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

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...

Recent puppy mill raids in Brunswick and Jones Counties have prompted more discussion at the General Assembly about the need for legislation to regulate commercial breeders. About half of all states have such measures in place. Mondy Lamb from the the SPCA of Wake County says large breeding operations are escaping through a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act. She says North Carolina regulates every other entity that houses large numbers of dogs.

The red-light camera program at select intersections in Cary could be eliminated over multiple concerns, among them complaints the system is wrongfully issuing citations. The system is operated by the company Redflex. It collects nearly 90-percent of the revenue from traffic violations captured by the cameras. Town Manager Ben Shivar says local officials have have been less than impressed by the company's performance.

Overall crime across the state is down by nearly one percent, according to the latest statistics from the North Carolina Department of Justice. That makes the 2011 crime rate the state's lowest since 1977. It also marks the third consecutive year of decline. It's not all good news, though. Murder is up by almost six percent. Overall crime in some Triangle-area counties, including Chatham and Franklin, appears to be on the rise.

An exhibit about Roanoke Island's role in the Civil War opens at the Outer Banks Visitor Center today. Curator Kaeli Schurr says capturing the island was an important part of the strategy for both the confederacy and the union.

Kaeli Schurr: After a long summer of both sides training troops and devising military strategy, both knew that whoever would be able to control the supply lines would control all of eastern North Carolina. And that led then to being able to disrupt the supply lines from Wilmington up to the Confederate capital in Richmond.

The future of food, farming, and sustainability are topics at a symposium today and tomorrow at UNC and Duke. Jaqueline Olich is from the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at UNC; she's also one of the coordinators of the event. According to projections from the United Nations, Olich says food production will have to increase by up to 100-percent by the year 2050 to sustain an estimated 9 billion people.

Chatham County schools are trying to get kids to be more active through 'Eat Smart Move More' grants. The goal of the project is to encourage schools and teachers to integrate physical activity into the curriculum no matter what the discipline. Holly Coleman is with the Chatham County Health Department:

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is designating High Point-based Thomas Built Buses as an "Environmental Steward." Julie Woosley is the manager of the state's Environmental Assistance Center. She says Thomas Built recycles 100% of the waste it creates.

UNC Chapel Hill this afternoon will officially mark the opening of its new Comprehensive Angelman Syndrome Clinic at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Anne Wheeler is a psychologist at CIDD; she's also co-coordinator for the new clinic. She says Angelman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that occurs in about 1 in 15-thousand births.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue announced today that she will not seek a second term this year. The Democratic Governor was the first woman elected to the position and all indications were that she planned to seek re-election.