The State of Things
11:37 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Child Labor In North Carolina Tobacco Fields

Tobacco harvest in North Carolina
Jim Dollar/Flickr

An expert panel discusses Child Labor in North Carolina tobacco fields

Federal law permits children to work in agriculture from younger ages and for longer hours than any other industry.

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Health
8:39 am
Wed June 25, 2014

In Case Of Emergency: Dare County Visitors Told To Remember Their Addresses

Dare County officials want tourists to know their vacation addresses. If they need to call 911, they'll be able to tell first responders where to find them.
Credit Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

The Dare County Sheriff's Office is encouraging visitors to the Outer Banks to know exactly where they are in case of an emergency. Cell phones sometimes share inaccurate or incomplete location data with 911 dispatch, so knowing your street address can make it easier for help to find you.

Assistant Director Lora Nock said the 911 Center handles twice as many calls in the summer months as it does in the off-season.

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Politics & Government
8:32 am
Wed June 25, 2014

NC Senate Tentatively Approves Plan To Close Duke Energy Coal Ash Ponds Within 15 Years

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Credit Riverkeeper Foundation

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a plan to close Duke Energy’s 33 coal ash ponds within 15 years.

The plan prioritizes four ponds that Republican lawmakers say are the biggest contamination threats. Duke would have to dig out all the ash and take it to dry storage.

Some Democrats want more ponds to be made high priority.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Send A Picture Of Whatever To Mars For $1

Credit Eric Mennel

My dog. Hands down - that's the picture I'm sending to Mars. No questions asked.

There's a group of students at Duke who are trying to give me the opportunity for about $1. Time Capsule To Mars is a several-years-long project that is crowdfunding to cover much of the cost of sending a satellite time capsule to the Red Planet.

For now, they're accepting picture uploads. But they plan to expand all sorts of media.

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Education
6:47 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

State Lawmakers Begin Budget Negotiations With Looming Deadline

Credit Dave DeWitt

Senate and House leaders are expected to begin meeting in conference committees this week to make adjustments to the two-year budget plan. 

They have until June 30th to resolve differences and send their spending plan to Governor Pat McCrory.

Medicaid funding and teacher pay raises are expected to be the key sticking points in negotiations. But many Republicans, like Representative Craig Horn (R-Union), say they’re optimistic about the process.

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Politics & Government
5:33 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Lawmakers Honor Late Senator, Advance Other Measures

Credit creative commons

A number of measures advanced today in the General Assembly, including a resolution that passed honoring the late Democratic Senator Martin Nesbitt, who died earlier this year.

Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate praised the late senator, who was from Asheville. Nesbitt died suddenly after being diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this year. He was respected on both sides of the aisle and was known as a strong advocate for education.

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Arts & Culture
4:47 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Paul McCartney Headed to Greensboro, NC

Paul McCartney
Credit The artist

Jonesing for tickets to Paul McCartney's 'The Out There' tour? He's just announced that he's headed to the Tar Heel state.  The tour will stop at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina October 30.

The legendary rocker has been ill with a viral infection, but he released a video message today saying that he's feeling better and he's ready to rock. He even plays a (slightly awkward) air guitar.

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Business & Economy
2:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

[VIDEO] Alamance County Dairy Farmer Has Innovative Idea That Might Save Farm

Ran-Lew Dairy bottles milk on the farm. They are the 6th in the state to do so.
Mike Oniffrey

Randy Lewis almost lost the family dairy farm in 2009. The price of milk had bottomed out, and costs for feed, fertilizer and fuel had gone sky-high.

"It was either find some other way to make money or sell the cows and quit," he says.

But Randy had an idea that might just save the farm. He's bottling milk right on-site. Of the 150 dairy farmers in the state, only five bottle their own milk. And Randy's figured out how to do it without shelling out a lot of money.

Watch the story here:

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The State of Things
12:26 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Air Quality Shapes Public Health

Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke professor Dr. H. Kim Lyerly and News & Observer reporter Sarah Wheeler talk about Air Quality

  

Stronger emission controls in North Carolina are closely associated with declining death rates from respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, according to a Duke University study released this week. 

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The State of Things
12:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

The Ethics of Torture

Christian ethicist David Gushee
Credit theology.mercer.edu

A conversation about the ethics of torture with professor David Gushee

Many have criticized the American government's use of torture since 9/11 including military experts who say it it is ineffective. But for Christian ethicist David Gushee, the very question of effectiveness is a degrading one. He believes the usefulness of a behavior does not affect its morality. 

Gushee is part of the non-governmental, bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, convened by the Constitution Project. Gushee speaks tonight at 7pm at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. A declassified report on CIA torture is expected to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later this summer. 

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