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

You may not know the names of Thomas and Carol Ann Person. But in the late 1970s, they had a significant case in North Carolina. Attorney Ervin Brown remembers when they came to his office at the Legal Aid Society in Winston-Salem.

"They had been to the magistrate’s office to get married, and they had been turned down for a license," he says.

The magistrate made clear why he denied them.

It's not unusual for public school superintendents to quit or get fired, often following a relatively-short time on the job. Last fall, CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison resigned under pressure after less than three years in Charlotte.

David Boraks / CorneliusNews.net

As the debate over toll lanes on I-77 has increased in the last year, the company that will build and operate those tolls had refused to answer WFAE questions about the project until financing was completed. The state announced May 20 that it had closed on those financing agreements with I-77 Mobility Partners.   Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

With financing complete, the CEO of I-77 Mobility Partners,  Javier Tamargo, agreed to an interview with WFAE’s Mark Rumsey. I-77 Mobility Partners is a subsidiary of the Spanish company Cintra Infrastructures, and has a 50-year contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to build, maintain and collect tolls on the expanded lanes from exit 36 in Mooresville to exit 10 near Uptown Charlotte.

The interview lasted roughly 25 minutes. What follows is the interview in its entirety, minus minor edits. Below that is the edited interview that aired during All Things Considered. We’ve also separated the audio for different topics that were discussed.


Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The pending merger of Family Dollar Stores and Dollar Tree now appears to be headed toward completion in early July.  


North Carolina Dept. of Transportation

Mecklenburg County commissioners joined several local town boards Tuesday night  in asking the North Carolina Department of Transportation to delay its deal with a private company to build and operate toll lanes in northern Mecklenburg and southern Iredell counties. On Wednesday, the state gave its answer: No. The state announced it has closed on the financing contract with a subsidiary of Cintra U.S.

Tasnim Shamma

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe will retire on July 1 after seven years on the job. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen reports Monroe became  known for his hands-on approach.


Carolinas Healthcare System and UnitedHealthcare have come to terms on a new contract. The agreement means that most UnitedHealthcare customers in the Charlotte metro area will continue to receive “in-network” coverage for services provided at CHS facilities.

If you’ve been to Gettysburg, you may have seen the Cyclorama – a massive painting that colorfully and dramatically depicts battlefield scenes including the decisive event known as Pickett’s Charge. The work on display at Gettysburg is one of four similar pieces produced in the late 1800s under the direction of French painter Paul Philippoteaux. Two of those versions have been lost – but a surviving cyclorama is in North Carolina. And, it’s for sale – all 6 tons of it.   

The sprawling painting, when assembled, is 386 feet long by 22 feet high. The cyclorama’s three current owners showed the piece to potential buyers this week. The painting was rolled out on a floor at a warehouse in Wake County. One of the owners, Billy Ray Powell, spoke this week with WFAE's Mark Rumsey.


The Post and Courier of Charleston is the winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The newspaper last year published a seven-part series titled "Till Death Do Us Part"  which highlighted the problem of domestic violence in South Carolina. The series explored cultural and legal factors that contributed to the state having the highest rate of domestic violence deaths in the nation last year. WFAE's Mark Rumsey talked with Post and Courier reporter Doug Pardue, who helped research and write last year's series.    


Twenty-seven members of CMPD’s 169th Recruit Class were sworn in on Friday as brand new police officers.  During a ceremony at the Police Training Academy, CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe told the new officers they’re entering law enforcement at one of the most pivotal points in history for police and community relations.  “Always look to be professional, always look to be honorable,” Monroe said.  

WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Chief Monroe and some new CMPD officers about the challenges police and communities face due to the turmoil surrounding recent police shootings. 

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