The State of Things

WUNC's The State of Things brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you.  The State of Things Podcast presents new stories every weekday with topics from our show.  To subscribe:Get a daily show update and special news. Subscribe to our podcast on Google Play or iTunes.  Or, use the links at the right.Visit the main SOT page.

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 Matthew DeMichele / RTI International

While the “Unite The Right” rally last weekend in Washington D.C. was small, it brought renewed attention to white supremacist groups in the United States. 

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.

Andrew Dye / Winston-Salem Journal

A coalition of concerned community members and activists filed a federal discrimination complaint Monday against the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and School System. It alleges that they mishandled concerns about mold and air quality at the elementary school Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies, which serves a predominantly black and Latino population in eastern Winston-Salem.

Madeline Uraneck and Tenzin Kalsang's family
Courtesy of Madeline Uraneck

 In the early 1990s, U.S. Congress authorized 1,000 special visas for displaced Tibetans living in exile in India and Nepal. Tenzin Kalsang is a Tibetan who came to the U.S. as part of that resettlement. Despite a steady stream of struggles, and trying to navigate life without her family, Kalsang took a job as a cleaner in an office building. It was there that she struck up a friendship with writer and educator Madeline Uraneck, and the two went on to consider each other family. 

Two adults with developmental disabilities make candles.
Courtesy of Extraordinary Ventures

The transition from high school to college or the job market is difficult for many people, but it can be especially difficult for people with developmental disabilities. The Chapel Hill-based nonprofit Extraordinary Ventures aims to bridge that gap. It operates six small businesses that employ more than 50 people with developmental disabilities. 

Congressman Robert Pittenger
Reinis Inkens / Wikimedia Commons

Some U.S. House races that were once considered reliably Republican are becoming more competitive, and three of these districts are in North Carolina. 

A woman's hands on a tablet in front of a computer.
Pexels / Pixabay

A North Carolina woman was stalked and harassed on social media for months, and police said they could not do anything to help her. 

Beth J. Harpaz / AP Photo

From the late 1800s through the middle of the 20th century, lynchings were a widespread form of racial violence against African-Americans in the southern United States. 

MSMoody Photos

In hip-hop culture, the cypher is a circle in which people are rapping and beatboxing in a collective – a space that lays the foundation for the creation of community and music. 

Jung Yeon-je / AP Photo

Families of U.S. troops who went missing during the Korean War gathered in Washington D.C. last weekend with a renewed sense of optimism

55 boxes that may contain remains of service members killed during the war were recently repatriated from North Korea, and advances in science may help experts identify who those remains belong to. Almost 8,000 U.S. troops who went missing during the Korean War are still unaccounted for.

Jay Price / WUNC

Each summer, teens from diverse backgrounds pitch, report and produce radio stories for the WUNC Youth Reporting Institute

Courtesy of Keith Dannemiller

What does home mean, and how does the idea of home change over time? Mexico City-based photographer Keith Dannemiller explored these questions during a month-long residency at the Eyes on Main Street program based in Wilson, North Carolina. 

Sylvia Freeman

Jaki Shelton Green spent her childhood with her nose in a book knowing there was a great big world that awaited her. A native of Orange County, North Carolina, Green was a fidgety child and her grandmother’s solution was to give her a writing pad. This simple gesture meant to keep her still in church, blossomed into a lifelong journey. 

Dana Verkouteren / AP Photo

Republicans declared victory in the Ohio special election even though thousands of provisional ballots have yet to be counted. What do the results mean for the November elections? Though these tight races may signal a blue wave, there’s also a pink wave with women breaking a record for the number of gubernatorial primary wins.

Courtesy of David Joy / Putnam

  

Who are you willing to die for? That question is at the center of a new Appalachian noir novel set in western North Carolina, where author David Joy has lived his entire life.

Courtesy of Eric Hirsh

Eric Hirsh’s parents met at a conservatory, so music was a staple in their home. Like many children, he began music lessons at a young age. But how many take jazz piano at the tender age of eight? Jazz would become his love. 

Image of pipeline path
U.S. Energy Information Administration / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal judges rejected two key permits Monday in a move that may impede construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile project to transport natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina by way of Virginia. 

Courtesy of Frank R. Baumgartner / Cambridge University Press

20 million people are pulled over annually in traffic stops throughout the United States, according to The Stanford Open Policing Project. New data shows a disproportionate number of those motorists in North Carolina are black. The findings come from a comprehensive analysis of every traffic stop in the state from 2002 to 2016. 

Courtesy of Amy Laura Hall / Duke University Press

Julian of Norwich is considered to be the first woman to write a book in English. Her text “Revelations of Divine Love” written in the late 1300s to early 1400s presents a vision of God that came to her on what she thought was her deathbed. And her version of God is different from what the Catholic Church preached at the time. Instead of a doctrine of strict hierarchy and fear, Julian’s God preached love, joy and equality for all. 

HSUS
HSUS

Last week a federal jury awarded more than $470 million to six neighbors of a hog farm operation in Pender County, North Carolina following a nuisance lawsuit. The neighbors said the farm produced smells, noise, flies and pests. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Four of the six constitutional amendments state Republican legislators want on the fall ballot now face a legal battle. 

An artist piece next to a science piece
Courtesy of Casey Lindberg and Ariana Eily / Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center

Popular stereotypes of artists and scientists are starkly different. While the scientist is brainy, analytical and often donning a white lab coat, the artist is inexact, eccentric, and creative. But the overlap between these two disciplines is far greater than what stereotypes may lead people to believe. A new exhibit on view at the Duke Rubenstein Arts Center explores the intersection of art and science and what happens when the two are in conversation with one another.

Photo Susanna Barbee

Journalist and author Holly Kays calls herself a “place writer” – someone who anchors her work in vivid details about a particular corner of the world. In her debut novel “Shadows Of Flowers (The Smoky Mountain News/2017),” Kays takes readers to a small town in Wyoming that sits among vast and isolated wilderness. 

Courtesy of Cathy Williams / Duke Lemur Center

The vast majority of lemur species are under threat, according to a new review from a group of international conservationists. The group convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature found that of 111 known species and subspecies of lemur, 105 of them, or 95 percent, face a high risk of extinction. 

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