The State of Things

M-F 12 Noon, M-Th 8p, Sat 6a

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.

Or join our live audience for monthly remote broadcasts from Greensboro's Triad Stage. Check out our special recurring series: #BackChannel, Movies On The Radio and Embodied. You can also listen to Political Junkie Ken Rudin Fridays on the program.

Get a daily show update and special news. Subscribe to our podcast on Google Play or iTunes.

A close-up photo of Cokie Roberts.
Wikimedia Commons

The journalism community is in mourning over the loss of veteran broadcaster Cokie Roberts. Considered one of the founding mothers of NPR, Roberts blazed trails for women in journalism while helping to set the tone and standard for the emerging field of public radio.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons http://bit.ly/2mr6xsv

The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies accusing them of misusing federal funds in their programming.

Grant Holub-Moorman / WUNC

Artists Alice Gerrard, Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves each has a rich musical career in her own right. But when they come together as a trio, the musicians open up space to exchange songs and stories across generations.

Illustration of someone surrounded by life stressors.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

The World Health Organization now officially lists workplace burnout as an occupational syndrome in its International Classification of Diseases manual.

An improvised scene from 'Midnight Cowboy'
United Artists

People constantly quote and misquote cinema — sometimes without ever having seen the referenced film. Think about lines like “You had me at hello”; “Hasta la vista, baby”; or “Play it again, Sam.” Sometimes the words many of us repeat are never spoken in the movie, and other times they are phrases that actors made up on the spot. Whether it’s from Monty Python, Whoopi Goldberg, or a Spielberg flick, movie quotes are the way we map our cultural common ground.

Photo of inside of NC Senate Chambers
Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina will soon have new legislative maps. The previous maps were tossed out after a three-judge panel unanimously declared them unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.

Mary Ellis Stevens

Ninth-grader Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish legislature in 2018 and declared her commitment to strike each Friday to demand that her government undertake a radical response to climate change. At that moment she became the face and voice of a generation of youth anxious and motivated to do something about climate change.

Randall Munroe / Riverhead Books

XKCD is a stick-figure webcomic. While the drawings might be simple, the ideas explore universal concepts like romance, sarcasm, math, and language. The exchanges between stick figures can capture the imagination and attention span of a child while wading into complex astrophysics and existential dilemmas. 

Tommy Coyote / Courtesy of Miriam Tolbert

How do local artists make it big these days? In the age of recommendation algorithms and music streaming, can a radio DJ spin an indie artist into fame? Miriam Tolbert is trying to do just that by slowly turning the attention of a commercial station back to the local scene. 

Lake sits at his desk.
(AP Photo/Karen Tam, File)

Former North Carolina State Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. died Thursday at age 85. Known as a law and order conservative who sometimes wore his pistol in court, Lake spearheaded the Actual Innoncence Commission which gave birth to North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission and helped make the state a leader in overturning wrongful convictions.

Text ' Shame of Chicago'
Courtesy of Bruce Orenstein

One of the few paths to homeownership for Chicago’s black community in the 1950s and ‘60 was home sale contracts. African American buyers would make payments toward the purchase of a home, but the seller held the deed until the home was paid off in full. Buyers had the illusion of a mortgage without the protection of a mortgage.

The three women of band Honey Magpie play their respective instruments.
Conor Makepeace / Courtesy of Honey Magpie

Singer-songwriter Rachael Hurwitz struggled to make it as a musician in New York City. She eventually decided to head south in search of a more encouraging culture.

A flooded street on Ocracoke Island.
CREDIT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE / MOREHEAD CITY

The Outer Banks is bracing for a long recovery after Hurricane Dorian.

Bailar half out of the pool.
Sydney Clair Photography

Schuyler Bailar was swimming solo before his first birthday. He learned a love for swimming at Mommy and Me classes, competed in his first swim meet at age 7 and qualified for national competitions before he got to high school. 

Ballen and his son.
Courtesy of Dwayne Ballen

Dwayne Ballen spent the early years of his childrens’ lives jetting between the East and West Coasts. He worked as a sportscaster in Los Angeles, but his family lived in the Triangle. When his eldest son Julian was diagnosed with autism, everything changed.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Results are in for special congressional elections in North Carolina’s 3rd and 9th Districts. In the closely-watched 9th District race, Republican Dan Bishop slipped past Democrat Dan McCready with a 2-point lead.

Old photos of the massacre.
Courtesy of the General Negative Collection, North Carolina State Archives

Wilmington is the setting for some of North Carolina’s oldest history — including the only coup d’etat to ever take place in the United States. In 1898 a mob of armed, white supremacists torched the offices of the local black newspaper, killed many African American residents and overthrew the elected government.

Matt Bertone

The work of dung beetles is not sexy, but it has a monumental impact on our ecosystem. They break down feces, recycle nutrients and help control the spread of disease.

A tree and telephone line fell across a street in Greensboro.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

The city of Greensboro has helped more than 200 renters become homeowners this year.

Film poster showing an illustrated portrait of the lead singer angrily yelling
John Rash

Soon after moving to Mississippi, documentary filmmaker John Rash was looking for a way to fill his evenings. A lifelong member of the punk community, he had his eye out for show billings. One name grabbed his attention — Negro Terror. Once he heard the band's anti-fascist and Black Power politics combined seamlessly in their lyrics and followers, he knew there was a story to be explored.

Book cover depicting illustrated weapons and technological devices in a roq
Routledge

For almost 15 years, fans of The Real Housewives franchise have reveled in the explosive verbal and physical brawls that take place on screen. Pair that with the constant barrage of political rants on Twitter and viral violent YouTube videos, and one might wonder how much our hearts and minds are being altered by the images and language around us.   

Photo of House of Dues at the Triad Stage in downtown Greensboro
Dana Terry/WUNC

For almost a decade House of Dues has been part of the Triad music scene. But they got their start playing at a Mardi Gras party. Led by guitarist and vocalist David Bolton, the group counts BB King, The Nevilles and Herbie Hancock as the inspiration behind their blues, funk, and R&B blend. House of Dues plays at Fishers Grille in Greensboro on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

Yoo and his family with a family of African immigrants.
Courtesy of Lawrence Yoo

Pastor Lawrence Yoo’s vision for changing the world combines community service and entrepreneurship, and he has used this model in his own life.

NWS Newport/Morehead City

Hurricane Dorian continues to move up the Atlantic coast, and while many areas were spared, it has created dangerous flooding conditions on North Carolina’s barrier islands. Flash flooding sent quickly rising waters into homes on Ocracoke Island this morning and hundreds of people may still be trapped. Gov. Roy Cooper said this morning in a briefing that communication is  limited and rescuers will have a difficult time reaching the island.

Andrew Yang at a speaking event in front of an American flag.
Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons

Two long-awaited special elections in North Carolina are just days away. On Tuesday, Sept. 10 voters will cast ballots in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts.

A doctor holding a stethoscope.
Pxhere

North Carolina did not expand the number of adults eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the state is pursuing other avenues of healthcare reform. The state Department of Health and Human Services and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina have teamed up to work on a program to shift how healthcare is paid for.

Headshot of the bandmembers of Bleeder.
Courtesy of Bleeder

Shelby Smoak was born a bleeder. As a child with hemophilia, he spent a lot of time on crutches, using a cane or limping, but he has long refused to let fear control his life.

A satellite image of Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As Hurricane Dorian churns up the U.S. Atlantic coast, North Carolinians are experiencing strong winds and rain. The storm could cause more than 700,000 power outages in the Carolinas, according to Duke Energy predictions.

ReadyNC

A year after Florence, Dorian restarts the cycle of disaster preparedness, damage control, and recovery. Florence’s toll was especially harsh on North Carolina’s Spanish-only speakers, who were not included in many state and local outreach efforts before and after the storm.

Hundreds of protesters hold ant-white supremacy signs.
Anthony Crider

Hundreds showed up for “A March Against White Supremacy” in Hillsborough over the weekend in response to a klan rally held in the town the week before.

Pages