Jeff Tiberii

Capitol Bureau Chief

Jeff Tiberii first started posing questions to strangers after dinner at La Cantina Italiana, in Massachusetts, when he was two-years-old. Jeff grew up in Wayland, Ma., an avid fan of the Boston Celtics, and took summer vacations to Acadia National Park (in Maine) with his family.  He graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and moved to North Carolina in 2006. His experience with NPR member stations WAER (Syracuse), WFDD (Winston-Salem) and now  WUNC, dates back 12 years. 

He works in the Capitol Bureau with Jorge Valencia and Reema Khrais. Jeff started at WUNC as the Greensboro Bureau Chief, in September of 2011. He covered a range of topics, including higher education, the military, federal courts, politics, coal ash, and college athletics.

His work has been heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here & Now. Jeff’s work has been recognized with four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and dozens of other honors. He loves to travel and would one day like to live and work abroad.

If you have a story, question or thought find him at JTiberii@WUNC.org or @J_tibs

Ways to Connect

This food was on the back of the Grocers on Wheels truck one recent Saturday
Carol Jackson

Some North Carolina residents who receive food assistance must now prove that they're working, volunteering or taking classes. The change was implemented in urban counties with the New Year.

Rubio addressed a crowd at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Saturday. He has received endorsements from about a dozen state lawmakers.
Jeff Tiberii

With just three weeks until the Iowa Caucuses, Presidential candidates are hop-scotching across the United States making their political pitch. Donald Trump is in Windham, New Hampshire Monday morning. Ted Cruz has a Monday afternoon event scheduled in Baton Rouge. And Republican hopeful Marco Rubio is in Sarasota, Florida to deliver an economic address on taxes and spending. This past weekend Rubio rallied in Raleigh.

(Left to right) Lyons Gray, Jeff Epstein, Governor Pat McCrory, Lee Roberts. Gray is the outgoing Secretary of Revenue; Epstein will take over in February; Roberts is returning to the private sector after 18 months in the McCrory administration.
Jeff Tiberii

Governor Pat McCory is welcoming a new secretary and budget director to his administration.

At the Executive Mansion on Thursday afternoon, McCrory appointed Secretary of Revenue Lyons Gray to serve on the North Carolina Utilities Commission.  Replacing Gray as Secretary of Revenue is Jeff Epstein, the current chief operating officer of that department.

Donald Trump held a captive audience Friday night in Raleigh.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The leading Republican presidential candidate says he will improve national security, put an end to Hillary Clinton and make America great again. Last night Donald Trump made his first visit to North Carolina since announcing his candidacy in June.

For six months the billionaire mogul has delivered a relentless stream of putdowns, personality and promises that have propelled him comfortably atop the Republican presidential race. For 52 minutes Friday night he was center-stage in Dorton Arena on the State Fairgrounds.

State Senator Tom Apodaca
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Another powerful member of the North Carolina Senate will retire next year. Republican Tom Apodaca of Henderson County will not seek an eighth term in the General Assembly.

An image of Republican Renee Ellmers
Public Domain

North Carolina has 13 members in the United States House of Representatives. Ten are currently Republicans and next week each is expected to file paperwork to run for another term. However, the road to re-election looks different for some members of the GOP.

A 7-hour committee meeting carried on Wednesday at the Capitol. Refugees, open meetings and prison maintenance contracts were among the topics.
Jeff Tiberii

Two members of the Governor's Cabinet say the renewal of prison maintenance contracts to a campaign donor did not violate any laws.

State Budget Director Lee Roberts and Department of Public Safety Director Frank Perry answered questions from lawmakers during a grueling seven hour meeting of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations at the Capitol on Wednesday.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

With the often overwhelming multi-month holiday time upon us, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge the one season that seems to extend longer than the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-Solstice-New Year's, marathon.

Election Season.

There is another election this week. It's on Saturday. And while chances are you will not be voting for the next governor of Louisiana, it has been quite a contentious race down in the Bayou.

Assistant Secretary for the Division of Employment Security celebrated the state's unemployment trust fund surplus, on Thursday. Governor McCrory stood over his left should, while Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla looked on as well.
Jeff Tiberii

State officials are celebrating a $1 billion surplus in the North Carolina unemployment trust fund. The Wednesday announcement represents a significant swing from just two and a half years ago when the state owed the federal government $2.8 billion. This past May, the state paid down its debt a year before the due date. The savings have continued.

"Today I am very proud to announce the following - that we have built up our unemployment reserve fund to more than $1 billion," said Governor Pat McCrory before a crowd at the Employment Security Commission.

Congressman Howard Coble is ending is 30 year career in politics. He will be retiring in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Stock Photo)
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howiecoble.jpeg

Former Congressman Howard Coble died late Tuesday at age 84. The Republican represented North Carolina's sixth district for 30 years.

A picture of a voting sign.
Tom Arthur / Wikipedia

The municipal elections are over, and some North Carolina communities are getting new leadership.

For the fifth time in three years Charlotte has a new mayor. Democrat Jennifer Roberts defeated Republican Edwin Peacock. She had topped the interim mayor in the Primary.

Meanwhile, Chapel Hill is getting a new mayor. Pam Hemminger knocked off three-term incumbent Mark Kleinschmidt in a race that was dominated by the question of whether the town is growing too fast.

An image of people holding up alcholic beverages
Pixabay Public Domain

The State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has rejected a proposed penalty for a Chapel Hill bar. La Residence, commonly known as La Rez, is accused of serving 20-year-old Chandler Kania prior to a fatal highway crash this summer. Kania is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is accused of driving the wrong way on I-85, hitting a Jeep and killing three people. Police say his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Janet Cowell
nctreasurer.com

State Treasurer Janet Cowell will not seek re-election in 2016. The former Raleigh City Council member was first elected to the statewide post in 2008. She is the first woman to serve in the position.

Kelly Holden stands in front of his truck a few days after rain and flood waters damaged some of the fruit and vegetable crops on his 250 acres of land. His family has been farming in Brunwisck County since the 1750s.
Jeff Tiberii

Farmers across eastern North Carolina are assessing crop damage following heavy rains and flooding. Some growers have lost entire fields while others will wait weeks to determine what can be harvested. As local and state officials scurry to place a value on what was lost, members of the agriculture community say they’re glad the harm wasn’t worse.

Governor Pat McCrory addressed a gaggle of local officials and media members on Tuesday in Brunswick County. He says the main focus now is determining how to best help farmers in the eastern region of the state effected by weekend storms.
Jeff Tiberii

Many farmers in eastern North Carolina continue to assess crop damage following weekend storms. Flooded fields are expected to result in depleted peanut, sweet potato and cotton harvests this fall. Governor Pat McCrory expressed concern about the agriculture industry at a Tuesday briefing.

The Ocracoke Lighthouse in Hyde County was built almost 200 years ago. It's a popular destination for visitors of the island and remains one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the United States.
Jeff Tiberii

Along the North Carolina coast, Hyde County remained under a state of emergency Monday evening with rain expected to continue through the night.

The chambers of the NC State House
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Lawmakers at the N.C. General Assembly have adjourned for the year, ending the longest session since 2001. An almost all-night session included passage of bills related to immigration, environmental regulations and technical corrections to thousands of pages of legislation passed during the last eight months.

Before the day started, Senate rules chairman Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville) told a committee room to “stay tuned” and that “we could see all kinds of things between now and later.”

Immigration Bill Sparks Tense Debate

A picture of a voting sign.
Tom Arthur / Wikipedia

Volunteers hit the streets for National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, asking neighbors if their registration is current.

There are 6.3 million voters registered in North Carolina. Whether they are all registered in the counties they plan to vote in come Election Day is a different story.

Josh Lawson of the State Board of Elections says many voters have shown up at the polls in the past to find they weren't actually registered in the county they planned to vote in.

Cam Newton
Keith Allison / flickr.com/photos/keithallison/15362046036/in/set-72157647731565810

Quarterback Cam Newton led Carolina Panthers to a 24-17 home win over the Houston Texans yesterday.

The fifth-year Panthers starter threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground he rushed for another 76 and produced highlight-reel, somersaulting score.

"My heart was in my socks," Newton said. "As I was flipping I was like, 'Hey, I don't know how this is gonna end.' And then I'm coming down I said, 'Hey, I can stick this.' I didn't stick it, but I think I still got a good high rating by the judge."

NC State House
NCGA

Following 11 weeks of waiting, dozens of closed-door negotiations and an undetermined number of offers, proposals, phone calls, arguments, lobbyist exchanges and dinner deliveries - we have a budget deal.

"This budget is a net tax cut," proclaimed House Rules Chair David Lewis (R-Harnett) on the floor Thursday night.

"We know this is a good budget, there is a lot of stuff in this budget we like."

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

This summer, North Carolina lawmakers unveiled controversial education proposals - like ending funding for driver's education, and slashing money for teacher assistant positions to pay for more teachers. After months of press conferences, closed-door negotiations and loud floor debates, lawmakers released details of their budget deal this week. Below are some of the K-12 education highlights: 

Taxes
www.irs.com

Politicos across the state are sifting through the 429-page budget bill - as well as the generally easier-to-follow 207-page money report - after its release late Monday night. The spending plan for the two fiscal years beginning July 1 is complicated, dense, and spotted with policy changes - including money for Medicaid reform and changes to the tax code, among other provisions.

Jorge Valencia

 

Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore outlined a two-year spending plan this afternoon that would maintain funding for elementary school teaching assistants, high school drivers’ education classes, and gives state employees a one-time bonus of $750.

Henry McCollum (left) spent 30 years, 11 months and seven days on death row. Leon Brown was imprisoned at the age of 15 and spend the first decade in solitary confinement. In 2014 the men were released after DNA evidence implicated another man.
Patrick Megaro (McCollum and Brown's attorney)

Two North Carolina men who were wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 30 years in prison are receiving financial compensation. Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown are each getting $750,000 from the state. The men were released a year ago after DNA evidence helped to exonerate them. Henry McCollum said no amount of money can make up for the lost time. The 51-year-old is hoping to make the most of his future.

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