Phoebe Judge

Host / Reporter

Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

She is a co-founder of the podcast Criminal.http://thisiscriminal.com

Ways to Connect

chickens
Katie Brady / Wikimedia Commons

The avian bird flu is spreading across the country, and officials in North Carolina are doing what they can to protect the state's birds before the flu becomes a serious threat. The disease could have devastating effects on North Carolina's $18 billion poultry industry if infected waterfowl enter the state, but State Veterinarian Doug Meckes said that won't be a threat until possibly this fall.

 

"At this point, the migratory fowls do continue to harbor the virus, but most of them are in Canada and not a threat," Meckes said.

An image of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC
Jarrett Stewart / https://www.flickr.com/photos/m877/226761637

During a prayer meeting, nine people were murdered Wednesday night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The police identified the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Roof. He was apprehended Thursday in Shelby, North Carolina.  Police are calling the act a hate crime as the community continues to grieve.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State Senate leaders held a news conference Monday to discuss details of their $21.47 billion budget proposal. The proposal is smaller than the state House’s budget plan released almost a month ago, and  would create a separate state agency to administer North Carolina’s Medicaid program.

WUNC Capitol Reporter Jorge Valencia said the Senate has only given a general idea of its budget proposal, and includes increasing the starting salary pay for teachers to $35,000 a year, a $2,000 increase.

Photo: Mark Martin
Mark Martin

 North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin has never hidden the fact that he is unhappy with the state of the court system in North Carolina. Chief Justice Martin is an outspoken critic of how budget constraints have negatively affected the courts.

Martin says one of the main issues plaguing the courts in antiquated technology, "The people of North Carolina- they shop online, they interact with myriad business, but when it comes to the court, we are hopelessly behind."

An image of somebody spraypainted a wall
Wikimedia / Creative Commons

A bill is moving through the state legislature that would make graffiti a felony offense for a third-time offender. Under House Bill 552, anyone who has two or more prior convictions for graffiti vandalism could face up to 39 months in jail.

Rubenstein Library

For decades an important collection has been stored in a home in Western Massachusetts, but the weather in that part of the country  has been unpredictable these past few years.  

Which is what made Lisa Baskin start thinking about her collection.

"We had tornadoes, followed by Hurricane Irene, followed by a freak snowstorm while the leaves were still on the trees, and that was about three years ago and that is when I began the process," she said.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
wikipedia

Governor Pat McCrory is halfway through his first term, but with the General Assembly working its way through this year's long legislative session, the success of Gov. McCrory's agenda remains unclear. 

With two years of experience as governor, McCrory continues to find ways to maneuver his political priorities. Craig Jarvis, political reporter for the News & Observer, says the governor  got off to a rough start his first year in office in 2013, but this year his support has grown.

NSF/OOI/University of Washington

Last week a volcano erupted underneath the sea off the coast of Oregon.  The Axial Volcano is the most active submarine volcano off the Northwest Coast and for the first time sea instruments gave a heads up the volcano was about to erupt. 

Scott Nooner is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and he has been studying this volcano for 15 years. 

North Carolina Symphony

Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring is arguably one of the most important American works on the 20th century, or at least one of the most well known.  But during this weekend's performance at the North Carolina Symphony it will be followed by works from much younger composers.

Photo: The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Jorge Valencia

From gay marriage to puppy mills, North Carolina state legislators have filed more than 1,600 bills this legislative session and they are not even halfway done.

Many bills will not make it through the General Assembly, but some are still causing a stir.

Profile of Hillary Clinton
Wikipedia

Hillary Clinton announced this week she will be running for president and wasted little time starting her campaign in Iowa.

 

North Carolina is expected to be a battleground state for the former Secretary of State and a recent poll shows she has work to do here winning over voters.

A picture of a prison cell.
Derek Purdy / Creative Commons

Last year Michael Anthony Kerr was found unresponsive after spending 35 days in a solitary confinement cell in North Carolina.  He subsequently died. 

Recent research has shown that the impacts of solitary confinement can have detrimental long term effects.  A new pilot program in North Carolina aims to reduce rates of solitary confinement in the state. 

Jessa Wilcox is with the Vera Institute, a non profit focused on justice and is working with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on the program. 

A picture of a syringe.
hitthatswitch / Flickr

Earlier this week, a judge in North Carolina determined the Craig Steven Hicks would be eligible for the death penalty for his role in the shootings of three students in Chapel Hill.  But the state of North Carolina has not put anyone to death since 2006.  The state is one of 34 in the country that allows the death penalty, but the practice here is rarely used.  That was not always the case.

monutsdonuts.com

The Federal government mandates that all states must pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour.  Many states exceed the mandated rate and increase their minimum wages, but North Carolina has set its minimum wage right at the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 per hour.

However, an even lower minimum wage applies to what are called "tipped workers."  If you receive tips while you are working, your employer can legally pay you as little as $2.13 per hour, on the logic that the difference will be made up in tips.

Fact-Checking Ebola

Apr 1, 2015
Julian Rademeyer

When the Ebola outbreak began last year in Africa, many questioned whether it was actually true.  Outspoken officials and professors claimed the outbreak was a rumor and their initial comments had devastating effects. 

Kenan Memorial Stadium, where the Tar Heels have played since 1927
wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jeick

    

Former University of North Carolina football star Ryan Hoffman was once a giant. 

  The 6-foot-5-inch, 287-pound left tackle for UNC's 1997 football team helped guide the Tarheels to an 11-1 record. But Hoffman looks like a different person today. He is homeless and most likely dealing with brain trauma from his years on the football field.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with reporter Juliet Macur who tracked down Hoffman for a New York Times profile.

UNC and Duke are hosting edit-a-thons in hopes of diversifying Wikipedia's edting pool.
screenshot from wikipedia.org

Women have their fingerprints all over the history of mankind, but men have had a larger role in filling the pages of history books. 

Fire Pink Trio recently released their first album, "Poetry in Motion."
Melanie Hatton / Firepinktrio.com

The classical music group Fire Pink Trio gets its name from the vibrant mountain wildflower that grows throughout North America.

They bring the same energy and creative force to their work, from the classics of Brahms to the contemporary pieces of North Carolina composer Dan Locklair. And their experience as educators allows them to pass on the sound to the next generation of classical musicians. The trio released a debut album last month: Poetry in Motion: Music for Flute, Viola, and Harp. 

A picture of a coal ash pond.
Waterkeeper Alliance

    

This week, Duke Energy has paid $171 million to shareholders and the state of North Carolina.

The first bill was for $146 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company misled shareholders when it agreed to a merger with Progress Energy in 2012. The other $25 million was a fine from the state for spilling coal ash at a power plant in Wilmington.

Meanwhile, the conversation continues about how to dispose of the coal ash sitting at 14 sites across the state.

Guest host Phoebe Judge gets an update from WUNC environment reporter Dave DeWitt.

J.B. Buxton
J.B. Buxton

    

J.B. Buxton began his career in education in an unlikely place: South Africa.

As a Morehead Scholar from UNC, Buxton taught in a South African school as apartheid began to crumble. The experience shaped Buxton's perspective on education and launched his long career in education policy.

He served as education advisor to Governor Easley and as Deputy State Superintendent of the North Carolina Schools. Buxton now leads the move for a charter school to serve Southeast Raleigh's neediest students.

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology Christine Drea upclose with a hyena
Kathy Moorhouse / http://dukemagazine.duke.edu

Some of the world’s top animal behaviorists are leading a groundbreaking study of lions and hyenas for the Smithsonian Channel series Killer IQ: Lions vs. Hyena.

David Joy's new book tells the story of a young man working for his father's meth ring in rural North Carolina.
David-Joy.com

Jacob McNeely grew up in the mountains of North Carolina.

A life of crime as an employee of his father's meth ring is the only one he has ever known. But a violent event and a reunion with his first love offer McNeely the possibility of escape. 

Hands being held.
flickr.com/photos/mabeljuillet/

How do we die?

For some death comes suddenly, and there is no time for preparation, but for others death slowly creeps up on us. Though it is inevitable, we often avoid the opportunity to prepare for it.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

    

Gov. Pat McCrory filed new forms with the State Ethics Commission that show previously undisclosed travel expenses. 

The governor now says outside groups paid for seven of his trips in 2013, totaling more than $13,000. The money comes from appearances at national governors' conferences, including four backed by the Republican Party. 

The governor says it is appropriate for those groups to pay for his travel. Critics say failure to show the expenses on the original form follows a pattern of nondisclosure at the governor's office.

"The Last Barn Dance" tells the story of North Carolina dairy farmer Randy Lewis.
Ted Richardson and Jason Arthurs

    

Randy Lewis' dairy farm has been a gathering place for the people of Eli Whitney, N.C., for more than 50 years.

His family's annual barn dances are living relics of simpler times in North Carolina's agricultural industry.

But the Great Recession forced farmers to find new ways to save those traditions. Many went out of business. Lewis and a handful of others stopped falling further into debt by bottling their own milk. But it remains to be seen whether cultural traditions like the barn dance will stay alive.

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