News

The Advocacy group Environment North Carolina is leading the charge to ban the use of single-use polystyrene, better known as styrofoam.
romana klee / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/r78ZQJ

Environmental activists are calling for a statewide ban on single-use polystyrene, better known as styrofoam. The plastic food and drink containers don’t biodegrade, and often end up in waterways and marine animals.

Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) addresses reporters Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in an effort to resurrect his school-safety legislation.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State Representative Larry Pittman said he thinks the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership is stifling his school-safety measure out of election-year fears.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

In less than one month, full-time state employees in North Carolina can expect a minimum wage boost to $15 per hour. It is one of the measures in the new state budget that was rushed through by Republican legislators last week in a process that did not allow amendments.

Courtesy of The Historic Magnolia House

The Magnolia House has a rich history in Greensboro. In the 1950s, it was one of the few places that welcomed African-Americans traveling between Richmond and Atlanta. Its guest list includes stars from Duke Ellington and Ike and Tina Turner to James Brown and heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.

Courtesy of Carol Cole

Carol Cole was a Southern girl who came of age in the 1960s and did what she felt was expected of her. She found a good doctor to marry, had children and spent her days taking care of other people’s needs. She took her first art class in the early ‘70s, and even though her mother told her she did not have an artistic bone in her body, Cole decided she wanted to be an artist.

Courtesy of Emily Stewart and Matty Sheets

Magpie Thief is a stripped down folk-duo featuring Greensboro-based singer-songwriters Emily Stewart and Matty Sheets. For Stewart and Sheets, the heat of summer inspires some of their most creative work. They escape the sun and cozy up indoors in cool living rooms. As this summer approaches, Stewart and Sheets are hoping to veer away from their raw and eclectic folk sound and experiment with other genres, including the blues.

Chandler White works on spelling words. White, 8, receives the Opportunity Scholarship voucher to attend a private school.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

A research team that studied the test results of students in the state’s largest voucher program say a far more rigorous evaluation of the program and its outcomes for students is needed.   

UNC System President Margaret Spellings in her office
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

UNC System President Margaret Spellings says the university is committed to promoting economic mobility and helping low-income North Carolinians to succeed.

Courtesy of Dr. Kimberly Johnson

Even though she grew up in a small, historically black community in Mississippi, Kimberly Johnson heard plenty of conversations about racism and discrimination.

Civilian contractor Terry Pullum of Evolving Resources Inc. gives young Marines their first hands-on lesson in flying the InstantEye quadcopter.
Jay Price / WUNC

One Marine in each rifle squad will be designated to fly small drones and run some of the Marines' expanding array of other digital devices.

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

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

FT. BRAGG STORIES: Remembering D-Day

Jun 3, 2018
Portrait of Kenneth "Rock" Merritt taken during World War II
Kenneth "Rock" Merritt

At 94, retired Command Sergeant Major Kenneth “Rock” Merritt is something of a living legend in the Fort Bragg community.

During World War II, Merritt was a young paratrooper with the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was one of thousands of soldiers who jumped into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

“The war into Normandy, I guess simply put, it was hell. That’s really what it was,” Merritt said.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval to its 2018-19 budget today, passing an adjusted $24 billion spending plan through a process that allowed for no input or amendments from Democrats.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Lawmakers engaged in some heated debate during budget week at the North Carolina General Assembly.

The conversation over education funding, local earmarks, and missed opportunities carries over into this week's review of politics.

Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting, Thursday, May 31, 2018, in New York.
Seth Wenig / AP Photo

The week kicked off with White House officials working overtime to save the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been photographed in New York enjoying dinner and drinks with the leader’s right hand man, Kim Yong-chol. Will the stepped up efforts save the summit?

Yusuf Salim, a dishwasher in the mosque restaurant and renowned jazz musician in Durham, organized a group for children called “the clean-up squad.” They cleaned up the neighborhood in return for food provided by the mosque and the community.
Courtesy of Jeff Ensminger

 The Museum of Durham History calls itself a museum without walls. It collaborates with the community to curate exhibits that reflect the area’s unique stories. So when educator Naomi Feaste walked in and suggested an exhibit on the local mosque, Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center,  curatorial consultant Katie Spencer was eager to get involved. Afterall, Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center was blocks from the museum and has been a staple for community members and local businesses for decades.

Phil Cook's album cover for "People Are My Drug."
Courtesy of Phil Cook

 Phil Cook moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin over a decade ago. Even though he is from the Midwest, Cook says he has always been a student of Southern music. He had romantic ideas about the South from a young age, even with no experience of the region.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly approved an adjusted budget with a final House vote today and will now send the $24 billion spending plan to Governor Roy Cooper.

Republicans touted the budget's increase in teacher pay, appropriation of $10 million to protect drinking water from emerging contaminants like GenX and a commitment of funds to improving prison safety.

A picture of Phil Cook
Josh Wool

Phil Cook likes to be busy. The Durham musician is a founding member of Megafaun and plays in Hiss Golden Messenger. He's also shared the stage with heroes Mavis Staples and John Prine. Now, Cook is releasing his second solo record.  

A drawing of Evelyn Nesbit.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Iconic model  and Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit had one of the most famous faces in America at the turn of the century. But for years, her life was controlled by two men who would ruin themselves in their pursuit of her. In the latest episode of the Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge reveals what happens to Nesbit and how her legacy has endured 100 years later.

Criminal is recorded in the studios of WUNC.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

For many students with disabilities, going to the movie theater can be a scary experience. The blaring sounds and contrast of bright lights in a pitch-black room can be overstimulating for children with sensory-related disabilities like autism. So many theaters now offer occasional, "sensory-friendly" film screenings to make movie-going easier for all kids.

Dr. William Roper will step down from his positions as CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of UNC School of Medicine in 2019.
UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. William Roper announced he will step down.

Roper, who also serves as the dean of the UNC School of Medicine, plans to stay on for another year. He will leave in May of 2019, according to UNC officials.

File photo of a mobile home park.
Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/9NbMTp

Fayetteville building code officers have finished a sweep of the city's 75 mobile home parks.

During six months, inspectors turned up nearly 700 violations, according to Michael Martin, of the Development Services Department.

The inside of a cell at central prison.
Courtesy of Rose Hoban

Is the North Carolina Department of Public Safety breaking its own rules? A 2016 policy change prohibits inmates with mental health issues from being held in solitary confinement for more than 30 days. So why was Devon Davis, who is developmentally delayed and has mental illness, kept in solitary for more than five months last year?

Poster image of art of Monét Noelle Marshall stuffing money in her mouth.
Derrick Beasley

Artist Monét Noelle Marshall has been working intensely on a new three-part performance art project: “Buy It Call It.” It explores the price people put on their bodies and souls and how capitalism uniquely impacts women and people of color.

In 'Gone Dollywood: Dolly Parton's Mountain Dream' author Graham Hoppe explores how the country-music star's theme-park is reclaiming Appalachian narratives and uplifting the community.
Courtesy of Graham Hoppe

Dollywood is Dolly Parton’s mountain, dream theme park in Sevier County, Tennessee. On the surface, the concept conjures up images of a kitchy and over-the-top Appalachian amusement park. But a new book by writer and folklorist Graham Hoppe looks behind a narrative of Appalachian stereotypes and reveals a place that has served and nourished a community and family for years.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The state Senate on Thursday debated a controversial bill to allow four local governments to create their own charter schools. The bill applies to the towns of Cornelius, Matthews, Huntersville and Mint Hill - and as a local bill is not subject to veto.

Kathy Kmonicek / AP

As remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto spread into the Great Lakes region, people were keeping a weary watch on dams and hillsides Thursday as rains from the storms have triggered floods and mudslides in the Appalachians of the Southeast.

File photo of pre-school children in a classroom.
KOMUnews / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/7Ly92L

As state lawmakers work to quickly approve a budget, some children’s advocates are shining light on what they call a major missed opportunity for childhood development.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Guilford County Schools will be the second school system in the nation to have an Urdu-English dual language program. The program will also be the first in North Carolina.

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