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.

Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Workers around the state say their employers aren't doing enough to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic.

That includes sanitation workers in Raleigh who are demanding that the city do more to protect them following the death of a colleague from COVID-19.

Lively, vocal, and strong, Terence was born on January 21, 2020 to parents Rupillia (Rupi) and Gordian. Rupi was born in 1999 and is little sister to Jovian, star of the Kratt brother's beloved PBS show "Zoboomafoo," who was five years her senior.
Duke Lemur Center

The Duke Lemur Center announced not one, but two new births of the endangered species.

The infants were born January 21 and January 22 and are growing strong, according to the center. The babies were named Terence, pictured above, and Didius, pictured below.

The COVID-19 triage tent next to the UNC Rex Hospital emergency department.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Hospitals across North Carolina don't have a large amount of excess capacity to handle what they expect will be an onslaught of COVID-19 patients in the coming few weeks.

Even as they postpone elective surgeries, set up outdoor triage tents, and ramp up staffing levels, there's a concern that coronavirus patients will overwhelm the health care system.

A sign directs customers to remain in their cars at Trophy Brewing on Morgan Street in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Like thousands of service-sector workers across the state, Joe Smith said he's scared.

Smith has lived in Durham for seven years. He worked in front of house customer service at Joe Van Gogh, and for the past 18 months at the Cafe at Smith Warehouse and Geer Street Garden. But he suddenly found himself unemployed after Governor Roy Cooper ordered all restaurants to cease dine-in services as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 January 19, 2020. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Supplies are loaded into vehicles at a service delivery site.
Scott Dalton / American Red Cross

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to keep a safe social distance and to wash hands regularly. But, for many Americans already adhering to those recommendations, a feeling of helplessness can creep in.

Here are some other ways to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

WakeMed Drones

Feb 28, 2020

Spot originally broadcast March 27, 2019. Posted here for the PMJA Award Contest.

WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh will transport medical samples by drone. Jason deBruyn reports its the first hospital in the nation to use drones in this way.

Dave Ayres sounds the siren before an NHL hockey game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.
Chris Seward / AP

David Ayres was a complete unknown to even the most ardent hockey fan before this past weekend. But after his performance as the emergency backup goalie on Saturday, Carolina Hurricanes fans won't soon forget him. And on Tuesday, Ayres was treated like a hometown hero in Raleigh. 

A rendering of the indoor sports complex proposed for Cary Towne Center.
Town of Cary

The Raleigh City Council has given the go-ahead to a joint funding proposal for a 100,000-square-foot indoor sports complex in Cary. The move comes a day after Wake County Commissioners unanimously approved $59 million to go toward the facility planned for Cary Towne Center.

A rendering of the indoor sports complex proposed for Cary Towne Center.
Town of Cary

Cary leaders want to redevelop the aging Cary Towne Center and say a proposed $193 million indoor sports facility might be just the ticket.

Two images of the same street show stark differences in development.
WUNC

Affordable housing is in limited supply in many communities in North Carolina. The problem is particularly acute in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, where the population growth has outpaced that in more rural parts of the state. WUNC data reporter Jason deBruyn explored what is happening to housing in the Triangle region for his new in-depth series “Where We Live.”

Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

200 families living in the McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham have been temporarily moved into hotels because of ongoing problems with carbon monoxide. The Durham Housing Authority put in place a voluntary evacuation order Friday as it conducts testing at the units. 

This graphic shows the revenue distribution from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to agencies across the state.
ABC Commission

The meteoric rise of Tito's Handmade Vodka continues in North Carolina as the clear alcohol held the top two spots of highest sales across the state in 2019, up from two of the top three in 2018.

Inside the Kramden Institute warehouse in south Durham where computers and other electronics are refurbished.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

In a nondescript office park in south Durham, volunteers dug through a giant box of donated electronics. This particular box held hundreds of power cords for Apple iMacs, Lenovo ThinkPads and more. Surrounding that box were others with keyboards, monitors and other accessories.

It's not glamorous work, said Michael Abensour, executive director of the Kramden Institute, but it's necessary. Kramden is a nonprofit that fights to bridge the digital divide. It collects donated computer equipment, refurbishes it, and then gives it away – mostly to students who don't have access to a computer at home.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg, middle, speaks as Rev. Dr. William Barber II, left, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, right, listen during a town hall event organized at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., Sunday Dec. 1, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg worshiped at Greenleaf Christian Church, a majority black church in Goldsboro, on Sunday.

Two years ago, Wake County voters approved a half-cent sales tax to help fund a $2 billion transit improvement plan. While the large-scale projects are still in planning phases, riders have noticed smaller improvements.

Renderings for the Dewitt Carolinas proposed Midtown project.
Dewitt Carolinas / HPA Urban Architecture

Raleigh developer Dewitt Carolinas announced a massive project that would extend the transformation of a major thoroughfare in the capitol's midtown.

The state of recycling in North Carolina has declined.
Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

North Carolina is failing to make progress in its recycling efforts. That's one finding from a new study released by Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center, a nonprofit.

The late Thomas Lord, who set up foundations to support universities, including Duke University.
Lord Corporation / Laura Brinn

Duke University will receive $261 million thanks to a distribution that was triggered by the recent sale of Cary-based Lord Corporation.

Offices of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority at RDU Airport.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Park enthusiasts plan to appeal a judge's ruling that paved the way for a new rock quarry near Umstead State Park.

Marian Spicer campaigned at the downtown Durham early voting site in favor of the affordable housing bond in Durham.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The sun had just taken a dip behind some heavy cloud cover when Marian Spicer set up a folding table with campaign fliers at the downtown Durham early voting site on a recent afternoon.

She mingled with other campaigners and approached voters to give them her pitch in favor of the proposed $95 million affordable housing bond.

Staff prepare orders for customers at A Place At The Table in Raleigh, N.C. on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Maggie Kane exudes an infectious energy. That's especially true when she talks about her passion of caring for those less fortunate than herself.

She's taken that energy and passion and rolled them together in A Place at the Table, Raleigh's first pay-what-you-can café.

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.

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