The State of Things

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Host Frank Stasio.
Credit Ben McKeown / For WUNC

We bring the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you. We are a live show, and we want to hear from listeners. Call 1-877-962-9862, email sot@wunc.org, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Medical school graduates viewed as obese or unattractive were more likely to be rejected by residency programs, according to a new study by Duke Health researchers.

Warraich's writing is anchored in his first-hand experience with patients.
Courtesy Haider Warraich

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease in the world. But as cardiologist Haider Warraich illuminates in his new book, it gets less funding and less attention than numerous other diseases, including cancer.

Okra enthusiast Chris Smith shares his passion for the mucilagenous vegetable in his new cookbook.
Peter Taylor

Writing off okra as a slimy pod is a great injustice, according to Chris Smith. The garden writer and seed saver is an okra aficionado who asserts that while the vegetable may have a unique texture, it is a surprisingly versatile piece of produce.

Renee Fink survived the German invasion of the Netherlands by hiding with a Catholic family for the duration of the war.
Holocaust Speakers Bureau

Renée Fink was born two years before WWII to Jewish parents in the Netherlands. In 1940 when the Germans invaded Holland, life did not change dramatically for Fink’s family, at least not right away.

All of the former workers involved in the complaint are immigrants from Mexico, which they cite as a reason for their unfair treatment
Bob Karp / Indy Week

Five former employees of the Hampton Inn in Mebane filed a complaint in Guilford County Superior Court alleging wage theft totalling $24,681. They assert that money is from unpaid bonuses and vacation time, mileage reimbursement, a malfunctioning time clock and more.

Slaves, free black communities, and Quakers provided support to escaped slaves.
Flickr

The term “Underground Railroad” evokes the image of the legendary Harriet Tubman engineering daring escapes in a false-bottomed carriage or slaves following the North Star through dark woods. Researcher and longtime history professor Adrienne Israel says those popular images only tell a sliver of the story.

Jennah Bell grw up in a musical family with broad tastes.
Courtesy of Jennah Bell

Jennah Bell’s love of music started with Disney movies and musicals. By age six she had matured past the soundtrack to “Annie” and discovered the magic of Stevie Wonder and the Beatles and began to understand the wide range of stories that music can tell.

Those housed by UYCS are placed in dingy apartments and run-down hotels plagued by mold, pests, and drug abuse.
Courtesy of Jordan Green

A Triad City Beat investigative piece reveals troubling accusations against United Youth Care Services (UYCS), an agency that provides substance abuse treatment tied to housing for those enrolled in Medicaid.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

House Judiciary Committee heard testimony about government reparations for African Americans. For the first time in more than a decade the House held a hearing related to reparations legislation, which was first introduced 30 years ago.

Courtesy of Carole Boston Weatherford

When President Jimmy Carter declared June Black Music Month, the White House hosted performers ranging from gospel singer Aundre Crouch to disco star Evelyn Champagne King. But the holiday was masterminded by the Black Music Association, a group of record executives, who were focused more on mobilizing the economic power of black music than celebrating its artists. Things have changed since then.

Swain County in Western North Carolina ranks 99th out of the state's 100 counties for food security.
Matt Rose / Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public Press is taking a year-long look at hunger and food insecurity in Western North Carolina. “The Faces of Hunger” addresses many widely publicized facets of the problem, including its impact on the elderly and low-income children will also expose some of the not-so-common victims.

photo of an electric chair
pixabay

There are 142 inmates on North Carolina’s death row, but the last time the state executed someone was 2006. North Carolina’s history with the death penalty is complicated.

Mat Hayward / Courtesy of Mark Morris Dance Group

Acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris says that whether or not you love or hate The Beatles, his show “Pepperland” is for you. While that may be a bold way to encourage audience members to attend the performance, it is not too far from what critics themselves have to say.

Christina Westover / U.S. Army

Thousands of military personnel were deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border in the fall of last year. At the time President Donald Trump said their purpose was to bolster security and help reduce illegal border crossings.

Courtesy of Jon Steinman

The food system is broken and grocery stores are a big part of the problem, according to author Jon Steinman. Steinman spent years researching the money and health and environmental impact of our grocery system, which is dominated by large food conglomerates.

Courtesy of Keyetta Mangum

Television shows like “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” exemplified the country stereotype in American culture. Characters were uneducated, naive and often had a strong affinity for guns. North Carolina native Keyetta Mangum grew up in a rural area and is fiercely proud of her country roots, but also finds that most popular culture representations of rural life are tired, cliche and problematic.

Carolyn Coleman serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors and as the First Vice President of the North Carolina NAACP
NAACP

Carolyn Coleman got her first taste of community activism as a young girl in a segregated community in Savannah, Georgia. She and her mother went door-to-door collecting signatures to advocate for neighborhood improvements. She continued to work for civil rights and social justice for close to six decades.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she will step down as press secretary by the end of June 2019.
Evan Vucci / AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be stepping down at the end of June, as announced through tweets from President Donald Trump. Sanders has been in Trump’s press office since his 2016 presidential campaign.

Courtesy of Christina Proenza-Coles

History tells stories of America being founded by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, and discovered by Christopher Columbus. While many have challenged Columbus’ high importance in the history books, a new publication reveals a wave of settlers, conquistadors and revolutionaries that came long before the Europeans. These “founders” were of African descent.

Courtesy of Rebecca Newton

Rebecca Newton is a well-known name on the North Carolina music scene. The longtime musician and artist promoter has spent decades performing in groups and working to promote her bands and other people's music.

Tamara Keith began covering the White House in 2014.
Courtesy of Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been covering the White House for NPR since 2014. In that time she has reported on the Obamas, spent countless hours on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton and traveled on a surprise trip to Iraq with President Donald Trump.

Rihanna fled the threat of violence in El Salvador in 2014.
Michal Huniewicz / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump’s administration has made several significant shifts in the country’s immigration policies, including a travel ban on those from several Muslim-majority countries; reducing the number of refugees admitted to the country; and enforcing policies that make it harder for individuals to seek asylum in the United States. A case in western North Carolina highlights the impact of the changes for asylum-seekers.

Louis Austin served as the editor of the "Carolina Times" from 1927 until his death in 1971.
Courtesy of Jerry Gershenhorn

For more than 40 years the “Carolina Times” was the preeminent black newspaper in North Carolina. It covered the day-to-day happenings in Durham, but its power and reach went far beyond the Triangle.

Craig Hicks when he was first brought into Durham County courtroom 7D.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Craig Stephen Hicks pled guilty to murdering three Muslim students at a Chapel Hill apartment complex in 2015. The death penalty was taken off the table and both sides agreed to three life terms in the shooting deaths of Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her younger sister Razan Abu-Salha who lived in the same apartment complex as Hicks.

NPR reporter Frank Langfitt stands next to the taxi he used to give free rides to strangers in Shanghai to investigate shifts in China's social and political paradigm.
Courtest of Frank Langfitt

Reporter Frank Langfitt was no stranger to China when he started the job of NPR Shanghai correspondent in 2011. Langfitt had worked for a newspaper in Beijing from 1997 to 2002, but the country he returned to on this new assignment was vastly different from the one he had lived in before.

Le'Andra McPhatten is a musician and the director of Le'Andra's Music Studio in Durham.
Denise Allen / Courtesy of the North Carolina Arts Council

North Carolina’s strong cultural traditions in music, crafts, dance and food have been evolving for generations. Millennials are now taking the helm and putting their own spin on various folk and traditional art forms.

A fire at an apartment complex in May 2018 was a wake-up call for Greensboro to address its affordable housing crisis.
David Ford / WFDD

This summer the city of Greensboro plans to sue the 10 landlords with the highest number of housing code violations. These companies have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines owed to the city.

Robert Mueller is the latest in a long line of Federal Prosecutors who have played critical roles in American political history.
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Robert Mueller is part of a long line of special prosecutors in American history. Scholars point to the Ulysses S. Grant administration as the first to recognize that the U.S. Department of Justice might not be the most reliable entity to investigate a sitting president.

Guitarist Roy Robers is one of the artists featured in the film.
Roy Roberts

As the great R&B artists of the 1960s and ‘70s traveled between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., they often made a stop in Greensboro, North Carolina. That stop meant talented, young musicians from across the state had a chance to rub elbows with — or even play alongside— famed musicians of the time, people like Little Richard and Otis Redding.

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.

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