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

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is dropping its practice of paying for retirees' health benefits.  The country's largest utility joins companies like IBM, General Electric and Time Warner in the policy change.

 Instead of covering insurance for more than 14,000 retirees, Duke Energy will give them a yearly stipend.  Retirees can use that payment to buy their own coverage.  Dave Scanzoni is a company spokesman.

The NC State Wolfpack will take the field tonight for their biggest game of the season to date. The Clemson Tigers are third-ranked in the national polls and an early contender for the national championship.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

Some Fort Bragg soldiers will begin specialized air assault training classes this week.  Fort Bragg soldiers had previously gone to posts outside the state to complete the course.  Soldiers will learn the logistics of moving troops and equipment by helicopter during combat. 

Capt. Matt Smoose is the school's commander.  He says the training includes helicopter transport and what's called 'springload operations'.

The Bonner Bridge connects Bodie and Hatteras Islands on the Outer Banks

A federal judge has issued a ruling partially clearing the way for a new span to replace the Bonner Bridge along the Outer Banks

Activists represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center claim building a new bridge parallel to the existing bridge that links Hatteras Island and the mainland would harm coastal wildlife habitats. They want a longer, more costly bridge further out in Pamlico Sound.

City of Raleigh

Triangle residents are being invited this week to consider public transportation as a commuter option.  Local and regional systems are taking part in "Try Transit Week" hoping to get people out of their cars and on a bus to work or play. 

 Capital Area Transit is offering special events every day to entice new riders.  Lindsay Pennell handles marketing for the Raleigh bus service.  She says over the years they've been able change some people's transportation choice.

Army Institute of Heraldry

A 90-year-old World War II veteran will receive a high military honor in Durham. 

Hurricane Irene

The 2013 Atlantic storm season has been milder than expected so far. Only eight named storms have formed by the season's midpoint.  The latest -- Humberto -- is the first hurricane to form.

A Triangle live-in diet program once endorsed by celebrities and others seeking weight-loss results appears to be permanently closed.   The Rice Diet Center was once affiliated with Duke University before striking out on its own 11 years ago. 

Hollywood stars have been among those who traveled to Durham to embrace eating meals of mainly white rice and fruit in an effort to slim down. As more diet plans gained recognition, the Rice Diet lost favor and followers.  The center's current owner, Dr. Robert Rosati, was forced to close the program after 70 years.

Gregory Vineyards

North Carolinians have had to endure bouts of mild but wet weather this summer.  That combination can help in some ways but can hurt in others. 

North Carolina wine growers specializing in muscadine varieties typically prefer dry weather with lots of sun.  Lane Gregory runs Gregory Vineyards in Angier.  He says up to 40 inches of rain fell on his muscadines in June and July.  Gregory says that has altered the balance in his yield.

Wake County commissioners are moving forward with an effort to assess the county's transit needs.  Members unanimously voted this week to bring in experts from outside the county to look at a current plan to improve transportation. 

Those ideas include expanding local and commuter bus service and building a commuter rail system from Garner to Durham.  The plan would cost Wake County more than half a billion dollars. David Cooke serves as county manager and says experts will analyze transportation needs beyond just Wake County.

An aerial view of BASF's Crop Protection and PlantScience site in Research Triangle Park.

Officials with a leading plant sciences company have expanded their presence in Research Triangle Park.  BASF cut the ribbon today on new lab, office and greenhouse space.  The expansion cost $33 million. 

The new addition includes an insect production facility, or an "insect zoo," to aid in testing bug-killing agents.  Nigel Armes is BASF's director of research and development.  He says the facility is key in establishing the company as a leader in insecticide production.

The report aims at bringing a better balance between academics and sports at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Tnbailey09 voa Creative Commons

A panel of academic and athletic leaders have released a report aimed at re-defining the role of sports on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Committee members listed 28 recommendations they hope will help bring a better balance to school and sports on campus. 

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum faces ongoing financial struggles, and the Greensboro mayor wants the city to take it over.
Jeff Tiberii

There is a deal on the table to help keep the doors of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro open.   The museum, at the site of a famous lunch counter sit-in in 1960, has been struggling financially. 

Now, the city's mayor and three council members will bring a potential loan package to the full council.  Museum officials requested $1.5 million.  The city's plan calls for a total of $750,000 and creates committees to help oversee operations.  

The food stand.
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

Some capital city residents are getting access to farm fresh food months after two grocery stores closed in their area.  The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle of Raleigh is operating a weekly food stand in a church parking lot. 

The Raleigh Area Development Authority is helping to fund the shuttle's effort to keep the southeast part of the city from turning into a "food desert".  Cindy Sink is a spokeswoman with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.  She says the food stand adds to ongoing efforts.

Kay Hagan is urging the US Attorney General to review NC's Voter ID law.
Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says she's asked the nation's Attorney General to look into the state's new Voter ID law.  The North Carolina Democrat says she wanted Eric Holder to examine the legislation signed this month by Republican Governor Pat McCrory.  Hagan says the law enacts restrictions that could suppress voter turnout among minorities, as well as younger and older voters.  Supporters say it's intended to prevent fraud at the polls.  Hagan told WUNC's Frank Stasio those instances barely exist.

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. 


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.

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.