Axios Raleigh

Newsletter branding image

May 03, 2024

๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ It's already Friday.

โ˜€๏ธ Weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 90ยฐ.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy early birthday to our Axios Raleigh member Devin Rosas!

๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ Situational awareness: Smithfield attorney Kelly Daughtry has dropped out of the Republican primary for N.C.'s 13th Congressional District days before the runoff election.

  • The move clears the way for Trump endorsee Brad Knott to be the Republican nominee for the suburban Raleigh district.

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 937 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Biden addresses "forever chemicals" during local visit

The Cape Fear River runs next to downtown Wilmington. Photo: Madeline Gray/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's Thursday trip to Wilmington โ€”ย the site of one of North Carolina's most notorious chemical contaminations โ€” comes just weeks after his administration moved to curb the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution in the U.S.

Why it matters: Exposure to certain levels of these synthetic compounds, referred to collectively as "forever chemicals," has been linked to adverse health effects in humans and animals, including an increased risk of cancer, Axios previously reported.

Driving the news: Biden described PFAS as "very dangerous chemicals that shouldn't be near our water supply" during his visit yesterday.

  • "As a consequence of PFAS, you've seen aggressive cancers emerge in that [Cape Fear watershed] area. It's gone so far, we're advising and warning you can't eat the fish from the same water that you drink," Biden said, lauding his administration's efforts to remove the chemicals.

Zoom in: The chemicals have been a salient issue in North Carolina since PFAS were found in the Wilmington area's water supply around seven years ago, leading to huge lawsuits against a manufacturer and millions of dollars invested in remediation.

State of play: In the past month, the Environmental Protection Agency, led by North Carolina native and Biden nominee Michael Regan, has made two new rulings on PFAS.

Read more about "forever chemicals"

2. The hum of millions of bugs

Data: USDA and University of Connecticut; Map: Will Chase/Axios

They're here. Turn your ear to the outdoors and you can hear their hum. Look to the ground and you'll see their shells.

  • Brood XIX โ€” one of two cicada broods emerging in the U.S. this year โ€”ย recently started appearing in the Triangle.

What's happening: There are 15 surviving periodical cicada broods, each identified by Roman numerals. 2024 is the first time in 221 years that Brood XIX (on a 13-year cycle) and Brood XIII (on a 17-year cycle) will emerge together.

Reality check: A 13-year and 17-year brood emerging at the same time is called a co-emergence, and it's actually fairly common, occurring every five to six years.

  • Adjacent co-emergences, where the two broods overlap geographically (like this year), are less common, happening every 25 years on average.

Be smart: Periodic cicadas (like Brood XIX) and annual cicadas, or the ones you hear buzzing in our trees every summer, look different.

  • Periodic cicadas are slightly smaller, with black bodies and wings with orange marks, plus red eyes.
  • Annual cicadas are bigger, with black or dark green bodies and black eyes.

What's next: Axios Visuals fact-checked the insect hype and found that no matter how you crunch the numbers, 2024 will likely offer just a taste of the cicada spectacles to come.

Check out the full project from Axios Visuals to see which broods will hit North Carolina and when

Graphic: Maura Losch and Kavya Beheraj/Axios

3. The Tea: A new bar to replace Allen & Son barbecue

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

๐Ÿป A new bar called the Sidetrack Lounge will fill the former Allen & Son barbecue space in Chapel Hill. (News & Observer ๐Ÿ”’)

๐Ÿš’ An abandoned church in Durham owned by the Durham Rescue Mission was the site of a massive fire on Thursday. (WRAL)

๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ President Biden visited Charlotte yesterday to honor the four law enforcement officers fatally shot earlier this week. (Axios)

๐Ÿ” Cook Out plans to build a location in a former Boston Market on 9500 Strickland Road in Raleigh. (Triangle Business Journal ๐Ÿ”’)

๐Ÿšง Longtime Durham bars like Fullsteam and Motorco say ongoing construction in downtown has put a large strain on their businesses. (INDY Week)

4. Last chance to get tickets to Charlotte's new music fest

From left: Noah Kahan, Post Malone and Stevie Nicks. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy and John Medina via Getty Images

The Lovin' Life Music Fest kicks off today in Charlotte.

Why it matters: The inaugural festival will be one of the city's biggest music events in recent history. Organizers hope to make it a major annual event like Dreamville is in Raleigh.

What to expect: Big-name headliners including Post Malone, Stevie Nicks and Noah Kahan.

  • Dashboard Confessional, The Chainsmokers, Shaboozey, the Avett Brothers and DaBaby are among other major artists set to perform.

Tickets: General admission tickets are sold out, but VIP access is still available. Children under the age of 11 enter free.

Pro tip: If you're going to Charlotte from the Triangle, consider taking the train so you don't have to mess with parking in Uptown Charlotte.

What else to expect at LLMF

5. What's happening this weekend

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The weather's warming up quickly, which means it's time for communities across the region to host their annual festivals.

Here's what's happening in the Triangle this weekend:

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Eat out at the Holly Springs International Food Festival today.

๐Ÿ“ Celebrate strawberry season at the Strawberry Festival in Old North Durham Park and the Strawberry Jamboree at the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Saturday.

๐Ÿ”๏ธ Head to downtown Apex on Saturday for PeakFest, featuring free music, local shops and food vendors.

๐Ÿช• Listen to music near the banks of the Haw River in Saxapahaw on Saturday at the Haw River Festival.

๐Ÿ‘‚ Hear poetry and bands perform and eat at local food trucks at the annual Carrboro Day on Sunday.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Sunday by visiting one of our readers' favorite local Mexican restaurants.

Full weekender

๐ŸฆŸ Zachery wishes the mosquitoes had waited until after the cicadas had left to emerge.

๐Ÿค Do a friend a favor and recommend our free newsletter to them.

This newsletter was edited by Katie Peralta Soloff and copy edited by Lucia Maher.