Amber Nimocks

Producer, "The State of Things"

Amber Nimocks came to The State of Things in January 2009. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a survivor of 15 years in the newspaper business. As a reporter and editor, her posts have included such exotic locales as her hometown of Fayetteville, Robeson County, Wilmington, Raleigh and Fort Worth, Texas.

In her spare time she drinks wine and writes about it for The News & Observer, eats and writes about it for Edible Piedmont, and travels and writes about it for anyone who’s interested. She lives with her husband, her son and two dogs in downtown Raleigh.

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State of Things
11:00 am
Tue February 14, 2012

A Mystery of a People

Who are the Melungeons? DNA testing, numerous books, websites and a documentary film have cropped up recently to explore the cultural heritage of this loosely connected group of people.
Credit www.melungeonvoices.com

Questions of racial identity and cultural heritage have long surrounded a group of Appalachians called the Melungeons. In recent years, curiosities have been piqued about this loosely connected group of people, spawning DNA testing, numerous books, Web sites and a documentary film. Guest host Isaac-Davy Aronson talks with K. Paul Johnson, corresponding secretary for the Melungeon Heritage Association; and Julie Williams Dixon, a Raleigh-based writer and director of the film "Melungeon Voices."

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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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State of Things
12:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

The Rise of ACC Basketball

ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference
Credit uncpress.unc.edu

It may come as a surprise to modern fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the organization that gave rise to Michael Jordan and Mike Krzyzewski started life with a football agenda. Historian J. Samuel Walker chronicles the formative two decades of the conference in his new book "ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference" (UNC Press/2011).

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State of Things
10:01 am
Fri December 16, 2011

NC Literary Lights: Charles Chesnutt

The Wife of His Youth by Charles Chesnutt
Credit www.loa.org/chesnutt/

Decades before the influential writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance began to challenge prevailing American understandings of race and society, Charles Chesnutt was building a foundation for their work. A teacher and writer who lived for much of his life in Fayetteville, Chesnutt imagined a world where race was irrelevant and injustice could be faced down with nonviolence. In recent years, an increasing number of academics and artists have turned their attentions to Chesnutt, whose work was in danger of being forgotten. As part of our occasional North Carolina Literary Lights series, host Frank Stasio talks about Chesnutt's legacy with Dante James, a filmmaker and instructor at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and its African and African American Studies program; and Gene Gorman, a PhD candidate in English at Boston College.

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State of Things
11:53 am
Thu December 15, 2011

A New Trial for Michael Peterson

Yesterday, Durham Judge Orlando Hudson granted convicted murderer Michael Peterson a new trial. In 2003, Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife. The judge granted the new trial due to questions raised about the credibility of State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver, who presented evidence against Peterson. Deaver, and others in the SBI crime lab, have been investigated for misconduct and faulty science.

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State of Things
11:02 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Meet Gary Grant

Gary Grant
Credit http://www.bfaa-us.org

Gary Grant's family has owned land in eastern North Carolina since just after the Civil War when his great-grandfather, a former slave, bought a farm. That is one reason Grant has made his life's work defending the rights of African-American land owners in rural North Carolina. Grant is the executive director of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery and founding president of the National Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association. Both groups have fought the federal Department of Agriculture to undo the wrongs of racial discrimination that have cost black farmers their land.

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State of Things
10:36 am
Fri December 9, 2011

If This Old Neighborhood Could Talk

Historic Oakwood
Credit www.historicoakwood.org

Downtown Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood puts on its annual candlelight tour this weekend. It's a chance for curious strangers to poke around in some of the city's grandest and oldest homes. What few people realize is that the tour began some 40 years ago as a last-ditch effort to keep a freeway from demolishing the historic area. Neighbors have recently begun collecting one another's oral histories, to help preserve the neighborhood's fascinating story.

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State of Things
11:43 am
Thu December 8, 2011

New Magic for an Old Ballet

The Nutcracker

When Carolina Ballet Artistic Director Robert Weiss set out to reinvigorate the company's annual chestnut, “The Nutcracker,” his thoughts immediately turned to Las Vegas. That's where the best magicians are, after all. His quest led him to employ the services of magician Rick Thomas. Together they have added Vegas-style magic to the first act of the 1891 work of art. Host Frank Stasio talks with Weiss about retooling "The Nutcracker" for the new millennium.

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State of Things
11:45 am
Wed December 7, 2011

American Meat

American Meat
Credit www.americanmeatfilm.com

Documentary producers have sunk their teeth into the growing sustainable food revolution over and over in recent years. In the crowded field of food films, this year's "American Meat" stands out for its digestible portrayal of the many aspects of our nation's flawed food system. The film will screen at the Haw River Ballroom on Thursday, followed by a panel discussion. In advance of the screening, host Frank Stasio talks with filmmaker Graham Meriwether and a group of local farmers: Suzanne Nelson of Cozi Farms; Eliza MacLean of Cane Creek Farms and Jeff Barney, chef of the Saxapahaw General Store and The Eddy.

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State of Things
10:55 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Gram-O-Rama

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fall all over themselves to get into Marianne Gingher's stylistics class. Gingher, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, teaches her language class just once a year. It culminates in the annual performance of Gram-O-Rama, a collection of student-produced skits and songs spun out of grammar assignments.

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