Axios Raleigh

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April 01, 2024

๐Ÿ™ Good Monday morning.

๐ŸŒค๏ธ Weather: Partly sunny with a high around 85ยฐ.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Raleigh members Carrie Norry and John Isaacs!

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 856 words โ€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: ๐Ÿบ The Pack keeps winning

Michael O'Connell, No. 12 of N.C. State, and DJ Burns Jr., No. 30, celebrate during their Elite Eight game against Duke. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

N.C. State's magical run continues after the Wolfpack men beat in-state rival Duke 76-64 Sunday in the Elite Eight.

Why it matters: It's the first time since 1983 that the Wolfpack's men's team has made the Final Four โ€” the same year that an underdog N.C. State won the NCAA Tournament. It's also the first time ever that both its men's and women's programs are in the Final Four at the same time.

ncstate women's basketball team
The N.C. State Wolfpack celebrates its 76-66 win over the Texas Longhorns during the Elite Eight round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 31 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Brendall O'Banon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The big picture: It's incredible the Wolfpack men are even in this position

  • N.C. State lost its final four games of the regular season before entering the ACC Tournament.
  • The team then ripped off five wins in five days to win the ACC Tournament, beating archrival UNC in the final and booking a bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Between the lines: The team's winning streak has reinvigorated a fan base that recently thought its men's head coach was in the hot seat. Now, those fans are rushing Hillsborough Street and packing bars and movie theaters to watch the Pack.

What's next: The N.C. State women's team plays top-ranked South Carolina on Friday night.

  • The men's side faces Purdue and its star big man Zach Edey on Saturday night.
  • N.C. State men are 9.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel. But everything about this run so far has defied expectations.

More on N.C. State's magical run

2. Triangle coding bootcamp closes, citing AI

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Triangle coding bootcamp closed its doors despite having placed more than 400 graduates into tech jobs.

  • One reason behind the decision: the rise of artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: Generative AI programs are increasingly able to code at novice level, potentially changing how entry-level tech jobs are filled, GovTech reported last year.

Driving the news: Momentum Learning said last week it is permanently shutting its doors after a six-year run and placing 400 graduates in 120 different companies.

  • Co-founder Jessica Mitsch Homes cited lagging worker demand and generative AI's influence on entry-level coding jobs.

The big picture: It's not just artificial intelligence potentially hurting job placement.

  • The tech industry as a whole shed jobs at a high rate last year and the trend has continued into this year.
  • That has dried up demand for many positions that were bountiful during the early days of the pandemic, when companies invested heavily into growing their workforces.

Go deeper

3. The Tea: EVs keep growing in North Carolina

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

โšก๏ธ More than 80,000 electric vehicles are on the roads in North Carolina, up from 10,000 in 2018. (WRAL)

๐ŸŽ“ North Carolina could move to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on UNC system campuses this year, a UNC board member predicts. (News & Observer ๐Ÿ”’)

  • "It's my belief that it is likely that the Board of Governors or the state legislature will follow Florida's path as it relates to DEI this year," UNC -Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member Jim Blaine said.

๐Ÿจ Durham Rescue Mission is one of the largest providers of homelessness services in the Triangle.

  • But former guests say the Mission, whose affiliated nonprofits brought in $23 million in revenue in 2022, made them work for low pay and didn't let them enroll in drug treatment plans. (The Assembly ๐Ÿ”’)

4. April is big in the Triangle

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

April is one of the biggest months for events in the Triangle. Here's what's coming this month:

โšพ Tastes like summer: Hot dogs, beer and baseball season has finally arrived. The Durham Bulls' opening night is April 2.

๐ŸŒฎ Enjoy unlimited beer and tequila (but find a designated driver first) and more then 10 taco and Mexican spots at Cary's Tacos 'n Taps Festival April 6.

๐ŸŽž๏ธ It's baaaack: Duke University's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival returns April 4-7 after operating virtually in the pandemic and then being canceled in 2023.

๐ŸŽค J. Cole's Dreamville Festival, held annually in Dorothea Dix Park, is April 6-7.

  • Headlining this year is Nicki Minaj, SZA, Chris Brown and J. Cole.

๐Ÿ– What's more North Carolina than barbecue and bluegrass? North Carolina's 14th annual 'Cuegrass Festival will be held on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh April 20.

๐Ÿบ The beloved Brewgaloo craft beer festival is April 26 and 27, also on Fayetteville Street. Admission Saturday is free.

5. โ›ช๏ธ Mapped: Religious service attendance

Share of adults who say they never or rarely attend religious services
Data: Household Pulse Survey; Note:ย Adults who say they never attend or attend less than once a year; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

The Bible Belt still firmly runs through North Carolina.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of Americans say religion's role in public life is shrinking, per a recent Pew Research Center survey โ€” the highest level since the group first started tracking such sentiment in 2001.

Yes, but: North Carolinians go to religious services โ€” across varying faith groups โ€” more regularly than the rest of the country.

  • Among North Carolina adults, 43% say they never or seldom attend church or religious services. That's compared to the national average of 49%, according to a Household Pulse survey conducted Feb. 6-March 4.
  • Other Sunbelt states are largely in line with the Tar Heel State, and Mississippi (32%), Alabama (36%) and Louisiana (37%) have the country's lowest share of adults who say they don't attend church.

Go deeper

๐Ÿ˜‹ Zachery had some delicious West African food from Da Jollof Spot food truck.

๐Ÿฅฆ Lucille ate at Ajja last night and wants you to know the pearl couscous and broccoli raab dishes on the menu right now are to die for.

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