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.

Ways to Connect

Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck with (L-R) Becca Plumlee, Sophia Woo and Sunny Lin
Jeremiah Alley / Food Network

When Sophia Woo worked as an accountant, she spent many of her free nights and weekends making food. Her friends loved her culinary treats, especially the dumplings. She left her day job and joined a high school friend in building a food truck.

Their success caught the attention of Food Network producers and now they are competing in the sixth season of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a competition between seven trucks across Route 66.

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers have 10 days before the latest temporary budget expires.

The House and Senate are trying to reconcile their $21 billion spending plans, and among the sticking points are environmental issues, including the state's solar energy tax credit, renewable energy standards, and water quality requirements for Jordan Lake.

Craig McLaughlin grew up around tigers, ostriches, monkeys and other exotic animals on his step-father's farm in Pittsboro, N.C.
Craig McLaughlin

Craig McLaughlin was given 12 years to live when he was born with hemophilia in 1957. With the help of developments in medicine and some good fortune, McLaughlin exceeded the life expectancy and eventually started a family.

But along the way, he experienced hard bumps in the road. As a child, McLaughlin battled constant physical pain and social isolation. He was diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion as a young adult. 

Pianist Pamela Howland creates musical arrangments using the sounds of The Beatles with a classical music influence.
John Chapman

Pianist Pamela Howland has had a long love affair with legendary Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin. She wrote a one-woman show about his life and documented his roots in a film.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

School is back in session for the new year but assessment of last year's grades is ongoing. The report card for statewide performance in the 2014-2015 school year is out.

The Department of Public Instruction released their findings yesterday: graduation rates are up but fewer schools are hitting their targets.

  Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC education reporter Reema Khrais about the test results.

Image of Adam Johnson, author of 'Fortune Smiles' and professor of creative writing at Stanford
Samson Yee

When Adam Johnson worked in construction, he heard all sorts of stories from his co-workers, some of whom were Vietnam veterans and others who were ex-cons. Johnson’s had his share of tales too, from visiting North Korea to a dangerous swim in an Arizona sewage pipe.

'Poet' looks at the life of poet George Moses Horton
Don Tate

George Moses Horton was born into slavery in Northampton County, N.C. in the late 18th century. He was enslaved in rural Chatham County for most of his life, yet he built a remarkable career for himself off the plantation.

As a child, George secretly taught himself how to read, and as a teenager he began making trips to Chapel Hill where he composed poems for students on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

An image of the Lawson family
Criminal

In 1929, one of the worst murders in Stokes County occurred when a tobacco farmer killed six of his seven children and himself.  Since then, the Lawson family murders have gained widespread attention with continuing questions about why Charlie Lawson committed the crime.  The event is the subject of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast Criminal, hosted by Phoebe Judge.

Image of P. Murali Doraiswamy
Duke University

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and new evidence that suggests women's brains are especially vulnerable to the disease.

Image of the Russell School, the last Rosenwald School in Durham County.
Phyllis Mack Horton

In the early 20th century, Sears Roebuck CEO Julius Rosenwald teamed up with educator and civil rights icon Booker T. Washington to bring formal education to African-Americans in the rural South.

Image of Eric Trundy, who has used comedy as a therapy for a traumatizing childhood.
Eric Trundy

 

Up-and-coming standup comic Eric Trundy says that comedy saved his life, and he means that in the most literal sense of the words. His childhood was filled with trauma, from physical and sexual abuse to abandonment, and he repressed those memories for many years.

Image of Asheville police cra
Osajus / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of untested rape kits are sitting in police storage throughout the country according to a new investigation by USA Today.

The kits include evidence that could be matched to attackers but some law enforcement agencies say the cost is prohibitive. Here in North Carolina, hundreds of rape kits remain untested. 

Image of Nnenna Freelon, who stars in 'The Clothesline Muse'
Chris Charles

Clotheslines were once a part of everyday life for most American families. Women would often gather at community clotheslines, and neighbors in high rise buildings chatted over shared clotheslines hanging between their apartments. 

The new multimedia theatrical production “The Clothesline Muse” explores the history and culture of the clothesline, and looks at what it can tell us about changing community structure and relationships.

Image of Pat Cohen
Music Maker Tintype, Tim Duffy and Aaron Greenhood

The Music Maker Relief Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping true pioneers and forgotten heroes of the blues gain recognition as well as meet their day-to-day needs.

The foundation teamed up with Duke Performances to commemorate their 20th anniversary with a series of summer concerts.

Image of lethal injection table
Ken Piorkowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Legal challenges to the death penalty in North Carolina have effectively stayed any executions since 2006.

This week, lawmakers look to change that with a bill that would allow any medical professional, not just doctors, to administer a lethal injection.

Orange County Historical Museum / http://www.orangenchistory.org/

In the wake of the mass shooting last week in South Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory has joined a growing number of Southern governors who are moving toward abolishing the Confederate battle flag from things like government buildings and here in North Carolina--license plates.   

Hillsborough is one of the oldest towns in the state with a strong legacy tied to the Civil War. The town is now faced with questions about its historical Confederate markings and what is appropriate going forward.

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.

North Carolina legislative building
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
Courtesy of 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.

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