Highlights for Jim Payne
At age 29, Eric Rudolph was the perpetrator of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, which occurred on July 27, 1996, during the 1996 Summer Olympics. He called the police, warning about the bomb before it detonated. The blast killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others.
Law enforcement officials implement one of the largest manhunts in US history in their search for bomber Eric Rudolph. Host WRAL News anchor Jim Payne and the WRAL Documentary unit travel to western NC for a look inside the investigation, the impact of the search on the local community and the various fringe groups that might sympathize with the fugitive. “Into These Hills” originally aired April 24, 1999
Rudolph was arrested in Murphy, North Carolina, on May 31, 2003, by rookie police officer Jeffrey Scott Postell of the Murphy Police Department behind a Save-A-Lot store. Rudolph was unarmed and did not resist arrest. Federal authorities charged him on October 14, 2003.
On April 8, 2005, the Department of Justice announced that Rudolph had agreed to a plea bargain under which he would plead guilty to all charges he was accused of in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. The deal was confirmed after the FBI found 250 pounds (110 kg) of dynamite he hid in the forests of North Carolina.
Rudolph released a statement in which he explained his actions and rationalized them as serving the cause of anti-abortion and anti-gay activism. The terms of the plea agreement were that Rudolph would be sentenced to four consecutive life terms. He was officially sentenced July 18, 2005, to two consecutive life terms without parole for the 1998 murder of a police officer. He was sentenced for his various bombings in Atlanta on August 22, 2005, receiving two consecutive life terms.
Producer/Writer: Scott Mason
Photographer/Editor: Jay Jennings
Aired: April 24, 1999
WRAL provided coverage of the opening ceremonies of the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games held at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The competition venues were primarily located in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill between June 26 and July 4, 1999. A few events were held in neighboring towns of Cary, Pittsboro, and Garner.
Special Olympics was created by Eunice Kennedy Shriver when she saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabilities were treated. She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities didn’t even have a place to play. She decided to take action. The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA on July 20, 1968.
In this video, you’ll watch the international athletes representing their countries march through the stadium. Learn how North Carolina became the host of this massive event that became the largest international sporting held in North Carolina.
WRAL-TV led the nation in the development of High Definition broadcasting. On October 13, 2000 WRAL made history by broadcasting the entire 5:00 PM newscast LIVE in HD from the State Fair. The historic newscast was broadcast from a special stage at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. The broadcast came just days after WRAL announced it was purchasing equipment from Panasonic to allow the station to gather all of its news stories in the 1080i format. WRAL was the first in the country to convert its entire news operation into HD. This video documents the historic moment from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
In 1996, WRAL was the first station in the nation to start broadcasting in HD even though most viewers did not have an HD television set.
Jim Payne was a very popular news anchor at WRAL from August 1992 until December 2000. Jim is from Green Bay, Wisconsin and graduated from Purdue University with a BA degree in Communication. During his time at WRAL he earned numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Radio and TV News Directors Association, and he received the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Community Service. Jim left WRAL in 2000 to become a news anchor at WESH (NBC) in Orlando, Florida. You will be able to tell by this promo that Jim was loved by the WRAL news staff and viewers.
WRAL news announced the passing of Fred Fletcher to the public on January 8, 2000. He was 89.
Fred Fletcher was a broadcast executive, entertainer and public servant who — as General Manager of WRAL-AM, WRAL-FM and WRAL-TV — helped shape the first quarter century at Capitol Broadcasting Company.
Fred started as WRAL-AM’s Education Director and then moved up to General Manager in 1942. Later he took on additional management duties when CBC signed WRAL-FM on the air in 1946.
The 1950s brought television, and the long, arduous legal battle that eventually won Capitol Broadcasting the coveted license for Channel 5 in Raleigh. Fred was an integral part of the CBC team that fought for and won the license at the FCC.
When WRAL-TV signed on in December 1956 – Fred Fletcher was at the helm as the first Vice President and General Manager. He was later named President of Capitol Broadcasting Company–a title he held until his retirement in 1975.