Dave DeWitt

Managing Editor for News

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Managing Editor for News. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.

He has filed storites for NPR’s news magazines as well as Marketplace and Only A Game. He formerly worked in college athletics, college admissions, and with the Tar Heel Sports Network. In 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book "True Blue".

 

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Hurricane Irene
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr Creative Commons

Forecasters are predicting an Atlantic hurricane season that may include 10 to 16 named storms this year, according to annual predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Friday.

Of those storms, 4 to 8 could become hurricanes.

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The Department of Environmental Quality has made significant changes to how Duke Energy may have to handle coal ash at its basins across the state.

DEQ released a final report that ranks all the state’s 33 coal ash basins by threat level. Unlike its previous draft report released last December, this one classifies all of the basins as either high or intermediate risk.

On the fourth edition of the WUNCPolitics podcast: three distinctly different views on HB2. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, UNC President Margaret Spellings, and high school student Hunter Schafer. They have very different ideas - and have reacted in different ways - to the law passed by the General Assembly in March. 

Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on the first day of this year's legislative session.
Jessica Jones

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast, we discuss what Republican leaders in the state are saying about the U.S. Department of Justice's letter to Governor McCrory this week, telling him if HB2 was enforced the feds would consider it a violation of federal discrimination laws - and how the state could lose billions of dollars in federal money. Also, Congressional primary races are a month away, education funding discussions are coming up in the General Assembly, and Treasurer Janet Cowell takes positions on two corporate boards, while she manages the state's pension fund.

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast we look at the political will and strategizing surrounding HB2. Will voters get a chance to vote on an HB2 referendum this fall? And a conversation about how North Carolina’s “hybrid” General Assembly – made up of part-time lawmakers - compares to other states, and how that drives who serves as legislators and what kinds of issues they are most likely to take up.

UNC athletics
UNC

The University of North Carolina has received a new Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. It indicates no new violations beyond those self-reported by the school last fall in the long-running athletics scandal, but the letter no longer references men's basketball and football. Instead, the violations listed focus on just one sport: women's basketball.

PayPal
Gov. McCrory Office

Two weeks after announcing plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte, PayPal has announced it will move the facility to another state.

Green Swamp
The Nature Conservancy

Eastern North Carolina is a part of one of the most ecologically diverse locations on the planet. But because of human activity, it is also one of the most threatened.

Thanks to those two factors, the entire North American Coastal Plain – stretching from Cape Cod to northern Mexico - has been designated as one of three-dozen global biodiversity hotspots.

Tom Augspurger (l), USFWS, taking core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill. (l-r) Tom Augsperger, USFWS, John Fridell, USFWS, Rick Smith, Duke Energy. Photo by Steve Alexander, USFWS..
Steve Alexander / USFWS

The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $6.6 million fine against Duke Energy for violations associated with the Dan River Coal Ash spill two years ago.

US Embassy Canada / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina is one of the leading states in solar energy. 

But the recent elimination of some tax credits and the possibility of solar permitting may slow the growth of solar energy in the state. And the Department of Environmental Quality is considering a change to the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards that could affect renewable energy production in the state. 

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

February is a big month for Duke Energy to move coal ash out of its Dan River site.

With a new two-mile rail spur in place and machines moving material from large “ash stacks” – soil-covered mounds of coal ash - Duke Energy expects to double its current rate of progress.

Dan River
Steven Alexander, USFWS

An advisory board created by Duke Energy says nearly all of the company’s coal ash ponds in North Carolina can safely be capped in place.

The National Ash Management Advisory Board was created by Duke Energy a few months after the Dan River spill. It is made up of engineering faculty from across the country and executives from the private sector.

CAMC
Dave DeWitt

The North Carolina Supreme Court has sided with Governor Pat McCrory in a case against leaders in the General Assembly.

solar
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A key energy advisory commission today pushed back a decision on adding nuclear power to a list of approved energy sources, and create a new Clean Energy Portfolio Standard that would replace the current standard based on renewable energy.

Snow plow clearing the road
NCDOT

WUNC's complete coverage of the winter storm's timeline, impact, and ongoing closures and power outages.  Check back throughout the day and evening.

coal ash
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Duke Energy is the largest electric utility in the country, with nearly $25 billion in annual operating revenue. And on a cold, blustery day at its Dan River site, that corporate power is on display.

Massive machines–40-ton trucks, front-end-loaders, and bulldozers–are moving in perfect synchronization, loading coal ash and soil into rail cars.

“This is priority one for Duke Energy right now,” says Jeff Brooks, a Duke Energy spokesman. “This is the most important thing that many of us have worked on for several years now. We have an army of engineers and technical staff that have developed the closure plans for these sites.”

mid-currituck bridge
NC DOT

A controversial bridge project that would make the northern Outer Banks more accessible could happen earlier than expected.

The Mid-Currituck Bridge has been on the drawing board for years. The seven-mile bridge would cross the Currituck sound and link Corolla to the mainland.

The State Department of Transportation heard a proposal for a quicker timeline for bridge construction earlier this month. Gov. Pat McCrory outlined the fast-tracking of the project in November.

alligator
NC Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina’s hunters may soon get a chance to bag a gator.

The State Wildlife Resources Commission is considering adding alligators to the list of "huntable" animals.

According to the best guess by biologists, the number of alligators has risen steadily in North Carolina in recent years. An exact number of the stealthy, largely nocturnal reptiles is very hard to determine.

Oil drilliing
Wikipedia

A new economic assessment is the latest effort in the ongoing fight over possible oil exploration off the North Carolina coast.

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland

A standing-room-only crowd packed a state government board room in Raleigh last night to express their thoughts on North Carolina’s commitment to climate change.

A SolarBee
Medora Corporation

North Carolina is home to seven natural lakes. Jordan Lake—despite its name—is not one of them. It’s a reservoir, created in 1974.

And almost from the day it was first dammed, Jordan Lake has been impaired.

Enviva
Dave DeWitt

Enviva, the embattled wood-pellet manufacturer, has announced a $5 million conservation program designed to save some of North Carolina’s environmentally sensitive forests.

Enviva has been under fire from critics for using whole hardwood trees to make the majority of the wood pellets it produces, instead of wood waste. At its two plants in North Carolina, more than 85 percent of the wood comes from hardwood trees.

Kathy Bosiak
Climate Generation

The main goal of the U.N. Climate Talks in Paris this week and next is to negotiate international efforts to deal with the climate crisis. But it will also serve as a learning experience for future generations.

Dave DeWitt

Trucks carrying long logs stream into the wood pellet plant on the edge of Ahoskie all day, every day. The facility, owned by a company called Enviva, was an abandoned saw mill just five years ago. Now, it towers over the adjacent Wal-Mart and Hardees, spewing white smoke.

Along the fence that encircles the plant, logs are stacked 40-feet high. Longleaf pine, southern red oak, white ash - pretty much every tree species that grows in the southeast could be used to make wood pellets.

Judge Arnold Jones
NC Innocence Inquiry Commission

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones II has been charged with trying to bribe an FBI agent to collect text messages between two phone numbers in what the judge said was a family matter.

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