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

INTRO – The dropout rate for state public schools is at a record low. George Olsen has more.

A study conducted at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine looking for both a treatment and a confirmatory blood test for Gulf War Illness will continue through 2015. George Olsen has more.

It’s difficult enough treating any disease, even more so when it’s a disease whose diagnosis can’t be confirmed.

Free download of Really Wanna See You from Lydia Loveless' new CD "Somewhere Else", currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

An environmental group is seeking a state of emergency be declared in the wake of a virus found in about a third of the state’s large commercial hog farms. George Olsen has more.

The Battleship North Carolina will get an infusion of state funds in order to begin necessary repairs. George Olsen has more.

 Audio FileA Defense Department funded study of Gulf War Illness being conducted at East Carolina University will continue into 2015.Edit | Remove

If it’s your belief that politics in the state have swung to the right… too far right… take heart in a new book on state politics which makes the case that historically North Carolina has never long gone too far off in one direction. George Olsen has more.

Free download of The One That Got Away from Ken Yates' new CD "23", currently featured on The Sound.  Visit Ken's website here.

Greenville, Ayden and Winterville have partnered together to use new technology to assess their roads. They’ve contracted with Transmap to do an assessment of every street in the three cities. Transmap uses a specially outfitted van that uses LIDAR and photography to evaluate road conditions. It actually looks below the road surface without having to take a core sample, damaging the road. This will enable engineers to prioritize  microsurfacing, resurfacing or complete rebuild projects.

The Governor’s Office announced that 3221 state employees will get an average 4.2 percent salary increase. Approximately $7.5 million was authorized by the General Assembly to compensate employees in high-demand professions such as medicine and information technology. About 1200 nurses and 600 law enforcement personnel will get raises up to 4 percent while the remaining can receive increases up to 10 percent.

INTRO – The Governor’s Office has announced the launch of a new app to help families prepare for emergencies. George Olsen has more.

The Public School Forum of North Carolina report says public school resources provided by the state’s ten highest wealth counties was over $59,000 more per classroom than the lowest spending counties. The study blamed a wide variation in property wealth across the state. It said the 25 wealthiest counties had nearly $1.5 million in real estate wealth available per child in the 2011-2012 school year compared to about $394,000 for the bottom 25 counties. The spending gap persists despite the poorest counties taxing at a rate about 43 cents higher than the wealthiest.

In U-S News and World Report’s annual ranking of online education programs East Carolina University had two graduate programs with high rankings. ECU’s College of Nursing ranked fifth out of 96 masters of nursing programs in the country, while the Online Master of Business Administration program in the College of Business ranked 58th out of 171 programs nationwide.

 Audio FileThe names of the latest class to join the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame have been announced.Edit | Remove

The two patients with failing kidneys each had willing living donors who were not compatible. Better matches were found, allowing the kidney exchange to take place last week at Vidant Medical Center.  The donors underwent their surgical procedure laproscopically, allowing their release from the hospital in two days. Their kidneys were given to Sherrie Hoopes of Jacksonville and Brenda Peele of Greenville. Both are off dialysis and are now enjoying normal kidney function. There were discharged at three and four days after surgery.

War not might always be inevitable but according to David La Vere, the Tuscarora War that started in 1711 was pretty close to an accomplished fact.

“Every colony went through one of these big wars between the Indians and this was North Carolina’s turn.”

A new study claims coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant is killing and deforming fish at a lake near Wilmington. George Olsen has more.

Effective this week the state Division of Motor Vehicles has introduced the North Carolina Scrap Vehicle System. Metal recyclers and salvage yards can use the system to verify whether a vehicle brought to them without title and more than 10 years old has been reported stolen.  North Carolina salvage yards and recyclers will have to register to access the new system and begin verifying the status of vehicles. If a vehicle is reported stolen, the system will request verification of the vehicle identification number and stop the purchase of the vehicle.

INTRO – The typical view of the path to musical success sends the enterprising young musician into one of our country’s media centers… New York or L.A. For the members of Asheville’s The Broadcast, they’re taking a road less traveled in an effort to establish a musical career. George Olsen spoke with the band’s lead singer Caitlin Krisko and has this.

AAA Carolinas is expecting a slight increase this year in Thanksgiving holiday traffic. George Olsen has more.

Not one... but TWO... free downloads from Rob Drabkin's latest CD "Little Steps." Enjoy tracks currently featured on The Sound Down to Fate as well as the CD's title track.

A new police chief starts work at East Carolina University in January. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – Results of math and reading assessment testing in 2013 show North Carolina students at-or-just-above the national average. George Olsen has more.

INTRO --  An Asheville Americana trio is starting to get some national attention with airplay of their second CD taking it into the Top 20 of some radio charts. The national attention comes courtesy of some humble origins that embarrassed teenagers across the country can probably identify with. George Olsen has more.

Time in the car with parents can sometimes be irritating for the kids, sometimes beneficial, sometimes both.

Two arrests have been made following a Sunday morning hit-and-run in Greene County that left a Snow Hill resident dead. George Olsen has more.

The new CD by Anders Osborne "Peace" is currently featured on The Sound. From that CD, enjoy a free download of 47.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program reports 88.6 percent of state residents buckled up in their 2013 survey… up 1.1 percent from 2012. Counties with the highest seat belt usage were Caldwell and Catawba at 93.8 percent while Robeson County was the lowest at 82.2.  The biggest one year improvement was in Columbus County, up to 90.7 percent usage from 77.9 in 2012. Women buckled up more than men by about 5 points while drivers ages 16-24 were least likely to use their seat belt.

INTRO – It’s not quite a comeback for the Cleveland County-based band the Acoustic Syndicate. They hadn’t been in a studio since 2004, they haven’t regularly toured in that time either… but they never quite got all the way out with occasional shows here and there over the last several years. Now they’re back in a big way… new tour, new CD… and again willing to consider the bright lights with the knowledge they can always contentedly return to the farm. George Olsen has this.

House Bill 937 signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory in late July amended state firearm laws, including provisions for guns on campuses. The bill will allow persons with concealed carry handgun permits to bring guns on school campuses. That includes events on campus, such as concerts or football games. A press release from East Carolina University notes firearms on campus must be in a locked container attached to a vehicle. A gun in a glove box of a locked vehicle would be compliant, but a gun visible in a locked vehicle would not.