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
4:13 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Triangle Fast Food Workers Rally For Higher Pay

Willietta Dukes is a "Guest Ambassador" at Burger King. She demonstrated outside her restaurant Thursday for a higher minimum wage.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Fast food workers walked off the job in some 35 cities today, including Chicago and Detroit, and in smaller cities like Durham, North Carolina.   They’re demonstrating in support of higher wages and against low pay, long hours and no benefits.  Right now the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.  Nationally the call is for $15 an hour.

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Science & Technology
5:00 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

NC Biotech Center Announces Big Cuts

NC Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park.
Credit NC Biotechnology Center

Major cuts have been made to education and training programs at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.  When the latest state budget was signed, the North Carolina Biotech Center was told it had to cut 27% of its budget.  That meant a cut of $4.6 million.

Norris Tolson is president and CEO of the Biotech Center.  He says an example of programs they had to cut were the Summer Workshops for Educators, that trained 200 teachers a year.

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Arts & Culture
4:43 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

NC Residents Head To DC For 50th Anniversary March

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Washington, DC.
Credit US Govt.

Leoneda Inge reports on NC residents headed to Washington, DC for march.

Busloads of people are headed to Washington, DC tomorrow to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, and North Carolina will be well represented.

Andrea Harris was 15 years old in 1963 when Martin Luther King Junior gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.”

“The Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity," King said 50 years ago.

“I didn’t go then so I have to go now," said Harris.

Harris heads the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development in Durham.

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Environment
6:59 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Cleantech, Smart Grid Growing In The Triangle

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster was started to spur growth in the smart grid and energy sectors.
Credit RTRP Cleantech Cluster

Smart water, energy and electric vehicles are turning out to be a major growth sector in the Research Triangle region.

Charles Hayes is President and CEO of The Research Triangle Regional Partnership.  He says all the growth in smart grid and clean technology caught them by surprise.

“We quite frankly didn’t know what we had until people from around the world started calling us and asking us to be involved in various things.  So you know, we said, let’s do a little studying and see what we have here," said Hayes.

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Politics & Government
9:31 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Panhandling Violators To Get Help In Durham

A homemade solicitation sign and cup.
Credit Brokensphere via Wikimedia Commons

Leoneda Inge reports on Durham solicitation ordinance.

People ticketed for breaking panhandling rules in Durham may soon be able to avoid the criminal court system.  The change would mean sending violators of the solicitation or panhandling ordinance through Community Life Court – instead of paying fines or doing time in jail.

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Business & Economy
6:32 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Greater Kinston Credit Union Working To Keep Legacy Strong

Greater Kinston Credit Union Manager Shawn Wilson visits credit union co-founder Charles Sanders.
Credit Leoneda Inge

There is a credit union in eastern North Carolina that has worked hard to help people who have historically been left out of traditional banking circles.

But during the economic downturn, the Greater Kinston Credit Union suffered just like many of its members.  Major loans weren’t re-paid and the state placed it under conservatorship.  Today, Greater Kinston has a new manager, is open for business and is making money again.

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Business & Economy
7:07 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Down Economy Equals Growth At State Employees' Credit Union

An artistic rendering of the new SECU building on Salisbury Street in downtown Raleigh.
Credit State Employees' Credit Union

North Carolina’s State Employees’ Credit Union reached a major milestone in recent years.  There is now at least one branch in each of the state’s 100 counties.

The 75-year-old credit union was chartered with only 17 members.  Today, its membership base is close to 1.8 million and growing.  And a lot of this growth has come in the past five years, since the financial crisis and since retail banks have struggled to win back consumer confidence.

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Business & Economy
6:02 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

North Carolina's Export Business Continues To Boom

US International Trade Administration says NC exports up 6%.
Credit NC Commerce Department

Leoneda Inge reports on NC's booming exports.

North Carolina’s export business around the world continues to boom.  Numbers from the U.S. International Trade Administration show merchandise exports jumped by 6% compared to this time last year – up to $14.8 billion.

Jean Davis is the Director of International Trade for the state Commerce Department.  She says excluding a dip in 2008 during the recession, exports have been on the rise for the past decade.

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Business & Economy
7:11 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Hatteras Island Study Shows Economic And Cultural Value

NC Outer Banks is known for its Lighthouses.
Credit Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Backers of maintaining NC 12 along the Outer Banks have a new study to bolster their case.  NC 12 has seen its share of damage as storms shift the sand.  And the price tag to fix the problem could cost millions, if not billions.

Lee Nettles is the Executive Director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.  He says the public and the legislature need to know the economic value of Hatteras Island.

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Business & Economy
8:54 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Aviation Training Center Opens In Currituck County

Currituck County Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center under construction in 2012.
Credit College of The Albemarle

State dignitaries are in northeastern North Carolina this morning for the official opening of the new Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center in Currituck County.

Currituck County has been waiting a long time for this Aviation and Technical Training Center and it took a lot of money to make it happen - $7.1 million.

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