Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

A map of the U.S. from Jacqui Castle's new novel, 'The Seclusion.'
Jacqui Castle / Inkshares

What if the United States built walls along its borders with Mexico and Canada? That is the premise of a new, young adult dystopian novel that imagines what an isolationist United States would look like in the year 2090. 

a photo of theologian Stanley Hauerwas
courtesy of Duke Divinity School

The responsibilities of a godparent can range from showering a child with gifts to stepping in as a surrogate in a moment of crisis.

Courtesy Raymond Barfield

For most of his life, Raymond Barfield was a person of faith. He grew up in the church and maintained his faith right up to his early years as a physician. But his time working as a pediatric oncologist pushed him to the limits of his emotional and spiritual capacity.

flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain
Alex Brandon / AP

Federal judges ruled again that North Carolina’s Congressional map is unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering. In their ruling, the judges left open the option to order redrawing the districts before the 2018 election. What impact could this ruling have on the midterm elections and congressional control? 

Image for stories to save lives
Southern Oral History Program / Center for the Study of the American South

Cardiologist Dr. Ross Simpson has spent years studying premature sudden death. He investigates why people between the ages of 18-64 with no pre-existing conditions are dying in North Carolina. 

The cover of Anne-Claire's new album, 'I Still Look For You.'
Kendall Atwater

When Anne-Claire Niver’s grandmother died in 2016, her small family was devastated. Niver was so grief-stricken that writing music about her grandmother was painful – too painful for her to imagine writing a song or recording an album about the loss. 

Gina Hawkins made history last summer when she became the first woman and first African-American police chief of Fayetteville. She is now one of six African-American women at the helm of police departments around the state. But when Hawkins took the job, she had no idea it would garner so much national attention, including an interview on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today.”

Cover image of "Assembly" by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Courtesy Michael Hardt

Ask Americans to name people who led the fight for civil rights in the 1960s and figures Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks will quickly emerge. But Duke professor Michael Hardt argues that contemporary social protest movements have moved away from centralizing power and promoting figureheads. That observation is the thesis of his latest book “Assembly” (Oxford University Press/2017) co-authored by Antonio Negri.

Deciding Not To Decide On Silent Sam

Aug 29, 2018
Elizabeth Baier/WUNC

The Confederate statue Silent Sam, which stood on University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s campus since 1913, was toppled last week. On Tuesday the UNC Board of Governors held a nearly five-hour meeting, conducted almost exclusively behind closed doors, to decide what to do with the controversial statue.

Gerrymandered districts have given Republicans an edge in recent years
CQ Press / UNC-Chapel Hill

A federal court has again found North Carolina’s congressional district map to be unconstitutional, ruling that it was drawn to favor Republicans. The panel was reconsidering the case at the direction of the Supreme Court, which declined to hear it earlier this year. With November’s midterm elections quickly approaching, the court must now decide whether to demand new maps be drawn and who should draw them. 

Los Angelos gang member being tattoed
J. Ross Baughman 1982 / Wikimedia Commons

Guilford is one of eight counties in North Carolina that has more than 40 gangs, according to 2016 numbers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol GangNET database. In 2017, Greensboro had a record 42 homicides, and 11 of those killings were gang related. That same year, the number of violent deaths in High Point was nearly three times greater than killings in 2016. 

Martha Kelly as Martha on "Baskets"
courtesy of Martha Kelly

When Martha Kelly was 18, she knew comedy was her career of choice. Paralyzed by fear, Kelly took what appeared to be an easier road and enrolled in college.

Courtesy of Rachel Raimist

Hundreds of people lined up in Detroit this morning to bid farewell to Aretha Franklin at her public visitation. The singer’s outsized legacy has crystallized in the days since her death on Aug. 16, 2018. 

Courtesy of Cheetie Kumar

Cheetie Kumar grew up in Chandigarh, India with America on the mind. Her family talked often about moving overseas to pursue a fresh start in the United States. Her parents lived through Indian Partition in 1947, a bloody conflict during which Kumar’s mother lost both of her parents. For their family, moving to the U.S. was both about finding new opportunities and gaining distance from trauma. 

NC State House
NCGA

The North Carolina General Assembly is in a last-minute special session, called yesterday, to rewrite two proposed constitutional amendments to appear on the November ballot.

Ben McKeown / WUNC

Earlier this week the state turned down Chemours’ suggestion to raise the acceptable amount of GenX, a chemical found in the water, soil and air around its North Carolina plant. The Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board instead affirmed the state’s conservative threshold of the chemical for drinking water. 

Angel Medical Center
Courtesy of Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The sale of not-for-profit community hospital system Mission Health to a national health care titan is underway in Western North Carolina.

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Silent Sam may no longer be standing on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, but activist Maya Little says the fight is far from over. 

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

They call it psychedelic-hillbilly-rock, but the singer-songwriter duo Ladies Gun Club also embraces the term Americana.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Silent Sam fell to the ground Monday night, breaking through the dirt around its pedestal. Protesters cheered, and police, for the most part, looked on as protesters kicked the statue and captured photos of the controversial Confederate symbol. 

Courtesy of Nancy Buirski

During her speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah introduced many people to Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old sharecropper who was gang raped in 1940s Alabama and risked her life to seek justice. 

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Inmates around the country are on strike demanding improved prison conditions, better pay and increased rehabilitation services. The National Prison Strike started Tuesday, and is set to end on Sunday, Sept. 9.  

Warner Bros

The best filmmakers can craft a world so vivid viewers can imagine themselves living alongside the characters. Through intricate sets, or the magic of animation, cinema becomes America’s dream machine. 

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Silent Sam, the controversial confederate monument that stood on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus is gone.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Yale University

A team from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been working to identify the names of people who were made slaves in America through documents including wills and bills of sale. The Digital Library on American Slavery lists about 80,000 slaves, and is referenced by tens of thousands of users each month. 

Amanda Magnus / WUNC

When Triad-based artist Molly McGinn agreed to organize a new weekly music night at a local venue, she wanted it to look and sound a little different. 

Courtesy of Michelle Skipper

When Hurricane Matthew devastated her rural community, Michelle Skipper was there to help. She and her husband cooked and did laundry for hundreds of people staying at an emergency shelter in St. Pauls, a small town in Eastern North Carolina. 

Courtesy of Wake Tech

Under the 15-year presidency of Stephen Scott, Wake Technical Community College grew by leaps and bounds. Full time enrollment more than doubled, the total budget more than quadrupled, and the college added five new campuses, including one in RTP that opened earlier this month. 

Courtesy of Sidecar Social Club

The sound of Sidecar Social Club is rooted in the grit and authenticity of old jazz, but their performances are not stuck in the past. The band incorporates elements of rhythm and blues, Latin music and even rock. 

gavel at courtroom
William Johnson / US Airforce Photo

A three-judge panel met Wednesday to discuss two challenges to constitutional amendments proposed by the Republican-led General Assembly.

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