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

Thomas Walker
U.S. Attorney's Office (Eastern District)

The U.S. Attorney for North Carolina's Eastern District, Thomas Walker, is promising to follow disclosure policies  for defendants prosecuted by his office.  The 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an opinion last week critical of three cases out of the Eastern district.

Circuit Judge Henry Floyd said judges found three instances of evidence being withheld from defendants.  Walker says there was no intentional shielding of the facts in the case he oversaw, but he still takes the court's concerns seriously.

flu shot
samantha celera, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Workers at state DHHS healthcare facilities are being required to get flu shots.  Secretary Aldona Vos  is implementing the policy to fall in line with what some hospitals have done to protect patients' health. 

More than 10,000 employees and volunteers will have until December first to be vaccinated.  Luckey Welsh is interim director of the DHHS division of state-operated facilities that house mentally and developmentally disabled patients.

A dorm at UNC-Chapel Hill.
madrigals via Flickr, Creative Commons

UNC Board of Governors members voted unanimously to cancel a policy allowing men and women to live together on the Chapel Hill campus.  The vote nullified the UNC Chapel Hill trustee board's endorsement of gender neutral housing.

Some male and female students were going to live together in 32 living spaces set aside in two dorms starting this month.  But the board of governors said that arrangement would be inappropriate.  Chairman Peter Hans says their consideration of the policy included the unfavorable opinions of some state lawmakers.

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health

Members of a Raleigh-based community medical organization say a new study shows a transitional care program they launched has cut hospital re-admissions by 20 percent. 

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health

Medicare patients who are frequently admitted to hospitals are beginning to cause extra fees for those facilities. 

Aqua NC will file for its 3rd rate increase in 5 years.
Wikimedia Commons

Officials with Aqua North Carolina are seeking another rate increase -- the third in five years..  The private water provider wants a 19 percent jump in the cost of their water service to customers. 

US Dept. of Defense

Aspiring defense contractors are in Fayetteville for this year's annual Defense and Economic Development Trade Show.  Companies will be at Fayetteville Technical Community College to network with military and political figures and to see demonstrations of advances in combat equipment.

This year, federal sequestration cuts have brought questions from vendors about the level of military participation.  Scott Dorney is executive director of the North Carolina Military Business Center.  He says business are coming to this year's show looking to partner up.

Julius Chambers
Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter

Friends and the state's legal community are honoring the life of Julius Chambers who died last week.  He was 76 years old. 

Chambers was active in the 1960s Civil Rights movement, founding the law firm that became North Carolina's first integrated practice.  A statement from the Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter firm said Chambers argued eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won all of them. 

NOAA

Weather forecasters may soon have a new tool that could predict a hurricane's landfall more accurately. Researchers at Coastal Carolina University say the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook -- or HUGO -- project uses climate factors and data from previous storm seasons to predict where a storm will hit up to five days in advance. 

The new model could mean more focused information when it comes to coastal evacuations.

The pink ribbon is a symbol for breast cancer awareness.
TipsTimes

UNC- Chapel Hill and Duke researchers will share national grant money to further breast cancer studies. Ten programs at the schools will get $3.6 million from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The research will investigate causes and develop vaccines.

Pam Kohl, the director of Komen's Triangle to the Coast affiliate, says this funding can be as important to scientists as it is to patients. Kohl points to Komen Scholar Kimberly Blackwell of Duke as one of those who benefited.

electronic cigarettes
dikiy via Flickr, Creative Commons

Tobacco shop retailers are following a new law that keeps them from selling electronic cigarettes to minors. Many smokers use e-cigarettes as a replacement for tobacco cigarettes. The battery-operated devices heat small amounts of a nicotine solution. Smokers then inhale the vapors. 

Donnie Angelini runs a tobacco shop in Raleigh.  He says his policy has always been to market his store's products to adults only.

Dr. Laura Gerald
NC Division of Public Health

State Health Director Dr. Laura Gerald has resigned from that post effective immediately. 

A release from the Department of Health and Human Services said Secretary Aldona Vos accepted the resignation Tuesday.  Gerald served as state health director for the past 18 months.

In a correspondence sent to DHHS employees, Vos thanked Gerald for her service and wished her well on her future endeavors. The secretary also announced temporary replacements in the Division of Public Health

Kieran Shanahan
N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

Kieran Shanahan will step down as state public safety secretary in less than a week.   Shanahan was among then-Governor-elect Pat McCrory's first cabinet appointees.

In his resignation letter, Shanahan said he told the governor last December that his service hinged on two factors: his legal career and his wife's military career.  Lisa Shanahan is receiving a Naval promotion to Rear Admiral and he said being away from his law practice was proving to be a challenge.  McCrory says he understands that.

NCDOT

Some eastern North Carolinians are pleased with an aspect of the new state budget proposal.  State legislators have left decisions on whether to charge tolls on some coastal ferry routes in the hands of local transportation planning boards.  

State Department of Transportation officials could only start the process to levy ferry ride charges if the planning boards sent in a written request.  Larry Summers is a town commissioner in Oriental.  Neuse and Pamlico ferries serve many who visit his town.

NCDOT

State Transportation Department officials have tapped a Mt. Airy company to make repairs to the Bonner Bridge on Highway 12.  The bridge in Dare County which crosses Oregon Inlet will have steel supports called "crutch bends" added to counteract years of sand erosion, or scour, that have weathered the structure. 

Pablo Hernandez, an engineer with the state DOT, says the last time this type of repair was done was more than 20 years ago.

Loggerhead sea turtle
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are estimating the cost of designating special loggerhead sea turtle habitats along the Southeast coast.  The federal agency released a draft proposal saying it will cost $150,000 annually to protect areas in North Carolina and five other states.  

U.S. House of Representatives

Some North Carolina members of the U.S. House are taking sides as their chamber gets ready to take up immigration reform this week.   Many House Republicans on Capitol Hill disagree with the comprehensive reform plan passed by the Senate.


GOP Congressman George Holding of Raleigh says the bill doesn't go far enough to protect the border today.  He also says he doesn't think it will be effective moving forward.

Central Prison
Dept. of Public Safety

State prison inmates will soon find it tougher to make home visits as their sentences wind down.  Governor Pat McCrory ordered a review of the program the Department of Public Safety has used for over four decades to reacclimate inmates to life outside prison walls.  He approved four recommendations he and DPS leaders believe may cut back on parolees returning to prison. 

President Obama and Anthony Foxx
The White House

Anthony Foxx is scheduled to be sworn in as the nation's 17th Secretary of Transportation.  He stepped down from his old job as mayor of North Carolina's largest city on Monday. 

Foxx called a special meeting of the Charlotte City Council to say goodbye to the city he has led for the past four years.

"Thank you for what you've given me," Foxx said.

Kay Hagan
hagan.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan was among the supporters helping to pass an immigration reform plan proposed by a bipartisan group of her colleagues.  The Senate voted 68-32 in favor of the bill introduced by the Senate's so-called 'Gang of Eight' as a way to provide a path to citizenship for more than 11 million people who entered the country illegally. 

Hagan says she spoke with many North Carolinians who urged her to support the bill and said it will benefit the nation on several fronts.

A beach near Wilmington, NC.
libby via flickr, Creative Commons

Environmental advocates say North Carolina's beaches fared well in their latest water quality study.  The Natural Resources Defense Council's 2012 "Testing The Waters" report examined many of the nation's beaches for levels of pollution. 

NRDC researchers found that two percent of samples from North Carolina beaches registered higher than the state's maximum bacterial limit.  Jon Devine, a senior attorney with the NRDC, says states like North Carolina are taking steps to stop bacterial contamination.

Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory joined officials with software maker Red Hat to cut the ribbon on the company's new downtown Raleigh headquarters today.  Company leaders announced a plan two years ago to move from offices on NC State's Centennial Campus to a capital city high rise. 

Elderly woman, Senior Citizen, Walking, Park,
Matthew Sanders via Flickr, Creative Commons

The Alamance County D.A. has started an effort to protect senior citizens from being crime victims.  Pat Nadolsli kicked off the 'Elder Abuse Initiative' Friday.  He says Alamance County data showed more than 300 cases of elder abuse and exploitation from 2011 to 2012.  Nadolski says the plan is to stop these crimes in the many forms they can take.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife researchers have noticed a slight drop in the number of pups being born to the state's native red wolf population.  According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, 34 wolf pups in seven litters were found in eastern North Carolina habitats.  That's down by an average of seven pups over the last three years. 

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.
NAACP

84 people were arrested at the General Assembly in another of the "Moral Monday" protests led by the state NAACP.

Church leaders led this week's demonstration and were among those taken into custody Monday night.  So far, more than 380 arrests have been made.  The civil rights organization and a number of left-leaning groups are speaking out against policies pushed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

Wake County Justice Center
www.wakegov.com

Many Wake County employees are moving into a new downtown justice center this week.

County officials have invested three years of construction and $184 million in their new government headquarters.  Office workers have begun setting up in the facility.  The county's Register of Deeds will the first to open its doors Wednesday.

Picture of a convention
cursedthing / Flickr

Members of two state political parties are holding conventions this weekend.  The North Carolina Republican Party is welcoming many of its members to Charlotte. Party leaders say they'll use the event toemphasize new campaign approaches.  

GOP supporters want the party to make an effort to reach out to more minority conservatives.  Chief of Staff Mike Rusher says the party also wants to change its campaign approach from concentrating on heavily-populated voting districts to what he calls "a 100-county focus".

BlueCross BlueShield NC's Chapel Hill headquarters, a rhomboid-shaped glass building built in 1973.
BCBSNC

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina employees will soon move out of their landmark Chapel Hill headquarters and consolidate operations in Durham. The health insurer purchased two buildings on its Durham campus where they could move employees starting in September. 

Spokesman Lew Borman says the move is expected to save the company up to $2.5 million in operating costs annually.  As for the signature building they now call home, Borman says its fate is yet to be determined.

Mercy for Animals

A bill in the state Senate could put an end to secret videos seeking to expose shoddy business practices.  The N.C Commerce Protection Act would stop advocacy groups from getting hidden-camera evidence of crimes unbeknownst to employers. 

Mercy For Animals made one such video at a Butterball plant in Hoke County in 2011 that led to charges.  The group's lead investigator Matt Rice says the bill would go beyond just animal cruelty.

Pat McCrory and Kieran Shanahan
Gurnal Scott

State leaders are stressing the importance of preparation for residents and themselves as hurricane season begins this weekend.   Forecasters say the 2013 Atlantic storm season could be another busy one.  

Their prediction of up to 20 named storms could surpass last year's 19.  North Carolina leaders stood along with Governor Pat McCrory to say now is the time for everyone to prepare for whatever may come.

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