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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Monday marked the 150th anniversary of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley's sinking of the Union warship Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.    The Hunley also sank during that historic mission and remained submerged until 2000.  Today, the submarine is kept in a laboratory in North Charleston where visitors can see it and researchers continue to explore the events of a century-and-a-half ago.   WFAE's Mark Rumsey discussed that research with Dr. Stephanie Crette, director of Clemson University's Warren Lasch Conservation Center, which is helping supervise the restoration work.

Snow and ice are ensnarling traffic, cancelling flights and causing some power outages in the Charlotte area.

John Tomko is a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in South Carolina.

“Before this all wraps up tomorrow at lunchtime, storm total snow around seven inches in the Charlotte area," he said, "a little higher to the north and west.”

WFAE's Michael Tomsic has this update on the conditions:

Let's start with traffic – what are the roads like?

Appalachian Voices

Engineers with Duke Energy are working to fix a broken drain pipe under a coal ash storage pond in northern North Carolina. As much as 10 percent of the coal ash in the pond may have spilled into the Dan River, just south of the Virginia state line. WFAE's Ben Bradford updates Morning Edition Host Kevin Kniestedt on the situation.


We’re learning more about the state’s decision earlier this month to terminate an $85 million contract for a new tax return processing system. Documents released today show the state and the company it hired to build the system didn’t agree on how close the final phase of the system was to being ready. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen talks about the story with "All Things Considered" Host Mark Rumsey.  

MR: Duncan, give us a little re-cap here; how far along was the new tax processing system?

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Governor Pat McCrory has scheduled the special primary election to replace 12th district Congressman Mel Watt for May 6th. That’s the same date as the primary for all races. And it means even a temporary replacement for Congressman Watt won’t be chosen until November. That has upset a lot of the governor’s critics. They accuse him of playing politics, because the majority minority district is a Democratic district. The leader of the state NAACP says the move denies people their constitutional right to representation. The governor says he’s doing what makes the most sense.

Tasnim Shamma

The nomination of North Carolina congressman Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency cleared a key procedural hurdle Tuesday.

The U.S. Senate voted 57-40 to break Republican opposition to Watt’s nomination. Democrats were able to move the nomination forward thanks to a change in Senate rules that Democrats pushed through last month in response to numerous blocked nominations.  

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

About 100 Red Wolves roam a five-county area of northeastern North Carolina, as part of a federal program started in 1987 aimed at restoring the rare species.  Red Wolves were once common throughout  the Southeastern U.S., but clashes with the human population and bounties on the animals drove their numbers down sharply by the early 1900s.    Red Wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980.   

Today, North Carolina's Red Wolves have federal protection, but at least nine have been shot this year.  One problem is, hunters confuse them with coyotes, prompting calls for North Carolina to suspend coyote hunting where the wolves live.
WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with David Rabon, coordinator of the Red Wolf Recovery Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 


Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

The North Carolina Department of Education Thursday released the school-by-school results of last year’s end of grade and end of class tests. It was the first year for more rigorous exams that test for national Common Core standards. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen gives All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey a breakdown of the numbers.


North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has been speaking out lately on a range of issues, at times disagreeing with laws signed by Republican governor Pat McCrory.    Cooper is a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2016.   His public comments of late have sparked tensions with the McCrory administration and criticism from state GOP leaders.   For some analysis of the attorney general's role, WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with James Tierney, a former Maine AG who now heads the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School in New York.


You may remember seeing a billboard on Charlotte's Billy Graham Parkway a few years ago that read:  “One Nation.  Indivisible." Conspicuously missing was the phrase “Under God." The group behind that campaign is holding a convention in Charlotte this weekend, designed for what organizers call a growing community of atheists and agnostics in the region. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with Jennifer Lovejoy, acting president of the Carolinas Secular Association.

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