Eric Hodge

Host, "Morning Edition"

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.

In August 2004, he took over the Morning Edition slot where he enjoys the challenge of bringing North Carolina news to listeners each weekday. Eric moved to Carrboro from New York City in 2000. He worked for the BBC and XFM radio while living in London, England. He has also run his own music marketing company, worked for major record labels in both New York and London, and worked on the Grammy Award nominated Harry Belafonte project, "The Anthology of Black Music."

Eric grew up in Michigan, trained at the Broadcast Center in St. Louis with CBS's KMOX radio and worked at a variety of stations in the Midwest and upstate New York.

Ways to Connect

Debris from last month's tornadoes that hit central North Carolina is still being cleaned up. In Raleigh, officials are advising residents to get the rest of their yard debris out to the curb by June first. There is also an effort by city workers to clear streams and rivers of downed trees that could contribute to flooding. Steve Abbot works for the state Department of Transportation. He says contractors are still collecting debris outside of Raleigh as well. 

Residents of North Carolina are being urged to get ready for hurricane season which officially begins next week. Forecasters and other officials are using this week to highlight some of things you can do to prepare for the big storms. Jeff Orrock is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says a busy forecast means its time to get supplies like food, water, medicine and batteries purchased and organized.

The pirate Blackbeard's flagship is the focus of a spring dive that begins May 23rd. The Queen Anne's Revenge went down off the North Carolina coast in June, 1718. Recovery efforts have been underway for years at the site of the wreck near Beaufort. Mark Wilde-Ramsing is the state underwater archeologist and is heading up the project. He says there are several goals for the two-week dive.

The Hi Mount neighborhood just north of downtown Raleigh is being considered for addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Officials say the post-war community was planned in the late 1930s with construction finished by 1954. Martha Hobbs is a preservation planner with the city. She says the recognition could be a boost for the area. 

A new study from Duke University explains the source of salinity in well water on the Outer Banks. Professor Avner Vengosh directed the study. He says salinity levels are rising in wells on the Outer Banks. 

Avner Vengosh: "But our study shows the salinity is not derived from sea water intrusion as some had feared before, but its rather from flow of natural occurring ground water originated from fossil sea water."

The Amazon Rain Forest is being threatened by a gold rush. A new study from Duke University shows that surface mining is eating up large chunks of the forest in Peru. Jennifer Swenson is an assistant professor who worked on the project. She says satellite photos help assess how much land is being affected.

Jennifer Swenson: "I looked at two main mining sites that are new and over two years 1800 hectares of primary forest was removed. Think of that in terms of football fields, its actually 4 and a half football fields a day."

There's a new effort underway to reduce pollution in Durham. A number of the city's diesel vehicles have been fitted with emissions reduction equipment similar to that used to cut nitrogen oxide levels from power plants. Stephen Piccot is the Director of The Southern Research Institute and is in charge of the pilot project.

The entrance of an exhibit resembling a 1700s pirate ship
N.C. Museum of History

The history of the Tar Heel State goes on display tomorrow at theNorth Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Officials say The Story of North Carolina is so large the exhibit will open in two parts. The first half begins with the earliest signs of civilization and runs through the 1830s. Raelana Poteat is one of the museum's curators. 

People involved in video games are converging on Raleigh today. The East Coast Game Conference is a two day event that attracts programmers and developers from across the U.S. and Europe. Troy Knight is the operations director for the conference. He says the industry is an important and growing part of the Triangle's economy.

Troy Knight: "Within the Raleigh and just Wake County region we have about 40 plus game companies which consists of about 1,200 plus employees that work out there. The average salary is roughly around $79,000."

A photo featured in the exhibit
ncdcr.org

North Carolina's role in the Civil War is the subject of a photo exhibit opening today in Fayetteville at the Cumberland County Public Library. "Freedom, Sacrifice and Memory" is a traveling show that will visit fifty public libraries across the state.

There could be some help coming for victims of bullying in North Carolina. A symposium at N.C. State today highlights the different types of bullying and what can be done to protect students.

Dr. Tina Hancock is the head of the Department of Social Work at the University and one of the organizers of the event. She says the internet will be a big focus of today's meetings.

"They will be addressing the various forms that bullying can take place from social media and the responsibilities of professionals in schools settings to protect children from cyber-bullying."

History buffs and students can keep up with what happened across the state during the Civil War through Twitter. The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is tweeting the words of North Carolina civilians who witnessed the events of the war.

LeRae Umfleet is organizing the project. She says diary, journal entries and letters are being used as sources for the tweets as part of the 150 year commemoration of the war:

A relic from the Civil War Battle of New Bern is back in North Carolina. The combat sword from one of the few female union soldiers to play a prominent role on the battlefield is in the hands of a local Civil War memorabilia dealer.

Will Gorges says Kady Brownell was credited with helping her Rhode Island regiment avoid friendly fire by climbing to high ground and using her unit's flag to wave off an attack from fellow union soldiers:

Imam Speaks At UNC

Mar 16, 2011

UNC-Chapel Hill is hosting a lecture later today by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He's the man at the heart of a controversial plan to build an Islamic Center near ground zero in lower Manhattan. Bill Balthrop is a professor in the department of communication studies at UNC. He says the Imam will talk about religious tolerance and pluralism in the United States during this year's Weil Lecture on American Citizenship:

A controversial beach renourishment project is closer to getting underway in Nags Head on the Outer Banks. Town officials are lining up financing and preparing a contract for a company to perform the work. They say pumping dredged sand onto beaches suffering from erosion is a good way to protect the area's valuable shoreline. Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn says if it goes forward, the additional sand could preserve the beach front for up to a decade:

The State Employees' Credit Union is preparing to help people who may be laid off as part of North Carolina's attempt to balance the state budget. The Credit Union is updating its mortgage assistance program to help more people stay in their homes. Mark Coburn is the senior vice president of loan servicing for the Credit Union. He says partial payments, rate modifications and extending the term of mortgages can all help.

goduke.com

College basketball's March Madness is about to engulf fans across the country. At Duke University, an engineering professor says the usual suspects will dominate the NCAA Tournament. And Adrian Bejan says that can be explained by his theory of Constructal Law. He says great basketball players tend to wind up at the same colleges and universities in the same way water flows to a single point through many small streams that join bigger and fewer river channels.

Pisgah National Forest
usda.gov

A forestry law pushed by civic and business leaders in Asheville one hundred years ago is being celebrated today. The Weeks Act allowed the federal government to purchase private land for the establishment of National Forests. sg

James Lewis is a historian at The Forest History Society. He says what started in Asheville has grown to almost 20 million acres nationwide. 

Robert Plant
robertplant.com

A rock n' roll legend, former lead singer of Led Zeppelin Robert Plant has stayed busy as of late. His latest release is called "Band of Joy" and his current tour brought him through Raleigh recently. WUNC's Eric Hodge sat down with Plant to talk about the new album. Click "Listen Now" to hear the interview.

The Civil War began 150 years ago. As part of a four year commemoration, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is opening an exhibit today at Wilson Library. The display includes about one-hundred-sixty items that help tell the story of what happened in and around Chapel Hill and the University during the conflict. Susan Ballinger helped organize the collection. She says there are some very interesting documents to read:

James Guseh with NCCU students Desiree Lewis, Timeika White and Kaia Clarke
Leoneda Inge

Presidential politics in Africa and in the African Diaspora has flooded the news in the New Year. There is the stand-off in the Ivory Coast where nations around the world continue to beg a losing presidential candidate to cede power to the winner. And just recently – a former dictator of Haiti returned home – raising questions of his intentions as the country tries to rebuild. A professor at North Carolina Central University says he can’t change the world – but he can help change his home country of Liberia.  So he’s running for president.  

One of the biggest solar farms on the east coast is now generating power for customers of Duke Energy. The joint project with Sun Edison is located in Davidson County. Jason Walls works for Duke Energy. He says the facility will generate enough electricity to power 26-hundred homes.

Economic growth and protecting the environment were at the heart of the Green Future for Economic Development Summit held in Raleigh Wednesday. Urban planners along with business, government and non-profit leaders met at the McKimmon Center on the N-C State campus. Sig Hutchinson chaired the event. He says business leaders are drawn to the Triangle in-part, by clean water and air.

Abigail Washburn
abigailwashburn.com

Singer, songwriter, and banjo player Abigail Washburn is out with a new solo album called "City of Refuge." She plays at Berkeley Cafe in Raleigh tomorrow tonight and will be on A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday.

People interested in offshore energy development along the North Carolina coast are invited to attend a series of public hearings this week. The meetings are being organized by Governor Bev Perdue's Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy. Seth Effron from the state's energy office says even though there's a moratorium on drilling for oil and gas, there are other sources to consider.

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