State lawmakers' work in the last session means several new laws will take effect starting today. Legislators say anyone who engages in an act of terrorism will be subject to state as well as federal penalties. Threatening to use explosives, dirty bombs and using violence to intimidate people and governments will be treated as a felony.

Laura Sullivan is a NPR News investigative correspondent whose work has cast a light on some of the country's most disadvantaged people.

Sullivan is one of NPR's most decorated journalists, with three Peabody Awards and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Batons. She joined NPR in 2004 as a correspondent on the National Desk. For six years she covered crime and punishment issues, with reports airing regularly on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other NPR programs before joining NPR's investigations unit.

On Tuesday, North Carolina’s Council of State is expected to decide whether to lease a huge tract of land to the City of Raleigh to create a park. The more than 300 acre site is home to what used to be the state’s Dorothea Dix psychiatric hospital, which is now closed. Many civic and business leaders support the idea of creating a downtown park in Raleigh. But lawmakers have spoken out against it, saying Governor Perdue is moving too quickly with the project.

NC Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn
NC Symphony

Handel's Messiah -- it's a staple this time of year for community sing-alongs and professional orchestras alike. The North Carolina Symphony is performing the work this weekend at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. I spoke with conductor Grant Llewellyn earlier this week. He says he understands why the work has endured to become a holiday classic.

Dorothea Dix Hospital
wral.com

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Council of State is expected to vote on the future of the Dorothea Dix campus. The 300-acre former mental hospital is prime real estate. Gov. Bev Perdue appears on the verge of making a deal to sell or offer a long-term lease to the city of Raleigh for a "destination park." But not everyone is excited about that prospect, including the Governor-Elect Pat McCrory. WUNC Reporter Jessica Jones joins Host Frank Stasio to discuss the deal and its prospects.

Mad @ 60!

Nov 30, 2012
A recent Mad Magazine cover
madmagazine.com

Mad Magazine turns 60 this year. Since 1952, its offices on Madison Avenue have buzzed as writers and artists drew parodies, spoofs and takeoffs of the culture of the day. “Totally Mad: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity” (Time Home Entertainment/2012) came out this fall to high sales.

South Carolina Broadcasters
scbroadcaster.com

When Ivy and David Sheppard chose a band name, they wanted something that referenced the old time music they played. Many American bands of the 1920s and ‘30s had words like “broadcasters” or “telecasters” in their names, since it was new technology at the time. So the Sheppards chose to go by The South Carolina Broadcasters. Along the way, they have picked up a third band member, Sarah Osborne.

The Fayetteville VA Medical Center and Womack Army Medical Center are joining forces on a new physical rehabilitation facility. The Community Rehabilitation Clinic will be built with $6.7 million in federal funds for initiatives to share resources between the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Fayetteville VA Medical Center Director Elizabeth Goolsby says collaborating with Womack will combine their resources and expertise to provide better care and save money.

Duke Medicine is leading a collaboration with the Durham public schools and local agencies to develop better-integrated mental health care for children. Helen Egger is a child psychiatrist at Duke and leads the initiative. She says too often kids with psychiatric disorders are shuffled between schools, hospitals, and law enforcement- each addressing the problems on their own terms. Egger wants to develop school-based models that can fill in the gaps between services.

'Ice Punch' Poinsettia grown at NC State's Horticulture Field Lab.
Leoneda Inge

You know the holiday season is in full swing when Christmas Trees are sprouting up on big corner lots and at most big box stores.   North Carolina is one of the top producers of Christmas Trees.  The state is also a top producer of another holiday plant – the poinsettia. 

First of all – North Carolina poinsettias are grown in-doors – in greenhouses.   The conditions have to be just right. This is a tropical plant, you know.  And the colors! Walking into a poinsettia greenhouse at N-C State is like walking into a candy store!

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