Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

Ways To Connect

Juni Asiyo wearing traditional Kenyan clothing.
Juni Asiyo

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2012, roughly 25 million people were living with HIV, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. 

The battle is ongoing, as researchers, educators, and doctors continue to work to stop AIDS once and for all.

Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie.
kenrudinpolitics.com

A controversial bill that would have outlawed any state action that might burden one's exercise of religion is dead in the North Carolina House. 

Republican leaders said they are dropping the Religious Freedom Act to focus on legislation to boost the economy and create jobs.

House lawmakers also voted yesterday to extend the waiting period for abortions from one day to three. 

Javier Corrales authored a report on LGBT rights in Latin America.
Palgrave

 

LGBT rights have expanded more in Latin America than elsewhere in the North Atlantic region, according to a new report by the UNC LGBT Representation and Rights Research Initiative.

 Entire countries have legalized same-sex marriage and expanded health services for LGBT individuals. But the region also has countries, like Jamaica, that are some of the most dangerous places in the world to be gay. 

Mad Satta is a Neo-Jazz band out of New York City.
madsatta.com

The New York band Mad Satta is part of a new generation of jazz and soul musicians.

The genre is often referred to as neo-jazz, a genre that, perhaps like the origins of jazz, does not have a clear definition. It mixes classic jazz with soul, funk, rock and blues. The eight-member Mad Satta came up with their own definition of neo-jazz, and they are on tour to spread the "cool" at festivals across the country. 

The Durham police department.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed racial discrepancies when it comes to gun-related violence in Durham. 

 The report released yesterday shows that from 2009 to 2012, the homicide rate for young black men in Durham was eight times higher than the national average.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun's smiling self-portrait.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun / Wikimedia Commons

A white-toothed smile is a gesture that many likely engage in dozens of times a day without thought. Historian Colin Jones traced the history of the smile and found a toothy smile is a relatively young phenomenon. 

In his recent book, "The Smile Revolution In Eighteenth Century Paris," he argues that the white-tooth smile emerged in 18th century Paris in conjunction with the cult of sensibility and the creation of modern dentistry.

The Secret Game

Apr 23, 2015
North Carolina College Eagles, 1943-1944, from left to right: George Parks, Aubrey Stanley, James “Boogie” Hardy, Floyd Brown, Henry “Big Dog” Thomas.
Alex Rivera

On a Sunday morning in March 1944, most of Durham, North Carolina, was in church. That's the way basketball coach John McLendon wanted it when his all-black college team from North Carolina Central University (then the North Carolina College for Negroes) faced off against an all-white team from Duke University’s medical school. 

Dr. Richard Bock, a vascular surgeon, listens on speaker phone to another surgeon who is asking for advice before starting bypass surgery.
William Woody / wwoody@citizen-times.com

Mission Health System dominates the healthcare field in Western North Carolina, owning or partnering with six hospitals and controlling more than 40 percent of hospital beds in Western North Carolina. The nonprofit company began its expansion in the 1990s. It absorbed small rural hospitals struggling to foot the bill for an aging, low-income and underinsured population in Western North Carolina. 

Joslin Simms, the mother of Ray Simms who was murdered in May of 2005.
Justin Cook / justincookphoto.com/

Durham is a city on the rise. And over the past decade or so, it has established a reputation for its change and rapid development. 

But not far away from the city's booming downtown and repurposed factories  is a part of the city that is dealing with high crime rates and the losses of their young men due to violence and prison.

It is a tale of two cities: one prosperous and open to tourist and transplants, the other isolated and dealing with violence and drugs.

Redistricting Reconsidered

Apr 21, 2015
The district plan for North Carolina as set by the 2011 General Assembly.
ncleg.net

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider the controversial redistricting measures taken by the legislature in 2011. 

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the state court’s decision and instructed it to look again at these issues in light of the highest court’s rulings in a similar case in Alabama. At issue is whether the new lines are racially-based gerrymandering or permissible redistricting measures.

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