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".

 

Ways to Connect

Tony Tata
Wash. DC Schools

Tony Tata is spending more time in the Triangle today. The retired brigadier general is the new superintendent in Wake County.

Wake County has a new School Superintendent. Anthony Tata was confirmed Thursdaynight in a 4-to-2 vote by the Wake County School Board.

Tata is not your every day public school administrator. He’s a West Point graduate and former brigadier general who writes Tom-Clancy style thrillers. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer at the Washington DC schools, in charge of purchasing and operations. The year and a half he spent in that job is his only experience in education.

Anthony Tata
DC Schools

The Wake County School Board is apparently on the verge of hiring a new superintendent. Donna Haargens has served in the position as an interim since the spring.

Erskine Bowles is spending his last few days as president of the UNC system. Tom Ross takes over in January.

The Erskine Bowles Era was defined in his first few years by streamlining the 17-campus UNC system - and then, in the final years, because of the recession, fighting for dwindling resources.

Tom Ross takes over for Bowles at a time when those resources are likely to be at an all-time low. Ross was, most recently, the President of Davidson College. He says he hopes to have has much success courting state legislators as Bowles did:

Campus Cops In Limbo

Dec 20, 2010

Every year, hundreds of arrests are made by police officers on private college campuses. The offenses range from public intoxication to drunk driving to sexual assault.  The officers making the arrests are fully licensed by the state; they carry firearms; and they are specially trained to work in a community made up mostly of 18 to 22 year olds.  But a case making its way through the North Carolina court system challenges their authority - and offers a different twist on the old arguments about the separation of church and state. 

The U.S. Senate may take up the DREAM Act tomorrow. The immigration reform bill aimed at students is likely to be opposed by both North Carolina senators.

The Dream Act is a bi-partisan bill first introduced in Congress in 2001. It passed the U.S. House last week  It allows the children of illegal immigrants to attend college or enter the military, with the opportunity to pursue a path to legal citizenship. 

NC State has received the largest gift in the University's history. Lonnie and Carol Johnson Poole have given $40 million, most of it to the College of Management.

Lonnie Poole is a graduate of NC State and founded Waste Industries USA in 1970. He led an investor group that took the company private for $550 million in 2008.

$37 million of Poole's $40million gift will go to the College of Management at NC State. That school will now be named for him. $2.5 million will go towards building a clubhouse at the university's golf course.

Minor-League Shakeup

Dec 16, 2010

The Carolina Mudcats minor-league baseball team has been sold to a group in Florida. The team is slated to move after next season.

The Mudcats Double-A franchise is leaving largely due to the travel costs associated with flying to games in the far-flung Southern League.

The Wake County School Board is one step closer to hiring a new superintendent. The new leader will be faced with several challenges involving the state’s largest school district.

A new superintendent will deal with a significant budget shortfall, a federal Title VI investigation, and a review by the agency that accredits the county’s high schools. On top of that, the school district’s top administrator will also inherit a deeply divided School Board.

That Board met last night behind closed doors. They interviewed candidates earlier this month at a hotel in Raleigh.

Photo from the Edwards Campaign
the Edwards Campaign

On October 21, 2004, at a hotel in Kenosha Wisconsin, Elizabeth Edwards found a lump in her breast the size of a plumb. An election that could vault her husband into the vice presidency was just days away. She was the mother of three children.

Debra Goldman
Wake Schools

The Wake County School Board meets later today. One item on the agenda is a discussion on a revised student assignment plan for next year.

New Sheriff In Town

Dec 6, 2010
Calvin Woodard
Calvin Woodard For Sheriff

There’s a new sheriff in Wilson County. For the first time in its history, an African-American will be sworn in to lead the law enforcement effort in the county east of Raleigh.

A new Republican majority on the Wake County Board of Commissioners plans to undo some efforts passed by the old Democratic majority.

A lot is expected to happen later today when the Wake County Commissioners meet for the first time with new members. The Republican Majority will rescind a resolution that expresses “deep concern” over the re-segregation of the Wake County schools.

The county commissioners have financial oversight over the schools.

The anti-re-segregation resolution passed last April.

Warwick Arden
NC State

NC State has hired a provost. Chancellor Randy Woodson announced late this afternoon that Warwick Arden will assume the job as the University’s top academic officer.

Ben Jealous
NAACP

The NAACP is holding a national education summit in Raleigh this week. The event will be highlighted by a keynote address from Ben Jealous, the president of the national NAACP.

Ben Jealous last spoke in Raleigh in September at the Christian Faith Baptist Church. Jealous announced then that the NAACP was filing a complaint with the federal government against the Wake County Schools.

A year ago today a new School Board was sworn-in in Wake County. The four new members represented a new majority, elected by an average margin of 68%. They promised to radically alter the way students were assigned to schools. But nobody expected what was to come over the next twelve months.

Clinton In Greensboro

Nov 30, 2010
Clinton
Bryan Series

Former President Bill Clinton will speak in Greensboro tonight. He is appearing as part of Guilford College's Bryan Lecture Series.

Universities like UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, and NC State are among the largest electricity users in the state. Some produce their own power, some buy their electricity from utility companies. And all have student bodies that are vocal in their anxiety over global warming.

As part of our series North Carolina Voices: Tomorrow’s Energy, Dave DeWitt looks at how campuses are transforming to meet their future energy challenges.

Energy companies are predicting that the need for power will grow in North Carolina in the coming years. With climate legislation likely, they are turning back to an energy source that has been put on the back burner for several decades… nuclear.

In February, President Obama announced 8 billion dollars in loan guarantees for a Georgia utility company hoping to build new nuclear reactors. Progress Energy and Duke Energy both have plans to also build new nuclear to serve customers in North Carolina.

Energy companies are predicting that the need for power will grow in North Carolina in the coming years. With climate legislation likely, they are turning back to an energy source that has been put on the back burner for several decade: nuclear.

In February, President Obama announced 8 billion dollars in loan guarantees for a Georgia utility company hoping to build new nuclear reactors. Progress Energy and Duke Energy both have plans to also build new nuclear to serve customers in North Carolina.

The fight between Smithfield and the United Food and Commercial Workers over unionizing the Tar Heel hog processing plant has entered a new phase. A federal judge in Virginia has allowed a lawsuit filed by Smithfield to go forward.

The suit accuses the UFCW of a coordinated public smear campaign.  It uses the RICO statutes that were created to fight organized crime. The lawsuit is the latest step in a confrontation that has slowly been moving out of the plant itself and into the kitchens and living rooms of consumers.

If you don’t have health insurance, there are places you can go to get health care. Community clinics, local health departments, state funded health centers … they often provide low-cost or even free care. But they mostly focus on the basics. What if you have a heart problem and need to see a cardiologist? Or you need an orthopedic surgeon or an endocrinologist? These kinds of specialists are expensive, and there is typically no low-cost option for people who don’t have insurance. Ten years ago, doctors in Buncombe County wanted to do something about that. And the program they created, Project Access, is now a model for other programs nationwide. Dave DeWitt reports for our series "North Carolina Voices: Diagnosing Health Care."

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