Laura Lee

Assistant News Director for Talk

Laura Lee is WUNC’s Assistant News Director for Talk. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.

Laura briefly strayed from her Tarheel allegiance in 2011 to obtain a masters degree in journalism from the University of Maryland where she was an Eleanor Merrill Fellow.  Prior to WUNC, Laura worked for NPR on the Washington desk, All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation.

Ways To Connect

Today's segment is a rebroadcast of Death Rides The Rails.

  

Railroads across America carry hundreds of billions of dollars of toxic materials every year. 

The body charged with regulating the industry, the Federal Railroad Administration, admits it inspects less than one percent of railroad activity. What risks does shipping hazardous materials on the railroads create? 

Host Frank Stasio talks with reporter Marcus Stern. His work, Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem, examines regulatory responses to oil train explosions and the nation's aging railroad infrastructure. The work is a collaborative effort of Inside Climate NewsThe Weather Channel and The Investigative Fund.

Today's segment on What Animals Tell Us About Love And Relationships is a rebroadcast. 

After a bad end to a long-term relationship, animal behavior expert Jennifer Verdolin decided to look to the animal kingdom for new insight on dating. 

She dug into animal behavior literature and applied her findings to the dating world. She approached each new date as if she were an animal trying to find a mate. Her new book, Wild Connection: What Animal Courtship And Mating Tell Us about Human Relationships (Prometheus Books/2014), compares the courtship rituals and mating behaviors of animals to their human equivalents. 


J.B. Buxton
J.B. Buxton

    

J.B. Buxton began his career in education in an unlikely place: South Africa.

As a Morehead Scholar from UNC, Buxton taught in a South African school as apartheid began to crumble. The experience shaped Buxton's perspective on education and launched his long career in education policy.

He served as education advisor to Governor Easley and as Deputy State Superintendent of the North Carolina Schools. Buxton now leads the move for a charter school to serve Southeast Raleigh's neediest students.

David Joy's new book tells the story of a young man working for his father's meth ring in rural North Carolina.
David-Joy.com

Jacob McNeely grew up in the mountains of North Carolina.

A life of crime as an employee of his father's meth ring is the only one he has ever known. But a violent event and a reunion with his first love offer McNeely the possibility of escape. 

Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his budget plan yesterday.

Education tops the governor's priority list but critics say it doesn't go far enough. Meanwhile, in Washington, Senate democrats are calling for a vote on North Carolina native Loretta Lynch's confirmation as attorney general. Both North Carolina senators have pledged to vote against her confirmation. 

Kevin Spacey plays southern politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix series "House of Cards."
Wikimedia Commons

In the Netflix hit series, House of Cards, Kevin Spacey plays a politician from Gaffney, South Carolina named Frank Underwood.

The fictional president has a heavy southern accent, but some question its authenticity. Vox.com produced a popular video analyzing Spacey's "r-dropping."

Governor Pat McCrory released his budgetary agenda today.
Wikimedia Commons

    

Governor Pat McCrory set forth his budgetary agenda today.

The proposed budget included emphasis on increased educational spending. The most recent projections show a $270 million shortfall, but state budget director Lee Roberts says the deficit is small relative to the overall budget.

The legislature will consider the governor's proposal in the next few weeks.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Roberts about the budget priorities. 

Ambassador Thomas Pickering
Wikipedia

  

Ambassador Thomas Pickering began his career in the foreign service more than 40 years ago. He has served as ambassador to many countries including Jordan, El Salvador, Israel, Nigeria, India and the Russian Federation.

He served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations and as undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department. Recently, Ambassador Pickering led the department panel’s investigation into the 2012 attack in Benghazi.

A representation of the university seal, located in front of South Building. Dedicated by the class of 1989, it marks UNC's exact geographic location.
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Yeungb

    

 A panel of the UNC System Board of Governors recommended the elimination of three campus-based centers and on-going assessment of 13 others yesterday. 

The working group suggested the closure of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC-Chapel Hill; the NC Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina University; and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at NC Central University. 

The X-ray of nurse Tove Schuster's spine shows the metal cage and four screws her surgeon used to repair a damaged disk in her back. Terry Cawthorn underwent a similar procedure.
Daniel Zwerdling / NPR

A little-known epidemic has swept through hospitals across the country: thousands of nursing staff suffer debilitating back and arm injuries every year. 

An NPR investigation into the injuries shows most happen as a result of on-the-job incidents. Hospitals can reduce the rate of injury if administrators invest time and money into prevention and training mechanisms. 

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