Kirk is a reporter for the NPR member station in Boston, WGBH, where he covers higher education, connecting the dots between post-secondary education and the economy, national security, jobs and global competitiveness. Kirk has been a reporter with Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis.; a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad. Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is an NPR international correspondent covering South America for NPR. She is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Previously, she served a NPR's correspondent based in Israel, reporting on stories happening throughout the Middle East. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage and humanity.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.

Business & Economy
10:22 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

State Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly

The state Commerce Department says North Carolina's unemployment rate has risen slightly.  The state's unemployment rate went up to 9-point-7 percent in August. Analysts say that translates to nearly six thousand more people reported as being out of work. That brings the total number of unemployed in North Carolina to more than 450,000.

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Arts & Culture
9:59 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Raleigh Native Tift Merritt Prepares For CD Release

Tift Merritt
tiftmerritt.com

Raleigh native Tift Merritt has been releasing albums for a decade now. In that time her songs have caught the ear of fellow musicians like EmmyLou Harris who says Tift stands out 'like a diamond in a coal patch'. She's spent time in Paris and New York City, where she lives now, but enjoys returning to the Triangle --a place she still calls home. It was here where the U-N-C creative writing student got her start singing with John Howie, Jr. and the Two-Dollar Pistols in the late 90s.

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Education
5:12 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Students and Faculty Rally In Support of Chancellor

Several hundred students, faculty members and alums held a rally today at UNC-Chapel Hill in an effort to get the university's chancellor, Holden Thorp, to reconsider his decision to step down. Thorp has offered to resign in the wake of a series of athletic-related scandals at the university. Seniors Maggie Sommers and Lauren Delaunay say they attended the rally to show their respect for Thorp.

Maggie Sommers and Lauren Delaunay:

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State of Things
11:35 am
Fri September 21, 2012

A Wilderness of Error

www.wildernessoferror.com

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has turned his lens on flaws in America’s justice system before. His 1988 documentary “The Thin Blue Line” was pivotal in getting a wrongly convicted Texas man out of prison. Now, Morris is the author of a new book called “A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald”

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State of Things
11:29 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Carolina Chocolate Drops

www.carolinachocolatedrops.com

The Carolina Chocolate Drops famously reclaimed traditional mountain music for African-Americans. Their efforts were celebrated from Nashville to Hollywood and by the folks who give out the Grammy Awards. That legacy took on some poignancy this past year when their mentor, master fiddler Joe Thompson, passed away.

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Business & Economy
7:30 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Greensboro Gets $1M Grant To Grow Economy

The City of Greensboro is getting a one million dollar federal grant designed to generate economic growth. The grant is part of a program aimed at encouraging innovative ideas, strategies and perspectives for long-term job growth. Greensboro will hold a competition and request ideas for ways to bolster the local economy.

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