Charlie Shelton

Producer, "The State of Things"
An image of UNC's Old Well
yeungb / Wikipedia Creative Commons

It may seem like the school year just started, but pretty soon high school seniors and other aspiring college students will start submitting applications for next year’s college enrollment.

An image of the NC Museum of Natural Science
Public Domain

The State of Things is broadcasting live Friday at 12 p.m. from the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. You can stream the show live below:

Scott Dikkers is the founding editor of the satirical newspaper and website The Onion
Nicki Fietzer

The Onion is known for it's satirical news with headlines like "Study Reveals: Babies Are Stupid" and "CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years."

But for Scott Dikkers, making fake news is often serious work. Dikkers is a founding editor of The Onion and served as it's longest serving editor-in-chief. 

MillerCoors trucks
MobiusDaXter / Wikimedia Commons

Big beer companies are starting to feel the pressure of a rising thirst for craft beer. There are more than 130 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina, but MillerCoors announced it is closing the plant in Eden, North Carolina in September of next year.  

Rhiannon Giddens
Michael Weintrob

For as long as she can remember, Rhiannon Giddens has been singing. Growing up in Greensboro, she sang in youth choirs, despite not knowing how to read music. But that was okay, because Giddens said she received the best kind of teaching as a child.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

 

Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

An image of bluegrass group Chatham County Line
Yep Roc Music Group

The summer is wrapping up, but the bluegrass does not have to stop just yet. Chatham County Line and the Jeanne Jolly Trio take the stage Thursday, September 10 for the final Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert. The free concert is open to the public and kicks off at 6 p.m. on the American Tobacco Campus lawn in Durham.

Craig McLaughlin grew up around tigers, ostriches, monkeys and other exotic animals on his step-father's farm in Pittsboro, N.C.
Craig McLaughlin

Craig McLaughlin was given 12 years to live when he was born with hemophilia in 1957. With the help of developments in medicine and some good fortune, McLaughlin exceeded the life expectancy and eventually started a family.

But along the way, he experienced hard bumps in the road. As a child, McLaughlin battled constant physical pain and social isolation. He was diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion as a young adult. 

An image of an event from Working American in Greensboro
Carolyn Smith / Working America

Labor Day was established as a national holiday in 1894 to celebrate the achievements of American workers. What does labor in the state and nation look like today?   In 2013, North Carolina had 130,000 workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 or less, comprising 5.8 percent of all hourly-paid workers.

Lloyd Arneach
Dawn Arneach

For Lloyd Arneach and Sheila Kay Adams, storytelling runs in the family.

Arneach was raised as a Cherokee on a Native American reservation in western North Carolina, absorbing stories at the dinner table from his two great-uncles. Adams was right up the road in Madison County, learning the ballads and stories from seven generations of Scots-Irish ancestors.

Shaun Harper
University of Pennsylvania

A new report reveals that across the South, school districts are disproportionately suspending and expelling black students.

The study out of the University of Pennsylvania shows that while black students represented about a quarter of students in the thirteen southern states in the 2011-2012 school year, they made up nearly half of the students suspended.

The Four Tops are one of the many successful Motown bands. Duke Fakir is the second from the right.
Nationaal Archief / Wikimedia Commons

The Four Tops is one of Motown's legendary doo-wop groups. The quartet's hits include "I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There).” But those hits are only a sample of the Four Tops’ successful career. Between 1964 and 1988, the Four Tops made Billboard's Hot 100 chart 45 times and its R&B chart 52 times.

Josh Rowsey, known as J. Rowdy on stage, is part of a Chapel Hill hip hop collective called no9to5.
Kiersten Koenig

North Carolina is known for putting hip-hop artists like J. Cole and Little Brother in the national spotlight. But back in the mid-1990s, there was not much of a hip-hop presence in the mid-Atlantic.

Kevin Thomas (Kaze) was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the time and and his on-campus group Hip-Hop Nation helped spark the local hip-hop movement. Now Thomas is teaming up with a younger generation of rappers for a new Chapel Hill hip-hop festival.

An image of a UNC student
Tia Holmes

This week, Tia Holmes began her first days at college. She is an incoming first-year this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is already planning to major in computer science.

But her passion does not stem solely from computers. Since she was in middle school, Holmes has been working to promote inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities across the country.

Holmes was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy as a child. The disability affects her speech and movement, but not her drive to spread her message.

An image of Julian Bond
Eduardo Montes-Bradley / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former chairman of the NAACP, died this weekend. He was 75.

Bond fought for equal rights for decades, leaving behind a legacy of social justice as one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and former president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

An image of teens with dreadlocks
Joshua Bratcher

Joshua Bratcher, 18, just graduated from Trinity School and will be attending NC A&T State University this fall.

As a part of our on-going series of stories from the WUNC Summer Youth Reporting Institute, Joshua Bratcher talked to people in his community about the significance of alternative hairstyles as you look for a job.

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

College students are heading back to campus over the next week, which usually means lugging futons up stairwells, battling the chaos in dorm parking lots and enjoying many ice cream socials.

Here is some information and tips for students and parents as they come to campus. This list will be updated as more information on various schools’ events becomes available.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A quick look at the incoming class:

An image of blues musician Albert White
Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

American music can be traced back to the blues, jazz, and many more roots music. The legacy of these roots comes alive this Thursday, June 13, with a roundup of Southern roots musicians from the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Excavations at Site X in 2014 helped yield possible proof that a group of Roanoke colonists moved inland.
First Colony Foundation

The fate of the "Lost Colony" on Roanoke Island remains one of the biggest questions in North Carolina history.

Some believe the colony moved to Hatteras Island and others believe they assimilated into local native tribes.

A picture of a gavel on a document.
Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Updated Friday, August 14, 3:15 p.m.

Carlos Antonio Riley was acquitted Friday of shooting Durham Officer Kelly Stewart in the leg at a traffic stop three years ago. The jury convicted Riley of only common law robbery.

Riley, 24, is charged with robbery with a firearm, common law robbery, reckless driving, felonious larceny from a person, assault on law enforcement inflicting serious injury, and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer. 

An image of MLK
Public Doman

“I have a dream tonight. It is a dream rooted deeply in the American dream.”

Eight months before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C., he spoke these words to a crowd of 1,800 people in a Rocky Mount gymnasium on November 27, 1962.

An image of a wine and beer mug
chris riebschlager / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re looking for a luxury libation, come to North Carolina. The craft beer business is thriving in the state, adding new breweries and brewpubs every year, as North Carolina’s wine industry continues to grow.

Samantha Lanevi

Samantha Lanevi, 19, is a recent graduate of Durham Academy. She is currently a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

An image of the Orange Co. Historical Museum
Orange County Historical Museum

 

More than a thousand organizers are expected to gather in Hillsborough Saturday afternoon as a part of a “Southern Heritage Ride/Rally” supporting the Confederate flag.

An image of jazz musician Kamasi Washington
Mike Park

Kamasi Washington is putting his mark on jazz this year in a big way, venturing outside the world of backup saxophonist to an explorative and evocative bandleader.  

An image of double helix
Wikipedia Public Domain

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine discovered a single genetic mutation that can cause autism. Last December, scientists identified about 1,000 gene mutations linked to autism but how the mutations caused the disorder remained unknown.

Rick Brajer
Dave DeWitt

Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday Aldona Wos is resigning from her position as the secretary of the state's Department of Health and Human Services.

An image of life expectancy across NC counties
VCU Center on Society and Health

A couple miles up Highway 540 in Raleigh could mean a difference of 12 years in life expectancy, according to new maps from the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

An image of downtown Raleigh
NCDOTcommunications

 

Downtown Raleigh is booming and other downtown areas are noticing. According to a recent story in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa should model its downtown after Raleigh’s tech-savvy and eco-friendly businesses, efficient mass transit and urban housing for young professionals.

An image of a skatepark in Apex
Peyton Sickles / WUNC

Peyton Sickles, 17, is a skateboarder, a self-proclaimed "techie" and a rising senior at Apex High School.

Updated September, 19 at 10:30 a.m.

As a part of the WUNC Summer Youth Reporting Institute, Peyton Sickles chose to explore the story behind a new skateboard park that opened in Apex at the beginning of August. For teenagers like Sickles, the new park solves a real problem for young people in his community. Captain Jacques Gilbert of the Apex Police Department is one of the people featured in Sickles' story.

On Monday, Sept. 21, Gilbert will be recognized at the White House as a part of "Champions of Change." The program honors examples of law enforcement connecting with youth in the community. The Apex Police Department is one of seven departments nationwide that will be honored for the program. Listen to the story behind the skate park below:

It’s 7 p.m. on a Friday night inside of Hope Chapel Church in Apex, NC. There are 40 teenagers with skateboards inside the church, flying across ramps and shredding along rails.

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