Julie Rose

Julie Rose has been reporting for WFAE since January 2008, covering everything from political scandal and bank bailouts to homelessness and the arts.  She's a two-time winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award for radio writing. Prior to WFAE, Julie reported for KCPW in Salt Lake City where she got her start in radio.  Before that, she was a nonprofit fundraiser and a public relations manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It took a few career changes, but Julie finally found her calling in public radio reporting because she gets paid to do what she does best – be nosy. She's a graduate of the communications program at Brigham Young University and contributes frequently to National Public Radio programs. 

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President Barack Obama's pick for secretary of Transportation is an aspiring young politician. Anthony Foxx is 42 years old and a strong Obama ally. Foxx's city, Charlotte, hosted last year's Democratic National Convention.

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Bad weather can mean big losses for homeowners and insurance companies. So recently, the insurance industry built a laboratory in rural Richburg, South Carolina in hopes of developing more weather-resistant buildings. The latest experiment was a giant, indoor hailstorm.

Julie Rose of member station WFAE takes us inside.

JULIE ROSE, BYLINE: Tanya Brown has had a single obsession these past two years...

TANYA BROWN: I'm a research engineer and the lead engineer on this project.

ROSE: How to make hail.

There's an underground bunker at a radio station in Charlotte, N.C., where time has stopped. Built decades ago to provide safety and vital communications in the event of a nuclear attack, it's now a perfectly preserved relic of Cold War fear that's gained new relevance.

The secret bunker is part of the office lore that old-timers at WBT Radio whisper to the newbies. That's how radio host Mike Collins learned of it back in the 1980s.

In one North Carolina county, mugging too much for a mug shot can get you locked in a cell indefinitely.

First off, though, why would you smile for a mug shot? Thumb through those publications like The Slammer magazine filled with nothing but mug shots and you can find entire sections of people grinning it up.

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Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.