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Carolina Connection


Carolina Connection is the radio newsmagazine produced by students in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Carolina Connection is heard Saturd mornings at 8:30 on WCHL 97.9 FM and 1360 AM — Chapel Hill’s news/talk radio station. The program is available online at

Carolina Connection is the radio newsmagazine produced by students in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Carolina Connection is heard Saturd mornings at 8:30 on WCHL 97.9 FM and 1360 AM — Chapel Hill’s news/talk radio station. The program is available online at


United States




Carolina Connection is the radio newsmagazine produced by students in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Carolina Connection is heard Saturd mornings at 8:30 on WCHL 97.9 FM and 1360 AM — Chapel Hill’s news/talk radio station. The program is available online at






CarolinaCast: After a series of accidents, Chapel Hill address pedestrian safety

An electric cyclist lost his life in a traffic accident at a Franklin Street intersection in late January. The tragedy has sparked a debate around bike safety in Chapel Hill. Meanwhile, even before the January accident, town leaders were working on new road improvement projects to make walking and biking safer for residents. It’s part of an initiative called “Vision Zero.” The town adopted the plan in October with the goal of reducing traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2031. Carolina...


CarolinaCast: After UNC canceled a controversial photo exhibit, it’s now on display off campus

The public can now see the controversial images that led UNC to cancel an exhibition by a local photographer. In February, UNC leaders abruptly canceled an exhibition by Durham photographer Cornell Watson that documented Black life and Black activism in Chapel Hill. They said some of the images detracted from the message of “reverence” for the Black community that they hoped the exhibition would convey. Watson called the decision censorship. His photos are now on display at the Chapel Hill...


Carolina Connection – Apr. 30, 2022

UNC administrators have been reading faculty members’ emails, but it’s still not clear which faculty members were targeted. A new report finds politics have a heavy influence on UNC System governance. A program seeks to help people who were incarcerated re-enter society. Graduating seniors look for jobs – and homes. As students take their final exams after a turbulent semester, parents gather to show their love.


CarolinaCast: The bizarre rise and fall of Coursicle – a course planning app founded by a UNC grad

In February, though, Coursicle app users began receiving push notifications that said things like “Twitter dies today” or asked for nude photos. At one point, it displayed a large photo of Mark Zuckerberg with a vulgar insult. At first, many users thought Coursicle had been hacked, but Coursicle founder Joe Puccio - a 2016 UNC grad - soon admitted he was the one responsible. Carolina Connection's Sierra Pfeifer talked with Puccio, and she discusses the story with Jayda Williams.


Carolina Connection – Apr. 23, 2022

Students and community members are hoping to get answers and closure after the U.S. Department of Justice reopened an investigation into the 1970 campus killing of James Cates, a Black Chapel Hill resident. UNC is scheduled to launch a new School of Data Science and Society. Kickstarter offers an alternative to traditional funding for minority-owned businesses. UNC students can study Cherokee and participate in the preservation of a dying language. Seniors climb UNC’s famous bell tower to...


CarolinaCast: Students call for UNC to quit coal, accelerate climate action plan

UNC students and community activists held a climate strike March 25. Students demanded that the UNC system transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The Chapel Hill demonstration coincided with Fridays For Future, a global youth-led movement in support of climate action that sponsored sister strikes in Raleigh and Durham. Zachary Turner talks about it with Jayda Williams on this edition of the Carolina Connection podcast.


Carolina Connection – Apr. 9, 2022

Fans welcomed home UNC's men’s basketball team following their loss in the NCAA national championship game. UNC has blocked access to Coursicle after the company's owner - a UNC grad - posted vulgar messages and sent unusual notifications to users of the app. School systems in the Triangle have had to adjust to rising gas prices. UNC is working to improve its response to mental health crises, but students say much more needs to be done. Meditation, journaling, and deep breathing are typical...


Carolina Connection – April 2, 2022

As UNC prepares to face Duke in the Final Four, Carolina Connection's Daniel Myrick talks with fans at the team hotel in New Orleans. Franklin Street businesses prepare for record-breaking crowds for the big game. More people died in traffic accidents last year than any other year in two decades, due in large part to distracted driving. An accident that killed an electric cyclist on Franklin Street has sparked a debate around bike safety. Homeschooling is on the rise since the pandemic. Who...


CarolinaCast: Why have more young adults started to smoke?

After a decades-long, largely successful public health campaign against smoking, 2020 hit, and cigarette sales went up for the first time in 20 years. Now, anecdotal evidence is pointing researchers in the direction of a trend: A new generation of young adults may be among those smoking more. Sophia Ramirez talks with Jayda Williams about this trend.


Carolina Connection – Mar. 26, 2022

Students protest against the UNC System for its use of fossil fuels to power its campuses. Student organizations address food insecurity on campus. UNC faculty and staff document their pandemic experiences by decorating postcards. A student-run art gallery takes a dive into the metaverse. Pickleball becomes one of the fastest-growing sports in the country.


Carolina Connection – Mar. 12, 2022

UNC students and faculty react to their first week on campus without an indoor mask mandate. The Town of Chapel Hill hopes a new safety initiative will keep bikers and pedestrians safer. Experts say North Carolina is “the epicenter” of gerrymandering disputes, and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision isn’t likely to change that. Women’s collegiate sports are starting to get more airtime on national television. A popular Franklin Street bar tries to revitalize Chapel Hill’s comedy scene.


Carolina Connection – Mar. 5, 2022

For the first time in two years, UNC students will be able to go to class without masks. The university is dropping its indoor mask mandate effective Monday. Some students are pushing for UNC to create more gender-neutral restrooms. As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, the UNC community showed its support for the Ukrainian people. The 24-hour recycling center at University Place will close at the end of May because the owners plan to redevelop the property. "Creek Week" organizers...


Carolina Connection – Feb. 26, 2022

A photographer says he's being censored after UNC leaders abruptly canceled an exhibition that documented Black life and Black activism in Chapel Hill. The UNC System is lifting its mask mandate, but UNC-Chapel Hill won't follow suit until Orange County also drops its mask rule. As Russia attacks Ukraine, a Ukrainian professor at UNC is both trying to keep up with relatives at home and educate students about the invasion. Some UNC students say the recognition of Black culture should go...


Carolina Connection – Feb. 19, 2022

Though Orange County says its mask mandate will remain in place for now, some students aren't complying with the campus mask requirement. After several recent accidents, Chapel Hill police are stepping up their pedestrian safety efforts. 2020 saw cigarette sales increase for the first time in 20 years, with anecdotal evidence suggesting young adults may be among those smoking more. In Carrboro, a trans woman tattoo artist is proudly working in a white-male dominated industry. A UNC program...


Carolina Connection – Feb. 12, 2022

Orange County has implemented a new bail policy to prevent people from spending days in jail because they can’t afford to post bond. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that challenges UNC’s admissions policy, which could change how colleges consider race in admissions. A Black History Month exhibit in the student union displays student art that celebrates activism. Three UNC students have opened a coffee shop on Franklin St. Dean Dome "hypeman" B Daht hopes to bring energy and...


Carolina Connection – Feb. 4, 2022

UNC classes that started the semester remotely are starting to transition back to in person instruction. Unlike in previous semesters during the pandemic, UNC is not offering readily accessible isolation dorms for students affected by or exposed to COVID-19. Library officials have reduced hours because COVID infections have increased staff absences. Four of UNC’s community engagement centers have formed a partnership. A Duke student has designed a free archive of previous Wordle games. The...


Carolina Connection – Dec. 4, 2021

UNC renames two campus buildings to honor underrepresented alumni. It’s exam season and some students say they’re feeling more stressed than ever before. UNC will add a wellness day to the spring 2022 calendar and make them a permanent part of future semesters. A shortage of the medication Naloxone could make it harder to save people from drug overdoses. Students show off their skills at a new high-tech gaming arena on campus. A UNC student writes a musical about his OCD.


Carolina Connection – Nov. 20, 2021

UNC holds a daylong summit to address campus mental health, and speakers pressure the university to put more resources into keeping students healthy. Student volunteers keep UNC's COVID-19 testing center running. Using tests they developed, Duke researchers found elevated levels of lead contamination in the soil in Durham. While more women are serving as judges in North Carolina, they still face barriers to entry. Esteemed UNC professor Bland Simpson's latest work, North Carolina: Land of...


Carolina Connection – Nov. 13, 2021

UNC plans to transform one of the busiest blocks in Chapel Hill and demolish the building that houses some longtime Franklin St. businesses. A new study is telling us more about how recovering college students manage their struggle with alcohol. For the first time in more than a year, the Smith Center is welcoming full-capacity crowds. A UNC alum is competing on The Bachelorette It’s fall in Chapel Hill, and falling acorns are driving some UNC students nuts. A team of UNC alumni is hoping to...


Carolina Connection – Nov. 6, 2021

The UNC community is mourning the loss of Senior Katherine Acierno, who was hit by a car last week while she was crossing the street in Greenville. After multiple student suicides, UNC officials say they’re trying to respond to a greatly increased need for mental health resources. With the help of the UNC law school, Army veteran John Spencer receives his Purple Heart 50 years after serving in Vietnam. After a two-year hiatus, the audio/visual dance party known as Office Hours is returning...