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
5:00 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Are Employers Misunderstanding Facebook Posts?

Employers could make wrong assumptions about job applicants based on Facebook posts.

New research out of NC State shows it might not be smart for employers to rely so heavily on social network sites to write off potential candidates.  Yes, you can find almost anything on the internet, including videos like this one on About.com on how to prepare for an employer’s social network check.

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Business & Economy
4:21 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Big China Tobacco Company Opens Office In Cary

A tobacco farmer in Rockingham County, NC.
Credit Jim Dollar via Flickr, Creative Commons

A Chinese tobacco company has announced plans to open its North America headquarters in North Carolina.  The state Agriculture Department has worked hard to bolster trade relations with China.  And it’s paid off.

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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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