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
7:37 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Raleigh Based Company Martin Marietta To Buy Texas Industries In $2.7 Billion Deal

Ward Nye will continue on as President and CEO of Martin Marietta after the merger.
Credit Martin Marietta Materials

Raleigh-based Martin Marietta Materials is moving ahead with its largest acquisition yet.  It is acquiring leading cement producer Texas Industries.

Martin Marietta is one of the largest U.S. producers of construction aggregates like crushed stone, sand and gravel.  Once the company formally merges with Texas Industries, it’s sure to be number one.

The $2.7 billion transaction couldn’t come at a better time, as housing and other construction is starting to bounce back.

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Business & Economy
7:53 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Durham NC's Hillside High School First To Open A Bank

Hillside High School students Mikel Carr, Jamal Stroud and Radamany Kirk are tellers at the Woodforest National Bank branch at their school.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Financial literacy is a growing part of the K-through-12 curriculum across the state.  But Hillside High School in Durham has taken the charge to the next level and opened a functioning bank branch at the school.

Organizers say that students, staff, and families will be able to open accounts, as well as deposit funds to checking and savings accounts right at the Hillside branch.  The program also provides internships and serves as a hands-on learning center for students to gain banking skills.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Some With Developmental Disabilities Find Entrepreneurial Success In Triangle

A laundry business is one of the many successful entrepreneurial companies incubated by Extraordinary Ventures
Credit Courtesy of Extraordinary Ventures

In a traditional labor market, Ewan Toscano might be considered "hard to employ." But he's part of group of young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities who have a proven track record -- not only of employment -- but of entrepreneurship in the Triangle. 

Toscano really likes his job, saying, "I work at EV for two hours four days a week.I make twelve candles.  I love my job.  I see my friends."

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Environment
7:39 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Study: Electric Vehicles Have Little Impact On Emissions

Electric Drive Vehicle (EDV). Crystal Red Chevy Volt.
Credit Leoneda Inge

A new North Carolina State University study challenges common assumptions connecting electric vehicles and lower emissions.  

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Economy
2:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed Say N.C. Law Is Unfair

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama today heads to Raleigh, North Carolina to talk about the economy. He is expected to call upon Congress to try again to extend federal unemployment benefits. In Washington yesterday, Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill that would have restored the benefits that ended last month for 1.3 million Americans. But in North Carolina, a state law has prevented people there from getting the benefits since last July. North Carolina Public Radio's Leoneda Inge examines the impact of shortened help.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Direct Flights To DC Just Got Harder From Eastern NC

American Airlines plane design after merger with US Airways.
Credit American Airlines

The American Airlines, US Airways merger is being felt in eastern North Carolina.

Airports in Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Wilmington are losing their non-stop flights to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.

There used to be two daily flights to DC from Wilmington International Airport or I-L-M.  John Rosborough is the airport director:

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Science & Technology
7:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

What's The President's Project At NC State All About?

President Obama visits AC Drive company Vacon in Research Triangle Park. Vacon Senior Mechanical Engineer Marc Hoffman stands by.
Credit Courtesy of Vacon

North Carolina State University was awarded a big task by The White House this week.

The land-grant institution will house a new public-private manufacturing innovation institute that will focus on getting the next generation of electronic chips and devices into the marketplace. 

President Barack Obama got the biggest applause of his speech when he made this announcement at NC State earlier this week:

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Science & Technology
7:46 am
Tue January 14, 2014

New App Tells When It's Time To Take Your Meds And More

Quintiles' MediGuard service has a database of more than 4,000 drugs.
Credit Courtesy of Quintiles

There’s a new mobile phone app that can monitor your medications -- from pill reminders to warnings about drug interactions.

Durham-based Quintiles is providing the app for free for users of its MediGuard service.  Users can even gather information about medical research, according to this YouTube video.

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Arts & Culture
4:46 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

DPAC Performances Continue To Pack The House

R&B Star Gladys Knight performed with The O'Jays at one of the top five concerts at DPAC in 2013.
Credit Courtesy of DPAC

The Durham Performing Arts Center continues to be one of the top theaters and concert halls in the country.

New numbers from the trade magazine, Pollstar, ranks DPAC fourth in the US based on attendance.

Pollstar - 2013 - Top 5-ranked US Theatres:

1-Radio City Music Hall - New York, NY

2-The Colosseum At Caesars Palace - Las Vegas, NV

3-Orpheum Theatre - Minneapolis, MN

4-DPAC - Durham, NC

5-Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE - Los Angeles, CA

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Business & Economy
7:38 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Triangle Economic Outlook Continues To Shine In 2014

The jobs picture continues to look bright for the Triangle and other urban areas across North Carolina.
Credit Thinglass / Shutterstock.com

The Economic Outlook for the Triangle continues to outpace the rest of the state.

The combined jobless rate for the Raleigh-Durham-Cary statistical area is 5.5 percent, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  (By comparison, one year ago, the unemployment rate was almost two points higher. )

Here's the breakdown from N.C. State Economist Mike Walden. He expects final numbers will show the following:

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