Jessica Jones

Reporter

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.

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Environment
9:37 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Groups Protest Proposed Air Toxins Change

Credit eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

A bill passed in the General Assembly last year could ease environmental restrictions on some industries including paper mills and power plants that are sources of air pollution.

If approved by state agencies, the measure would allow those industries to comply only with federal regulations and bypass separate state air toxins rules created in 1989. Environmental and community groups hope to stop the plan from going forward.

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Environment
5:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Hearings On Proposed Changes To Air Rules

Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

There are public hearings on proposed changes to auto emissions tests and toxic air pollutant rules this week in Raleigh.

A bill that passed the legislature would exempt cars and light-duty trucks from their first three years of auto emissions tests. Right now cars and trucks are exempt only during their first year. That hearing is Wednesday evening. And another hearing is scheduled for Thursday on a bill that would change the state's rules for controlling toxic air pollutants.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Morrisville Nursery Serves South Asian Immigrants

Anil Gandhi stands next to a Tulsi shrine at his nursery, Vedic Gardens.
Credit Jessica Jones

When South Asian immigrants to this country get homesick, there’s a good chance they can probably locate an Indian restaurant or grocery store to remind them of home. Finding a place that stocks the plants and trees they grew up with is much harder.

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Health
4:38 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Nursing Homes Significantly Reduce Rate of Antipsychotic Drug Use

Credit SalFalko / Flickr

North Carolina has reduced its rate of antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes by 23 percent over the last year-- that's the highest such improvement rate in the country.

Many nursing homes and adult care homes have been known to use antipsychotic drugs to help calm and control residents who have dementia. But overmedication can cause all sorts of problems for patients who are so drugged they can't participate in activities and who might fall because the drugs impair their coordination. Bob Konrad is a professor in health policy at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

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Politics & Government
3:55 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

McCrory Booster Group Running TV Ads

Credit Governor's Office

Governor McCrory is the subject of a new TV ad that seeks to boost his image.

A non-profit group called Renew North Carolina has bought at least 150 thousand dollars' worth of advertising time in the state's three largest television markets. They're scheduled to run over the next month. In one ad on the group's website, Governor McCrory talks about education, tax, and health care reform.

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U.S.
3:21 am
Thu September 5, 2013

More Cities Sweeping Homeless Into Less Prominent Areas

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:58 am

In North Carolina, a fight is brewing over the homeless in the capital city of Raleigh. Elected leaders have asked charitable and religious groups to stop their long-standing tradition of feeding the homeless in a downtown park on weekends.

But advocates for the poor say the city is trying to push the homeless out of a neighborhood that business leaders want to spruce up.

'I Will Arrest You'

Almost every day, the Rev. Hugh Hollowell walks through Moore Square, a centuries-old city park in downtown Raleigh.

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Politics & Government
4:21 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

McCrory Responds To Lawmakers Who Canceled Vetoes

McCrory said that he'd essentially ignore one law and work around the other.
Credit NC Governor's Office

State lawmakers have successfully overridden two bills that Governor Pat McCrory vetoed.

One is a measure that would require welfare recipients to be tested for drugs. The other expands an exception designed to allow farmers and other employers to skip a requirement to verify workers' immigration status.

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Politics & Government
8:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

House Lawmakers Override Governor's Vetoes

NC General Assembly
Credit Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state House have voted to override Governor McCrory's vetoes on two bills.

One measure contains a provision designed to give farmers more leeway to check the immigration status of their workers. Democratic Representative Larry Hall says that's something farmers need.

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Politics & Government
2:00 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Lawmakers To Return To Raleigh For Special Session

Lawmakers are convening for a special session this week.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Lawmakers will be back in session Tuesday to consider overriding Governor McCrory's vetoes of two bills.

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Law
7:30 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Raleigh To Relax Ban On Food Distribution In Parks

Credit Dave DeWitt

A city council committee in Raleigh has agreed to review a ban on allowing food distribution in a downtown city park.

The council's Law and Public Safety Committee held a three-hour public hearing Wednesday to listen to residents who were angry about the ban.

It was enforced last weekend, when charitable and religious groups that normally distribute food in Moore Square were stopped by the police. They were following a 1998 ordinance preventing food distribution that officials had previously ignored.

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