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

A picture of Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal
StoryofAmerica.org

The mayor of Belhaven, N.C. is walking to Washington, D.C., again, over hospital closures.

Mayor Adam O'Neal made the trek last year when Belhaven Hospital shut down because of financial problems. 

Now he says there are as many as  283 rural hospitals across the country in danger of closing by the end of this year.

"All we're doing is trying to bring awareness, national awareness to a horrific tragedy that's taking place in our country right now and that's the failure of rural hospitals."

One of Progress Energy's solar energy farms.
Duke Energy/Progress Energy

The General Assembly is caught up in a possible overhaul of the state’s commitment to renewable energy. A bill moving through the state legislature would scale back the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS).

 

REPS are important because they mandate how much renewable energy a company like Duke Energy produces as a part of its total electricity sales.

 

Merge Records Co-Founder and Frontman for the indie band Superchunk, Mac McCaughan professional photo.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

 

Mac McCaughan has worn many musical faces. Twenty five years ago, he helped start the band Superchunk and the independent music label Merge Records. He has also recorded under the name Portastatic.

 

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Many North Carolina residents are asking questions about the state's train safety after an Amtrak train derailed last week in Philadelphia, killing eight people.

Paul Worley, NC Department of Transportation Rail Director, said the system that would control train speed and other safety factors through GPS is being fitted on trains and switches across the state.

John Howie Jr.

The Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series returns Thursday night at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham with a performance by honky-tonk musician John Howie Jr. The concert is free and will start at 6 p.m.

 

The Chapel Hill country singer will play with the Rosewood Bluff and will be joined by Tonk. But before he gets on stage Thursday evening, Howie Jr. decided to stop by WUNC to talk with Eric Hodge about his approach to writing country songs and life as a parent.

Window and Wooden Boards
Sherrie Thai / https://flic.kr/p/6vjNqk

The city of Durham is no longer using plywood to cover up windows and doors in abandoned buildings.

Faith Gardner works for city's Neighborhood Improvement Services Department.

"If you're living in a neighborhood with boarded structures, they don't look good, you can tell that they've been abandoned, there's also an attraction there for criminal activity."

Gardner says a new, clear, polycarbonate material has been installed in ten vacant homes, with more to come. She adds that it improves the appearance of the buildings and allows police to look inside.

An image of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange
Alex Loops

 

Chapel Hill musicians Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz have been busy the past year touring as the folk duo Mandolin Orange. But all roads lead back home for the pair.

 

Their new album, Such Jubilee, is a celebration of home and a revered tribute to the places and people they cherish.

Rap group Toon and the Real Laww performing at Art of Cool
The Art of Cool Poject

 

Jazz and soul fans are welcoming the fourth year of a homegrown tradition: The Art of Cool Fest.

 

 

Friday kicks off a three-day mix of local and national artists bringing the dynamic world of jazz and soul music to Durham.

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

New emissions rules for one category of cars and light trucks take effect today in North Carolina. 

The state Division of Motor Vehicles in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has created an exemption for emissions inspections. 

Tom Mather works for the state Division of Air Quality.  He says annual emissions inspections will no longer be required for newer vehicles.

"It applies as long as your car has less than 70,000 miles and is in the first three model years."

A picture of Duke fans in the stands.
JR / Flickr

A new Duke University study reveals that most die-hard fans did not attend the universities they support. 

Charles Clotfelter researched which college sports teams were mentioned in obituaries. He is a professor of public policy at Duke University. 

Clotfelter says only about a third of what he calls "true believers" were alumni of their teams' universities.

A picture of 6 String Drag.
Michael Traister / 6stringdrag.com

Raleigh-based roots rock quartet 6 String Drag is back after more than 16 years in hibernation. Front man Kenny Roby came into the WUNC studios recently to talk about getting the band back together, and their new album.

Before Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll was released last year, Steve Earle produced 6 String Drag's celebrated album, High Hat in 1997. After that, Roby says, the band drifted apart.

A picture of the curve of a basketball.
Gonzalo Andres / Creative Commons

NC State and North Carolina see action in today's second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  

The number eight seed Wolfpack takes on ninth seed Louisiana State University.  The fourth seed Tar Heels face number 13 seed Harvard.  

Despite suffering from plantar fasciitis, Carolina point guard Marcus Paige says his foot has completely healed and he's ready to go.

A picture of a boy receiving a shot.
Kaiser Permanente

A mathematical model from Duke University mathematicians suggests more can be done to protect people from the human papilloma virus.  

A picture of a child's height being measured.
Alec Couros, NC-SA / Creative Commons

More children living in North Carolina are now covered by health insurance. That's one of the positive findings in the annual health report card issued today by NC Child.

The group says teen pregnancy rates are falling, which is also good news.

But NC Child’s Director of Policy Rob Thompson says the emergence of e-cigarettes is a growing problem. 

A picture of Kim Gordon playing guitar.
Pat Blashil / Harper Collins Publishing

Kim Gordon became alternative rock royalty in her 30 years singing and playing bass with no-wave band Sonic Youth. They released 16 albums together. Gordon will be at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro tonight to talk about her new memoir, "Girl in a Band."

The book covers Gordon's upbringing and creative inspirations in California and New York. But, most notably, it describes the rise and fall of Sonic Youth, which she formed with guitarists Lee Ranaldo and, Gordon's husband of 27 years, Thurston Moore.

A picture of a school bus in the snow.
schoolbusdriver.org

Winter weather prompted many schools to close across central North Carolina today. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools made that call later than others. 

Classes at Chapel Hill-Carrboro high schools were canceled today, but not before elementary and middle school students got to their desks.

The City of Greensboro is welcoming police and the community to discuss their relationship tonight.

Greensboro Human Relations Executive Director Love Crossling organized of the event.  She says some neighborhoods are satisfied with their interactions with police officers.

“We have other pockets of the community where there is debate about whether or not there is a level of courtesy and respect and adherence to policy and procedure.”

Drummer Brian Blade Live at INNtöne Jazzfestival 2006.
Thomas Radlwimmer / Wikipedia

Brian Blade is a jazz drummer who has played with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, saxophone great Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and producer-musician Daniel Lanois.

Since 1997, when he's had time, Brian has been recording with a group called Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. Their latest album Landmarks was nominated for a Grammy.  

A picture of shooting victims Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha.
Yousef Abu-Salha / facebook.com

The FBI announced last night that it will open its own inquiry into the Chapel Hill shootings this week that left three young people dead.  

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt told WUNC's Eric Hodge that he's grateful for the agency's help. He says it could be instrumental in determining whether the suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, committed a hate crime.

"The motives of this individual are so foreign to all reasonable and peace-loving people. Its very difficult for any of us to understand how anyone could be motivated to behave in this way over any circumstance."

A picture of the French Legion of Honor medal.
David Monniaux / Wikipedia

France is paying tribute to seven North Carolina veterans of World War II today in Raleigh.  The men will be presented with the French Legion of Honor.  

 Denis Barbet  is the Consul General of France in Atlanta.  He says the medal is his country's highest decoration. 

Symposium on social entrepreneurship and civic engagement poster.
Duke University

A Duke University symposium is encouraging students to use entrepreneurial skills to give back to the world.

Leaders from several organizations will talk about social entrepreneurship and civic engagement at the campus today. 

Megan Granda directs Duke's Office of Civic Engagement.  She says two freshman pre-med-students serve as a good example.  They teamed up with the Clinton Global Initiative.

A picture of Mike Krzyzewski.
Duke Photography

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski now has one thousand career victories.

The Blue Devils defeated St. John's yesterday in New York City, 77-68.  Fans have been on the edge of their seats leading up to this thousandth win. (Twitter exploded with the news, with photos and videos being shared under the hashtag #Coach1K

Jonathan Byrd and his band.
jonathanbyrd.com

North Carolina's Jonathan Byrd has been served well by his time on the road. His travels have inspired his songs – both the gritty and gentle ones – and have earned him a huge following, especially in Canada.

He's a star in Quebec and southern Ontario.

"I sell out every show. The reception is just incredible, and I'm honored to be a part of that."

Jonathan Byrd's latest recording is "You Can't Outrun The Radio."

A new movie set in Western North Carolina opens in select theaters this weekend. The World Made Straight is based on a novel by North Carolina native Ron Rash.  It follows a legacy of violence dating back to the Civil War. 

The main character, Travis Shelton, is seventeen when he discovers a grove of marijuana in the woods ... and then he steps into the jaws of a bear trap. Injured, he is discovered by the pot farmer who set the trap, Carlton Toomey.

A picture of George Poehlman and other aid workers
Dr. George Poehlman

Doctor George Poehlman recently returned from an eight-week aid mission in Liberia.  Upon his return, the retired Durham, N.C. family physician put himself in voluntary quarantine at a time when some other doctors around the country have refused such quarantine, noting that it's not necessary.

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