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.

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Headshot of Holloway
Esther Hicks Photography / Courtesy of Karla Holloway

Karla FC Holloway was raised in Buffalo, New York in the midst of the battle over school desegregation. Her parents were both school administrators, and although she was not aware at the time of just how involved they were in that fight, she keenly observed their commitment to racial equality.

Picture of Elijah Cummings speaking.
US Senate Democrats

More explosive and fast-moving news from the Trump White House this week.

Portrait photo of Wind and her daughter.
Denise Bardsley Photography

Susan Wind’s daughter was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at 16 years old. Soon after the family shared the news, Wind started hearing from her neighbors and other community members about their own families’ cancer battles.

Manifest music festival's poster: A person with a heart shaped face holds a baby and a piece of cake that's on fire.
Ria Aubry Taylor

No one ever asks Henbrain to turn up the bass. The band features two electric basses chugging alongside one another, which defines its low-frequency acid rock sound.

Michelle Sontheimer plays lead axe, running her sound through a guitar amplifier and effects processor, which produces a meaty buzz that she describes as a “2,000 pound angry bee.” Cutting through the low-frequency symphony are Erika Libero’s vocals. Her lyrics are a select cross-section of mythology, exploring topics from the Greek Elysian Fields to a Nekomata, an ancient Japanese demon cat. The band also includes Ryan Yancey on bass and drummer Derrek Spronk.

Movie poster that reads 'Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.'
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Steven Spielberg was named the highest-grossing filmmaker in U.S. history last year.

Graphic of a bed.
WikiHow

A solid eight hours can be hard to come by in our non-stop, tech-saturated world. But the modern science of sleep shows that shut-eye is just as critical as diet and exercise in shaping both mental and physical health.

Portrait of Lindberg sitting on brick steps.
Robert Brown Public Relations via AP

Recent reporting from The Wall Street Journal paints an even more complicated portrait of indicted Durham businessman Greg Lindberg.

Headshot of Segrest.
Laura Flanders

Mab Segrest is a lesbian feminist who spent the ‘80s monitoring Ku Klux Klan rallies and tracking the activity of hate groups in North Carolina. But social activism was an unlikely career path for a woman whose grandfather was a klansman and whose parents who fought to keep schools segregated.

Trump supporters hold signs and cheer as Trump looks at the crowd.
Creative Commons

Why do people vote against their own economic interests? In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won states populated by mostly white, working class voters — like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio — but his tax cuts benefit the rich.

Courtesy of Cecilia Polanco

Cecilia Polanco’s parents did not dream of their daughter owning a food truck when they emigrated from El Salvador to the United States in the early 1980s. Their expectation was that she would get a respectable profession after college, or even better, a career, like her older sisters who work in law and insurance.

Nortwestern football players celebrate together on the field
Matt Marton / AP

College sports is big business, and while schools and media organizations have long raked in the profits, students themselves have remained without pay. With a new California law, the landscape of college athletics is changing.

Rissi Palmer / Baldilocks LLC

Fans of Southern Soul have been yearning for new music from country crossover artist Rissi Palmer. Slated for release on Oct. 22, 2019, “Revival” will be her first album since “The Back Porch Sessions” EP in 2015. 

Stock photo of a football helmet on the field.
Pixabay

A report from sports media outlet The Athletic calls into question concussion research that was conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and headed by now-Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.

a headshot of Ann Patchett at her bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville
Heidi Ross/Harper Collins

Everyone has particular childhood memories that stand out and shape the story of who they are. But how reliable are these memories, and when should we let them go? These are some of the questions plaguing siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy, the two central characters in author Ann Patchett’s new novel, “The Dutch House” (Harper/2019).

A baboon and Tung look at each other.
Susan Alberts

When the MacArthur Foundation notified Jenny Tung that she is a 2019 “genius grant” recipient, she was honored and humbled. The new mom has spent much of her career studying primates and how their early life impacts their overall health, life expectancy and even affects their offspring.

Stock image of a hand against a screen of computer code.
Pixabay

The economic impact of ransomware attacks is expected to reach more than $11 billion in 2019, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. State and local governments are increasingly vulnerable, and North Carolina is not immune to this growing problem.

Promotional photo showing four women confronting an alien in high water.
Courtesy of Women's Theatre Festival

Imagine a world in which almost every town is flooded and most people are living in temporary shelters. It is unclear what has caused the flooding or if waters will recede any time soon, and government officials are not being transparent about what is going on. This is the plot of the new play from Women's Theatre Festival, called "Waters Rise."

Book cover
Courtesy of Negar Mottahedeh

In the aftermath of the overthrow of Iran's last monarch Mohammad Reza Shah, women in that country marked International Women’s Day for the first time in 50 years. The event held deep symbolic importance for the women who had been instrumental in that overthrow. But what was conceptualized as a celebration soon became a protest against a mandatory veiling decree.

Managing Editor Anita Rao joined The State of Things as a producer in 2014. Since then, she has produced a wide range of conversations for the show and led the team’s efforts to broaden the program's scope and diversity of voices.

Williams sits at a table with his hands folded in front of him.
Courtesy Ted Richardson / Winston-Salem Journal

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission believes a Winston-Salem man may have falsely confessed to a role in a homicide.

Archived illustrated image.
North Carolina State Archives

Even before the Lost Colony, great waves of emigration and migration were reshaping the region now known as North Carolina. As foreign empires invaded the land, new alliances and identities formed between the Tuscarora People along the coast and freed West Africans and Caribean Natives.

An afro-indigenous woman's face edited over the image of an indigenous young man.
Courtesy of Damola Akintunde and Crystal Cavalier-Keck

Indigenous Peoples’ Day reimagines Columbus Day to celebrate the other side of European “discovery.” These celebrations advance concrete political causes, such as the re-establishment of land rights in the Piedmont.

Gray playing his guitar in front of a mic.
Anita Rao / WUNC

Barry Gray’s debut release is the culmination of a family man’s slow-burning reflections.

Andre Vann standing with a table of NCCU's history.
Courtesy of Andre Vann

Andre Vann has always been enchanted by the stories of others. He grew up in a small, tight-knit community in Henderson, N.C. that was founded by his great-great-grandmother. He was rooted to his family history in that neighborhood, surrounded by his relatives and close family friends.

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff at a press conference.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Impeachment is once again at the center of this week’s newscycle. Now Congress has text messages from U.S. diplomats discussing President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukraine.

Courtesy of Dr. Chris Kelly

When did you last look up your symptoms online? Medical tomes and doctors visits were once necessary for diagnosis; now the internet makes medical knowledge — both amateur and professional — available to the masses.

Ross and Ruiz-Lopez headshot.
Courtesy of Violet Bell

When North Carolina duo Violet Bell started recording their debut album, they planned to feature band members Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez plus a drummer. But once the tape started rolling, Ross and Ruiz-Lopez realized the music warranted a bigger sound.

Sign on a tree that reads 'Ocracoke is greater then Dorian, we got this!'
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A month after many North Carolinians witnessed little to no damage from Hurricane Dorian, one of North Carolina’s barrier islands is still desperate for help.

A woman waiting for a commuter train.
Pxhere

Human trafficking continues to be an insidious and widespread problem in North Carolina. The  exploitation of people for sex or for labor can happen in a wide range of situations, from illicit massage parlors to farm operations or even well-frequented restaurants.

Bacteria
CDC/ Dr. Francis Chandler

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services continues to investigate an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease believed to be contracted at the Mountain State Fair held in Fletcher, North Carolina last month.

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