Richard Neal

Hurricane Matthew continues to roar up the eastern seaboard. It will come closest to North Carolina sometime overnight Saturday and into Sunday.

Obama speaking in Mooresville, NC.
The White House

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, we head back eight years ago – almost to the day – when then-Senator Barack Obama held a political rally in Greensboro.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

Vice-presidential candidates Mike Pence and Tim Kaine sparred earlier this week in their only debate of the season.

What did their interactions demonstrate about both campaigns, and how do the vice presidential candidates affect the race? And in the state's gubernatorial race, ad spending reaches new highs. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest. 

A drawing of a brain scan.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from a woman who learned that her mother had stolen her identity, ruined her credit and never came clean. Axton Betz-Hamilton now suspects that her mother was a psychopath. In this week's episode, several experts explain what it really means to be a psychopath. 

Worst. President. Ever.
Lyons Press, 2016

 With just a month to the election, both sides are on the attack, highlighting the shortcomings of their opposition.

Accusations fly as Clinton and Trump vie for the highest office in the country.

But as voters assess who should lead modern America, author Robert Strauss takes a look back at the nation's 15th president, James Buchanan. Strauss traces Buchanan's presidency and declares him the worst president ever. Host Frank Stasio talks with Strauss about his book,"Worst. President. Ever." (Lyons Press/2016). 

Jim McKelvey

The Piedmont Melody Makers has been jamming together formally and informally for years. The band is a who’s who of North Carolina old time and bluegrass musicians, and in the past year they decided to formalize their musical union and record an official album. “Wonderful World Outside” is a 16-track record with a blend of original tunes and covers.


Michael Rank (right) with Heather McEntire
Andy Tennille

Michael Rank has released his sixth record in about four years. Being that prolific can lead to self-indulgence, but not this time. Red Hand contains nine taut songs of what has been called outlaw folk, damaged country and backwoods Americana. Whatever you call it, it comes with duet vocals from Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire on every song.

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian poet and human rights activist living in London. Her poem, “We Teach Life, Sir,” is powerful and poignant reminder of the human condition in conflict. 

On this bonus episode of Stories with a Heartbeat, host Will McInerney reflects on some of the stories from our past episodes covering the Chapel Hill Shooting in season 1. Rafeef's beautiful and moving poetry is emblematic of the legacy and the lasting message of life that Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha, and Razan Abu Salha left behind. Listen to Rafeef's poem with the link below. 

Jonathan Tommy

Is your family more Focker or Corleone? For the next Movies on the Radio, The State of Things is asking, “What’s your favorite movie about families?” Whether functional or dysfunctional, biological, adopted or chosen...heartwarming, funny or dark… we want to know which films capture what family means to you. Send an email to or tweet #sotmovie. 

An image of a memorial to Ash Haffner, who died by suicide in 2015

The youth suicide rate has increased in North Carolina since the start of the decade. Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults between ages 15 and 19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Meanwhile, LGBT youth are twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers. Organizations including the Child Fatality Task Force and the Wake County Public School System have offered policy recommendations and programs to prevent the rising teenage suicide rate.

Courtesy of Zanele Muholi

In 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. While social justice activists around the world saw this event as a tremendous victory, the country was still in a lot of turmoil. Homophobic hate crimes and violence were on the rise, and many individuals reported being subject to “curative rape,” a hate crime in which someone is raped to “cure” them of their sexual identity.

An image of peace activists Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger
Courtesy of Hanan Schlesinger

Even though Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger has lived in the West Bank for 33 years, he had never spent much time with a Palestinian. That was before he met Ali Abu Awwad. Schlesinger lived in the area with for decades seeing Palestinians as an invisible "other." 

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences / UNC IMS

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center forecasts that Hurricane Matthew will track more eastwardly than initially thought. If that holds, the storm will still bring wind and rain to the coast, but it would dramatically reduce the storm surge in the sounds that frequently causes the most damage.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

Whether it is a scathing satire or a chilling suspense film, plotlines about politics and the political process make for great drama. For this month’s edition of Movies on the Radio, listeners draw parallels between their favorite political movies and the current election season.

FACT CHECK: Vice Presidential Debate

Oct 4, 2016
An official stands on stage during preparations for the vice-presidential debate between Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine in at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
Patrick Semansky / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence squared off tonight for the first – and only — vice presidential debate. NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, annotated the debate live.

Durham County Jail
Laura Candler

The Durham County Sheriff's office has received more than $275,000 in federal and local funding to improve mental health services for inmates at the Durham County Detention Facility.


First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Charlotte and Raleigh on Tuesday.

An image of an empty hospital bed
Public domain

Thousands of Medicaid recipients across North Carolina are being denied government-assisted funding for personal-care services. In April 2015, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Medical Assistance changed the requirements for personal-care eligibility.

Image of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian writer and journalist best known for popularizing the form of magical realism. His work blends the fantastical with the real and political, and there is no better example of this than his seminal novel “100 Years Of Solitude” (Harper And Row/ 1970). The book is considered by many to be the most influential piece of Spanish fiction since “Don Quixote.”

Breakwater Studios

Rwanda & Juliet: In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet asks: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The oft-quoted passage takes on new meaning in a production of Romeo and Juliet staged in Rwanda with both Hutu and Tutsi victims of the 1994 genocide. The documentary film “Rwanda & Juliet” follows the production of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy in Kigali, Rwanda in the spring of 2013.

Julian Abele, Duke University, Race, Architect, Duke Quad
Courtesy of Duke University

Thousands of faculty, staff, students, alumni and family members walked across Duke University's West Campus over the weekend during Duke’s homecoming.

Just days ago, Duke's Main Quad was officially named in honor of the African-American architect who designed the buildings making up the quad.

While still a very young person, Martin Fisher fell in love with a very old machine. It was Christmas in Tennessee, and Martin's parents kept pestering him to submit his list. Martin remembers that his quirky, nine-year-old self wasn't all that interested in gifts. But his parents persisted, and Martin came up with a response: "I finally said, 'Ok. I'm gonna call their bluff.' And I said, 'have the elves hook up a cylinder player.'"

The old well at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Tim Schleicher / flickr, Creative Commons

After years of rapid growth, endowments for both Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill took a hit last year.

World of Bluegrass festival performers
Evan Millican / WUNC

The World of Bluegrass held its annual StreetFest in downtown Raleigh last week.

The event included hundreds of offerings for bluegrass professionals and music aficionados -- and plenty of banjos and fiddles.

Palm trees sway in high gusts of wind, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Vero Beach, Fla. Hurricane Matthew continues to make a path for Florida's east coast from the Bahamas.
Lynne Sladky / The Associated Press

Update 2:15 p.m. Friday, 10/7/16

The eye of Hurricane Matthew is now expected to come closer to the North Carolina coast than forecasters predicted. In a press conference Friday, New Hanover County Director of Emergency Management Warren Lee warned the county's coastal residents to move inland.