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.

Pages

State of Things
11:26 am
Wed September 14, 2011

Understanding Haiti

Haitian flag
Credit wikipedia.org

Last year's earthquake turned the eyes of the world to Haiti. In the aftermath, thousands of aid workers rushed to help Haitians whose homes and lives had been devastated, but some types of help are more effective than others. How does understanding the culture and history of a place make it easier for outsiders to aid the people in need? Host Frank Stasio poses the question to Reina Galjour, a Saxapahaw native recently returned from working as a midwife in Haiti; Bonnie Elam, president of the Raleigh-based group The Haiti Connection; Deborah Jenson, professor of French and Romance Studies at Duke University and co-Director of Duke's Haiti Lab; and writer Madison Smartt Bell, author of a trilogy of novels on Haiti's 1791 slave revolution.

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State of Things
5:25 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

A Forgotten Artist Remembered

James Augustus McLean was a powerful force in North Carolina's art world for most of the 20th century. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and turned down an offer to teach at the prestigious school to return to his home state. His fledgling art school in Raleigh fell victim to the Great Depression, but McLean continued to create and inspire other artists throughout North Carolina until his death in 1989.

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State of Things
11:54 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Meet Judge Craig Brown

Book cover, ''Blind Justice''

District Court Judge Craig Brown retired in 2008 after working for decades in the Durham judicial system. He was first a criminal defense attorney, then took the bench as a district court judge. Brown's career was not without controversy. He often spoke out against the inequities he saw in the judicial system, and some of his decisions drew criticism. Throughout his career, Brown battled an auto-immune disease that eventually left him blind.

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State of Things
12:45 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Looking for History

History comes alive before Tom Magnuson's eyes. All he has to do is take a walk in the woods. Manguson is a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies, and founder of the Trading Path Association. The group trains amateur archeology and history enthusiasts how to identify potentially significant historic sites, especially in rural and suburban areas.

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State of Things
1:22 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Fresh Buzz for the Charlotte Hornets

NBA
Credit www.nba-live.com

Before North Carolinians became Caniacs or Panthers’ fans, back when NASCAR was the only professional sports most Tar Heels cared about, the Charlotte Hornets enjoyed a few seasons in the sun. A new video game from 2K is celebrating the legacy of the 1992/93 Hornets. Host Frank Stasio talks about the new game and the old team with Owen Good, who writes about sports video games for Kotaku, the video game site of Gawker Media, and Dane Huffman, who covered the Charlotte Hornets for The News & Observer in Raleigh.

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State of Things
11:55 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Supreme Love for John Coltrane

John Coltrane
Credit www.john-coltrane.com

In recent years, High Point, NC has come to embrace the legacy of one of its most famous former residents, jazz legend John Coltrane. This weekend, the town will host the first John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. Coltrane spent his youth in High Point, where he learned to play the clarinet and the saxophone. Host Frank Stasio talks about Coltrane's early life and his music with John Brown, director of the Duke University Jazz Program; Bruce Davis, a member of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and co-chair of the Friends of John Coltrane committee; and Edith Brady, director of the High Point Museum.

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State of Things
11:35 am
Tue August 30, 2011

How Shakespeare Says "I'm Sorry"

Book cover, ''Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness''

The public mea culpa has become akin to performance art in modern times. It seems a month seldom goes by without a celebrity, public figure or politician begging for forgiveness via the mass media. Repentance and forgiveness have not always been such public, interpersonal matters, however. In the days before the Protestant Reformation, forgiveness was up to God and God alone. In her new book, "Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness" (Cornell University Press/2011), Duke University English Professor Sarah Beckwith traces the roots of our modern understanding of forgiveness to the language of William Shakespeare's later plays. Host Frank Stasio talks with Beckwith about how we say "I'm sorry."

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State of Things
12:23 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Good Divorce

As early as the late 1800s, the United States already had the highest rate of divorce in the world. It has pretty much maintained its status as a world leader of broken marriages ever since. The advent of no-fault divorces in the late '60s and early '70s only made things worse. Now a generation of people raised by split parents is struggling to forge their way through the uncertain bonds of matrimony. Jonathan Weiler and Anne Menkens are one couple who say they found a way to have a “good divorce.” They wrote about their efforts in a series of articles on the Huffington Post.

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State of Things
10:10 am
Mon August 22, 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 as “The State of Things” begins its annual Law & Order Week.

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State of Things
11:49 am
Thu August 18, 2011

What's So Great About Being Middle Class?

In the wake of the global economic crisis, it seems Americans agree on at least one thing: the middle class is under siege. But who is the middle class? And what is it that's plaguing them?

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