News

Project Orfeo

Sep 21, 2016
Les Todd, Duke University Photography

Musician Jonathan Bagg, of Duke’s Ciompi String Quartet, enjoys putting on performances that combine the intellectual power of words with the emotional nuance of music. His latest hybrid is called Project Orfeo. It weaves two compositions together with readings by acclaimed novelist Richard Powers. The text is from Powers’ most recent novel, “Orfeo” (Norton, 2014), about an avant-garde composer turned biologist. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Bagg and composer Scott Lindroth about the literary inspiration behind the performance.

Chart shows the pattern of total employment in North Carolina
N.C. Department of Commerce / N.C. Department of Commerce

The estimated number of people employed in North Carolina decreased in August, marking the third straight month of decline.

The unemployment rate decreased as well, though that was due entirely to a decline in the labor force, a measure of all those in the state who are working or looking for work. Because the entire pool of those looking for work statistically shrank, so did the unemployment rate.

Travis Dove/Scalawag

For decades Charlotte-Mecklenburg's public schools were promoted as a model for the nation because they used busing to prevent school segregation. But a 1999 lawsuit reversed what the 1971 Supreme Court ruling had accomplished.

An image of author Colson Whitehead
Madeline Whitehead

In the 19th century, American slaves escaped to freedom using a network of secret routes and safe houses known as  the Underground Railroad. 

In his new novel, "The Underground Railroad" (Doubleday/2016), Colson Whitehead creates a literal network of underground tracks and trains for an enslaved woman to escape life on a Georgia plantation. 

The history books documented track star Jesse Owens' experiences at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, hosted in Nazi-controlled Berlin.

But Owens was not the only African-American athlete to represent the United States of America. A new film, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, documents the experiences of 18 African-American athletes representing a country that would not give them equal rights.

IBMA Logo
IBMA

You're invited to join WUNC in Raleigh when the banjos and fiddles return to downtown.

WUNC will host one of the seven stages at this year's World of Bluegrass free StreetFest. Over 100 bands are scheduled to perform on the downtown Raleigh stages along Fayetteville Street.

Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Chapel Hill, Blacks
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Students, staff and visitors to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be familiar with the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery sitting at the top of the knoll on South Road.

Then they also know how segregated the cemetery is – with headstones of whites on one side and blacks on the other.

Sunday, a new headstone was unveiled to remember all the unmarked graves of African Americans buried there.

Participants in the 2016 Dragon Boat Race in Cary, NC
Lexie Ma Xiaochi / WUNC

The Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary was the site of the third annual Triangle Area Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday September 17, 2016.

The event was organized by Asian Focus, an area nonprofit that supports programs to help Asian American and immigrants of all generations. 

Gas prices are up in North Carolina as supply is dwindling.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Gasoline prices are up across North Carolina, and some stations are running out of fuel.

Colonial Pipeline shut down the line that pumps a million barrels of gas a day to North Carolina and five other Southern states. That's because of a leak that was discovered along the Alabama stretch on September 9.

Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory
File photo / WUNC

Republican Governor Pat McCrory has a slight 49 percent to 46 percent lead over Democratic challenger Roy Cooper in the latest Elon University poll.

Hunter Lewis
Courtesy of Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis grew up in a big family in North Carolina where gathering for meals was the centerpiece of the day.

He deepened his passion for food when he moved to New York to work in some of the top restaurants in the city. Eventually he merged his love of food with his journalism skills. He became food editor at Bon Appetit, then editor of Southern Living and now, editor of Cooking Light.

Youth Radio: The Triangle's Queens of Comedy

Sep 19, 2016
2016 Summer Reporter Institute interns Claire Goray, left, and Gayathri Raghavendra, right, on assignment.
WUNC

This story is part of WUNC's 2016 Youth Reporting Institute, an annual summer program that teaches young people how to tell stories about their community in their own voice.

Meet: Claire Goray
Age: 18

A map from NC State show “hot spots” denoting high concentrations of manganese in North Carolina well water.
NC State University

North Carolina State University researchers estimate that thousands of North Carolina residents and more than 1 million residents in the southeast have high levels of manganese  in their well water. Manganese is found naturally in soil, but studies have linked long-term exposure to health problems, including cancer and heart defects.

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

A third Republican lawmaker said the North Carolina General Assembly should call a special session to revise or repeal House Bill 2. 

Ken Rudin
kenrudinpolitics.com

  Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail after a health issue sidelined her for a few days.

And health becomes a key issue in the campaign. Donald Trump releases some of his medical details of the Dr. Oz show. 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest in political news.

Composite photo of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
U.S. Embassy and Gage Skidmore / flickr

This year, political uncertainty could dampen business investment even after the outcome of the election isn’t uncertain.

An image of gospel singer Liz Vice
Peter Dervin

Growing up in Portland, Ore., Liz Vice didn't envision herself being a gospel singing. She wanted to be in acting, and eventually landed a job as a producer for the program "Portlandia."

But after she started going to a church in her hometown, she became enthralled with gospel music through the church's worship team. She started singing with the group and eventually recorded a solo album called "There's A Light."

Carrboro Album Cover
Stan Lewis / Blood Shot Records

You may know Dex Romweber from his recent work with his sister in the Dex Romweber Duo. Maybe you first heard Dex in his early band the psycho-surf-rockabilly-garage-punk combo Flat Duo Jets. Or maybe you've heard Jack White, Neko Case, and Cat Power pay tribute to his music. 

Whatever the context, the Chapel Hill native continues to record and tour with his own brand of rock-n-roll mayhem. And, occasionally he records a solo album. The latest is called Carrboro.

North Carolina researchers uncovered this statue of Aphrodite while digging in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
Tom Parker / NC State University

Teams from North Carolina State University and East Carolina University were on a dig in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan this summer, looking for ceramics, coins, bones and other evidence of how the Nabatean people lived their lives there in the first four centuries A.D. 

N.C. State history professor Tom Parker said during an excavation of a second-century villa, the trench supervisor noticed what looked like two "butts" beginning to emerge from the sand.

A pair of Republican legislators are the first to break ranks with their General Assembly colleagues on the issue of House Bill 2.

Republican state senators Tamara Barringer of Wake County and Rick Gunn of Alamance County walked back their support for HB2 this week, issuing statements that call for consideration to repeal the contentious law.

A picture of a wallet with cash in it.
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

As a whole, median household incomes in North Carolina increased at a pace slower than the national average and middle of the pack compared to southern neighbors.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill last week for a short session before the November election. Their priorities include passing a spending bill to avert another government shutdown and coming up with a funding plan to fight the Zika virus. The pressure is on to adjourn the session quickly to allow embattled incumbents, like North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr, time to campaign in their home states.
 

An image of author Ron Rash
Ashley Jones / Clemson World

For 20 years, Ron Rash has been haunted by the murder of a young woman that took place near his home. Nobody was ever charged in the case. 

But over the years, Rash began to think about the two male college students who reportedly last saw her alive. This became the spark for his latest novel "The Risen" (Ecco/2016). The book tells the story of two brothers in Sylva, N.C. whose lives changed after they befriended a free-spirited young woman in the summer of 1969. 

Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent
Wikimedia

  NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for more than four decades.

In that time, she has seen a shift not only in the way the court conducts business, but also in the way individuals consume news about the court. 

Artis' defense attorney Sam Coleman (right) conferred with Orange County assistant district attorney Jeff Nieman regarding a court date.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The UNC football player accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student has a court date set for Sept. 29.

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