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 JTiberii@WUNC.org or @J_tibs

Ways to Connect

Unemployment lines
Wikimedia

State officials have paid down $2.8 billion owed to the federal government. The debt came from money used to pay unemployment benefits during the recession.

That debt climbed to $2.8 billion in early 2013. Months later, lawmakers then passed controversial House Bill 4, which did the following:

Dorothea Dix campus
Ted Buckner / Flickr/Creative Commons

State officials voted unanimously Tuesday morning to sell the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus to the City of Raleigh for $52 million. This deal is more than a decade in the making.

The long-term plan is to transform the 300-plus acre site into a downtown park. Governor Pat McCrory said he hopes it becomes a destination for citizens across the state.

NC State House
NCGA

Policymakers at the General Assembly are pushing through dozens of measures with a Thursday deadline looming.

On Tuesday, Representatives pushed through about 30 measures. Most of the bills now heading to the Senate passed following little contention or debate, and with overwhelming support. Among the proposals:

School Boards Keep Power To Sue

The Screen Gems Studios is the largest facility of its kind in the U.S., east of Los Angeles.
Jeff Tiberii

For more than 30 years, the Wilmington area has been a hub for the filming of movies, TV shows and commercials.  Dawson’s Creek and Iron Man 3 are among the hundreds of productions cast in the region.

But earlier this year, a tax credit designed to incentivize the industry expired. Now business owners say with only a few productions remaining, the economic effects are significant.

Port City Signs is a small shop situated along a busy road in this coastal community. It has been around since the 1940s, printing signs, vehicle wraps or decals, and other art.

Thousand of Cameron Crazies cheered on Duke Monday, beneath the banners representing the schools previous championships. A fifth title will be honored later this year.
Jeff Tiberii

Duke is again champion of the college basketball world. The Blue Devils topped Wisconsin 68-63 last night in Indianapolis, claiming the fifth men’s Division 1 basketball title in school history.

Millions of viewers around the world watched as two freshmen helped to further cement the legacy of Coach Mike Krzyzewski. A few thousand fans watched the come-from-behind victory together, in some familiar seats.

The House debated SB 353 today.
Screen Shot, WRAL Broadcast

Republican lawmakers are proposing changes to North Carolina abortion laws. A bill filed Wednesday would ban employees at state university medical schools from performing abortions and require a longer waiting period before the procedure is allowed.

Rep. Tim Moore is the GOP's choice for Speaker of the House
NC General Assembly

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore says a religious freedom bill is not moving forward anytime soon.

The controversial measure filed last week would give private business owners the ability to deny service to someone based on their personal religious beliefs.

Opponents say it will lead to discrimination against gays, lesbians, and potentially others in the state. During a hastily called news conference Tuesday afternoon, Moore said he needs to see how the bill would help North Carolina's brand.

Picture of WUNC microphone and control room board
Keith Weston / WUNC

Trustees at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill are changing the organizational structure of North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC.

A governing board will be created to oversee the radio station. The board will be made up of several trustees, several appointees made by the trustees, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Joel Curran, and WUNC President and General Manager Connie Walker.

The station has not previously been governed by its own board. Currently, Walker reports to Curran, who reports to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. 

A Rooms To Go billboard.
Jeff Tiberii

They’ve been called a deal breaker, a necessary evil, and largely useless.

Lawmakers are debating the role of economic incentives. Growing the economy is a complicated and arduous process. Senators approved a short-term allocation for incentives yesterday. The long-term funding plan is not as clear.

All vehicles traveling north on I-95 about halfway between Raleigh and Fayetteville pass a massive construction site in Dunn.  The unfinished building is longer than a football field.

Wake County
www.wakegov.com

At the Capitol, two controversial redistricting bills are heading for debate on the Senate floor. One would modify the boundaries for Wake County Commissioner seats. The other would change the maps for Greensboro City Council districts. Supporters say these measures improve representation. Opponents want state lawmakers to leave local governments alone.

Governor Pat McCrory has amended a state ethics form to include travel expenditures that were previously omitted. 

The form, submitted on Friday and officially filed Monday, shows seven trips valued at more than $13,000.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory is proposing raises for new teachers, tax incentives for corporations and a cut to the University system. On Thursday morning, the governor laid out his budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
 

Governor McCrory detailed his spending blueprint for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. His 298-page, $21.5 billion proposal is just the first step in a long process.

Photo: The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Jorge Valencia

State legislators sparred over job incentives and a change to the gas tax during finance and appropriation committees meetings Tuesday. The bills eventually made it out.

There was opposition from both liberals and some conservatives over the tax breaks designed to lure jobs.

Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla told one committee nobody likes incentives, but that the state must be competitive. The Governor has been pushing for extended and expanded incentives.

snow at the General Assembly building, Raleigh
Dave DeWitt

Some Republicans are calling on leaders at the General Assembly to again change when the state will hold its presidential primary.  Two years ago lawmakers decided to make the primary earlier - on the first Tuesday after South Carolina's, next February. State GOP Chairman Claude Pope now wants the primary moved to March 1st. He says the national Republican Party is threatening to take away delegates from North Carolina for the earlier primary. Republican state Senator Andrew Brock disagrees.

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.
http://eofdreams.com/money.html

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.
goduke.com

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.

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