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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Reynolds Price
Duke University

Reynolds Price has died. The prolific author and professor of English at Duke University passed away yesterday. He was 77 years old.

Reynolds Price had a motto. The man who wrote dozens of books, poems, essays, and plays and taught for six decades at his alma mater lived his life by words offered to him by a teacher at Oxford University more than 50 years ago.

The city of Raleigh is one step closer to banning smoking in public parks.

The City Council voted 6-to-2 to move towards a ban on smoking in city parks. The ban would apply to city parks like Pullen near NC State’s campus, but not to Moore and Nash Squares downtown, which are state parks.

Mayor Charles Meeker proposed the ban, saying it is a health and litter issue. The two council members who voted against it say it will be too difficult to enforce.

Raleigh will spend about $25,000 to put no smoking signs up at all city parks.

Criticism of the Wake County School Board's decision to do away with the diversity policy is growing.

The latest wave of criticism came after a page one story appeared in the Washington Post last week, linking the Board Majority to the Tea Party. That prompted the U.S. Secretary of Education to weigh in in a letter to the editor.

Raleigh City Council members will hear an update tonight on the preparations for the NHL All-Star game. The game will be played at the RBC Center at the end of this month, but there will also be concerts and a fan-fair event in downtown Raleigh.

Today marks the first day new pollution rules go into effect for Falls Lake. The State Division of Water Quality found Falls Lake to be impaired in 2008.

Falls Lake is the source of drinking water for half a million Wake County residents, but most of the watershed lies in Durham and Granville Counties. That has put local officials at odds for the last 18 months as they hammered out the new rules.

The disagreement between the Wake County School Board and the agency that accredits its high schools will continue. The School Board voted last night not to drop the accrediting agency.

The Board deliberated for two hours before deciding to send another letter to AdvancED. The letter will ask the accrediting agency to limit the scope of its investigation.

The vote was the latest in a months-long fight. It began when the North Carolina NAACP sent a letter of complaint to AdvancED, claiming the Wake School Board was not living up to its policies.

The spat between the Wake County School Board and the agency that accredits its high schools may soon come to an end. The result may be that the high school lose their accreditation.

Accreditation is a voluntary process. School districts like it because it gives them an idea of what may be working and what isn't. 

But when AdvancED told the Wake School Board it was launching an investigation in the fall, the republican majority on the School Board balked. They felt AdvancED was overstepping its authority.

Student assignment is again on the agenda at five public hearings in Wake County.

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.

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