Jason Debruyn

Nick Knittel

Durham police and fire officials confirmed one fatality from a gas explosion in downtown Durham that destroyed one building and severely damaged four others.   A firefighter was severely injured. He underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries on Wednesday afternoon and was recovering  by evening. The owner of Kaffeinate coffee shop, 61-year-old Kong Lee, died as a result of the explosion, according to a Durham Police Department statement.

 

Jason deBruyn WUNC

The latest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services show for the 2017-18 school year, Buncombe County once again had the highest number of unimmunized students, who opted for a religious exemption.

On a busy Thursday morning at Asheville Children's Medical Center, Dr. Sam Kohn made the rounds. It was toward the end of summer break, so there were lots of back-to-school check-ups and vaccines on the schedule that day.

Many visits were easy, following the simple routine of parents bringing their tots in for their shots.

Premiums for the majority Affordable Care Act plans in North Carolina will decrease for the first time in history, but the chief executive of the state's largest health insurer says they would be 15 percent lower if not for actions taken by the Trump Administration.

Due to seal level rise flooding, owners in the Carolinas have lost nearly $1.7 billion in property values since 2005.

State lawmakers released portions of their adjusted state budget this week.

Rank and file state employees will get a raise that keeps up with inflation, while teachers and highway patrol troopers will see more significant pay increases.

Sarah Alsammak walked across North Carolina State University's campus pointing out various landmarks. One of her favorite places is the tunnel where students draw graffiti art.

She stopped to pose for a photo – which took longer than it might have, if not for students darting between her and a photographer. She hasn't painted anything on the tunnel walls herself, but said she might before she graduates.

Primaries are less than a week away and even though Democrats hope this year’s mid-term elections will be swept up in a blue wave, flipping GOP congressional districts in North Carolina will still be a tall order.

WUNC’s Data Reporter Jason DeBruyn joins us this week to talk about the latest campaign finance reports.

On the whole, Republicans have outraised Democrats in North Carolina's 13 federal House races, but Democrats are still hoping to flip a few seats come November.

North Carolina teachers are expected to get a raise of $891 this year, on average, which would bump the state up two spots when compared to other states.

North Carolina's farmers are nervous. As an all-out trade war with China looms on the horizon, it's North Carolina's agriculture industry that could bear the brunt.

The National Rifle Association gave more grant funding to a Concord-based charity than any other school or charity in the nation – by a wide margin.

Speedway Children's Charities received $425,000 from the NRA every year from 2010 through 2016, according to data provided by the Associated Press and analyzed by WUNC.

Half a century ago, the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending. But today, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates sometimes far higher than their white neighbors.

The N.C. Department of Commerce released the file on its effort to recruit a coveted Toyota-Mazda auto manufacturing plant.

The file contains nearly 400 pages of text messages, emails, and other documents that together paint the picture of how economic development leaders sought to woo the car makers to North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper is taking a leadership role in North Carolina - and in the country – in addressing the opioid crisis. He was one of six members of President Donald Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

When auto manufacturers Toyota and Mazda build a $1.6 billion joint manufacturing plant in Alabama, it will mark another miss for economic developers in North Carolina.

North Carolina was a finalist for the plant, which will add 4,000 manufacturing jobs near Huntsville, but ultimately lost out in the final stages of negotiations.

It's a testament to modern medicine. Death rates from heart disease around the nation have been cut in half.

But new research sheds light on the wide disparities in cardiovascular death rates depending on geography.

Winter is coming, later and later. And then spring comes ever earlier.

Analyzing freeze dates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the days between the first freeze of fall and the last freeze of spring are shrinking.

President Donald Trump is expressing support for an agreement struck by two leading lawmakers to extend federal payments to health insurers.

Across academia, faculty and graduate students perform all kinds of research. Their findings lead to new medicines, better understanding of space and time, or how the brain ticks. Universities brag about the economic impact their research has. Every year, for example, North Carolina schools bring in more than $3 billion of research funding.

Updated 5:49 p.m., October 13, 2017

An NCAA infractions committee decided it will not punish UNC as it relates to "paper courses" attended by students, including student athletes.

At WakeMed Health and Hospitals, the emergency department stays busy around the clock. More than ever, it's not just chest pain or trouble breathing that brings people in.

The N.C. Department of Transportation began distributing nearly $148 million to more than 500 cities and towns across the state to help with maintenance of local roads.

Three confederate monuments on the state capitol grounds will stay up for now.

The United States Supreme Court will decide if states may draw voting districts to gain a partisan advantage.

The ruling is not expected until next year but will greatly impact North Carolina's voting districts, which are among the most severely gerrymandered in the country.

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation about redistricting and gerrymandering.

Apartment demand in Raleigh will grow at one of the fastest rates in the country, according to a new housing report.

In fact, the research estimates that apartment units will increase by 69 percent in the greater Raleigh area by 2030.

With the buzzing sound of hair clippers in the background, Horace Robinson, the owner of Upper Cutz barber shop, laments that the last bank branch in his rural town closed.

"Now we’ve got to go 15, 20 miles to another branch in order just to get change," said Robinson, while shaping a client’s mustache and beard.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina filed to increase Affordable Care Act premiums by 22.9 percent next year.

House Bill 2 apparently did not dampen tourism in 2016.

North Carolina recorded a record $22.9 billion in visitor spending last year, according to figures recently put out by the Department of Commerce.

That’s an increase of 4.3 percent from 2015 and supported more than 218,000 tourism jobs, according to commerce.

Updated at 12:53 p.m., June 21, 2017

North Carolina state senators are expected to give final approval to a $23 billion dollar state budget Wednesday afternoon.

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