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.

When Jane Borden moved to Manhattan after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she thought she would have no trouble leaving her Southern home behind. Turns out she didn't count on the voice of her Aunt Jane, which she seemed to hear wherever she went in the Big Apple. In an endearing collection of essays called "I Totally Meant to Do That” (Broadway Paperbacks/2011), Borden recalls her Southern fish-out-of-water experiences with humor and affection for both North Carolina and New York.

www.harpercollins.co.uk

Growing up in Egypt, Samia Serageldin didn't think about becoming a writer. She was more worried about the fate of her family whose political activity set them against the ruling parties under Nasser, then Sadat. She married and moved to London at age 20 with her husband. Except for two brief years of hopeful return to Egypt in the late 1970s, Serageldin has been an expatriate, living in Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Her autobiographical first novel, “The Cairo House,” was published in 2000 and chronicles the rise and fall of a class of Egyptians caught between Western and traditional influences. Her subsequent books, “The Naqib’s Daughter” and “Love is Like Water,” also focus on Egypt.

The Lee Boys

Mar 18, 2011

The Lee Boys play Sacred Steel, so called because of its roots in gospel and the pedal steel guitar that drives the sound. Made up of three brothers and their nephews, the band members all learned to play at the House of God Church in Perrine, Fla., where their father was a pastor. They integrated blues, rock, jazz and funk elements into their sound, creating an energetic and uplifting music, which they have showcased at churches, clubs and festivals across the country.

Raleigh writer Angela Davis-Gardner loves Japan. She went there to teach when she was a young woman fresh from her undergraduate studies at Duke University. The landscape and the people stayed in her imagination so profoundly that she has visited several times and set her most recent books there. “Plum Wine” examines the aftermath of World War II in Japan. And her new book, “Butterfly’s Child” (The Dial Press/2011) moves between Japan and America at the end of the 19th century.

Arthur Lenk, director of the Department of International Law in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will deliver a lecture at Duke University’s Law School today, focusing on Israel, the Middle East peace process and international law. Revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, civil war in Libya and unrest throughout the region mean Israel’s long-held relationships with other Middle Eastern states are in transition.

www.paulgreen.org

You may recognize the name Paul Green as that of the playwright who penned the long-running outdoor drama "The Lost Colony" or gave his name to the theater that houses the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Playmakers Repertory Company. Green's legacy is actually much greater. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, wrote screenplays for Hollywood and fought for decades in his home state of North Carolina for progressive causes and social justice.

Haroon Moghul
themaydan.org

The Muslim Student Association at Duke University is presenting a series of lectures by experts on Islam with the goal of generating positive dialogue about Muslims in America. This year’s “Islamic Awareness Month” comes on the heels of Congressional hearings examining the spread of radicalism and extremism in Muslim communities across the U.S.

Sidney Lowe
newsobserver.com

The NCAA tournament is here along with the March madness that goes with it. Sixty-eight teams are competing for the championship. Two big North Carolina contenders – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University – are in the mix, but North Carolina State University missed the tournament cutoff and coach Sidney Lowe resigned in the aftermath.

Derrick Allen
newsobserver.com

Last week, Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson publicly criticized the State Bureau of Investigation’s handling of a 1998 murder case, saying the SBI withheld evidence that could have aided the defendant in trial. The case of Derrick Allen, who spent 12 years in jail for the sexual assault and murder of a 2-year-old girl, is the latest to bring attention to the SBI’s policies and procedures at its crime lab.

Food Deserts

Mar 15, 2011
www.trosainc.org

A food desert is a community where healthy food is hard to find. It’s not as much about hunger as it is about access. Many people living in food deserts can afford to shop, they just can’t find a place to shop. Food deserts exist in rural as well as urban settings. It’s hard to say how many food deserts there are in North Carolina because the definition is derived from statistics on income levels, availability of transportation as well as scarcity of grocery stores. Joining host Frank Stasio to discuss the food desert phenomenon are Wendy Noel, the manager of TROSA Grocery in Durham, and Joshua Stack, director of communications for MANNA Foodbank, a Western North Carolina nonprofit that collects, stores and distributes food.

www.stevereich.com

Composer Steve Reich combines recorded voices, instruments and repetitive patterns into the unique style of music called minimalism. He has used that music to explore themes like the Holocaust, cloning, and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Kronos Quartet will premiere Reich's new piece "WTC 9/11" at Duke Performances on Saturday, but first host Frank Stasio talks with Reich about that composition and his pioneering body of musical works.

http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/morgan

Amy Hempel is among America's most beloved short story writers. She's also a famous writing teacher – at Harvard University, Bennington College and the Sewanee Writer's Conference, to name a few placeAmy Hempel is among America's most beloved short story writers. She's also a famous writing teacher – at Harvard University, Bennington College and the Sewanee Writer's Conference, to name a few places where students have benefited from her tutelage.

At the corner of Angier Ave. and Driver St. in Durham sits Joe’s Diner. The special there is a 1 lb. all-beef hot dog, but what’s really special about the place is the relationship between its owner, Joe Bushfan, and the restaurant’s financier, Dan Hill. The unlikely partnership between Bushfan, a former celebrity bodyguard, and Hill, an insurance broker, started as a chat about business investments and has grown into an effort to revitalize East Durham’s neighborhoods.

Members of adolescent social cliques tend to dress alike, talk alike and share the same interests. But, a new study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that more dangerous behaviors – specifically engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury – are also contagious among friends. UNC psychology professor Mitch Prinstein joins host Frank Stasio to talk about investigating seemingly infectious harmful behaviors among young peer groups.

David Halperin’s new novel "Journal of a UFO Investigator" has extraterrestrial abduction, human-alien hybrids and spacecraft galore. The content reads like a straight science fiction tale at first, but beneath the fantastic story is another one about a boy facing loneliness and the imminent death of his mother.

Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security

Congressional hearings to investigate the “radicalization of Muslims in America” begin today on Capitol Hill. The hearings, called by New York Rep. Peter King, who is the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, are being criticized as racist for singling out the Muslim community in an exploration of homegrown terrorism.

The North Carolina Gazetteer
The North Carolina Gazetteer

Historian William S. Powell first assembled “The North Carolina Gazetteer” in 1968. The book has since served as an essential reference for readers with an interest in the state and the fascinating stories that are attached to places like Frying Pan, Hanging Dog, and Naked Mountain. Powell’s book has recently received an update with help from Michael Hill, research supervisor at the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

Public Demonstration in Wisconsin
cbsnews.com

As unionized public workers continue to face off with Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker over budget cuts and collective bargaining rights, Americans' interest in the role of unions and collective bargaining in our political and economic systems has spiked. What do this battle and other labor-government standoffs in the Midwest mean for unions in general? What repercussions could the movement have in North Carolina, a Right to Work State?

'The Egg'
goodnightraleigh.com

Roy Gussow's “Ellipsoid Construction,” better known as "The Egg," has been an icon on the campus of North Carolina State University since the sculptor unveiled the chromium steel work of art behind Brooks Hall more than 50 years ago. Gussow was one of the many talented artists who flocked to the NCSU's School of Design in the 1950s, giving shape to a bold, new way of thinking at a university that had been known primarily for its agriculture and engineering programs.

Scott Huler
piedmontlaureate.com

Writer Scott Huler's nonfiction books, investigative journalism, commentary and humor have made him a fixture on the local literary scene. Now he adds the title Piedmont Laureate to his already impressive resume. Huler joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his program as Piedmont Laureate -- story telling events and conversations among writers -- and his upcoming book projects about the South and Southerners

Reuven Moskovitz's experience as a Jew during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany made him sensitive to injustice everywhere. That's why he joined Captain Glyn Secker and other Jewish activists on a boat that tried to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and bring aid to the Palestinians there.

John Marc Diptych
Photograph by Jeff Whetstone

Late last month Jeff Whetstone premiered his newest artwork. It's a video depicting a turkey hunt. But it's not a documentary. The hunter uses the female turkey's call to lure a male turkey. Then, the hunter translates the call into English. None of what the female turkey says to the male turkey is suitable for public radio. But to hear a confident American man – muscle-bound, tough, armed and dressed for hunting – talk dirty in the voice of a female turkey is to have your sense of gender, species, nature and wildness ultimately confounded.

North Carolina lawmakers are considering two bills that could radically alter the state’s public schools. Senate Bill 8 would remove the state’s 100-school limit on charter schools. House Bill 41 would offer tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools. Host Frank Stasio talks about what is at stake for the state's public schools with WUNC Education Reporter Dave DeWitt; Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Education Freedom in North Carolina; Helen Ladd, Edgar T. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy; and N.C. Rep. Paul Stam (R), one of the sponsors of House Bill 41.

Delta Rae

Mar 4, 2011
www.deltarae.com
www.deltarae.com

Durham-based band Delta Rae utilizes simple instrumentation and soulful harmonies to create a sound that the members call “gospel pop.” In their short existence, they have crafted an eclectic catalog of songs that showcase influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Coldplay. With a successful self-titled EP of Southern-tinged pop songs, and sold-out shows on both coasts behind them, they start out this year with their “Graet Mondays” series, releasing free new music on their website every week.

It took Raleigh resident Mary Lambeth Moore decades to tease her intriguing short story about sisters in a small North Carolina town during the mid-1970s into a novel. The result is "Sleeping with Patty Hearst" (Tigress Publishing/2011), an intriguing book that follows a teenager named Lily as she navigates identity and community in 1975 and 1976.

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