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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Bonner Bridge Lawsuit
8:00 am
Sat December 7, 2013

SELC: Bonner Bridge Lawsuit Will Move Forward

Credit Southern Environmental Law Center

Despite a public blasting from state and local officials, the Southern Environmental Law Center says it plans to move forward with a lawsuit opposing replacing the Bonner Bridge.

"We have no plans to drop this lawsuit," said Derb Carter, Director the SELC North Carolina offices. "We're filing briefs next week. We are doing everything we can to make sure the case proceeds promptly to a conclusion."

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Unemployment Benefits
9:45 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

New Rules To Receive Unemployment Benefits

North Carolina's Unemployment Rate
Credit U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As jobless numbers continue to drop, North Carolina Department of Commerce officials are announcing new rules for people receiving unemployment benefits. 

Beginning next February, claimants will be required to present a photo I.D. at an in-person meeting within four weeks of receiving their first benefits. Currently, the meetings are done at random.  

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Law
5:57 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Police Memorial Brings Raleigh In Line With Other Major Cities

An artist rendering of the new memorial at night.
Credit Dennis Lane / Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation

In 2009, Major Dennis Lane and other police officers road their bicycles from Raleigh to Washington D.C., in honor of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  They stopped at various cities along the route. And they noticed something different between these cities and Raleigh; Many of them had memorials erected in honor of fallen officers.

"Of the 50 largest cities in the country, there were only two cities that did not have a police memorial of some sort; Raleigh and Indianapolis, " said Lane.

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Business & Economy
3:16 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Name This Underwear; Change A Life

The Phoebe Judge Floss of Digging for the Truth
Credit WUNC

Last year, Urban Ministries of Durham made national news with their online game, Spent. They teamed up with McKinney, an advertising agency, to help re-create the experience of living below the poverty line.

But, after playing Spent, "I think you get through...  and it feels pretty hopeless," said McKinney associate creative director, Jenny Nicholson. UMD and McKinney wanted to bring some of that hope back.

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Dinosaur Discovery
6:00 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Local Scientist Makes Most Awesome/Terrifying Discovery Of The Year

Credit Jorge Gonzalez

Researchers from North Carolina and Chicago announced  the discovery a new dinosaur today.

Siats Meekerorum (known colloquially as "SEE-ahtch") is thought to have been one of the three largest predators in America, at one time even larger than the Tyrannosaurus. This particular specimen was 30 feet long... and it's an adolesent.

Dr. Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist at N.C. State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, is one of the co-discoverers. She told WUNC that we're still trying to figure out what led to Siats's demise. But there are theories.

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Sports
6:18 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

UNC Considering Renovations To Dean Smith Center

Dean Smith Center, UNC Chapel Hill
Credit Dave DeWitt

The University of North Carolina basketball program is considering renovating or possibly replacing the Dean Smith Center.

The school's Athletic Director, Bubba Cunningham, would like to add premium seating to the arena.  Similar changes were recently made to the football stadium in Chapel Hill to become what is now called the "Blue Zone." Cunningham said the seats may largely pay for themselves.

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Sports
5:21 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

UNC Coach Dean Smith Recieves Presidential Medal Of Freedom [Video]

UNC Basketball Alumni Game. (From right) Michael Jordan, Roy Williams, Dean Smith.
Credit totomaru / Flickr

At a ceremony at the White House Wednesday, President Obama awarded former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The president bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor on a class of recipients including civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and women's rights advocate Gloria Steinem.  Smith was lauded not just for his many athletic achievements, but also for his impact on the community he calls home.

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Health
6:12 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Colleges Partner To Begin New Nursing Program

Nursing students working in the simulation lab during class.
Credit Lower Columbia Community College / Flickr

Two North Carolina schools are partnering to provide future nurses with a path to a bachelors degree.

The new program is a joint venture of North Carolina Central University and Central Carolina Community College.  It's designed to allow students at the community college to take university-level nursing courses.  Betty Dennis is chair of the NCCU Nursing department.  She said many nurses never bother to get a four-year degree.

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Sports
6:18 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

UNC-Chapel Hill To Help Treat Former NFL Players' Trauma

Credit beefy_n1 / Flickr

The NFL Players Association announced a partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday to provide medical services and support to former football players. 

The program is called "The Trust".  It's the result of a multi-million dollar collective bargaining agreement reached after the 2011 league lockout.  Bahati Van Pelt is executive director of The Trust. He said the UNC Brain and Body Health Program and its director, Kevin Guskiewicz, were natural partners for the NFLPA.

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Health
7:05 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Fewer Than 2,000 Sign Up For 'Obamacare' In NC

Credit Flickr.com

A total of 1,662 North Carolinians have signed up for a health plan in the federal marketplace.

That's according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of the 30 states that have signed up individuals, North Carolina has the fourth most, behind Florida (3,571), Texas (2,991) and Pennsylvania (2,207). 

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