News

Governor Bev Perdue plans to borrow five hundred million dollars from several state accounts to help pay tax refunds.

Governor Perdue says there's not enough money in the state's rainy day fund to cover the cost of all the tax refunds the state has begun to process. But she says there is enough money in about a dozen other funds that she can use.

'The Egg'
goodnightraleigh.com

Roy Gussow's “Ellipsoid Construction,” better known as "The Egg," has been an icon on the campus of North Carolina State University since the sculptor unveiled the chromium steel work of art behind Brooks Hall more than 50 years ago. Gussow was one of the many talented artists who flocked to the NCSU's School of Design in the 1950s, giving shape to a bold, new way of thinking at a university that had been known primarily for its agriculture and engineering programs.

Scott Huler
piedmontlaureate.com

Writer Scott Huler's nonfiction books, investigative journalism, commentary and humor have made him a fixture on the local literary scene. Now he adds the title Piedmont Laureate to his already impressive resume. Huler joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his program as Piedmont Laureate -- story telling events and conversations among writers -- and his upcoming book projects about the South and Southerners

Reuven Moskovitz's experience as a Jew during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany made him sensitive to injustice everywhere. That's why he joined Captain Glyn Secker and other Jewish activists on a boat that tried to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and bring aid to the Palestinians there.

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist University Hospital have been able to regrow simple body parts out of injured patients' own cells.  Anthony Atala and his colleagues at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine have been able to rebuild the urethras of boys injured or born with birth defects. The urethra is the tube that drains the bladder. Atala says he harvests cells from other parts of the patients' bodies. Then he uses a special mesh framework for the cells to grow around.

Tony Tata has been the Superintendent of Wake County Schools for 37 days. In that time, he has visited nearly 40 schools and met with countless groups. The past week was particularly busy for Tata. He met with some of the people who have been the most highly critical of the School Board majority that hired him - including NAACP President William Barber. Tata’s latest event took place at Martin Street Baptist Church, in front of an audience predisposed to dislike him.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse
National Park Service

Ferry Service on the southern end of the Cape Lookout National Seashore will be getting an upgrade. Officials are planning new passenger service to the Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout Lighthouse from either Beaufort or Morehead City. Wouter Kaytel from the National Park Service says the NPS plans to join forces with either of the two communities to streamline services and offer contracts to potential vendors. A public meeting will be held tomorrow night to gather feedback from residents.

Michael Zirkle Photography, Raleigh Historic Districts Commission, National Park Service

An old water line no one knew about has delayed the reopening of Raleigh’s Pullen Park. Renovations have been taking place for several years and planners hoped the park would be open this summer. But the water line combined with cold weather have pushed back the reopening. David Shouse is a senior park planner with the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.

Duke University announced today the largest gift in the school’s history. The Duke Endowment of Charlotte gave the University $80 million dollars.

The money will go to renovating West Union and the Page Auditorium on West Campus. West was the student union before the Bryan Center opened in 1982. The renovated building will be used for student social space and dining.

Page Auditorium will also undergo an extensive renovation as will Baldwin Auditorium on East Campus. Both spaces will be modernized and updated to hold concerts and speeches.

John Marc Diptych
Photograph by Jeff Whetstone

Late last month Jeff Whetstone premiered his newest artwork. It's a video depicting a turkey hunt. But it's not a documentary. The hunter uses the female turkey's call to lure a male turkey. Then, the hunter translates the call into English. None of what the female turkey says to the male turkey is suitable for public radio. But to hear a confident American man – muscle-bound, tough, armed and dressed for hunting – talk dirty in the voice of a female turkey is to have your sense of gender, species, nature and wildness ultimately confounded.

North Carolina’s Commissioner of Agriculture is in China this week. This is the second trip to that country since 2009. 

Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler doesn’t necessarily like the long air plane trip to China.   But he says it’s worth it.  Troxler says after the 2009 trade mission – China increased its purchase of North Carolina tobacco by close to 40-percent.  Sales of soybeans and cotton also increased.

The State Employees' Credit Union is preparing to help people who may be laid off as part of North Carolina's attempt to balance the state budget. The Credit Union is updating its mortgage assistance program to help more people stay in their homes. Mark Coburn is the senior vice president of loan servicing for the Credit Union. He says partial payments, rate modifications and extending the term of mortgages can all help.

The joint House-Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee is hosting a public comment session today in the State Legislature. They want to hear what people have to say on proposed budget cuts to education.

UNC Coach Roy Williams (left) and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski Feb. 9, 2011 in Durham
goduke.com

The UNC and Duke men’s basketball teams square off Saturday night in Chapel Hill with the regular season conference title on the line. Both teams are 13-and-2 in the ACC. Tar Heels coach Roy Williams calls Duke an “unbelievable opponent.”

ncturnpike.org

State transportation officials say drivers will pay 15 to 24 cents per mile to drive on the Triangle Expressway when it's complete. The North Carolina Turnpike Authority announced this week drivers will be charged electronically to use the road. The state will start selling transponders this fall that connect to a prepaid account. Sensors on the road will deduct 15 cents per mile along the way. Drivers don't have to buy a transponder, but cameras will photograph their license plates and send a bill through the mail for 24 cents per mile. 

North Carolina lawmakers are considering two bills that could radically alter the state’s public schools. Senate Bill 8 would remove the state’s 100-school limit on charter schools. House Bill 41 would offer tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools. Host Frank Stasio talks about what is at stake for the state's public schools with WUNC Education Reporter Dave DeWitt; Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Education Freedom in North Carolina; Helen Ladd, Edgar T. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy; and N.C. Rep. Paul Stam (R), one of the sponsors of House Bill 41.

Delta Rae

Mar 4, 2011
www.deltarae.com
www.deltarae.com

Durham-based band Delta Rae utilizes simple instrumentation and soulful harmonies to create a sound that the members call “gospel pop.” In their short existence, they have crafted an eclectic catalog of songs that showcase influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Coldplay. With a successful self-titled EP of Southern-tinged pop songs, and sold-out shows on both coasts behind them, they start out this year with their “Graet Mondays” series, releasing free new music on their website every week.

Malpractice Bill Seeks to Protect ER Docs

Mar 4, 2011

This week, the North Carolina state Senate approved a bill making changes to the medical malpractice system. Part of the bill would change the rules for suing emergency room doctors for malpractice. Supporters say it’s necessary to allow doctors to practice more freely in this high risk area. But opponents say it goes too far in limiting access to compensation for people harmed in the E R.

Fayetteville Police officers will receive training from the U.S. Justice Department about how to avoid racial profiling. That's according to city manager Dale Iman. He says he asked for help in response to concerns raised by local activist groups. Statistics from last year show police searched three times more black drivers than white ones in Fayetteville. The Justice Department says that trend holds across the country. Iman says he welcomes the training,  in addition to training from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. 

goduke.com

College basketball's March Madness is about to engulf fans across the country. At Duke University, an engineering professor says the usual suspects will dominate the NCAA Tournament. And Adrian Bejan says that can be explained by his theory of Constructal Law. He says great basketball players tend to wind up at the same colleges and universities in the same way water flows to a single point through many small streams that join bigger and fewer river channels.

A group meeting in Durham today will focus on how to protect elderly people from abuse. The coalition is called Partners Eliminating Adult Victimization in Durham. It's one of a growing number of groups across the state. John Margolis is the Adult Protective Services Supervisor for Durham County and a co-chair of the group.

"The statute in North Carolina is more geared towards a disabled adult rather than an elder adult. And for Adult Protective Services to be involved with an elderly individual, there has to be some type of incapacity there."

State lawmakers have passed a bill that would drop four end-of-course tests currently required for students in high school.

It took Raleigh resident Mary Lambeth Moore decades to tease her intriguing short story about sisters in a small North Carolina town during the mid-1970s into a novel. The result is "Sleeping with Patty Hearst" (Tigress Publishing/2011), an intriguing book that follows a teenager named Lily as she navigates identity and community in 1975 and 1976.

Bob Sheldon moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina from Colorado in the late 1970s and by 1981 he had opened The Internationalist Reading Room. By 1991, the Internationalist was a bookstore and Bob Sheldon was dead. His murder remains unsolved. But because of his politics, speculation as to who wanted to harm Bob Sheldon runs rampant. The Internationalist is now a thriving nonprofit and community flashpoint on Franklin Street in the heart of Chapel Hill. The store's journey from reading room to business mirrors Chapel Hills journey from a progressive, affordable college town, to a well-off, sophisticated southern city.

Efland, North Carolina artist Dave Alsobrooks wanted to bring some life to empty historic buildings in Durham, North Carolina. So, he painted pictures of ordinary people doing everyday tasks, and he posted them in the windows of vacant Durham properties. It's part of “New Neighbors,” a project he developed to help revitalize North-East Central Durham. Host Frank Stasio will talk about the project with Alsobrooks and Cathleen Turner, director of the Piedmont regional office of Preservation North Carolina.


The 2010 Census numbers are out for North Carolina.  It’s no surprise – we’re still growing. There are now 9-point-5 million people living in the state – an increase of 18-point-5-percent. Metropolitan areas including Charlotte, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Wilmington witnessed tremendous growth this past decade.  Experts say the latest numbers show North Carolina is becoming increasingly more urban and metropolitan. 

Impact of Medical Malpractice Cap Unclear

Mar 3, 2011
Boone family
Rose Hoban

At least thirty states across the country have enacted some form of cap on the so-called pain and suffering damages available to victims of medical malpractice. Republicans in the General Assembly have repeatedly introduced similar legislation in North Carolina, but in the past have been stymied by Democrats. This year, another bill capping damages and changing the medical malpractice system is making its way through the legislature. And with Republicans in control it has a good chance of passing the General Assembly.

A bill that would limit the amount of monetary damages for patients harmed by doctors has passed the State Senate. The measure would limit awards to $500,000. It would also make it more difficult to sue emergency room doctors.

Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville says the bill would help lower malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and therefore bring more physicians to the state. He told fellow lawmakers he's been working on the measure for years.

Entrepreneurs in the Triangle have the chance to tell the federal government how it can help grow their businesses. The U-S Small Business Administration will host a roundtable in Durham today to gather ideas for reducing small business regulations. S-B-A press secretary Hayley Meadvin says Durham is the first stop in the series of meetings called Startup America.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan (D) is taking the lead in calling for changes to No Child Left Behind. The education legislation is due for reauthorization this year.

Hagan joined other senate democrats at a school in Washington DC in calling for reforming No Child Left Behind.

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