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.

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The 2013 Kids Count Data Book ranks North Carolina 35th in the nation in overall child well-being. The survey looks at four categories… economic well-being, family and community, education and health. North Carolina’s highest ranking was in education where it placed 27th though the report noted the percentage of students graduating high school on time had declined 18 percent in a five-year period. The report noted gains in fourth grade reading and eighth-grade math proficiency. The state’s lowest ranking was in economic well-being with 26% of children living in poverty in 2011.

INTRO – Efforts to restore the original Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route got back underway this weekend. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – The Governor’s Office has announced a business expansion expected to bring 200 new jobs to Greenville. George Olsen has more.

The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine its 2013 inductees tonight in Raleigh. George Olsen has more.

AAA Carolinas reports it will cost North Carolinians less to drive this year than last. George Olsen has more.

Free download of Can't Trust the News from Enter the Haggis' new CD "The Modest Revolution", currently featured on The Sound.

Sequestration imposed a 5 percent budget cut on all National Park Service facilities. That has resulted in a reduction of $123,417 to Cape Lookout National Seashore’s budget of nearly two-and-a-half million dollars. Because of the cut visitors will see some changes in Seashore operations. The Harkers Island Visitor Center will close on weekends beginning this Sunday with all Ranger-led interpretive programs at Harkers Island and the Cape Lookout lighthouse discontinued.

 Audio FileEast Carolina University has announced a conference alignment for all sports.Edit | Remove

 Audio FileEast Carolina University has announced a conference alignment for all sports.Edit | Remove

One Source Communications says they’ll expand their operations in Greenville. One Source is a local telecommunications and software development company that currently employs about 90 people. The project is being awarded a $250,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center that will be used toward paying construction costs. Plans include doubling the size of One Source’s Arlington Boulevard corporate offices. The city of Greenville will match the grant at a rate of $250 per new job for a $12,500 total.

INTRO – A Federal Highway Administration grant is expected to deliver big savings to the state’s ferry fleet. George Olsen has more.

 Audio FileA UNC School of Public Health study indicates the spreading of treated municipal sewage sludge may be causing human illness. George Olsen has more.Edit | Remove

Fire managers with the U-S Forest Service were alerted to the fire around 9:30 Sunday night located near Highway 24 and Nine Mile Road. As of yesterday evening the 553-acre fire was 60 percent contained. About 20 firefighters with the U-S Forest Service, state Forest Service, volunteer fire departments and other agencies have been working on containing the blaze. No injuries or property damage has been reported. Roads in the forest are open. Fire managers are investigating the fire that they believe was started by humans. I’m George Olsen.

ECU introduced Jeff Compher as the university’s new athletics director. Compher has been athletic director at Northern Illinois University for the past five years.  He has past ties to North Carolina having served as an assistant athletic director at N-C State from 1986 to 1992 and was athletic director at Western Carolina from 2000 to 2004. He succeeds Terry Holland who announced his retirement last December. Compher signed a 5-year contract and will start his job May 1.

A press release from the Department of Public Instruction says it received 70 applications by the March 1st deadline for proposed charter schools to open in August 2014. That is the largest number of applicants since the first charter school opened in 1997. The review process on those applications now begins. Any application that is not complete will not advance. The  complete applications will go before the Public Charter School Advisory Council for review, a process that takes several months.

The proclamation signed by Gov. Pat McCrory advises North Carolinians to be on the lookout for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms as the spring season approaches. A tornado drill will take place this Wednesday at schools and government buildings so officials can rehearse emergency plans. Last year 60 tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in North Carolina. Twenty-one tornadoes were recorded that injured 22 people and caused over $19 million in damages. There were over 1200 incidents of severe thunderstorms which killed six and injured 46 others.

Sen. Burr yesterday introduced a resolution to designate March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day. California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer is co-sponsoring the legislation. It marks the third consecutive year that Sen. Burr has sought to get such a designation. He chose March 29th as it marks the anniversary of the day in 1973 that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam.

The ferry has been suspended since mid-January since a winter storm caused rapid shoaling across Hatteras Inlet. The Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the inlet but has not yet completed the work that would allow the ferry to resume its usual route. However, a new route was identified last week and final testing was conducted on the alternate route yesterday. The ferry trip will take longer … about 70 minutes compared to 40 minutes on the normal route.

We’ve all seen it on YouTube… people hanging around, minding their own business, then someone fires up a boombox and everybody lines up and recreates the dance segment from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video… or shoppers at a mall food court suddenly performing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s The Messiah.

INTRO – Sea turtles which had enjoyed temporary housing at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have been returned to the Atlantic Ocean. George Olsen has more.