The State of Things

 

The issues, personalities and places of North Carolina right to you, every day in your podcast feed. Hosted by Frank Stasio and Anita Rao. Listen and subscribe on Google PlayApple Podcasts or wherever you get your favorite shows. Tweet us @state_of_things and see more show content on Facebook and Instagram.

 

A large-letter post card of Fayetteville
Steven R. Shook / Schiffer Publishing

He leads in ribbon-cuttings and celebrations of life. Mitch Colvin took over his family’s funeral home before running for office. His day-job provides insight into buileint community in difficult times. 

When this year’s seniors started their final year of high school, they could not have imagined that their spring would involve canceled proms, drive-thru cap and gown pickups and postponed graduation ceremonies.

Illustration of a downtown street.
Courtesy of UNC Libraries

He personally put up the barricades to keep visitors out in order to protect his mountain hometown from the coronavirus. But James Reid remembers when the problem was folks no longer stopping through Andrews. 

As the weeks of social distancing and stay-at-home orders drag on, some people are desperate for a break from where they have been for the past couple months. Films can offer an escape and transport the viewer to faraway lands or lush landscapes. 
 

Grant Holub-Moorman / WUNC

The Carolina Times faces an uncertain future after its publisher Kenneth Edmonds died Saturday, May 2.  His tenure at the historic black newspaper started when he was just 4 or 5 years old. 

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Stimulus checks are rolling into bank accounts across the country, but many have experienced confusion about when, and if, their portion of the $2 trillion economic relief package is coming. 

Courtesy of Jenni Lawson

North Carolina’s coastal counties draw millions of visitors each year with their scenic shorelines and festive events. Tourism is the primary economic driver in beach communities like Corolla, in Currituck County, but the coronavirus will prevent hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals and events from operating at full capacity this summer. 

Steven R Shook

She did not expect to be the only person of color in a classroom, and certainly not as the teacher.  Before she was elected mayor of Elizabeth City, Bettie J. Parker taught math for 33 years at the local high school.
 

 

a colorful artists' rendering of the greenhouse effect
Jaime Van Wart

Eleanor Spicer Rice spent her childhood fascinated by ants, flies, maggots, bones and other natural curiosities. Her family encouraged that inquisitiveness — her father would take her on walks in the swamps near their Goldsboro home, and her parents never told her the bugs that enchanted her were gross.

Flickr / Mark Nozell

Former Vice President Joe Biden denies a sexual assault allegation by former Senate aide Tara Reade. The presumptive Democratic nominee spoke publicly about the allegation this morning for the first time. 

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The nation’s meat supply was declared ‘critical infrastructure’ by the White House Tuesday. The order detailed that ‘the closure of a single large beef processing facility can result in the loss of over 10 million individual servings of beef in a single day.’ 

A banana with a condom on it.
Pixabay

Can you do condom demonstration over Zoom? What about teaching comprehensive sexual education? In the midst of a pandemic, the answer is unclear. On this segment of Embodied, host Anita Rao talks with Elizabeth Finley about gaps in sex ed brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wall crouched on the street wearing a mask surrounded by protestors.
The News & Observer Staff

As death tolls rise, new testing information surfaces and doctors race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, breaking news is not in short supply. 
 

Courtesy of Justin Catanoso

When in-person classes were cancelled for the semester at Wake Forest University, Professor Justin Catanoso knew he would have to break some of his own rules. 

Legislators look out the window to see packed protestors.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers gaveled in Tuesday for a legislative session unlike any other — their first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state. 

Creative Commons/Steve Mohundro

“Writers write.” “Publish or perish.” Even without a global pandemic, writers face constant pressure to produce new material. But for the first-time novelist, publishing a book when bookstores are closed for browsing, signings and readers is particularly tough. 

Sign reads: No worries! We have plenty of toilet paper.
Courtesy of Lisa Leatherwood

Nursing homes are the source of more than 40% of North Carolina’s reported COVID-19 deaths so far. These facilities house some of our most vulnerable community members, many of whom need personal care — things like help going to the bathroom or brushing teeth. As of Tuesday, the data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that 48 nursing homes and 20 residential care facilities (which include adult and family care homes) have outbreaks

Omid Safi

Omid Safi, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke, knew that the months of April and May would be difficult for the Muslim community this year. Like Easter and Passover, the holy month of Ramadan will be celebrated much differently due to COVID-19’s ongoing social distancing restrictions. 

Neuwirth stands in front of the exhibit with her two children.
Courtesy of Edward Neuwirth

As a child, Brandi Neuwirth remembers family chatter about her great-great-grandfather owning a school in North Carolina. But she was young and North Carolina seemed a world away from the life she lived in New York City. Her great-great-grandfather the Rev. Morgan Latta had a vision of a school that would educate the children of freed slaves.

Protestor holds a sign that reads 'end the tyranny.'
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Governors find themselves in the political crosshairs of the pandemic — navigating the threat of an economic depression with a second wave outbreak. This week, states began diverging from the federal government’s recommended strict restrictions. 

Alina Vilchenko

Remember the days when school, work, home life and social engagements kept our schedules packed to the brim, and a little bit of leisure time was hard fought? The coronavirus has turned the work-life balance upside down for many folks. 

A woman dressed in black, wearing a mask looks gazes off towards a stream of light
Kate Medley / WUNC

 Death is a taboo topic. Acknowledging it feels like an admission of defeat — that there is no hope left. But in the face of a pandemic, death surrounds us. 

FLICKR/CC, Ronnie Pittman

In North Carolina and across the nation, black communities are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates. But there has been little consensus about why that may be the case. 

Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham

The weeks of stay-at-home orders have created space for some families to spend more time together than ever before. This could mean more bonding, family meals and joyful activities. But for others it makes for a dangerous situation.

Green in a purple blouse sitting on a bench in her bedroom.
Courtesy of Jaki Shelton Green

Abundance emerges even in catastrophe. The earth is telling us so. Emphatic evidence now shows itself following the first warm rains. What plans did winter make in its stillness? 

Moviestore / Shutterstock

With an uncertain end to social distancing, many people are turning to their screens for a break from the four walls around them. Film is one way to escape your current reality — some movies can evoke a specific place so deeply that it transports us far away. It could be to the grit of NC’s own “Bull Durham” or into the Parisian magic of “Amelie.” 

Send in your nomination for a chance to be on the next Movies on the Radio. Email us at sot@wunc.org, tweet at us with #sotmovie, or just comment below!

Photo of Mia Ives-Rublee with her dog Vezzini
Chris Riggs / Courtesy Mia Ives-Rublee

Mia Ives-Rublee grew up surrounded by adults who were worried about her well-being. She has Osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone disorder more commonly known as brittle bone disease, and uses a wheelchair to get around. 

Ethan Hyman / ehyman@newsobserver.com

Across the nation, governors are facing grassroots pressure to lift their stay-at-home orders. More than 100 protesters gathered in Raleigh Tuesday to demand that the state reopen for business.

SNCC Digital Gateway

David Forbes arrived at Shaw University in 1958. In the winter of his sophomore year, the Civil Rights movement swept through North Carolina when four students in Greensboro led a sit-in. Forbes and hundreds of other Shaw students followed suit at the Woolworth’s in Cameron Village. 

ShaLeigh Comeford

Usually the dancing is quite erratic at Sand Pact shows. Induced by their chaotic collages, onlookers may find themselves alternately writhing on the floor, head-bopping or paralyzed save a slight eye twitch.

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