekend, a collection of local artists gathered to paint graffiti and murals outside the Duke Arts Annex.

The event, know as Mural Durham, brought together local Durham artists and the Durham community for a day of mural painting, local food, music and fun.

wuncphotos: Share your North Carolina photos with WUNC on Instagram

Front pages of the News and Observer
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

For the majority of libel claims, the case never goes before a jury. However, in cases where the libel claim goes through to trial, juries tend to give big awards, something the Raleigh News & Observer found out this week when a jury delivered a verdict that could run north of $6 million.

Headshot of Roy Cooper
Courtesy of Roy Cooper

With the election less than three weeks away, the national spotlight is on North Carolina as a key swing state in this election. The latest polls in the governor’s race show incumbent Governor Pat McCrory head-to-head with democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Apprentice House

As a child growing up in Bristol, Virginia, writer Christine Hale says she was an unintended hostage to her parents’ abusive marriage and her  family’s dysfunction. When her second marriage ended in a bitter divorce she stumbled upon Tibetan Buddhism as a path toward making sense of her life. Her new memoir, “A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations,” (Apprentice House Press/2016) weaves together memories from her journey toward acceptance.

Jess Clark / WUNC

Early voting is off to a fast start in many North Carolina counties. As of Sunday, 408,906 voters had cast a ballot in North Carolina, according to the State Board of Elections.

The proposed transit system would dedicated bus lanes
Wake County / Go Triangle

With all the attention given to this election, it's almost unfathomable to imagine a voter who does not know the options at the top of the ticket. However, this election has more than a few down ticket races as well.

In fact, an average Wake County voter could fill in nearly 40 bubbles on the election ballot this year, enough to dull even the sharpest No. 2 pencil.

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, host Jeff Tiberii talks with Jason deBruyn, WUNC’s data reporter, about the races in play - and the potential balance of power - in the North Carolina General Assembly (and Jason's strong sock game).

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battled it out on the podium earlier this week in their third and final debate of the season. It was the first time a Fox News anchor moderated a presidential debate.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Ken Rudin, the political junkie, about the candidates’ debate strategies and about their comedic spar at an annual charity roast. 

Political pins show off the name and campaign slogans of former US Congressman Nick Galifiniakis.
Courtesy Ken Rudin

The son of two Greek immigrants, Nick Galifianakis was a surprising pick for politics in 1960s North Carolina. "Pick Nick", a new book by former UNC history professor John Semonche, published by Tidal Press, takes an intimate look into Galifianakis’s rise to political prominence, first as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly and later as a United States Congressman.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Semonche and Galifianakis about his political legacy and the infamous battle against former US Senator Jesse Helms.​

Kooley High

The Raleigh-based hip-hop group Kooley High started nearly a decade ago after its members had spent years trading rhymes with each other on campus at North Carolina State University.  In 2004, some of Kooley High's members started a hip-hop club on campus called "H2O" and helped spark a grassroots rap scene in the city.  

Robeson Schools Superintendent Tommy Lowry surveys the damage outside the textbook and supply warehouse at the district's central services.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Outside Robeson County Schools central offices, Superintendent Tommy Lowry points to a large hole in the top of the chain-link fence. "Where that fence is cut there, that’s where I came across in a boat. That’s how high the water was," he said.

A drawing of a hand paying a stork with a bundle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

People can become parents in the usual ways: by birth, by marriage and by adoption. But in this week's Criminal podcast, we hear from Melinda Dawson, who learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a clinic doctor many miles away.

Princeville, Hurricane Matthew, Flooding
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The town of Princeville, North Carolina was established by freed slaves after the Civil War, and it is the oldest town incorporated by African-Americans in the United States. Hurricane Matthew put the town underwater, but leaders there are vowing to rebuild and reclaim the historical place. Members of the National Guard are pumping millions of gallons of water back into the Tar River while residents wait to see if anything is salvageable. 

Judge Mike Morgan, a candidate in the N.C. Supreme Court race, standing by an American flag.
Courtesy Mike Morgan

The race for a seat in the North Carolina Supreme Court is one of many down-ballot races that may not be top of mind for most North Carolinians. However, this year’s race carries the potential for a significant political shift.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan, a registered Democrat, says the N.C. Supreme Court is becoming increasingly politicized. He is fighting to win the seat of incumbent Justice Bob Edmunds, a registered Republican. 

Breaking The Jemima Code

Oct 20, 2016
University of Texas Press

For more than 100 years, the dominant image of an African-American cook was that of Aunt Jemima. Her face appeared on pancake boxes and syrup bottles and carried a message implying that African-American cooks were uneducated, poor, and always working under the direction of white women.

Princeville, Flooding, Race, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Residents in a small, mostly African-American community in eastern North Carolina are still waiting to see what’s left of their flooded homes since the wrath of Hurricane Matthew.

flooding in the Fayetteville area after Hurricane Matthew
Photo courtesy of Kareen White

As floodwaters finally recede away from eastern North Carolina, families have returned to their homes to survey the damage and pick up the pieces.

What they are finding is that this could end up as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

2016 Attorney General candidates Josh Stein and Buck Newton (right)
NC Legislature

The two candidates in this year's race for attorney general have held highly influential positions in the General Assembly. 

Democrat Josh Stein is the former minority whip in the state Senate from Raleigh. He also served as an attorney in the state Justice Department.

Buck Newton is a current state Senator from Wilson who was instrumental in writing the language of the law known as HB2.