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.

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A pile of rubble behind a sign for cottage rentals
Connie Leinbach / Ocracoke Observer

Nearly 10 weeks after Hurricane Dorian struck North Carolina’s coast, Ocracoke Island is still under an evacuation order blocking visitors and tourism. On Monday, Nov. 11, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners agreed to allow visitors starting Nov. 22, which is the same day the island’s main road is expected to reopen. 

Rowdy performing in front of the Washington monument.
Courtesy of Mark Katz

The U.S. Department of State has a long history of utilizing cultural “people-to-people” diplomacy to advance national interests. One of those programs sends hip-hop artists all over the world to engage in artistic exchange.

Cover of 'The Last House Guest'
Simon & Schuster

Avery Greer knows what it is like to feel like a suspect in her own town. Greer, the central character in Megan Miranda’s new novel, lives in a coastal community in Maine, and when her best friend commits suicide, some people begin to suspect she had something to do with the death.

She eventually uncovers a critical clue that could counter the police narrative, and starts on a quest to clear her name and seek justice for her best friend.

black and white photo of Ricky Moore standing in front of his restaurant
Baxter Miller

Ricky Moore has been chasing taste for his entire life. He moved around a lot as a child because of his father’s military career, but when he was 11, his family settled back to Eastern North Carolina, in New Bern. He was surrounded by family, friends and country cooking.

NC legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators met this week to tackle the task of redrawing congressional maps. The first meeting determined Republicans want to use the maps created for the advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina, while Democrats want to start from scratch. A three-judge panel ruled last week that the gerrymandered districts be redrawn in time for the 2020 election.

Matar standing next to some of her photographs.
Courtesy of Rania Matar

A teenage girl’s most intimate space is her bedroom. It is a place where she figures out who she is and tries on new identities. As Lebanese-American photographer Rania Matar watched her own daughters become teenagers, she became increasingly curious about the magic of that space.

Grant Holub-Moorman / WUNC

Thomas Taylor Jr. is fostering an appreciation of jazz legends like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk among the state’s underground hip-hop scene.

The professor of percussion at North Carolina Central University sees North Carolina’s long history in blues and jazz as a natural foundation for today’s emcees. In his classes, Taylor invites aspiring rappers to improvise with him in front of the class — him on the drums, them with their words. Two students from that course now freestyle with him regularly.

Book cover
Princeton University Press

When scholar Kate Bowler went to an evangelical bible camp at the age of 14, she was confronted with a new take on what it means to be a Christian: girls should submit and focus their energy on becoming good wives and mothers. Bowler pushed back against this philosophy.

Harry Smith holds up his hands in front of microphones
LISA PHILIP / WUNC

A lawyer connected to some members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors misrepresented his connection to powerful people in state government for access to the damaging video footage of former East Carolina University interim chancellor Dan Gerlach.

Old Oberlin Road schoolhouse archive photo.
Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

Oberlin Village is an important part of Raleigh’s history — but there is not much of the historic African American community left.

Illustration of a diverse group of women and one man on a North Carolina outline.
Illustration by Mariano Santillan / Courtesy of Carolina Public Press

North Carolina seeks to close antiquated loopholes in sexual assault laws and add more protections for child abuse victims.

Cardman in her NASA gear.
Robert Markowitz / NASA

Zena Cardman knew she might not have another opportunity to pursue poetry. She was about to dive into graduate research on microbiology in extreme environments when she put that plan on ice, and opted to write a poetry collection for her undergraduate thesis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Portrait of Cameron Dezen Hammon
Courtesy Cameron Dezen Hammon

From the time she was young, musician and writer Cameron Dezen Hammon craved a spiritual connection with the world around her.

 Photo of Greensboro downtown skyline.
Courtesy Flickr/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/ucumari/306972641

Greensboro city officials are looking into high levels of a likely-carcinogenic chemical compound identified at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The levels of 1,4 dioxane in the wastewater were more than 2,700 times the EPA limit for drinking water.

Gravestone that reads, ' Communist Workers Party 5, Jim Waller, Cesar Cauce, Mike Nathan, Bill Sampson, and Sandy Smith.'
Courtesy of the Greensboro News and Record

On Nov. 3, 1979, a caravan of Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazi Party members pulled out weapons and killed five people protesting at an anti-Klan march in Greensboro. Ten people were injured, and the police were nowhere to be found. The Greensboro Massacre was quickly buried in the national news cycle after the Iran hostage crisis began the next day — but it remains a painful moment in the city’s history.


Courtesy of Chuck Liddy

Chuck Liddy stumbled into a career as a photojournalist after he found out he could walk into  high school football games for free if he had a camera around his neck. But the photography enthusiast had already converted a bathroom in his house into a darkroom and enjoyed experimenting with the camera his dad had taken into the Vietnam War. Once Liddy was on staff at a newspaper, he began a career of taking risks and adopting the new technology of the day, from digital cameras to drones.

The House has voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. As expected, the vote was divided along party lines, with two Democrats voting against the inquiry.

News & Record file

As a law student in 1969, Flint Taylor wanted to make a difference in the fight for civil and human rights. He and other young lawyers teamed up and formed a law practice that went on to represent clients in high profile fights, including a civil suit that challenged the official story of slain Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and a case that uncovered systemic use of torture by the Chicago Police Department to coerce confessions from African American men.

Promotional photo of the band. Four men, two in masks, standing around a tree trunk.
Courtesy of JULIA.

A four-piece group from Chapel Hill brings classic funk back to North Carolina’s music scene — with a modern twist. The band JULIA. draws a lot of its influence from 1970s funk, including Parliament-Funkadelic.

United Artists

What is Soylent Green? Who killed JFK? What goes on at Area 51? Paranoia is justified in these classics about conspiracies and cover-ups, reaching the highest levels of government, church, and corporation. For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know your favorite films about pulling back the curtain and speaking truth to power.

Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina students face a new roadblock when it comes to participating in the next U.S. election. Most of the state’s public universities have until Nov. 15 to re-apply for their student identification to be used as valid photo ID at polling places. Nearly half of N.C. higher education institutions missed the initial March deadline and had to scramble to meet a new deadline on Oct. 26.

photo of four people in the dark, in front of a creepy white house.
Courtesy of Nelson Nauss

How haunted is North Carolina? Around the state, teams of paranormal investigators are looking into some of the most historic — and most eerie — locations. These researchers collect data and conduct investigations at sites like Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh and the USS North Carolina in Wilmington.

Marsh in front of a gravestone and stone cross.
Courtesy of Tanya Marsh

October in American culture is decorated with death. But after Halloween, we put the fake skulls and tombstones back in the box in the attic, to be forgotten until next year’s celebration of the macabre. Tanya Marsh, however, pays homage to death all year long.

Durham skyline.
FLICKR

Durham is one of a number of North Carolina cities that have experienced rapid growth in the last decade.

UNC System interim president Bill Roper, left, announced Tuesday that Dan Gerlach, right, will serve as ECU's leader.
East Carolina University

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors and the East Carolina University Board of Trustees held closed-door meetings Tuesday, just days after the resignation of ECU interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

Portrait of Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Rick Cruz/Pacific Daily News / Courtesy of Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca is a poet whose rough and tumble early life is now the backbone of his work.

sepia-toned portrait of Florence Price looking at the camera
G. Nelidoff / Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville http://bit.ly/2JwkZrO

Florence Price was the first African American woman to have her symphony performed by a major orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her work in 1933, and for any other composer that event would have launched a successful career, but Price’s talents were overlooked because of the color of her skin and her gender.

2016 map
Credit North Carolina General Assembly

A three-judge panel has ordered North Carolina legislators to throw out the current Congressional maps.

Hagan sitting with three uniformed military service members.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matt Davis

Former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan died unexpectedly at her home in Greensboro Monday after suffering from a prolonged illness.

A child supports themself in a green slide.
Courtesy of Valine Ziegler

Does homeschooling prepare children for society? Stereotypes about parents who pull their children out of school may not hold as true as they once did. For example, homeschooling is becoming less religious in North Carolina. Last school year, 58 percent of home schools registered as religious as compared to 80 percent in the 1988-89 school year.

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