News

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

State lawmakers have advanced a measure that would remove some judicial appointment powers from Gov. Roy Cooper.

They also continued touting a bill that would change opiate prescription guidelines and proposed, yet again, to send 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds who are alleged to have committed nonviolent crimes to juvenile courts instead of being tried as adults.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about this week’s activity at the legislature.

Courtesy Rob Dunn

The banana is always in season and always available at the grocery store. A new book explores how the prevalence of the popular fruit is a model for the dangers of a food system that is increasingly dependent on fewer food staples.

“Never Out Of Season” (Little, Brown, and Company/2017) by biologist Rob Dunn, a professor in the department of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, walks readers through the precarious corporate food system and explains how diversity is crucial to crop survival.
 

An image of James Phillips, Stacy Harden and Daniel Michalak of Bombadil
DL Anderson

A few years ago, Durham-based indie-folk band Bombadil decided to do some soul searching. After one of the band members left the group, the rest of the band decided to take a step back and find a new direction. The group eventually picked up new bandmate and worked with a data scientist to create “the perfect Bombadil song.” The band’s new style guides its latest album “Fences.”
 

Drew Gintis and his dog
Photo Courtesy of Marsha Gintis

Drew Gintis was a teenager when he started wrestling at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh.

And he loved it, even though he lost every match his freshman year, said his mother, Marsha Gintis.

“[He] worked so hard and by his junior year he had a 21 and 2 record,” she said. “His dream was to go to states.”

AP Photo/Alex Sanz

UPDATED 12:11 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 10

 

North Carolina district attorney David Learner said Friday that two assistant district attorneys no longer work for his office.

 

Learner’s statement is in response to an investigation by the Associated Press that reported prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back helped derail criminal investigations into allegations of abuse by church leaders of the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

 

Courtesy Danielle Purifoy

Lawyer and environmentalist Danielle Purifoy and artist Torkwase Dyson loaded up art supplies and media equipment in a mobile art studio and traveled to North Carolina and Alabama to meet people who live in the shadows of structural racism. The documentary project “In Conditions of Fresh Water” focuses on how residents of some communities in Alamance County, North Carolina, and Lowndes County, Alabama lack access to adequate sanitation infrastructure.

Courtesy of the Artists

Indian immigrants have been been settling in North Carolina for decades. Today there are an estimated 100,000 Indian immigrants who call North Carolina home, and a large concentration of those individuals live in the Research Triangle.

 

a young man holding a pride flag
Emma / Flickr, Creative Commons

LGBTQ people face a high risk of physical and sexual violence and harassment, according to Triangle-based nonprofit research institute RTI International.

East Chapel Hill High School students organized a bake sale on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

If this was a typical Wednesday afternoon, Leah Steiner would be in her AP Art History class at East Chapel Hill High School. But after a friend told her about “A Day Without A Woman,” she decided to do something different.

A picture of an empty classroom.
f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / Flickr

Today is International Women's Day, and women across the United States are participating in a mass strike called, “A Day Without a Woman.” The organizers behind the historic Women’s March on Washington that came in that wake of President Trump’s inauguration are behind the mass protest. They called on women to not attend work, not to shop, and if unable to do either of those, to wear red in solidarity. 

United Nations Photo

“Seven” is a documentary-style stage production that tells the stories of seven women who have made positive change in their countries.

The show features the true stories ranging from a woman in Pakistan who champions education for girls in disadvantaged areas to a woman in Russia who created the first domestic violence hotline in her country.

A book cover
Princeton University Press

Since the beginning of a capitalist economy in the United States, business endeavors have been fraught with examples of fraud and deceit. In his new book, “Fraud: An American History From Barnum to Madoff” (Princeton University Press/2017), Edward Balleisen chronicles the history of fraud in the U.S., from mail-order scams in the 19th century to examples of corporate fraud in the late 20th and early 21st century. 

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina plaintiffs fighting House Bill 2 in federal court face more legal uncertainty after Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez / U.S. Marine Corps

The Department of Defense has launched an investigation after the non-profit news organization The War Horse broke a story about Marines spreading nude photos of female service members online. The report says Marines used a closed Facebook page to post links to explicit photos of the women with their ranks, names, and military stations of duty.

‘Stained-Glass Millennials:’ Keeping The Faith In A New Era

Mar 7, 2017
Jessi Lancaster

Millennials are the least likely to go to church and less religiously oriented than generations before them. It’s a statistic that has been repeated often in recent years to explain the drop in attendance at Christian churches across the country.

But Rob Lee, a Methodist millennial, says that the faithful in his generation have been lost in that narrative.

Ben Vereen
Courtesy of Isak Tiner

Ben Vereen made a name for himself on Broadway in the late 1960s with performances in hit productions like “Sweet Charity” and “Hair.” He later won a Tony award in 1973 for his role in “Pippin.” Since then, he has also acted in more than a dozen television shows, including the 1977 hit miniseries “Roots.”
 

In his one-man show “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen,” Vereen performs hit songs from Broadway and pays tribute to iconic performers Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.

Michael Regan (left) is introduced by Governor Roy Cooper as his nominee to be the next Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Michael Regan developed a love of the environment as a child. He grew up in Goldsboro, but spent a lot of time on a family farm down east in Bladen County.

"Hunting and fishing and bonding with my father and grandfather," Regan said.

Protesters at RDU Airport demonstrate against President Donald Trump's temporary freeze on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

President Trump has signed a revised executive order, once again barring travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.

Right: MRI of a baby at 6 months who was diagnosed with autism at 2 years. The dark space between the brain folds and skull indicate increased amounts of cerebrospinal fluid. Left: MRI of a baby who was not diagnosed with autism at age 2.
UNC School of Medicine

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill might have found an early predictor of autism in infants.

An image of the gospel singer Mary D. Williams
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

When Mary D. Williams was a kid growing up in Garner, North Carolina, she often visited her grandparents in Johnston County. She remembers passing a sign that said, “You are in the heart of Klan country” along the way. The sign was a visible example of the racism her grandparents endured in rural North Carolina.

A screenshot from a cell phone video taken at Wake Forest High School shows an altercation between a black and a white student.
YouTube / VIRAL NET

A video of an altercation between a white student and black student at Wake Forest High School has been shared more than 6,000 times on Twitter and viewed more than 6,000 times on Instagram.

Kaia Kater
Polina Mourzina

The birth of the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering at Appalachian State University has become the stuff of folk music legend. “Of course it was an academic event,” Dom Flemons notes of the conference, “but it was also based on the idea of confirming that you weren’t the only one out there.” Once launched, the Drops’ music spread like wildfire. With it emerged a new public appreciation of the African American roots of old-time, bluegrass, and country music.

A picture of Sarah Shook
disarmers.com

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Sarah Shook of Sarah Shook & The Disarmers about her song 'Dwight Yoakam' from the album Sidelong.

Shook says 'Dwight Yoakam' is a song of irony. It tells the tale of a person being left behind not for a famous person, but for someone who can sing like a famous person.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in North Carolina politics, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper introduced his budget proposal. It recommends 5.1 percent growth in state spending; raises for teachers, principals and state employees; and calls on the Legislature to expand Medicaid.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Today on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Governor Roy Cooper's budget proposal, a bright red coat, more HB2 bluster and a surprise visit to the press room at the State Legislature.

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