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

Free download of Lessons I've Learned from the CD Jump In by the Railsplitters, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

New laws affecting drone usage in the state take effect December 1, 2017. One of two new laws prohibits drone usage within a 500 foot horizontal distance or a 250 foot vertical distance of a prison, jail or any correction or containment facility. The other law clarifies that state drone laws also apply to model aircraft as well, though model aircraft remain exempt from the state’s permitting requirements for drones.

Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed Friday, Dec. 1 as World AIDS Day in North Carolina. A press release from the state Department of Health and Human Services says the Department is joining with the Governor on the proclamation. A press release from the Department report that as of December 2016 there were an estimated 36,700 people living with HIV or AIDS in North Carolina with approximately 2600 of them unaware of their infection. According to the most recent North Carolina HIV/STD Surveillance Report, 1399 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in the state in 2016.

Top 40 CDs as heard on The Sound for 2017 (as of December 8, 2017)

INTRO – On September 3, 1991 North Carolina experienced its worst industrial disaster when a fire broke out at a chicken processing plant in the Richmond County town of Hamlet, killing 25. The view at the time was that spendthrift owners neglected safety to save a buck. But a new book theorizes that the plant fire was the end result of a changing relationship between government, industry and people. George Olsen has more.

When Bryant Simon began his research into events surrounding the Hamlet Imperial Foods plant fire there was no wiggle room in where blame for the tragedy lay.

NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

A celebration of one of the state’s most famous self-taught artists takes place in Wilson Thursday, Nov. 2 with the official dedication of a park featuring his unique structures.

Drivers are warned to exercise caution on the roads with increased deer activity. Deer activity increases between October and December with mating and hunting seasons, increasing the likelihood of animal related automotive collisions. A press release from the state Department of Transportation says there were 17,901 animal related crashes in 2016… slightly below 2015’s total by 136. Over the past three years there have been close to 54,000 collisions, with 14 people dying during those collisions and 3356 injuries, 51 being serious.

The state’s infant mortality rate was down slightly in 2016. The state Department of Health and Human Services reports the state infant mortality rate for 2016 was 7.2 deaths per 1000 births, down 1.4 percent from the 2015 rate of 7.3 infant deaths. A press release from the department says the infant mortality rate seems to have plateaued, noting the rate was 7 in 2010, the state’s lowest ever rate.  There is a wide disparity in infant mortality among racial groups. White women had an infant mortality rate of 5 in 2016 while the rate for African American women was 13.4 per 1000 births.

The percentage of North Carolinians who smoke has hit an all-time low. George Olsen has more.

JACKSONVILLE – A trail-blazing former member of the Jacksonville City Council has died. A press release from the city of Jacksonville says Fannie Coleman passed away Wednesday, September 13  at the age of 88. Coleman was the first black woman elected to the City Council. She served from 1991 to 1993 and again from 1999 to 2011. Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips described Coleman as “gracious in her dealings with others and thoughtful in her advocacy.”

Seymour Johnson will be the site for the Air Force’s newest tanker squadron. George Olsen has more.

The city of New Bern is warning residents about a door-to-door scam. George Olsen has more.

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

A brief look at everyday life for U-S Servicemen in the Pacific Theatre during World War II is now available online through the North Carolina state archives. George Olsen has more.

NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

A state Highway Historical Marker will be dedicated Saturday, July 22 to honor the North Carolina National Guard. George Olsen has more.

Craft distillers are hoping a bill that’s cleared the state Senate could give them a push to parity with local brew pubs and wineries. George Olsen has more.

If you hear something that sounds like construction noise whenever a Public Radio East announcer is speaking on air, that's exactly what it is. The second floor of Barker Hall on the campus of our licensee Craven Community College is undergoing renovations over the summer, with a lot of the work taking place right above our studios. The work should not interfere with our broadcast and the noise shouldn't overpower our announcers, but will likely be noticeable. The work is scheduled to be complete by the end of August.

John F. Blair, Publisher

Breweries and wineries have been proliferating in the state in recent years. Another branch of the alcoholic beverage industry is also currently trying to make its presence known. George Olsen has more.

North Carolina has had a complicated history with alcohol. Wilkes Counties was once proclaimed the Moonshine Capital of the World while North Carolina banned alcohol about 10 years prior to the start of prohibition and only removed the ban about five years after the 18th amendment creating prohibition in 1919 was repealed in 1933.    

Two state government departments are collaborating on a project memorializing the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War One. George Olsen has more.

The latest statewide Operation Medicine Drop campaign resulted in the incineration on Wednesday of over seven tons of prescription pills. George Olsen has more.

New ID that will eventually be a near-necessity for frequent air travelers will be available at state DMV offices May 1. George Olsen has more.

The News & Ideas Network programming on 88.1 in Greenville is currrently off-air. The tower where our transmitter and antenna reside at the Greenville Town Commons is being removed by its owner the City of Greenville  in mid-May. Prep work prior to the removal of the tower required us to remove all broadcast equipment before the end of April. It was removed on Friday afternoon, April 28

Yesterday (April 18) was the deadline for filing federal and state income tax returns. A gas price tracking website used it to remind people about another tax they pay many times over at about 50 cents a pop. George Olsen has more.

UNC Press

Summer is coming, with the traditional start of the season… Memorial Day… about a month away. The summer for many means travel to popular eastern North Carolina beaches in and around cities like Wilmington, Morehead City and Kill Devil Hills. A new book highlights the sights of coastal beaches less traveled. George Olsen has this.

The number of reportable acts of school crime decreased in the 2015-2016 school year. George Olsen has more.

The state Department of Public Instruction reports the public school dropout rate improved in the 2015-2016 school year. George Olsen has more.

A state agency is encouraging home owners to test this month for radon gas. George Olsen has more.

The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2017 inductees. George Olsen has more.

A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday challenging the construction of the Havelock bypass. George Olsen has more.

Welcome in the New Year with new programming weekday mornings on Public Radio East News & Ideas. On Point hosted by award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook features vibrant conversation covering everything from breaking news to ancient poetry, and features writers, politicians, journalists, artists, scientists and ordinary citizens from around the world.

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 BJMurphy360.

Pages