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
7:47 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Thousands In North Carolina Brace For 'Unemployment Cliff'

A man holding a poster at a 'Moral Monday" demonstration outside the NC Legislative Building in Raleigh.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Leoneda Inge reports on the so-called 'unemployment cliff,' when thousands of people in NC lose their extended unemployment benefits on June 30.

North Carolina’s “unemployment cliff” is fast approaching.  That’s what civil rights, religious and other advocacy groups call June 30, the last day tens of thousands of people across the state are eligible for extended benefits from the federal government.  There are last minute efforts underway to try to convince lawmakers to postpone the “cliff” until the end of the year.  But, so far, those efforts have been ignored.

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Environment
6:52 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Have A Seat: EPA Builds Air Monitor Bench

Tammi Masters and daughter, Rowan Jaynes, sit on new solar-powered air monitoring bench built by the EPA.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new way to monitor air pollution and it includes a park bench.  There’s a new bench outside the South Regional Public Library in Durham . It’s the only one of its kind in the country.  If you sit down – and look up – you see solar panels and a spinning wind sensor.  And you can use your smart phone to scan a QR barcode to get up to the minute air quality stats.

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Environment
7:37 am
Fri June 21, 2013

African Visitors Tour Raleigh's 'Green' Transformation

Nkonzo Mhnongo of South Africa takes pictures of solar panels on Raleigh Convention Center rooftop.
Credit Leoneda Inge

For years, Raleigh has worked hard to transform itself into a city of environmental sustainability and innovation.  The capital city even created an Office of Sustainability and has been recognized nationally as a leader in the field.

A group of visitors from several countries in Africa are on a three week tour of the United States and stopped by Raleigh to see some of the city’s “green” transformation first-hand.

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Business & Economy
5:35 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

GE Aviation Wants To Expand In North Carolina

Navy employee works on a GE jet engine.
Credit US Navy

GE Aviation - a division of General Electric Company - is planning to expand its presence in North Carolina.  Today’s announcement was made at the International Paris Air Show in France.  A delegation from North Carolina was on hand to receive the news.

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Environment
7:44 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Hold Your Nose, Heavy Rain Brings Sewer Overflow

An old sewer manhole sits at the top of Rothgeb Park in Raleigh.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The weather forecast for the Triangle calls for more severe thunderstorms in the coming week, but they likely won’t be as bad as last week, when a downpour from Tropical Storm Andrea flooded streets, caused weak trees to tumble and resulted in hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewer water overflowing.

Records show the city of Raleigh experienced one of the largest sewer system overflows because of Andrea. This comes at a time when the capital city is already spending millions of dollars trying to up-grade water and sewer infrastructure.

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Business
5:11 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Lenovo Holds Grand Opening For Its N.C. Assembly Plant

Johana Guardado assembles a laptop on Lenovo's new personal computer production line in Whitsett, N.C.
Leoneda Inge for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 8:14 am

Chinese computer maker Lenovo celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Whitsett, N.C., on Wednesday. The company is trying to boost its brand and U.S. market share. Other high-tech firms, including Motorola, have announced plans to manufacture in the U.S.

The Lenovo plant celebration was a patriotic affair. A large sign was on display featuring the American flag and the words "Assembled in the U.S."

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Environment
5:10 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Solar Energy Forums Shine Light On Permitting Process

A Duke Energy/Progress Energy solar farm.
Credit Duke Energy/Progress Energy

North Carolina’s solar energy industry has garnered much success in recent years – from solar panels to solar farms. 

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Business & Economy
4:14 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Smithfield Foods Goes 'Hog Wild' Over Shuanghui Merger

A hog farm.
Credit Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

Leoneda Inge reports on the merger agreement between Smithfield Foods and China-based Shuanghui International.

The multi-billion dollar merger announcement between Smithfield Foods and China-based Shuanghui International caught many people by surprise.  Smithfield owns the largest hog processing plant in the world, in Tar Heel.  And thousands of hog farmers and factory workers in North Carolina are employed by the company.

If the deal clears regulatory hurdles, it could be the biggest takeover of a US company by a Chinese company.

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Business & Economy
7:19 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Syngenta Greenhouse: Think Cool Wear Shades

Sunflowers growing in Syngenta greenhouse in new RTP Advanced Crop Lab.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Leoneda Inge visits Syngenta in RTP and its new Advanced Crop Lab.

The state of North Carolina is heavy on Agriculture.  So it’s not odd to see greenhouses from the coast to the mountains.  But there’s a new greenhouse at Syngenta in Research Triangle Park that is said to be the only one of its kind in the world.  Dignitaries and leaders in biotechnology and agriculture were on-hand Friday for a tour of this state-of-the-art greenhouse and to celebrate the grand opening of Syngenta’s Advanced Crop Lab.

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Health
7:02 am
Mon May 13, 2013

North Carolina Free Health Clinics In Flux

Donations sign on the front window of the Warren County Free Clinic in Warrenton.
Credit Leoneda Inge

North Carolina has one of the best networks of free clinics in the country.  Support from funders like the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation has helped take care of some of the state’s neediest patients; those who don’t qualify for Medicare of Medicaid.  Warren County – northeast of Raleigh – is home to one of the busiest free clinics in North Carolina.  But funding cuts have resulted in less service at a crucial time in the nation’s health care fight.

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