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

Raleigh's old Stone's Warehouse building could be the future home to talented Triangle-area artists who often struggle to make ends meet. The city council has approved a 99-year lease with the state Historical Preservation Foundation for project. Landmark Asset Services is a Winston-Salem firm that specializes in such rehabs. The group has teamed up with developer Vann Joines - who says the 7-and-a-half million dollar Raleigh Arts Village will encourage people - from woodworkers to storytellers -to be an economic driver for the community.

For the first time since the Vietman War era, Fort Bragg has a new chapel. The 82nd Airborne's All American Chapel replaces the old Division Memorial Chapel. It's a contemporary worship space - that features an environmentally-friendly design, more than 22-thousand square feet, and seating for more than 600. Base Spokesman Ben Able says the pinnacle of the chapel are refurbished stained-glass panels that show the history of the 82nd airborne and various combat missions starting with World War one...

North Carolina's 2013 Inaugural Ball to celebrate newly-elected governor Pat Mccrory and Council of State members kicks off tonight. The event has been hosted by the Junior League of Raleigh since 1933. The group uses the ball as a fundraiser for projects aimed at improving the lives of children. Inaugural ball co-chair Virginia Yopp says the festivities feature North Carolina food, local bands, and surprise guest speakers. She says tonight's Rock the Ball concert was created so everyone - young and old - would have a chance to participate in the festivities.

A research team out of Duke has developed a way to use sickle cells to treat cancerous tumors. Sickle cells are typically associated with a potentially lethal genetic blood disease. Lead author Mark Dewhirst is a radiation oncologist and director of Duke's Tumor Micro-circulation Lab. He says when the crescent-shaped sickle cells are injected into mice, they tend to stick like Velcro to the vessel walls - thereby blocking the blood vessels that surround the tumor.

There were 460 meth lab busts in the state last year. That's a record high. It's up from 344 busts the year before. State Bureau of Investigation agents attribute the rise to an increase in a simpler method of making the drug called "one-pot" or "shake and bake." Criminals cook the meth in a plastic soda bottle - using much smaller levels of the main ingredient, pseudo-ephedrine - commonly found in cold medicine.

NC Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn
NC Symphony

Handel's Messiah -- it's a staple this time of year for community sing-alongs and professional orchestras alike. The North Carolina Symphony is performing the work this weekend at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. I spoke with conductor Grant Llewellyn earlier this week. He says he understands why the work has endured to become a holiday classic.

Your favorite couch or sofa could be dangerous for your health. More than half of all couches tested in a Duke University-led study were found to contain potentially toxic flame retardants. One of the main offenders: a chemical called "Chorlinated Tris". It's a probable carcinogen that was used in children's pajamas back in the 70's. It was phased out due to its health risks. Lead researcher Heather Stapleton is associate professor of environmental chemistry at Duke's Nicholas School:

Some area community colleges are reporting increased enrollment for the coming semester, among them Durham Tech and Wake Tech. Numbers for Wake Tech Community College are already over 20-thousand with a few days left to register. Wake Tech President Stephen Scott credits the steadily-improving economy to the a surge in enrollment along with class affordability and quality in the programs. Placement, he adds, is nearly 100 percent in many fields of study including medical, IT, and engineering. Scott says part of the success may be due to how the college looks at a technical education.

It's the end of an era. The last mental health patient has been transferred from Dorothea Dix hospital in Raleigh to the newer Central Regional in Butner. The closure has been in the works for more than a decade. Lucky Welsh oversees the network of state psychiatric hospitals for the Department of Health and Human Services:

Teams of scientists from NC State and the University of Maryland are developing new wireless sensors designed to detect structural deficiencies in bridges. They hope the smart technology will help prevent bridge disasters like the one in Minneapolis 5 years ago that claimed the lives of 13 people. Lead scientist Mehdi Kalantari is a research engineer from U-M-D. He says the sensors are durable and are built to withstand harsh conditions...

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