Leoneda Inge

Changing Economy Reporter

Leoneda Inge is WUNC's Changing Economy Reporter. She came to North Carolina in 2001 and has spent most of that time tracking job loss and other major changes in the state's Tobacco, Furniture, and Textile industries. In 2006, Leoneda and a team of journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series - North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.  

Leoneda has won several other first place awards - including three Gracie Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, several Associated Press Awards and a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.  

Leoneda has worked in commercial and public radio for many years and has produced reports for news magazines on NPR, Marketplace, and Voice of America.  Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University.  In 1995, Leoneda was named a Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.  In 2008, she received her Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University where she was a Knight-Bagehot Journalism Fellow in Business and Economics.  In 2009, Leoneda traveled to Tokyo, Japan as a fellow with the Foreign Press Center.

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Business & Economy
7:59 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Survey: Companies Don't Like $10 Hour Minimum Wage

Duke-CFO Magazine surveys Chief Financial Officers about raising the minimum wage.
Credit bestclipartblog.com

Chief Financial Officers say increasing the national minimum wage to $10 an hour could have negative consequences.

The latest survey by Duke University and CFO Magazine shows companies would cut jobs or reduce hiring if the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour. 

Duke Finance Professor John Graham says nearly half of retail firms and one-third of service and manufacturing companies said they would decrease hiring plans.

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Politics & Government
10:45 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Some Wait Three Weeks For Initial Unemployment Checks

Dale Folwell is Assistant Secretary of Commerce and heads the Division of Employment Security.
Credit NC Commerce

Thousands of jobless North Carolinians have been waiting for several weeks to get their first unemployment check.  State officials say they hope to have that back-log under control this month.

Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell heads the employment agency responsible for making sure the unemployed get their checks.

“Anytime there’s one case in our backlog, that’s one too many," said Folwell.

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Business & Economy
8:34 am
Thu March 6, 2014

The Fight Over Counsel For The Unemployed

This is the back door of the Division of Employment Security offices in Raleigh where attorneys can pick up copies of appeal hearing notices.
Credit Leoneda Inge

For ten years, North Carolina attorneys have had access to a daily list of unemployed workers who are scheduled for appeal hearings.   Most of these people had their unemployment claims denied and are appealing the decision. 

But last week, the Division of Employment Security said it would no longer provide a daily list of these hearings.  A Durham attorney is fighting back and has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce and its employment division.

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Arts & Culture
9:31 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'You Can Never Truly Understand What Happened Centuries Ago': The Slave Cabin Project

Kristin Benson helped rebuild this slave cabin at Montpelier.
Credit Leoneda Inge

There is no official count on how many slave cabins are left standing across the country today.  You might ask,  “Who’s counting?”

Well, the South Carolina-based Slave Dwelling Project is counting and so is the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Archaeologists at James Madison’s Montpelier estate in Virginia set out to locate where slave cabins once stood on its property.  And last week, a group of people helped re-build a part of that history.

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Arts & Culture
8:40 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Exhibit: Historic Fight To Desegregate The Carolina Theatre

Carl Whisenton co-chaired "Confronting Change" exhibit committee at the Carolina Theatre. He stands next to segregated ticket window.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Fifty years ago, when African Americans wanted to watch a movie at the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, they had to climb 97 steps up to the second floor balcony.

Today, there’s a new Civil Rights exhibit on display outside that second floor balcony to honor the fight to desegregate the theater.

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History
7:39 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Rebuilding A Slave Cabin: 'Proud Of The Work We’ve Done'

WUNC's Leoneda Inge has been working to rebuild a slave cabin on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier estate

Updated 2/21/14: 

All this week, WUNC's Leoneda Inge is working with a team to re-construct a slave cabin that dates back to the early 1800s. The cabin is on the grounds at James Madison’s Montpelier in the Piedmont region of Virginia. The remains of the original slave cabin was discovered and excavated in 2010.  Leoneda and the team will be helping to rebuild the slave quarter at the actual site where it stood generations ago. She'll be blogging all week. We will excerpt her blog here and link to each day's entry.

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Business & Economy
5:28 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

'Perfect Storm' Could Put Damper On Valentine's Day Sales

Woman in downtown Chapel Hill shows off her Valentine's Day gift.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Florists across the state are working overtime to make sure the snow storm doesn’t wipe out Valentine’s Day sales.

A steady stream of customers in Chapel Hill made their way through the slush of melting snow to grab some flowers.

Charles House owns University Florist and Gifts on Franklin Street.  He says the snow and ice couldn’t have come at a worse time.

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Health
9:03 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Pretty In Pink: Rex Mobile Mammography Unit Hits The Road

Revlon is the biggest financial sponsor of the new Rex Healthcare Mobile Mammography Unit.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Rex Healthcare is back on the road with a brand new mobile mammography unit screening for breast cancer.

You can’t miss the shiny, pink and purple Mobile Mammography Unit.

“Yeah, we love it, she’s very pretty," said Wendy Avery, Mobile Mammography Coordinator.

The "pink" mammography unit is often called "she."  “She” welcomed about 25 women Thursday, parked outside Revlon’s manufacturing plant in Oxford.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

NC Farm Bureau Applauds New Farm Bill

Strickland Farms has been growing tobacco for generations in North Carolina.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The North Carolina Farm Bureau is applauding the passage of the new Farm Bill.  Leaders say it provides stability and certainty to the state’s largest industry.

Larry Wooten is President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau.  His family farms tobacco, corn and soybeans in Pender County.

“Very thankfully this extravaganza of a piece of legislation that took over two years to bring to fruition is finally passed the Senate and it’s headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”

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Business & Economy
1:18 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Big Changes On The Way For Research Triangle Park

Josh Dunbar and Zachary Lyon of Falcon Engineering look at new plans for RTP.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The Research Triangle Foundation has announced plans for a major expansion - its first mixed-use development project since the park opened. In a matter of weeks, 100 acres of prime real estate in RTP became available. The Research Triangle Foundation scooped it up at a price tag of $17 million dollars.

Bob Geolas is President and CEO of the foundation: "Look it's a big idea, it's a big vision. As RTP was itself 50 years ago." Geolas says that big idea will become Park Center - a mix of residential, cafes, business and retail.

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