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

South Carolina scored some notable victories this week in the competition for new jobs in the Charlotte region. Three companies announced plans to bring a combined total of at least 3,900 new jobs to York and Chester counties. Two of those expansions involve relocating jobs that are currently based in Charlotte.   John Lassiter, a former Charlotte City Council member who now chairs the North Carolina Economic Development Board, talks to WFAE's Mark Rumsey about the challenges in competing with the incentives that South Carolina can offer.

Governor Pat McCrory, the state House and Senate have significant differences to work out before North Carolina adopts a budget. WFAE's Michael Tomsic looks at three examples of those differences: teacher pay, film incentives and Medicaid.

A group of community and arts leaders in Charlotte is still working to develop recommendations on how to keep arts-and-cultural organizations afloat in the future.  

The Cultural Life Task Force was originally scheduled to release its report by February, but that’s been postponed until June, Task Force co-chair Valecia McDowell told WFAE's Mark Rumsey.

The United Church of Christ filed a federal lawsuit in Charlotte on Monday arguing that same-sex couples should be able to marry in North Carolina. Of course, there are many challenges to same-sex marriage bans playing out across the country. WFAE's Michael Tomsic joined Mark Rumsey to discuss where some of the lawsuits in North Carolina stand.

Let's start with today's challenge. What makes it different?

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board approved plans Tuesday night to partner with a non-profit to run a pre-k- 8 school on the city’s west side.  It’s in the area once known as Boulevard Homes.  Before it was torn down two years ago, the public housing complex was often in the news for violence.  The Renaissance West Community Initiative is re-developing that area and this school will be at the center of it. 

Laura Clark is executive director of the group.  WFAE's Mark Rumsey asked her why it's important for a school to be part of this neighborhood?

Mark Rumsey / UNC Charlotte - University Archives / WFAE

It's a big day in the Charlotte area's professional baseball history. The new 10,000 seat BB&T Ballpark uptown debuts tonight when the Triple-A Charlotte Knights take on the Norfolk Tides.

The Knights had spend the previous 24 seasons in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

The region has a long and colorful history of professional baseball. WFAE's Mark Rumsey captured that history in this story, which first aired last summer. 

Denise Cross Photography

Last week a federal judge ruled that some North Carolina lawmakers will have to release emails they exchanged with lobbyists as they were working on the state's sweeping new election law. The judge's order addresses a key question in the lawsuits brought by the U.S. Justice Department and others against the state: How far does the concept of legislative immunity go?

The federal corruption case against former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is generating a lot of talk, and questions.  Many of those questions concern what could happen as the case proceeds in the federal judicial system.  WFAE's Mark Rumsey discussed some of the possibilities with UNC law professor Richard Myers, a former assistant U.S. attorney who specializes in white collar crime cases.

Following an arrest, Myers says there are often negotiations before the defendant is indicted. He likens the discussions  to a “multi-dimensional chess game.”

The downfall of Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon is hitting home with those who preceded him in the office.

Pat McCrory, who served seven terms as the city's mayor before becoming North Carolina's governor, vowed Thursday to take an active role in winning back voters' trust in the mayor's office.   Another ex-mayor of Charlotte, Harvey Gantt, served from 1983 to 1987.

WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Gantt about Cannon's arrest on federal corruption charges, and the role of mayor under Charlotte's "Council/Manager" form of government.

Mark Rumsey / WFAE

At first glance, Davidson looks like one of those quaint, picturesque towns fit for a postcard.
So a homeless man sleeping on a bench outside a church immediately stands out.
Look a little closer, and you may realize it’s a sculpture of Jesus. Yes, a Homeless Jesus.
The sculpture has sparked a lot of debate since it was installed a week ago.
It’s also received national and even international attention.