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

   Good anytime this week

   On KELLY showlog as ECUHOM

INTRO – Next time your kids balk when you tell them to do their homework, you can back up your arguments with statistical evidence. George Olsen has more.

An analysis by Triple A Carolinas lists Pitt County as the most dangerous county in the state for vehicle collisions for the fifth year running. Last year Pitt County had 4633 traffic crashes which worked out to about 307 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled… a rate about 50% higher than the state average of just below 205. Pitt County also was listed 2nd only behind Graham County for the rate of injuries sustained in crashes. TripleA Carolinas president and CEO David E. Parsons said consistently high ranking should be a wake-up call for better traffic enforcement or road design.

The Nature Conservancy announced the acquisition of 459 acres in Pender County. Half of the purchase price will come from the U-S Navy as the protected area will help buffer Camp Lejeune firing ranges from development. The Conservancy plans to restore a long-leaf pine forest to the area in order to expand habitat for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The land also has some historical significance.

INTRO – Tryon Palace will get a national stage during the upcoming fall television season. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – A trial surrounding racial assignment policies in the Pitt County School system gets underway today. George Olsen has more.

North Carolina’s new system of requiring payment for both vehicle property tax and registration renewals at the same time is going into effect. George Olsen has more.

The Governor’s Office announced that Pactiv LLC would expand manufacturing facilities in Lenoir and Iredell Counties. A press release said the expansions would add 77 new jobs and result in an investment of over $9 million at the plants in Kinston and Mooresville though there was no indication of the breakdown of jobs and investment at each facility. The press release did not state an average salary for the new positions, saying salaries would vary, and that the average annual payroll for the new positions would be over $2.5 million.

The ironclad CSS Neuse laid under the waters of the Neuse River in Kinston for around 100 years before it was raised in the 1960s. It most recently had been housed in an outdoor shelter at the Governor Caswell Memorial Site before being very slowly moved a year ago June to its first climate-controlled indoor facility. This Thursday the remains of the ironclad will receive its first visitors since that move. Prior to the opening a highway marker will be unveiled at 130 S. Queen Street at 10:30 am followed by the first interpretive tours of the ship at the CSS Neuse Museum at 100 N.

Over the next month interviewers will call hundreds of coastal residents asking them about their past actions and future plans when evacuation orders are issued. The state did a similar study in 2003. But with the state’s population expanding more than 15 percent since that time… and many of those new residents having not experienced a hurricane… the state wants to get new information. Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan says knowing how residents receive evacuation information… and then what they do with it… will help the department better coordinate and allocate resources.

   Good thru Monday, July 8

   On KELLY showlog as FLOODE

INTRO – The very rainy weather of recent weeks is prompting a warning to car buyers from state officials. George Olsen has more.

IN: “A press release from the state Department of Transportation advises…”

OUT: “…can cause those systems to malfunction. I’m George Olsen.”

TT: :34


The moves are in response to a $37 billion dollar cut in the Department of Defense budget for this fiscal year as a result of federal sequestration. A press release from the base says civilian employees… with a few exceptions… will have to take one day of unpaid leave each week between next Monday and September 21. First responders such as police and fire personnel are exempt from the furloughs. The reduction in personnel will prompt changes in operations, including closing the commissary and the pharmacy at the exchange on Mondays.

AAA Carolinas expects about a 2% decline in travel for the July 4th holiday. They’re estimating 988,500 state residents traveling during the five-day holiday period. Most of the decline is attributed to the shorter holiday period… last year the 4th fell on a Wednesday, this year on a Thursday. Some of the blame is also attributed to gas prices which, while mostly flat for the past two months, are 8% higher than a year ago.

Two of the turtles were rescued off Cape Lookout back in April suffering from symptoms of cold-stunning that occurs when turtles get suddenly caught in waters where the temperature drops suddenly, leaving them lethargic and unable to feed or swim. The other came to the Aquarium as a hatchling in August 2011, unable to get out of a nest on Bogue Banks on his own. All are green sea turtles. Rescued turtles are released as soon as they’ve recovered.

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.