Alex Granados

Producer, "The State of Things"

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.

Ways to Connect

The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy
http://core.ecu.edu / ECU Creative Writing department

  

The United States military today has a diverse array of service men and women. But in the early 20th Century, that was far from the case. In World War II, African American men were still predominantly relegated to minor roles. The B-1 Navy band began to change that. It was made up of the first African American men to hold a position higher than messman in the United States Navy. And it was the first of many black World War II Navy bands. 

Jaybird Williams of the Soul Central Band, grasping a microphone
http://www.soulcentralband.com/ / Soul Central band

  

You may have seen him at Fincastles in downtown Greensboro. He’s dubbed “the singing waiter” for his profession and his passion. Bobby “Jaybird” Williams and the Soul Central band bring the funk, as well as the R & B and soul, to the Triad. Host Frank Stasio talks to them, and they play live at the Triad Stage in Greensboro. 

duke.edu

James Joseph grew up in the heart of Klan country in Louisiana.

He vowed to one day earn the respect of the racist leaders. Years later, he became the first ambassador to South Africa to present his credentials to Nelson Mandela. Host Frank Stasio talks to James Joseph, professor emeritus of the practice of public policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Wikimedia

  Yesterday the United States House of Representatives reached a two-year budget agreement with concessions on both sides.

The GOP doesn’t touch entitlements and the Democrats get no new taxes. Host Frank Stasio talks to News Channel 14’s Washington reporter Geoffrey Bennett, and Scott Mooneyham, editor for NC Insider.

  In the wake of the most recent General Assembly session, some teachers across the state are expressing concern about policies that affect the classroom, like voucher programs and budgetary restraints.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Reporter Dave Dewitt; Wilmington Star-News education reporter Pressley Baird; and Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston.

creative commons

Durham's Walltown Children's Theatre is re-imagining the classic tale of The Pied Piper. It's called "Indigo Blue." In honor of the update, here is a portion of the poem by Robert Browning.

When NC NAACP President William Barber sparred with state budget director Art Pope about the state’s political policies, it made headlines. The exchange spun off of a press conference where Barber announced plans to picket stores owned by Pope.

Kat Robichaud was a musician long before she got her big break on this season of NBC’s  “The Voice.” She was in a cover band for years before landing a spot on the hit television series. She was eliminated from the show a few weeks ago, but said on the State of Things today that her time there was a highlight of her career.

"It was a dream come true," she said. "It was amazing."

Bonner Bridge
jennyk325 via Flickr Creative Commons

Updated 12/4 with video from NCDOT press conference

The N.C. Department of Transportation has closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet on N.C. 12 along the Outer Banks today due to immediate safety concerns.

Beat Making Lab
Beat Making Lab

  

The Beat Making lab started as a class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But its creators, Stephen Levitin – aka, Apple Juice Kid – and Pierce Freelon, quickly took it to a new level.

Wesley Hogan
Christopher Sims, via CDSPorch.com

Wesley Hogan's interest in storytelling stretches back to her childhood. 

Gavel
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

  

More than 40 new laws go into effect on December 1st in North Carolina.

They include harsher penalties for those who abuse or endanger children, and a lessening of punishments for certain misdemeanors. Host Frank Stasio gets an overview from Associated Press politics reporter Gary Robertson.

Algonquin Books

    

William Faulkner may be one of the most well-known writers of the 20th century. But you might not associate his name with southern literature if not for Louis Rubin

Rubin helped develop the genre of southern literature in its own right. A well-respected writer, an adored teacher and the founder of the Southern Literary Journal and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Rubin is regarded as one of the icons of southern writing.

Frank Stasio hosting 'The State of Things' from Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Today, The State of Things is broadcasting live from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Look below to watch the program live. 

Jorge Gonzales / Museum of Natural Sciences

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is the indisputable king of the dinosaurs, but it wasn’t always that way. Lindsay Zanno -- director of paleontology and geology research at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and assistant research professor in the department of biology at North Carolina State University -- helped discover a new dinosaur in North America. It is called Siats meekerorum, and it was one of the top three predators ever discovered in North America. In fact, it ruled over the early ancestors of the T-Rex. 

Nicholas Dawidoff's new book Low Collision Crossers is a look inside a year in the life of the New York Jets.
Little, Brown

  

To outsiders, football may look like bone-crushing mayhem.  The headlines coming out of the NFL center around concussions and bullying.

Musicians from New Music Raleigh perform in a production called Penelope at Kings Barcade.
newmusicraleigh.org/

  

Indy Rock does a good job of getting new music out to the ears of listeners. The same cannot be said of classical style music or opera. 

Seal of North Carolina
North Carolina Government / North Carolina Government

  

A News & Observer investigation has revealed a huge disparity in pay among local and state officials in North Carolina.

Some officials make equal pay for less responsibility than their peers. Meanwhile, these same officials get bonuses, raises and other perks while other workers struggle in a tough economy. Host Frank Stasio talks to News & Observer investigative reporter Dan Kane about his series.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

  Attorney General Roy Cooper finds himself in a unique position. He is the first Democratic Attorney General to serve in an all-GOP government since reconstruction.

The governor’s mansion and both chambers of the General Assembly are in Republican control. So he finds himself having to defend the legality of laws he disagrees with.

Western Carolina University

Scientist Robert Young says that even the most conservative estimates show rising sea levels have a strong effect on the beaches of North Carolina. 

Light rail transit with Amtrak visualization of area near Durham Station Transportation Center.
Triangle Transit Authority

  

Wake County commissioners invited a panel of experts to weigh-in on possible plans to develop rail transit in the county.

The three experts urged the county to focus on other mass transit solutions like expanding the bus system. Host Frank Stasio talks with Bruce Siceloff, a reporter for the News & Observer about the future of mass transit in Wake County.

Duke Health's Raleigh Hospital
Duke Medicine

  The Affordable Care Act is reaching into every community in the United States.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Some North Carolina Republicans could face Tea Party challenger who think incumbents are not true conservatives.

Both U.S. Representatives Renee Ellmers and Robert Pittenger are under attack for not hewing close enough to the Tea Party line. Host Frank Stasio talks about the fallout of these battles with political junkie Ken Rudin.

Image of NC General Assembly where lawmakers are considering two controversial bills.
Credit NC General Assembly

The election this week was the last in North Carolina before some provisions of a voter ID law go into effect.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state over its new law, asserting that it may have a chilling effect. Proponents of the law say it is necessary for an even playing field.

Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, said the problem with the law isn't just the provision requiring an ID to vote,

facebook.com/TheHotAtNights

The Hot at Nights are a Raleigh jazz trio with flare.

They have played some of the hottest jazz spots across the country. Now they appear on The State of Things to promote their new album, “Try This!” Host Frank Stasio talks with the band about their new album and they play live in the studio.

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