Business & Economy
1:30 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Gas Safety Violations Don't Lead to Fines

A state audit has found that the Department of Agriculture assessed only two fines following thousands of safety violations involving liquefied petroleum.

Liquefied Petroleum – or L.P. – gas is used in grills, lighters and even to heat homes. During a 12-month period, Department of Agriculture inspectors wrote nearly 7,500 safety violations, but levied just two fines. State Auditor Beth Wood says violations ranged from storage plants, to dangerous pipes in homes. She says inspectors should have assessed much more in penalties.

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Arts & Culture
9:29 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Best of 2011 from Back Porch Music

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition host Eric Hodge speaks with Freddy Jenkins and Keith Weston of Back Porch Music about some of their favorite folk and acoustic music of the year.

Keith chose Sarah Jarosz and New Found Road Live.

Freddy picked Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

We also lost a number of artists this year

Here's some of note:

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State of Things
8:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Frank's Favorites 2011

Frank with author Lee Smith at the Murphey School Radio Show

Host Frank Stasio wraps up this week of retrospectives with his favorite interviews of the year. In 2011, he particularly enjoyed talking to Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking,” about why she believes the death penalty should be abolished. He also loved a conversation on restorative justice, the practice of bringing the victim and the offender together in an effort to heal rather than punish.

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Business & Economy
2:10 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Asheville Restaurants Go Green

Green Restaurant Association
Credit dinegreen.com

Asheville is known as a sort of local food-haven. Now it's leading the way in an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of restaurants. The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association is using a $258,000 grant from the North Carolina Green Business Fund to make upgrades in 18 Asheville restaurants.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Amber's Favorites 2011

Amber and her adorable son, Sammy

The week of highlights from 2011 continues as host Frank Stasio chats with producer Amber Nimocks about her picks for the year's best shows. North Carolina author Clyde Edgerton jams out to James Brown, humorist Celia Rivenbark pitches a Southern version of "Prairie Home Companion," Mississippi writer Tom Franklin tells the saddest funny story of the year and Brian Hoyle, RBC Center announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes, tells us how to say "Woo!" in Finnish.

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Politics & Government
6:50 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Coble Uncertain About Running Again

Howard Coble, R-Greensboro
Credit US House of Representatives

Congressman Howard Coble says he’s ready to get back to work after spending the last two weeks in the hospital.

Congressman Coble is planning to report to work in Washington by mid-January.  But that’s all he’s sure of right now.   The 80-year-old Republican is still contemplating re-election.

Leoneda Inge:  "Are you still planning to run for re-election?"

Howard Coble:  "Well, I’m leaning that way now.  I want to see how the final re-drawn map looks, that’s in litigation right now. And I want to see how I recover from the hospital, so far, so good."

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Arts & Culture
2:15 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Kwanzaa Celebration in Cary

Kwanzaa celebration
Credit townofcary.org

Kwanzaa is underway and the Town of Cary will observe the holiday with a celebration Thursday. Kwanzaa is held each year from December 26th through January 1st in honor of African-American culture and heritage.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Lindsay's Favorites 2011

LFT rocking the mic at karaoke night

This year, the story of Biscuitville, a pair of baseball players and a Grammy-nominated band made the short list of “The State of Things” Managing Editor Lindsay Foster Thomas’ favorite segments of 2011. She joins host Frank Stasio to talk about why she especially loves fast food in North Carolina, athletes who also write books and The Foreign Exchange – the group that will go down in history for telling Stasio he has “swag.”

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Environment
1:10 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Climate Change Forcing Tropical Bird Migration

Deep-blue Flowerpiercer

A new study out of Duke University finds global warming is forcing tropical birds in Peru to migrate to higher elevations. But it also finds they're migrating at a slower rate than the world is warming.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Alex's Favorites 2011

Alex and his new fiancé, Mandy

Producer Alex Granados joined the State of Things in July 2010 and brought his own particular brand of weirdness to the show, reflected in his favorite segments from the past year. He joins host Frank Stasio to review his favorites, including a look back at the madness of "Weird Al" Yankovic, the elusive nature of consciousness and the bizarre beauty of a ska version of the KISS song "Love Gun."

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