Eric Mennel

News Producer

Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.

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Military
7:24 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Burr Vs. Vets: A Battle Of Official Statements

Republican US Sen. Richard Burr has been sparring with veterans service organizations.

The official statement might be the most passive aggressive technique in politics. And right now, there's a lot of passive aggression in the world of veterans affairs.

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Business & Economy
7:41 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Vivian Howard Accepts Peabody Award For 'A Chef's Life'

Chef Vivian Howard accepted a Peabody Award for the PBS series 'A Chef's Life'.
Credit Cherry Bombe Magazine / via Twitter

North Carolina chef accepted a prestigious award last night for a TV series that chronicles her life and her cooking.   Vivian Howard is co-owner of  "Chef and the Farmer," a fine dining restaurant in Kinston, N.C.  She and the television crew that makes the series "A Chef's Life" accepted one of broadcasting's highest honors, a Peabody Award, in New York. 

Howard says the journey to being accepted by the Kinston community was a long one.

"It really took a while for them to warm up," says Howard. 

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Arts & Culture
12:01 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

WATCH: 10-Time Grammy Winner Bobby Hicks Performs In-Studio

Bobby Hicks, 2014 NC Heritage Award Recipient
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

Bobby Hicks had no intention of playing fiddle as a kid. He was playing mandolin in a band with his brothers when one of them asked for some help.

"My brother had a friend he wanted in the band, but he couldn't play anything," said Hicks. "So he talked me into teaching him to play the mandolin, and then they fired me."

It was to all our benefit.

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Politics & Government
5:51 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Congressional Candidate, Former State Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco Dies

Former state Commerce secretary Keith Crisco
Credit criscoforcongress.com

Democratic congressional hopeful Keith Crisco has died.  He was 71 years old.

Crisco was set to be involved in a possible runoff with Clay Aiken in the 2nd congressional district.  He died reportedly after a fall at his home in Asheboro Monday afternoon.  The death was confirmed by an employee at Asheboro Elastics, the company Crisco co-founded. 

The state Board of Elections released a statement on Crisco's passing.

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Education
4:04 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

WUNC's Guide To Graduation Weekend In The Triangle

Credit Duke University

Several universities are holding their commencement exercises this weekend. Here's a look at what's in store.

The Speakers

UNC Chapel Hill: Dr. Atul Gawande.

Dr. Gawande has become a household name for fans of science and medical journalism. He's a leader in the field of how to make health care more efficient and more effective on an institutional level. He also gave a TED talk, which makes him pretty hip.

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Politics & Government
7:41 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Complete 2014 NC Primary Election Results

Thom Tillis (Rep) will take on Kay Hagan (Dem) in the November general election.
Credit NC General Assembly/US Senate

Biggest Stories

Thom Tillis bested the wide field of GOP contenders for U.S. Senate with 45 percent of the vote. It was a wide enough margin to avoid a runoff -  a scenario many in the Republican party are glad to have avoided. He'll now turn his attention to incumbent Democrat, Kay Hagan, who won her primary (as expected), taking 76 percent of the vote.

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Arts & Culture
9:54 am
Wed April 30, 2014

The Poets Of North Carolina: A Healer, A Student, A Teacher, A Transplant

Jacinta White, poet, and coordinator of The Word Project.
Credit PoetryHeals.com

For National Poetry Month, we talked with four different North Carolina poets about their work and their relationship with the art form.

Name: Jacinta White

Location: Kernersville, NC

Organization: The Word Project, using poetry workshops to help with personal and community healing.

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Environment
9:24 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Commercial Fisherman Are Actually Asking For More Regulation... For Now

Credit Flickr user, creative commons

When the state announced earlier this month that the Red Drum fishery was closed, it was problematic for commercial fishermen. Commercially speaking, Red Drum is a bycatch fish, meaning it's only ever caught on accident, when trying to catch other fish. The fisherman are allowed to take in a total of about 250,000 a year -- a limit they hit much more quickly this year because Red Drum numbers are up.

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Health
6:07 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Why Are Tobacco Companies So Positive About E-Cig Regulation?

Credit dikiy via Flickr, Creative Commons

Shortly after the F.D.A. announced newly proposed regulations of the exploding E-Cigarette market, Greensboro-based Lorillard released  a statement on the matter:

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Military
3:07 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Should Veterans Get In-State Tuition In NC?

A breakdown of states by veteran education assistance
Credit Student Veterans of America / StudentVeterans.org

North Carolina is one of only eight states in the country where none of the state's schools offer in-state tuition or residency exemptions for veterans. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the number of veterans living in the state is expected to balloon by as much as 60,000.

This presents an opportunity for the state to change course and join the rest of the country in training service members who have called North Carolina home while in the military, though are technically residents of the states from which they enlisted.

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