Business & Economy
9:00 am
Thu May 12, 2011

Concern Over Eliminating Tobacco Trust Fund

A UNC-Greensboro study shows a major economic impact of small farm ventures funded by the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. But state budget cuts could end the program.  

  In this tough economy – there are many casualties in the state budget package passed by the house.  One casualty is the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Joe Schroeder is director of the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund Program – supported by the Tobacco Trust.  He says they have dispersed 3.6 million dollars in the past three years.  But the economic impact was more than 700-million.

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Business & Economy
6:23 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Second Area Code Coming to the Triangle

Triangle residents will soon have to dial 10 digits to make local phone calls. That's because almost all numbers with the 919 area code are used up. Switzon Wigfall is a Senior Operations Analyst with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. He says this is a result of the explosion of cell phone use.

Switzon Wigfall: "When you have school kids 7 and 8 years old with cell phones, you can see the multiplicity effect of all the applications that's taken place in telecommunication markets today. So, yes. As some point, you exhaust the numbers."

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Health
5:33 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Bill Seeks to Limit Abortions in North Carolina

A legislative committee has approved a measure that seeks to limit abortions in the state. 

 House Bill 854 would require a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. It would mandate counseling that would include information about the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus. And it would require the medical professionals performing the abortion to give their patient an ultrasound at least four hours before the procedure.

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The State of Things
12:48 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

State Budget Cuts Are Coming

This year’s session of the North Carolina General Assembly has already been pretty heated. Lawmakers have to hammer out a budget agreement this summer, so things could get even more tense before the session ends. Revenue is down and budget cuts are inevitable, but how much to cut and where remains to be seen. Yesterday, the State Senate began its work drawing up a new budget. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and the State House of Representatives have hammered out plans as well.

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The State of Things
12:41 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Put Your Money Where Your Morals Are

Host Frank Stasio takes a look at what is really important to North Carolina, based on the state's budget priorities.

How we spend our money says a lot about what we value. This holds true for governments as well as individuals. As we make our way through this lengthy recession, host Frank Stasio takes a look at what is really important to North Carolina, based on the state's budget priorities. Joining him to read the tea leaves in the state budget are Louisa Warren, senior policy analyst for the North Carolina Justice Center; John Hood, head of the John Locke Foundation; and Scott Huler, journalist and author of the recent book "On the Grid: A Plot of Land, An Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make Our World Work " (Rodale/2010). Listener call-in.

Education
6:00 am
Wed May 11, 2011

School Board Redistricting Draws Small Crowd

Proposed Wake County Board of Education Districts

  A small group of citizens came to the Wake County School Board’s public hearing last night. They were there to voice concerns over the proposed redistricting process. 

It was a much different scene than in previous public hearings, when hundreds of angry demonstrators descended on the board meetings. Those protests were against the change in the student assignment policy. And while there’s been some disagreement over the process of re-drawing the precinct lines for board elections, it has been drawn nothing close to the level of anger. 

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Health
5:30 am
Wed May 11, 2011

Cumberland County Schools to Offer Biomedical Classes

Cumberland County Schools will be offering new biomedical college prep classes starting this fall. Douglas Byrd and Howard Health and Life Sciences High Schools are adding programs to areas of study within the schools called academies. Students will study in focused health and science classes while partnering with local health care providers. Suzannah Tucker of Cumberland County Schools says academies require students to gain real-world experience before they graduate.

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Business & Economy
5:40 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

NC Receives $4 Million for Rail Project

North Carolina will receive 4 million dollars of the 2.4 billion dollars in federal money Florida declined for high speed rail projects. The Department of Transportation will use the money for an environmental impact study of a potential high speed rail line between Raleigh and Richmond. DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says this is something people should be excited about.

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Politics & Government
5:35 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Fracking Bill Passes State Senate

State senators have passed a bill that would promote a controversial method of extracting natural gas popularly known as fracking. Senate Bill 709 would also open the coast to offshore natural gas drilling in conjunction with other states. Republican Senator Bob Rucho is the bill's main sponsor.

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The State of Things
1:09 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Segregated Halifax

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief and Education Reporter Dave Dewitt about the divide in Halifax County.

Most counties have one school district for all of their students, but North Carolina's Halifax County is an exception. It has three districts for about 8,000 students, and The UNC Center for Civil Rights is targeting them for being separate and unequal. Despite the fact that Halifax County is 39 percent white, two of its districts have almost no white students while one has more than 70 percent.

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