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WRAL goes "On The Record" tonight on Wake County school bond issue

Billie Redmond, co-chairwoman of the Friends of Wake County, takes on Ed Jones, chairman of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, in a debate on the Wake County school bond issue that will air tonight on WRAL.

This episode of "On The Record" was preempted last week by U.S. Open coverage. If you don't want to wait until 7:30 p.m. tonight to watch it on air, click here for the video link.

David Crabtree repeatedly says Redmond is from Wake CARES. She diplomatically doesn't correct him.

Former Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata says he's "heartbroken" he was fired

Former Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata is breaking his silence over his firing now that he's the new state Transportation Secretary.

In the first of multiple interviews this week, Tata told David Crabtree in an interview aired Tuesday on WRAL that he was "very proud" of his tenure as superintendent and that he was "heartbroken" about being fired.

A common refrain from Crabtree during the interview is that Tata was never going to last when the school board majority changed, something that Democratic members have denied was the case.

Pat McCrory praises Beth Wood and reserves "final decision" on Debra Goldman for auditor's position

Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory sounded more tonight like he was backing Beth Wood, the Democratic incumbent state auditor, than Debra Goldman, the GOP nominee.

When asked at tonight's debate if he still supported Goldman, McCrory said "it's extremely unfair to make a final decision based upon allegations which I don't have much information on." Goldman has been embroiled in a recent controversy over whether she had an affair with fellow Wake County school board member Chris Malone, a GOP candidate for the District 35 state House seat.

Unsolicited, McCrory went on to praise Wood, saying "she's done a good job." McCrory also said Wood "was the only member of the Council of State who did stand up to the broken government of both the Easley and Perdue administrations."

1351202602 Pat McCrory praises Beth Wood and reserves "final decision" on Debra Goldman for auditor's position The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board members go "On The Record" about student assignment directive

The concept of healthy schools and the significance of the student assignment directive, along with how it was passed by the Wake County school board, were among the topics on WRAL's "On The Record" show on Saturday.

David Crabtree, the host of the show, asked whether the passage of the directive meant the Wake County school system was headed back to where it was before the 2009 school board elections. School board chairman Kevin Hill said the directive calls for staff to “look at the best pieces of the past several assignment processes we’ve had and move forward.”

But school board member Deborah Prickett answered that “this plan is looking to me that it is slipping backwards." She said the directive “is a fundamental change" to the choice plan and "is actually going after the structure of the plan.”

Kevin Hill and Heather Losurdo go "On The Record"

Wake County school board member Kevin Hill and challenger Heather Losurdo got into some spirited discussions during their joint appearance on WRAL's "On the Record" show.

The discussion opened with Losurdo saying her resume is "contextually accurate." She said she was offended that people would say that someone like her with her military background and organizational and communications skills couldn't do the job of overseeing $2 billion in small business loans.

The topic then moved to the recently adopted student assignment plan.

Pam Saulsby's final WRAL newscast to be on Monday

Monday's noon newscast will be the final one at WRAL for Pam Saulsby.

The station announced last month that Saulsby would be leaving the station at the end of October after 20 years there. Saulsby was replaced in the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts by Debra Morgan, and has been anchoring WRAL's noon newscast with Bill Leslie since the announcement.

Jackie Hyland, most recently from WPIX in New York, took Morgan's place in the 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Gerald Owens on Fox 50.

Saulsby's departure was announced as part of other changes at the station, including a new set and upgraded weather system.

There's no word yet on who will co-anchor the noon newscast with Leslie.

Shhhh: Mayor Meeker not going to Golf Channel

At last week's annual Raleigh Hall of Fame dinner, Mayor Charles Meeker addressed the audience of several hundred people at the Convention Center in his usual soft voice. That prompted WRAL's David Crabtree, who followed Meeker to the microphone, to suggest a new occupation for the retiring five-term mayor. "I've always thought you could work for the Golf Channel," Crabtree said, referring to the hushed tones often used by golf announcers.

Meeker visited The N&O today. He said he wasn't sure how he would use his time in upcoming months, other than practicing law. But he said he would not be joining the Golf Channel. "I don't watch much television," Meeker said with a smile. "And I don't play golf." 

--John Drescher

WRAL changes include departure of Pam Saulsby

WRAL-TV is in the middle of major renovations right now, and the changes aren't limited to fresh sheetrock and high-tech touch screens.

The biggest change comes at the anchor desk. Longtime anchor Pam Saulsby is leaving WRAL after 20 years at the station. Her final evening broadcasts will be this week.

According to a WRAL press release, Debra Morgan will take Saulsby's place with David Crabtree at 5 and 6 p.m. on weeknights. Morgan has been with WRAL for 18 years.

Morgan will also continue to anchor the 11 p.m. news with Gerald Owens, who will co-anchor the 5:30 p.m. newscast with newcomer Jackie Hyland. Owens and Hyland will also anchor the 10 p.m. news on Fox 50.

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