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College Radio Stations Go Silent

News Brief for 6/8/2011

A fellow college radio station went silent on Wednesday. WRVU of Vanderbilt University lost its frequency in a 3 million dollar deal between Vanderbilt Student Communications and an NPR affiliate. The 57 year-old college radio station will be replaced by Nashville Public Radio’s new classical station.

WRVU is not alone. Student-run stations across the country have recently had their frequencies sold by the schools that own them. College Broadcasters, Inc. reports at least 6 other stations have lost their signals in the past few years. Some stations, like KUSF of the University of San Francisco, now broadcast only online, while others, like KTXT of Texas Tech, are gone for good. Common themes can be found in the reasoning of administrators behind the sales – money is tight and the media landscape is changing.

Mark Maben of College Broadcasters, Inc. came to the defense of college radio when KTRU of Rice University went silent in April. He noted, “Many Americans, including members of Congress, have complained that consolidation, voice tracking, syndication and automation have left communities without a true local radio station. Student stations are often the last locally-focused radio outlet in their community.” 

Mark Saben’s quote is from a College Broadcasters, Inc. press release.

CMJ has more on WRVU’s abrupt change in format and ownership.

WRVU’s effort to save their frequency can be found at SaveWRVURadio.com 

The last announcement broadcast on WRVU was recorded and can be found at tenwatts.blogspot.com.

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No co-pays for birth control, STD testing, breastfeeding supplies

News Brief for 8/4/2011

Thanks to the new healthcare law, women will soon be able to get birth control without paying insurance company co-pays. The Associated Press reports, the Institute of Medicine, or IOM, is making recommendations to the government about what preventative services should be provided without co-pays. The IOM released a report on women’s preventative care – services provided without co-pays will include birth control, Plan B, STD screening, and breastfeeding support and supplies. Insurance companies will be required to cover these preventative services beginning August 1st, 2012.

The original story from the Associated Press.

More information about the Affordable Care Act can be found at HealthCare.gov.

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In an update to a story previously covered by WUAG on 5/16/2011 —

NC abortion restrictions bill becomes law (Session Law 2011 - 405, formerly House Bill 854)

News Brief for 7/29/2011

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law that places more restrictions on abortions. On Thursday, the Senate voted to override Governor Perdue’s veto of House Bill - 854. The new law, called the “Women’s Right to Know Act” takes effect in 90 days. It requires:

  • Mandated counseling 
  • A 24-hour waiting period before an abortion
  • The woman to undergo an ultrasound that will be displayed so she can view the image (she may avert her eyes)
  • The woman to hear a description of the fetus’ vital organs at its current stage of development (she may refuse to hear the description)

The bill originally required the state to print pamphlets and other materials that would prominently display this statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique living human being.” That provision has since been removed from the bill.

Similar laws in Oklahoma and Texas have attracted significant attention in the past year, with supporters saying they will save innocent lives and opponents claiming they are attempts to make women feel guilty about their decision.

For more information on this story and anything related to the North Carolina General Assembly, check out Laura Leslie’s @NCCapitol page (via WRAL).

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RNC Chairman Reince Priebus visits NC

News Brief for 5/27/2011

North Carolina appears poised to be a battleground state in the 2012 presidential election. The state’s 15 electoral votes went to Obama in 2008, but during last year’s midterms North Carolina voted overwhelmingly for Republicans. Democrats have signaled they will fight for North Carolina by choosing Charlotte for their national convention.

Now, Republicans are stepping up their game. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus visited Raleigh this week to attend a fundraiser at the state GOP headquarters. In an address to fundraiser attendees Priebus emphasized the RNC’s need for money – former chairman Michael Steele left the committee $24 million in debt. The Associated Press reports Priebus did encounter some hostility at the fundraiser from members of North Carolina’s Tea Party, who claim the Republican National Committee hasn’t been supportive of conservative candidates. 

The original story is from the Associated Press via WRAL.

Image is from MSNBC.

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North Carolinians rally in support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage

News Brief for 5/21/2011

This past Tuesday, around 3,500  people gathered on the lawn behind the state legislative building in Raleigh. A group called Return America held the event to show their support for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. North Carolina is the only state in the southeast that doesn’t have a marriage amendment on the books. The crowd heard from several conservative Christian leaders and members of the state legislature. House Majority leader Paul Stam promised the crowd the amendment would be passed this year. Earlier in the day, other clergy held a press conference condemning the amendment. Reverend T. Anthony Spearman said legislators should be focusing on economic issues rather than advancing a divisive social agenda.

Marriage amendments have been proposed many times in the past, but have never passed a democratically controlled General Assembly. Last fall, Republicans gained control of both houses for the first time in over a century. Amendments to the state constitution must pass both houses with three-fifths of the vote, and get a majority of the popular vote in a referendum (that means YOU get to vote on it!).

For more information on opposition to the amendment check out the gay rights advocacy group Equality NC.

The original story from the Raleigh News & Observer has more information on the rally.

Image is from a 2007 Return America rally supporting the marriage amendment.

[Thanks for the heads up on this story, Evan Garris.]

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NC House subcommittee approves bill that would put more restrictions on abortions (House Bill - 854)

News Brief for 5/16/2011

The North Carolina House is working on a bill that would place more restrictions on abortions. Last week, a House judiciary subcommittee voted to approve House Bill - 854, a bill that’s provisions include:

  • Mandated counseling 
  • A 24-hour waiting period before an abortion
  • The woman to undergo an ultrasound that will be displayed so she can view the image (she may avert her eyes)
  • Require the woman to hear a description of the fetus’ vital organs at its current stage of development (she may refuse to hear the description)

The bill originally required the state to print pamphlets and other materials that would prominently display this statement: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique living human being.” That provision has since been removed from the bill.

Similar laws in Oklahoma and Texas have attracted significant attention recently, with supporters saying they will save innocent lives and opponents claiming they are attempts to make women feel guilty about their decision.

The full text of the bill can be found here via the North Carolina General Assembly website.

More information about this story can be found at WRAL.

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Above:  Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers (left) celebrates with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (right) after announcing that Charlotte will host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

NC Legislature changes state law to accommodate Democratic National Convention

News Brief for 5/12/2011

The 2012 Democratic National Convention is going to be in Charlotte and preparations are already underway. The North Carolina General Assembly has changed state law to accommodate the convention. To provide the amount of security needed, the state senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to recognize thousands of out of state police officers as having the same powers and immunities as local cops. WRAL reports that Charlotte expects the convention to bring about 30 to 35,000 delegates, politicians, and members of the media to the Queen City.

Organizers expect to have to raise $45-50 million, but expect the convention to generate three times that ($150-200 million) in increased business for Charlotte. 

The Democratic National Convention will begin on September 3rd, 2012.

For more information on the convention, check out Charlottein2012.com.

Information for this story is from WRAL.

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Imams miss flight to “Islamophobia” conference after pilot refuses to fly with them on board

News Brief from 5/9/11

Two muslim clergy members were removed from an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight to Charlotte on Sunday because the pilot refused to fly with them on board. Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul were wearing traditional muslim clothing and, ironically, were on their way to a conference on Islamophobia. Their lawyer says he plans seek accountability from the airline so that something similar won’t happen again. Zaghloul says he felt “humiliated.” Rahman says he hopes education will help end discrimination. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer he said, “We need to tell people the truth about Islam. It is a religion of peace, a religion of justice, a religion of honoring other people, regardless of color or religion.”

With information from the Charlotte Observer and an image from USA Today.

More information on the incident (once again from the Charlotte Observer) can be found here.

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Old Quad

New Quad

UNCG begins renovations of the Quad this summer

News Brief from 5/7/2011

UNCG will begin renovating the Quad Saturday, May 7th. Last year, the Board of Trustees considered tearing down dorms on the Quad, some of which date from the 1920’s, but decided on renovations when students and alumni protested. The renovations will cost an estimated $52.5 million and affect seven residence halls. Cotton, Bailey, Hinshaw, Coit, Shaw, Jamison, and Gray will be closed all next year while they are made handicap accessible, have all windows replaced, and utilities upgraded. After renovations, the main entrances will face the Quad rather than the street and the building’s parlors will be expanded to two stories. UNCG is paying for the construction project with a long-term bond. The debt will be paid back over time by the money student’s pay in rent.

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Split Greensboro City Council backs redistricting

News Brief from 4/20/2011

Angry Greensboro residents packed the city council chamber Tuesday night, protesting the council’s new redistricting plan. 

 Councilwoman Mary Rakestraw proposed the plan, allegedly devised by her political advisor, which moves a Lindley Park precinct that she lost last year and moves nearly 20,000 voters out of districts 1 and 2, the city’s largest black voting districts. Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small called the plan a transparent attempt to dilute the voting power of districts 1 and 2. Councilman Zack Matheny was conspicuously absent from the meeting. The Council chose him to be spearhead redistricting. Matheny told crowds at recent community forums that no redistricting would be needed. 

 The council voted 4-3 to approve Rakestraw’s plan, but a second vote will be needed at the next council meeting to officially adopt the plan, then it will have to be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval.

For: Bill Knight, Trudy Wade, Mary Rakestraw, Nancy Vaughn (who is now pushing to reconsider the vote)

 Against: Robbie Perkins, Dianne Bellamy-Small, Jim Kee

Absent: Zack Matheny, Danny Thompson

With information from The News & Record

Update — "Council may reconsider redistricting vote"

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