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

One week ago, House Bill 2 was repealed and replaced by House Bill 142. And a lot has happened since then.

The NCAA and ACC have each said championship games can again be played in North Carolina. But in the case of the NCAA, its decision was a "reluctant one."

That’s because the compromise law that ended HB 2 also essentially blocks LGBT discrimination protections in North Carolina until [at least] December of 2020.

Charlotte  transgender activist Lara Americo is among the disappointed. She thinks House Bill 2 was borne of ignorance among lawmakers. Not so with the HB 142 compromise.

“There’s been a lot of education about what the transgender community in North Carolina looks like," Americo says. "Now with HB 142 being passed, they know who we are and what we’re about, but they still refuse to give us the protections that we need.” 

Americo spoke to WFAE’s Mark Rumsey about the new law, and what life has been like since the passage of House Bill 2.

Legislation that could eventually lead to changes in National Weather Service radar coverage in the Charlotte area has been approved in Congress.  The House Tuesday approved an amendment that requires the federal government to study gaps in its network of NEXRAD Doppler radars. 

A National Weather Service NEXRAD Doppler radar site.
NOAA/National Weather Service

Across the U.S., the National Weather Service operates 122 Doppler radars. These Next Generation or 'NEXRAD' systems, installed in the 1990s, give forecasters powerful tools to track weather conditions including tornadoes and other severe storms.

NEXRAD radars are located in Raleigh, Columbia, and in Greer, South Carolina, west of Spartanburg - but not in or near Charlotte. Some say, that leaves a dangerous gap in radar coverage for the Charlotte region. Legislation now moving through Congress  could lead to a change down the road.  

Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May formally launched Britain's departure from the European Union.  The official pronouncement brings a fresh note of certainty for the British people, be they for or against the move known as BREXIT. 

"Yes, it is a psychological moment," says Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, the British Consulate -General for the southeastern U.S., including North Carolina. "BREXIT will now happen - the process has begun, there is no way back."

During a recent visit to the WFAE studios, Pilmore-Bedford spoke with WFAE's Mark Rumsey about Britain leaving the European Union, and other issues.

The site of the former Eastland Mall on Central Avenue at Albemarle Road.
Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte City Council members will vote Monday evening on a potential next step in the ongoing effort to redevelop the old Eastland Mall site.  The mall was once a retail and social hub in Charlotte, but major anchor stores started leaving the mall about a decade ago.

A Charlotte teenager faces a felony larceny charge - and - possible deportation to his native Mexico. Eighteen-year Gustavo Zamudio is accused of embezzling $2,900 from a Harris Teeter store where he worked. He has a court date on the theft charge on Tuesday.

Zamudio, a senior at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, is currently in federal custody at a detention center in Georgia. The teenager has been protected under DACA -  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - designed for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children.

But Zamudio's status under DACA was revoked with his criminal arrest. It used to be that deportation proceedings wouldn't begin until a conviction. Zamudio's case is an example of changing immigration policy under the Trump administration.  

WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with one of Zamudio's immigration attorneys. Carnell Johnson says he's seeing more cases similar to Zamudio's. 

MARK RUMSEY / WFAE

A dusting of snow fell across the Charlotte region early Sunday, then quickly began to melt as the sun came out by midday.  

At Charlotte-Douglas Airport, some incoming flights were delayed due to the inclement weather. A "ground stop" issued by the FAA for Charlotte-bound flights Sunday morning was lifted shortly before 12:30 p.m. However, the FAA advised passengers to continue checking with their airlines about possible flight delays.

The National Weather Service posted a Freeze Warning for the Charlotte area, NC foothills and much of Upstate South Carolina from 10:00 p.m. Sunday until 10:00 a.m. Monday.  

There won't be a legal resolution to the debate on transgender students and school bathrooms anytime soon. The U.S. Supreme Court handed the case involving a transgender teen in Virginia back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday.

It's been almost two years since the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department began equipping officers with body-worn cameras. Monday night, Charlotte City Council members could vote to more than double the number of body cams available for use by CMPD.

Organ donor parent Anita Erwin (left) and kidney transplant recipient Candice Grant.
Debbie Gibbs

Candice Grant, of Charlotte, is a transplant recipient.  She received a kidney in 2011, four days after Thanksgiving. Anita Erwin, of Kannapolis, is a donor parent. Her son Michael was killed in a car accident in 2004, four days before his 18th birthday.

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