Gurnal Scott

Assistant News Director

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television.   After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there.  He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards.  In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston.  He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002.  Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio.  He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director.  In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent.  Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.

Gurnal left WUNC in January 2015.

Ways to Connect

voting sign
Flickr creative commons

Early voters in North Carolina have just one more day to cast ballots ahead of Primary Day on May 6th.  The one-stop voting period ends around noon on Saturday.    

Board spokesman Josh Lawson says Thursday's voter totals have not yet been counted, but numbers through Wednesday have been encouraging. 

A picture of the Red Hat logo.
Red Hat

Leaders at Raleigh-based company developer Red Hat say the purchase of a California-based business will greatly boost its software storage capacity.  

Red Hat spent $175 million  to buy Inktank -- a open-source software storage provider.  The transaction is expected to be finalized later this month.  

Loggerhead sea turtle
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Beach-goers on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore will have to settle for an evening stroll near the waves instead of a drive for the next five months.  Today begins nighttime restrictions on off-road vehicle access to those beaches.   May through September is the prime nesting time for sea turtles. 

Park Service spokeswoman Cyndi Holda said one reason for the temporary ban is that lights from the vehicles can distract the hatchlings on their journey out to sea.

Charles R. Paul
Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation

Raleigh police officer Charles R. Paul died in the line of duty in 2002. He was on I-440, on a motorcycle, and he was chasing a speeding vehicle. He between Rock Quarry and Hammond Roads, when the accident occurred. His motorcycle struck the center median guard rail.

At the time, Officer Paul had served for seven years. He was married and had a one-year-old daughter.

Officer Denise Holden was a rookie on the Raleigh police force in 1995 when she sped off in the early morning hours to respond to an 'officer needs assistance' call.

Jabari Parker

Duke freshman basketball star Jabari Parker has decided to enter this year's NBA Draft.   A video on The Blue Devils' athletic website confirmed speculation that Parker would give up his final three years of eligibility. 

He led the team in scoring and rebounding this season.  Parker was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and to several national All-America teams.  Parker says making his decision took time because there were a lot of people offering him advice.

Dan Clodfelter
City of Charlotte

Former North Carolina Senator Dan Clodfelter officially became the new mayor of Charlotte Wednesday.  His wife and one daughter stood with him in the city council chamber as he took the oath of office.  Council members selected Clodfelter Monday to fill the vacated term of Patrick Cannon who resigned last month in the wake of federal corruption charges. 

Clodfelter never mentioned his predecessor by name.  He did refer to the day of Cannon's resignation saying that it will not cast a shadow on city leaders who have governed honestly in the past.

Former UNC Journalism Professor Chuck Stone died Sunday.  He was 89.
University of North Carolina

A much-admired former journalism professor at UNC-Chapel Hill died Sunday. 

Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone, Jr. taught at the university from 1991 until he retired in 2005.

Stone was one of the founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and he was the first African American columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Debra Saunders-White

Debra Saunders-White was officially installed Friday as the 11th chancellor at North Carolina Central University.  She has been serving as the school's leader since last June.  She is the university's first female chancellor and only the second woman to lead one of the five historically black colleges in the UNC System.

Saunders-White encouraged NCCU students to be fearless in choosing their career paths..and promised the school's best efforts to help them reach their goals.

Allisha Gray
UNC Athletic Communications

North Carolina's run in the NCAA Women's Tournament is over.   The fourth-seeded Lady Tar Heels fell to second-seed Stanford 74-65 in the West Regional final.  UNC wound up just one game short of reaching the Women's Final Four for the fourth time.

UNC was led by freshman guard Allisha Gray with 19 points and nine rebounds.   ACC Rookie of the Year Diamond DeShields added 13 points for North Carolina which finished its season 27-10

Diamond DeShields

The UNC women's basketball team is one win away from its first trip to the NCAA Women's Final Four in seven years. 

Brett Farmiloe / Creative Commons/Flickr

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford announced on Thursday that the league's men's basketball tournament will come back to North Carolina after a few years away:

  • Charlotte will host the tournament in 2019. 
  • Greensboro will see the event return in 2020. 

(Earlier, the ACC announced it will take the men's tournament to Brooklyn's Barclays Center for two years.)  

Swofford says new membership has mandated a broader reach.

Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

 Updated Monday 3/24 12:15 p.m.

The Raleigh Durham Airport Authority is looking for ways to put more than 2,000 acres of undeveloped land to good -- and profitable -- use.  Authority members heard a presentation Friday morning from representatives of the Urban Land Institute.  Here's what was proposed:

Contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune military base has been linked to adverse health effects.
Sanjay Parekh, via Flickr

North Carolina's U.S. senators say they're concerned about slow answers in the Camp Lejeune water contamination case.   Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan have sent a letter to federal Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  They want to know why an investigative agency under the HHS umbrella seems to be dragging its feet.  

TJ Warren

N.C. State lives to play another game in this year's NCAA Tournament.  

LaVelle Moton

Four North Carolina universities -- all located in the Triangle -- have earned bids to this year's National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.  The highest seed is Duke.  The Blue Devils are third in the Midwest region.  But the Atlantic Coast Conference runner-up will open tournament play against Mercer University at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Friday. North Carolina Central University is making its first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.  The Mid Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champions are seeded 14th in the East region.  They will put a 20-game win streak on the line against third-seed Iowa State Friday in San Antonio.  

SmartSign via Flickr

A Shelby-based company is launching their own ultra-high-speed fiber optic project -- even as Google Fiber tests some North Carolina markets for connectivity.  RST Fiber says it has activated a statewide 3,100-mile fiber network.  

Sen. Martin Nesbitt

North Carolina state senator Martin Nesbitt died Thursday of stomach cancer just days after stepping down as the Senate's minority leader.  He was 67 years old. Nesbitt was first appointed to the state House in 1979 to finish the term for his mother, Mary Nesbitt, after her passing.  He rose to appropriations chairman and top budget writer in the 1990’s and began serving in the Senate in 2004. Nesbitt's peers elected him Senate Majority Leader in 2009.  After the Republican takeover in 2010, he was elected Minority Leader. 

US 64, Wendell
NC Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is all hands on deck this morning.

More than four hundred trucks have been in action over the last 48 hours pre-treating and clearing roadways of snow from the mountains to the Outer Banks.

The western piedmont got about an inch of snow, and some areas of the Triangle near I-95 have seen 5 inches. Snow accumulations in Easter North Carolina could exceed six inches.

Most schools across the region are closed today.

Vaccine, shot,
Wake Med

 A Washington non-profit group says North Carolina ranks high in stopping infectious diseases.  The Trust for America's Health released a report on a year-long study that says the state hit seven of 10 marks in preventing outbreaks.  Spokesman Albert Lang says North Carolina is focused on more than just maladies common in less-developed nations.
Two horses at play.
goingslo via Flickr Creatibe Commons

State veterinarians are investigating signs of a rare virus in four horses at a north Raleigh farm.  The disease, Equine Herpesvirus-1 -- or EHV-1, is only contracted by horses and cannot affect people.

Tom Ray is director of livestock health programs at the state Department of Agriculture.   He says there are several ways the virus can be spread among horses.

NC General Assembly

Changes detailed in the state's new voting law now allow bigger donations for candidates. 

Political office seekers were able to start padding their campaign war chests once the calendar changed to 2014.  Candidates for any office can now accept up to $5,000 from a single contributor.  Before the new year, the contribution limit for most donors was $4,000.  Judicial candidates could only accept $1,000 per supporter. 

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have secured a spot in this year's NFL playoffs.  But, they now know they have a chance at being the top seed in their conference.   League officials have determined that a Panthers' victory over Atlanta this Sunday along with a San Francisco victory and a Seattle loss would give Carolina home field as long as they remain alive in the postseason.  Head Coach Ron Rivera said his message to the team will be to not worry about anyone other than the Falcons.  

Johnston County rest areas

Drivers along I-40 this holiday season can take a breather at a rest area in Johnston County.   The westbound and eastbound stops near Benson have re-opened after a nine-month remodeling project.

The NCDOT put $1.5 million into renovations and upgrades for the facilities which now meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. 

Transportation department spokeswoman Jennifer Garifo says the look of the rest areas was designed and decorated to pay homage to the state's signature industry.

Durham Police Department badge.
City of Durham

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said it might be hard for people not in law enforcement to believe how a 17-year-old boy died while in police custody.

The chief said at a news conference Wednesday that Jesus Huerta shot and killed himself while handcuffed in the back of a police car.  He had been detained by Officer Samuel Duncan after police received a report on a runaway.

James Joseph
Duke University

North Carolinians are joining leaders around the world in remembering Nelson Mandela's legacy. The former South African president died Thursday in Johannesburg. He was 95. Those who watched Mandela emerge from decades of captivity to national leader say he brought a charm  not found in most political figures.

James Joseph is professor emeritus at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy. He served as U.S. ambassador to South Africa during much of Mandela's presidency.