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
9:58 am
Wed November 30, 2011

The Future of NC’s Racial Justice Act

On Monday, the North Carolina General Assembly sent a repeal of the Racial Justice Act to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature. The law, which legislators passed in 2009, gave the state's death row inmates a means to challenge their sentences using statistical evidence. The law has been at the center of controversy since its beginnings. Advocates claimed it would help right racial imbalance in the justice system, while opponents said the law would give convicted murderers access to parole. 

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State of Things
8:00 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Meet Katy Munger

Katy Munger
Credit www.katymunger.com

Some fans know her as Gallagher Gray or Chaz McGhee, but those who grew up with mystery writer Katy Munger in Raleigh knew her as one of six children in a large, eccentric family that lived in Cameron Park. Her father was the longtime books editor at The News & Observer, her mother was a political activist who took her children with her to protests and marches. Munger's lively childhood has helped shaped the characters she creates in three sets of mystery series, The Hubbert and Lil books, the Casey Jones series and her latest, the Dead Detective series. Host Frank Stasio talks with Katy Munger, who now lives in Durham, about her life, her work and how her characters interact with the justice system.  This program originally aired on August 22, 2011.  For a link to the audio, click here.

State of Things
12:16 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

The Farm-to-Goodie Basket Food Chain

Turning a secret recipe for barbecue sauce or homemade pickles into a packaged product is a lot harder than it looks. But it's getting easier. That's thanks to the hard work of some food-loving entrepreneurs, and a growing sector in the middle of the local food chain. Host Frank Stasio talks with Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, co-owner of The Cookery in Durham, and with Jennifer Curtis, director of NC Choices and co-founder of Farmhand Foods. Both Hawthorne-Johnson and Curtis help fill the gap between the farmer and the food buyer.

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State of Things
10:59 am
Wed November 16, 2011

A Big Apple Murder Mystery

Book cover, ''Three-Day Town''

North Carolina author Margaret Maron takes fictional District Court Judge Deborah Knott on a crime-solving adventure in New York City in her newest book "Three-Day Town" (Grand Central Publishing/2011). It is the 17th book in Maron's Deborah Knott series. Host Frank Stasio talks with the author about the new setting for her North Carolina-born heroine and where she finds her inspiration.

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State of Things
10:43 am
Wed November 16, 2011

The Abraham Jam

The Abraham Jam
Credit www.abrahamjam.wordpress.com

When local musician David LaMotte found himself frustrated by rising levels of bigotry in the national conversation, he decided he had to do something. So, he put on a show. LaMotte invited Dawud Wharnsby, an Islamic musician, and Dan Nichols, a Jewish musician, to meet him on stage at Duke University. The three will perform together in support of cultural and religious harmony tonight at Page Auditorium. They join host Frank Stasio to talk about the concert, which they're calling The Abraham Jam.

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State of Things
10:04 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Healing the Wounds of War

Heroes Homecoming
Credit www.heroeshomecoming.com

As the nation honors its war veterans today, host Frank Stasio talks with two men who fought in Vietnam about returning from war. Stephen Miles is a veteran, and playwright and poet who lives in Fayetteville. The town, adjacent to Fort Bragg, is hosting an extended series of events this month called Heroes Homecoming, aimed at paying tribute to Vietnam veterans. Miles' work was staged at Fayetteville's Gilbert Theater as part of that celebration. Carmen Russioniello is an associate professor who directs East Carolina University's Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic. He studies ways to help today's veterans deal with post traumatic stress disorder and re-entry.

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State of Things
11:02 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Church and State

As voters across the country go to the polls today, host Frank Stasio examines the long, tangled history between religion and politics in American life. Joining him is Jon Elliston, an investigative reporter with the Carolina Public Press who has recently written about newly released documents describing the relationship between the Rev. Billy Graham and President Richard Nixon. Also joining the conversation is Rev. Nancy E.

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State of Things
11:17 am
Mon November 7, 2011

NC Literary Lights: Meet Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan
Credit www.robert-morgan.com

Writer, poet and historian Robert Morgan has earned the title “unofficial poet laureate of Appalachia” with his vigorous, spare language and his unflinching observances of the natural world and human nature. His bestselling books include "Boone," a biography of Daniel Boone; and the Appalachian love story, “Gap Creek.” Morgan was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and raised on the storytelling traditions of the mountains. His newest books are “Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of Westward Expansion” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill/2011) and "Terroir" (Penguin Books/2011), a collection of poems. As part of our series, “North Carolina Literary Lights,” host Frank Stasio talks with Morgan about his life and work.

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State of Things
1:13 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Wake County School Board Elections Redux

Voters in Wake County's District 3 have one more school board vote to cast. Democrat Kevin Hill and Republican Heather Losurdo will face off in a runoff election on Tuesday. The result will decide which party will rule when the new school board takes office in December. It's been a long campaign season, and the Wake schools debate continues to attract national attention. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC reporter Dave DeWitt about the election and the new student assignment plan at the heart of the controversy.

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State of Things
11:45 am
Wed November 2, 2011

What to do With the Big Banks

On Tuesday, Bank of America ditched its plans to begin charging customers a monthly fee to use their debit cards. The decision to abandon the fee comes in response to consumer complaints to the proposal. Among those complaints is a movement called Bank Transfer Day, which urges consumers to move their money from banks to credit unions. Host Frank Stasio talks with experts in personal finance and banking about the role of big banks, small banks and credit unions in our lives and in the emerging economy.

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