Laura Candler

Web Producer

Laura moved from Chattanooga to Chapel Hill in 2013 to join WUNC as a web producer. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in the spring of 2012 and has created radio and multimedia stories for a variety of outlets, including Marketplace, Prairie Public, and Maine Public Broadcasting. When she's not out hunting stories, you can usually find her playing the fiddle.  

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Preserving Old Time Southern Apples

Not many of Lee Calhoun's trees produce apples anymore, but he still has a productive crab apple tree.
Laura Candler

Lee Calhoun spent the last 35 years searching for heirloom apples in the south. Laura Candler reports.

In the supermarket today, you can find about a dozen kinds of apples. But years ago, there were hundreds and hundreds of varieties grown all over the South. North Carolina native Lee Calhoun once had 3,000 apple trees growing in his backyard in Pittsboro. I visited him there recently and he showed what was left.

“This is a remnant of an old orchard I used to have,” he said. “Most of them are gone now. This is an Orange Cauley, a little bit different from a regular Cauley, and this is a Green River --that’s a Kentucky apple.”

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Politics & Government
4:30 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Where North Carolina’s Congressional Members Stand On Syria

North Carolina's delegates in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have released statements about Syria.
Credit Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Several of North Carolina’s members of Congress have issued statements about  U.S. involvement in Syria. The statements follow a chemical weapons attack which the U.S. says was carried out by the Assad regime in Damascus on August 21. More than 1,400 people were reported killed in the attack.

Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, as well as several Representatives have made the following statements. We'll update this post with additional statements as they come in.

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Environment
11:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Ram Named 'Bubba' Still On The Loose In Durham

Bubba the ram has been spotted several times in Durham in the past week. He's still on the run.
Credit Steve Sbraccia, WNCN News

There’s a ram on the loose in Durham County whose escape tactics have outsmarted capture attempts by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, a man with a tranquilizer gun and a local veterinarian with a lasso. The animal was first spotted near Odyssey Drive in Durham on Monday afternoon, August 25, and is thought to be a either a Barbados/Mouflon sheep or a Toggenburg goat. Deputy Paul Sherwin with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office was one of the officers who responded to Monday's call.

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Business & Economy
6:00 am
Sat August 31, 2013

African Farmers Cultivate Apple Trees From Historic NC Orchard

A man sells apples at a market in Uganda. Apples sell for about a dollar apiece.
courtesy of Kevin Hauser

Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, a 1900s-era working farm in Pinnacle, North Carolina, is prized for its heirloom apples. The farm runs the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, which is stocked with 400 varieties propagated by cuttings from trees all over the south.  Now, apple trees cultivated with grafts from Southern Heritage trees are under the care of farmers in Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda, thanks to a project called Apples for Africa.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

DOT Tests New Ramps On Emergency Ferry Route

A car loads onto the M/V Stanford White ferry at the Stumpy Point Ferry Terminal Thursday. DOT workers and contractors successfully tested new ramps at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, which serves as an emergency ferry route after major storms cut road access to Hatteras Island.
Credit NC DOT

In preparation for peak hurricane season, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has tested out two new ramps along its emergency ferry route. The ramps are located at Stumpy Point, on the mainland, and Rodanthe, on the Outer Banks, a route that would allow access to Hatteras Island if Highway 12 were damaged in a storm.

“We hope not to need these ramps anytime soon,” said NC Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon in a statement. “But if we do, the new ramps will provide the public safer and more reliable access to the emergency route that serves as a lifeline to Hatteras Island after a major storm.”

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Sports
2:00 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Sanford Veteran Hopes To Set Powerlifting World Record, Again.

Greg Stott practices lifts in his training room in Sanford.
Credit Jillian Clark-Ramey

Sanford resident and world champion powerlifter Greg Stott is not your normal weight-lifting competitor. He’s a 50-year-old used car dealer, father of two, and a former Army Ranger whose military career ended in prison.  He’s a piano player and self-identified evangelist. And he’s manic depressive.  In October, he’s slated to compete in the 100% Raw (meaning drug-free and without the use of belts or supports) World Championships in Las Vegas and hopes to set a Master Powerlifting Total World Record. A film production team led by his son, Nicholas Stott, is documenting the endeavor and is currently raising money on Kickstarter to turn their footage into a feature film.

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Arts & Culture
5:16 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

NOAA Dedicates Sign Marking 40 Years Since USS Monitor's Discovery

The wreck of the Civil War vessel USS Monitor lies off the coast of Cape Hatteras. It's been 40 years since its discovery.
Credit Monitor National Marine Sanctuary / noaa.gov

The NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary held a ceremony in Beaufort yesterday to unveil sign recognizing the 40th anniversary of the USS Monitor's discovery. The sign is the first of five to be dedicated that marks a place of significance in the Civil War vessel’s history. The USS Monitor was discovered 40 years ago in 230 feet of water about 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras. 

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Health
2:27 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Study Finds Clergy Are More Depressed Than National Average

Duke released a new study that looks at the high depression rate in clergy members.
Credit public domain

A new study from Duke shows that clergy have a higher rate of anxiety and depression than the national average. The study, conducted by the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School, surveyed all United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina and found that their depression rate was 8.7 percent, which is higher than the national average of 5.5 percent. Anxiety rates were 13.5 percent.

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Health
5:13 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Durham Clinic That Provides Abortions Closes For Good

Earlier this year, legislators passed laws tightening restrictions on abortion providers. Droves of protesters rallied against the new law at Moral Mondays gatherings.
Credit Matthew Lenard

The Department of Health and Human Services found health code violations this summer at two North Carolina clinics that provide abortions. Now, one of them has closed for good, while the other has re-opened.

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Military
4:14 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Durham Navy Veteran Celebrates His 100th Birthday

Members of the 1st Naval Construction Battalion on Bora Bora during World War II.
Credit U.S. Navy Seabee Museum

Durham resident and Navy veteran Jerry Smith turns 100 years old on Tuesday, and he’ll have what is likely to be his biggest birthday bash yet.  The North Carolina Executive Mansion is hosting a party for Mr. Smith to honor his service as a Navy Seabee during World War II. Attendees include Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senator Richard Burr, Rear Adm. Douglas Morton, as well as other Naval Commanders and Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk.

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