Elizabeth Friend

Producer
Mapleview Farm, Orange County
Elizabeth Friend / WUNC

Multiple storms struck more than a half dozen counties in the central part of the state Friday, causing damage to hundreds of houses and commercial structures, but causing no deaths or serious injuries.

power lines
Chad Cooper / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/eA3Cr6

Low income households face a dual challenge when paying energy bills. Older homes tend to be less efficient, and energy costs eat up a greater percentage of the household's income.

At RDU, Ben Akroyd helps pilot Martin Fessele pack his Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft with supplies for victims of Hurricane Florence.  Fessele came from New Jersey to help with "Operation Airdrop."
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

More than 75,000 North Carolinians volunteered to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and the months of rebuilding that have followed.

Now, state officials and a team of experts from IBM are working to make sure the volunteer response to a disaster is well-coordinated among private and public agencies.

Officials cut the ribbon Monday on the Oak City Multiservices Center, a facility offering wraparound services for Wake County residents experiencing homelessness. The center opens to the public April 10, 2019
Wake County

A coalition of government and nonprofit groups are getting ready to open a new facility to help homeless residents in Wake County.

Eastern Carolina Broadband

Lack of reliable high-speed internet access is a persistent problem in rural North Carolina, but small broadband companies are springing up across the state to meet the needs of underserved communities.

Map of North Carolina counties that need to replace voting equipment
North Carolina State Board of Elections

Counties across the state are working to beat a December deadline to replace touch-screen voting machines with models that use a paper ballot in order to comply with a 2013 state law.

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Go Triangle

After the GoTriangle board of trustees put a stop to the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail project on Wednesday, local elected officials mourned the demise of the line that was supposed to link the two counties.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The Durham Orange Light Rail project ground to a halt today as the GoTriangle board of trustees voted to discontinue planning for the 18-mile line from Chapel Hill to Durham.

Photo: Firefighter turnout gear
Vince Alongi / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/vincealongi/2155757629/in/photostream/

In North Carolina, firefighters are taking steps to address high cancer rates among their ranks.

 

Firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with and die of cancer than the general public, according to a 2015 study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Go Triangle

Duke University refused to sign a cooperative agreement on the Durham-Orange light rail plan last week. School officials said they were concerned the project could disrupt sensitive medical equipment along the planned route near Duke Hospital.

Portrait of CPT. Kenisha Wilkerson
Matt Couch / WUNC

Kenisha Wilkerson was drawn to military service, despite some initial uncertainty.

"I was a little confused at first," said Wilkerson. "I was going back and forth, like, 'uhh, I might not be built for the Army.' But I knew I wanted to serve."

Portrait of Libby Brice
Matt Couch / WUNC

Libby Brice was 20 years old in 1961 when she got a job on post as a secretary for the Criminal Investigation Division, one of only three women in the unit.

Billy (left) and his brother Dewey, playing soldiers as children at Fort Bragg during World War II.
Courtesy Billy Herring

Billy Herring was seven years old when his family moved on to Fort Bragg in 1939, one of only three civilian families on post at the time. His father ran the dairy farm, supplying milk to the soldiers.

Lorie Southerland, with her husband Eric, at the opening of the new Fort Bragg Fisher House facility.
Keri Childress/Fort Bragg Fisher House

Lorie Southerland didn’t know the Fort Bragg Fisher House existed until the day she needed it.  

Her son, Spc. Michael Rodriguez, had just been killed in Iraq, and her out-of-town family needed somewhere to stay for his memorial service.  Fisher House opened its doors, as it has for hundreds of other military families, offering respite when loved ones come to Fort Bragg for medical treatment, or to mourn.

Portrait of Col. (Ret.) Fred Black
Courtesy of Fred Black

As a young lieutenant in 1969, Fred Black was one of a handful of African-American officers at Fort Bragg. He said racial tensions rarely came to a head on post, but black soldiers could face discrimination when they ventured into the wider community.

Portrait of Mike Thomas.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Mike Thomas was a young captain in the summer of 1990 when he got orders to deploy to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. After spending nine months in the Gulf, he flew home to Fort Bragg.

Ft. Bragg Stories uses personal narratives to explore life on and around this country's largest military base.  And, now it's available as a podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Retired Army Colonel Fred Black came to Fort Bragg as a second lieutenant platoon leader in 1968. He remembers the sense of pride and accomplishment among the men of the 82nd Airborne Division.