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.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health
Gillings School of Global Public Health / UNC

It's part of the zeitgeist to joke that Americans aren't healthy. But new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health puts an exclamation point on just how true that is.

Curtis J. Richardson, director of the Duke University Wetland Center.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On Duke University's campus, near the Washington Duke Inn, there's a wetland area that reduces stormwater flooding and improves water quality. Curtis J. Richardson, director of the Duke University Wetland Center and professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment, spearheaded the project.

Martini glasses
Ashok Boghani / Flickr

About one-third of Americans don't drink alcohol. About another third drinks fewer than one alcoholic drink per week.

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears / UNC

UNC Health Care reached a management agreement with Onslow Memorial Hospital, making the coastal North Carolina health center the 11th UNC affiliated hospital.

Protesters crowd around the entrance of the UNC Center for Leadership Development where the Board of Governors will meet this morning to discuss the fate of a controversial Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated 3:20 p.m.

The board overseeing North Carolina's public universities has rejected the UNC Trustees' plan for a center to house a Confederate statue known as Silent Sam on the Chapel Hill campus.

Open sign
Martin Alvarez Espinar / Flickr

To hear chief finance officers tell it, the global economy is heading toward a recession.

That's the top takeaway from the latest CFO Survey, a quarterly survey conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

A sample of the ballot envelope, with spaces for two witness signatures.
N.C. State Board of Elections

In Bladen County, where elections officials are investigating potential elections tampering, a small group of 12 people attested as official witnesses for 294 mail-in ballots, or nearly 40 percent of mail-in ballots from Bladen County.

What's more, the same group accounted for both of the required signatures for 151 of those ballots, according to a WUNC analysis of 796 mail-in-ballot envelopes from Bladen County.

Rep. Ted Budd, R-NC, right, points to Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, left, during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.
Chuck Burton / AP

One man – McCrae Dowless – filed in-person requests for 592 absentee ballots at the Bladen County Board of Elections in the month's leading up to this year's midterm election.

Specialty license plates are becoming more common in North Carolina.
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles / N.C. Department of Transportation

In 2015, after a young white man who had claimed allegiance to the Confederacy massacred nine people at a historic black church, the availability of a North Carolina specialty license plate bearing the logo of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans was in jeopardy. With some drivers in North Carolina thinking the specialty plate might not be available soon, demand for that plate, which includes the Confederate battle flag, soared.

Ariel view of the UNC Rex Healthcare campus in west Raleigh
UNC Rex Healthcare

UNC Rex Healthcare announced a plan to build a $65 million cancer center at its west Raleigh campus. The new center will ratchet up competition with Duke Raleigh Hospital – which already has two cancer centers, including one in the shadow of Rex's campus – and sets up the UNC Health Care system hospital to pad its bid for a new piece of expensive medical equipment in 2019.

Iris Schaen, center, holds a sign as she listens to speakers during an interfaith vigil against anti-semitism and hate at the Holocaust Memorial, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in Miami Beach.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Hate crimes across North Carolina have been increasing in recent years.

From 2016 to 2017, the number of hate crimes committed in the state jumped 12 percent to 166.

Michelle Williams, left, holding a picture of her sister Tracy, standing with Monica McInnis.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

July 26, 2015, is a date etched in Michelle Williams' memory forever. That's the day her sister Tracy was murdered.

"Every time I tell that, I have to say the whole thing. In my head it's a news broadcast," she said. "Tracy Williams murdered by her ex-partner. At a Franklin County Food Lion parking lot. On July 26, 2015."

Duke University Hospital, which is part of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham
Emery P. Dalesio / AP

Duke University has reached a settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it knew about fraudulent research in its labs and actively concealed the fraud from federal agencies responsible for doling out research funding.

The university received more than $200 million in research funding based on this fraudulent research.

A sample ballot for the 2018 midterm elections
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Voter turnout in North Carolina was exceptionally high in 2018, but some races drew more attention than others.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina Republicans won majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. But Democrats won more total votes.

John Hendren lives in south Lumberton.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Dan Weathington carried sopping insulation to the end of his driveway one day last month. Sludgy water dripped out as he squeezed a handful of the pink material.

Weathington lives in the Tanglewood area of north Lumberton. Many of the houses are brick and some are almost a century old. The neighborhood is a perfect grid of north-south and east-west roads, made possible because of the low-lying and flat topography. Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence inundated this part of town in September.

An early voting location in Wake County
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Control of the North Carolina legislature will depend on suburban voters.

When it comes to campaign spending at the North Carolina House and Senate levels, both parties have poured the most money into suburban districts, many of which are considered toss-ups by political pundits.

Screenshot of a political advertisement against Dan McCready, paid for by FRC Action.
YouTube

With only three North Carolina Congressional races considered competitive, Super PACs and other outside spenders haven't focused heavily on North Carolina. But they haven't ignored the state completely.

Beauna Clarke lives in Greenfield Place in Chapel Hill
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Beauna Clarke lives in Greenfield Place, a rent controlled complex in Chapel Hill. On one of the first crisp fall days of the year, she showed off the two-bedroom apartment.

"Okay, so you enter into the dining area, kitchen area," she said.

She described the amenities while the dishwasher hummed and dryer rumbled. A mountain bike stood beside her couch in the living room.

Trucking contractors haul Temporary Housing Units in Cobleskill, New York that are being shipped from a federal staging area to private home sites or commercial sites for flooding survivors of hurricanes.
Hans Pennicnk / FEMA

Thousands of Hurricane Florence victims are still displaced from their homes, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in North Carolina working to help.

That now includes providing temporary housing in so-called FEMA trailers and manufactured homes.

Voter stickers
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

North Carolina might yet play a role in what some have predicted will become a blue wave.

The latest election fundraising totals show that Democrats in two North Carolina Congressional battlegrounds have fared well.

File photo of rising flood waters brought on by Hurricane Florence that threatened a building off highway 70 in Goldsboro, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Inside FEMA's statewide headquarters, workers in khakis, collared shirts and ID badges type away at computers, and work phones.

A thin film of coal ash coats trees and vegetation in an inactive ash basin at the HF Lee plant. As expected, the area was flooded by Hurricane Florence.
c/o Duke Energy

Regulators with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality say their tests on the Neuse River show no elevated levels of dangerous metals in the water.

The results came as a relief to Duke Energy, but were in direct conflict with tests taken by the Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental advocacy group.

The banks of the Cape Fear River on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.
Courtesy of Waterkeepers Alliance

There's ongoing disagreement about the levels of coal ash in the Cape Fear River near Wilmington. Environmental advocates say they have visibly seen ash, but Duke Energy says its water tests show otherwise.

Rising water from the Cape Fear River engulfs a road in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018. The Cape Fear River was expected to crest at record levels by Wednesday, several days after the storm departed the area.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Brunswick County health officials confirmed one case of norovirus at a hurricane shelter, and they suspect more.

The confirmed case was reported at the shelter at West Brunswick High. Health officials asked that evacuees find other shelters, including one at South Brunswick High.

John Nemeth stands in front of a flooded road in the River Landing neighborhood of Wallace
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The closest John Nemeth could get to his house was about 200 yards. He had to stand in a neighbor's yard and look across the fourth fairway of his community golf course just to see his house. But the fairway wasn't its normal lush green. Instead, all he could see was the glassy reflection of standing water.

Crews with the NYC Emergency Management perform water rescues in River Bend, N.C., after Hurricane Florence on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
Courtesy of NYC Emergency Management

Updated at 4:45 p.m.

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but surges and flooding are expected to continue as it lashes South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast.
Chuck Burton / AP

Updated 5 p.m. | Sept. 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 105 mph (165 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy predicted as many as 3 million customers across North and South Carolina could lose power as a results of Hurricane Florence. In response it will deploy 20,000 workers – a service area record – to restore power.

Tuesday morning projections showed Hurricane Florence hitting the North Carolina coast and causing a severe storm surge in several areas.
Coastal Emergency Risk Assessment / ADCIRC storm surge and wave guidance

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Carolina coast, experts are warning of its potentially disastrous effects.

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