Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for wunc.org, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
During her career in media, she has won a number of awards for producing innovative media projects, including numerous EMMY citations and a WEBBY (commonly called The Oscars of the Internet). Previously, Carol served as Director of Educational Production for Maryland Public Television. She grew up in Epsom, NH and attended Emerson College in Boston. Carol and her family are happy to be in North Carolina – near to her husband's extended family in Smithfield and Apex.
Could American democracy be better? It is a big and existential question that is now even more pressing as many watch their friends, neighbors and loved ones fall through the cracks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does it mean to take a unique approach to solving problems like gun violence, climate change, voter apathy or racism? It means asking hard questions in different ways and tracking the answers through close study of human behavior.
Forty-six-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the killings of Deah Barakat, a second-year student in the UNC School of Dentistry and his wife, Yusor, who had planned to begin her dental studies at UNC in the fall. Yusor's sister, Razan, a student at NC State University, was also killed. We will continue to update this story as information becomes available.
Updated Monday, February 23, 10:15 a.m.
AtlantaMuslim.com has created a map of vigils and gatherings related to the shootings and the hashtag #OurThreeWinners
Updated Thursday, February 19 10:30 a.m.
President Obama includes the Chapel Hill shootings in an address at the White House during a summit on violent extremist. Here's a video of the full address:
Updated Thursday, February 19 7:00 a.m.
Much of the discussion about the motive behind the Chapel Hill shooting is whether it was a hate crime. Many in the Muslim community and on social media say it is, but police have not. Jorge Valencia filed this report today about the decision the police face, and the intricacies of a legal hate crime designation.
Updated Monday February 16 5:10 p.m.
A grand jury has indicted Craig Stephen Hicks in the murder of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, reports Jorge Valencia. Hicks turned himself into authorities last week, just hours after the shooting of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha. Now a grand jury believes there's enough evidence to pursue a felony case against Hicks. He's charged with first-degree murder and discharging a firearm into a dwelling. Chapel Hill police are still investigating and say Hicks may have been motivated by a parking dispute. Family and advocates around the world say Hicks was acting out of a bias against Muslims.
Updated Monday February 16 10:50 a.m.
Qatar students and community hold solidarity walk for Chapel Hill victims. The march was Sunday and began at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
"Yesterday, the FBI opened an inquiry into the brutal and outrageous murders of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In addition to the ongoing investigation by local authorities, the FBI is taking steps to determine whether federal laws were violated. No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship. Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones. As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family. Whenever anyone is taken from us before their time, we remember how they lived their lives – and the words of one of the victims should inspire the way we live ours."
“Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Yusor said recently. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. There’s so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions – but here, we’re all one.”
Thursday evening, the FBI announced it is looking into the murders. In a statement, the FBI said it has opened a "parallel preliminary inquiry". They're looking to determine if federal laws were violated. Agents will assist local police to process evidence from the triple-homicide.
Update Thursday February 12 2:58 p.m.
Frank Stasio joined Dr. Omid Safi, director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center to talk about the events on the nationally syndicated program, The Takeaway. Listen to the audio here.
"If these acts happen in your community, then they are a part of your community, they are a part of your legacy." - Dr. Omid Safi
"You can't see where the crowd ends" at the vigil to honor the three slain students, reports Jorge Valencia.
Update Wednesday February 11 6:00 p.m.
There is a vigil this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the UNC "Pit." Prior to the vigil, at 6 p.m., a prayer service will be held in the Great Hall of the Carolina Union. Parking will be available in the Bell Tower lot.
Update Wednesday February 11 5:31 p.m.
Nada Salem was best friends with the two young women who died. The 21-year-old Muslim woman told reporter Reema Khrais that she strongly believes the crime was motivated by hate.
Salem points to something that happened a few months ago. She had gone over to the couple's house for dinner.
After she went home, her friend Yusor texted to say that their neighbor, Hicks, had come by, complaining that that young people had been "really loud and disrespectful."
And then, Yusor texted, Hicks "pointed to his gun and his pocket and he said 'I don't want this to happen again.'"
Salem had plans to attend UNC School of Dentistry with Yusor. She says not too long ago the couple gave her her first Carolina Dentistry sweater. The two women wanted to wear the sweaters to school at the same time.
"So that we can be matching and we can tell everyone we got in together; and two days ago she texted me again with [the sweater] picture saying that she can't wait for us to start again…together at dental school," says Salem. "It's like a daze for me, personally, I just don't want to believe it."
NPR's new show "Ask Me Another" features puzzles, word games and trivia. They recorded an episode at the Carolina Theatre in Durham recently. Listen! Musical guest is John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats:
The Steel Wheels is a band with a raw, cool sound. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the four-piece string band marries old-time musical traditions with their own current sound.
The foursome play the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Friday night, but first spoke with Eric Hodge about, among other things, doing 9 shows in 10 days in North Carolina. (They went place to place by bicycle. "We figured it would be all downhill.")
A man held in a North Carolina prison for most of his life was released on Friday, after a special panel found he had been wrongfully convicted of a double murder in 1976.
Following a brief hearing in Columbus County, a specially appointed three-judge panel found Joseph Sledge had proven he was innocent of the stabbing deaths of a mother and her adult daughter in neighboring Bladen County.
Jonathan Anderson and Captain Herb Sheades, landed what is likely the largest bluefin tuna ever caught off the North Carolina coast. The two commercial fishermen were aboard the Fish Bucket on an early morning run last week.
"Nothing is ever normal, these fish are extremely finicky," says Anderson. "You're lucky if you get one. We've fished for twenty-five days before landing our first keeper. It's not as easy as TV makes it out to be."
The Veterans Treatment Court model is now up and running in North Carolina. Harnett County opened the first one.
It's designed for military veterans who are accused of non-violent crimes. Drug and alcohol counseling, housing assistance, one-on-one mentoring, and other forms of support are also available for veterans accepted into the program.
The Twitter feed and the YouTube channel of U.S. Central Command were compromised on Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said.
The hackers put up Islamic State propaganda and switched the avatar from the CentCom logo to a photo of a masked fighter.
On Twitter, the hackers released what they purported was a phone list of retired U.S. generals, as well as what appear to be presentation slides from the government-funded Lincoln Laboratory at MIT.
In the summer of 2014, we heard about a vintage photo that was found tucked away in one of the books at the Chapel Hill Public Library. No one knew how long the picture had been there, but the photo caught our imagination. Who was this Duke Blue Devil?
For a time, the mystery appeared to be solved. The son of a Duke alum, Donald Brandon, wrote to say, "It looks like Bill Werber."
Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died of cancer Sunday morning. He was 49 years old. Scott was known for his on-camera presence, and the catch-phrases he coined.
"He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin' him to school."
The broadcaster was beloved in the Carolina community. He went to high school in Winston-Salem, and later attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he worked at the campus radio station, WXYC. After graduation, he worked at stations around the country, and then was hired to help launch ESPN 2.
My fire pit is standing by, waiting for its annual New Year's Eve workout.
During the day final day of the calendar year, we clean the yard and place pretty much every branch we find into the fire pit. My 13-year-old son takes great pleasure in crinkling up old homework assignments for kindling.
We light the blaze at dusk. As the fire gets going, we jot down sentiments on a piece of paper; we include things that bother us, or that we want to let go of.
We made you a mixtape. A really long mixtape. In the past, we've kept this list, of our favorite songs of the year, to 100 songs. Not this year. Instead, we turned our tidy list of songs into a massive, party-starting player in which you can actually listen to every single one of the 302 songs we loved this year, from every genre we cover.
There's a school program in Durham North Carolina that is preparing low-income African American boys for science, technology and engineering careers. The program is not focused on those who are failing, but rather those who have been chosen for their potential to succeed. WUNC's Carol Jackson has this profile:
Parts of the Fury-325 rollercoaster stand 20-feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. It took 400 trucks to haul the pieces to Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, and the critical "hill" was completed this week.
When the coaster opens this spring it will be the tallest and fastest of its kind in the world, reaching speeds of an astonishing 95 mph. What will the ride be like? Take a look:
Katherine Perry never won a tournament when she was on scholarship for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's women's golf team. But she's made it through the first two phases of the LPGA Qualifying School. Today is the start of the third and final phase. If Perry is one of the top 20 women, she will earn a spot on the LPGA Tour.
Sharon Smith is taking two months to walk North Carolina's Mountain to the Sea Trail, which is more than 1,000 miles long and crosses the entire state.
Smith served as an Air Force combat medic during the Gulf War - and she is helping to prep the trail for a larger contingent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who will cross the state next year as a part of the Warrior Hike: Walk off the War program.
Charlotte native Charlie Sifford was the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card. On Monday, President Obama honored Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Obama said Sifford is one of the country’s “trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation toward justice.”
During the Great Depression, the federal government sent photographers around the country to meet Americans and document their lives. Those photographers took some 170,000 photographs throughout the latter half of the 1930s and into the 194os. The images they captured are among the most iconic of the era.
There's a new way to browse the images by state and even by county. The site is called Photogrammer and it was created by a team at Yale University.