George Olsen

Host of ATC; Producer of The Sound

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas,  and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.

Ways to Connect

Top 40 CDs as hard on The Sound (through 11/25/16) 1)Colvin & Earle (Concord)
2)Good Times - The Monkees (Rhino)
3)Stranger to Stranger - Paul Simon (Concord)
4)This is Where I Live - William Bell (Stax)
5)Changes - Charles Bradley (Daptone)
6)Charlie Faye & the Fayetttes
7)I Still Do - Eric Clapton (Surfdog)
8)Dig in Deep - Bonnie Raitt (Red Wing)
9)Hold On! - James Hunter Six (Daptone)
10)The Beautiful Lowdown - Curtis Salgado ...

INTRO – Among the cities facing the greatest difficulties from flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is Kinston. George Olsen spoke with the city’s mayor B.J. Murphy who says the city is almost an island in eastern North Carolina. OUTRO – George Olsen speaking with Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy. The mayor adds anyone looking for more information on the effects of flooding can visit either Lenoir County Emergency Services and BJMurphy360 on Facebook or on Twitter go to LenoirCountyES and...

Free download of Most of that Left from the CD Empty Glasses by Reagan Boggs , currently featured on The Sound. Find out more about the artist here .

Gov. Pat McCrory was in Goldsboro yesterday to celebrate the opening of the new Cherry Hospital. George Olsen has more. A press release from the Governor’s Office say Gov. McCrory toured the new 410,000 square foot single-structure three-story facility near the old hospital. It will serve 38 eastern North Carolina counties. The new hospital will have its own laboratory, dental and radiology departments and a treatment mall. Patients will start to move in late September. At that time the...

Gov. Pat McCrory has declared the month of September North Carolina Preparedness Month. George Olsen has more. A press release from the Governor’s Office notes that this year marks the 5 th anniversary of Hurricane Irene and the 20 th Anniversary of Hurricane Fran. Irene left behind $686 million in property and agricultural damages while storm damages from Hurricane Fran in 1996 totaled $5.2 billion. Last year, the state experienced nine tornadoes, 432 severe thunderstorms, 110 hailstorms...

Professional baseball returns to Kinston next year. George Olsen has more. The Texas Rangers have announced they’ll move their Class-A California minor league team to Kinston to play at Grainger Stadium in 2017. The Texas Rangers will own a controlling interest in the as-yet unnamed Kinston team with Cam McRae a limited partner in the group. McRae was the former majority owner of the Kinston Indians team which left after the 2011 baseball season. The Rangers plan a multi-year renovation at...

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The State Underwater Archeology Team will be on the Neuse River in Kinston Friday (August 19) searching for remnants of the CSS Neuse. George Olsen has more. The ironclad CSS Neuse was constructed in Seven Springs in 1862 & 1863 before being taken downriver to Kinston for completion. In Kinston she was eventually scuttled by her crew to prevent it being captured by federal troops. The Neuse stayed underwater until 1964 when most of the ship was salvaged. Now the R/V Snap Dragon II will...

John F. Blair Publisher

INTRO – A Durham couple has a unique problem in their publishing efforts… and if they choose to commiserate about their problem with a malted beverage in hand, that’s o-k. It’s just more research for their next published effort which, given exponential growth in their chosen topical field, could be sooner rather than later. George Olsen has more. Erik Lars Myers and Sarah H. Ficke have what would typically be a devastating problem for authors… they no sooner publish a book and its out-of-date...

INTRO – North Carolinians are enjoying the lowest July gas prices in 12 years. George Olsen has more. AAA Carolinas reports the average price of a gallon of regular is $2.05, down from $2.21 a month ago and 55 cents lower than a year ago. A press release from the Charlotte-based motor club says those are the lowest seasonal prices in 12 years. AAA is predicting prices to stay relatively low throughout the summer as U-S crude supplies are 13 percent higher than a year ago and gasoline stocks...

Good news for gardeners in the Pitt County area. George Olsen has more. Pitt County’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department has announced they’re giving away mulch. The Department takes in about 12,000 tons of yard waste and debris annually which they then shred into usable mulch. Typically it’s sold back to the public for $5 per cubic yard load. But as the Atlantic hurricane season moves closer to its busiest time, Pitt County wants to clear out as much of the mulch on hand so they’ll have...

Sing - Jennifer Licko

Jun 30, 2016

INTRO – A new CD by ENC native Jennifer Licko took a long, circuitous and electronic path toward final production. George Olsen has more. “It was a really nice collaboration of an Irish producer in Minnesota, an English producer in Florida and a Brazilian producer here in Brazil and I think it made for an interesting outcome.” … made even more multi-cultural by the fact the performer is a Swansboro native and East Carolina University graduate performing primarily in Scots Gaelic. Jennifer...

You could soon pay a late fee if you’re tardy in renewing your vehicle registration. George Olsen has more. Effective July 1 vehicle owners need to pay for their annual vehicle registration renewal before their current registration expires or face a late fee. The fees are graduated, rising depending on how late a vehicle owner renews their registration. A late fee of $15 will be charged to vehicle owners who renew registrations expired for less than a month. The fee rises to $20 for renewals...

State archaeologists now have more detailed sonar images to study of the Civil War blockade runner Agnes E. Fry. George Olsen has more. State archaeologists discovered the Agnes E. Fry using side scanning sonar on February 27. They soon got an offer from the Charlotte Fire Department allowing them to use a digital sector scanning sonar to get higher resolution images of the ship which was lost during the Union campaign blockading the port of Wilmington during the Civil War. Deputy State...

In the ever constant tug of war between development and environmental concerns on North Carolina’s Outer Banks both sides could almost certainly agree that no matter the state of things now they’re certainly better than one vision for the area around 1950. (Reads from NC 12: Gateway to the Outer Banks) Dawson Carr reading from the tail end of his book “NC12: Gateway to the Outer Banks,” a history of the road that brought the communities of the Outer Banks together. His reference to ...

Free download of It's Political from the CD War & Peace by Shannon Labrie , currently featured on The Sound. Find out more about the artist here .

INTRO – The names of those involved in a Highway Patrol trooper involved shooting Sunday morning in Kinston have been released. The incident occurred Sunday morning when state Highway Patrol trooper William A. Hardison responded to a request for assistance from the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office. A shooting had been reported at Club Aries in Kinston. A Department of Public Safety press release says when he arrived, he saw two men running toward him, one armed. Trooper Hardison exited his...

A new book by a UNC-Wilmington Creative Writing professor weaves a mystery inside past and present conflicts as viewed by the state’s Outer Banks. George Olsen has more. Call it the “spoonful of sugar” approach to writing… buy it for the mystery, love it for the history. “Roaming the island, talking to people, reading the lore of the island while I was there I really got caught up in the idea that it is kind of the easternmost part of the U-S, at least on the Atlantic Seaboard, and it’s in a...

NCDNCR

A Civil War-era shipwreck has been discovered off the North Carolina coast. George Olsen has more. The state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources reports a large iron-hulled Civil War era steamer was discovered near Oak Island late last month. It’s believed to be one of three blockade runners used to evade Union naval vessels blocking the port of Wilmington during the Civil War. The Agnes E. Fry, Spunkie and Georgianna McCaw are all known to have been lost in the area. Billy Ray...

The state’s public schools experienced the first increase in the dropout rate in nearly 10 years. George Olsen has more. A report presented this week to the state Board of Education revealed the public school dropout rate in 2014-2015 was 2.39 percent, up from 2.28 percent the previous year. That was the first increase in the dropout rate since 2006-2007 when the rate was 5.24 percent. In the last school year 11,190 students dropped out compared to 10,404 the prior year. The increase in drop...

In the wake of events that sadden or frighten us, the option is to move forward or fall back. Raleigh’s Jeanne Jolly chose the former. “ I was searching, and I think that, when I went through a tough transition in my life, losing my mom, and came back home to NC to do that and be around her and be with my family and focus on that, I think that was the probably the moment in my life that I decided to do what… do everything I wanted to do musically even if I was afraid of it, and I think...

Free download of Got a Lot from the CD Method to my Madness by Tommy Castro , currently featured on The Sound. Find out more about the artist here .

Attendance at North Carolina’s state parks set a new record in 2015. George Olsen has more. The Governor’s Office reports attendance at the state’s 39 parks was over 17.3 million in 2015, up from 15.6 million in 2014. It’s the third straight year attendance numbers have set a record. Of the 39 parks, 30 reported increased usage last year over the prior. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area in Chatham County led the way with 1.6 million visits, while five other state parks… including Fort Macon…...

INTRO – A Tarboro bakery operation has announced expansion plans, bringing 98 new jobs to the region. George Olsen has more. The Governor’s Office has announced that Hillshire Brands Company will expand its bakery operations in Tarboro, adding 98 jobs over the next three years. The company says it will invest $28.4 million to upgrade and improve the facility over that period. The facility produces Hillshire’s Sara Lee brand of baked goods. The Tarboro Hillshire facility opened in 2000 and...

Nine new members of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame have been announced. George Olsen has more. Two former NBA stars are part of the 53 rd Sports Hall of Fame class… Eric “Sleepy” Floyd and Antawn Jamison. Floyd is a Gastonia native who perhaps is best known for an NBA playoff record 12 consecutive field goals made while appearing in the 1987 post-season with the Golden State Warriors. Jamison was national player of the year with the UNC Tarheels in 1998 and went on to play 16 seasons...

The New Year means new school bus safety policies are in effect across the state. George Olsen has more. The policy approved by the state Board of Education in July will in essence turn the bus driver into a crossing guard. The driver will use a series of hand signals to alert students when it is safe to cross a street… the driver will hold a palm up indicating to wait until it’s safe to cross. When the driver determines it is, a thumbs up will be given followed by using the index finger to...

The Onslow County Health Department is offering free testing kits so residents can check radon levels in their home. George Olsen has more. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, with up to 22,000 Americans dying each year from radon-induced lung cancer. Homes are particularly prone to a radon build-up in winter months as windows stay shut to keep heat in. The Onslow County Health Department is teaming up with the state’s...

Forty illegal gaming machines and nearly $300,000 in cash were discovered Tuesday when a search warrant was served on a Trenton residence. George Olsen has more. The search warrant was served on the Smith Trail residence following multiple complaints about a residential casino. Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and Jones County Sheriff’s deputies discovered forty machines for games such as poker, black jack and slots as well as $298,723 in cash. Camp Lejeune Explosive Ordinance Disposal...

INTRO – The goal of any author would be to get someone to read his-or-her book, and once they’re finished with that one, pick up another. For one Chapel Hill author, the goal of his latest book is for you to read it and then NOT pick up another, at least for a while. George Olsen has more. Bland Simpson is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. Spend much time reading his latest book and you could believe his real goal is to become North Carolina...

INTRO – The New Bern Police Department has announced an addition to their 9-1-1 service. George Olsen has more. A press release from the City of New Bern says anyone within city limits can now access 9-1-1 services via text message through four major US cell phone carriers. Customers with Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T can now text 9-1-1 when unable to make a voice call. Authorities say voice calls for 9-1-1 emergencies are preferred over text, but note it improves 9-1-1 accessibility...

INTRO – Gardens at state prisons are helping to fill food bank shelves. George Olsen has more. A press release from the state Department of Public Safety says seven prisons donated approximately 16,250 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks. The donation was a project between Public Safety and the national non-profit Harvest Now which is also working with prison systems in several other states. Inmates at the seven prisons started vegetable gardens last spring and partnered with local...

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