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 in downtown Raleigh. Jeff started at WUNC as the Greensboro Bureau Chief, in September of 2011. He has reported on a range of topics, including higher education, the military, federal courts, politics, coal ash, aviation, craft beer, opiate addiction 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 or @J_tibs

Ways to Connect

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

House Republicans filed an economic incentives bill at the General Assembly Tuesday.

This proposed measure would double the amount of incentive money available for the Job Development Investment Grant program, also known as J-DIG. Legislators want to make $45 million  in job incentives available over the next two years. The measure would require all employers seeking grant money to provide health coverage for all of its full-time employees; and, it would change the name of the program.

Dean Smith
UNC-Chapel Hill

Thousands of people celebrated the life of legendary basketball coach Dean Smith yesterday. His family, former players and longtime friends paid tribute to the man, coach and leader at a memorial service in Chapel Hill. Smith passed away earlier this month following a long neurological illness. He was 83.

Inside a building that bears his name and beneath dozens of banners he helped to raise, Dean Smith was memorialized on Sunday.

Gasoline prices at the Carrboro Food Mart gas station in April 2013
Laura Candler

Lawmakers at the General Assembly have re-written a bill that would mean short-term savings on gas but could eventually lead to higher taxes and the elimination of 500 jobs.

During a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, Republicans said this would cut the gas tax and stabilize an uncertain gas tax revenue stream situation.

"And we need to stabilize the volatility of the gas tax," said bill sponsor Bill Rabon. "That guarantees us adequate funds to maintain our roads, improve our roads and meet our transportation needs."

Dean Smith passed away Saturday night in Chapel Hill. By Sunday afternoon a memorial had been created outside of the Dean E. Smith Center.
Jeff Tiberii

College basketball fans, alumni and students are remembering the iconic Dean Smith as an innovative coach and a man of integrity. People brought flowers, balloons and wrote messages in chalk outside the building that bares his name in Chapel Hill. Jeff Tiberii spoke with a few of those Carolina followers who paid tribute on Sunday.  

Leon Keys, Ginny Moses and Tom Gahagan were among the dozens of people paid tribute to Dean Smith on campus yesterday. Smith died Saturday night. He was 83.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory is calling for Medicaid reform, a $1 billion transportation project, and fewer tests for students.  McCrory delivered his State of the State address to lawmakers last night in Raleigh.

The governor’s 80-minute speech before a packed house chamber on Wednesday offered more praise and pomp than policy and proposals.

He touted the first two years of his administration before laying out an occasionally detailed vision about what he hopes is next.

North Carolina will be missing out on $51 billion from Mediciad because they chose not to expand coverage.

State Senators are allocating money to fight a lawsuit and fund commissions. Here's how the money would be spent:

rainbow flag
Ted via Flickr/Creative Commons

At the North Carolina State Legislature, Senate Leader Phil Berger introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow magistrates across North Carolina to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages. He wants government officials such as magistrates and registers of deeds, who object to same-sex marriage, to receive protection.

A picture of Mike Krzyzewski.
Duke Photography

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski now has one thousand career victories.

The Blue Devils defeated St. John's yesterday in New York City, 77-68.  Fans have been on the edge of their seats leading up to this thousandth win. (Twitter exploded with the news, with photos and videos being shared under the hashtag #Coach1K

Coach K has 999 career wins. His first 73 victories came at West Point coaching Army, between 1975 and 1980.
Jeff Tiberii

Mike Krzyzewski leads the Duke men's basketball team into Madison Square Garden this weekend. The legendary Coach K is simply treating it as the 19th game of this season for his Blue Devils. However a milestone is within reach.

The preeminent coach in college basketball was up to the usual this past Monday – glaring at officials, instructing future multi-millionaires and enjoying the home-court advantage his devoted student followers helped create. Duke’s back court played well, helping to end a rare two-game losing streak by polishing off the Pitt Panthers.

A picture of Duke fans holding a cutout of Mike Krzyzewski's face.

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski is now a win shy of career victory one thousand. 

The Blue Devils topped Pitt 79-65 last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Afterward, Coach K downplayed any special meaning for win 999. 

"It means we’re 16-and-two. That’s exactly what that means," Krzyzewski says. "And hopefully we can be 17-and-two in the next game we play." 

Krzyzewski has more wins than any college basketball coach in men's history. Duke's next game is in New York against St. John's on Sunday.

Sunset at Fort Fisher
teresaphillips1965 / Flickr/Creative Commons

This weekend hundreds of re-enactors and thousands of spectators are expected to visit Fort Fisher. The Confederate Fort was situated along the Cape Fear River outside of Wilmington. It fell to Union forces 150 years ago this week.

"I think for many people their surprised that North Carolina played such a pivotal role, especially in the last four months of the war." said Historian Michael Hardy. He said the fall of Fisher marks the beginning of the end of the Civil War.

U.S. Figure Skating

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships begin this weekend in Greensboro. This same event came to the city four years ago.

Bob Dunlop, Senior Director of Events for US Figure Skating, says that now is a good time for the skaters and fans to come back to North Carolina:

"[It's the] start of a new Olympic cycle for us. New faces - some of the people who competed in '11 are gone from the sport. So, a great re-start for us."

Competitors will skate in singles, pairs and ice dancing divisions.

Chemistry is a bar and club, with a dance floor, DJ, and weekly drag shows. Owners at this establishment, and others, say new proposed regulations are unnecessary and costly.
Drew Wofford

  Elected officials in Greensboro are working to create a security ordinance for entertainment venues.

Calls for new regulations came after several violent incidents at nightclubs in recent months.  Late last year, a man was stabbed in the neck at a lounge near UNC-Greensboro. Another person was killed when shots were exchanged outside of a downtown nightclub.

A handful of people were arrested in Arlington, Texas prior to college football's national championship game. They were arrested for unauthorized sale of  items with college logos.

Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is a partner organization of Winston-Salem based IMG College. They are responsible for helping schools to protect and enforce against unauthorized use of their valuable trademarks.

flu shot
samantha celera, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Thirty people died from the flu last week in North Carolina - about three times more than died the previous week. 

"And those numbers are going to continue to rise. Because we always see those numbers lag behind our flu activity numbers by a few weeks," said Dr. Zack Moore, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Moore says people should use basic prevention methods like staying home from work when sick and staying away from people who are ill. He points out that vaccination is still an option.

crime scene tape
Ian Britton / Flickr/Creative Commons

Delays at North Carolina's State Crime Lab are a longstanding issue. Now, some local law enforcement agencies are seeking quicker assistance elsewhere.

Steve Williams heads Greensboro's Forensic Services division. He says that because rapes and homicides take precedence, the review of evidence for other crimes can take a very long time under the state system.

"It could take years to get a lot of the property crimes even looked at," Williams said.

A picture of a homeless person sleeping on the street.
Franco Folini / Creative Commons

Dozens of people are waking up outside in Greensboro today.

A vigil was held last night to honor nine people who died in that city this year, while living in homelessness.

Michelle Kennedy is executive director at the Interactive Resource Center. She says that number might be higher.

“So it’s hard to ever really have an accurate number of how many people we've lost while experiencing homelessness in this city, or really any other city,” Kennedy says.

Protesters lined a walk way at UNC-Chapel Hill, before a Board of Governors work group convened.
Jeff Tiberii

Update Friday 5:00 p.m.:

Listen to Frank Stasio's conversation with reporter Jeff Tiberii here. Tiberii has been attending and reporting on the meetings this week.

Update Friday 9:27 a.m.:

Teachers and students say the new case (similar to an OtterBox) is part of the reason fewer tablets are breaking.
Jeff Tiberii

Students in Guilford County have tablet computers...again. The federally funded initiative first began in August of 2013, but school officials suspended the program weeks later after more than 10-percent of the devices broke. Now, middle school students have tablets from a different manufacturer.

At Jamestown Middle School several students surround a table in the media center. Their necks careen downward and their fingers move comfortably across glass screens. These tablets have games in math, social studies and science.

Sgt. Kristy Rodriguez is sprinting on a treadmill. She's wearing dark green shorts, a matching T-shirt and white sneakers. The pace keeps getting faster.

Rodriguez is at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, taking part in a Marine Corps experiment to determine whether women will be allowed to serve in ground combat units.

"A lot of people think that we can't do it," she says. "I don't think the same."

As she runs, Rodriguez stares at a photo — the iconic shot of Marines planting the American flag at Iwo Jima.

A rendering of the new memorial, which will honor 632 men and women.
Greensboro Coliseum Complex

A new memorial honoring fallen veterans is being dedicated in Greensboro today.

The downtown site pays tribute to the 632 men and women of Guilford County who've died in battles since World War II. They have been honored at the War Memorial Auditorium, but that building is closing. The new site honors all of the military branches.

Zhang / Flickr/Creative Commons

Voters in about a dozen rural counties approved loosening the restrictions on alcohol sales  this week. Consumers will now be able to purchase malt beverages and mixed drinks at area ABC stores.

Most of the changes occurred to the west. Over the years the state has "gone wet" (allowed alohol sales) from east to west.

republican elephant, democratic donkey
DonkeyHotey / Flickr/Creative Commons

Mark Walker is one of three new members of the U.S. House from North Carolina. The Tea Party-backed Republican handily beat Democrat Laura Fjeld. He’s a former preacher with no political experience. Walker will fill the seat held by Howard Coble for 30 years.

"It’s a very sobering thought to say the people of North Carolina, this particular district, have said we want you to be our voice in Washington D.C.," said Walker. "And I’m even trying to wrap my mind around the responsibility that that really is."

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

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it's prepared to compensate Marine Corps family members who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

The V.A. announced in October that it will now begin helping family members who were sickened by water at the base. The Marine Corps has said as many as 1 million people may have consumed contaminated water between 1957 and 1987.

Mark Walker and Laura FJeld both hope to replace 83-year-old Howard Coble who is retiring after 30 years in Congress.
US House of Representatives

There will be a new representative of North Carolina’s 6th congressional district this winter. Republican Howard Coble is retiring after 30 years in the U.S. House. Vying to replace the 83-year-old mainstay are political newcomers Mark Walker and Laura Fjeld. Those candidates met for a second debate Wednesday night in High Point.

Mark Walker was a high school quarterback without a driver’s license. Laura Fjeld was a young attorney in Durham, raising a son. And Howard Coble had just been voted into Congress, his first of 15 consecutive terms. That was 1984.