Catherine Brand

Host, "All Things Considered"

Fed up with the frigid winters of her native state, Catherine was lured to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up in Wisconsin where she spent much of her time making music and telling stories. Prior to joining WUNC, Catherine hosted All Things Considered and classical music at Wisconsin Public Radio. She got her start hosting late-nights and producing current events talk shows for the station's Ideas Network. She later became a fill-in talk show host and recorded books for WPR's popular daily program, Chapter A Day. 

Catherine is just as comfortable on stage as she is behind the microphone. She holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys using her musical background in her work with the North Carolina Symphony. For the past several seasons, she has hosted a pre-concert program called Meet the Artists. Catherine adores being a being a mom and loves spending time exploring the natural world with her beautiful little girl, Wren.   

Ways To Connect

US 64, Wendell
NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is all hands on deck this morning.

More than four hundred trucks have been in action over the last 48 hours pre-treating and clearing roadways of snow from the mountains to the Outer Banks.

The western piedmont got about an inch of snow, and some areas of the Triangle near I-95 have seen 5 inches. Snow accumulations in Easter North Carolina could exceed six inches.

Most schools across the region are closed today.

U.S. Army

Ground was broken this week on a new center at Fort Bragg that will focus on the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. According to the latest estimates from the Defense Department, there have been hundreds of thousands of these cases diagnosed - and perhaps as many that have not yet been diagnosed.

Nine of these new centers are planned for different communities in the United States. They are known as the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) Satellite Centers. 

6th April 2000 Visit of Nelson Mandela to give a lecture at LSE on 'Africa and Its Position in the World.' Held at the Peacock Theatre.
Wikipedia Creative Commons / Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science

Celebrations will commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela this weekend across the Piedmont. The former South African President died last week at the age of 95.

Deborah Blackman is President of the South African Tarheels, one of the groups coordinating the memorials.  She says the respect Mandela earned as a prisoner and as a political leader still resonates across the world.

Salim Virji / Flickr Creative Commons

Raleigh residents have until January first to take advantage of the city's toilet upgrade reimbursement.

Raleigh has been giving out $100 rebates for efficient toilets since 2009. It was part of an effort to encourage water conservation following the severe drought in 2007 and 2008.

Ed Buchan is Raleigh's environmental coordinator. He says the city is ending the rebate program, because rate-payers have embraced the efficiency effort.

"So we have this business case analysis, we looked at the program, and we budgeted $500,000 a year for the rebates," Buchan says.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

The annual Thanksgiving holiday meal and best dining facility competition starts Tuesday at Fort Bragg. Some 20,000 military service members, family and retirees are expected to attend.  Chief Roshaun Anderson is food advisor for the 82nd Sustainment Brigade.  He says the event is like the food service Super Bowl on post.

37th US Colored Troops re-enactors participated in Pvt. Frank Worthington's headstone ceremony, Civil war
Leoneda Inge

The city of New Bern is honoring black Civil War soldiers with an official state highway marker. 

It's meant to mark the  flag of the city's 1st NC Colored Volunteers, raised there in the spring of 1863. That was shortly after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation - effectively freeing African American slaves in areas of rebellion against the union.  New Bern native Bernard George is an administrator in the city's planning department. He says, just as importantly, it allowed African American slaves to enlist in the army.

NC State

A new study out of N.C. State demonstrates how oysters may rely on sound to navigate to their permanent homes on the reef.

Ashlee Lillis is a researcher in the marine sciences department at N.C. State. She recorded underwater sounds then tested larval oysters to determine whether settlement rates increased when they were exposed to reef sounds versus the open sea floor. 

“We've got differences in water flow over a hard structure compared to just a sandy bottom that's going to make it distinct as well as a lot of fish,” says Lillis.

Town of Chapel Hill

Franklin Street in Chapel Hill will be cordoned off again this year for the annual Halloween celebration.

Crowd size has steadily decreased since the peak of 80,000 in 2008. Smaller numbers have turned out since then, following strict town rules that prohibit revelers from bringing  alcohol, glass bottles, and anything that resembles a firearm, whether it be the real thing or part of a costume.

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

Some eastbound lanes on portions of I-440 near the I-40/440 split will now be shut down at night. 

It's part of 3-year rebuild project that will replace an 11-and-a-half mile stretch of freeway in southern Wake County. Daytime lane closures won't begin until mid December.

The DOT's Cris Mulder says 100,000 vehicles use this part of the highway every day and safety is the biggest concern.

"This is 30-year old concrete and pavement," Mulder says.


The North Carolina State Fair is getting ready to open its gates Thursday. The 11-day event features rides, exhibits, livestock, and entertainment. The State Fair's Brian Long says there's always something new on the food front.

"We have a massive double caramel apple that's called a 'double decker doozy' that's been covered in chocolate and other candy and what not," explains Long.