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.

 

Credit: Raleigh Police Department

The Raleigh Police Department released body camera footage on Wednesday evening of an officer’s non-fatal shooting of Javier Torres. A judge authorized the release of the body and dash camera footage of the incident earlier on Wednesday.

Amanda Magnus / WUNC

Compared to many other cultures around the world, Americans place a high value on cleanliness. But with the coronavirus now declared a global pandemic, we’ve all become hygiene-obsessed.

Credit Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina is now in a state of emergency. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the declaration Tuesday, as increased testing better accounts for the rising number of confirmed cases in the state.

John Biewen

Democracy is at the center of the creation myth of the United States. But just how important was democracy to our nation’s founding fathers?

John Riddick

Are you a Becky, or a Rebecca? Do you ignore injustice if it does not affect you, or do you stand up for what is right?

Courtesy of CrossComm, Inc.

What if the winning coach of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament chose the height of the hoop and the distance of the three-point line for the next year? Here in North Carolina, winning the majority in the state legislature lets lawmakers do something similar with the state’s electoral maps.

Brian Robinson, UNCG

Many African Americans searching for their family histories hit a wall when they get to the 1860s or 1870s. During slavery, the only public records for enslaved people were deeds, which classified them as property and said nothing of their lived experiences, or even marked their birth or death.

Rare Bird Books

Author John Russell calls the 1898 Wilmington Massacre an “un-secret secret.” While there has recently been some renewed focus and attention on the racial massacre and its historical consequences, this ugly chapter in North Carolina’s history was largely unacknowledged just decades ago.

John Hooper/ Decoro Images

Brianna Tam’s cello nearly disappears when turned sideways. The sleek, black instrument is just an outline with strings.

Courtesy of Ronnie Pepper

Ronnie Pepper loves to hear stories as much as he loves to tell them. He grew up in the small Appalachian town of Hendersonville during the era of the civil rights movement in a house with no plumbing and only four rooms.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

 

Super Tuesday voters gave former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign new life as the candidate won 10 states — including North Carolina. Biden now leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the overall delegate count, but the race is far from over. 

Courtesy of the Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro, N.C.

The women’s ACC Basketball Tournament is underway in Greensboro, and three North Carolina teams are left: Wake Forest, NC State and Duke. Years of dedication from young female athletes culminate in tournaments like this, but despite the athleticism and dedication of the players, fans do not come out in droves like they do for men’s games. So, what does that mean for the athletes, their financial potential and the game at large? 

The Doug Prescott Band started in 1996 as a musical project between friends. Now, its an evolving group of up to eight people who create Americana folk tunes. Frontman Doug Prescott got started in music when he picked up a trumpet in the fourth grade. Songwriting came naturally to him, and it has been a lifelong passion. 

Courtesy of NCCU Football

Students and faculty at North Carolina Central University are still processing shock and grief following the tragic killing of Trevor VanDyke, a freshman defensive back for the Eagles football team who was fatally shot Monday night.

Rush Jagoe

Radio Haiti-Inter was the first independent radio station on the Caribbean island. Founded by activist and journalist Jean Dominique, it broke the mold and achieved mass popularity by standing up to government corruption and media suppression in the language of the people, Haitian Creole.

Courtesy of Melody Moezzi

Growing up in Ohio, Melody Moezzi resented her father’s obsession with Rumi’s poetry. While his run-on couplets reminded her father of the Iran he loved and had to flee from, for her, his mysticism was contrary to the tenets of American identity she received in school.

A map of North Carolina showing which counties went for former Vice President Joe Biden and which went for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
North Carolina State Board of Elections

Super Tuesday narrowed the Democratic presidential field to a race between two men: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The majority of Democratic North Carolinians cast their ballots for Biden, giving him the state and adding fuel to his comeback after a landslide win in the South Carolina primary. And today former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Biden.

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina's first case of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  was confirmed today. Yet the state's manufacturing and agriculture industries were struggling to cope with disturbances in their supply chain weeks ago.

Fred Sharples

North Carolina’s resistance to pandemic is not uniform. The Triangle and Charlotte each host an international airport and research hospitals; March Madness brings crowds to Greensboro; Wilmington receives cargo and personnel from overseas; and Asheville entertains tourists from around the world. Socioeconomic vulnerability also contributes to the spread. 

Our Three Winners

What is the definition of a hate crime? The new documentary “Anatomy of Hate,” explores that question through the events of the horrific triple murder in Chapel Hill on Feb. 10, 2015.

Ron Yorgason

Charly Lowry raises the hand-drum, strikes a heartbeat and begins reciting a song she wrote after leaving the comfort of her native community for college — “An existence so beautiful, so colorful/ deep rooted in originality/ eye-candy of shallow minds/ that was her reality, still/ she walks around with a smile/ for the whole wide world to see/ Inside’s ascreamin’/ Free yourself from strains of society.”

Vaping products
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Duke University will become a smoke-free campus beginning in July 2020. The new policy has been in the works for several years, but the addition of electronic cigarettes and vaping products is relatively new.

A 1918 portrait of Charlotte Hawkins Brown
North Carolina Historic Sites

One hundred years ago this August, North Carolina declined the opportunity to be the deciding state to grant women the constitutional right to vote. The decision had come down to Tennessee and North Carolina, so Tar Heel legislators sent a telegram to their counterparts in Tennessee, urging them not to ratify and pledging that North Carolina would do the same. Fortunately, Tennessee ignored that plea and ratified the amendment, adding it to the U.S. Constitution.

Donn Young

  

  

  The 19th Amendment was a watershed moment for women’s rights in the United States, but it left many black women behind. The shortcomings of the suffrage movement inspired faculty-artists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 19th Amendment Project, which is part of the UNC Process Series. The show explores women, power and politics and celebrates pivotal black activists.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The McClatchy Company — which owns The News & Observer, The Herald-Sun and The Charlotte Observer — declared bankruptcy this month.While North Carolina’s printing presses will continue rolling, the papers’ offices will likely reorganize under a private equity firm’s management.

Counterpoint Press

As algorithms replace our news diet of local papers with each person’s favorite flavor of digital fervor, what happens to our political system? Online finger-pointing and illegitimate journalism are the product of a fractured American identity.

UNC Press

Adults have long ignored, dismissed or misinterpreted youth activists. President Trump’s tweets blasting teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg for her “anger management problem” is one very public example.

Wikimedia Commons

Dance has been a part of film since the early days of the visual medium. As the dance trends came and went, so did the movies portraying them on the silver screen.

Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

North Carolinians will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for the first time next week. Although we join 13 other states in voting that day, some pundits argue North Carolina is the key state, even “ground zero”  in this presidential election cycle.

A poster board covered in magazine cut-outs and photos related to health and wellness.
Courtesy of Bahby Banks

When the movie "Outbreak" came out in 1995, Bahby Banks was in high school, good at math and ready to join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemiologist tracking disease. But the more she learned about the broader contextual issues of public health, the more she wondered about what happens after the numbers are collected.

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