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

Pat McCrory spoke about his 25-year plan for Transportation at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem on Wednesday.
Jeff Tiberii

Governor Pat McCrory wants the state legislature to approve more than $1 billion in bonds as part of his long-term transportation plan. Money from that bond measure would fund road, rail, port and airport projects across the state. He plans to ask the General Assembly to borrow more than one billion dollars in January, to fund parts of 21 projects.

Khalil Bilar works in a laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Jeff TIberii

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem have made progress in their efforts to replicate human kidneys.

Regenerative medicine can sometimes sound futuristic, but doctors at Wake Forest are actually using kidneys from deceased pigs with the hope they could one day be transplanted into human patients. The concept is to let the original cells die off, then take human tissue to re-grow the organ in a lab.

Recently, doctors have developed a method to keep blood vessels open and allow blood to flow through these new regenerated organs.

About 200 people use services at the IRC (Interactive Resource Center) each weekday.
Flickr.com

Glimpses of poverty can be seen across North Carolina on a daily basis. From median strips to emergency rooms and school cafeterias to unemployment offices, no communities are immune.

In Greensboro many people in need use the Interactive Resource Center (IRC) for daily access to computers, showers, and a sense of community. More than 200 people visit the center each weekday.

"I went from $80,000 a year to, I'm lucky if I make $80 a month," says Earl Zayack, a slender man with brown hair and a salty goatee.

"So it was a huge, humbling experience for me."

The school is located along state highway 150 in Guilford County.
Jeff Tiberii

One of the nation's oldest military schools is located just a few miles northwest of Greensboro. Oak Ridge Military Academy recently began its 163rd academic year. However, for a time it looked as though the school was going to close. In the face of growing competition, low enrollment and unstable leadership, the academy changed course.  And for now Oak Ridge marches on.

This week North Carolina Public Radio is looking at school communities. This is the fourth installment of a five-part series.
 

Federal Building Winston-Salem
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

  The trial of Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is expected to conclude Friday in federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice brough a lawsuit against the sheriff, accusing him to have profiled Latinos by ordering road-blocks in minority neighborhoods, and for calling on his deputies to arrest and detain Hispanics, without probable cause. He denied those claims Thursday, taking the witness stand in his own defense. Federal prosecutors tried to call Johnson's credibility into question by repeatedly trying to impeach him under cross examination.

Defense attorneys will call more witnesses today at a federal trial alleging racial profiling by the Alamance County Sheriff.

Among the possible witnesses is Sam Page, an outspoken supporter of border control and increased deportations.

Craft beer sales have been growing by double digits, even as overall beer sales have flattened. And several independent craft beer makers — all based in the Western U.S. — are expanding production to the East. But to keep the flavor true, they have to tinker with beer's main ingredient: water.

Every day, a half-dozen employees of Oskar Blues Brewery file into a small room in Brevard, N.C. It's cluttered with boxes, petri dishes and test tubes.

The Forsyth County Public Library will close for at least two years, beginning October 1st, as it undergoes major renovations.
Jeff Tiberii

Plans for a new central library in Forsyth County have died. Residents will instead have to deal with a two-year closure of their biggest and busiest branch.

The central branch in downtown Winston-Salem is closing October 1st, for at least two years. The aging facility will receive a make-over with $28 million in voter approved bonds.

More than 2,000 tablets broke and about a dozen chargers partially melted earlier this school year.
Jeff Tiberii

Middle school students in Guilford County will face new punishments for broken tablet computers this fall.

Guilford County Schools rolled out a federally funded tablet program last August. But by October more than 15 percent of the devices had broken and a few chargers melted. The district stopped the program and found a new manufacturer.

After public feedback some new rules are in-place for the re-launch this fall:

Tourism is doing well along the Dan River in Rockingham County, a few miles upstream from the site of a massive coal ash spill in February.
Jeff Tiberii

Following a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River in February, The Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory downstream from the site, recommending people stay out of the water. Now, after surface water and soil testing, state health officials say recreational use of the Dan River is safe.

 

It has now been almost six months since a Duke Energy storm water pipe ruptured near the Virginia border, sending 39,000 tons of potentially toxic material into the Dan River. Some of the effects have been marginal and others remain unknown.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

An expert witness returns to the stand this morning on day three of a federal hearing challenging the state's new voting law. MIT Professor Charles Stewart testified Tuesday that the state's new voting law disproportionately burdens and affects African Americans.

State House member Rick Glazier also testified. He called the measure "reminiscent of the Jim Crow Era" and gave a passionate description of how the bill was hastily moved through the General Assembly.

Testimony is set to continue in a federal courtroom today where plaintiffs are asking a judge to halt part of the state's new voter law. Former Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert will be on the stand when the court returns from recess.

He testified Monday that expanded early voting in the state led to an increase in African American voters, a smoother Election Day process and even savings for Guilford County of as much as $3 million.

NCDOT

With the ferry trip to Ocracoke Island now taking a little bit longer, it's also become more expensive to operate.

Boats are taking an alternate route that tacks on three miles and 30 minutes to the trip. It will also cost the state Department of Transportation more than an additional $1 million each year.

Tim Haas of the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry Division says the state has applied for a permit that would allow for a wide ferry channel.

"The way that Hatteras inlet has opened up, a 100-foot wide channel is not sustainable," he says.

Alamance County Sheriff's vehicle
Alamance County Sheriff's Office

Defense attorneys for Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson filed another pre-trial motion this week. The sheriff is accused by the federal government of illegally targeting Latino drivers as well as arresting and detaining people without probable cause. 

A picture of a bottle and a pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Wikipedia

In less than five years the number of craft beer breweries in North Carolina has more than doubled. From Manteo to the mountains - tasting rooms, tap houses and local seasonal drafts are pouring in. Asheville now has more breweries per capita than anywhere in the country. 

Vuse electronic cigarettes, part of a growing industry, are now being distributed nationally.
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company

Reynolds American is now distributing its electronic cigarettes nationally. The Vuse vapor product had been widely available in only four states until now. It became the top-selling E-cigarette in Utah and Colorado last year. E-cigarettes heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge that is then inhaled. Vuse is a battery-powered, smokeless vapor product.

Many of the best golfers in the world are in Pinehurst, North Carolina, today for the start of the U.S. Open. The match will played on the recently restored course Pinehurst No. 2.

Fifteen years ago, a golfer named Payne Stewart won the tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., but died in a plane crash just four months later.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jeff Tiberii of WUNC reports from Pinehurst.

Michael Campbell reacts to winning the 2005 U.S. Open held at the Pinehurst Resort No. 2 Course in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, June 19, 2005.
John Mummert / USGA

The U.S. Open begins at the Pinehurst No. 2 golf course today. WUNC’s Jeff Tiberii is covering the event.

The 16th Hole of Pinehurst No. 2 as seen in Pinehurst, N.C. on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.
John Mummert / USGA

The men's U.S. Open tees off Thursday morning in Pinehurst. One hundred and fifty six golfers from around the world are competing in America's version of a national championship.  Most of the golfers participating in the event practiced for a final time Wednesday. Hundreds of volunteers helped keep fans corralled throughout the historic Pinehurst No. 2 course.

Jeff Chaffin drove to the course from Suligent, Alabama (near the Mississippi border) for his first U.S. Open experience. He says his experience has been good so far.

A statue of Payne Stewart is next to the 18th green at Pinehurst No. 2, where the 114th US Open is taking place this week. Stewart won the 1999 US Open at Pinehurst, and struck this pose after clinching the win.
Jeff Tiberii

Overlooking the 18th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 is a statue of a man. He’s standing on one leg, a putter dangling in his left hand and a right fist extended straight forward, in victory. The statue preserves a moment now 15 years-old. It’s a moment more famous than any other that this course has seen, since it opened in 1907.

In his trademark knickers, Payne Stewart won the event on that misty Father’s day with a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole. He kissed his wife Tracy and celebrated his second US Open win.

Maya Angelou
Wake Forest University

More than 2,000 people attended a private memorial service for Maya Angelou Saturday at Wake Forest University. She died at her home in Winston-Salem on May 28th. The iconic writer and poet was remembered by family, friends and some distinguished guests.

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland

Federal Environmental Protection Agency officials introduced a proposed rule Monday that would reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. by one-third in the next 16 years. The potential reduction in carbon emissions could vary significantly between states. The initial draft would mandate North Carolina cut carbon emissions 40-percent by 2030. That figure is based on last year's amount of pollution.

North Carolina gets more than half its power from coal. The vast majority of that is produced by Duke Energy - the nation's largest electricity provider. 

A picture of Cessna a 206H Stationair aircraft.
Arpingstone / Wikipedia

Better GPS technology in the cockpits of small planes makes mid-air collisions less likely.

Researchers at NC State University say perceptual cues help pilots make better decisions on the fly: Cues like blinking or color coded icons.

David Kaber is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State. He described some of the modifications his group added during simulations.

Alma Adams (third from left) beat all of her Democratic Primary Challengers on Tuesday night.
Jeff Tiberii

 Voters narrowed the crowded field of candidates in two open congressional races last night. They chose a Democratic nominee in the 12th and narrowed a group of Republicans in the 6th to two.  

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold an open house and presentation in Holly Springs Monday evening. Federal officials will review the performance of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant. The facility is about 20 miles southwest of Raleigh and operated by Duke Energy.  Part of the plant was determined to have a small crack in a nuclear reactor. Duke corrected that issue without any significant incident.  

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