State of Things
9:00 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Meet Jock Brandis

After volunteering as a high school teacher in the slums of Jamaica and serving the people of Nigeria during a devastating civil war, Jock Brandis found himself mentally exhausted and disillusioned. He left the service life for work in the film industry, a career move that took him to Wilmington, N.C. But a colleague persuaded Brandis to return to Africa, where he met a group of women peanut shellers in Mali. He wound up inventing a peanut shelling machine – the Universal Nut Sheller – to help them with their work.

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Science & Technology
5:10 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Area Scientists Ready For Last Shuttle Flight

Atlantis
Credit NASA

Area scientists are in Florida this week readying experiments that will go on the final shuttle launch.

Ted Bateman first worked on space experiments as an undergraduate student 20 years ago. Now, he’s an associate professor in rehabilitation engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Transit Tax on the Ballot in Durham

Voters in Durham County will decide on a half-cent sales tax designed to increase revenue for a future rail line in the Triangle. Commissioners voted unanimously last week to place a referendum on November's ballot. It would raise more than $18 million to fund Triangle Transit Authority's proposal for a train network connecting Chapel Hill to Garner. Wake and Orange Counties decided to put off referendums until next year. Durham commissioner Ellen Reckhow says it makes sense for the county to take the lead on the project due to its central location in the Triangle.

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Law
3:20 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Major Crimes Down In Raleigh

Major crimes, like homicides and robberies, are way down in Raleigh. The number of homicides fell from 35 two years ago to 14 in 2010.

City officials are crediting efforts in “community policing” in 2009 for the decrease. It involves increased foot patrols, juvenile programs, and specially-trained officers.

Another part of the community policing strategy is to increase enforcement of lesser crimes, like prostitution and drug offenses, before they lead to major crimes. Prostitution arrests rose from 64 in 2008 to 239 last year.

Arts & Culture
7:00 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Civil Rights Exhibit Online

The North Carolina Museum of History launched a new online exhibit today that takes a close-up look at the struggle for equal and civil rights across the state. 

As soon as you log onto the website – you are serenaded by Sam Cooke.  The name of the exhibit is “A Change is Gonna Come: Black, Indian and White Voices for Racial Equality.”  It covers the years 1830 to 1980 – from the Indian Removal Act to the rise and fall of Soul City.  Earl Ijames is the curator of the exhibit. He says it was going to be a physical exhibit before the 2008 recession.

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Politics & Government
6:18 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Proposed Redistricting Maps Beneficial To Republicans

North Carolina's newly proposed Republican-drawn congressional districts would make it challenging for several Democratic incumbents to keep their seats.

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Law
5:32 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Trucker Arrested After I-40 Crash

Ronald Graybeal

The driver of the tractor-trailer involved in yesterday's multi-vehicle crash on I-40 has been arrested on multiple charges. Three people died in the accident.

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Arts & Culture
12:39 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Veterans' Park Opens Independence Day

A new park honoring all members of the military opens Monday in Fayetteville. A dedication ceremony for the North Carolina Veterans' State Park is scheduled for 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July. Jennifer Lowe works for the city of Fayetteville. She says among the displays is the "Oath Wall" which features the raised hands of military members taking the enlistment oath.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

The Game of her Life

Of the 600 million people who know how to play chess worldwide, Phiona Mutesi is one of the best. The 14-year-old Ugandan phenom recently competed in the Chess Olympiad, an international tournament that pits players against each other in strategic competition. A short time ago, Mutesi had never even heard of the game. Her life was consumed with finding food for her family and avoiding trouble in the crime-ridden slum she calls home. But chess is opening new doors for Mutesi, whose story is being documented by Chapel Hill sports writer Tim Crothers.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Delta Rae

Durham-based band Delta Rae utilizes simple instrumentation and soulful harmonies to create a sound that the members call “gospel pop.” In their short existence, they have crafted an eclectic catalog of songs that showcase influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Coldplay. With a successful self-titled EP of Southern-tinged pop songs, and sold-out shows on both coasts behind them, they started out this year with their “Graet Mondays” series, releasing free new music on their website every week.

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