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

Image of "Soon," the latest collection of short stories written by Pam Durban, a creative writing professor at UNC.
University of South Carolina Press

The characters of Pam Durban’s short stories face a variety of challenges on different fronts - grief, identity, interpersonal relationships.

But the common thread that binds them all is storytelling. Durban’s latest collection of short stories is Soon (University of South Carolina Press/2015).  

Host Frank Stasio talks with Durban, professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Image of the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmturner

The legislature considers controversial measures on gun regulations and magistrates performing same-sex marriages.

And Governor Pat McCrory says he will sign a bill that increases the waiting period for an abortion, a move that contradicts his campaign promise. 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie.
kenrudinpolitics.com

The North Carolina General Assembly gets a veto from Governor McCrory on their measure to exempt some magistrates from performing marriages. And the Patriot Act is set to expire this weekend.

Image of Shana Tucker, who created the musical genre Chamber Soul to reflect a mix of classical and jazz training with influences from 80s and 90s pop and world music.
Lei Rivera Photography

For many jazz or classical performers, the workplace is one of formality. But for cellist and singer Shana Tucker, the workplace last year was a zany mix of painted and costumed characters. Tucker literally joined the circus. The self-described “ChamberSoul” musician performs nightly with Cirque de Soleil’s '

Couple leaving courthouse after gay marriage
Wikipedia

 

  House lawmakers passed a Senate bill today to allow local magistrates to refuse to perform marriages. The measure passed 66-44 after debate that centered on religious freedom arguments. The bill comes after several magistrates resigned in protest over same-sex marriages.

The measure will head to Governor McCrory's desk and he has 10 days to sign or veto the bill. 

In the Senate, legislators consider a bill to extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours.

Edward Snowden
Wikipedia

 

In 2013, former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden released classified documents. His action prompted outrage; supporters hailed him as a hero while opponents called him a traitor and a criminal. A new book, After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age, (St. Martin’s Press/2015) examines the national security landscape in the two years since Snowden’s actions.

Wells
wikimedia

  A superior court judge in Wake County today halted fracking in the state. The court order prohibits the Mining and Energy Commission from accepting or processing fracking permits. The decision is a temporary legal victory for environmental groups across the state.Meanwhile, at the legislature, House representatives are preparing to debate a $22.2 billion spending plan. The initial proposal includes more money for teachers, state employees and incentives. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC reporters Dave Dewitt and Jeff Tiberii about the latest.

Grand Power K100
Wikipedia

A bill in the North Carolina House could change gun regulations in the state. Proponents say the measure would give more consistency to licensing. Opponents, including some law enforcement agencies, say the changes would allow private sellers to skip registration processes. Also in the headlines: yesterday, in federal court, Duke Energy pleaded guilty over charges stemming from the 2014 coal ash spill. The deal means the company will pay $102 million in fines and restitution. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC reporters Jorge Valencia and Dave Dewitt about the latest.

Missing Men
Pixabay

As a teenager in Maryland, Dwayne Betts showed promise. The high school student made the honor roll and demonstrated sharp wit.

But Betts grew up in an environment not conducive to success. He recalls three of his classmates being killed. Others went to prison.

“The expectation wasn’t necessarily that we would go to prison,” Betts said. “But we lived in a climate and an environment in which these things were happening every day and nobody was confronting what it meant.”

Airplane!
Wikipedia

From silent film to slapstick comedy, humor has been a staple of the silver screen since the dawn of modern cinema. Listeners share their favorite funny scenes from a wide range of movies from “Young Frankenstein” to “Airplane." Host Frank Stasio talks with North Carolina Museum of Art film curator Laura Boyes and North Carolina State University film professor Marsha Gordon about the funniest moments in film.

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