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
4:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Reynolds American Moves Ahead With VUSE E-Cigarettes

This package of VUSE Digital Vapor Cigarettes has a price tag of $9.99 plus tax, at the bottom.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Reynolds American is forging ahead with its electronic cigarette brand.  The announcement was made Friday in Tobaccoville.

Reynolds American CEO Susan Cameron says it’s time for everybody to have the chance to try out their VUSE digital vapor cigarette. 

“It it’s selling like hot cakes, you need more hot cakes,” said Cameron.

And Cameron had no problem whipping out her personal VUSE.

“Yes, this is a VUSE, I tried it, and I actually use it, it’s spectacular.”

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Law
8:36 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Durham Community Groups Want End To Alleged Police "Racial Profiling"

Attorney James Williams and leaders from several community groups speak out against alleged "racial profiling" by Durham Police.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Community organizations and faith-based groups in Durham are calling for a series of measures to help end what they call "racial profiling" by the Durham Police Department.

Representatives of the NAACP, Durham Congregations in Action, Fostering Alternatives in Drug Enforcement -- or FADE -- and several other groups are pushing for five main changes.

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Business & Economy
7:49 am
Thu May 22, 2014

NC's Jobless Rate Drops; So Do Benefits

North Carolina's jobless rate goes down, benefits are also going down.
Credit NC Commerce

At first glance, there are several signs North Carolina’s job market is improving.  In fact, last week, the state Commerce Department reported the jobless rate in April was down to 6.2-percent.  That’s the lowest it’s been since 2008.

But some economists and advocates say unemployed workers are still facing a tough job market and less help from the state.

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Business & Economy
8:22 am
Wed May 14, 2014

NC Works: Working To Connect People With Jobs

Credit NC Division of Workforce Solutions

The state Commerce Department has spent the past year making cuts and re-aligning its Division of Workforce Solutions.  Today, administrators say the results are positive.

One initiative getting a lot of attention is NC Works, an online portal developed to better connect the jobless with jobs.

Will Collins is the Executive Director of NC Works.  He's been on the job for six months and likes what he sees.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

NC Pension Fund: "If It Isn't Broken, Don't Fix It!"

State Treasurer Janet Cowell
Credit nctreasurer.com

State Treasurer Janet Cowell is meeting with legislators this short session to push her proposed pension investment reforms.  But the reforms don’t include who runs the pension fund. 

This is what Treasurer Janet Cowell says she’s been hearing in the state senate.

“Because some people say if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Cowell says in the short session, she’s pushing for an independent audit and greater transparency, but talk of moving the $86 billion pension fund from a sole fiduciary investment system to a board-of-trustee model should wait until next year.

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Politics & Government
5:59 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Department Of Labor Tells NC To Stop Providing Confidential Jobless Information

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the NC Division of Employment Security.
Credit NC Commerce

The state Division of Employment Security has the OK from the U.S. Department of  Labor to stop providing attorneys with hearing notices of unemployed workers.

Attorneys say that having access to notices of  jobless workers who are preparing to face-off with their former employer over benefits helps both parties.  It’s business for the attorney and counsel for the claimant.

But word from the the Department of Labor calls on DES to cease the practice of providing such confidential information.

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Arts & Culture
7:34 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Plans For Raleigh's Catholic Cathedral Updated

Artistic rendering of the dome at the future "Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral."
Credit The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh

Catholic parishioners in the Raleigh Diocese can expect the ground to be turned on their new cathedral by the end of the year.

Plans have been underway for years to raise $41 million to build a “mother church” for the people of the Raleigh Diocese.

Bishop Michael Burbidge heads the Raleigh Diocese.

“We will build what the people of God let us build, so this was a good faith campaign," said Burbidge.

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Business & Economy
8:42 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The South And Canada 'Do Business' Face To Face

NC on display at SEUS CP conference at Raleigh Convention Center.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The business-to-business matchmaking continues today at the Raleigh Convention Center where the leaders from southern states and regions of Canada will try to make deals.

It’s the first time the Southeastern U-S Canadian Provinces Alliance or, "SEUS CP," has met in North Carolina.  

The kick-off to the conference had fingers snapping and heads rocking as musicians jazzed up the meeting room, welcoming dignitaries to the conference.

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Business & Economy
9:03 am
Mon May 5, 2014

'Business To Business' Matchmaking At Southeast US Canada Conference

Credit US-Canadian Provinces Business Alliance

Governors and business leaders from the Southeastern U.S. are in Raleigh today to talk trade and investment opportunities with leaders from Canada. 

Despite what you hear about China and Germany – Canada is North Carolina’s number one trading partner with one quarter of all the state’s exports going to that country.

Jean Davis is Director of International Trade for the state Commerce Department.

“You know Canada is such a strong trading partner, that it is often times where we start with our companies," said Davis.

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Business & Economy
9:22 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Which County Has The Lowest Unemployment In The State?

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Numbers from the state Commerce Department show the unemployment rate fell all across the state during the past year.  But analysts say the economic recovery is still modest.

Who has the lowest unemployment in the state? Chatham and Orange Counties - 4.6 percent. 

Where is the highest jobless rate? Graham County - 12.7 percent.

While the jobless rate fell in all 100 counties, the number of people who reported having jobs decreased in about one-third of the counties.

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