Mark Rumsey

Community Engagement Coordinator/All Things Considered Host

Mark Rumsey grew up in Kansas and got his first radio job at age 17 in the town of Abilene, where he announced easy-listening music played from vinyl record albums.   

Later stops in his radio career found him reporting and anchoring local news at stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Charlotte.

Mark joined the world of public radio in 1997 as News Director at WFAE.  Today, he continues to serve as local host for All Things Considered and produces WFAE’s Public Conversations, an ongoing series of community forums.  

If Mark turns up missing on a nice autumn day, you might find him on the hiking trails at North Carolina’s Stone Mountain State Park.   If he disappears for a week or two – check  the Tel Aviv airport.  Perhaps he’s found a way to again pursue his passion for traveling to the Holy Land.

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Local News
6:15 am
Wed December 17, 2014

NC Animal Shelters To Close Remaining Euthanasia Gas Chambers

Credit Claudio Matsuoka / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

About half of the U.S. states now ban the use of gas chambers to perform euthanasia on dogs and cats.  North Carolina will enforce such a ban beginning next month, although most counties have already switched to lethal injections.  Union County was one of the last holdouts.


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Local News
4:45 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Outgoing CATS Executive Discusses New Job And Charlotte's Transit Future

Flowers
Credit www.charmeck.org

Charlotte Area Transit System CEO Carolyn Flowers will leave the job next month to go to work for the Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C. Flowers has headed Charlotte’s transit system for nearly four years.   President Obama appointed Flowers to the position within the U.S. Department of Transportation, where former Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx serves as secretary. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Flowers about her new job, and the future of mass transit in Charlotte.


Local News
5:21 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Chester, South Carolina: A Small Town With A Big Gang Problem

Chester city seal
Credit City of Chester, SC

Chester, South Carolina has a population around 5,500. It is in many ways a classic small Southern city. Chartered in 1840, the town has plenty of history, from farming and textiles to railroads and the Civil War.

Chester also has a 21st century gang problem. On November 4th, Chester City Councilman Odell Williams was killed in a drive-by shooting. Authorities say all five suspects now charged in the killing have ties to a gang called “Roundtree Circle.”And, this is just the latest gang violence to hit the town of Chester – a teenager was killed earlier this year.  

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Local News
10:02 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Non-Political Districts Would Have Benefited Democrats In 2012, Duke Analysis Shows

Current North Carolina districting.
Credit Duke University / www.math.duke.edu

Republicans picked up three seats in North Carolina's 2012 congressional elections. The election used districts that had been redrawn by the state's Republican-controlled legislature following the 2010 census. Political gerrymandering is nothing new, but does it thwart the "will of the people" on election day? Researchers at Duke University say a mathematical model they've developed shows that if the exact same votes in 2012 had been cast in differently-drawn districts, the overall results would have changed. WFAE's Mark Rumsey discussed the findings with Jonathan Mattingly, a Duke math professor and one of the study's authors.


Local News
9:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Charter School Closing Highlights Rapid Growth Of NC Charters

A brand new charter school that opened in Charlotte on August 25 is shutting down. State officials sent Concrete Roses STEM Academy a letter this week placing the school on what the state calls Financial Disciplinary Status. The school's board voted Wednesday night to close the charter program as of Friday. This fall's enrollment of 126 students at Concrete Roses, located off Monroe Road, was far below the 300 students organizers had projected. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Helen Nance, who chairs North Carolina's Charter School Advisory Board, about the closure of Concrete Roses and the oversight of the state's charter schools.


Arts & Life
3:46 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Artist Finds Inspiration At Walmart

"big Jif", by Brendan O'Connell
Credit Courtesy of Brendan O'Connell

Imagine you’re walking through your neighborhood Walmart and somewhere between the pet supplies and check-out lines, you run across a 40-something guy with a painting easel that's propped up on a shopping cart. That was the scene in Charlotte this week at the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard. Contemporary artist Brendan O'Connell, wearing jeans and an un-tucked pinstripe shirt, was hanging out in the produce section. The paint was drying on his rendition of a cluster of bananas.   

O’Connell has been dubbed “Walmart’s Warhol,” he's been on the Colbert Report and he was featured in Time Magazine as “America’s Brand Painter.” WFAE's Mark Rumsey caught up with O’Connell and chatted with him about his Walmart live painting sessions and his vision for everyday art in America today.


Local News
12:47 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Charlotte Observer Banking Reporter Discusses BofA Settlement Talks

Bank of America has reportedly reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to pay between $16 billion and $17 billion to settle investigations into the sale of faulty mortgage securities.

The record-setting deal would top a $13 billion settlement between the government and JPMorgan Chase.   The agreement isn’t final, according to various published reports, and neither Bank of America nor the Justice Department has commented.   WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Charlotte Observer reporter Deon Roberts, who is following this story.

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Public Conversations
1:23 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

The State Of Public Education

Credit dcJohn / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

September is here, and I’ve been hearing those big yellow school buses making their early morning rounds in my neighborhood.

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Local News
8:38 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Sports Memories Flow For Charlotte's "Other" Hornets

Concord native Gene Verble as a Charlotte Hornet in the 1950s.
Credit Charlotte Hornets/Charlotte Knights

Before there were Charlotte Hornets who made slam dunks and shot three-pointers, the city had Hornets who hit grand slams and threw strike-outs. Minor league baseball teams called the Hornets played in Charlotte from 1901 to 1972. On Monday, some former players got a first-hand look at BB&T ballpark - the new home of Charlotte’s current minor league team, the Knights. WFAE’s Mark Rumsey sat down with Concord native Gene Verble, a former major leaguer with the Washington Senators who played for the Hornets from 1956-1959, including  three years as player/manager.   Verble, 86, reminisced about life in the minor leagues during that era.


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Local News
8:07 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

As Statehouse Rhetoric Escalates, What's Next In Budget Battle?

Credit NC General Assembly

North Carolina lawmakers are still trying to reach agreement on revisions to the state’s budget,  including how much to raise teacher pay and how to fund those increases. As the rhetoric increased last week, budget negotiators in the state Senate walked out of a meeting with House leaders. Gov. McCrory then vowed to veto anything resembling the Senate's latest budget proposal.  

During an appearance Monday on WFAE's Charlotte Talks, McCrory chided Senate leaders for not listening to teachers and other educators including CMS Superintendent  Heath Morrison, whom House leaders had invited to address lawmakers. McCrory went on to note that educators were on hand to support the unveiling of the House budget plan, which the governor backs, but were absent when Senators proposed their version of the budget.   

WRAL-TV Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie has seen many budget battles in Raleigh and shared some observations on the current negotiations.


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