Jack the Radio in a photobooth
Jack the Radio / Jack the Radio


Jack the Radio started as two North Carolina State University students creating music in their dorm room. And nearly a decade later, they are four players bigger and they have embraced their southern rock sound. 

House Wade Avenue Pump Station
Eric Mennel / WUNC

What's Inside This House On Wade Avenue?

If you live or work in Raleigh, there's a reasonable chance you've driven by it. Maybe hundreds, or even thousands of times. And, chances are, you've never noticed anything out of the ordinary. In most ways, it's wholly unremarkable.

The house at 3215 Wade Avenue, about 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh, looks just like the rest of the houses in that neighborhood. A nice metal roof. Forest green window shutters. Doric columns line the front porch.

Children at the Greystone Rec Center in north Raleigh
City of Raleigh

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane has asked her staff to look for vacant commercial space that she might recommend for recreational development. 

McFarlane offered the idea of leasing space in strip malls and shopping centers to build recreational facilities. It's an attempt to kill two birds with one stone- build the recreational facilities the city wants/needs while also creating an anchor business in a shopping center that might otherwise be floundering.

Kat Robichaud was a musician long before she got her big break on this season of NBC’s  “The Voice.” She was in a cover band for years before landing a spot on the hit television series. She was eliminated from the show a few weeks ago, but said on the State of Things today that her time there was a highlight of her career.

"It was a dream come true," she said. "It was amazing."

Nancy McFarlane

North Carolina mayors from the mountains to the coast gathered in Raleigh yesterday to talk business and job creation in this tough economy.

The man of the hour actually wasn’t a mayor at all.  It was O’Hara Macken, an executive vice president and managing director of IPREO.

“Access to talent, culture, livability are all really important to us.  Raleigh offered all of that," said Macken.

Wake School Bus
Dave DeWitt

Voters in Wake County and Raleigh have two major bonds to decide on when they go to the polls today. 

The $810-million Wake School Bond has been dissected and argued over for months. Supporters say it is past time to build new schools and renovate old ones. They offer enrollment growth projections and low-interest rates as two reasons to pass the bond.

Greensky Bluegrass
J. Van Butler / J. Van Butler

Greensky Bluegrass is one of more than 50 bands coming to Raleigh this week for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. The Michigan group’s hybrid sound draws on the influence of rock ‘n roll and jam bands. The multidimensionality of their music gives them a mainstream music fan base beyond the bluegrass scene. Greensky Bluegrass is Dave Bruzza, Anders Beck, Mike Devol, Mike Bont, and Paul Hoffman. 


The city of Raleigh hosts the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival this weekend.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsolson/ / flickr


Thousands of bluegrass fans will pour into downtown Raleigh this week for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. 

Balsam Range
Balsam Range

In the winter of 2007, five Haywood county bluegrass musicians got together for an informal jam session. Out of that collaboration, the band Balsam Range was born. They are nominated in six different categories for the International Bluegrass Music Awards including Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year. They will play at Merlefest showcase as part of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh this afternoon and the Awards show this evening.

Raleigh city seal
Wikimedia Commons

In Raleigh, all seven council members and the mayor are up for re-election in October, but one race is uncontested.

In others, it’s not clear whether the challengers pose a serious threat. Recent controversy over feeding the homeless in Moore Square and the firing of the long-time Raleigh City Manager are adding some color to the political battles. Host Frank Stasio talks with Ariella Monti, Raleigh Public Record Bureau Chief, about the upcoming elections.



Last night leaders of local charities met to discuss options for distributing food to the poor in downtown Raleigh.

The meeting is part of a continuing negotiation between the organizations and city officials after Raleigh police stopped a group from distributing food in August.  Host Frank Stasio talks with News & Observer reporter Colin Campbell about the latest developments

Raleigh NC
Dave DeWitt

Raleigh is taking more public comment about its food distribution ordinance. 

Monday night's meeting comes nearly a month after police threatened to arrest volunteer groups that were handing out food to the homeless in Moore Square.  A city ordinance prohibits food distribution in public parks without a permit, but at least one group says it had been giving out food on the weekends for six years. 

An older model Raleigh police car. The department is installing propane tanks in some of its cars.
Alberto Rodriguez via Creative Commons

The Raleigh Police Department is adding propane tanks to more of its patrol cars after a two-year test run. 

In North Carolina, a fight is brewing over the homeless in the capital city of Raleigh. Elected leaders have asked charitable and religious groups to stop their long-standing tradition of feeding the homeless in a downtown park on weekends.

But advocates for the poor say the city is trying to push the homeless out of a neighborhood that business leaders want to spruce up.

'I Will Arrest You'

Almost every day, the Rev. Hugh Hollowell walks through Moore Square, a centuries-old city park in downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh NC
Dave DeWitt

A city council committee in Raleigh has agreed to review a ban on allowing food distribution in a downtown city park.

The council's Law and Public Safety Committee held a three-hour public hearing Wednesday to listen to residents who were angry about the ban.

It was enforced last weekend, when charitable and religious groups that normally distribute food in Moore Square were stopped by the police. They were following a 1998 ordinance preventing food distribution that officials had previously ignored.

A Humane Society bus ad in Washington D.C., similar to one proposed for Raleigh buses.
Humane Society of the U.S.

The Humane Society of the United States is suing the Raleigh Transit Authority after the city rejected a bus advertisement showing pigs in cages. 

The ad proposal meant for the outside of buses has photos of pigs in gestation crates with the words, "How would you like to spend the rest of your life in a space as small as a bus seat?"

North Carolina-based Balsam Range raked in the second-most nominations for IBMA Awards Wednesday night.
Balsam Range

The International Bluegrass Music Association's 2013 award ceremony isn't coming to Raleigh until mid-September, but the excitement has already made it to town. Fans gathered at three viewing parties Wednesday night for live announcements of the IMBA Award nominees. 

An architect's rendering of American Underground's offices planned for Raleigh.
Alliance Architecture

A new hub for startup businesses in Raleigh is set to open this fall. 

Durham-based American Underground says it's opening space enough for 25 startups on Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh.  The company sells affordable commercial space to Durham entrepreneurs in exchange for connecting them with investors and providing other support.

The Cover of The Love Language's newest album, Ruby Red.
Tim Lytvinenko / mergerecords.com

They will be playing tonight at 9 p.m. at Cat's Cradle for their record release party.

Stuart McLamb, Jordan McLamb, Thomas Simpson, Eddie Sanchez, Andy Holmes and Autumn Ehinger join Frank Stasio in the studio today to discuss Ruby Red and The Love Language's upcoming performance.

A parklet in San Francisco.
Mark Hogan via wikipedia

The City of Raleigh is hosting a public meeting tonight on "parklets.”  They're like mini-parks and are popular in larger cities.

"A parklet is a temporary public space that is typically found by converting an on-street parallel parking space," Grant Meacci, of Raleigh's Urban Design Center, explains.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane

Today was the candidate filing deadline for several area mayoral races. Mayors in Durham, Raleigh and Greensboro will faces challenges in their bids for reelection.

In Durham, current mayor Bill Bell will be running for re-election with challenges from East Durham minister Sylvester Williams and Michael Valentine, a current member of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.

The cost of policing Moral Mondays is growing, and some aren't happy about who is picking up the bill.  Usually, protests on state property are handled by the State Capitol Police and the General Assembly Police.  But since a 2011 budget cut, state capitol police have been down 40 staff members—almost half the force.

State Police Chief Glenn Allen says the cut limits what his force can do.

Public Housing in Chapel Hill.
Town of Chapel Hill

Section 8 is a federal subsidy program that bridges the gap between people with low-income and market rentals. But this summer, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh, all face cuts to their Section 8 Voucher Program.

John Anton

In early April, Mandolin bar manager John Anton hopped on a plane to Lima to meet up with seven other bartenders from across the country. Each had won a national cocktail contest sponsored by Campo de Encanto, the makers of an ancient Peruvian liquor called pisco. The prize was a trip to Peru to learn how the spirit is distilled. When the group stepped off the plane, they were immediately greeted by the owner of the company and a bottle of pisco. It was 4:30 a.m.

Pisco is an old drink, made in Peru since the 1600’s. It’s distilled from grapes instead of grains, and it’s traditionally aged in clay containers that impart no color. The result is a smooth, clear spirit that some liken to grappa. Similar to wine, Anton claims “you can really taste where it came from,” due to the quality that the grapes impart.