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

Unemployment lines


North Carolina lawmakers voted last year to end long-term unemployment benefits.

The move meant the state stopped accepting money from the federal government for workers who had been out of a job for 20 weeks or more. Legislators said they made the change in order to start paying down more than $2 billion in jobless benefits the state already owed to the federal government.


Tim Anderson grew up in north Raleigh as a gay, sugar-obsessed teenager.

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of people in North Carolina returning to prison after their release is on the decline. In fact, a new report released just this month shows that North Carolina has had one of the biggest drops in recidivism in the country.

This photo shows the head a figure that might be Alexander the Great. It is from a mosaic scene that is the first non-Biblical mosaic every uncovered in an Israeli synagogue.
James Haberman

Many archaeologists wait their entire career for one big find. UNC-Chapel Hill's Jodi Magness? Well, let's just say that she's having a spectacular time making discovery after discovery.

In 2011, Magness took a team to Israel to identify a dig location. They hoped to find an ancient synagogue.

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.

The Moral Monday protests from Raleigh have garnered national attention over the past year. A key component of the protests has been media attention on arrests. Dozens were arrested this year for various non-violent offenses, a move some say is becoming an overt aim of many protestors.

Amy Laura Hall is a professor of ethics at the Duke Divinity School.  She has participated in the Moral Monday protests from the start, but she says the tactic of getting arrested -- or "orderly submission" as she calls it -- is flawed.   

The World Health Organization has reported the largest outbreak of Ebola ever: more than 330 deaths in western Africa, and the number is rising.  Dr. William Fischer is an infectious disease specialist at the UNC School of Medicine. He has just returned from Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak.  Fischer admits he was scared at first. He wore protective clothing and a mask that made him look more like an astronaut than a physician. 

When asked about one of his most memorable experiences, he told this story:

Paul Taylor Dance Company

The American Dance Festival kicks off today. ADF's mission is to support modern dance, and as a part of that they commission artists to create new work.

This year, there is a push to get a younger audience. Jodee Nimerichter directs the festival.

Whale euthanization
Sarah Mallette

In 2009, a 30-foot long Right whale became stranded on Cape Lookout, N.C. For those who've never been, Cape Lookout is a remote beach, reachable only by boat or helicopter. The weather conditions were rough. During high-tide, the whale was completely submerged. During low-tide, it was completely exposed.

Craig Harms and his team of scientists had to catch a ride from a Coast Guard helicopter.

"The pilot asked me, 'How much time do you need?'" said Harms. "I said, 'I can do quite a bit in half an hour.' She said, 'You've got 10 minutes."

Michelle Lewis

In the last few years, Chase Lewis has patented two life-saving inventions, been a finalist in five national science competitions, and earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Award. Oh, and he’s only 14 years old.

Lewis, who is homeschooled, has long been interested in science and inventions.

“My grandfather was an aeronautical physicist who worked on the Apollo program,” Lewis said. “I’ve gotten to spend some time with him, and we talk about science and inventions all the time.”

Trees in Chapel Hill,
Laura Candler

The EPA proposed sweeping changes to the country's carbon emission regulations. The coal is to cut carbon pollution by 30% by 2030 - relying more heavily on renewable energy sources to generate electricity.

Jonas Monast is the Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute. He says that North Carolina is well positioned for the changes that will be required.


This fall the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro will ship its five gorillas away.  The decision was made after a recommendation from the members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gorilla Species Survival Plan. 

Here’s the problem—wild gorillas exist in groups that include one male, two or three females and their offspring.  Two baby male gorillas were born at the North Carolina Zoo this fall, Apollo and Bomassa, and all was well.

But then the father, Nkosi, died in November, which left no adult male role model for the two young gorillas.   

Michelle Bowers

Home is where the heart is and for many abandoned homes and barns around Franklin County, the echoes of these past lives is what prompted Michelle Bowers to start a photo collection which documents the abandoned homes of North Carolina.

“I’ve always hated history in school but this seems like a way to get back into history,” Bowers said.

Dr. Maya Angelou (2/4/13)
York College ISLGP / Flickr/Creative Commons

Dr. Maya Angelou moved to North Carolina in 1981 and Bill Ferris, senior associate director of the Center For The Study of The American South at UNC-Chapel Hill, says she found her place here.

“There are so many people here, John Hope Franklin, so many gifted writers and intellectual voices for the black experience over the years," Ferris said. "She found North Carolina a good fit for her love. She kept a place in New York City, but her home most of the year was here in North Carolina.”

Early morning anglers heading downstream from Avent's Ferry on the Cape Fear River, near Corinth, North Carolina.
Donald Lee Pardue / Flickr/Creative Commons

There are 17 major rivers in North Carolina, but Philip Gerard puts the Cape Fear River at number one.

Fiddler Bobby Hicks
Eric Mennel / WUNC

Bobby Hicks had no intention of playing fiddle as a kid. He was playing mandolin in a band with his brothers when one of them asked for some help.

"My brother had a friend he wanted in the band, but he couldn't play anything," said Hicks. "So he talked me into teaching him to play the mandolin, and then they fired me."

It was to all our benefit.

Noah Stewart is not your average opera singer–he’s young, he’s black, he’s openly gay . But he’s exactly the person to update opera for the 21st century.

As an African American kid growing up in Harlem, opera was not an obvious career choice. Raised by a single mom, Stewart was encouraged to get involved in any and all after-school activities, so in junior high, Stewart joined the school choir. From there, he fell in love with opera and went on to study at The Julliard School of Music on a scholarship.

Mark Chilton
Chilton for Register of Deeds / Facebook

Orange County Register of Deeds is not typically a politically volatile position. But Mark Chilton made national headlines when he won the race to become the next register on Tuesday. That's because a primary focus of Chilton's campaign was that he would effectively break state laws banning gay marriage by signing marriage licenses presented by same-sex couples.

Photo: Death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh. No executions have been carried out in North Carolina since 2006.
North Carolina Department of Public Safety

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Supreme Court will consider whether or not to allow parole for criminals charged with life sentences as juveniles before 2012.

The case is a response to the 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It held that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles were unconstitutional. The hearing in North Carolina is to determine whether or not to apply that decision retroactively.

 In 1955, 67-year-old Emma Gatewood became the first woman to walk the entirety of the more than 2000 mile Appalachian Trail.  She made the trek from Georgia to Maine, crossing over 300 mountains, alone, with $200 dollars in her pocket.   Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery grew up hearing stories about Emma Gatewood, who was his mother’s great aunt. “Bedtime stories," Montgomery said.

Jacinta White, Poet

For National Poetry Month, we talked with four different North Carolina poets about their work and their relationship with the art form.

Name: Jacinta White

Location: Kernersville, NC

Organization: The Word Project, using poetry workshops to help with personal and community healing.

  The documentary Bronx Obama follows the story of Luis Ortiz, an unemployed man living in the Bronx who one day in 2008 is told he looks an awful lot like a guy named Barack Obama from Chicago who is running for President—and that changes everything. 

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has begun in Durham.  One of the films making its world premiere is The Supreme Price, which follows the return of Hafsat Abiola back to her home country of Nigeria.   Hafsat Abiola is the daughter of the former president of Nigeria, M.K.O Abiola and Kudirat Abiola,  who spoke out boldly against political corruption in that country in the 1990’s and ultimately lost her life because of it.

  Darius Monroe was 17 years old living in Texas when he committed a crime that would shape the course of his life.  He and two friends robbed a bank in their hometown making off with tens of thousands of dollars.  He was caught and spent 5 years in prison. A decade later, he returned home to try to figure out what impact his crime had on his family and the others who were in the bank that day.                     

Hot & Crusty is one the chain delis in New York City that line most street corners, offering fast, affordable food one step up from the fare you might receive at big national chains like McDonalds, or Subway.   Many of the employees at chains such as these are undocumented workers.  They are men and women that are here in this country with no papers, working long hours without the benefit of insurance or job security.  The new documentary ‘The Hand That Feeds’ follows the plight of one group of workers fighting for better working conditions at a Hot & Crusty restaurant on the Upper

LeVelle Moton
LeVelle Moton via Twitter

Updated Saturday March 22, 2014:

LeVelle Moton's Twitter profile says it all:

"Basketball is what I do, not who I am. Child of God, Hattie Mac's Baby boy. Head Coach At North Carolina Central University."

Moton seemed destined to be the head coach at NCCU. He grew up in Raleigh, and lived with his mother in a housing project. He was a McDonald's All American Nominee at Enloe High School, was Wake County Player of the Year, and was selected for All State.