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Wake County Residents Protest Scrapping Dix Deal

Dozens of Wake County residents filled a legislative committee room yesterday to weigh in on several controversial bills affecting the county.

One of the measures would scrap the lease between the state and the city of Raleigh to create a destination park on the site of the old Dorothea Dix hospital.
"I would just like to see the Dix property available for public use. I just think it's important for everyone will get to use that property. It's so beautiful. I just fear that if they go back on that promise, that it will be used for development, and some people won't get to see it or use it," says Rhonda Riggins, a teacher in Wake County.

The vast majority of residents who spoke were against canceling the Dix deal.

Most were also opposed to a measure sponsored by Republican Senator Neal Hunt of Raleigh designed to take school building projects out of the hands of local school boards. Another measure, also sponsored by Hunt, would redraw the Wake County school board district boundaries and change the way board members are elected. Another hearing will be held next week.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC reporters Dave Dewitt and Jessica Jones about Dorothea Dix and legislative issues related to Wake County Schools on The State of Things.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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