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The North Carolina Museum of History will open its biggest exhibit to date on Saturday. "The Story of North Carolina" includes re-created environments to help visitors transport back in time. For example, they can step inside an early twentieth century textile mill and feel the floor shake from operating machinery. RaeLana Poteat helps curate the exhibit at the Museum of History.

Archaeologists preparing to dive.
N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources

At the bottom of Beaufort Inlet sits an eight-foot cannon that once fired from the decks of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. It’s been there since the ship sank in 1718, and the famous pirate Blackbeard was captured. A crew of archaeologists heads out to bring the cannon to the surface today. Mark Wilde-Ramsing is the director of the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck project and an underwater archaeologist with the state. He joined WUNC's Eric Hodge to talk about the project.

Chatham County Commissioners have accepted a bid to rebuild the historic courthouse in downtown Pittsboro. The courthouse was damaged by a fire in March of last year. The project will cost 4.4 million dollars. Project manager Brian Stevens says the courthouse will maintain its historic charm and character.

A panel of three judges has found two North Carolina men innocent of a murder to which they had once pleaded guilty.

The judges announced their decision Thursday in Asheville after nearly two weeks of testimony in the cases of Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxsin.

Both men had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Walter Bowman of Fairview at his home in 2000. They claimed they agreed to the pleas to avoid the possibility of getting the death penalty or spending life behind bars.

North Carolina will vacate all 16 victories from the 2008 and 2009 football seasons following an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct. The university issued a response Monday to the NCAA's notice of allegations. It says three scholarships will be cut for the next three years and the football program will be on probation for the next two years as part of self-imposed penalties. UNC will pay a $50,000 fine, but did not impose a postseason ban. The school still has to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in October.

A proposal under consideration by state officials may help protect Haw River and surrounding areas. The plan involves reclassifying a portion of the river in and around Guilford County. This aims to preserve existing water resources by limiting development. Jason Martin heads planning in nearby Alamance County. He says the river’s status as an emergency water supply led to the push for reclassification.

President Barack Obama spoke to thousands of people on the North Carolina State Campus this afternoon. The president is promoting his 450-billion dollar jobs bill. He told the crowd the bill would provide money for important infrastructure projects.

President Obama:  "In North Carolina alone there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be prepared. Four of them are near here, on the belt-line. Why would we wait to act until another bridge falls?"

Maximum wind gusts during Hurricane Irene
National Weather Service Raleigh

Summary:

NC Emergency Management - news and emergency information

State Emergency Hotline:  1-888-835-9966

National Hurricane Center - latest forecast information

Federal Emergency Management Agency

American Red Cross

American Red Cross Safe and Well - List yourself as OK and search for loved ones

NCDOT - Road information

Quake Felt in NC

Aug 23, 2011

People across North Carolina felt the 5.9-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.

Mitch Easter is a legend in the world of alternative music. He was a founding member of Let's Active, produced the first REM recordings back in the early 80s and has since helped scores of young bands hone their sound. One of the guitars used in those original REM recording sessions was among half-dozen instruments stolen from Easter's home in Winston Salem. 

Will McInerney, Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa, and Sameer Abdel-Khalek spent the last two months traveling, writing, interviewing, and photographing the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Now they're back.  And be sure to visit their blog.

We check in one more time with the poets we've been following as they travel in Egypt and Tunisia this summer. Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek have been in North Africa for the past two months. They come home next week. Their final few days overseas happens to coincide with the start of the holy month or Ramadan. That's what inspired this latest Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

Texting 911 in Durham

Aug 3, 2011

Emergency Dispatch services in Durham County can now receive text messages. Verizon subscribers in distress in Durham can now send an text message to 9-1-1. The six month trial is a joint venture between the wireless company and the county. The capability was installed at no charge to taxpayers. Jim Soukup of the Durham Police Department says the trial opens the door for the integration of sophisticated mobile phone technology.

Durham Police Department vehicle
Durham Police Department

The Durham Police have a new reminder for residents about the dangers of driving drunk. It looks like a police car in the front and a taxi cab in the back. The car tells drunk drivers they can choose their ride- either a taxi or a police car. Decals on the hood give information warning about the monetary cost of getting a DUI. Durham County Assistant Chief Lee Russ says the 'franken-car' will be parked outside of nightlife spots. He hopes that people will think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.

The poets we've been following this summer are in Tunisia right now. This weekend Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are travelling from their homebase in Tunis to more rural areas to get a different perspective on the Arab Summer. Before they left, they met a young woman named Ayya. She inspired this latest Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

UNC-Chapel Hill has named Everett Withers as its new interim head football coach. Withers is a long-serving assistant and takes over for Butch Davis, who was fired by the university late Wednesday. Also this week, UNC's athletic director Dick Baddour announced he will be stepping down early.  education reporter Dave DeWitt sits down with David Brower to talk about the changes at Carolina.

Sameer Abdel-khalek

The three young poets we're following on Morning Edition this summer are continuing their Poetic Portraits of a Revolution project in Tunisia after their sojourn in Egypt. Much of the world's attention is focused elsewhere now. But Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are finding that, as in Egypt, the Tunisian revolution is not over.

NC Zoo Looks to Expand

Jul 22, 2011
NC Zoo
NC Zoo

North Carolina Zoo leaders are looking at new ways to generate revenue. In recent years the state budget has had less and less money for the zoo. Public money accounts for about 60 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from park sales and private donations. The zoo is currently one of two state-owned zoos in the United States. Traditionally a trip to the zoo in Asheboro has been a day trip for families. Officials want to change that by adding additional attractions such as a water park, an Asian continent exhibit or a hotel. Zoo Director David Jones says the zoo needs to evolve to survive.

Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

The three young poets we're following this summer left Egypt this week. Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa, Kane Smego and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek are moving on to Tunisia as a part of the project Poetic Portraits of a Revolution. Before moving out of their apartment in Cairo, they sent us this poetic reflection on their final days in Egypt.

EPA officials are working to clean up tractor trailers containing barrels filled with chemicals on a residential property in Rocky Mount. The owner of the property said the trailers had been there since he inherited the land from his father. When crews arrived on-site they reported strong chemical odors and a trailer was leaking black material. Kenneth Rhame of the EPA says they have determined the air around the site is not contaminated, but soil contamination is still a worry.

Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

The Arab Spring that erupted in North Africa has turned to summer. The revolution is still being sorted out in the streets of Cairo. In the days leading up the the Fourth of July here in the states, the poets we've been following Fridays on Morning Edition witnessed a demonstration turned riot in Tahrir Square. Kane Smego, Will McInerney, Mohammad Moussa and Sameer Abdel-khalek sent us this Poetic Portrait of a Revolution.

Two Pint-sized former patients cut the ribbon on a new unit in the Newborn Critical Care Center at The North Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill today. A crowd of parents, children and staff were present for the opening of 'Pod G.' It adds 10 beds and brings the center's capacity to 58 beds. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Chapel Hill admits premature and ill babies from other hospitals in the state which are not equipped to deal with them. Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Alan Stiles says the addition will take pressure off the unit.

Researchers are surveying protected marine species along the east coast. They're documenting the birds, fish, and mammals that live in and around the ocean. The survey is entering its second year and will not be completed until 2014. Shelley Dawicki of The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says very little is known about the distribution and density of marine life deep in the ocean.

From left to right: Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa, an Egyptian citizen named Moussa, Will McInerney, photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdek Khalek

This summer on Morning Edition, we're keeping tabs on three young poets and a photographer as they travel through North Africa. Kane Smego, Mohammad Moussa and Will McInerney are in their early 20's and are from the Triangle. Right now, they're in Cairo. During the day, they're out taking pictures and talking to people, trying to get a sense of the revolution that's still settling in Egypt. At night, they write as a part of a summer-long project they're calling Poetic Portraits of a Revolution.

Fayetteville barbers have joined with health officials to inform their customers about the risks of prostate cancer. Cumberland County is one of seven counties in North Carolina with a prostate cancer rate higher than the national average. Barber shops serve as a social hub for many minority communities. Officials hope a barber's suggestion will motivate customers to get a prostate-cancer test. Douglas Dolberry of the Konnecte Kut Barber shop in Fayetteville, says the response so far has been great.

From left to right: Mohammad Moussa, Will McInerney, Kane Smego, and photographer Sameer Abdel-khalek
Sameer Abdel-khalek

Three young poets from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill landed in Cairo a few days ago. They're travelling in Egypt and Tunisia with a photographer friend for a project they're calling Poetic Portraits of a Revolution. With borrowed microphones and money donated by friends, family and community groups they set out to see and hear for themselves what a revolution looks like. Along the way, they promised to send back short poetic reflections on their experience.  Kane Smego, Will McInerney and Mohammad Moussa present this first installment of Poetic Portraits of a Revolution from their journey to North Africa.

North Carolina's unemployment rate held steady at 9-point-7 percent in May. The rate has been constant for the last three months. The state unemployment figure is more than half a percent higher than the national rate. Larry Parker with the state Employment Security Commission says these numbers are indicative of the sluggish economy.

Larry Parker: "I think what we're seeing is what we've seen over the last six or seven or eight months. the economy is very static right now. there have not been major gains in the job force it is just a very very slow recovery."

Unseasonably hot temperatures last week exacerbated drought conditions along the coast of North Carolina. Eight new eastern counties have been added to the severe drought list. Most of central North Carolina is experiencing abnormal to moderate drought conditions. State Climatologist Ryan Boyles says the drought has been worsening for a while.

President Obama at Cree
Brent Kitchen

Business and political leaders gathered in Durham this afternoon for a visit by Barack Obama. He spoke at CREE manufacturing, a company that specializes in L-E-D lighting. Mr Obama announced a plan to train 10 Thousand new American engineers every year. The president's Jobs and Competitiveness Council took tours and met with business leaders earlier today. According to North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, the president's plan is a step in the right direction.

The Carolina Hurricanes are welcoming two new coaches to their staff. Former team captain Rod Brind’Amour and NHL head coach Dave Lewis will be assistant coaches for the team. Brind’Amour was appointed the team’s director of development last year after 20 years as an NHL player. Head Coach Paul Maurice says that year of experience will make Brind’Amour well suited for the job. 

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