News

Durham, Black Banking, Cicely Mitchell, Art of Cool
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

From Atlanta to Chicago, black-owned banks in big cities across the country have reported a rise in new accounts during the past month. One of the oldest black-owned banks in the country is based in Durham, where bank officials report a rise in new accounts and in a new movement to keep the momentum going.

Photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Ken Thomas / Wikipedia

For a century the National Park Service has established and preserved parks, seashores and memorials across the country. Sites range from Yellowstone National Park to the César E. Chávez National Monument.

In 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both partially located in North Carolina, were two of the top three most visited sites in the National Park system.

However, growing concerns about climate change and big maintenance bills threaten preservation efforts.

"The Physics of Life" by Adrian Bejan
Adrian Bejan

What is life and its meaning?

That question has perplexed philosophers and other theoretical scientists for centuries.

They have sought both spiritual and intellectual guidance to come up with intricate conclusions for what it means to be alive.

But mechanical engineer Adrian Bejan says there is a much simpler conclusion: physics.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's class of 2016 had an average score of 19.1 on the ACT, slightly higher than the class of 2015's average score of 19.0 The average score has increased slowly, but steadily since all students began taking the test in 2013. But it remains below the national average of 20.8.

Campbell University
Campbell University

Campbell University opened its doors to two new schools this week, welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

For the next episode of "Movies on the Radio," The State of Things is asking, what is your favorite movie about politics? 

Do you like the classics, such as “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” or "The Manchurian Candidate?"  Did you enjoy Julianne Moore’s performance as Sarah Palin in “Game Change” or were you charmed by Kevin Kline in the rom-com "Dave?"   Film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes will examine how movies depict politicians and government and discuss memorable scenes from political movies through the ages.

Triangle-Area Universities Welcome Class Of 2020

Aug 24, 2016
North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

College students are back in the Triangle. UNC-Chapel Hill begins classes this week and the class of 2020 is settling in at Duke.

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and environmental groups are raising concerns over a new effort on campus created by the General Assembly.

Family Of Earth

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of Wilma Dykeman
Jim Stokely

Wilma Dykeman published 18 books in her lifetime, including meditations on environmental conservation, race, birth control and chemically-altered food. She addressed many of these issues long before they were hot topics in public discourse.

In her first book, "The French Broad," (Rinehart, 1955) she became one of the first writers to argue that clean water could be an economic development tool.

Photo of Samuel Buell
Duke Law School - Duke Photography

In 2001, Enron Corporation, which was once the sixth-largest energy company in the world, filed for bankruptcy.

It has since become one of the most notorious examples of accounting fraud and corporate crime. However, incidents of corporate crime persisted after the Enron scandal and led to further economic turmoil in the 2008 financial crisis.

American Underground
www.americanunderground.com

African-American startup companies are vying for a coveted spot in Durham's Black Founders event.

Durham-based American Underground, along with the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program, is organizing the week-long event later this year as a way to encourage diverse business startups, according to Jessica Averhart, American Underground's Director of Corporate Partnerships. 

LaVare Leith Foundation

 

An organization in Durham is running what is believed to be the only sober living center for LGBT people in the South. 

LaVare's House, which was established by the LaVare Leith Foundation in 2014, has nine beds for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."
Courtesy of All Eyes Media / http://alleyesmedia.com/clients/bj-barham/

Fans of Raleigh-based American Aquarium are in for a treat as lead singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."

Newly hired teachers and staff attend an orientation for Wake County Public Schools. Wake County teachers make more than most teachers in North Carolina.
Jess Clark / WUNC

School districts across the state say they have somewhat fewer teacher vacancies going into this school year than they did in 2015. But  many students will still have substitutes for the first weeks of school.

St. Francis' satyr butterly
Jay Price / WUNC

The U.S. military has joined forces with environmental groups to preserve natural habitats. More than 400 threatened and endangered species are benefiting, and so is the Pentagon. 

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.

John Paul White
Allister Ann / Sacks and Co.

John Paul White was one half of the four-time Grammy winning duo The Civil Wars.  Since finishing with that band, he has founded a record label, built a studio and collaborated with artists including Jason Isbell, Roseanne Cash and Emmylou Harris. 

When he paused long enough to write some songs, his new solo recording Beulah was born.

Southern Season, Food, Gourmet Food, Chapel Hill
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Chapel Hill-based gourmet food retailer Southern Season was auctioned off today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greensboro, before Judge Benjamin Kahn. 

Calvert Retail of Delaware acquired specific assets of Southern Season stores for $3.5 million.  The acquisition includes all of Southern Season's intellectual property, its website and the Chapel Hill store.

Today is a special edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast. After 13 episodes of insightful, deep dives into the North Carolina political landscape, we've decided to branch out. We've invited someone who is not on the WUNC staff to join the podcast.

a photo of an aedes aegypi mosquito
James Gathany / Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers say practicing safe sex is now even more important, as the Zika virus continues to spread.

Thirty-three people in North Carolina have been infected with Zika as of August 12 after traveling to high-risk areas, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Actors from Raleigh Little Theatre's "Memphis"
Curtis Brown

Dewey Phillips made history in the 1950s as one of the first white radio disc jockeys to play music by black artists. He was opinionated, eclectic, and gained notoriety for being the first DJ to play Elvis Presley’s music on the radio.

After listening to Yarn's Americana music, one might assume the band hails from the South, but the group actually got its start in Brooklyn, NY. Yet it has stayed true to Southern aesthetics heard in the music of country icons like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

Even though half of the quartet now lives in Raleigh, the band continues to tour the country and record albums. Yarn's latest album is called "This Is The Year."

NC State Awarded Grant For New Plant Sciences Initiative

Aug 19, 2016
Artist rendering of the new plant sciences building
NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded a $45 million grant to NC State to help the university build a new plant sciences building. Along with other contributions, the grant gets the university closer to the $160 million cost of construction.

Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory
File photo / WUNC

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper outlined their economic visions today to a room full of business leaders in Pinehurst.

classroom
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County school board members have made some creative cuts to fill a $17.5 million budget gap.

Board members approved a 2016-2017 operating budget this week that they say manages to avoid any layoffs, but reduces air conditioning usage slightly, cuts the number of days schools are swept and vacuumed and increases class sizes.

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