News

photo of asheville and the surrounding mountains at dusk
Michael Tracey/Public Domain

Asheville city police face potential budget cuts a month after body camera footage of an officer beating a black pedestrian was leaked to the Asheville Citizen-Times. The beating prompted outrage and led to the arrest of the former officer who beat the pedestrian and the firing of City Manager Gary Jackson. Blue Ridge Public Radio News Director Matt Bush speaks with host Frank Stasio about the latest updates from the story.

photo of a young man wearing a varsity jacket with the letters 'mdtmt' on the back
Courtesy of Keynon Lake

Many know Bennie Lake as one of the original Harlem Globetrotters who traveled the world entertaining audiences with their comedy and athleticism. But for his son Keynon, Bennie was a role model of what a man should be: an engaged citizen with a commitment to helping young people through his career as a social worker.

photo of the airbnb website, with pictures of rooms for rent
www.airbnb.com/a/Asheville

The Asheville City Council voted to severely restrict tourist rentals in Asheville earlier this year. The new rules state that rentals that had city permits before the vote can stay in business.

photo of vegetables displayed at a farmers market
USDA

The Trump administration wants to see a 20 percent cut over 10 years to SNAP, the food stamp program that helps feed 42 million Americans each year. Funding for SNAP is provided through the Federal Farm Bill, which will soon be under debate in Washington. The current bill is set to expire this fall.

close up photo of people exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony
Pixabay/Creative Commons

There was a time during slavery when black women could not legally marry. Yet, throughout history the single black woman has been vilified.

book cover for 'chasing space.' leland melvin poses for an official portrait in astronaut's gear, but with two big dogs licking his face.
Harper Collins

Leland Melvin’s path to a career at NASA is unconventional to say the least. As a teenager he got a scholarship to play football at the University of Richmond and later signed as a wide receiver to the Detroit Lions. He never played during the regular season  due to an injury, but he did not lose energy to pursue his passions.

U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is appearing on Capitol Hill for a second day of hearings about protecting its users' data.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing grants of up to $150,000 to support community projects that fight the opioid crisis.

portrait of Fayetteville Councilman Tyrone Williams
Courtesy of City of Fayetteville

Fayetteville City Council members asked one of their own to resign last night. Nine members voted unanimously to approve a letter demanding that Councilman Tyrone Williams step down immediately in the wake of an audio recording in which Williams could be heard seemingly soliciting a bribe from a developer.

U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying on Capitol Hill to answer questions about protecting user data.

The hearing, held by the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, follows news that the data-mining and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users.

The firm is accused of using that information to target Facebook users with political advertising in 2016. The two Senate committees are holding a joint hearing called "Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data."

photo of tom perez speaking at a microphone, an american flag in the background
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez took the helm of the Democratic National Committee in early 2017 when its reputation was in tatters. The Clinton-Sanders primary created a rift in the party, which was further devastated by the Russian email hacking scandal and big losses in the 2016 election.

photo of cecile richards speaking at a podium at the women's march
Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

Most people know Cecile Richards as the fearless head of Planned Parenthood. But long before she was fighting Republican senators in Congress or pro-life demonstrators, she was finding ways to “make trouble.”

photo of David Crane speaking at a podium
Ken Harper

In the 1990s, officials founded five criminal tribunals to seek international justice: four temporary bodies in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The first four were put in place to handle specific civil war crimes. Since then, the issue of international criminal justice has faded.

New UNC research ties pharmaceutical industry payments to higher prescription rates.
Flickr

A study from UNC-Chapel Hill shows cancer doctors who received money from pharmaceutical companies for meals and lodging were more likely to prescribe medicines from those drug makers.

Lynn Makor is a school psychology consultant for the NC Department of Public  Instruction and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She addressed the House Select Committee on School Safety's Student Health Subcommittee.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

School psychologists want legislators to know that there aren't enough of them to go around.

A subcommittee of the House Select Committee met Monday to consider improvements to school mental health services. One of the resounding recommendations from school pyschologists and counselors: they need more support.

 Casey Collins, Duke University Energy Manager, inspects a boiler at the West Campus Steam Plant. Soon, these boilers will run on swine biogas instead of natural gas.
James Morrison / WUNC

North Carolina isn’t rich in coal, natural gas or oil deposits, but it has more hogs than nearly any other state. And for many years, people have been trying to figure out a way to turn hog waste into electricity.

American Tobacco Music and Mill Music Sessions
American Tobacco / Rocky Mount Mills

Lawns and patios in Durham and a mill in Rocky Mount will reverberate with the sounds of music this summer in a series of concerts co-sponsored by WUNC.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

Tomorrow is Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

photo of Erin Byrd
Courtesy of Erin Byrd

Activist Erin Byrd grew up moving from one military base to the next – from Virginia to Texas to South Korea to Texas to Germany and back to the U.S. again. Throughout her childhood, Byrd witnessed military families get free dental care, free health care and reduced-price groceries. The government supplied these basic services to the military population, and she wondered why the whole country did not have the same benefits.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Denver Post reporter John Frank joins this week's episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast to discuss the findings of a new independent report about sexual harassment at Colorado's Capitol.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

China issued the latest shot in a looming trade war this week, announcing it would increase tariffs on pork products. That decision could have an impact on farmers in eastern North Carolina counties. In an unrelated swine development, a series of nuisance lawsuits were back in federal court.

photo of scott pruitt
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Creative Commons

This week President Donald Trump announced he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the fight against ISIS in Syria. In a news conference with Baltic leaders Trump said the U.S. was “very successful against ISIS.” The president has since pulled back on an urgent removal plan, and instead instructed the military to withdraw from the conflict within a few months.

photo of Kim Pevia
Courtesy of Women AdvaNCe

A record number of women are running for public office this year for positions ranging from state legislators to governors and members of Congress. Whether or not they will be elected still remains uncertain, but their attempts could counteract staggering statistics: for every one woman who holds office as a governor, member of congress or state legislator in the United States today, there are three men, according to analysis from The Washington Post.

photo of sarah shook and her band
John Gessner / Bloodshot Records

Chapel Hill-artist Sarah Shook did not follow an obvious path to country music. She grew up in a conservative Christian household, listened primarily to religious music and only discovered country greats like Wanda Jackson and Buck Owens in her 20s. She was also painfully shy as a kid, so when she first took the stage in early adulthood, it was a shock to her own mother.

FT.BRAGG STORIES: Answering The Call

Apr 6, 2018
Bill Wadford speaks at a live story-telling event in Fayetteville, N.C.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Rapid deployments are a fact of life for soldiers at Fort Bragg. Once notice is given, paratroopers have just 18 hours to prepare to go anywhere in the world.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

U.S. Representative Ted Budd met with Guilford County School officials and law enforcement to discuss what can be done to improve school safety and security in the area.

Cold case file
JULIENNE ALEXANDER / CRIMINAL

When the Dallas Police Department fails to find the person responsible for the death of a college sophomore, her best friend steps in to solve the case.  

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's farmers are nervous. As an all-out trade war with China looms on the horizon, it's North Carolina's agriculture industry that could bear the brunt.

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
Courtesy of John Gessner

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers are back with their second release. Years is the follow-up to Sidelong which came out on Bloodshot Records in 2017. 

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

The city of Greensboro could do more to ensure businesses owned by women and minorities get contracts with the city, according to a report presented to the city council this week.

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