The State of Things | Blue Ridge Public Radio

M - F Noon - 1PM

The State of Things host Frank Statio
Credit WUNC-FM

WUNC’s flagship program, “The State of Things” covers many diverse issues and topics in North Carolina. Host Frank Stasio talks with authors, musicians, politicians, policymakers and everyday citizens about subjects that matter to North Carolinians. The program can now be heard in Western North Carolina, M - F from noon to 1, thanks to an ongoing partnership between Blue Ridge Public Radio and WUNC, headquartered in Chapel Hill.

The State of Things is a live show that welcomes comments, feedback and questions from listeners. Call 1.877.962.9862, email sot@wunc.org, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow The State of Things on Facebook or Tumblr.

Get a daily show update, and special news.

Or, join the live audience for remote broadcasts from Greensboro's Triad Stage and Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences. And you can listen to Political Junkie Ken Rudin Fridays on the program.

There is plenty of debate over whether an algae bloom, or chemicals, or a combination of the two led to the devastating fish kill on White Lake in Bladen County, NC. What is clear, is more than 100,000 fish of various species, including hearty largemouth bass, floated up to the surface and washed ashore starting in May.

He was raised in “the bottoms” section of Durham, but Ernie Barnes would leave the Triangle to become one of the most recognizable black artists of the time. Anyone who has ever seen the opening credits of the sitcom “Good Times,” has seen the art of Ernie Barnes.

Tommy Wiseau’s film “The Room” is a textbook example of a cult movie. It made less than $2000 when it first opened in Los Angeles in 2003, got terrible reviews, and is dubbed by some the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Yet years later it became a huge hit.

The number of women in STEM is growing, but large barriers remain. A new study shows that experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace have a long-term, negative impact on women faculty in sciences, engineering and medicine and diminish both their scientific productivity and opportunities for advancement.

Canadian multi-instrumentalist Rozalind MacPhail fell in love with Wilmington when she was stationed there for an artist residency as part of the Cucalorus Festival. She was inspired to create an audiovisual project featuring short films about why people feel connected to the city.

Late last month more than 50 people in Brooklyn were hospitalized after what law enforcement believes was exposure to synthetic marijuana. The issue hit closer to home this month after a story broke that a Durham County resident experienced severe bleeding presumably from the same thing.

For James Roy Gorham, growing up in the small farming community of Falkland, NC was full of tough lessons, and he learned many of them from his father.

  Vann McCoy grew up in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and like the fictional town it inspired, some folks who lived there were happy learning what they needed to know to make a living. But from a young age, McCoy was on a search for something different.

 

Fighting for Fatherhood

Jun 15, 2018

While working for Wake County, Derrick Byrd was sent on a mission to find parenting resources for men. Not only were the options limited, he noticed a resistance to developing programs specifically for fathers. This was the genesis of the North Carolina Fatherhood Conference.

This week President Donald Trump attended a historic summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Trump surprised South Korea and some officials at the Pentagon when he announced the U.S. would stop military exercises with South Korea.

Doug Larget Trio Returns

Jun 15, 2018

  Doug Largent spent a decade in jazz clubs playing the bass. In 2009, he followed a new dream and taught himself the organ. The Doug Largent Trio was born.

In an attempt to regulate unaccompanied children who cross the border, the Trump administration is considering detaining them in tent cities. In an exclusive by Franco Ordoñez of McClatchy, there are reports that the Department of Health and Human Services is scouting locations at military bases in Texas that will house up to 5,000 migrant children.

Historian Hari Jones says there were no losers in the Civil War. Instead the war formed a more perfect union by securing freedom for millions of Americans.

While incarcerated it is a constitutional right for inmates to receive medical care. But what happens when inmates are released and no longer have access to health services? The reality is they often go without medication or treatment. Considering prisons have become the largest mental healthcare providers in America, it is in the interest of public safety to remedy that gap in coverage.

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would allow law enforcement to have access to a statewide database of prescribed controlled substances. This is the latest move by the legislature to help curb the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Supreme Court released a ruling Friday over who is in charge of running the state’s public schools: the State Schools Superintendent or the State Board of Education. After the decision was unveiled, both sides claimed victory.

In its first season, the “Away Message” podcast from Our State Magazine focused on remote places in the state. For its newly-released second season, the podcast explores lost or forgotten stories in North Carolina’s history.

For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest. As Dery says, she never did well in boxes.

  Last June, The Wilmington Star News broke news that the toxic chemical GenX was found in drinking water from the Cape Fear River.  Long before their investigative series was published, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) knew about the elevated levels of GenX.  Once the news of tainted water spread through the state, so did fears and concerns from residents, government officials and environmental groups.

Bette Smith sang in her church choir and for a while church music was all she knew. She wasn't allowed to listen to secular music. Smith was raised Seventh-day Adventist, and her father encouraged solely religious music at home and in church where he directed the choir. But the family lived in a diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn, where the sounds of the South were too hard to avoid.

In 1587, more than 100 men, women, and children traveled to the New World from England to found a colony on Roanoke Island. The colony’s governor went back to England later that year to get more supplies and returned in 1590. But by then, the colonists were gone.

The Asian-American population in North Carolina has exploded in the past few decades. A 2016 study shows that from 2000-2010, the Asian-American population in the state grew by 85 percent, which was the third-fastest growth rate in the country. But who exactly makes up this growing population? What are their stories and traditions, and how are they changing the face of North Carolina?

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the latest state budget Wednesday, claiming the spending plan does not do enough to support teachers. But is Cooper’s budget plan fiscally sound? The legislature’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division says his proposed budget would rack up a nearly $500 million deficit by 2020.

A controversial charter school bill passed in the General Assembly on Wednesday. The bill would allow four municipalities outside Charlotte to run their own charter schools.

 

  Remember when people were ashamed to wear hand-me-downs and shop at Goodwill? Or when used clothing was thought to be dirty and infested with bugs? How did things evolve from that to groups like Nirvana proudly sporting their used gear and setting a new fashion trend?

It is probably hard to picture an event that would include the archbishop of New York, the Kardashians and Rihanna wearing a papal hat. But that eclectic crew is just a sample of the guests Anna Wintour assembled for the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, affectionately called the Met Gala.

Former MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin died at his home in Durham Saturday, June 2 at the age of 82. Meglin worked at MAD as an editor for nearly 50 years before retiring in 2004. Host Frank Stasio pays tribute to Meglin, who was one of his creative inspirations and a dear friend.

The Magnolia House has a rich history in Greensboro. In the 1950s, it was one of the few places that welcomed African-Americans traveling between Richmond and Atlanta. Its guest list includes stars from Duke Ellington and Ike and Tina Turner to James Brown and heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.

In less than one month, full-time state employees in North Carolina can expect a minimum wage boost to $15 per hour. It is one of the measures in the new state budget that was rushed through by Republican legislators last week in a process that did not allow amendments.

Carol Cole was a Southern girl who came of age in the 1960s and did what she felt was expected of her. She found a good doctor to marry, had children and spent her days taking care of other people’s needs. She took her first art class in the early ‘70s, and even though her mother told her she did not have an artistic bone in her body, Cole decided she wanted to be an artist.

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