Raleigh

Erika Braun
Erika Braun

The U.S. Olympic swimming trials are underway in Omaha, Nebraska, and several North Carolinians have already qualified for the Olympic team headed to London this summer. Among the competitors in the trials' final days will be Raleigh's Erika Braun. She's one of only four swimmers in the country age 40 or older to qualify for the trials.

Tens of thousands of high school seniors will graduate this week across North Carolina. In a few months, many will start college. Not only will that be the next step in their educational lives, but also the end of a college search process that, for some, took years. It’s a process that has gotten more and more complicated, both for students and for the people who read the college applications. The rapid expansion in the number of high schools in the state is having unintended consequences in college admissions.

A Raleigh man is getting a national honor for his work in the aftermath of last April's deadly tornadoes. Al Mignacci will receive the U.S. Small Business Administration's "Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer."

North Carolina will host the best in Bluegrass music in a capital city festival starting next year.

The rumors were correct.  The Canadian government has decided to close its consulate in Raleigh in the next couple of months. Some other Canadian trade offices will close as well.

A training center opens in Raleigh this afternoon to highlight the latest uses for propane. North Carolina is the second largest user of the fuel behind California. John Jessup is the executive director of the North Carolina Propane Gas Association. He says propane burns cleaner and is cheaper than gasoline and diesel. He also says the natural gas boom is behind the boost in the propane supply.

The American Institute of Architects Center for Architecture and Design in downtown Raleigh is like nothing the capital has ever seen. It eschews traditional building styles in favor of a more environmentally friendly construction that has left some in awe and others confused.

The Nature Research Center is now officially open. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences held a grand opening for the new wing over the weekend.

Dave DeWitt: About 70,000 people attended the 24-hour grand opening of the Nature Research Center. Those who made it inside the 80,000 square foot facility touched animal skeletons, conducted robotic surgeries, and interacted with scientists.

Nature Research Center
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Today is a long-awaited day in Raleigh, the Nature Research Center will open its doors to the public for the first time. It’s a $56 million wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The 24-hour opening will feature demonstrations, bands, and live walk-throughs of the facility. The Nature Research Center is a dazzling array of technology, built to engage young minds.

The United States is home to 21 Canadian consular and trade offices. That doesn’t include the embassy in Washington, DC.  But budget talks are underway in Ottawa to trim that number.  And the casualties could be the smaller, satellite trade offices in cities like Raleigh.  North Carolina officials and business leaders are frowning at the idea of losing the Raleigh office at a time when federal and state governments are pushing to expand exports and create jobs. 

The City of Raleigh has agreed to begin a pilot program to focus on the growing “Walk Raleigh” movement.

Leoneda Inge:  Yesterday, the Raleigh City Council “sanctioned” nearly 30 street signs secretly posted by Matt Tomasulo.  Tomasulo and his “Walk Raleigh” campaign was featured last month on a special segment aired on the BBC.

Matt Tomasulo:  The general idea is to help people discover how many minutes it is to walk somewhere by foot as opposed to how many miles it might be for somebody to drive.

A community meeting will take place tonight to discuss the abrupt closing of the Y-W-C-A of the Greater Triangle.

North Carolina continues to be one of the national hot-beds for the Life Sciences.  Entrepreneurs, scientists and venture capitalists in the field are gathering today and tomorrow in Raleigh.

Leoneda Inge:  The CED Life Science Conference is in its 21st year and is one of the biggest events of its type in the southeast.  The idea is to bring some of the best and brightest Life Science companies face-to-face with investors.  Bob Ingram, a General Partner with Hattaras Venture Partners is one of the events co-chairs.

Raleigh has opened what it calls the nation's most sustainable solid waste services facility. The new operations center was built to LEED platinum standards - the highest level of sustainability certification. City manager Russell Allen says the building was constructed with re-used and recycled materials where possible. It includes solar panels and geothermal systems; and will have plug-in electric vehicles.

Lawmakers in Raleigh listened to presentations today about the impact of illegal immigration on North Carolina.

The city of Raleigh, NC State University, and private companies are holding a one-day Innovation Summit today. Their goal is to enhance the capitol city’s reputation as a place for tech startups.

A group of Raleigh area business owners are in Washington D-C today for a roundtable discussion with White House officials.

Lawmakers from North Carolina and Virginia met earlier today in Richmond to plan out the future of a high-speed rail corridor that would link Raleigh to Washington. The meeting was largely symbolic.

Dave DeWitt: High-speed rail is essentially derailed, thanks to last year’s federal budget deal that zeroed out funding in 2012. Some money is still left over from previous grants, but it’s a small percentage of what is needed to make a high-speed train a reality.

A new emergency department is open in Raleigh. WakeMed's latest free-standing medical facility is in Brier Creek, near the Wake-Durham county line. WakeMed's Carolyn Knaup says they chose the location based on the area's rapid growth.

Carolyn Knaup: It's totally locally driven - i.e., when you need emergency care, you need it close to where you live or where you work. So, in doing our demographic assessment really felt like the Brier Creek area afforded lots of opportunity to be able to meet the need in that community.

The city of Raleigh is now requiring public and private groups pay a registration fee to operate group housing, including emergency housing and housing for those with disabilities.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane
raleighnc.gov

Outgoing Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is on somewhat of a farewell tour today. First off is the Human Relation Commission's "Unity Day" at the Convention Center this morning. One big issue they'll be discussing is the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and domestic unions in the state. Meeker doesn't mince words about that.

William Peace University
peace.edu

Colleges and universities across the state are looking at raising tuition. But one university in Raleigh is going against the grain. William Peace University has announced in a letter to students it's lowering tuition around 7.73 percent. That brings tuition to $23,700 for the 2012-2013 school year. Debra Townsley is the university president.

The recession that began four years ago is still holding many communities across the country hostage.  Homes continue to fall into foreclosure and long-term employees are again looking for work.  But there are some areas in the United States that are recovering quite well during this down-turn.   And one of those metropolitan areas includes Raleigh.

The new Occupy Raleigh encampment
Occupy Raleigh

Occupy Raleigh protesters have set up camp four blocks from the Capital. About 15 to 20 protesters have been camping since Thanksgiving. They're paying $400-a-month for the site owned by Rob Baumgart. Baumgart says it's purely business, but he did sympathize with the protesters.

Meet Occupy Raleigh protester Joseph Huberman, a 61-year-old artist and former small-business owner who's now retired.  He's been with the movement since it started.  Hear an interview with Occupy Raleigh protester Joseph Huberman, a 61-year-old artist and former small-business owner who's now retired.

Raleigh leaders are setting their sights on creating a new brand for the city. They hope a plan to assist small businesses will lead to Raleigh becoming a “city of innovation.”

Most of the City Council stood with outgoing mayor Charles Meeker to make the announcement earlier today. They gathered in the small back loading bay of Xanofi, a nanofiber company spun off from NC State. It’s exactly the kind of company they hope to cultivate – small, innovative, and full of promise

Pullen Park To Reopen

Nov 18, 2011
Pullen Park Carousel
Raleighnc.gov

A signature amusement center in Raleigh reopens tomorrow. Pullen Park, near NC State, will have several new features.
 

Pullen Park has been a family favorite for more than 100 years. The carousel, the pedal boats, and the miniature train ride have entertained generations of Raleigh-ites. Many of the attractions have been closed the last two years, undergoing extensive renovations.

People who live in the Raleigh area and want to use alternative fuels for their cars or trucks have a new choice. A station on New Bern Avenue opens today with both E-85 ethanol blend and bio-diesel available. It's the first of its kind in the state capital. Anne Tazewell is the transportation manager for the North Carolina Solar Center at N-C State. She says alternative fuel stations are slowly spreading across the state.

Some of the top bloggers and tech-savvy professionals will be in Raleigh for the next two days for the annual Internet Summit.

Internet Summit 2011 will feature more than 120 speakers and 80 presentations and panels.  This year’s keynote presenter is popular blogger, author and wine aficionado Gary Vaynerchuck of Wine Library T-V and Daily Grape.

Rembrandt at Museum of Art

Oct 28, 2011
''Self-portrait'' by Rembrandt
NC Museum of Art

Rembrandt. We know the name, but do we know the work? A new exhibition is at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, with a special free preview day today. “Rembrandt in America” highlights both the authentic and inauthentic Rembrandt paintings side by side.

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