Rusty Jacobs

Political Reporter

Rusty Jacobs
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC. Rusty previously worked at WUNC as a reporter and substitute host from 2001 until 2007 and now returns after a nine-year absence during which he went to law school at Carolina and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County.

As a reporter, he has covered a wide array of topics including military affairs, sports, government and damaging storms.

Ways to Connect

An aerial picture of the Port of Wilmington
Wikimedia

Republicans and democrats in the sharply divided General Assembly might finally be able to find some common ground: Punishing Chemours, the DuPont-spinoff company that has contaminated drinking water in the Wilmington area and in residential wells in the vicinity of its Fayetteville plant.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

Tests have shown a total of 85 residential wells near the Chemours plant in Fayetteville with GenX levels above the state health advisory goal--and that number could very well go up as more results come in.

A picture of the NCNG logo.
North Carolina National Guard

Shifting populations and changing demographics. Those are the key drivers behind the initiative known as the Readiness Center Transformation Master Plan.

A picture of a sale sign in front of a home.
myguysmoving.com / Flickr, Creative Commons

The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents homeowners insurance companies, has asked the state insurance department to approve an average 18.7 percent increase next year.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

The state Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday it is taking steps to revoke Chemours' wastewater permit for discharging certain fluorinated chemical compounds, including GenX. The Dupont-affiliated company manufactures GenX for use in non-stick surfaces like Teflon.

Toyota logo
Daniel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4Tzkj4

The Triad's efforts to lure a major car manufacturer could pay off. The Randolph County's Planning Board this week quickly approved the rezoning of 370 acres that will expand the area's megasite.

First draft of the special master's legislative districts, submitted Nov. 12
Nathaniel Persily / Stanford

Friday is the deadline for submitting suggestions to the Stanford University law professor tasked with re-drafting North Carolina's legislative maps.

A federal judicial panel appointed the so-called special master to fix flaws in the maps submitted by Republican lawmakers.

Economic planners hope that expanding the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite will make the area even more attractive to a major manufacturer. The Randolph County Planning Board is meeting Tuesday night and is scheduled to take public comment on a proposal to re-zone an additional 370 acres that would be added to the 1,500 acres already zoned to accommodate a large industrial operation.

Durham County officials remove the Confederate statue that was pulled off its post by protestors.
Courtesy of Barry Yeoman

Durham prosecutors dropped all charges against three people accused of toppling a Confederate monument in Durham.

Charges against Alexander Caldwell, Taylor Cook, and Myles Spigner were dropped, according to their defense attorney Scott Holmes.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated 2:39 p.m. | Nov. 13, 2017

Mike Watters is angry. The military veteran lives in a subdivision about a mile from the center of Fayetteville Works, a plant owned by DuPont affiliate Chemours.

Prison Bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated 3:16 p.m., October 20, 2017

Four North Carolina inmates are facing murder charges after the deadliest escape attempt in state prison history killed two prison workers, investigators said Friday.

Jim Flechtner, Executive Director of Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White found out about GenX the same way many others in and around Wilmington did. It was June 8th, and he slept in a little since he was on vacation.

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Attorneys for the two sides in the battle over North Carolina's legislative voting maps each faced withering scrutiny from a federal judicial panel in Greensboro Thursday. And the judges issued an order late in the day indicating they may end up bringing in a neutral party to redraw the district plans.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Republican lawmakers used their super-majorities Wednesday to override another of Governor Roy Cooper's vetoes.

This time, the General Assembly vetoed an environmental bill that provides some money – but not enough, according to Cooper – to address a little-studied chemical discharged into a river.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

A special house committee met Thursday in Raleigh to discuss the discharge of unregulated chemicals into the Cape Fear River - but the committee heard more questions than answers about potential health effects.

Duke community members leave messages on a memorial wall in Duke Medicine Pavilion.
Jared Lazarus / Duke University

Mourners gathered at the chapel on Duke University's campus in Durham Wednesday to honor the four victims killed in the September 8 crash of a Duke Life Flight helicopter. Family, friends, and supporters filled the chapel's pews to capacity to hear about the lives of pilot Jeff Burke, nurses Kris Harrison and Crystal Sollinger, and the lone patient on board, Mary Bartlett, herself a retired nurse.

An image of former state senator Josh Stein
Courtesy of Josh Stein

North Carolina's Attorney General says he is expanding an investigation into the role drug manufacturers may have played in the rising opioid crisis.

ECU

East Carolina University is starting a multi-disciplinary program to address social, health and economic disparities between rural and urban parts of the state.

construction continues on three large, glass-covered domes as part of an expansion of the Amazon.com campus in downtown Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

North Carolina's economic development community is mounting efforts to lure Amazon's new HQ2 facility to the state. The project could provide 50,000 jobs over 15 years.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

Updated 2:17 p.m., September 14, 2017

Registered unaffiliated voters now outnumber Republican voters in North Carolina for the first time.

A worker trims branches from trees near power lines in a downtown neighborhood in Orlando, Fla. during preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.
John Raoux / AP

Updated at 11:40 a.m., Sept. 13, 2017

Power has been restored for about two-thirds of the North Carolina homes and businesses hit by outages due to Tropical Storm Irma.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

The Republican-led General Assembly has given final approval to new political boundaries in largely party-line votes.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly has approved a set of legislative district maps to replace the 2011 plans thrown out by the courts for being illegal racial gerrymanders. The problem, many critics say, is the new maps are just as bad.

Public hearings in 7 locations statewide on new maps to replace illegal racial gerrymanders from 2011
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Scores of North Carolina residents turned out Tuesday evening to address members of the state House and Senate redistricting committees.

Courtesy of Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Jessica Guyadeen is a 39-year-old single mother of three, enrolled at Wake Technical Community College. She’s working towards an associate’s degree in social work. Guyadeen has a good home and her kids—ages 17, 11, and 9—attend decent schools but just a few years ago things did not look so bright.

A map illustrates how NC DOT's three expansion options for I-440 would affect Meredith College.
Courtesy of NC DOT

Plans to expand I-440 in Raleigh could have a major impact on Meredith College. State transportation officials held a public hearing this week on proposed plans for the expansion.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A controversial pipeline project is getting some support from local elected leaders in the eastern part of the state.

A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

It has been an intensely divisive time in the North Carolina General Assembly—with disagreements on the budget, LGBT rights, and private nuisance lawsuits against hog farms to name a few. Yet there seems to be near unanimity in the legislature on at least one issue: ballot access.

UN Women/Ryan Brown / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/SWcRTM

Women in Wake County earn a lot less than their male counterparts, and the wage gap is even worse than in other parts of the country.

researchers working with Japanese seaweed
Courtesy of Aaron Ramus / Duke University

Eradicating invasive plants and species may not always be the best policy. A new study shows a non-native species of seaweed is helping coastal habitats in North Carolina.

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