WUNC

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.

 

The race for a seat in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District is expected to be one of the closest in the state.

With Republicans trying to maintain control of the United States House, three races in North Carolina have emerged as battleground districts. And one of those covers part of the Triangle, where voters are choosing between Republican incumbent George Holding and Democratic challenger Linda Coleman. 

A massive amount of plastic is ending up in our oceans. It’s a global challenge that could be solved only with a huge, coordinated effort. North Carolinians are doing their part both by adding to, and lightening the load.

North Carolina, like the rest of the world, has a plastic problem. And with more than 3,000 miles of ocean and sound coastline, the plastic that is dropped along a roadside or blown into in a ditch has a direct route to the sea.

Updated 8:30 a.m. | August 31, 2018

The torn-down Silent Sam monument was the site of dueling protests Thursday night. About 50 members of a neo-Confederate group were greeted by several hundred counterprotesters on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. 

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.

The latest legal fight between the Governor and state lawmakers played out in a state court this week. At issue is whether proposals that would change the balance of powers in state government should remain on the ballot this fall.

Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, discuss the proposed constitutional amendments, as well as one open U.S. House race, and how the press should respond to frequent attacks from President Trump.

A ruling in a North Carolina firefighter's death could open the door for more benefits for their surviving families.

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.

Some North Carolina bars and restaurants are are phasing out the use of plastic straws because drinking straws are not recyclable and often make their way to the ocean, where they can injure marine life.

North Carolina joined California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas in seeing the greatest total increases in solar energy generation from 2008 to 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by Environment North Carolina Policy and Research Center.

President Trump is putting coastal Republicans in a tight spot this election cycle with his proposal to open waters off the Atlantic coast to oil and gas exploration.

The federal government said it will finally pay a debt it has owed the state since Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

The legislature’s Republican majority pushed forward several proposed constitutional amendments they hope will boost voter turnout in their favor this fall. Among the potential ballot measures, a photo ID requirement for North Carolina voters, the preservation of fishing and hunting as a way of life and a cap on personal income tax.

The mayor of Nags Head says members of Congress should vote down a draft bill on offshore drilling.

In 30 years, more than 15,000 North Carolina homes will be chronically inundated, meaning they're flooded about every other week, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The nonprofit advocacy group released a report today showing where and when sea-level rise is likely to impact residents' daily lives.

By the time presidential candidates start descending on North Carolina in 2020, voters may be required to show a photo identification before voting. State legislators filed a proposal last week that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the current qualifications to vote.

More North Carolina teachers have responded to a working conditions survey than ever before. The results reveal 40 percent of participants don't believe class sizes are conducive to meeting the needs of all students.

Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a Republican-approved state spending plan this week, citing more could be done for public education.

Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, and Rob Schofield, with NC Policy Watch, discuss the anticipated executive veto of the budget, as well as one farm measure that has divided some Republicans. Also this week at the North Carolina General Assembly, legislators introduced a proposal to change the state constitution and require photo identification in order to vote in-person.

More high school students in the state say they are using e-cigarettes, or plan to start in the next year.

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

Lawmakers engaged in some heated debate during budget week at the North Carolina General Assembly.

The conversation over education funding, local earmarks, and missed opportunities carries over into this week's review of politics.

More than 400 local and state officials, business leaders and economic developers will gather in Raleigh Tuesday for the second annual Rural Day.

Organized by the non-profit North Carolina Rural Center, the event will focus on promoting economic development in the state's 80 counties with a population density of less than 250 people per square mile.

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.

The panel that oversees North Carolina's public universities is changing leadership.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Thursday elected Greenville businessman Harry Smith as chairman.

It's Hurricane Preparedness week, and North Carolina public safety officials want residents to consider how vulnerable they'd be if a big storm hit their area.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners say they can't do anything about messages on a raised flag waving on a flagpole on private property.

But, they can decide the size of the flag and the height of the flagpole.

A total of 38 school districts will be closed for classes Wednesday while thousands of teachers march to the Capitol to call for better school funding. Some schools will hold an optional workday, with limited operations. That means many hourly employees, like cafeteria workers or bus drivers, could miss out on a day of work.

This Wednesday more than 10,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on the General Assembly's opening day to demand better pay and working conditions.

Veteran educators say those demands are about restoring education funding to what it was before the recession hit and a wave of Republican-led policies and tax cuts dismantled their benefits.

Teachers have adopted the tagline: "It's Personal."

Pages