Carolina Public Press is an independent nonprofit news organization dedicated to nonpartisan, in-depth and investigative news built upon the facts and context North Carolinians need to know. Our award-winning, breakthrough journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on the critical overlooked and under-reported issues facing our state’s 10.2 million residents.
Carolina Public Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization and relies upon the support of individual donors, foundations and sponsors/underwriters to operate.
Carolina Public Press – headquarters
(mailing) PO Box 17595, Asheville, NC 28816
(physical) 4A Herman Avenue Extension, Asheville, NC 28803
Main phone: 828-774-5290
To call a staff member, dial 828-774-5290 and the appropriate extension.
Staff and Contributors
While the organization is headquartered in Asheville, staff and contributors are located across North Carolina.
Kara Andrade, Ph.D., M.J., Editor in Chief
Kara Andrade brings decades of experience in news entrepreneurship, communications research and multimedia reporting in more than 20 countries. As an Ashoka fellow and Fulbright scholar, she co-founded, in her native Guatemala, HablaCentro Informatics NFP and LLC, a network of citizen journalism and information sharing hubs in Latin America. Andrade is also an adjunct professor at American University’s School of Communication. Her stories have been published by Al Jazeera America, Americas Quarterly, The Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN, France 24, Global Post, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, The New York Times and others.
Jacob Biba, Lead Investigative Reporter
Jacob Biba is the lead investigative reporter for Carolina Public Press. Prior to joining Carolina Public Press, Biba worked as a tech reporter covering robotics. He has also been a freelance reporter and photojournalist focused on the criminal justice system in North Carolina. His work has appeared in publications including The Intercept, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and other statewide and national outlets.
Tara George, Administrator
Tara George graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in applied design. A desire to be more involved and make a difference in the community brought her to the nonprofit world, where she has worked in development, project and office management for organizations including Land of Sky Regional Council and OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling. Tara assists with community engagement planning and the office and financial systems for Carolina Public Press.
Catherine Hollingsworth, Interim Managing Editor
Catherine Hollingsworth holds a master’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University where she covered state government for Capital News Service. She went on to write for several newspapers in the South as a Washington correspondent for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. She is a former Freedom Forum – Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow with past experience covering the Southern delegation in Congress, federal agencies and highly regulated industries. Catherine’s journalism career spans over 15 years and includes stints covering city hall and early stage companies. Outside the newsroom, she has worked as a writer and editor for government agencies and Fortune 500 firms.
Lisa Lopez, Director of Development
Lisa Lopez has more than 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector. She joins Carolina Public Press after three years at Development by Design, LLC, a development strategy consulting firm she helped found. Prior to launching her own company, Lisa served for 14 years in development at the Center for Creative Leadership, a top-ranked global provider of leadership development. She began her fundraising career at the American Red Cross Cape Fear Chapter and went on to seek and secure major gifts for the UNC Wilmington Center for Marine Science. She also has worked in both production and advertising/sales in TV and radio news organizations. Lisa oversees fundraising development for Carolina Public Press across North Carolina.
Angie Newsome, Founder and Executive Director
Angie Newsome founded Carolina Public Press, which launched in March 2011. A North Carolina native with a master’s degree in journalism from UNC Chapel Hill, Angie has more than 20 years of experience in daily, online and magazine journalism. She has won numerous awards, including for investigative reporting on the international banking interests of a North Carolina congressman and for following the closure of the nation’s last Levis sewing plant. After launching Carolina Public Press, she was named one of four New Media Women Entrepreneurs in the country by the McCormick Foundation in 2012. Carolina Public Press has gone on to be a featured media startup by PBS MediaShift and J-Lab and to earn numerous awards, including for its environmental, mental health and investigative reporting and for general excellence among North Carolina’s online news organizations. Angie oversees efforts to improve and measure the sustainability, reach and impact of Carolina Public Press and its work across North Carolina.
Mehr Sher, Democracy Reporter
Mehr Sher reports on democracy in North Carolina for the Carolina Public Press. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School with a master’s degree in investigative journalism. During her master’s program, she reported on the Afghan refugee resettlement program and investigated hate crime legislation in Indiana. Sher graduated from N.C. State University in 2015 and began her journalism career abroad in Pakistan, where she was based for over six years. During her career abroad, she investigated systemic failure, an inadequate health care system and a cover up, which led to the exacerbation of an HIV/AIDs outbreak in over 1,000 children in Sindh, Pakistan. Sher is from Raleigh and is an ethnic Pashtun with roots in northwestern Pakistan. She is also a Pulitzer Center reporting fellow. Prior to joining CPP, she covered the environment on the investigative team for the Bangor Daily News in Maine.
Lindsey Wilson, Community Engagement Manager
Lindsey Wilson, who led the 2022 Rural Engagement Project, comes to Carolina Public Press with experience in a variety of capacities as a community organizer, research facilitator and environmental educator. Her work on small-scale produce farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina has given her a deep interest in issues facing rural people. Lindsey has a dual major in anthropology/sociology and creative writing from Kalamazoo College. Lindsey manages the organization’s efforts to build new audiences and listen to and collaborate with current audiences, community members and organizations across the state.
Grace Vitaglione, Democracy Intern
Grace is the democracy intern for the Carolina Public Press. Prior to joining CPP, she worked as the community fellow for the NPR affiliate WHQR Public Media in Wilmington, N.C. While there, she reported on local government, investigated disaster recovery programs from Hurricane Florence, and produced a series on the history of conflicted policymaking in the fishing industry. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. As a student, she reported on ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and investigated racial disparities in maternal healthcare and kidney disease diagnoses in Washington, D.C.
Calvin L. Adkins, Photographer
Calvin L. Adkins is a photographer who started his career as a photo stringer for The Daily Southerner in 1989. He went on to work as a photographer and cops reporter at the newspaper and was its editor until it closed in 2014. Calvin was born in Princeville, N.C., the oldest town in the United States chartered by African Americans. He still lives in Princeville, in Edgecombe County.
Taylor Buck, Data Visualization
Taylor Buck is a data visualization freelancer and senior at UNC-Chapel Hill pursuing a B.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in the Peace, War, and Defense program. As a student journalist, she covered Silent Sam protests and higher education for The Daily Tar Heel. She is currently interning for National Defense University Press, the publishing arm of National Defense University.
Mark Darrough, Reporter and Photographer
Mark Darrough is a Wilmington-based photojournalist and reporter. His award-winning work has been published by Carolina Public Press, The New York Times, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Associated Press, Denver Post, NBC News, ABC News, San Francisco Chronicle, and Wilmington’s Port City Daily, among others.
Melissa Sue Gerrits, Photographer
Melissa Sue Gerrits is a photographer with a degree in photojournalism from Randolph Community College and has worked in South Dakota, Arkansas and North Carolina. Most recently, she was a photojournalist for The Fayetteville Observer.
Jack Igelman, Lead Environment Reporter
Jack Igelman is a reporter with a master’s degree from Montana State University, where he studied natural resource economics. His main interest is in conservation and environmental stories that on the people, places and institutions involved with managing the state’s natural resources. Co-author of “Trekking the Southern Appalachians” and currently teaching college-level economics, Jack’s reporting has appeared in dozens of local, regional and national publications.
Rob Mikulak, Copy Editor
Rob Mikulak is a veteran journalist who has more than 40 years’ experience on daily and weekly newspapers and has edited books, magazines, trade publications, promotional materials and just about anything else that consists of words. Mikulak has worked for publications in New York, New Jersey and, for the last 20 years, North Carolina. He has also done freelance editing for clients in California, North and South Dakota, Connecticut and Colorado, among others. He was copy desk chief for the Asheville Citizen Times for 12 years and currently is copy editor for Carolina Public Press, Mountain Xpress in Asheville and select other clients.
Colby Rabon, Photographer
Colby Rabon is a freelance photographer with a bachelor’s degree in technical photography from Appalachian State University. Colby currently shoots a range of material from documentary projects to news, sports, portraiture and more and has had work featured in local and national publications.
Aaron Sánchez-Guerra, Reporter and Translator
Aaron Sánchez-Guerra is a bilingual journalist based in Durham and is a reporter for The News & Observer covering business, real estate and news regarding the Latino immigrant community. He has worked as a freelance journalist for the Spanish-language newspaper Qué Pasa in North Carolina and for WLRN Public Radio in Miami, Florida.
Mariano Santillan, Illustrator
Mariano Santillan is currently the web designer and illustrator for the USASOC History Office on Fort Bragg. Before that position, he spent over a decade as the graphics editor and illustrator for The Fayetteville Observer. Some of his freelance clients include The Washington Post, The U.S. Army and Cricket Magazine.
Imari Scarbrough, Reporter
Imari Scarbrough is a freelance journalist with a bachelor’s degree in communications and minors in English and music from Montreat College. She worked as a staff writer at The Anson Record for five years, earning five awards from the N.C. Press Association and covering crime, politics, education, local government and more.
Carolina Public Press Board of Directors
Scott Barnwell, President
Patrick Doran, Vice President
Victoria Hicks, Secretary
Bob Lewis, Treasurer
Dr. Deitra Williams-Toone
Carolina Public Press is a member of the N.C. Open Government Coalition, Institute for Nonprofit News, Local Independent Online News Publishers and the N.C. Press Association. We are also members of permanent news collaborations at the local and national level, including the Rural News Network. Certain staff members and contributors are members of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists.