WUNC News

Stories, features and more by WUNC News Staff.  Also, features  and commentary not by any one reporter.

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Politics & Government
8:12 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

N.C.'s G.K. Butterfield To Lead The Congressional Black Caucus

G.K. Butterfield, of Wilson, will lead the Congressional Black Caucus
Credit Wikipedia

G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) will be the next leader of the Congressional Black Caucus. Butterfield, who represents much of Eastern North Carolina, was unanimously elected on Wednesday by the 45 member group.

“I’m moved by the unwavering support the CBC has shown me throughout the years,” said Butterfield in a release. He is the caucus's most recent Vice-Chair.

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Arts & Culture
3:45 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Grammy-Nominated Rapper's New Album Features Fayetteville, NC

J. Cole
Credit the artist

Rapper J. Cole grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This week, with very little fanfare, he announced that his new album would go on sale December 9. The album is called "2014 Forest Hills Drive." The title refers to Cole's childhood home in Fayetteville.

The announcement came with a short documentary of the musician, wearing a sky-blue UNC jersey, re-visiting many of the places of his childhood.

There's the roller rink, and the game arcade, and the football field where he rapped publicly for the very first time:

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Environment
5:13 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Tuesday: Bitter Cold In The Piedmont

Credit RachelEllen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Residents of the Piedmont will experience a bitter cold snap Tuesday morning.  A strong front passing through the state Monday evening will lead to temperatures only reaching as high as the 30s Tuesday.  

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sharp says the chilly weather will stretch into Tuesday night.

Sharp predicts it will be very cold Tuesday night with lows near 20, upper teens in more outlying areas. 

Then on Wednesday we will start what Sharp calls a moderating trend, with temperatures still well below normal for this time of year. 

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Science & Technology
4:51 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Take A 3D Virtual Tour Of Proposed Light Rail From Durham To Chapel Hill

Durham-Orange Light Rail Project

Wonder what that proposed 17-mile light rail project that would connect Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina would look like? Take a look at the latest model. It's made using Google Earth's virtual tour capabilities and other 3D software:

Project planners will have an environmental impact statement ready for public review in early 2015. The project is set to be constructed between 2020 and 2026 depending on approvals and funding.

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Animals
4:35 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

NC Zoo's 'Patches' The Polar Bear Dead At 26

Patches relaxes at the zoo.
Credit NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo's popular polar bear, Patches, died on Sunday.

In recent weeks, Patches had become uninterested in food, and was lethargic, according to Ken Reininger, the zoo’s general curator. Tests revealed the female bear had an extensive lung mass which was likely cancer.

“In the wild the average life span of a polar bear is 15-to-18 years old,” said Dr. David Jones, director of the zoo. “Patches was 26-years-old. She exceeded wildlife expectations by living a long life.”

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WUNC Updates
2:32 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Beginning Monday, You'll Hear Things On The Radio At Slightly Different Times

Credit Carol Jackson

Beginning Monday, WUNC is changing its newscasts in Morning Edition.  This means more news about North Carolina throughout the morning hours.  You'll now hear newscasts at :01, :19, :31 and :42 minutes past each hour. 

This does mean that some of the sounds that mark your morning routine are shifting slightly - so please watch that clock.

This is part of a larger change in all the NPR newsmagazine programs. 

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Environment
9:33 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Lawyer Now Assisting State On Coal Ash Previously Represented Duke Energy On Same Issue

Craig Bromby
Credit Hunton & Williams LLP

A lawyer advising North Carolina's environmental agency on rewriting clean-up rules for Duke Energy's coal ash dumps previously represented the electricity company on the same issue.

Craig Bromby was hired in June at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He retired in March as a partner at the Raleigh office of Hunton & Williams, where his corporate clients included Duke.

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Science & Technology
3:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Can You Guess How Many Ant Species Live On Broadway? [NC State Study]

The odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile) was the most common species found in parks and forests, but was absent in street medians.
Credit Adrian Smith

A new study out of North Carolina State University suggests there's a remarkably high diversity in the types of ants found in cities.

Published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity, the paper looks at different environments along Broadway Avenue in Manhattan. Researchers found more than 20 different species of ants in the median of the road alone. They found more than 20 other species in the surrounding parks and urban forests.

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Education
12:57 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

1 Killed, 4 Hurt In Bridge Collapse On Wake Tech Campus

A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed on Wake Tech campus.
Credit WRAL via Twitter

Officials say one worker has been killed and four others were hurt when a pedestrian bridge under construction on Wake Tech Community College's northern campus collapsed. Wake County EMS officials say the four men suffered injuries Thursday that were serious enough to send them to a hospital trauma unit.

Jeff Hammerstein with Wake EMS says he thinks the highest point on the bridge was 40 feet above the ground. 

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

NC House Chamber Gets Makeover; Legislators Say They Didn't Know About It Or $125K Cost

The NC House Chamber is undergoing renovations that are expected to be complete before the General Assembly is back in January.

Some North Carolina legislators say they were surprised and upset to hear that their House Chamber is undergoing renovations.

They say they didn’t green light the $125,000 expense, and that it didn't go through the legislative services commission. The project received approval from the office of House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is transitioning to U.S. senator.

“Quite a surprise,” said House Republican Representative Julia Howard. “I am shocked that they’re taking the red curtains down, that’s a piece of our history. It does disturb me.”

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