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.

Courtesy of Vann McCoy

  Vann McCoy grew up in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and like the fictional town it inspired, some folks who lived there were happy learning what they needed to know to make a living. But from a young age, McCoy was on a search for something different.

 

President Donald Trump Walks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un
Evan Vucci / AP Photo

This week President Donald Trump attended a historic summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Trump surprised South Korea and some officials at the Pentagon when he announced the U.S. would stop military exercises with South Korea.

a photo of Nyla McFadden and Dion Chavis wearing matching t-shirts
courtesy of Dion Chavis

While working for Wake County, Derrick Byrd was sent on a mission to find parenting resources for men. Not only were the options limited, he noticed a resistance to developing programs specifically for fathers. This was the genesis of the North Carolina Fatherhood Conference.

Organist Doug Largent (left) makes his return to WUNC today on the State of Things, accompanied by Grant Osborne on harmonica (center), and Nick Baglio on drums (right).
Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

  Doug Largent spent a decade in jazz clubs playing the bass. In 2009, he followed a new dream and taught himself the organ. The Doug Largent Trio was born.

Courtesy of Franco Ordoñez

In an attempt to regulate unaccompanied children who cross the border, the Trump administration is considering detaining them in tent cities. In an exclusive by Franco Ordoñez of McClatchy, there are reports that the Department of Health and Human Services is scouting locations at military bases in Texas that will house up to 5,000 migrant children.

Courtesy of Omid Safi

As a prominent Islamic scholar, Omid Safi has written often in defense of the breadth and nuance of Islam. But for his latest book, Safi hones in on the idea of love, and how mystic Islamic poets interpreted the theme.

Courtesy of Hari Jones

Historian Hari Jones says there were no losers in the Civil War. Instead the war formed a more perfect union by securing freedom for millions of Americans.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Last week North Carolina state legislators filed a proposal that would ask voters to decide whether a photo ID requirement should be added to the state’s constitutional qualifications to vote. Voters won’t necessarily see more details before deciding on the proposed constitutional amendment. Lawmakers would add those details later in a separate bill.

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

While incarcerated it is a constitutional right for inmates to receive medical care. But what happens when inmates are released and no longer have access to health services? The reality is they often go without medication or treatment. Considering prisons have become the largest mental healthcare providers in America, it is in the interest of public safety to remedy that gap in coverage.

a picture of Southernmost, Silas House's new novel
Courtesy of Silas House

In his latest novel, Silas House examines what it is like to fundamentally disagree with the people you love. “Southernmost” (Algonquin Books/2018) centers on an evangelical preacher, Asher Sharp, who takes in two gay men after a devastating flood in their small Tennessee town.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would allow law enforcement to have access to a statewide database of prescribed controlled substances. This is the latest move by the legislature to help curb the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

The North Carolina Supreme Court released a ruling Friday over who is in charge of running the state’s public schools: the State Schools Superintendent or the State Board of Education. After the decision was unveiled, both sides claimed victory.

A floating home on the Fontana Lake in North Carolina.
Tim Robison, courtesy of Our State Magazine

In its first season, the “Away Message” podcast from Our State Magazine focused on remote places in the state. For its newly-released second season, the podcast explores lost or forgotten stories in North Carolina’s history.

Courtesy of Dr. Steve Chaney

Can a healthy diet be high in meat protein and low in carbohydrates? Are diet sodas really healthier? Is the gluten-free diet the answer to health problems?

Courtesy of Nicole Zelniker

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest. As Dery says, she never did well in boxes.

Heavy rain could be reducing farm yields across the state, like this one in western NC.
mystuart via Flickr, creative commons

 Western North Carolina is expecting more rain and thunderstorms over the next few days. A state of emergency for 33 Western North Carolina counties has been in effect since late May after heavy rains caused several mudslides, flash floods, rising rivers and falling trees. Some areas received 20 inches of rain over a two week period.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

  Last June, The Wilmington Star News broke news that the toxic chemical GenX was found in drinking water from the Cape Fear River.  Long before their investigative series was published, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) knew about the elevated levels of GenX.  Once the news of tainted water spread through the state, so did fears and concerns from residents, government officials and environmental groups.

A picture from the play 'The Lost Colony.'
Courtesy of Andrew Lawler

In 1587, more than 100 men, women, and children traveled to the New World from England to found a colony on Roanoke Island. The colony’s governor went back to England later that year to get more supplies and returned in 1590. But by then, the colonists were gone.

Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

Bette Smith sang in her church choir and for a while church music was all she knew. She wasn't allowed to listen to secular music. Smith was raised Seventh-day Adventist, and her father encouraged solely religious music at home and in church where he directed the choir. But the family lived in a diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn, where the sounds of the South were too hard to avoid.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper unveiled his first budget proposal on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at Durham Technical Community College.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the latest state budget Wednesday, claiming the spending plan does not do enough to support teachers. But is Cooper’s budget plan fiscally sound? The legislature’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division says his proposed budget would rack up a nearly $500 million deficit by 2020.

Courtesy of Sara Wood / Southern Mix

The Asian-American population in North Carolina has exploded in the past few decades. A 2016 study shows that from 2000-2010, the Asian-American population in the state grew by 85 percent, which was the third-fastest growth rate in the country. But who exactly makes up this growing population? What are their stories and traditions, and how are they changing the face of North Carolina?

book cover of 'The Source' by author Martin Doyle
Courtesy Martin Doyle

The history of rivers in America is a story of control, or at least an attempt at control. Early on, waterways determined where and how European settlers would live. Later, in the industrial age, humans would begin to exert their control over the rivers. Through massive projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority, Americans turned long rivers into a series of reservoirs and water into money-making energy. But in the process, they also drastically changed the ecosystems around the rivers.

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

A controversial charter school bill passed in the General Assembly on Wednesday. The bill would allow four municipalities outside Charlotte to run their own charter schools.

Courtesy of Jennifer Le Zotte

 

  Remember when people were ashamed to wear hand-me-downs and shop at Goodwill? Or when used clothing was thought to be dirty and infested with bugs? How did things evolve from that to groups like Nirvana proudly sporting their used gear and setting a new fashion trend?

MAD Magazine Cover from October, 1972
MAD Magazine / Flickr/Creative Commons https://flic.kr/p/46ZanQ

Former MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin died at his home in Durham Saturday, June 2 at the age of 82. Meglin worked at MAD as an editor for nearly 50 years before retiring in 2004. Host Frank Stasio pays tribute to Meglin, who was one of his creative inspirations and a dear friend.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

In less than one month, full-time state employees in North Carolina can expect a minimum wage boost to $15 per hour. It is one of the measures in the new state budget that was rushed through by Republican legislators last week in a process that did not allow amendments.

Courtesy of The Historic Magnolia House

The Magnolia House has a rich history in Greensboro. In the 1950s, it was one of the few places that welcomed African-Americans traveling between Richmond and Atlanta. Its guest list includes stars from Duke Ellington and Ike and Tina Turner to James Brown and heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.

Courtesy of Carol Cole

Carol Cole was a Southern girl who came of age in the 1960s and did what she felt was expected of her. She found a good doctor to marry, had children and spent her days taking care of other people’s needs. She took her first art class in the early ‘70s, and even though her mother told her she did not have an artistic bone in her body, Cole decided she wanted to be an artist.

Courtesy of Emily Stewart and Matty Sheets

Magpie Thief is a stripped down folk-duo featuring Greensboro-based singer-songwriters Emily Stewart and Matty Sheets. For Stewart and Sheets, the heat of summer inspires some of their most creative work. They escape the sun and cozy up indoors in cool living rooms. As this summer approaches, Stewart and Sheets are hoping to veer away from their raw and eclectic folk sound and experiment with other genres, including the blues.

Courtesy of Dr. Kimberly Johnson

Even though she grew up in a small, historically black community in Mississippi, Kimberly Johnson heard plenty of conversations about racism and discrimination.

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