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The State of Things
12:40 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

A Vanishing Dialect

Host Frank Stasio will talk to Wolfram about its origins and decline.

North Carolina is home to a variety of interesting dialects, but none is quite so unique as the one found along the Outer Banks. Sometimes called the Ocracoke Brogue, the dialect is often mistaken for British, and it is rapidly declining as tourism inundates the area with a more diverse array of speakers. Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University English professor and Director of the North Carolina Language and Life Project, has been studying the Outer Banks dialect for almost 20 years.

The State of Things
12:34 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

The State Of Water

Book cover, ''The Big Thirst''

Fishman joins host Frank Stasio to discuss what he believes to be the beginning of a worldwide water revolution.

North Carolinians are no strangers to drought but there are many other factors that lead to water insecurity. Water pollution, contamination, rainfall levels and population growth all dictate the amount of water that is available to a community. Charles Fishman, author of the new book, “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water” (Free Press/2011), says we should be prepared for the day when water will no longer be inclusively cheap, clean and plentiful.

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Health
6:00 am
Wed April 20, 2011

Tennessee Finds Ways To House People With Mental Health Disabilities

Clinton Toy in front of his Nashville home.
Credit Rose Hoban

  Around the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that succeed pretty well.  

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Environment
5:50 am
Wed April 20, 2011

President Declares Disaster Area

President Obama has declared disaster areas in central and eastern North Carolina. Residents in 18 counties can apply for disaster relief funds today on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler toured several eastern counties yesterday to get a handle on the damage. He says most of the damage was to infrastructure, equipment and livestock. And that will be expensive for farmers to replace.

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Politics & Government
5:30 am
Wed April 20, 2011

House Votes on Reworked Health Plan Bill

 State representatives have tentatively passed a reworked version of a bill that would move oversight of the state health plan from the legislature to the treasurer's office. 

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Politics & Government
6:00 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

State Lawmakers At Odds Over Unemployment Benefits

State lawmakers have not come to an agreement over restoring unemployment benefits for 37 thousand people across the state.

Republican leaders in Raleigh say they plan to try to override the governor's veto of a bill that would have extended federal unemployment benefits. The governor vetoed the measure Saturday because it was tied to a provision that would've required her to cut next year's budget by 13 percent. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger says he thinks the governor made a bad decision. 

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The State of Things
11:58 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Death Penalty Data

Robinson joins host Frank Stasio to share more information about his report and talk about how this data could affect policymakers’ ideas about the death penalty.

North Carolina halted executions about five years  ago. Capital punishment is still legal in the state, but a dispute over the lethal injection process led to a de facto moratorium on the death penalty. Since then, the state’s murder rate has fallen, and investigations of the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab have
exposed mishandling of evidence in criminal cases. Matthew Robinson, a professor of government and justice studies at Appalachian State University, has been researching those facts and other data about the death penalty in North Carolina. His findings reveal that capital punishment is more costly than life imprisonment and that race and gender frequently factor into death penalty sentencing.

The State of Things
11:53 am
Tue April 19, 2011

30 Americans

Soundsuit
Credit www.ncartmuseum.org

Host Frank Stasio discusses the exhibit with his guests.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being labeled an “African-American artist”? That question is at the heart of a new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art. It features the works of 31 contemporary artists - photography, video, sculpture and more – with each piece revealing a bit about the experience of blacks in America.

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Ten Miles Past Normal

Ten Miles Past Normal

Host Frank Stasio talks with young adult novelist France O'Roark Dowell about the struggle of fitting in as a teenager.

Durham writer Frances O'Roark Dowell tackles the awkwardness of high school in her new young adult novel "Ten Miles Past Normal" (Atheneum/2011). The main character is Janie, a ninth-grader who once thought living on a farm would be great. She proposed the idea to her parents when she was in elementary school, and they embraced it. Now she is an outcast who sometimes goes to school with hay in her hair or goat droppings on her shoes.

Health
6:00 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Institutional-type Housing for People with Mental Health Disabilities

Thousands of people with mental health disabilities live in large adult care homes and in smaller family care homes in North Carolina. Advocates argue that many of these facilities are too institutional to truly help their residents integrate into the community. Now the federal government is investigating the state. Justice Department attorneys contend the state’s reliance on such facilities to house people with mental illness could violate federal law and Supreme Court rulings. 

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