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

internet sweepstakes, gambling,
Pete Labrozzi / Flickr Creative Commons

Gambling is illegal in North Carolina. But there is a gray area: It's called an "Internet sweepstakes." And contrary to it's name, such sweepstakes are often not on the Internet. They are operated in small shops, often in strip malls, across the state.

Santa Charlie Easton
Eric Mennel

Content Advisory: If Santa is real to your kids, this story may not be suitable for them.

It was a normal night at the Golden Corral Buffet and Restaurant off Highway 65 in Durham, North Carolina. Men and women just getting off of work were there to have their dinners, with families taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat dessert line.

When comic book authors set out to construct their superheros, how do they factor in the believability of those characters’ powers?  And no matter how fantastic those powers may be, what is the importance of a good story in comic books?  Suveen Mathaudhu is a professor at NC State who studies the science of superheroes.  Host Frank Stasio talks with Mathaudhu and comic book creator Howard Craft.

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski has spent two decades transforming the University of Maryland, Baltimore County into one of the most innovative research institutions in the country.  His devotion to helping minority students advance in the world of science and mathematics gained him a role as a trusted advisor to President Obama on educational issues. Host Frank Stasio talks with Dr. Hrabowski about his life, his work and STEM programs in higher education.

Political News Update

Jan 28, 2014

  A federal judge struck down a North Carolina law that required abortion providers to show pregnant women ultrasounds. Governor McCrory announced he does not support an appeal of the ruling but Republican legislators are calling on Attorney General Roy Cooper to push forward with an appeal. Plus, what will be the political implications for moving the presidential primary date? And new unemployment figures are released: how does North Carolina fare? Host Frank Stasio talks with News & Observer political reporter John Frank.

Content Advisory: If Santa is real to your kids, this story may not be suitable for them.

It’s a month after Christmas, and in parts of the nation, the Santas are gathering for some rumination. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Phoebe Judge of WUNC has the story of what professional Santas do when Christmas is over.

A chorus of teens sings Everybody Hurts by REM. this was another one of Lauren Hodge's chorus projects.
Still from YouTube video

Beginning tonight, a new musical endeavor begins at Motorco Music Hall in Durham. The "PopUp Chorus" is a chance for anyone to be a part of a musical chorus, with no commitment and no auditions.

The program organizer is Lauren Hodge. (And yes, that name is familiar, Lauren is married to WUNC Morning Edition host, Eric Hodge.) The chorus will be directed by Seamus Kenney. Kenney says that the ad-hoc chorus will build on the skills of the participants. "If you can sing this harmony, huzzah, huzzah, we'll add a harmony to this. I just love leading people and music."

North Carolina Opera dress rehearsal.
Curtis Brown Photography

Crystal Manich is known for the magic she works with plywood, duct tape, stage levels, lights, and costumes. She's a theater director, with a passion for opera.

In opera, the stories are big, and the staging matters. One time she directed a production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman." "It is an amazing and complicated opera to put together," she says. In one scene, the Dutchman is singing an aria while a ghost crew works on the ship.

Ursa Waz

"The truth is I don't always want the audience on my side. That's not a very dynamic state. A better state is where some are on your side, some are skeptical, some are listening intelligently and are very present, others are reflecting - there's a mixture. That's what creates the atmosphere where something unexpected can happen." - Mike Daisey

Starting this month a group of white tailed deer will be transported from Morrow Mountain State Park onto 56,000 acres of reservation lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

It's a project sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management Program.

The move will help augment the reservation's population of deer which has been declining over the years.

Christmas music. It's nearly inescapable at this time of year - on the radio, in shops, in cafes, everywhere. When Phoebe Judge sat down to talk about "Christmas" with jazz double bassist John Brown, the question arose: Why would musicians want to add to the large catalog of existing Christmas songs and recordings?

"It comes from a place of joy," said the double bassist. "We wanted to take this material that's tested, tried and true and say something different about it."

A Chapel Hill group is handing out stickers that look like this to restaurants and bars that want them.
emedco.com

A new law, which went into effect in October, makes it legal to carry a gun in the state's restaurants, bars, parks,  and public schools/universities (with a handful of caveats.)

You can't carry a weapon into a city government building, though.

Many of the laws opponents had one question on mind: Why? What evidence was there that guns were needed to prevent violence in local parks?

Urban Ministries of Durham, Names For Change
WUNC

Last year, Urban Ministries of Durham made national news with their online game, Spent. They teamed up with McKinney, an advertising agency, to help re-create the experience of living below the poverty line.

But, after playing Spent, "I think you get through...  and it feels pretty hopeless," said McKinney associate creative director, Jenny Nicholson. UMD and McKinney wanted to bring some of that hope back.

Unsung Founders Memorial, UNC-Chapel Hill
Don McCullough / Flickr.com

Tim McMillan is a senior lecturer at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill's Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.  He is also the creator of The Black and Blue Tour.  In 2001 Tim was teaching a seminar called “Defining Blackness” when he realized how much of UNC’s  own racial history went overlooked.  He started the Black and Blue tour of the UNC campus to help people gain a more nuanced perspective. He knows these conversations can make people uncomfortable.

Red Wolf, animal,
Museum of Life and Science

Members of conservation groups and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission met today to discuss a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court over the impact of expanded hunting privileges on coyotes, and the potential impact on the state’s red wolf population.  

Photo: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Cananda, 2009
Annie Leibovitz from 'Pilgramage.' 2011

Photographer Annie Leibovitz started shooting celebrity portraits for Rolling Stone in 1970, and today she regularly shoots the covers for magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue. After the loss of her partner, Susan Sontag, and a significant financial upheaval , Leibovitz needed to get out of the studio.

She wanted to shoot whatever she liked, whenever she liked. Traveling to a series of historic locations, including Emily Dickinson's house, Thoreau's cabin, and Virginia Woolf's writing room, she photographed objects and places. The photos, lit only by natural light, show us a very different side of Leibovitz's work.  Guest host Phoebe Judge asks Leibovitz about her new collection.

Photo: Lynn Rogers and a black bear
Wildlife Research Institute

Biologist Lynn Rogers has been putting radio collars on bears and feeding them for years in Ely, Minn. He’s learned about their behavior and is aiming to become the “Jane Goodall of Black Bears.” This has caused consternation in the town among some people who worry about the habits of bears who are used to humans. They are trying to get the license for his scientific project revoked. He speaks with guest host Phoebe Judge.

Photo: A hallway in the Carville National Leprosarium
Phoebe Judge

Neil White was a Louisiana businessman in his early 30s, living comfortably with his wife and two children, when the FBI discovered a check-fraud scheme he was running and got him locked up for 18 months.

Photo: Jarius Sowells
Jarius Sowells

Guest host Phoebe Judge speaks with Jarius Sowells about his time at the University of Texas. He failed his first year and took time off until he felt ready to try again.

Sowells says the African American enrollment at the university is low and needs to be higher, and that affirmative action is necessary.

Phoebe speaks to Sowells as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on a case over racial preferences in admissions by the University of Texas.

Two years ago, when members of an elite Navy SEAL team stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and took out the leader of al-Qaeda, they ended one of the biggest manhunts in American history.

But for a small group of analysts at the CIA, bin Laden's capture was the culmination of a two-decade search that began long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky almost caused a riot when it was first seen 100 years ago. The music, the choreography was so unusual and dissonant that the audience rebelled. There was laughter and fistfights. Today it has become a classic piece and is being celebrated on its centenary- yet eyebrows can still be raised when a puppeteer stages The Rite of Spring. Basil Twist and Dick Gordon speak on the day of a new world premiere.

Author Alexandra Fuller
Alexandra Fuller

The writer Alexandra Fuller calls herself a storymaker but the story she tells in her new book “Falling” comes out of an intensely lived experience.

She tells guest host Phoebe Judge that her long marriage was beginning to fray, and she told her husband she wanted to leave. Minutes later, he had a terrible accident and the end of her relationship became entwined with the accident.

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