Laura Pellicer

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things (hyperlink), a show that explores North Carolina through conversation. Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards. Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she plans on moonlighting as a mediocre surfer.

Author Mary Shelley’s life holds enduring intrigue. Born in 1797, Shelley was raised by famed intellectuals and trained to think in ways that stretched far beyond most women in her time, and she was undoubtedly a rebel. In her teens, Shelley took up a lover, writer Percy Shelley, who would later become her husband. Their escapades with literary friends fueled Mary Shelley’s work.

Pierce Freelon is known to many in the Triangle for his ambitious projects and constant stream of new ideas.

If he is not performing onstage with his band The Beast, teaching about the intersection of politics and hip-hop, or heading a rap cypher in downtown Durham, he is likely leading workshops at Blackspace: a digital makerspace that offers black and brown youth the opportunity to create multimedia projects that reflect their identities.

Leeda “Lyric” Jones honed her skills as a writer, singer and performer busking on the streets of downtown Asheville. At first hesitant to play for strangers, she quickly realized her original lyrics and soulful style helped her forge connections with those who needed it the most.

Asheville city police face potential budget cuts a month after body camera footage of an officer beating a black pedestrian was leaked to the Asheville Citizen-Times. The beating prompted outrage and led to the arrest of the former officer who beat the pedestrian and the firing of City Manager Gary Jackson. Blue Ridge Public Radio News Director Matt Bush speaks with host Frank Stasio about the latest updates from the story.

The Trump administration wants to see a 20 percent cut over 10 years to SNAP, the food stamp program that helps feed 42 million Americans each year. Funding for SNAP is provided through the Federal Farm Bill, which will soon be under debate in Washington. The current bill is set to expire this fall.

This week President Donald Trump announced he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the fight against ISIS in Syria. In a news conference with Baltic leaders Trump said the U.S. was “very successful against ISIS.” The president has since pulled back on an urgent removal plan, and instead instructed the military to withdraw from the conflict within a few months.

Chapel Hill-artist Sarah Shook did not follow an obvious path to country music. She grew up in a conservative Christian household, listened primarily to religious music and only discovered country greats like Wanda Jackson and Buck Owens in her 20s. She was also painfully shy as a kid, so when she first took the stage in early adulthood, it was a shock to her own mother.

They weigh 20 pounds, have bright orange buck teeth, and look like a cross between a beaver and a rat. The nutria is an invasive rodent that has become a scourge on ecosystems in Louisiana and elsewhere. In the new documentary “Rodents of Unusual Size,” filmmakers track how nutria first arrived in Louisiana and follow the work of hunters who kill the rodents for money and to protect the environment.

Lake Lure is high on Hollywood’s call list. The small town in Rutherford County has been the site for blockbuster movies including the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” But the community is now facing a critical situation. The dam that makes Lake Lure the idyllic spot that it is, is in urgent need of repairs that may cost up to $5 million.

Staffing and safety issues inside North Carolina prisons are at a perilous point. In 2017, five corrections officers were killed in violent incidents at Bertie and Pasquotank Correctional Institutions. And according to new reports, the deaths are a symptom of a bigger problem.

College basketball is part of North Carolina’s lifeblood, and team allegiances are not taken lightly. Yet the head coach of North Carolina Central University’s men’s basketball team is deeply respected by both those who wear the Eagles jersey and those who compete against it.

According to a report by The Associated Press, the Cherokee Department of Social Services has been systematically and illegally removing children from their homes for years. The actions may have started more than a decade ago and affect at least 100 families.

More than 100 public schools in North Carolina have applied and been granted approval to participate in a scholastic experiment called Restart. The Restart program allows low-performing schools to operate like charter programs without having charter status.

Throughout modern history the work of African-American artists has often been appropriated for the financial and cultural gain of those outside the black community. Black artists bare their souls to create provocative art, but their work is sometimes tokenized or categorized as being just "black art." At the Bullcity Black Theater Festival in Durham, black artists are challenging perceptions of their work through performances and community conversations. 

For more than 150 years, historically black colleges and universities have fostered African-American leaders and fueled social movements. Spurred by the release of Stanley Nelson’s new PBS documentary “Tell Them We Are Rising,” UNC-TV hosted a conversation with leaders of HBCUs in North Carolina on its weekly program “Black Issues Forum.” That episode, called “HBCU Legacy and Leadership,” takes a look at the continued relevance of HBCUs in today’s educational landscape.

Democratic leaders in Raleigh are calling for one of their own to step down. According to reporting from left-leaning publication NC Policy Watch, five women say North Carolina Rep. Duane Hall (D-Wake) engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct. Hall denies the allegations, But Governor Cooper and other Democratic leaders say he must resign from his post.

Many Americans learn their history through teachers, textbooks and films. Personal histories, however, often come from stories told amongst families. But what if pieces of a personal history are still missing from those stories? And who decides which stories to pass on and which to bury?

Hiking through fields and forests has been life changing for Jennifer Pharr Davis. She is a professional hiker and adventurer. At just 21 years old, she set off on a solo hike across the entire Appalachian Trail, a path that covers 14 states and more than 2,000 miles.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is a spiritual scholar who believes the teachings of the perennial wisdom philosophy are the key to encountering the divine in a chaotic and divided society. The philosophy takes wisdom from spiritual leaders across different doctrines and finds the common truths in their message. 

Evangelist Billy Graham died this morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina at 99 years old. Graham was known to many as “America’s Pastor,” and it is estimated that his sermons reached more than two billion people.

Christy Hopkins trained in classical music, but her heart led her to the soulful sound of Americana blues.

The White House has shifted stories multiple times this week regarding the timeline of spousal abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. That shifting timeline has impacted the credibility of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and spurred rumors of his firing.

In the past few years, Grammy-nominated jazz musicians Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz and Gary Versace all wanted a break from the chaos of modern American politics and world events. As the Durham-based trio headed into the studio to record new songs, they quickly noticed an emerging theme in their music: love.

A few nights before Marcel Tyberg was arrested by the Gestapo, he gathered an intimate group in the organ loft of his hometown church and together they sang through two masses he had composed. Tyberg, who was part Jewish, was later captured in a night raid and died in Auschwitz.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked new voting maps for Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The districts are in the state’s two most populous counties, and the decision comes just days before candidates are set to start filing for office.

The Facebook live comedy and interview show “Intelligently Ratchet” hosts conversations that span politics, art and culture. Co-hosts Kevin “Kaze” Thomas and Karim “Bishop Omega” Jarrett set the tone for a program that is smart but approachable, and this month they are hosting a number of conversations to mark Black History Month.

 
This season Playmakers Repertory Company presents two plays written centuries apart that delve into what it means to believe and what happens when faith is shattered.

Between 2005 and 2013, 10 students in the national college fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) died due to alcohol and hazing. Bloomberg journalist John Hechinger reported extensively on the frat and dubbed it the “deadliest fraternity in America.”

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