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 the Avett Brothers performing at the Outside Lands 2009.
Moses / Wikipedia

North Carolina drops an acorn, a pickle, and a possum every New Years Eve. But Concord-natives Scott and Seth Avett have their own holiday tradition.  The Avett Brothers will be playing their annual New Year's Eve concert at the PNC Arena in Raleigh this year. 

The band does a New Year’s show in North Carolina every year. Seth says it’s a tradition borne out of convenience. When the band started 14 years ago, they were on the road a lot. Like, more than 200 shows in a year.

An illustration of the proposed Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.
O'Brien and Keane

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh will break ground on a new cathedral in January.

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the principal church in the Raleigh diocese which covers the Eastern half of North Carolina.

Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge says it's also the second-smallest Catholic cathedral in the United States, after the Cathedral of the nativity in Juneau, Alaska.

Sylvan Esso
the artists

It's been a big year for the band Sylvan Esso, the Durham-based duo of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn.  Earlier this month Paste Magazine named their song "Coffee" its Song of the Year.

Sylvan Esso’s music comes with a certain digital reality. It’s devoid of the oft-shallow feel of some electro-pop songs that are just about parties or typical relationship fodder. This maintains an earthiness that it takes a band from North Carolina to possess.

A picture of a shrimp trawler.
NOAA Fishwatch / Wikipedia

A Duke University study says North Carolina coastal fishermen could make more money and preserve the shrimp fishery, if they'd wait until late in the season for the big catch.

Duke Environmental Economics Professor Martin Smith is a lead author of the study. He analyzed State Marine Fisheries data showing fishing vessel size, the size of the catch, and what it sold for on a daily basis over six years.

Broadband internet, computers,
www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/

The high-tech nonprofit behind the North Carolina Research and Education Network is celebrating advances in broadband infrastructure. 

MCNC brings high speed Internet access to Universities, community colleges and the state's K-12 public schools. 

The organization's new President and CEO Jean Davis says the next step involves even faster connectivity.

Mandolin Orange
NPR Music

The music of Mandolin Orange is pure and beautiful.  Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz call North Carolina home, but they have spent the better part of a year on the road, most recently touring Europe with Chatham County Line. Now home, the duo is playing at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC this weekend. But first they stopped by the studio to talk with Eric Hodge, and play live:

A new highway historical marker in Orange County commemorates a key event in American history. 

In 1788, North Carolina leaders gathered in Hillsborough to debate ratification of the U.S. Constitution. 

Hillsborough historian Scott Washington says leaders were pressured to ratify the Constitution as it existed. 

“As they debate and go through the constitution, Samuel Spencer realizes there is something missing and that's the point at which he raises this concern and says there ought to be a Bill of Rights,” Washington says.

A manhole cover at night
Evan Blaser / Flickr/Creative Commons

Scott Huler explores city infrastructure for his new book, On the Grid. Listen to the stories of what's been found in Raleigh's sewers:

Here's an excerpt from the book:

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

This Veterans Day, Gov. Pat McCrory has high praise for the new U.S. Veterans Affairs secretary. He's also touting new programs to help former and active members of the Armed Forces in North Carolina. 

He tells Eric Hodge that showing gratitude to veterans is something he takes very personally.

McCrory's father was a Navy pilot and his father-in-law flew P-47s in the Army Air Corps. But his real role model was his cousin Paul. Paul was a Marine who trained at Camp Lejeune and served in the Vietnam War.

Flag of the United States of America, backlit, windy day.
Jnn13 / Wikipedia

Communities across North Carolina are hosting events in honor of Veterans Day today. 

Airman First Class Fabiola Tan of Durham becomes an American citizen today. She is one of six U.S. military veterans and service members who naturalized in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ceremony in Durham County this morning.

Tan came to the United States from the Dominican Republic before she turned four.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

Family members and officials at Fort Bragg welcomed nearly 300 paratroopers home from Afghanistan yesterday. 

Operations are winding down in that country, and yesterday's event was just one in a series of reunions over the past few weeks. 

Sgt. First Class Joseph Armas is based at Fort Bragg and helped organize the event.  He says yesterday’s ceremony came at the end of an eight month deployment.

A picture of Jason Isbell with a guitar.
Michael Wilson / Jason Isbell

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Isbell has covered a lot of ground since leaving the Drive-By Truckers seven years ago. He's released several albums with his band The 400 Unit. He spent a lot of time on the road and last year put out his solo album Southeastern. Great reviews followed.

This fall, Isbell scooped up Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.

Halloween in Chapel Hill
Matt Fields / Flickr/Creative Commons

Chapel Hill officials say they are prepared for tonight's annual Halloween celebration on Franklin Street. 

More than 300 police officers will be keeping an eye on thousands of people expected to attend the event between 9 p.m. and midnight. 

Lieutenant Joshua Mecimore works for the town's police department.  He says there are rules in place to help keep all the ghouls and goblins safe.   

“You know, we want people to know that you can't have alcohol in the event, you can't bring alcohol out of one of the restaurants into the event,” he says.

Photos from the #Panthers tie vs. Cincinnati:
Carolina Panthers via Twitter
A picture of the Diamond Shoal.
Public Domain

North Carolina used to have a floating light house. The Diamond Shoal bobbed in the water, warning ships about the dangerous sand shoals off the North Carolina coast.  The boat was in service for 21 years before it was sunk by a German U-boat in World War I.

That historic shipwreck is the subject of a new partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA. The two groups are jointly managing the site where the Diamond Shoal light boat went down after being attacked . 

Lauren Heesemann works for NOAA.  She says there are extensive plans for the wreck near Cape Hatteras:

A picture of three banjos.
plenty.r / flickr

Fans of bluegrass music are in Raleigh this week for the World of Bluegrass Festival and conference. 

The gathering is organized by the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association.  The event is part business conference, part music festival.  

Nancy Cardwell is the IBMA's Executive Director.  She said some of the world's finest musicians are in attendance, too.

Chatham County Line
http://www.chathamcountyline.com/

The world's premier bluegrass music event is all this week in Raleigh. The International Bluegrass Music Association's annual gathering and Festival used to be in Nashville but moved to Raleigh a year ago.  

Tens of thousands of people attended last year and city officials say visitors spent more than $10 million on food, hotels and entertainment.    

The organization has since decided to put down roots and committed to holding the event in Raleigh for the next six years.  

A picture of cleaning chemicals.
Collin Anderson / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a chemical safety data summit in Research Triangle Park today and tomorrow. 

Unless a chemical is being used as a food additive, a drug, a pesticide or one of a few other specialized uses, EPA officials say there's not a significant amount of testing required. 

Russell Thomas is a director at the EPA.  He said there are hundreds of new chemicals introduced into the environment each year.

A picture of the Wood Brothers.
The Wood Brothers

Brothers Chris and Oliver Wood went their separate ways after growing up in Boulder, Colorado. 

Oliver headed to Atlanta where he formed the band King Johnson which combined, blues, R&B, funk and country. 

Chris traveled to New York to continue his studies on jazz bass and went on to form the instrumental Medeski, Martin and Wood

A picture of sweet potatoes.
Llez / Wikipedia

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving millions of dollars to North Carolina State University to research sweet potatoes.  The grant is aimed at developing new breeding tools to improve crop production in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Craig Yencho heads the university's sweet potato breeding program and is the project director.  He said sweet potatoes already feed millions of people in the region.

"It's a very hardy crop," said Yencho. "It can resist drought and heat very well.  It can be grown in a really wide range of soil types and it produces a lot of food per acre.”

Hiss Golden Messenger's album "Lateness of Dancers"
Merge Records

M.C. Taylor wasn't born in North Carolina, but he sure sounds like he was. 

The California native moved to the Tar Heel state about seven years ago to continue making music as Hiss Golden Messenger. 

The songs contain some of the basic ingredients of Appalachian music, but combine those elements in unpredictable ways, creating a sound that is both steeped in tradition and completely modern.

Taylor's new recording is called "Lateness of Dancers."  He plays an album release show at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro Saturday night.

Hurricane Arthur
National Weather Service / NOAA

Historically, today marks the peak in the Atlantic hurricane season. 

There have been four named storms so far and three of those were hurricanes.  Hurricane Arthur caused damage to eastern North Carolina when it came ashore along the Outer Banks in July.  

Richard Bandy is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Newport.  He said forecasts for a below normal season are proving accurate. 

Michael Rank has recently released his fourth album of new material in two years.

NCDOT

A new, longer ferry route between Hatteras and Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks is now permanent. 

Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Department of Transportation made the announcement Monday. 

Tim Hass of the state Ferry Division says the original shorter route continues to be a problem.

Jody Stephens, host Eric Hodge, Skylar Gudasz, Brett Harris and Chris Stamey in the WUNC Studios
Al Wodarski / WUNC

What music critics have said for years about The Velvet Underground could easily apply to Big Star, too: they were much more influential on later bands than the sum total of all the records they sold. Bands ranging from R.E.M. to Wilco to Cheap Trick to Teenage Fanclub to Dum Dum Girls all cite the influence of and appreciation for Big Star. A cover version of Big Star's "In The Street" served as the theme song for the popular TV sitcom That '70s Show.

Some thirty musicians (including Mike Mills of R.E.M. fame) are banding together Friday night in Carrboro, NC, to pay tribute to this seminal band by staging orchestrated versions of two of their albums.

  • Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St. Carrboro, NC.
  • When: Friday August 22 Doors at 8 p.m. Show at 9 p.m.
  • Tickets: via Cat's Cradle

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