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

catwarren.com
catwarren.com / catwarren.com

Cat Warren is a North Carolina State University professor by day and a superhero by night. Well, sort of. Her dog Solo is a cadaver dog. Warren takes him out to suspected crime scenes to help police find the bodies of the missing and presumed deceased.

The hobby started innocently enough as a way to keep Solo’s energy in check. He wasn't very well behaved, and he flunked out of obedience school a number of times.

“He was a singleton, so he didn’t relate well with dogs," Warren said on The State of Things.

    

  

The 100 Men in Black Male Chorus doesn't quite live up to its name -- they haven't broken the 100-man mark yet, but that's not stopping them from recording their voices for posterity.

Altumnal via of mountains (fall)
steviep187 via flickr

  

Just because you don’t work for the federal government does not mean you are immune from the effects of the shutdown.

Tourism in North Carolina could be particularly hard hit by National Park Services closures. Host Frank Stasio speaks with News & Observer reporter Martha Quillin; and Phil Francis, former superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway about the effect of the shutdown on tourism along the coast and in the mountains.

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  Congress failed to pass a spending bill to avert a government shutdown last night.

Republican lawmakers refused to consider legislation to fund the government unless Democrats were willing to concede on implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The impasse means furloughs for many federal workers while the Affordable Care Act enrollment continues as planned.

Granny's Got Game

  

You might think basketball is a young person’s game, but one group of aging athletes aims to change that perception.

The “Fabulous 70s” are a group of women in their 70s who play basketball competitively. They’re the focus of a new documentary called “Granny’s Got Game.” Host Frank Stasio talks with filmmaker Angela Alford and the “Fabulous 70s” team captain Judy Barton.

duke.edu
duke.edu / duke.edu

Samuel Buell had an interest in justice from a young age. As a child, he sat in front of the TV with his parents and watched the Watergate hearings. He knew it was momentous, but he didn’t understand the exact significance until much later.

 


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Bank of America discriminated against more than 1,000 black job applicants, a U.S. Department of Labor Judge held Monday.

The ruling ordered the bank to pay $2.2 million dollars to applicants who were turned down for positions in Charlotte. Host Frank Stasio talks to Charlotte Observer banking reporter Andrew Dunn about the case.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Obama_signs_health_care-20100323.jpg

  

You probably know it as Obamacare, but its official name is the Affordable Care Act. And starting Tuesday, enrollment opens for mandatory insurance.

New policies don’t actually go into effect until January 1, but in the meantime, curious shoppers can take to the health exchanges to find a deal on health insurance.

State Senator Phil Berger
Dave DeWitt

  

Controversy continues at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services with the Medicaid director resigning after only eight months on the job.

This week is Banned Book Week -- a time to reflect on censored works of literature.  Last week, the Randolph County Board of Education banned the novel “The Invisible Man,” by Ralph Ellison from school libraries.

NEDtheband.com
NEDtheband.com / NEDtheband.com

  

While the pink ribbons of breast cancer garner considerable public attention, other, more deadly cancers affecting women fall far from the spotlight.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

    

Controversy continues over hiring practices at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Raleigh city seal
Wikimedia Commons

In Raleigh, all seven council members and the mayor are up for re-election in October, but one race is uncontested.

In others, it’s not clear whether the challengers pose a serious threat. Recent controversy over feeding the homeless in Moore Square and the firing of the long-time Raleigh City Manager are adding some color to the political battles. Host Frank Stasio talks with Ariella Monti, Raleigh Public Record Bureau Chief, about the upcoming elections.

Jacinta Quesada

  

When the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, it opened a lot of doors for gay couples. 

Jim Minz
ktempest, via Flickr.com, Creative Commons

 

Today's State of Things show is a rebroadcast of an interview with Jim Minz.  The program originally aired on April 1, 2013.

Jim Minz’s childhood in small-town West Bend, Wisconsin prepared him for two things: game shows and science fiction.

John Tedesco
Wake County Public Schools

The past few years on the Wake County School Board have been marked by controversy. Republicans came into power in 2009 and board member John Tedesco led the charge to eliminate the school assignment program, sparking outrage and national attention.

Themonti.org
Themonti.org / Themonti.org

For the past five years, the Monti, a North Carolina storytelling organization, has brought the stories of the area to crowds around the Triangle and Triad.

tor.com
tor.com / tor.com

David Drake  has garnered a reputation in the world of science fiction readers as a leader in the military sci-fi genre. But he won’t be penned in by labels. His latest novel, “Monsters of the Earth” (Tor/2013), is the third in his Books of the Elements fantasy series.

thehotelsmeltface.bandcamp.com
thehotelsmeltface.bandcamp.com / thehotelsmeltface.bandcamp.com

Chandler Kelley of the band The Hotels describes their music as, “a trashy, drunk version of big radio pop.”

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

The North Carolina General Assembly goes back into session Tuesday. Lawmakers will consider Governor Pat McCrory’s vetoes of two bills. One requires drug testing for certain welfare recipients. The other grants immigration exemptions for some seasonal workers.

www.ncga.state.nc.us
www.ncga.state.nc.us / North Carolina General Assembly

For 17 years, North Carolina Senator Ellie Kinnaird represented the constituents in Orange and Chatham Counties with passion.


Creative Commons / Creative Commons

In 2011, the Arab Spring ushered in hope for Democracy in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak fell from power, and the people took to the streets, excited about the prospects of free elections.

amazon.com
Amazon.com / Amazon.com

    

Nancy Peacock’s path to becoming a successful writer wasn’t normal but it was fun. She got interested in writing in the 4th grade when a teacher introduced her to the arts.

"I loved books," she said. "I loved storytelling, but I didn't know that was something that adults actually did."

She skipped college, choosing instead to marry her high school sweetheart.

“Certainly by not going to college, I had to work. I was sort of thrown into the work-a-day world,” she said.   

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

The General Assembly recently finished up their lawmaking session, passing a variety of legislation, some of which has stirred quite a bit of controversy locally and nationally. All that’s left now is for Governor Pat McCrory to sign those laws of which he approves and veto those he’s against. He’s done both this week.

He signed into law a controversial Voter ID law that forces voters to show ID at the polling place, as well as shortens the hours of early voting and eliminates straight-ticket voting.

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