Mark Rumsey

Mark Rumsey grew up in Kansas and got his first radio job at age 17 in the town of Abilene, where he announced easy-listening music played from vinyl record albums.   

Later stops in his radio career found him reporting and anchoring local news at stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Charlotte.

Mark joined the world of public radio in 1997 as News Director at WFAE.  Today, he continues to serve as local host for All Things Considered and produces WFAE’s Public Conversations, an ongoing series of community forums.  

If Mark turns up missing on a nice autumn day, you might find him on the hiking trails at North Carolina’s Stone Mountain State Park.   If he disappears for a week or two – check  the Tel Aviv airport.  Perhaps he’s found a way to again pursue his passion for traveling to the Holy Land.

North Carolina’s five living former governors will hold a press conference in Raleigh Monday to send a bipartisan message against two of the proposed amendments to the state constitution that will be on the ballot this fall.  

Candidate filing begins Monday for this year’s judicial elections in North Carolina. The filing period comes in the wake of a series of political and court battles over how judges should be elected in the state.  

North Carolina is among six states filing lawsuits today against drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of using deceptive marketing that helped fuel the opioid crisis.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission opens a hearing Monday on Duke Energy’s revised request for a rate hike for customers in western North Carolina, including the Charlotte area.  

Evangelist Billy Graham has died. He was 99.

For six decades, The Charlotte-born preacher proclaimed the Christian gospel to more than 200 million people in most of the world’s countries. He also influenced social movements and politics in America and beyond.

A federal court's decision to strike down North Carolina's map of congressional districts has cast uncertainty over this year’s elections.

color:#0A0A0A">Federal judges ruled Tuesday that the boundaries drawn by Republican legislators constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander.  The judges gave lawmakers about two weeks to come up with a new map.


 

The federal judges relied heavily on the findings of Duke University mathematics and statistics professor, Dr. Jonathan Mattingly.  He used computer programming and an algorithm to create thousands of simulated congressional districting plans for North Carolina. 

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is selling the team. Richardson, the team's only owner in its 23 seasons, made the announcement following Sunday's 31-24 win over the Packers - and on the same day that Sports Illustrated reported that at least four ex-employees received “significant monetary settlements,” stemming from inappropriate comments and behavior by Richardson.

For the last three years, an advisory panel based at UNC Charlotte has helped guide Duke Energy as the company figures out what to do with coal ash. And, during that time, Duke has also contracted with the university to do scientific research on specific coal ash sites.   

Providing research and advice of this nature requires a degree of collaboration. But, when companies turn to universities for hired expertise, challenges and questions about the relationship can arise. Can such collaboration become too cozy?

For several years, Duke Energy has faced criticisms about its handling of coal ash, including concerns about contamination of groundwater around coal ash storage ponds at power plant sites in the Carolinas. Now, the company is facing scrutiny over the way it engaged with experts hired to study its handling of coal ash ponds. 

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee say they haven't determined whether Russia colluded with Donald Trump's presidential campaign in an effort to influence last year's election. But, added committee chairman and North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, "You can't walk away from this and believe that Russia's not currently active in trying to create chaos in our election process."

In the wake of the weekend's racially-tainted violence in Charlottesville, Virginia - tensions have flared in other communities, especially across the South.  In Durham, protesters toppled a monument of a Confederate soldier that has stood outside the old Durham County courthouse since 1924.

And, since Sunday - a brief encounter in a Gaston County neighborhood has brought more emotions to the surface.  A video from the Facebook page of a Mount Holly woman named Page Braswell has gone viral.  She confronted a man who was flying the Nazi flag at his home. He told her his name is Joe Love. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke to Braswell about her encounter.

The U.S. Supreme Court this fall will take up a momentous fight over parties manipulating electoral districts to gain partisan advantage.  The cases could affect the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina and other states. 

Voters in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District will choose their next representative in a special election on Tuesday. The election was required after President Trump tapped Republican Mick Mulvaney  to become White House Budget Director.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011.   A three-judge 

Science, and religion. Are they mutually exclusive? Former North Carolina governor Jim Martin doesn't think so. 

"It's a new interpretation that science and religion are not only different domains of truth, but they...harmonize."

A new report from the left-leaning group Democracy North Carolina alleges that former governor Pat McCrory's campaign and the state Republican Party generated "false charges" of voter fraud in last November's election.  In the report released Tuesday, the group says Republicans engaged in a "coordinated legal and publicity crusade to disrupt and potentially corrupt" the election process.

One week ago, House Bill 2 was repealed and replaced by House Bill 142. And a lot has happened since then.

The NCAA and ACC have each said championship games can again be played in North Carolina. But in the case of the NCAA, its decision was a "reluctant one."

That’s because the compromise law that ended HB 2 also essentially blocks LGBT discrimination protections in North Carolina until [at least] December of 2020.

Charlotte  transgender activist Lara Americo is among the disappointed. She thinks House Bill 2 was borne of ignorance among lawmakers. Not so with the HB 142 compromise.

“There’s been a lot of education about what the transgender community in North Carolina looks like," Americo says. "Now with HB 142 being passed, they know who we are and what we’re about, but they still refuse to give us the protections that we need.” 

Americo spoke to WFAE’s Mark Rumsey about the new law, and what life has been like since the passage of House Bill 2.

Governor Roy Cooper's effort to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program is on hold for at least two weeks, following a federal judge's order over the weekend. 

When it comes to House Bill 2, time can apparently heal some wounds. Three months ago, Charlotte City Council refused an overture from the General Assembly. The deal was that if council repealed the city’s expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance, lawmakers would vote to repeal HB2. Most council members, including LaWana Mayfield, weren't interested.

By now, you've probably heard at least pieces of a bizarre tale that's been dubbed "PizzaGate."  The story was fueled by conspiracy theorists on social media and fake news sites, and  involved false claims of a child sex ring that was supposedly operating in tunnels beneath a Washington, DC., restaurant called Comet Ping Pong. The pre-election conspiracy stories alleged that Hillary Clinton was behind the supposed sex ring. 

The votes are still being tallied in North Carolina's governor's race.  Governor Pat McCrory trails Roy Cooper by more than 6,000 votes. McCrory's campaign has disputed results in 52 counties alleging voter fraud. We wanted to ask the McCrory campaign about its complaints, but no one from the campaign responded to WFAE's interview requests. However, North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes did and spoke to All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police have released some of the body and dash cam video of the police shooting of Keith Scott. They had the discretion to do that. But come Saturday, that will no longer be their call to make. A new law will require a court order to release that type of video. State Representative Allen McNeill, a Republican from Asheboro, is the primary sponsor of the law.

The bill has been the target of renewed criticism as calls intensified for CMPD to release video of the Scott shooting, but McNeill says critics are misinformed.

North Carolina has already lost a series of college sports tournaments because of opposition to House Bill 2. The NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference announced last week they are pulling 17 events from the state for this academic year.  

Now the fate of another event is uncertain.  Southern Conference officials are considering whether to relocate the basketball tournament scheduled to take place March 2-6, 2017 in Asheville, because of the state's controversial law that limits non-discrimination protection for LGBT people.  

North Carolina's standing as a venue for championship-level collegiate sports has taken another hit because of House Bill 2. The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that it will move 10 championship events out of North Carolina this year - including the ACC football championship game that was scheduled for December 3 in Charlotte. 

Federal wildlife officials plan to announce this month a decision on the future of the nearly 30-year old Red Wolf Recovery Program in eastern North Carolina.  The effort to reintroduce the endangered species has faced numerous challenges.  

The main purpose of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is simple – provide loans to foreign entities, so they can buy American-made goods.  These loans, in essence, are a way to make American exports more affordable and more competitive.  Since 1945, the bank has operated as an independent agency, created and funded by Congress.

Hillary Clinton's running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine campaigned in Greensboro Wednesday. He touted Clinton's economic plans and highlighted North Carolina's importance in this year's presidential race. After the rally, the Democratic vice presidential nominee spoke with WFAE's Mark Rumsey by phone.

A federal appeals court had some strong language in last week’s decision that struck down North Carolina's 2013 voting law overhaul. The judges concluded that lawmakers had deliberately passed the law with the intent of curbing voter turnout among African-Americans. 

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, says the court should be "embarrassed" by that conclusion. He was one of the architects of the voting law.

A drug advertised as a “legal psychoactive” would be off limits to minors in North Carolina under legislation nearing final approval in the General Assembly.

North Carolina public schools have received two sets of instructions regarding transgender students. The state's House Bill 2 says those students must use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate. But recent guidance from the federal government says schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

What is the NC Department of Public Instruction telling school districts to do? "The problem is - what guidance would we give them?" says NC Schools Superintendent June Atkinson. She believes the courts will ultimately rule that students should be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.  WFAE's Mark Rumsey reports.