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

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials are working on permanent fixes for last year's damage from Hurricane Irene on the Outer Banks. Two breaches along Highway 12 are covered with temporary bridges. Beth Smyre is a planning engineer with the DOT. She says permanent spans will be higher and longer than the temporary structures.

An environmental group wants North Carolina's coastal water to be cleaner. The Natural Resources Defense Council's new report on water quality says about three percent of the samples at twelve beaches exceeded bacteria levels set by the EPA. That's better than the national average of eight percent. Jon Devine is an attorney with the NRDC. He says the biggest cause of pollution on the coast is storm water runoff, but there are solutions.

Vince Gill
Durham Performing Arts Center

Country legend Vince Gill plays the Durham Performing Arts Center this Sunday night. After nearly 20 records, 14 Grammys and a truckload of Country Music Association Awards, he's back playing bluegrass again. And Gill tells WUNC's Eric Hodge it feels right to be doing it in North Carolina.

WUNC is a part of the American Graduate Project. It's a public media initiative looking at the drop out crisis across the country. As a part of this project we commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to teach a writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Over the last 10 weeks, Kane and Will taught a group of students how to use poetry to tell their own stories. Today is graduation day at Northern and three of the students from our workshop will be receiving their diplomas.


The dB's are back. This week, the legendary band releases Falling off the Sky. It's their first studio album in more than 30 years. The dBs began life in the late 70s in New York after growing up in Winston Salem. After several critically acclaimed records, members of the band went their separate ways -- but the music they recorded continued to influence fellow musicians.

That's the sound of a penny rolling round and round in a device called a gravity funnel. This was recorded at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro using WUNC's Make Radio iPhone app. It's part of a collaboration with the North Carolina Science Festival. You've likely seen this game, the coin launches from the top of a big round funnel and then spins, on edge, down to the collection jar underneath the hole at the bottom of the cone.

Kathleen Cleaver Source
Southern Oral History Program

In the final installment of Voices for Civil Rights, we hear some reflections on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.

Kathleen Cleaver describes a loss in intensity in the movement over the years, while Ruby Sales frames the movement as part of a larger fight for human dignity. Finally, we return to Jamila Jones, who recalls how as a child she struggled to understand the segregation on her daily bus ride.

North Carolina fell to Kansas last night in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Tar Heels kept it close for most of the game, trading leads until the last few minutes. James Michael McAdoo came off the bench to lead Carolina with 15 points. After the game, visibly crushed senior Tyler Zeller described the moment the Heels realized the game was over.

North Carolina and NC State return to action tonight in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Tar Heels take on Ohio with all eyes on the point guard. Coach Roy Williams says freshman Stilman White will likely start for the injured Kendall Marshall.

Roy Williams: Stilman, yeah, he really is - he's the guy that's gonna play. Stillman and Jay Watts. As long as their heart's not beating so fast that they pass out before they get to the court, I think we'll still have five guys out there starting.

In the Jim Crow South, the black community faced frequent violence and intimidation. Today in our series Voices for Civil Rights, hosted by Eric Hodge, we hear stories of encounters with the Ku Klux Klan.

Seth Kotch shares excerpts of three oral histories conducted by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Robert Hayling experiences sudden, horrific violence at a Klan rally in Florida.

In the third installment of our series Voices for Civil Rights, hosted by Eric Hodge, Seth Kotch shares excerpts of two oral histories conducted by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Freeman Hrabowski describes a clash with his parents over joining the Civil Rights movement in Alabama, when he was just twelve years old.

Researchers at Duke University say a new study shows promising results from a program promoting weight loss for obese patients. The study's authors say the program starts at primary care clinics and focuses on high-risk patients from ethnic minority populations and low income groups. Gary Bennett is an associate professor at Duke and worked on the study.

The Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill has just completed work on a new collection of interviews about the civil rights movement. Over the last year and a half, oral historians traveled the country to document the experiences of lay-people and leaders from the movement.

This series is part of a joint project between the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress. Seth Kotch coordinated the effort, and he's joining us each Friday to share some of what they found for a series we're calling Voices for Civil Rights.

The men's Atlantic Coast Conference regular season champion will be decided tomorrow. That's when North Carolina will travel up Tobacco Road to take on rival Duke. The two teams are tied for first place going into the final regular season game. Speaking on an ACC teleconference this week, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said it's been a challenge to get to this point.

Jamila Jones
UNC Southern Oral History History Program

When the Smithsonian opens its National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2015, part of its collection will be oral histories of the Civil Rights movement. The project began with an American Folklife Center survey of hundreds of existing oral history collections around the country before the Smithsonian set out to conduct new interviews with those who participated in the movement.

An environmental group is trying to halt new rules that allow more vegetation to be cut around billboards that line the state's roadways. Billboard owners say the new guidelines are needed to preserve visibility. But the group Scenic NC has filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order on the rules, which go into effect today. Molly Diggins is the executive director of the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club. She says the law allows clear cutting in front of the signs with no mandate for tree replacement.

There's more evidence that climate change is altering bird migration patterns. A new study from UNC-Chapel Hill finds some species along the east coast are migrating three-to-six days earlier than they were just ten years ago. Allen Hurlbert is an assistant professor of biology at UNC. He says birds face problems if they get the timing wrong.

Duke Cancer Center Opens

Feb 24, 2012

Cancer patients across the state have a new place to go for treatment. After a week of dedications and tours, the Duke Cancer Center opens to patients Monday. Doctor Michael Kastan is the Executive Director of the Duke Cancer Institute. He says the state-of-the-art seven story building unites a large number of specialists under one roof.

Drivers in Chapel Hill may soon have to refrain from talking on their cell phones. A proposed ban on the practice is being considered in a public hearing tonight. Penny Rich serves on the town council. She says a second draft makes the proposal more enforceable by making it a second offense rather than a primary offense. She says that means drivers won't be pulled over for speaking on cell phones, but if they commit another violation while using the device, they would be written up for both offenses.

North Carolina's farm economy is one of the biggest industries in the state. That's one of the reasons for a forum today on trends that affect the agriculture economy. State officials say farm safety, exports and drought will be some of the topics. Brian Long is with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He says there's another problem that doesn't get as much attention.

There are new regulations coming for the state's truckers and other commercial drivers. The federal government is setting up a database to be used by the Division of Motor Vehicles in all states. Marge Howell works for North Carolina's DMV.

Marge Howell: Most of our commercial drivers will have to certify the type of driving they do, whether its intrastate or interstate, and they will also be required to provide their DMV with current medical certification information.

Several African-American historic sites across Durham are being considered for historic designation. Preservation officials say criteria include sites where significant events took place, buildings with architectural significance, and homes of prominent African-American families. Bob Ashley is the executive director of Preservation Durham. He says there are quite a few contenders for designation.

Veterans in need of health care in eastern North Carolina will soon have a bigger facility. An expansion of the Veterans Administration clinic in Greenville gets underway with a ground breaking ceremony Thursday morning. Peter Tillman works for the Durham VA Medical Center. He says the expansion will allow the Greenville clinic to offer more services.

The tents that have been at Peace and Justice Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill since mid-October will be packed up today. Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro organizers say a press conference, potluck dinner and dance party will mark the end of this phase of the occupation. Katya Roytburd is involved with planning today's activities. She says the Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro movement has a busy agenda.

The boom of shale gas extraction in the US and elsewhere has prompted Duke University to organize a two day conference on the topic. Organizers say the controversial process of gas extraction called fracking will be one of the main focuses of the gathering. Rob Jackson is a professor of environmental sciences at Duke and one of the event's organizers. He says his department is ready to monitor water supplies if fracking is allowed to take place in this state.