Mitchell Northam

Digital News Producer

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. He was born in Iceland, but grew up eating blue crabs and scrapple on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In addition to working at the Delmarva Daily Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, his work has also been featured at SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel, NCAA.com, Sports Illustrated and SLAM Magazine. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and has won awards from the MD-DC Press Association and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.

Payton, a male polar bear, moved into the North Carolina Zoo on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.
North Carolina Zoo

North Carolina has a new resident that weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

His name is Payton. He is a polar bear.

Bull statue Durham
Shawn Blanchard via Flickr

The Durham City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that aims to protect workers from discrimination against hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks or afros.

It also passed an ordinance that broadly protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination.

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes addresses delegates on the first day of the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C., Friday, June 2, 2017.
Mike Spencer / AP

In one of his final acts as President of the United States, Donald Trump granted 73 pardons and commuted 70 sentences early Wednesday morning.

One of the people to receive a pardon from Trump is former North Carolina Congressman Robin Hayes, a Republican who pled guilty in 2019 to lying to the FBI.

UNC defender Emily Fox plays in the 2019 ACC Tournament semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

A pair of players from UNC-Chapel Hill were selected in the first round of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League Draft on Wednesday night.

Senior Emily Fox – who can play as a defender or in the midfield – was drafted first overall by Racing Louisville FC, an expansion club new to the league this season. Taken third overall by New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC was Briana Pinto, a junior midfielder for Anson Dorrance’s Tar Heels.

The old Orange County courthouse in Hillsborough.
Joseph A. / Flickr

Updated: Jan. 14, 2021. 12:10 p.m.

Hillsborough is the first North Carolina municipality to pass an ordinance to protect its LGBTQ residents from discrimination since a three-and-a-half-year statewide pause on enacting such rules expired in December.

U.S. House of Representatives

Updated at 11:45 a.m.

All but one of North Carolina's Republican delegates to the U.S. House had said publicly that they planned to object to electoral college votes before the chaos that interrupted the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory Wednesday.

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 3:23 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2020.

While the Confederacy lasted just a bit longer than four years, its memory has lived on for lifetimes in the form of historical markers, the names of streets, counties and towns, its flag and monuments.

Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas drops back to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 21, 2020, in Conway, S.C.
Richard Shiro / AP

Appalachian State and North Texas start the COVID-19 college football bowl season in the first-ever Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.

UNC guard Petra Holesinska dribbles against S.C. State on Dec. 3, 2020 at Carmichael Arena.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

North Carolina's second-year women's basketball head coach Courtney Banghart said earlier this week that she needed more from her veterans after the Tar Heels lost their first two ACC games of the season.

Thursday night, UNC's seniors showed up in a big way, powering the Tar Heels to a dominant 92-68 upset win over No. 18 Syracuse at Carmichael Arena.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse seen from the light keepers house in Buxton. The lighthouse was put in service in 1870 and is the world's tallest brick lighthouse at 208 feet. Its beacon can be seen 20 miles out at sea.
Cliff Owen / Associated Press

The lighthouse at Cape Hatteras was first lit on Dec. 16, 1870. A century and a half later, the iconic structure – the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States – is still standing and is an active aid to navigation. It has survived heavy storms, a decommissioning, years of erosion, service during World War II, and a 23-day move in 1999.

With its 150th anniversary approaching, a celebration is in order for the lighthouse. But, because it's 2020 and the world is still dealing with the pandemic, the party is being done a bit differently.

Duke women's basketball coach Kara Lawson, arrives on stage to speak to the crowd before Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

On Nov. 7, the Associated Press and several other news outlets called the 2020 U.S. presidential race for former Vice President Joe Biden. A countless number of his supporters flocked to social media to rejoice in his victory and to applaud him, but only a fraction of those folks were able to tweet a video clip of the President-elect quoting them.

Kara Lawson could do that.

A screengrab from the National Weather Service's radar at 11:41 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2020.
NWS

Updated at 12:34 p.m.

A flash flood warning is in effect for all of central North Carolina, including the Triad, the Triangle and east of the Triangle.

Multiple water rescues and flash flooding have been reported across central and western North Carolina.

Voting signs were posted outside of White Rock Baptist Church in Durham on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
Peyton Sickles / for WUNC

In addition to outstanding mail-in ballots, election officials in North Carolina have another pool of votes to work through.

Marchers made their way across downtown Durham on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 calling for all votes from Tuesday's election to be counted.
Jay Price / WUNC

As North Carolinians await final results in key political battles in an unprecedented election year, state officials say it's business as usual.

Jim O' Neill is challenging incumbent Josh Stein for the post of North Carolina Attorney General. As of Thursday morning, the race was still too close to call.
Campaign Photos

The Republican challenger in the race for North Carolina’s Attorney General – Jim O’Neill – says he's filed a complaint against Democratic incumbent Josh Stein over a campaign advertisement.

Voters walk past campaign signs at the Graham Civic Center polling location in Graham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Updated at 8:15 p.m on 11/4/2020

Unlike some national races, the outcomes of most statewide races in North Carolina are more clear. Still, a few races are up in the air, with more than 100,000 absentee ballots left to count.

Fall color explodes along Hwy 221 in Avery County near the Blues Ridge Parkway Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020.
Chuck Liddy / for WUNC

October is typically one of the busiest months for traffic along the Blue Ridge Parkway and – despite the pandemic and everything else going on – 2020 has been no different.

Vehicles packed with people searching for a fall getaway or with folks looking for colorful leaves have been buzzing along the scenic road this month. There are more than 200 places for drivers to pull off and take pictures.

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

North Carolina’s role as a pivotal 2020 battleground state for the White House and U.S. Senate has been well documented. Donald Trump is unlikely to secure another four years as president without carrying North Carolina, and the winner between Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham may end up determining which party controls the Senate.

However, beyond the consequential top of the ballot contests, an even greater prize lingers on Election Day: control of the North Carolina General Assembly. Since 2020 is a census year, state lawmakers will handle the next round of redistricting in 2021. That means new boundaries for congressional and legislative districts, and the opportunity to cultivate power for the next decade.

UNC basketball Nassir Little Tar Heels
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill’s men’s basketball team will play in the Maui Invitational this year without having to leave the state of North Carolina.

Due to concerns from the coronavirus, the annual college basketball tournament is moving to the mainland.

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

Republicans re-claimed the state Senate in North Carolina in 2010 after more than a century in the minority. Two years later, Republicans added a three-fifths veto-proof majority, which they held until after the 2018 elections. Now, the stakes are set for a series of battleground contests. The sought-after prize is majority rule, and the winner gets to lead the next round of redistricting — and draw legislative and Congressional maps.

Burlington Royals MiLB
Courtesy of the Burlington Royals

Major League Baseball started the process of eliminating minor league affiliates Tuesday, with the Appalachian League converted to a college summer circuit for rising freshmen and sophomores.

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

This year, North Carolina voters will make crucial decisions at the polls that could impact state politics and laws for at least the next decade.

In addition to casting their ballot in the race for the White House, North Carolinians will also vote in statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate, the state attorney general, the state supreme court, and U.S. House races.

Natalie Dudas-Thomas / WUNC

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted legislation to ease absentee-by-mail voting this year and to make polls safer for in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump will visit Wilmington on Wednesday to declare it a World War II “Heritage City.”

News outlets report that the visit is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

ECU East Carolina Football Helmet
R24KBerg Photos via Flickr / https://bit.ly/34FKnqu

East Carolina University’s football team will not open up its season against Marshall.

ECU Athletic Director Jon Gilbert announced Thursday afternoon that the game had been postponed “due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dave Doeren is the N.C. State University head football coach.
NC State

North Carolina State’s season-opening football game at Virginia Tech was postponed Wednesday from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26 because of a cluster of COVID-19 cases among Wolfpack athletes in Raleigh.

Duke football Wallace Wade
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

Duke University will play sports this fall, but there won’t be any fans in the stands when balls are kicked and tackles are made.

The school announced Monday that, due to the impact of COVID-19, it will begin its fall sports seasons without spectators at home games. Parking lots will also be closed to fans on game days.

Greg Drumwright
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Greg Drumwright has spent most of his life in North Carolina’s Triad region. He was raised in Burlington, attended college at North Carolina A&T and then Wake Forest, and for the past 17 years has led The Citadel Church in Greensboro.

Mike Fox UNC Baseball
Gerry Broome / AP

A new era of baseball is beginning for the Tar Heels.

UNC-Chapel Hill announced Friday that Mike Fox, the winningest active coach in Division I college baseball, is retiring after 22 seasons on the job as the head coach of the Tar Heels.

disc golf
Courtesy of the Charlotte Knights

At first, back in April, Anderson Rathbun was optimistic.

Like many of the countless folks who make their living by working for one of the 160 Minor League Baseball teams across the U.S., the general manager for the Burlington Royals was hopeful that his club would play baseball in 2020. Eventually, for Rathbun and everyone else, the reality of the pandemic settled in.

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