The State of Things
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Film Captures Transitory Nature Of Art And Life

James Grashow's "Corrugated Fountain
Credit floatingstone.com

A conversation with documentary filmmaker Olympia Stone

Olympia Stone is a documentary filmmaker in North Carolina, but she extended her reach to New York to capture the story of James Grashow. He is an artist known for his use of odd implements like chicken wire and paper mache.

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Politics & Government
7:21 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Durham Makes Move To Buy Property Near Polluted Falls Lake

Falls Lake as seen from above Durham County.
Credit Travis S / Flickr

Durham County Commissioners have approved a plan to buy 260 acres of land near Falls Lake.  The board voted 3-2 this week to purchase the property in east Durham for $650,000.

Commissioner Ellen Reckhow says the deal will allow Durham County to comply with a state mandate that says all local governments in the Falls Lake watershed must help clean up the polluted lake.

"It has Falls Lake frontage and so many creeks and streams such that 93 percent of the acreage is within 300 feet of water," Reckhow said during this week's meeting.

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Business & Economy
7:09 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Help Wanted: Immigrants To Work NC Farms

Tobacco crop at Strickland Farms in Sampson County.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Leoneda Inge reports on the newly released NC Farm Bureau Agriculture Workforce Report.

A new survey shows farmers across North Carolina are worried about the agricultural workforce shortage.  And they want Immigration Reform to help fix it.  More than 600 farmers filled out the Agricultural Workforce survey spear-headed by the North Carolina Farm Bureau.  Faylene Whitaker of Whitaker Farms in Climax, NC, filled one out.

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Education
7:08 am
Thu February 28, 2013

A (Text) Message 2 Die 4? Educating Young Drivers

This scene included a staged wreck, first responders, the Jaws of Life and students acting as victims.
Jeff Tiberii

On a crisp February afternoon, students watched as a fictitious emergency scene played out at Western Guilford High School. Several hundred students sat in bleachers and watched the staged horror of a car accident in the school parking lot. The program, called “message 2 die 4” was an effort between the school, local law enforcement and some Greensboro businesses. It was designed at educating teen drivers about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.

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Politics & Government
10:30 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

House Committee Changes Commissions Bill

House lawmakers have substantially rewritten a controversial bill that would revamp and eliminate many state commissions. The Senate's version of S-B 10 would have cleared out the membership of the Utilities, Industrial, Coastal Resources and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. And it would have eliminated 12 special Superior Court judge positions. But on Wednesday, a House Committee made some big changes to its version of the bill.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. Heâââ

The State of Things
11:17 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Exploring Gaps In America's Food System From The Farm To The Table

Black farmers protest at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 1997. Protesters alleged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) denied black farmers equal access to farm loans and assistance based on their race. North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford and 400 other black farmers filed the Pigford v. Glickman (Pigford I) class-action lawsuit against USDA in 1997. The USDA settled Pigford I in 1999.
Credit USDA photo by Anson Eaglin / flickr

A panel of experts discuss food justice

Starvation is often considered a problem distant from the American experience. But for many United States citizens, hunger is a way of life. And many of them live right here in North Carolinians.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 636,000 households in the state have been labeled “food insecure” within the past year. This means that over 17 percent of our families lack consistent access to nutritious food. Families hit hardest by food insecurity are Black, Latino and homes led by single mothers.

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The Story
9:10 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Return To Fuling, China

Peter Hessler
Credit HarperCollins

When Peter Hessler first arrived in the remote Chinese river town of Fuling, the only way to get there was by boat. There was only one other foreigner living in town, and a trip to the market could cause a sensation among the people as they had almost never seen non Chinese visitors. It was 1996, and Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps teacher and stayed two years. Recently, he went back for a visit to explore the changes that the Three Gorges Dam has made in Fuling. Much of the old city is under water, but there are ways to glimpse the past.

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Business & Economy
8:14 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Progress Reaches Tentative Deal To Cut Rate Hikes

Progress Energy has reached a tentative deal with the Public Staff on the state Utilities Commission to reduce its request for a rate increase.  The agreement allows a 4.7 percent increase in June, then raises that to 5.7 percent next year.  Progress filed for an 11 percent increase in October.  Public Staff executive director Robert Gruber says it's a fair deal.

"What do they actually need in order to be able to operate reliably and attract investors?  You have to compromise that need with the impact on consumers," Gruber says.

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Politics & Government
6:40 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Greensboro Committee Recommends Tougher Rules For Nightclubs

Some city council members in Greensboro are considering a new ordinance for nightclubs.

A new proposed ordinance in Greensboro would require nightclubs where multiple incidents of violence have taken place to meet greater security standards. This week, a city council sub-committee said it wants to implement requirements for greater security measures at venues that have been the site of multiple violent crimes during one year.

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