News

republican elephant, democratic donkey
DonkeyHotey / Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolina democrats laid out their legislative priorities for the upcoming short session, and a plan they hope will win them votes in this year's mid-term elections to break the republican veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.

photo of Candis Cox speaking at a podium with signs for the human rights campaign and equality NC
Courtesy of Candis Cox

Candis Cox was working as a representative with American Airlines at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport when she was thrust into the role of political activist. Cox is a transgender woman, and after the passage of North Carolina House Bill 2, she was told she could no longer use the bathroom that aligned with her gender identity.

Photo: Mark Martin
Courtesy of Mark Martin

North Carolina's Supreme Court justices are taking their work on the road this week as the court inches closer to its 200th anniversary.

Teachers walk in together as they arrive for work at San Marcos Elementary School Friday, May 4, 2018, in Chandler, Ariz., after a statewide teachers strike ended. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York / AP

This Wednesday more than 10,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on the General Assembly's opening day to demand better pay and working conditions.

Veteran educators say those demands are about restoring education funding to what it was before the recession hit and a wave of Republican-led policies and tax cuts dismantled their benefits.

Teachers have adopted the tagline: "It's Personal."

Students at Yadkin Valley Community School, a Montessori School in Elkin, crowd around school choice advocate Darrell Allison in celebration of National School Choice Week.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Darrell Allison is on the road again, taking a final long trip to visit private schools across North Carolina. He's used to traveling - to small towns, suburbs, down east and to the mountains to talk to parents and legislators across the state.

FT. BRAGG STORIES: 'For Me, This Was Home'

May 13, 2018
Laura Monk holds a portrait of her husband Austin, who passed away in 2011 after battling leukemia.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Laura Monk was a newlywed when she moved to Fort Bragg with her husband Austin in 2009. He deployed to Iraq shortly after. While serving overseas, he was diagnosed with leukemia. They spent most of their two-and-a-half year marriage negotiating his illness and cancer treatments.

Joe Van Gogh Cuts All Ties With Duke University

May 11, 2018

The Hillsborough-based coffee shop Joe Van Gogh has cut all ties with Duke University.

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega stands outside St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church in Greensboro, where she is living in sanctuary.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Since Donald Trump took office, the number of non-criminal undocumented immigrants detained and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has spiked. That has pushed some to seek sanctuary in churches, where ICE says its policy is to avoid enforcement in so-called “sensitive locations.”

This video shows a white police officer choking a young tuxedo-clad man who is African American, pushing him against a storefront and then slamming him to the ground outside a North Carolina Waffle House.
Anthony Wall via Facebook / Screenshot by NPR

Waffle House has become embroiled in a new public scandal, and African-American activists are calling for a boycott. Early this week, a video went viral of 22-year-old Anthony Wall getting choked by a police officer outside of a Waffle House in Warsaw, North Carolina.

A hog waste lagoon in Beaufort County, NC.
DefMo / Flickr Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, 10 Bladen county residents were awarded $5 million each in punitive damages after winning a hog nuisance lawsuit against Murphy-Brown/Smithfield Foods. This week U.S. District Judge Earl Britt severely cut the award. Instead of the millions they were expecting, the plaintiffs will each get only $250,000.

composite image of artist honorees and the words '50 for 50'
Courtesy of the North Carolina Arts Council

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council, the state agency decided to profile 50 artists with North Carolina roots. The project is called “50 for 50,” and it includes artists from bestselling-author David Sedaris to poet and musician Shirlette Ammons.

photo of tony williamson holding a mandolin
Courtesy of Tony Williamson

This year is the 50th anniversary of mandolin player Tony Williamson’s recording career. Throughout the years, he has played with bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs and Sam Bush. But in the 1980s, Williamson suffered a series of accidents and injuries, and a surgeon told him he would never play the mandolin again. He went through a long transition that included experimenting with Chinese medicine, a spiritual awakening and trying to look at the world a little differently.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week’s WUNCPolitics podcast is an extended version of our regular Week In State Politics segment that airs every Friday with Rob Schofield, executive director of the progressive N.C. Policy Watch, and Becki Gray, senior vice president of the conservative John Locke Foundation.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

When legislators return to Raleigh next week for the start of the spring session, they will have a slew of ideas to consider to improve student safety in North Carolina schools. The House Select Committee on School Safety on Thursday approved a handful of recommendations to the General Assembly, and also drafted a number of possible bills.

Gov. Roy Cooper addresses reporters on Thursday, May 10, 2018 regarding his $24.5 billion spending proposal.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and top legislative Republicans agree on one thing: North Carolina is enjoying a fourth consecutive revenue surplus this fiscal year. They just disagree on what to do with it.

Winston-Salem AAUW board member, Janice Imgrund, helps participants Natasha Evans (left) and Lashuanda Lash (right) during one of their salary negotiation exercises. The workshop is one of several taking place across the country.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC


Nearly two dozen women filled the central branch of the Greensboro Library on a recent evening to discuss how the gender pay gap affects them and what they can do to effectively negotiate their salary.

High Point Stadium
Courtesy of Odell Associates, Inc.

High Point University has donated $22 million to go toward the city's downtown revitalization efforts. The plan centers around a sports arena, which broke ground last month. A professional baseball team plans to kick off its season next spring.

photo of 6 people on the front steps of a house
Courtesy of Stephen Sills

The highest rent prices in the nation can be found in metropolitan areas like Manhattan or San Francisco. So why is it that Greensboro has some of the highest eviction rates in the country? Greensboro is ranked seventh on the list of the top evicting large cities in the U.S., according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. 

photo of miniature model houses and commercial buildings
Courtesy of Gordon & Cherry

In Steven Burke and Randy Campbell’s Hillsborough home, 1,200 miniature buildings are on display. The extensive collection of American folk art buildings represent everything from movie theatres, to gas stations, to family homes, and they reflect a wide swath of American architecture.

photo of ariel dorfman
Courtesy of Seven Stories Press

Many of writer Ariel Dorfman’s works explore power dynamics in a post-colonial world. His latest novel is no exception. “Darwin’s Ghosts” (Seven Stories Press/2018) centers on a man whose life is changed on his 14th birthday when his father takes a Polaroid picture of him. However, in the photo protagonist Fitzroy Foster’s face is not his own. Instead, his face is that of a stranger.

A sample REAL ID, with the identifying gold star.
https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/realid/ / NCDOT

It's been a year since North Carolina began offering REAL ID cards in compliance with federal law, which requires extra documentation to get the card.

Lucero is finishing up the third grade at her school in Alamance County. It's a high-pressure year -- not just for her, but for her mom too.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Every day when Ismari Molina was pregnant with her first daughter, she saw what she calls “the big star” on her way home from work.

The base of the Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill known as Silent Sam was doused in red Monday, April 30, 2018
Courtesy of Will Partin

A Confederate monument nicknamed Silent Sam has been standing on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill since 1913.

Pigs on a Farm
Eric Mennel / WUNC

A federal judge has slashed $50 million in damages that a jury awarded neighbors of an industrial hog operation in order to punish a pork producer for smells and noise so bad that people couldn't enjoy their rural homes.

Breakdown of affiliation among Wake County registered voters.
N.C. State Board of Elections

Education spending and affordable housing played major roles in the primary election for seats on the Wake County board of commissioners.

Challengers Susan Evans and Vickie Adamson defeated incumbents Erv Portman and John Burns, respectively. They ran campaigns heavy on funding for education and affordable housing in the county.

A picture of an 'I Voted' sticker.
Vox Efx / Flickr

North Carolinians had their say at the polls Tuesday in the 2018 primary election. There were primary challenges in almost every Congressional district, and Democrats running for every legislative seat in the state.

photo of rev. dr. william j. barber II and jonathona wilson-hartgrove
Courtesy of Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove

At an Easter dinner gathering in 2016, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s teenage son and his grandfather began to butt heads. The topic was the upcoming election and then-candidate Donald Trump. While his conservative, Christian grandfather supported the idea of “Making America Great Again,” his black son questioned whether or not his grandfather understood what that meant. In an attempt to reconcile these worlds Wilson-Hartgrove wrote “Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion” (IVP Books/2018).

photo of hendricks and dimuzio on guitar and keyboard
Courtesy of Arts Access

At the arts celebration “A Series of Fortunate Events,” actors, visual artists, and musicians with disabilities showcase their creations and their talent. But the event goes beyond representing art, it is also a platform for artists to advocate for their own place in the North Carolina arts economy.

A picture of the band Wye Oak.
Shervin Lainez / Merge Records

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack have created and released their fifth album as Wye Oak. The band formed in Baltimore about 10 years ago. Now, the two are working in different geological corners with Wasner in Durham and Stack in Marfa, Texas.

The name of the record is The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. It's being hailed by many critics and fans as their finest yet.

Sarah Alsammak stood in front of a grafitti wall on North Carolina State University's campus
Maddy Gray / For WUNC

Sarah Alsammak walked across North Carolina State University's campus pointing out various landmarks. One of her favorite places is the tunnel where students draw graffiti art.

She stopped to pose for a photo – which took longer than it might have, if not for students darting between her and a photographer. She hasn't painted anything on the tunnel walls herself, but said she might before she graduates.

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