Amanda Magnus

Producer, "The State of Things"

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC.  She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies. 

students protesting with police officers in the foreground
Courtesy of the UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries

Fifty years ago, food services workers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill went on strike for better wages and working conditions. The Black Student Movement supported the strike, which put a spotlight on labor and racial inequities at the university.

The Cape Fear river continued to rise due to rainfall Hurricane Florence
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Six months ago Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas and doused the region for days with heavy rains. The historic storm broke 18 flood records across North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Coastal communities remain in recovery mode, with businesses attempting to finish repairs by the next tourist season and residents still trying to navigate complex housing, insurance and unemployment processes.

Two men smiling and laughing next to each other
Laura Frankstone

What happens when a painter and a poet start working together on the same idea? North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam found out when he started collaborating with Welsh painter Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Both men had collaborated with other artists before — but never as they were creating the work side-by-side.

photo of sunshine week logo - 'your right to  know'
American Society of News Editors / http://sunshineweek.rcfp.org/sw-logos/

Sunshine Week is a nationally-observed celebration of access to information, transparency and open government. Public records and open meetings give citizens the power and knowledge to hold officials accountable, and they are a foundational part of a functioning democracy.

The cover features a house on fire
Courtesy of Belt Publishing

19th century writer Charles Chesnutt was once the most popular African-American author of his time. But everything changed after he published the 1901 book “The Marrow of Tradition” (Houghton, Mifflin and Company/1901). It was a fictionalized account of the 1898 race riot in Wilmington, North Carolina, and critics slammed the book. A high-profile editor even called it “bitter.”

A bear cub in a green leafy tree.
NC State University

Can humans and black bears coexist? This question has become increasingly relevant in North Carolina as both the human and bear populations continue to grow. Black bears now live on about 60 percent of the state’s land and are very adaptable to different climates, which has led to an increase in human run-ins with black bears over the past two decades. 

a photo of Smiley's Farmer's Market empty.
Cass Herrington

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 200 people around North Carolina in early February. And according to new reporting, this action had a noticeable impact on local commerce in western North Carolina. 

Robert DeNiro in a suit in a casino
Classic Film / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/2TiNL6k

The latest edition of Movies on the Radio is all about gangster, mob and mafia movies. Listeners share their favorite movies focused on the world of crime, from the family business in “Married To The Mob” to the crooked cops in “Training Day.”

Guerrilla Girls at the Abrons Art Center, 2015.
Andrew Hinderaker

Female artists have stood in the shadows of their male colleagues for much of art history, and that disparity is still evident in many art museums today. A survey of 18 prominent institutions in the United States found that close to 90 percent of artists whose work is on view are both male and white. The North Carolina Museum of Art says they hope to correct that imbalance.

Teenage photo of Cash Michaels
Courtesy of Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels is known for sharing the African-American perspective on news stories around North Carolina. He has been a newspaper journalist since the 1980s and writes for six African-American papers around the state. 

Mark Harris fights back tears at the conclusion of his son John Harris's testimony during the third day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District voting irregularities investigation Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.
Travis Long / The News & Observer via AP, Pool

Prosecutors have indicted Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative accused of harvesting absentee ballots in favor of Republican candidate Mark Harris in the 2018 midterm election. Dowless was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and illegal ballot possession related to both the 2016 and 2018 elections. 

Group photo from The Campaign for Southern Equality.
Courtesy of The Campaign for Southern Equality

More than 500,000 transgender people live in the South, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. National data show that nearly a quarter of trans people do not get any kind of healthcare because of a fear of discrimination. A new report from the Campaign for Southern Equality and Western NC Community Health Services examines the specific barriers faced by transgender people who live in the South. 

Mary Webb Nicholson a Greensboro native, become first woman in North Carolina to earn a private pilots' license, commercial and transport licenses. During WWII, she was among a group of American women pilots who assisted British Air Transport Auxilary.
Courtesy of Greensboro History Museum

The Ruth Wicker Tribute to Women is one of the first standalone exhibits in North Carolina to commemorate the specific achievements of women in the state. The interactive exhibit opened earlier this year in the Barber Park Event Center and documents 31 influential women from the 18th century to the present, including 10 who were “firsts” in their field or position.

Courtesy of Casey Noel

Casey Noel is hesitant to categorize her music into a particular genre. She draws influence from a large swath of artists ranging from the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival to Adele. Noel plays guitar, sings and started writing her own music three years ago. She will soon be recording songs for a debut record. 

Mark Harris at hearings into allegations that his campaign committed election fraud.
Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is calling for a new vote in the state’s 9th Congressional District. The unanimous decision came after four days of dramatic hearings into allegations of election fraud by the campaign of Republican Mark Harris. 

Faith Jones in a field of flowers.
Courtesy of Faith Jones

Music is in Faith Jones’ blood. Her father plays piano; her mother sings, and the two met in a band in the 1980s. Growing up, Jones and her family listened to a wide range of music around the house, from jazz to classic rock. 

Photo from the ICE raid at Bear Creek Arsenal in Sanford.
Courtesy of Ilana Dubester

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained at least 200 people in North Carolina earlier this month. In a press conference, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher told journalists that more visible enforcement is a direct consequence of decreased cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement agencies. 

A picture of a jail cell
ALEXVAN / PIXABAY

A new paper from Duke University concludes that North Carolina should end the sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders. “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina” looks at the cases of 94 people sentenced to life without parole as juveniles in the state and finds almost half of them have been overturned. 

From the 'Pop América, 1965-1975' exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art

Many people associate pop art with American artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, but there were many contributions to the movement from outside the borders of the United States, notably from Latin American artists. A new exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University called “Pop América, 1965-1975” shares the work of artists from the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego up to Anchorage. 

Courtesy of Sonali Dev

Romance novels made up almost a quarter of the U.S. fiction market in 2016, second only to general fiction. Some people may think of the genre solely as Harlequin-published books with a man who looks like Fabio on the cover. But romance fiction encompasses more than this stereotype. 

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest.
Wikimedia Commons

Last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained at least 200 people in enforcement actions around the state. Officials raided a gun manufacturing plant in Sanford and arrested people at traffic stop check points in various cities. 

Dr. Charles Van Der Horst speaking at 2017 ID Week.
Courtesy of Charles Van Der Horst

Throughout his career, Dr. Charles van der Horst has always prioritized close relationships with his patients. He was on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic in the state and opened up an AIDS ward at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1980s. 

Women members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, cheer after President Donald Trump acknowledges more women in Congress during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech struck analysts as both bipartisan and deeply divided. He called for unity and shared bipartisan victories, and he also promised he would build a border wall and warned lawmakers that there cannot be peace and legislation while there are ongoing investigations. 

photo of asheville and the surrounding mountains at dusk
Michael Tracey/Public Domain

Why is Asheville not fighting a redistricting plan from the state legislature? Asheville’s local elections use an “at-large” system, which means that the six city council members and mayor are elected citywide. But last summer, state lawmakers created five districts for the Asheville City Council and delayed local elections for a year. 

Cover of the book, 'A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland'
Courtesy of DaMaris Hill

The number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700 percent between 1980 and 2016, according to data from The Sentencing Project. Poet DaMaris Hill cites this statistic at the beginning of her new book, “A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland” (Bloomsbury Publishing/2019). 

Four divers
Courtesy of The Man In The Sea Museum

A new documentary film on PBS shares the forgotten story of a U.S Navy project that revolutionized deep-sea diving. The Sealab program aimed to create a future where humans could live on the bottom of the ocean. North Carolinian Dr. George Bond pioneered the program. 

Sonny Kelly, playwright and star of 'The Talk' on stage this month in Durham and Chapel Hill.
HuthPhoto

A new one-man, interactive play seeks to change minds and create a more just and equitable community. Sonny Kelly is the playwright and star of “The Talk.” He wrote the production after giving his 7-year-old son a version of “the talk” — a conversation African-American parents often have with their children about how to act in encounters with the police.

Michelle Belanger playing guitar on stage.
Courtesy of Michelle Belanger

Mystery Hillbillies are a band of misfits. The band is frontwoman Michelle Belanger and a rotating cast of “sidemen.” The group plays a wide range of music, including country, western swing and blues from the early 1940s to today.

Image of Asheville police car
Osajus / Flickr Creative Commons

African-Americans in Asheville are far more likely to be charged with resisting an officer during a police encounter than white people. A five-year analysis of arrest records from the Asheville Citizen-Times shows that 35 percent of resisting an officer charges — sometimes called “resist, delay, obstruct” or RDO — were made against African-Americans, even though black people are only 12 percent of the Asheville population.

komersreal / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1AHpDp0

We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. The State of Things wants to know about your favorite gangster, mafia, and mob movies for the next edition of Movies On The Radio.

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