WUNC News

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

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Health
4:00 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Duke Microscope Detects Melanoma

A new microscope developed at Duke University may increase doctors’ abilities to detect melanoma. Chemistry professor Warren S. Warren oversaw the development of the laser-based microscope. He says doctors may be “overcalling” melanoma and removing moles in case they are cancerous.

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Business & Economy
2:10 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Economic Benefits of Conservation

North Carolina conservation groups say preserving land for public use has long-term economic benefits. A new report from the non-profit Trust for Public Land claims that every dollar North Carolina invests in parks, farms and wilderness has a return of 4 dollars to the local economy. The report measures the “natural goods and services” of different ecosystems in the state. An area is valued by the quality of its air and water and its ability to remove pollutants naturally—making wetlands and forests the most valuable and developed or barren land the least valuable.

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Environment
4:30 am
Wed February 16, 2011

Wake Tech Holds Biodiesel Workshop

Wake Technical Community College is holding a two-day bio-diesel workshop this week. Students will learn how to convert waste vegetable oil into bio-diesel using the college’s new 40-gallon processor. Rich Cregar, an instructor in Automotive Systems Technology, started the course four years ago as part of a state-wide project to incorporate sustainable technologies into the curriculum of North Carolina’s community colleges.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

Wildfire Still Burning in Western NC

The Division of Forest Resources is working to put out with a number of fires across the state. Windy, dry conditions have contributed to 211 fires over the past several days. Forest Resources spokesman Brian Haines says crews have had trouble containing the 582-acre Lumber Plant Fire in Surry County in western North Carolina.

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Business & Economy
4:45 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Amtrak Suspends Midday Service for Construction

North Carolina Amtrak will suspend Piedmont mid-day service between Raleigh and Charlotte starting today.  Service is being halted due to improvement projects along the route. Amtrak Spokeswoman Amanda Perry says the closures are to give workers a chance to recondition the tracks and improve on-time service.

"It would minimize delays and service interruptions and that sort of thing.But the actual speed of the train is not expected to increase."

Business & Economy
4:45 am
Fri February 11, 2011

It's Pothole Season

North Carolina roads may be clear of ice and snow, but drivers still might hit trouble spots. It's the beginning of pothole season. Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott says drivers should watch out for potholes. But he says the cold weather actually has minimized damage.

"Because we haven't had the thaw and freeze and thaw and freeze of last year potholes are not as bad as they were last year."

Law
4:55 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Wally Harrelson Dies

Former Guilford County Commissioner Wallace-or Wally-Harrelson has died. He was 74. Harrelson was the County's longtime Public Defender. Colleagues remember him as a mentor and a strong criminal defense lawyer. Howard Neumann, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, worked with Harrelson for 25 years:

"I don't know of anyone who has worked as hard for his clients as Mr. Harrelson did. He was a real, what we call, old-school lawyer. Did it the old fashion way."

Environment
5:00 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Greensboro Residents Oppose Landfill Re-Opening

Opposition is mounting against reopening Greensboro’s only landfill to solid household waste. The proposal upsets nearby residents who say it could harm their health and future development. A previous city council voted to close the landfill, which is located in a residential area. Former Councilwoman Goldie Wells is part of the Concerned Citizens of Northeast Greensboro.

"It shouldn’t have been brought up again because we had fought the battle once before. It’s not good for the community, not good for economic growth in this area, and really for the city of Greensboro."

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Education
5:00 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

Duke Receives Grant for History of Economics

Duke University is expanding its offerings in the history of economics. The university received a grant for a fellowship and visiting scholars program, and a summer teaching institute. Bruce Caldwell is an economics researcher and founder-director of Duke's Center for the History of Political Economy. He says this field is rarely studied anymore.

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Health
5:50 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards Dies

Elizabeth Edwards died at her home in Chapel Hill this morning.  She was 61.  Edwards was the estranged wife of former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards.  A family statement says, ``Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family.''  Elizabeth Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

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