News

Barak Richman
Barak Richman

New York City’s Fifth and Sixth Avenues are home to some of the world’s biggest, richest retailers and financial giants. But on a stretch of 47th Street that connects these two thoroughfares, an ancient barter economy for diamonds still holds sway. The diamond industry is built on family relationships and ethnic networks, and it operates independent of modern legal and financial institutions.

Courtesy Lakota John

Lakota John did not have to wait long to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a touring musician. At just 12 years old he was invited to travel across the country and play his ragtime blues.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Hurricane Florence disrupted daily operations for local governments in North Carolina, including county boards of elections. It's the second time in two years that voting officials have had to improvise just weeks before a General Election.

John Howie Jr. 'Not Tonight'
Kevin Clark

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge talks with John Howie Jr. about his first solo record 'Not Tonight.'

The album is full of songs of heartbreak and resilience delivered in Howie's distinctive baritone. He talks about how the album came to be, and what inspired him to record this one as a solo artist.

Listen to the episode here:

14 NC Community Colleges Remain Closed After Florence

Sep 20, 2018
Aerial view of Wayne Community College campus
North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees

Fourteen campuses in the North Carolina Community College system remain closed in Eastern North Carolina as officials assess storm damage in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Health Services Lead Debbie Hayden, RN consults with mother Jaquana regarding care for her one-year-old Aliyah, while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Friday Center on September 17, 2018.
Daniel Cima / American Red Cross

As flood waters subside, Carteret County has been sending buses to shelters to bring home evacuees displaced by Hurricane Florence. Many of those evacuees have been staying at a megashelter in Chapel Hill since the storm made landfall last week.

Brett Kavanaugh
Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s future on the U.S. Supreme Court is in flux after an allegation of physical and sexual assault. 

Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo

One year ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. The Category 4 storm had winds up to 150 mph and decimated the unincorporated territory. Millions of Americans were left without power and water in Puerto Rico in the wake of the storm. A report from George Washington University estimated the death toll of the hurricane to be 2,975. 

Erin Patrice O'Brien

When Nathalie Joachim was studying flute at Juilliard, Allison Loggins-Hull was pursuing her own love for the flute closeby at the State University of New York’s Purchase Conservatory of Music. Imagine two young African-American flutists both from the New York tri-state area who had never crossed paths until Myspace. 

Water from the South River flows over Hayes Mill Rd. in Godwin, N.C., several miles northeast of Fayetteville, Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Duke Energy activated a high-level emergency alert at a retired coal-fired power plant in North Carolina as floodwaters from the nearby Cape Fear River overtopped an earthen dike at the facility and inundated a large lake.

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said Thursday that the dam containing Sutton Lake appears stable and they are monitoring the situation with helicopters and drones to react to what she called "an evolving situation." Company employees notified state regulators overnight that the plant was at the highest level of alert under its emergency action plan.

A poultry farm flooded due to Hurricane Florence
Rick Dove / Waterkeeper Alliance

North Carolina farmers will suffer some heavy losses from the effects of Hurricane Florence. Preliminary reports from the state agriculture department show heavy hits to peanut, soybean, cotton and sweet potato crops.

The Cape Fear river continued to rise due to rainfall Hurricane Florence
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Exhaustion and frustration are building in the Carolinas as thousands of people wait to go home days after Hurricane Florence unleashed epic floods blamed for nearly three dozen deaths, including two women who drowned when a sheriff's van taking them to a mental health facility was swept off a road.

Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina flooded as rivers rose from Hurricane Florence's massive rainfall. A tributary to the Leith Creek runs across the school's property.
Courtesy of Scotland County Schools

Schools across the southeastern part of the state remained closed this week as administrators begin to assess the damage from Hurricane Florence.

Residents of an apartment complex in Fayetteville, look at a flooded car in a parking lot on Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

As flooding continues in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence's massive rainfall, experts say high water will damage thousands of vehicles.

The North Carolina National Guard was deployed to help in the fight against Florence.
NC National Guard

North Carolina is still reeling from Hurricane Florence. The death toll from the storm rose to at least 37 people in three different states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina. There are roughly 10,000 people still in shelters. Governor Roy Cooper urged those who evacuated to stay put. 

a graphic of a film projector with film behind it
Creative Commons

In the mid-70s the president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority came up with a novel idea that could have changed the way Hollywood did business.

Donna Hodgins

The cases of around a dozen missing or murdered young black women in Rocky Mount scarcely made headlines when they occured in the early 2000s. City officials seemed more concerned with public perception than in finding the murderer and meting out justice. Meanwhile, the vagrant killer of a white woman in the same city was apprehended within the day.

President Donald Trump and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, left, hand out food at Temple Baptist Church, where food and other supplies are being distributed during Hurricane Florence recovery efforts, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in New Bern
Evan Vucci / AP

Handing out hot dogs, hugs and comforting words, President Donald Trump sought Wednesday to soothe those who suffered losses in Hurricane Florence, declaring that "America grieves for you" as he surveyed damage the powerful storm left behind.

John Nemeth stands in front of a flooded road in the River Landing neighborhood of Wallace
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The closest John Nemeth could get to his house was about 200 yards. He had to stand in a neighbor's yard and look across the fourth fairway of his community golf course just to see his house. But the fairway wasn't its normal lush green. Instead, all he could see was the glassy reflection of standing water.

Michael Thomas removes items from his Masonsonic Lodge as flood waters from the Cape Fear River rise following Hurricane Florence in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The Cape Fear River continues to rise in Fayetteville. While flood waters in downtown receded, other parts of the city are preparing for the river to crest.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Though Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, its floodwaters continue to wreak havoc on North Carolina communities. 

Garry Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The wealth gap in the United States is growing – and it has negative consequences beyond the economy. A recent report from the Pew Research Center shows the American middle class continues to lose financial ground to the upper class. 

Courtesy of J.G. Hetherton / Crooked Lane Books

Laura Chambers did not want to come back to Hillsborough. But after the impulsive investigative journalist is fired from her job at the Boston Globe, she is forced to stumble home and take a gig at a small, hometown paper. After a missing girl turns up dead, Laura sees it as an opportunity to get back on the front page.

Neighbors in a small, unnamed neighborhood on the southern edge of Lumberton. came back to make a first check of their homes on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. They
Jay Price / WUNC

It finally stopped raining in Robeson County on Monday. It will be days before the water drains away and the real cleanup can begin. But some evacuees took advantage of the break in the weather to venture back to their flooded neighborhoods to try to at least assess the damage.

Beatriz Jerlen Covarrubias-Rivera relaxes on a Red Cross cot with her four sons, ages 2 to 10, while staying at a shelter operated by the Red Cross at E.B. Aycock Middle School on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.
Adam Jennings / American Red Cross

Governor Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians to find a safe place to stay as torrential rain and flooding continues to pummel parts of the state. For some, that safe place to stay may be another night at a shelter far away from home, like the UNC shelter in Chapel Hill.

6 Ways To Help Hurricane Florence Relief Efforts

Sep 17, 2018
People gather outside Knightdale High School, which has been converted to an evacuation shelter for those affected by Hurricane Florence in Kinghtdale, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Since Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday, at least 14,000 people have sought refuge in more than 110 shelters across North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper urged evacuees to stay in shelters and delay returning to their homes.

Linda Rupert

Tropical Depression Florence is well inland, but North Carolina is still reeling from the storm. All of the state’s 100 counties have experienced some form of National Weather System alert, from flash flood watch to hazardous weather outlook.

 In a two-hour special broadcast to stations around North Carolina, The State of Things speaks with residents, journalists, officials and experts about the devastating storm impact. 

John Howie Jr.'s new album is 'Not Tonight'
(John Howie Jr. photo by Kevin Clark)

Misery and heartbreak make a good country song. Multiply that weeping and twang by eleven and you get John Howie Jr.'s latest "Not Tonight". (The album features eleven cuts. Cuts might be the operative word here.)

"Not Tonight" is set for release on September 21, 2018.  You can get an exclusive preview of it here.

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence inundate the town of Trenton, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
Steve Helber / AP

Catastrophic flooding from Florence spread across the Carolinas this weekend, with roads to Wilmington cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles inland.

Emergency workers inspect a power line that was damaged by a tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence in Mount Olive, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Hurricane Florence has joined Fran, Floyd and Matthew as one of the worst storms to strike North Carolina. Several rivers continue to rise today, Wilmington is cut off from the rest of the state, and hundreds of thousands of residents remain without power. In other pockets of the state, people are returning home and recovery is underway.

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