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

Matthew Ryan
Sarah Kay

Matthew Ryan has been releasing albums for almost two-decades. In that time, he's been compared to everyone from Bruce Springsteen to U2's Bono and Tom Waits and fans of his work include Lucinda Williams.

Marijuana is slowly being legalized, with legitimate, profitable businesses popping up in several U.S. states. But in this week's Criminal Podcast, Phoebe Judge tells the story of Meridy Volz, who pioneered a booming pot brownie business in 1970s San Francisco.

William Tyler
Angelina Castillo / Merge Records

Whether you think he sounds country or not, William Tyler has just been named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 Country Artists You Need to Know. The magazine described him as a Ry Cooder playing Kraftwerk.

The Jayhawks
All Eyes Media

The Jayhawks' tour for their new album Paging Mr. Proust brings them to Carrboro today. With more than a few Americana classics under their collective belt, the Minneapolis natives sound energized and excited 30 years into their career.

Through that time, lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Gary Louris has been a driving force behind the band's success. He stopped into WUNC's Chapel Hill studio this week.

A drawing of Alabama.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Convicted criminals can sit on death row for many years after the crime scene is cleaned up and packed away.

In this week's Criminal Podcast, host Phoebe Judge interviews attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, a state with one of the highest execution rates in the country.

Stevenson started out at Harvard Law School, but was ambivalent about his career choice until an internship sent him to Atlanta to inform an inmate that his execution date wouldn't come within a year.

Drawing of faces and organs.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On this week's Criminal podcast, we hear about a mystery surrounding the death of a horse thief.

Host Phoebe Judge and Elana Gordon of WHYY's "The Pulse" tell the story of John Frankford, a notorious horse thief from Pennsylvania in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Frankford also frequently got arrested.

Let’s Move! Executive Director and White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition Sam Kass speaks at a 2013 event with the National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior.
Tami A Heilemann / U.S. Department of the Interior

North Carolina has lost more than 2,600 farms in the last decade. To fight that trend, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the WC Breeze Family Farm are hosting their annual fundraiser. The Farm to Fork Picnic supports beginning farmer training programs.

Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's Criminal podcast examines the history of the 1979 clash in North Carolina now known by many as the Greensboro Massacre, which left five people dead and nine more injured.  Host Phoebe Judge spoke with Civil Rights activists Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller Foxworth about their run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.

Members of the Minnesota based band, Trampled by Turtles
Trampled by Turtles

Trampled By Turtles hails from way up north in Duluth, Minnesota. The band got its start in 2003 bringing a unique spin to Americana instrumentation with lyrics inspired by a sense of reverence for the countryside just outside their town.

The band is playing in Raleigh at the Red Hat Amphitheater Saturday as part of the Band Together event that helps raise money for various non-profits around the Triangle.

Morning Edition Host Eric Hodge spoke with the band's fiddle player and singer Ryan Young:

Songs In The Key Of Animals album cover
Merge Records

Charlotte native Benji Hughes has a fun, funky new album from Merge Records called Songs in the Key of Animals.

An image of artwork for the Criminal Podcast
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's episode of Criminal examines the legal battles of a man who made it his mission to give the middle finger to every law enforcement officer he saw. Robert Ekas's story raises questions of  how "flipping the bird" fits into free speech. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge.

A n illustration of Rogers' Cessna over the Sierra Madre mountains.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

In this week's episode of Criminal, a murder mystery is solved by some surprising sleuths: a married pair of accountants.  Host Phoebe Judge spoke with Texas-based CPAs Hugh and Martha Gardinier about how an audit unraveled a complicated criminal case. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

Author John Claude Bemis.
Jen Bauldree

Author John Claude Bemis may live in Hillsborough, but he spends much of his time in an imaginary world where myths and legends come alive. 

Bemis created the Clockwork Dark Trilogy, which weaves American folklore with the fantasy genre.  In his new book, "The Wooden Prince" Bemis has completely overhauled the classic story of Pinocchio, and introduces us to a magical place called Abaton.  

Author John Claude Bemis.
Jen Bauldree

Author John Claude Bemis may live in Hillsborough, but he spends much of his time in an imaginary world where myths and legends come alive. 

Bemis created the Clockwork Dark Trilogy, which weaves American folklore with the fantasy genre.  In his new book, "The Wooden Prince" Bemis has completely overhauled the classic story of Pinocchio, and introduces us to a magical place called Abaton.  

A drawing of a man with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Bourbon is a hot commodity these days, but one brand is considered among the finest in the world.  It's called Pappy Van Winkle.  In this week's episode of Criminal, Phoebe Judge examines the rise of the brand, and how a theft in 2013 made it even more popular.

A drawing of a judge's robe.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Note: this article contains graphic language.

In 1985, three men in South Carolina viciously raped and attacked a woman at a motel. In this week's episode of Criminal, Phoebe Judge tells us about a judge who proposed a punishment he thought would fit the crime better than jail time. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

Caleb Caudle
Justin Reich / Baby Robot Media

North Carolina native Caleb Caudle has been on the road for almost ten years playing shows with everyone from Jason Isbell to Justin Townes Earle. 

Recently, he gave up alcohol and headed back to the Tar Heel State to record his newest collection Carolina Ghost.  There are hints of classic Merle Haggard and Graham Parsons, but Caleb makes it all his own on songs steeped in the Piedmont, hot summers, the smell of tobacco and driving down highways and back roads.

Carolina Ghost is out now.

An image of the producers of WUNC's Localore: Finding America
David Brower / WUNC

 

WUNC is one of 15 stations across the country chosen to be a part of an innovative public media project called Localore: Finding America.  The project is being put together by the Association of Independents in Radio and is funded in large part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

As a part of the project, WUNC is partnering with John Biewen, a producer with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and will explore the things that bring us together and divide us as a community, like race, class and faith.

North Carolina's Justin Jackson dunks.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome / ASSOCIATED PRESS

In men's college basketball, eighth ranked North Carolina clinched the regular season ACC title with a road win over rival Duke, 76-to-72.  The Tar Heels led throughout the game, although the Blue Devils kept it close most of the way. 

A drawing of 'Jolly' Jane Toppin
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

The turn of the last century was a time marked by chilling deaths at the hands of unexpected culprits.

Remember Lizzie Borden and Typhoid Mary?  In this week's Criminal podcast, Phoebe Judge takes a deeper look at a lesser-known character known as "Jolly" Jane Toppan.  

Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

An image of musician Ryan Gustafson
Josh Coyle

For Asheville musician Ryan Gustafson, The Dead Tongues is a "musical and writing practice." That can mean bringing a group of kindred souls with him to perform on stage, or channeling his folk-rock songs as a solo artist with a handful of stringed instruments. In his new album, Montana, Gustafson polishes The Dead Tongue's mosaic of folk influences.

Skylar Gudasz
Colby Katz

Skyar Gudasz has spent the last few years singing, performing, writing songs and appearing on other people's albums.  She was one of the voices of the touring show for Big Star's Third, playing from Barcelona, to Australia, to the Cat's Cradle.  After putting out a handful of singles and EPs, Skylar is releasing her album Oleander.

A middle school in Minnesota averted a school shooting by using a well-prepared lockdown.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Many American adults remember fire and tornado drills from their school days.  But students coming up today are also being prepared to jump into action when a gunman shows up at school.  

In this week's episode of Criminal, members of a school community in Hastings, Minnesota remember a close call a few years back. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

Duke basketball player Derryck Thornton.
Gerry Broome / Associated Press

In men's college basketball, last night's Carolina-Duke game lived up to all the pre-game hype. 

After leading for most of the game, the Tar Heels lost to the Blue Devils in the final minutes, 74-to-73. 

A drawing of a sick tree.
Julienne Alexander / ThisIsCriminal.com

An iconic oak tree is the subject of this week's Criminal podcast, produced at WUNC. The program tells the stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.

John Giedraitis was the city forester in Austin, Texas in 1989, when a beloved live oak tree there got sick.

"I proposed to my wife underneath the tree, because it's a big, strong, important tree that symbolizes timelessness, endurance, strength and that sort of stuff," Giedraitis says.

Aedes aegypti mosquito
James Gathany / CDC

Health care professionals and researchers across the state are ramping up to assist in the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus. 

Infections in pregnant women in Brazil are thought to be behind a steep increase in cases of microcephaly  in that country.  The condition results in babies having abnormally small brains and heads.

The house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata .
Bruce Marlin / Wikipedia

Researchers are looking into how many arthropods may be living in US homes.  Arthropods include insects, spiders and centipedes.  Initial findings were based on searches of 50 free-standing houses in Raleigh.

Election placards placed near a polling location in Apex, N.C.
Magnus manske / Wikipedia

A new study from High Point University questions the effectiveness of political lawn signs. 

Researchers say millions of dollars are spent on the signs across the country each election cycle.  Brandon Lenoir  is an assistant professor of Political Communication and Campaigns at the university.

"We actually found that unless the race is, is within only a percentage or two point spread between the two candidates, lawn signs have no effect on the outcome of the election."

This is the acorn emblematic of Raleigh, North Carolina which usually sits on a pole in Moore Square but lately is removed, suspended from a crane, and lowered at midnight to mark the new year. It is a festive time ball.
Ke4roh / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Celebrations are scheduled across the state today as the countdown to the New Year looms.

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