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.

Ways to Connect

Tom Giedgowd
Leoneda Inge

It’s March Madness for college basketball fans.  But teams of student entrepreneurs gathered in Durham this week for Start-up Madness.

Niki Kohari:  Can you guys feel the March Madness in the air!

North Carolina’s unemployment rate has remained over 10-percent for the past year.   Despite the high rate, one sector continues to experience growth.

The Chapel Hill town council failed to approve a cell phone ban on motorists at last night’s meeting.

Leoneda Inge:  The vote was four-to-four, one council member was absent.  This was the first reading of the controversial ordinance that would ban motorists from talking on cell phones except in an emergency.  Councilwoman Penny Rich introduced the ordinance.  She says she’s glad there will be another vote.

Town of Chapel Hill officials are scheduled to vote tonight on banning the use of cell phones while driving.

Leoneda Inge:  Members of the Chapel Hill town council have heard all sides of the cell-phone-while-driving debate.   An emotional Karen Turner came down from Asheville to speak at last month’s public hearing.   Her brother Joel Severson was killed on I-40 in an accident triggered by a driver who was texting.

A global business outlook survey conducted by Duke University shows companies are beginning to hire again.

Leoneda Inge:  The quarterly Duke University, CFO Magazine Survey paints a much rosier jobs picture than in the past several quarters.  John Graham is a Finance professor at Duke and director of the survey.   He says Chief Financial Officers are optimistic in 2012.

The City of Raleigh has agreed to begin a pilot program to focus on the growing “Walk Raleigh” movement.

Leoneda Inge:  Yesterday, the Raleigh City Council “sanctioned” nearly 30 street signs secretly posted by Matt Tomasulo.  Tomasulo and his “Walk Raleigh” campaign was featured last month on a special segment aired on the BBC.

Matt Tomasulo:  The general idea is to help people discover how many minutes it is to walk somewhere by foot as opposed to how many miles it might be for somebody to drive.

A community meeting will take place tonight to discuss the abrupt closing of the Y-W-C-A of the Greater Triangle.

First Lady Michelle Obama
First Lady's Office

The Obamas are spending a lot of time in North Carolina as the Democratic National Convention draws near. 

Leoneda Inge:  First Lady Michelle Obama was in the state for several events yesterday, mixed with Democratic fundraisers. Yesterday, Mrs. Obama met with active military personnel and their families in Raleigh.  The First Lady ended the day in Charlotte meeting with school children to promote her “Let’s Move” fitness campaign.  She also helped celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CIAA, the oldest African American athletic conference in the country.

The unemployment rate for the northeast part of the state continues to top 10-percent. But at today’s “Northeast State of the Region” event, economic developers are expected to show there’s positive progress.

Leoneda Inge: Sixteen counties make up Northeast North Carolina. Vann Rogerson is president of the North Carolina Northeast Commission. He says there are several projects underway that will provide a brighter future for the region, like a major grant to connect communities through broadband.

Lavonza Holliman
Leoneda Inge

Young adults came out in droves to support President Barack Obama in 2008. But early poll numbers show the youth vote is not as strong this time around. To help get young voters to the polls, the Obama re-election campaign hosted a national HBCU Student Summit last night at North Carolina Central University in Durham. The “Greater Together” initiative uses social media to try to get young voters to volunteer and register to vote.