News

Robert Plant
Ed Miles

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.

This time, Eric Hodge chats with rock icon Robert Plant about the title track of his latest solo record, Carry Fire. It's a dramatic sounding song, and Plant says the idea for it began as a fragment of music he heard during a practice session.

Listen to the episode here:

A drawing by Julienne Alexander
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

In the 1950's, men and women in the military across America were given dishonorable discharges after being outed as gay. It was called the Lavender Scare.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The fate of a proposal allowing North Carolina-based nonprofit organizations to offer health benefit plans not subject to state insurance regulations is uncertain because House lawmakers wouldn't agree to the Senate idea out of hand.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

A Raleigh mother is raising money to open a high school in Wake County designed specifically for students overcoming addiction.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

It's been a frenetic week at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Legislators have had multiple late nights of deliberations as they work to end the short session by the end of the month. Among a cluttered list of issues are rape kits, individual property rights, and even raw milk.

Lauren Horsch of the NC Insider joins WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii to discuss a range of topics on the latest episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast.

Thom Tillis
www.thomtillis.com

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina says Congress should find ways to close gaps in health insurance coverage after sharing his own experience with mental illness.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Republican lawmakers are looking again at changing the rules on early voting, a popular idea which has prompted legal action.

Courtesy of Franco Ordoñez

In an attempt to regulate unaccompanied children who cross the border, the Trump administration is considering detaining them in tent cities. In an exclusive by Franco Ordoñez of McClatchy, there are reports that the Department of Health and Human Services is scouting locations at military bases in Texas that will house up to 5,000 migrant children.

Courtesy of Omid Safi

As a prominent Islamic scholar, Omid Safi has written often in defense of the breadth and nuance of Islam. But for his latest book, Safi hones in on the idea of love, and how mystic Islamic poets interpreted the theme.

Courtesy of Hari Jones

Historian Hari Jones says there were no losers in the Civil War. Instead the war formed a more perfect union by securing freedom for millions of Americans.

Pittsboro courthouse
1nativeTexan / flickr

Pittsboro has passed zoning protections for its historic district as the town prepares for rapid growth.  

Commissioners unanimously passed an overlay district for the downtown area. The new rules restrict certain businesses from moving in. It comes as crews build a development called Chatham Park. The project will eventually add up to 60,000 residents to Pittsboro, which currently has a population of less than 5,000. 

Noah Gundersen explores big themes like religion, relationships and our culture's need to have it all in his latest recording, “White Noise.”
Courtesy of Charlie Shuck

Noah Gundersen’s latest recording is called  “White Noise.”  The Seattle-based singer-songwriter is exploring big themes like religion, relationships and our culture's need to have it all.  

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

An omnibus education bill titled "Various Changes to Education Laws" emerged from a legislative committee Wednesday. Senators added a number of provisions to an existing bill that was originally only about cursive writing, multiplication tables and advanced math classes.

A sign in front of West Lumberton Elementary, the only Robeson County school that remains closed a year after Hurricane Matthew. The storm dumped about three feet of standing water into the building, and destroyed many of its students' homes.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

A Robeson County elementary school damaged by Hurricane Matthew will close for good. The decision came after a group of parents pleaded to keep it open.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Last week North Carolina state legislators filed a proposal that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the state’s constitutional qualifications to vote. Voters won’t necessarily see more details before deciding on the proposed constitutional amendment. Lawmakers would add those details later in a separate bill.

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

While incarcerated it is a constitutional right for inmates to receive medical care. But what happens when inmates are released and no longer have access to health services? The reality is they often go without medication or treatment. Considering prisons have become the largest mental healthcare providers in America, it is in the interest of public safety to remedy that gap in coverage.

a picture of Southernmost, Silas House's new novel
Courtesy of Silas House

In his latest novel, Silas House examines what it is like to fundamentally disagree with the people you love. “Southernmost” (Algonquin Books/2018) centers on an evangelical preacher, Asher Sharp, who takes in two gay men after a devastating flood in their small Tennessee town.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

A non-profit advocacy group says children whose parents have a history of substance abuse are entering foster care at a higher rate. 

A protest sign brought by Rebekah Cain Saenz sits on a platform in front of Chemours' President of Flouroproducts Paul Kirsch during a community meeting hosted by the chemical company Chemours at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, N.C. on Tue
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A year after news broke that Chemours had been releasing unregulated, industrial compounds into the Cape Fear River for decades, the company ended its silence with a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

Recycling bin.
Town of Chapel Hill

You mean well, and want to help the environment. But have you ever tossed a plastic bag in your blue curbside recycling bin? Or a styrofoam container? You might be part of the reason America has such a lousy reputation for recycling.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would allow law enforcement to have access to a statewide database of prescribed controlled substances. This is the latest move by the legislature to help curb the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

The North Carolina Supreme Court released a ruling Friday over who is in charge of running the state’s public schools: the State Schools Superintendent or the State Board of Education. After the decision was unveiled, both sides claimed victory.

A floating home on the Fontana Lake in North Carolina.
Tim Robison, courtesy of Our State Magazine

In its first season, the “Away Message” podcast from Our State Magazine focused on remote places in the state. For its newly-released second season, the podcast explores lost or forgotten stories in North Carolina’s history.

Courtesy of Dr. Steve Chaney

Can a healthy diet be high in meat protein and low in carbohydrates? Are diet sodas really healthier? Is the gluten-free diet the answer to health problems?

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina General Assembly Republicans completed the override Tuesday of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of their state budget legislation for the second year in a row.

Duke researchers say bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide up to 20 years later.
John Steven Fernandez via Flickr / flickr.com

Suicide rates have been rising consistently across the country, but the Centers for Disease Control says North Carolina's rate of increase is slower than other states. 

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

By the time presidential candidates start descending on North Carolina in 2020, voters may be required to show a photo identification before voting. State legislators filed a proposal last week that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the current qualifications to vote.

A picture of curbside recycling carts in Durham.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia

Recycling is becoming more popular across North Carolina, and Dare County recycles the most household paper and container materials per-capita in the state.

Courtesy of Nicole Zelniker

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest. As Dery says, she never did well in boxes.

File photo of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station.
rowensphotography / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/66Gxr8

Nuclear reactors could eventually be largely controlled by artificial intelligence.  

The nuclear engineering department at N.C. State University has received a $3 million federal grant to study AI in nuclear power plants. 

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