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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Protesters hold signs that read 'NO IRAN WAR.'
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. House of Representatives approves a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s power and require authorization from Congress before taking any additional military action against Iran. While Trump tries to calm the nation’s fears, the FBI and national security leaders believe Iran and its proxies still pose a threat.

Charlotte Jarvis

Semen is a potent substance, both literally and symbolically. It was described by Chinese proverb as “equal to ten drops of blood”; by Sumerians as “a divine substance,” given to humanity by the god of water; and by Aristotle as “the most perfect component of our food.”

Courtesy of the Verona Quartet

Attending a night at the symphony may conjure up images of an elaborate theatre, expensive tickets and an audience dressed in their finest. Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is working to change that perception with upcoming performances featuring the Verona Quartet, COT’s inaugural string quartet-in-residence.

Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

200 families living in the McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham have been temporarily moved into hotels because of ongoing problems with carbon monoxide. The Durham Housing Authority put in place a voluntary evacuation order Friday as it conducts testing at the units. 

Poster of RLT's Curious Incident shows Michael in a red hoodie looking up at a night sky.
Courtesy of Raleigh Little Theatre

 
Actors make their living by telling the stories of other people. It is a craft marked by embodying a completely different life. But sometimes this process pushes out those who could most authentically tell the story. 

A surgery portrayed on a television episode
NBC

Television medical dramas have been a staple in Hollywood for decades. But just how accurate are those surgery scenes on NBC’s “Chicago Med?” Could Holmes and Watson really solve a crime using the science portrayed in the CBS series “Elementary?” It is Dr. Oren Gottfried’s job to ensure that medical facts align with the fiction of Hollywood. 

82nd Airborne paratroopers marching at Fort Bragg
Sgt. Kissta M. Feldner / U.S. Military

Iranian airstrikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq yesterday marked a response to the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the past week, thousands of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg rapidly deployed to the Middle East and Marines from Camp Lejeune are now also on their way to reinforce U.S. military presence.

Jeffries stands in uniform next to a sign that reads 'Lindsey Jefferies NC's First Female African AMerican Black Helicopter Pilot for the NC Army National Guard.'
Courtesy of Lindsey Jefferies

Captain Lindsey Jefferies was the first of her six siblings to graduate from college. As a child, her family struggled financially and was constantly on the move in search of better paying jobs and a lower cost of living. She hoped that getting a good education could be a ticket to a more secure future and set the goal of attending UNC-Chapel Hill.

Workers with a large tractor dig coal ash out from pit.
NC DEQ / Flickr

Duke Energy is expected to execute the country’s largest coal ash cleanup in the next couple decades. A settlement signed Dec. 31, 2019 between Duke Energy and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality decided the utility will excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash from unlined ponds and move it to lined landfills.

photo of writer David Zucchino
Becca Fox

 

Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino tackles Wilmington’s big lie in his latest book. Often called the Wilmington Massacre, early history described it as an unfortunate event where blacks were planning a race riot to overthrow whites. What history uncovered was a highly structured, highly coordinated coup planned by white supremacists to strip blacks of their newly-gained political power.

Red racecar speeding away.
Mark Menscer

Mark Menscer likes living between worlds. The “shock nerd” might spend the day chumming it up at a race track before heading home for a solitary night spent photographing the remains of a supernova. The Fayetteville native points to his unique upbringing for sparking his curiosity and wide-ranging interests.

Pixabay

We’re STILL waiting on nominations for the Academy Awards. So, in the meantime, we’re making our own list!

What was your favorite film of 2019?

Send your nomination to sot@wunc.org for your chance to be on the next Movies on the Radio with film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon.

Protestors holding signs.
Bob Karp

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.

Historical sign
Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/31557195515

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.

Trump at the rally in Michigan.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

2020 is more than a presidential election year — it is also the beginning of a new decade. Does this mean a new era of politics?

Photo of the Cat's Cradle from behind the stage at a show.
Courtesy of Steve Balcolm

At 17 years old, he was barred from entering the front door of the Cat’s Cradle, so John Howie Jr. instead got on the stage of the Chapel Hill club.

The Come Up Show, Ebru Yildiz and Hans Watson

North Carolina musicians made waves on the national stage in 2019. Close to a dozen artists from the state, including Rhiannon Giddens, DaBaby and J.Cole, are up for Grammy Awards in 2020, and new talent keeps popping up.

Protesters hold signs, one reads 'Love not hate makes America great.'
Anthony Crider

The segments produced by a State of Things producer are as diverse as the people who listen to the show. Dana Terry joins host Frank Stasio to share how diversity informs the stories they tell and highlights some of the standout moments of the year, including a conversation with Jacob Tobia, a gender non-conforming Raleigh native who ran off to Hollywood to make it big.

Holub-Moorman talking into a microphone at Motorco Music Hall.
Dalvin Nichols II / 8-bit Photog

The newest team member for WUNC’s daily talk show also produced the program’s first episode of the Embodied series, which explores topics related to sex, relationships and health. The series is hosted by Anita Rao and launched in July with an hour-long conversation about changing landscape of sexual education in North Carolina. Since then, the team has crafted weekly episodes for the series, featuring conversations ranging from fecal bio-art to intimacy through the ages. 

City council members.
Max Cooper / Courtesy of the Asheville Blade

The people of Asheville successfully fought against an effort from the North Carolina state legislature to change how the city’s local elections were run.

Fred Rogers was an awkward, introverted child who spent his early years playing alone with puppets, tinkering on the piano and enjoying the company of his grandfather. While most people age out of the pain of their youth, Rogers translated those memories into lessons and stories that touched the hearts and minds of a generation of children.

R.A. Fountain

A.R. “Archie” Ammons never wanted to be called a Southern writer. Raised in rural Columbus County, Ammons wrote reverent poems about a Depression-era landscape of tired mules and empty tobacco barns, touting his bootstraps’ ascent to literary fame. Yet he bemoaned the South as uneducated and chose to spend most of his adult life teaching and living in upstate New York.

Yang, Buttigieg and Warren at the debate.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The House of Representatives voted mostly along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The next step would send impeachment papers to the Senate, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is delaying that action until Senate leaders reach an agreement on the ground rules of the trial.

Book cover that reads 'Speaking of Feminism: Today's Activists On The Past, Present, And Future of The US Women's Movement.'
UNC Press

Why is feminism imagined as waves? These ocean waves, crashing then retreating, can make it appear like ideas come out of nowhere and eclipse everything that came before.

Oral history provides different frameworks for understanding the history of feminist activism.  Personal narratives of the movement capture the constant push and pull of ideology and action — how the definition "feminist" is constantly evolving and sometimes is irrelevant to real social progress. 

Middleton singing into a mic and playing an acoustic guitar.
Courtesy of Nancy Middleton

Durham called folk rocker Nancy Middleton back home after 11 years in Nashville.

NC legislative building
Jayron32 http://bit.ly/2Mcy7DJ

Historians will know 2019 as a year in which not a lot happened in the North Carolina legislature. Lawmakers did not pass a new state budget, despite holding the second-longest legislative session in state history. Gov. Roy Cooper was not able to expand Medicaid in the state, and the legislature did not pass any large social policies.

Woman stands in front of the Code The Dream office.
Courtesy of Dan Rearick

Part of the American dream includes a solid education with the promise of a lucrative job down the road. For students in North Carolina who are undocumented or recipients of DACA, that dream is elusive. These facts were part of the impetus for Code the Dream, a nonprofit organization that teaches immigrant and minority youth the art and science of coding.

Headshot of Grabarek.
Credit: Herald-Sun Courtesy of Durham County Library

Former mayor of Durham, Wensell “Wense” Grabarek, died on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the age of 100.

Grabarek entered office just as the Civil Rights movement reached a boiling point in May of 1963. Police were ready with tear gas as mass demonstrations advocating for integration took over the city. After 850 protesters were arrested, the new mayor asked permission to speak at a rally at St. Joseph’s AME Church. Standing at the pulpit, he acknowledged the congregation’s grievances and asked for time to find a solution. 

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.

The statue before activists toppled it.
Don McCullough / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/fvHbD4

New documents released from the University of North Carolina System reveal some of what happened behind closed doors as UNC Board of Governors negotiated its $2.5 million settlement with the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans over the controversial Silent Sam statue.

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