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.

Ways To Connect

If you venture to the coastal Carolinas or Georgia, you might still overhear some people speaking in a dialect that reaches back more than three centuries, to the arrival of slaves from West Africa. Slave descendants in the region became known as Gullahs, or in some places, Geechees. In 2006, Congress designated a National Heritage Corridor established to help preserve the Gullah-Geechee culture, including its language.  

"It is what's known as an English-Creole," or, a mixture, says South Carolinian Sharon Cooper-Murray. She has studied the Gullah culture for more than 30 years. Cooper-Murray adds that when Africans arrived in Carolina, they may have brought more than 100 languages and dialects, creating the need for a common dialect.  

Health care 'advance directives’ – such as a living will - have been around for several decades. But, surveys show that most adults in the U.S. have not put their wishes regarding end-of-life medical care in writing.   Advocates of advance directives say that in North Carolina, state law currently makes it harder for some people to sign those documents. But a bill expected to be filed Monday in the state legislature is intended to simplify the process. 


You know Mark Rumsey as WFAE’s All Things Considered host. He’s also WFAE’s Public Conversations coordinator. In this episode, Mark talks to News Director Greg Collard about what emerged from WFAE’s most recent Public Conversation on End-of-Life Planning and Choices.

Democratic party activists in North Carolina last weekend chose former legislator Patsy Keever of Asheville as the new chair of the state party. She takes the helm as North Carolina Democrats face fundraising struggles and a continued Republican “super-majority” in the General Assembly. Keever will no doubt hear from a recently-formed coalition of House and Senate lawmakers who've dubbed themselves the N.C. Main Street Democratic Caucus. They promise to push for “centrist” and “pro-business” policies in the legislature.  Senator Joel Ford of Mecklenburg County is part of the caucus. He says, Democrats in the state have gotten distracted by focusing too much on issues like same-sex marriage, abortion and the environment.

Steve Hillebrand / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission is recommending that the federal government end its program in eastern North Carolina designed to help preserve endangered Red Wolves. WFAE’s Mark Rumsey reports.

Chiquita's decision to leave Charlotte has been big news in state government – and rightly so.  After all, the state put up much of the roughly $22 million incentives package that convinced Chiquita to move from Cincinnati to Charlotte a few years ago, although most of those incentives have not been paid to the company.  

WFAE's Mark Rumsey discussed Chiquita's decision - and the state's use of incentives - with John Lassiter, a former Charlotte City Council member who now chairs the state's Economic Development Board.

If you watch ESPN, you’re surely familiar with Stuart Scott. You don’t forget his style. Here he is giving highlights from a 1998 game between North Carolina and Duke.

Claudio Matsuoka / Flickr/

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.

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.

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.