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

Rain and thunderstorms are predicted for most of North Carolina.
screengrab, ABC News radar

Scattered storms are once again in the forecast for this afternoon. The pattern of late-day thundershowers each day is not so unusual, according to meteorologist Darrin Figursky from the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says what has been a bit atypical is the amount of widespread rainfall we've gotten as a result of these storms.

"Now a lot of that was probably due to the remnants of Andrea at the beginning of the month, where on one day we got four to five inches," Figursky says.  "So for the month with that in mind, we're running three to four inches above normal for the month. We're only maybe an inch or an inch or an inch and a quarter of being in the top five wettest Junes of all time."

Logo for ONE CALL, an HIV call center.
NC School of Public Health

A new statewide call center at UNC-Chapel Hill called ONE CALL will connect people diagnosed with HIV to the medical care, counseling, and other resources they need.

More than three quarters of those living with HIV in North Carolina do not seek treatment. Those who do receive proper treatment have a normal life expectancy and are much less likely to pass the virus on the their partners.

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

Duke University is opening a new center dedicated to research on how to curb teen substance abuse. The new Center for the Study of Adolescent Risk and Resilience or "C-StARR" is benefiting from a $6.7 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Duke University
Duke University

Duke University trustee Ralph Eads and his wife are giving $5.5 million dollars to the school, most of it going to support Duke's Energy Initiative. Part of it will go toward the creation of the new Eads Professor of the Practice in Energy Finance.

Former NC Governor Jim Holshouser
The family of Jim Holshouser

Political luminaries, friends, and family gathered today to remember and honor Former Governor Jim Holshouser, who passed away earlier this week after an extended illness.

Guests at today’s funeral included current Governor Pat McCrory and former Governors Jim Hunt, Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue.

Honey bees
David Tarpy

Honey bee populations have been struggling in recent years. New research out of NC State underlines the importance of genetic diversity as key to the honey bees' survival. The study took samples from 80 commercial colonies used to pollinate about a third of the food we eat. It found queens that mated at least seven times were nearly three times more likely to survive the season.

Bike racers in an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon event held earlier this year in Melbourne.
Ironman 70.3

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Raleigh on Sunday for the state's first-ever officially sanctioned Ironman 70.3. It's half the distance of the traditional Ironman. Heat may be a factor as more than 2,700 athletes begin the race with a 1.2 mile swim in Jordan Lake,  hop on their bikes for a 56 mile ride through the trails of Chatham County and then finish out the race on foot with a half marathon.

The Elizabeth II historical ship is a main attraction at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
NC Department of Cultural Resources

The history-themed Roanoke Island Festival Park on the Outer Banks may have an uncertain future. Two years ago, lawmakers passed a bill that stipulated the park be self-supporting by 2015. The bill called for systematic reductions in state funding to the site over the next 4 years. That gradual implementation was overlooked in the budget proposal Governor Pat McCrory submitted this year - and instead slashed all funding. So far this session, the general assembly shows no signs of reinstating it.

Megathon Charlie via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mothers across North Carolina are marching and speaking out at events tomorrow to raise awareness of how gun violence affects families. Joslyn Simms, who lost her son Rayburn to gun violence eight years ago this month, will be speaking at tomorrow's rally in Durham.

The Triangle-based non-profit Support Military Spouses is honoring the “other halves” of active duty soldiers with shoe boxes of appreciation  in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Three thousand shoe boxes will be filled with donated items that include watches, stationery, bibles, jewelry and lotion. Organization co-founder Diane Rumley says for this campaign, they've also included a guide to "Worry Free Living" that has tips on saving money and finding jobs.

An aerial view of the site.
Duke Energy

A large parcel of undeveloped land near Siler City has been chosen by Duke Energy to take part in the utility's Site Readiness Program. The utility selected a total of 17 sites in the Carolinas, ten of which are in North Carolina. Duke Energy's Jeff Brooks says the 1700-acre Chatham County tract will be assessed for its potential to lure large industry and manufacturing to the area and calls it a "win-win" for everyone.

B.J. Sanders and her son Chad tell of losing a family member to a drug overdose.
Community Care NC

In 2009, Wilkes County in the northwestern part of the state had the 4th highest rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in the country. Two years later, those numbers dropped by 68 percent. That's because of a program called Project Lazarus, which is now going to be implemented statewide.

A scene from a Lost Colony performance.
The Lost Colony

The North Carolina outdoor drama The Lost Colony has been tapped for a 2013 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.  With 75 seasons under its belt, the yearly production on Roanoke Island began in the summer of 1937 and has continued almost every year since. It is the longest-running symphonic drama in the country. This video shows clips from the play:

Coastal Properties via Flickr, Creative Commons

Blacks and Hispanics are paying significantly more in home prices than whites. That's according to new research out of Duke University that tracked more than two million home sales in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and L.A.

Butch Grove, Wake Tech’s associate vice president of creativity, sustainability and college improvement, announces Joulebug.
Wake Tech

Wake Tech Community College is backing up its commitment to sustainability with the launch of a new partnership with JouleBug, a mobile app customized for its students. The free JouleBug app was created in Raleigh and gives users points, pins, and rewards for making sustainable choices – like taking shorter showers, recycling, or eating on campus to reduce vehicle emissions.

Veteran student, Fort Bragg
Fayetteville Tech Community College

Veterans who want to go back to school will soon have access to academic counseling and career advice through a new program at Fayetteville Technical Community College.  The school has purchased a building on Fort Bragg Road to serve as a veterans center on campus.  President Larry Keen says veterans will be given special assessments and mentoring to help them graduate, get work, or start a new business.

A 17-year periodic cicada from the Magicicada genus in Brood XIII. Cicadas from this genus will emerge in NC soon.
Bruce Marlin, via Wikimedia Commons

North Carolinians in the western Triangle and Triad soon will be visited en masse by the ear-splitting song of the 17-year cicadas. Over the next ten days or so, cicadas from  a group classified as Brood II will begin emerging from the ground and begin a month-long mating frenzy. The females will lay their eggs by sawing little slits into twigs on trees and depositing their eggs into those slits. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground and tunnel into the soil to feed on tree roots, where they'll stay for another 17 years until they become adults.

Bat with white-nose fungus.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A deadly fungus known as white-nose syndrome has been decimating bat populations in the Eastern United States and is spreading quickly through western portions of North Carolina. It was discovered in upstate New York in 2006. The infection is marked by a white frosting of fungus around the bat's nose, ears, and wings.

The confederate flag with a star cut out, preserved for the NC Museum of History.
NC Museum of History

A battle-worn confederate flag has undergone a $6500 dollar preservation and has now been returned to the North Carolina Museum of History. The flag was lost in the final months of the Civil War and was carried by the 6th Regiment of North Carolina in the Battle of Sailor's Creek in Virginia. It was captured by Union forces in 1865.

Jackson Marshall, the museum's assistant director of programming, says the flag has been cleaned and placed under glass in an acid-free environment that should last another 50 years.

Medics in training at Fort Bragg
Sgt. April de Armas/82nd CAB, Fort Bragg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that at least 300 goats are killed and maimed at Fort Bragg each month for medical training.  Now activists are applauding signs the army may be starting to the change the way soldiers are trained for trauma response. According to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has required the military to lay out a timeline to phase out the use of animals for training purposes.

A scene from last year's Science Festival.
NC Science Festival

The N.C Science Festival – a series of more than 300 science-related events at locations across the state – kicks off this Friday.  It’s the third year for the festival, and it's expected to draw more than 200,000 participants. The first event is a stargazing party for all ages at 45 different sites across the state. Triangle-area venues include the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, Marbles Kids Museum and Imax Theater in Raleigh, the Morehead Observatory in Chapel Hill and Jordan Lake in Apex. 

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Prescription drug overdose kills an average of three people per day in North Carolina. 

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill say a statewide system designed to reduce those numbers – North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) – is effective - but grossly underused.

CSRS went into effect in 2007, following a legislative mandate, but of the 34,000 providers authorized to prescribe controlled substances, only a third have registered with the CSRS, and fewer than half of those actually use it.

Il Palio's buttermilk fried shrimp salad
Susan Reda

Patients at UNC Hospitals will soon be able to dine bedside on four-diamond fare from Il Palio at the Siena Hotel. UNC's Nutrition and Food Services Director Angelo Mojica is teaming up with Adam Rose, executive chef at Il Palio, to feature some of the restaurant's gourmet cuisine. UNC's Mojica says this kind of thing has never been done before in health care. He's in the process of reaching out to other high-end eateries in the Triangle and says it's a win-win for participating restaurants and UNC Hospitals.

Brittany Darst

A new exhibit at UNC Chapel Hill aims to challenge the way people think about the word "disability." It's a collection of photos and narratives written by students called "This Able Life." UNC junior Katie Savage founded the campus group, Advocates for Carolina. She says she hopes the exhibit will help dissolve the stigma often associated with disability and transform the word into something celebratory that empowers and inspires.

Several live cold-stunned green turtles from Cape Lookout Bight
NC Sea Turtle Project

155 sea turtles were rescued off North Carolina’s coasts and beaches this year and treated for “cold shock,” caused by low water temperatures.  That’s more than usual, and about half the animals are still recovering. Wildlife officials reported a record number of sea turtle nests last summer. They say it's not likely high numbers will be seen again this season because the same turtles don't typically come back to nest every year.