You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
In the early 1900s, more than half of the states in the U.S. passed laws allowing people to be sterilized against their will. North Carolina's eugenics program was particularly aggressive. Some 7,600 men, women and children were sterilized often because they were poor or mentally ill.
Now, North Carolina has done more than any other state to make amends, as we hear from Julie Rose of member station WFAE.
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has been nominated to head the U.S. Department of Transportation in President Obama's final term. What the soon-to-be 42-year old mayor lacks in transportation credentials, he makes up for in loyalty to the President and a shared vision of the need for better transit systems.
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.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport has deployed an army of 1.9 million worms to eat through its organic waste. The airport has reduced the trash it sends to the landfill by 70 percent.
Credit Julie Rose
Organic waste ends up in a series of 50-foot beds where the worms do their work. Castings (aka worm poop) fall through a screen at the bottom of the bed and will be used as fertilizer on airport grounds.
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 TheSlammer magazine filled with nothing but mug shots and you can find entire sections of people grinning it up.
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.
But, as Julie Rose of member station WFAE in Charlotte discovered, some of those most involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are beginning to soften toward the bank.
The Democratic National Convention begins this week in Charlotte, N.C. WFAE's Julie Rose looks at what this city's boosters want visitors and TV viewers to know about Charlotte and what they're trying to paper over.
Among the speakers with a prime-time slot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week is South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. The speech could propel her into national politics.
The talk about Haley always mentions her gender, her age — 40 — and her race — Indian-American. She wears the labels proudly, and for $19.95 you can read all about them in her memoir Can't Is Not an Option. But there's another label Haley likes: fighter.
On Comedy Central not long ago, she mixed it up with fellow South Carolinian Stephen Colbert:
Rita Thompson Swords was sterilized by a doctor after delivering her second child. She was 21, unwed and poor, a combination that made her unfit for more children, according to the North Carolina Eugenics Board.
Credit Julie Rose for NPR
John Railey of the <em>Winston-Salem Journal </em>says the eugenics program in North Carolina "was always hiding in plain sight."
North Carolina was poised to become the first state to compensate people who had been sterilized against their will under decades of eugenics laws. More than half of states had forced sterilization laws, but North Carolina's were particularly aggressive.
A bill to pay the victims nearly passedin recent months. But "nearly" isn't enough for the victims who risked their reputations to go public with their stories.
Now they — and their advocates — wonder what comes next.
Many local businesses fear they won't win contracts for the 2012 Democratic National Convention because they can't boast a "union bug," like the small blue oval above, that can be found on some material printed by Consolidated Press.
Credit Courtesy of Consolidated Press
Tim Mullaney heads Consolidated Press, one of Charlotte's few union print shops. His business has been contracted for several jobs for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., face a bit of a conundrum as they try to honor their party's deep ties to organized labor in a state with the lowest percentage of unionized workers in the nation. Local businesses worry they'll be passed over for unionized competitors, which are few and far between in the right-to-work state.