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
1:38 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

'SPENT', Hit Game About Money And Resources, Goes Mobile

Screen-shot from the Spent videogame.

In 2011, a new videogame premiered that not many expected would be a hit. The game is called Spent and it is about surviving homelessness.

Spent is a collaboration  between Urban Ministries of Durham and the interactive firm, McKinney.

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Business & Economy
9:37 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Battle Over A Dollar: Dollar Tree Buys NC-Based Family Dollar

This new Dollar Tree store in Durham, NC will soon be opening at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Fayetteville Road.
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina-based Family Dollar was opening hundreds of stores a year, until this year.  Now it’s being bought by Dollar Tree, one of its biggest rivals.

There are several Family Dollar discount stores in Durham, but they aren’t new.  In fact, Family Dollar announced earlier this year it would close 370 stores nationwide.

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Law
2:52 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Innocence Project, Judge Express Outrage Over Botched Prosecution of Durham, NC Man

Darryl Howard greets one of his lawyers, James P. Cooney, III

Family, friends and lawyers filled a Durham County courtroom today in support of Darryl Howard.

Howard was convicted of murdering a woman and her daughter and then setting their public housing apartment on fire.  But new DNA evidence shows Howard is likely innocent of the murders and rapes of the women.

The Innocence Project thinks so and they joined Howard in court today.

Darryl Howard has been in prison for 20 years.  But the Durham native could soon be going home – released on bond – pending a new trial. 

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Business & Economy
7:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Hurricane Arthur Damaged Hyde County Corn Crops

Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler tours Wilson Daughtry's crop damage in Hyde County.
Credit Brian Long

The path that Hurricane Arthur took last week hit an area of the state where a lot of corn is grown.  And several farmers will be affected.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and staff traveled by Forest Service plane to see the crop damage first hand.  Ag spokesman Brian Long says a lot of the damage was in Hyde County, known for growing corn.

“There are parts of Hyde County where you can just look and you would almost think you were somewhere in the Midwest, because it’s just is corn, and corn, and corn," said Long.

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Environment
8:43 am
Tue July 8, 2014

North Carolina Continues To Grapple With Deadly 'Piglet' Virus

Waterkeeper Alliance took this photo of a 'PED' posting outside a Murphy-Brown facility in North Carolina.
Credit Rick Dove, Waterkeeper Alliance

The New York Times reports Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea or PED virus killed an estimated 100,000 young pigs each week across the country since the virus was detected last May.

North Carolina continues to suffer.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture says, no doubt, PED has been a nasty virus and has taken an emotional and financial toll on hog farmers.

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Business & Economy
8:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

NC Economic Recovery Concentrated In Triangle

NC county jobless rates are rising again, but still down over the year.
Credit NC Commerce

The latest North Carolina jobless numbers show a spike in county unemployment rates from Alamance to Yancey.  But there has been some positive movement over the past year.

May jobless numbers released by the NC Commerce Department show 92 counties with a higher unemployment rate than the month before.  But from this time last year, all 100 counties saw their unemployment rates drop.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Bayer CropScience Continues To Grow RTP Headquarters

Beyer CropScience opened its North American Bee Care Center back in April.
Credit www.astrobase.de/Sonstig/Pollinat/Bilder/00002125.jpg

Bayer CropScience is moving forward with multi-million dollar plans to upgrade its North American and Global Seeds headquarters in Research Triangle Park.

Bayer CropScience’s latest announcement includes building a new greenhouse in RTP.  The greenhouse will include research on seeds, plant disease and insect testing.  The greenhouse, plus surrounding infrastructure and parking expansion will cost about $29.6 million.

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Business & Economy
11:34 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

NC Regions Release Statewide Economic Development Blueprint

Credit Flickr user 401(K)2013

For the first time, North Carolina’s 16 regional councils of government have come together to create a blueprint for statewide community and economic development.  

The report is called “North Carolina Tomorrow, Building Communities for Tomorrow’s Jobs.”  It focuses on the competitive advantages of each region, like Tourism and Energy.  But also give attention to emerging technologies like video modeling and gaming.

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Business & Economy
6:39 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Small Business Model Helps Young Adults With Autism Find Work

Patrick Eden is an integral part of the EV Laundry Service in Chapel Hill.
Credit Leoneda Inge

It is high school graduation season and most young adults are preparing for life in college or in the workplace.  Landing a job in this economy continues to be hard for millions of people.  But what if you have autism?

There’s a community in Chapel Hill that has come up with several small business models that ease young people with autism into the adult world of work and self-sufficiency. 

If you talk to a parent who has a young child with autism, the conversation will eventually lead to “The Cliff.” 

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Business & Economy
7:54 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Job Fair Connects Businesses With 'Wounded Warriors'

David Shaw is a "Wounded Warrior" who proudly wears his suit and Purple Heart.
Credit Leoneda Inge

A career fair gets underway this morning in Raleigh that’s not for your the average job-seeker.  It’s specifically for men and women who were injured in the line of duty.

They’re called “Wounded Warriors” and in these tough economic times, there’s a special push to get this group back to work.

Whatever the unemployment rate – it’s usually twice as high for veterans. 

Vice Admiral David Dunaway doesn’t like that statistic.

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