Jason deBruyn

Data Reporter

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.

In the role, Jason investigates story lines hidden in data to uncover untold issues that matter to North Carolinians. He is passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless and using data to shine a light on disenfranchised groups who have been taken advantage of.

Prior to joining WUNC, Jason covered the business of health care and pharmaceuticals for Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, an affiliate of the American City Business Journals network. His reporting roots trace to the Enquirer-Journal, a community newspaper in Monroe, North Carolina.

Signs opposing the proposed rock quarry on airport land have popped up around Wake and Durham counties.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

To lovers of the outdoors, Tamara Dunn lives on one of the most enviable pieces of property in the Triangle. Her 1.2-acre lot is barely a quarter mile from a bridge over one of the most congested parts of Interstate 40. Yet at the same time, it feels like it's miles away from the Triangle. She walks through her back yard, dodging low hanging branches.

Randy Ramsey, left, and Wendy Murphy are now chairman and vice chairwoman of the University of North Carolina board of governors.
UNC System

The governing board that oversees the 17-campus University of North Carolina System appointed two new top officers on Tuesday.

The UNC Board of Governors promoted Randy Ramsey from vice chairman to chairman, and Wendy Murphy to take Ramsey's vacated role. The chairman seat came empty when Harry Smith said last week that he would step down, though he remains on the board.

File photo of a family meeting a new baby.
Scott Sherrill-Mix / flickr, creative commons, https://flic.kr/p/KP8gps

Employees across North Carolina's public university system will soon receive paid time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, which oversees the 17-campus public university system, approved a new family leave policy that will give eight weeks of paid time off to birth mothers, and four weeks of paid time off to new fathers or other non-birth parents.

Erik Chapman, town of Cary's Information Technology security manager
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Server rooms are boring. Stacks of computers with blinking lights. Cords in red, yellow, black and blue held together with zip ties. They're chilly from the extra air conditioning that keeps them cool.

In Cary's town hall, the server room is deep inside a building under constant lock. Town Information Technology Security Manager Erik Chapman had to swipe his badge and enter a number code to get in. The whirring sound of dozens of computers running at the same time rushed out of the door as it opened.

Hussman School of Journalism and Media on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study last year estimated that some 1,800 local newspapers across the United States have closed. Elsewhere, polls show trust in all news media is eroding.

These were a few reasons cited by UNC alum Walter Hussman Jr. and his family when they made a $25 million donation to the UNC School of Journalism, which will be named after Hussman.

Extensive damage and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is seen in Great Abaco, Bahamas, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
Gonzalo Gaudenzi / AP

Lugging empty suitcases, plastic buckets and backpacks, dazed survivors of Hurricane Dorian made their way back to the shantytown where they used to live, hoping to gather up some of their soggy belongings.

The community was known as The Mudd — or "Da Mudd," as it's often pronounced — and it was built by thousands of Haitian migrants over decades. It was razed in a matter of hours by Dorian, which reduced it to piles of splintered plywood and two-by-fours 4 and 5 feet deep, spread over an area equal to several football fields.

Flash Flood outlook
National Weather Service / Hurricane Center

Updated 5 p.m.

Duke Energy is projecting there could be more than 700,000 power outages due to Hurricane Dorian – including some that could last days.

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astr
National Hurricane Center

Forecasters are warning of significant storm surge as Hurricane Dorian slowly moves up the east coast.

Sample voting machines. North Carolina elections officials are deciding which voting machines are cleared to use the state.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated Aug. 27, 2019

The North Carolina Board of Elections will not require county boards to use hand-marked paper ballots in upcoming elections.

Marena Groll, co-president of the ERA-NC Alliance, at the lectern, speaking in favor of passing the Equal Rights Amendment.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Advocacy groups seeking to have the Equal Rights Amendment passed in North Carolina launched a publicity campaign Thursday.

The ERA would enshrine equal rights for women and men in the United States Constitution. The movement toward a Constitutional Amendment launched nearly 100 years ago, but only 37 of the required 38 states have ratified the measure. The ERA-NC Alliance wants North Carolina to be the state to push it over the top.

PNC Arena is in line for enhancement projects if the Raleigh City Council and Wake County Board of Commissioners can come to an agreement.
Centennial Authority / hok/ratio

Those in support of millions of dollars worth of enhancement projects to PNC Arena and other facilities will have to keep the champagne on ice. At least for now.

A rendering of the proposed enhancements for PNC Arena.
Centennial Authority / hok/ratio

Wake County commissioners approved a plan that re-allocates close to $50 million to tourism-related projects in the county per year.

Most of the money subsidizes the Raleigh Convention Center, but there are other tourism related projects as well, notably PNC Arena, which is in line to receive $9 million per year for the next 25 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign to educate parents about vaccinations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fresh-faced Kindergartners entering school this year will almost certainly be surrounded by a higher percentage of peers whose parents have actively avoided obtaining their vaccinations.

Across the state, numbers of unvaccinated children have been creeping up. While numbers for the 2019-20 school year won't be available for months, looking at data for the past eight years suggests the trend is not likely to reverse.

Duke Health's Raleigh Hospital
Duke Medicine

N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell relented in his fight with the state's major hospitals to lower costs and increase transparency.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Monday night at midnight is the new deadline for doctors and hospitals to sign on to the refined State Health Plan. Those that don't would go out of network, leaving the more than 700,000 North Carolinians on the plan to stare at potentially significantly larger hospital bills in 2020.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services headquarters at Dorothea Dix in Raleigh.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Hundreds of families with children with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities will soon receive robust help from the state.

Lawmakers have approved an expansion to the Innovations Waiver program, which pays for services that help families and individuals with IDD.

Dr. Joanne Fruth of Avance Primary Care at the Oberlin Road office.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Dr. Joanne Fruth knocked on the exam room door and walked in with a warm smile on her face.

"Hi Jamie, it's Doctor Fruth, it's so good to see you," she said. "So you're here for a wellness visit?"

Soy farmers have been hit particularly hard by the trade war.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Twitter

The tariff war between The White House and Beijing has hurt North Carolina farmers. Even farmers who support President Donald Trump's tactic on trade will say as much.

Now, the federal government is trying to make impacted farmers whole.

The highest paid presidents of private universities in the nation in 2016.
Chronicle of Higher Education

High Point University President Nido Qubein was once again the highest paid leader of a college or university in North Carolina.

N.C. State Wolfpack fans at Carter-Finley Stadium
GoPack

It's common to see North Carolina State fans head for the parking lot during halftime of Wolfpack games at Carter Finley stadium. They're leaving for their tailgate parties to refill their drinks of choice, because alcohol sales were forbidden by state law at college athletic event.

A beach public access entrance at Wrightsville Beach
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A new study from an environmental advocacy group estimates North Carolina will face $35 billion in costs by 2040 to protect its coastal communities from rising seas.

Durham Regional Hospital
Duke Medecine

North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell is playing a massive game of chicken with every hospital in the state and more than a few doctors and provider practices.

Tayloe estimates that about thirty or forty percent of patients at the Coastal Children's Clinic in New Bern are on Medicaid. And research from the Brookings Institute shows that 48 percent of kids from low-income families are ready for kindergarten, comp
Lisa Philip / WUNC

A new study found that expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would not only provide health insurance to 634,000 people, it would also create some 37,000 new jobs and increase business activity by close to $12 billion.

The figures come from researchers at The George Washington University with funding from Cone Health Foundation and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question, not reviewable by federal courts, and can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the constitution.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown South development in south Raleigh.
Downtown South / Gensler

Professional soccer club owner Steve Malik and Raleigh mega-developer John Kane publicly unveiled their plans for a nearly $2 billion project that would bring a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, 1.6 million square feet of office space, 750 residential apartments and 1,200 hotel rooms to a 55-acre plot in south Raleigh.

water
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County officials are urging private well owners in the eastern half of the county to test their water.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

In addition to its harmful impacts on families, the opioid epidemic has hurt the labor force. But a bright spot finds the negative effects on businesses can be reversed in areas with the political appetite for action.

Satellite view of the contiguous United States
National Centers for Environmental Information / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Orange County is set to levy a quarter-cent tax on property owners specifically to fight the effects of climate change.

Terry Helvie outside of her rental in Hamlet. She stayed there with her children while her house was being repaired.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

 

Goose Creek Island is no more than 9 square miles. It's reachable only by a small bridge over a narrow offshoot of the Pamlico River. The island is dotted with only a few homes. But that's a good thing for Terry Helvie who lives on the island with her two adult children. Both her son and daughter have developmental disabilities. Her son Logan can make a racket at times, but that's OK on the sparsely populated island.

Image taken after a gas explosion in downtown Durham.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The deadly explosion in downtown Durham earlier this month happened after a digging crew hit a natural gas line, leaving the combustible gas to fill at least one building.

Pages