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

Action for Children NC

A new report from Action for Children North Carolina shows corporal punishment continues to be used less and less in the state.

NC State University

The Park Foundation has given $50 million to North Carolina State University to start an endowment for the school's prestigious Park scholarships. The gift is the largest in university history.

Each year, 45 students from all academic disciplines  are awarded full-ride scholarships. They also cover room and board, a computer, and offer lots of experiential learning opportunities.  Chancellor Randy Woodson talks about what the endowment means to the school...

A Chapel Hill group is handing out stickers that look like this to restaurants and bars that want them.
emedco.com

A Chapel Hill group is helping restaurants and bars clarify a new law to patrons.  People with permits to carry concealed handguns can bring their weapon into establishments where alcohol is served. But, while drinking alcohol is prohibited when carrying a firearm, a permit holder can still bring a concealed gun into places that serve it, unless the owner posts signs saying otherwise.  Meg McGurk heads the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and says there's still confusion over the new law so she's handing out "no concealed weapons" stickers to Franklin Street businesses.

A Duke doctor examines an elderly patient.
Duke Medecine

A health care community center opens today in Hoke County, a first for residents in that rural area. The center will offer a range of services from mental health and substance abuse counseling to family medicine and preventive care. The facility is being operated by the Robeson Health Care Corporation. The company's Marlo Fulmore says the center will cater primarily to low-income residents.

A supermarket in Durham is going to offer healthy snacks in the check out line.
Tijmen Stam via Creative Commons

Shoppers at a local grocery in Durham will have the option of checking out at an aisle filled with healthy snack choices. So instead of lollipops and candy bars, last minute purchases at Los Primos Market might include apples, raisins or yogurt. Erica Samoff coordinates Partnership for a Healthy Durham, a community coalition that's collaborating with the East Durham Children's Initiative.

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

As the summer begins to wind down, lots of folks will be hitting the road and getting in last trips to favorite water recreational areas this Labor Day weekend. Troopers will be joining forces with officers from the state Wildlife Resources Commission to keep roadways and waterways safe.  First Sergeant Jeff Gordon from the state Highway Patrol says last Labor Day weekend 18 people lost their lives and more than 400 were injured on North Carolina roads.

Actress Gabourey Sidibe has spoken openly about her obesity and how people perceive her because of it.
Greg Hernandez via Creative Commons

New research out of Duke University suggests merely maintaining weight, instead of losing it, is a more practical and successful approach for African American women. Lead author Gary Bennett is associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. He says pre-menopausal black women have the highest rates of obesity in the country. About 80 percent are overweight, which contributes to a disproportionate risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

A new study looks at the availability of caloric information from fast food restaurants online.
jasonlam via Flickr, Creative Commons

Many of the nation's largest restaurants chains are making calorie information available on menus online, according to new research out of Duke University. Part of the Affordable Care Act mandates the information be provided on all in-store menus for chains with more than 20 stores. Lead author of the study Gary Bennett is an associate professor psychology, neuroscience, and global Health at Duke, and he says there are huge variations on how caloric and other nutritional content is presented to consumers.

Heavy rain could be reducing farm yields across the state, like this one in western NC.
mystuart via Flickr, creative commons

Record rainfalls across much of North Carolina have resulted in poor crop growth. When there's too much moisture, root systems often don't get a chance to develop fully, and certain nutrients, like nitrogen, also tend to be depleted.

Carl Crozier, soil science professor and extension specialist at N.C. State, says it's a complex issue because of all the different types of soil in North Carolina.

Democratic Senator Ellie Kinnaird announced her resignation Monday. She had served nine terms.
elliekinnaird.org

Nine-term Democratic Senator Ellie Kinnaird has announced she's resigning. Representing Orange and Chatham Counties, the 81-year-old Kinnaird served 17 years in the state Senate and was also once mayor of Carrboro. Kinnaird says there's no greater privilege than to make public policy, but she says she was frustrated at not being able to influence legislation. She was one of only 17 Democrats in the 50-member Senate.

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