Jay Price

Military Reporter

Jay Price has specialized in covering the military for nearly a decade.

Before joining WUNC, he was a senior reporter for the News & Observer in Raleigh, where he traveled four times each to Iraq and Afghanistan for the N&O and its parent company, McClatchy Newspapers. He spent most of 2013 as the Kabul bureau chief for McClatchy.

Price’s other assignments included higher education, research and health care. He covered the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi and a series of deadly storms in Haiti.

He was a fellow at the Knight Medical Evidence boot camp at MIT in 2012 and the California Endowment’s Health Journalism Fellowship at USC in 2014.

He was part of a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for its work covering the damage in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, and another team that won the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a series of reports on the private security contractor Blackwater.

He has reported from Asia, Latin America, and Europe and written free-lance stories for The Baltimore Sun, Outside magazine and Sailing World.

Price is a North Carolina native and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. He lives with his wife and daughter in Chapel Hill.

Ways to Connect

An original Jefferson Davis Highway marker in Stovall, N.C., between the railroad tracks and US-15.
Flickr / https://bit.ly/3eK4JC6

It’s the end of the road for an unofficial honorary designation naming a highway route of about 160 miles through North Carolina for the president of the Confederate States of America.

The state Department of Transportation last week approved removal of about 20 small signs marking the “Jefferson Davis Highway.”

Rally goers stop at East Parrish St. and North Church St. in downtown Durham on Wed., November 4, 2020.
Jay Price / WUNC

More than 200 people marched around downtown Durham Wednesday afternoon calling for a proper tally of all ballots cast in Tuesday's election.

A bill seeks to protect air space for military exercises by prohibiting wind farms.
Paulo Valdivieso / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina has teamed up with Virginia and Maryland for more clout in the emerging offshore wind industry.

Veterans traditionally are more likely to vote for Republican candidates. But polls suggest their support for President Trump has eroded.

U.S. Navy Mess Attendant First Class Doris Miller speaking during his war bond tour stop at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill. on Jan. 7, 1943.
U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the National Archives

Henry Kissinger called supercarriers "100,000 tons of diplomacy," and that power has long been reflected in the Navy's conventions for naming them. Most are named for U.S. presidents. The USS John F. Kennedy. The Reagan. The Lincoln.The Navy now is quietly charting a new course.

A supercarrier now on the drawing boards will be christened the USS Doris Miller.

Gerry Broome / AP

Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham squared off Tuesday night in the second of their three debates, and questions about the potential successor to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hung heavy over the debate.

Courtesy / U.S. Geological Survey

Local officials in the northwest corner of the state, where the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake was located, say the damage was serious, especially to homes. 

photo of drive-thru coronavirus testing in Chatham County
Staff Sgt. Mary Junell / U.S. Army Photo

Much of the scene at this drive-through testing site in Kenly has become familiar. Health care workers asking for last names, telling folks which tent to pull up to.

Chris Seward, File / AP Photo

  The U.S. Army has quarantined 90 soldiers and instructors in the Special Forces school who tested positive for the coronavirus during a survival course at Fort Bragg.

Courtesy U.S. Army

A female soldier is poised to become the first to graduate from the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg and don the famed Green Beret.

Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, who’s on the House Armed Services Committee, issued a statement saying the woman had met all the qualifications and is expected to graduate July 9th. She congratulated the soon-to-be graduate on Twitter.

Soldiers gather for a 2019 awards ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C. The base is one of 10 that Pentagon leaders say they are open to renaming.
Joshua Cowden / U.S. Army

With the call for changing the names of 10 Southern military bases gaining momentum, the question is starting to arise in Washington  and outside of it  what names might replace those of the Confederate generals they now bear?


Nicole Willis, left, of Clayton, NC, dines with her friend Crystal Keefe of Raleigh, on Saturday morning at Mama Dip's Kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Over the weekend, restaurants in most of North Carolina were allowed to serve sit-down customers again, though with social distancing and restrictions on capacity.

But the pandemic is expected to continue taking a harsh toll on an industry that has become one of the state's largest. It's likely to do lasting economic damage, especially in the neighborhoods, towns, and cities that have built reputations as eating destinations in recent years as the restaurant industry boomed.

Tables sit vacant and pollen-covered at Kabab and Curry, a restaurant on Hillsborough Street during the coronavirus pandemic in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

With the state considering whether to allow dining in restaurants again as soon as this weekend, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association has unveiled a new training program aimed at protecting diners and restaurant staff from the coronavirus.

Jay Price / WUNC

As the year began, news was emerging from China about something called a coronavirus. At the same time, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team left Fort Bragg on a short-notice deployment.

bus stop sign
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

As federal politicians argue about pandemic relief payments for state and local governments, more than 600 North Carolina cities, towns, and counties are trying to develop budgets for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Lighthouse
Courtesy of Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

The Outer Banks is opening up to at least some outsiders again after barring visitors for weeks.

Local officials are opening Dare County's part of the barrier islands to non-resident property owners in phases beginning May 4. This will let them prepare houses for the summer rental season.

Nags Head
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Like much of North Carolina’s economy, the $25-billion-a-year tourist industry has ground to a halt because of the coronavirus. And on the Outer Banks, where the economy depends almost entirely on visitors, the timing could scarcely be worse.

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A sunrise from Cape Hatteras beach
National Park Services / Facebook

Visitors aren’t allowed on the Outer Banks right now because of COVID-19. But there's a new way to absorb the tranquility of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

On the seashore's Facebook Page, the National Park Service has posted a 24 minute video of nothing but the sun rising and waves lapping on the beach.

Cape Hatteras
scott1346 / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/22gXbzu

Visitors aren’t allowed on the Outer Banks right now because of COVID-19. But there’s a new way to absorb the tranquility of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Lonon faces away from the cemetery while walking away.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

COVID-19 is changing all aspects of life — including the rituals we associate with death. All funerals have been upended, but veterans have now lost one particularly important ceremony: burial with military honors. 

Ivar Lonon holds two boxes containing the cremated remains of his mother and father at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, N.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Among all the milestones, the key rituals of life being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic — weddings, baby showers, birthdays — is that iconic last one for military veterans, burial with military honors.

UNC Health set up a medical triage tent in front of its main hospital in Chapel Hill specifically for coronavirus patients.
Jay Price / WUNC

Hospital systems across the state have begun to postpone many elective surgeries to get ready for an expected wave of COVID-19 cases. 

Emergency treatment and surgeries won't be affected.

UNC Hospital
Jay Price / WUNC

It's an odd moment for the people who work in North Carolina healthcare. They read the reports of what is happening in Italy, South Korea and China, where hospitals in the worst-hit areas have been swamped with patients and in some cases reportedly overwhelmed.

Credit Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina is now in a state of emergency. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the declaration Tuesday, as increased testing better accounts for the rising number of confirmed cases in the state.

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

VA medical systems across the state have begun basic screening for COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. 

Marines training at Camp Lejeune.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier / U.S. Navy

The Marines are moving nearly 1,000 special operations troops and civilian employees to Camp Lejeune.

From its beginnings in 2006, Marine Special Operations, or MARSOC, has been split between the East and West coasts, with some of the troops at Lejeune, and the rest at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

That’s going to end. It has decided to pull all its forces together at Lejeune, where the unit’s headquarters anchors a high-security compound.

Allen G. Breed, File / AP Photo

For years, the Piedmont Triad’s cities have been chopped up and divvied between Republican-dominated congressional districts, diluting their heavy concentration of Democrats. But last year, after courtroom fights over partisan gerrymandering concluded, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point were united in a new 6th district that’s likely to go blue.

82nd Airborne paratroopers marching at Fort Bragg
Sgt. Kissta M. Feldner / U.S. Military

Iranian airstrikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq yesterday marked a response to the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the past week, thousands of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg rapidly deployed to the Middle East and Marines from Camp Lejeune are now also on their way to reinforce U.S. military presence.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie meets with veterans on a recent visit to North Carolina.
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs

The number of veterans in North Carolina is quickly rising as more of them choose to settle here. That's led the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to shift more resources to the state. It's opened several small medical clinics and hospital-sized outpatient centers around North Carolina, and has more planned in coming years, including major projects in Raleigh and Jacksonville.

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