Jeremy Loeb

Reporter

Ways To Connect

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition host Eric Hodge speaks with Freddy Jenkins and Keith Weston of Back Porch Music about some of their favorite folk and acoustic music of the year.

Keith chose Sarah Jarosz and New Found Road Live.

Freddy picked Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

We also lost a number of artists this year

Here's some of note:

Green Restaurant Association
dinegreen.com

Asheville is known as a sort of local food-haven. Now it's leading the way in an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of restaurants. The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association is using a $258,000 grant from the North Carolina Green Business Fund to make upgrades in 18 Asheville restaurants.

Kwanzaa celebration
townofcary.org

Kwanzaa is underway and the Town of Cary will observe the holiday with a celebration Thursday. Kwanzaa is held each year from December 26th through January 1st in honor of African-American culture and heritage.

A new study out of Duke University finds global warming is forcing tropical birds in Peru to migrate to higher elevations. But it also finds they're migrating at a slower rate than the world is warming.

Scientists are used to relying on grants for funding, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. But a recent trend called "crowd-sourcing" could help small projects get underway. It's basically a kick starter campaign where the general public gives online donations for scientists' research. North Carolina State chemistry professor Walter Weare was able to pay for new equipment for his solar energy research using the method.

Superintendent Maurice ''Mo'' Green
gsnc.com

Students in Guilford County Schools have a few weeks left to surpass a goal of collectively reading two million books in a year.

Attorney General Roy Cooper
governor.state.nc.us

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today what he calls the "first wave" of ramped up efforts to fight Medicaid fraud in the state. Cooper says 18 people in 10 counties have been arrested in the past week. He says the total monetary loss to the Medicaid program from these cases is more than half a million dollars.

Larry Fedora
unc.edu

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill introduced its new head football coach today. Larry Fedora signed a seven-year contract with the school worth $1.7 million per season. UNC fired coach Butch Davis at the start of this season.

Smithfield Foods says it will stop using so-called ''gestation crates'' by 2017.
humanesociety.org

Animal rights advocates are welcoming news that Smithfield Foods is on track to phase out the use of small metal crates for pregnant hogs. The company said in a statement it will end the practice by 2017. The non-profit Humane Society filed a federal complaint against Smithfield a month ago.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane
raleighnc.gov

Outgoing Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is on somewhat of a farewell tour today. First off is the Human Relation Commission's "Unity Day" at the Convention Center this morning. One big issue they'll be discussing is the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and domestic unions in the state. Meeker doesn't mince words about that.

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