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.

Pages

Health
4:32 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Listen: This Doctor Tried To Save A Boy With The Ebola Virus

Dr. Fischer and a colleague. This clothing will protect them from Ebola.

The World Health Organization has reported the largest outbreak of Ebola ever: more than 330 deaths in western Africa, and the number is rising.  Dr. William Fischer is an infectious disease specialist at the UNC School of Medicine. He has just returned from Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak.  Fischer admits he was scared at first. He wore protective clothing and a mask that made him look more like an astronaut than a physician. 

When asked about one of his most memorable experiences, he told this story:

Read more
Science & Technology
5:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Send A Picture Of Whatever To Mars For $1

Credit Eric Mennel

My dog. Hands down - that's the picture I'm sending to Mars. No questions asked.

There's a group of students at Duke who are trying to give me the opportunity for about $1. Time Capsule To Mars is a several-years-long project that is crowdfunding to cover much of the cost of sending a satellite time capsule to the Red Planet.

For now, they're accepting picture uploads. But they plan to expand all sorts of media.

Read more
Business & Economy
1:46 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Man Opens Shooting Range Next To Cat Refuge: Internet Gets Angry

The Goathouse Refuge in Pittsboro, NC is currently home to more than 200 cats.
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

Siglinda Scarpa walks me through the main house at The Goathouse Refuge, when a golden yellow cat that looks a lot like all the other 200+ cats starts rubbing against both of our legs, purring the way cats purr.

"Hey, Mimi," says Scarpa (presumably this is the cat's name), "What do you say? Stop that shooting range!" Scarpa chuckles.

Read more
Science & Technology
5:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

[Video] Inside Fullsteam's First Frost Beer

A key ingredient in 'First Frost,' the persimmon
Credit David Huppert / UNC-TV

Read more
Education
1:41 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

[Multimedia] Outspoken: The State of Teaching in North Carolina

For the past several months, WUNC has been working on a new multimedia project on the state of teaching. A sort of "End-Of-The-School Year" report on education in the state. That report, "Outspoken: The State of Teaching in North Carolina" is out today. 

In it, teachers tell stories that show the complexity of their jobs. Like Chris Reagan, who has had to prepare middle schoolers for both standardized tests... and how to go on a date:

Read more
Environment
5:20 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

What's The Best Way To Euthanize A Whale?

The first use of a new, more human method of euthanizing beached whales.
Credit Sarah Mallette

In 2009, a 30-foot long Right whale became stranded on Cape Lookout, N.C. For those who've never been, Cape Lookout is a remote beach, reachable only by boat or helicopter. The weather conditions were rough. During high-tide, the whale was completely submerged. During low-tide, it was completely exposed.

Craig Harms and his team of scientists had to catch a ride from a Coast Guard helicopter.

"The pilot asked me, 'How much time do you need?'" said Harms. "I said, 'I can do quite a bit in half an hour.' She said, 'You've got 10 minutes."

Read more
Arts & Culture
3:52 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Listen: How To Speak With A Certain Southern Twang

Credit Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

"Hain't dat white rice over yonder a-sittin' sigogglin'?"

That sentence is mostly non-sense, but it's also tells a quick and fascinating history of the Appalachian dialect.

Listen to our Eric Mennel take a lesson in Appalachian-speak from NC State linguist Walt Wolfram. (The lesson takes under two minutes.)

Read more
Military
5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Young Woman A Catalyst For UNC Policy Shift On Same-Sex Military Spouses

Credit Fort Bragg

Jasmine Pollard is an Army reservist. She had just gotten back from a nine-month deployment when she and her now wife decided to marry. The ceremony was in California, a state that allows same-sex marriages.

Her wife also serves. She's a medic stationed at Fort Bragg. So Jasmine, 20, decided to move back East so they could be together. She'd hoped to go to school, taking advantage of a federal law the says military dependents can receive in-state tuition rates.

She ran into problems.

She called Fayetteville State University to ask about the waiver.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more

Pages