Laura Pellicer

State of Things Producer

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things, a show that explores North Carolina through conversation.

Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards.

Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she moonlights as a mediocre surfer.

Ways to Connect

Barefoot Modern recently won the Best Alternative Indie Award at the Richmond International Film Festival.
Barefoot Modern

Barefoot Modern recently walked away with the Best Alternative Indie Award for their musical submission at the Richmond International Film Festival. They beat out more than 2,000 bands to earn that spot and have since set their sights on garnering even more national attention with their roster of original tracks.

Twentieth Century Fox

From Erin Brokovich's fight for environmental justice to the lush natural world in James Cameron’s “Avatar,” nature and the environment often play a starring role in film.

For the next edition of “Movies On The Radio,” we want to know which film about nature stuck with you the most? Is it Reese Witherspoon’s tough journey in “Wild” or maybe the classic animated film “FernGully: The Last Rainforest?”

In a sweet tea-colored swamp in Bladen County, North Carolina there is a group of trees that has intrigued researchers for decades.

Scientists knew the bald cypress trees that sprouted up from the Black River were old, and a new study reveals a number of the trees date back millennia. One tree is at least 2,624 years old.

The bald cypress' remarkable age reveal information about climate history in the region, including whether the people who lived in the area experienced significant droughts.

University of Texas Press

Soccer is a source of national pride in many Latin American countries. The greats like Brazil's Pelé or Argentina's Diego Maradona are legends on and off the pitch. But women have also been an integral part of soccer in Latin America since its advent, and their stories are often pushed to the side.

Courtesy Jared Yates Sexton

Jared Yates Sexton rose to prominence for his coverage of President Donald Trump’s political rallies in the lead up to the 2016 election. His reporting culminated in the book “The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters on Your Shore: A Story of American Rage,” and his interest in the culture surrounding Trump only continued to grow. 

Photo of Mia Ives-Rublee with her dog Vezzini
Chris Riggs / Courtesy Mia Ives-Rublee

Mia Ives-Rublee grew up surrounded by adults who were worried about her well-being. She has Osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone disorder more commonly known as brittle bone disease, and uses a wheelchair to get around. 

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement Wednesday since the release of his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His main message: Read the report. Beyond that, he highlighted that charging a sitting president with a crime “was not an option.”

Promotional image for 'Run of the Picture' documentary
Evan Kidd

Johnny Dutch is a man of many talents, passions and identities. He’s the subject of the new documentary film “Run of the Picture,” which traces his journey as a world-class hurdler who nearly qualified for the 2008 Olympics. But beyond his intense training and athletic pursuits, it also exposes his creative side: he is a filmmaker who creates gut-drenched zombie films in his spare time.

Ashely Evans / Western Carolina University

Kevin Rumley had a near-picturesque upbringing that he describes being like a 1950s Disney movie. Growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, Rumley and his two brothers played music, rollerbladed and skateboarded on the halfpipe their dad built them.

Bill Herndon / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrherndon/4588634635

Earlier this week Alabama’s governor signed into law an effective ban on abortion in the state. Other states, like Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio are also moving in a similar direction.

Harriet Tubman is an American legend. History books know her best as the architect of the underground railroad, but she was also the brains behind a dangerous expedition during the Civil War.

She may have also had a rich and complex love life, but the details of that for now are mostly fictional ones, portrayed in the new historical novel “The Tubman Command” (Arcade/2019).

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Proud grads in cap and gowns walk across the stage this weekend at commencement ceremonies around the state.

Updated at 7:47 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they have secured the scene of a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

moogfest
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

If you’ve noticed an abundance of black minimalist attire in downtown Durham, you are not alone. Moogfest artists and attendees have descended on the Southern city, and they’ve brought their clean, tech aesthetic with them.

WUNC  has taken home five 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, more than any other station in its division or region. The Radio Television Digital News Association honors excellence in electronic journalism and presents the regional Murrow Award to small and large radio, television and digital outlets.

Courtesy John McCord / Coastal Studies Institute, East Carolina University

Sand tiger sharks don’t look like the friendliest bunch. They’ve got “big gnarly teeth and really thick, stout bodies,” as Hap Fatzinger of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher describes. But despite their menacing look, the sand tiger shark is a docile, migratory species, and they often share the waters off the North Carolina coast with scuba divers.

The Women of the Confederacy monument was a gift to the state by Confederate veteran Col. Ashley Horne, and was unveiled in June 1914. It was the wish of Colonel Horne to recognize the suffering and hardship faced by women during this tragic period.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Police have arrested two people they say defaced a Confederate monument in Raleigh.  The arrests were made Sunday during a protest at the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monument near the statehouse.

Kindergarten students TT Askew, Alicia Garcia Elvira, Haylen Lovelace and Mercy Nelms are students in Jakeli Swimmer's Cherokee language and culture class at Robbinsville Elementary.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Marty Richardson was in high school when he started a deep dive into the history of his people:  the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. He emerged from dusty library archives with the epiphany that his ancestors spoke Tutelo-Saponi, a language that had since nearly disappeared. 

Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

On April 15, 2018, a tornado plowed through east Greensboro damaging more than 1,000 buildings and leaving more than 20,000 households without power. One man died as a result of the event after a tree fell onto his moving car. One year later, many of the once-displaced residents have found their way back home, but three schools remain closed.

child doctor
Alex Prolmos / Flickr / Creative Commons

North Carolina House Republicans touted a bill on Tuesday that would expand health coverage to more uninsured adults who make too much to qualify for Medicaid. 

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, Robin Hayes, has been indicted on charges including wire fraud, bribery and aiding and abetting. Durham businessman and political donor Greg Lindberg, along with two of his associates, John Gray and John Palermo Jr., were also indicted. Lindberg is the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group, headquartered in Durham, N.C.

Mike Spencer / AP Photo

Updated April 2 at 4:25 p.m.

The Chair of the North Carolina Republican Party Robin Hayes has been indicted on charges including bribery. Durham businessman and the state’s largest political donor Greg Lindberg, along with two of his associates: John Gray and John Palermo Jr. were also indicted.

Ben McKeown / AP Photo

Updated at 5:55 p.m.

The University of North Carolina has placed its women's basketball coaching staff on administrative leave following the launch of an investigation into the program's culture, according to a news release issued Monday by the UNC-Chapel Hill Athletic Department.

Don McCullough / Flickr

Updated at 11:20 a.m.

UNC spokesman Randy Young said no arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning.

Updated at 7 p.m.

UNC Police have taken out arrest warrants for two suspects involved in the racist vandalism on University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus, said UNC Police spokesperson Randy Young.

UNC Police said they are "conducting a thorough criminal investigation" and "will not be releasing any details that could impede that investigation or subsequent prosecution," including the language used in the graffiti.

Barricades have been reerected around the Unsung Founders Memorial "to deter future incidents," and police "continue to monitor any threats to the campus," according to Young.

Updated at 3:30 p.m.

Early Sunday morning, two individuals defaced the Unsung Founders Memorial on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus with racist graffiti, according to a statement issued by UNC-CH Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. The memorial is located in McCorkle Place at the heart of the campus, not far from the site where the Silent Sam Confederate monument was toppled and the base later removed.

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Zen Sutherland / Flickr / www.flickr.com/photos/zen/1796555301/

Updated at 4:50 p.m.

Duke Energy Corp. has been ordered to excavate coal ash from all of its North Carolina power plant sites, slashing the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but potentially adding billions of dollars to the costs consumers pay.

NC General Assembly; State Legislature.
Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

North Carolina Democrats have found strength in numbers, and they are using if to push for an ambitious – if lofty – agenda.

Courtesy GoTriangle

The plan to establish a Durham-Orange Light Rail line is over. The GoTriangle board of trustees voted Wednesday to discontinue planning for the 18-mile line that would have connected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals with Duke University and Duke Hospital and end at North Carolina Central University. 

Courtesy Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

The Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble may be a group of teenagers but they pack a serious musical punch. For the fourth year in a row, the ensemble made the cut to compete on stage at New York’s Lincoln Center as part of the Essentially Ellington Competition. More than 100 bands tried out for the competition with only the top 15 earning a spot.

Cover of "Blood Letters" book
Basic Books

Lin Zhao was a poet and journalist who was arrested as a political dissident during the Mao Zedong regime in China. She stands as the only known Chinese citizen to have openly and steadily opposed Mao’s communism, an opposition rooted in her Christian faith. After her arrest, she dedicated her time in prison to writing letters and poems, sometimes in her own blood, in opposition of the regime.

Panorama of United States Supreme Court Building at dusk.
Joe Ravi / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA 3.0

The U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments Tuesday morning in a North Carolina gerrymandering case that dates back to the 2016 election. The case, Common Cause v. Rucho, is a major test for the court’s position on political gerrymandering.

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