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.

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State of Things
1:14 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Fullsteam Ahead

Book cover, ''The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities''

Mix Victorian-era fashion and culture with powerful, futuristic machines and what do you get? Steampunk, a quirky subgenre of science fiction that is again growing in popularity. This weekend, a celebration of steampunk sponsored by Bull Spec Magazine comes to Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina. 

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State of Things
1:17 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

It's Electric

The Plug-In electric car conference wrapped up its four-day run this week in Raleigh. It's the first time the conference, which draws car makers and utility planners from around the country, has been held on the East Coast. Conference planners were drawn to North Carolina's capital by the growing demand for electric vehicles in the Triangle.

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State of Things
1:09 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

National Black Theatre Festival 2011

NBTF Artistic Director Mabel Robinson

The National Black Theatre Festival is a longstanding tradition in Winston-Salem. Founded in 1989 by North Carolina native Larry Leon Hamlin, the biennial celebration of African-American stage performance draws thousands of people to the Triad.

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State of Things
12:56 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

Skank Fest 2011

Skank Festival
Credit www.skankfestival.com

Durhamite Brian Hill is the lead singer of the ska band Regatta 69, even though the rest of the band is based in Berlin. There’s still a big ska scene in Europe, and Hill wants to lead a revival of the genre stateside, so he’s starting locally. He’s organized a concert series called Skank Festival 2011 that visits Greensboro this weekend.

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State of Things
9:30 am
Thu July 21, 2011

Smoke Damage

Book cover, ''Smoke Damage''

North Carolina State University sociologist Michael Schwalbe’s new book, “Smoke Damage: Voices from the Front Lines of America’s Tobacco Wars,” (University of Wisconsin Press/2011) is a collection of portraits of people whose lives have been changed by tobacco. The images and the stories that accompany them span a wide range of ages, social classes and professional disciplines, from lawyers and farmers to disease survivors. The intimate photos tell a story not captured by statistics, but the book is not merely sentimental.

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State of Things
11:55 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Living Without Enemies

Book cover, ''Living Without Enemies''

When Marcia Owen began the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham in 1992, it was a traditional gun-control advocacy group. Over time, Marcia realized that new laws weren't going to address the root causes of the violence plaguing the Bull City. Instead of working for Durham's underserved communities, she began working with the people who lived in them. That particular method of social engagement is what Dean of Duke Chapel Sam Wells has been advocating in his theology for years. Wells and Owen have co-authored a new book called “Living Without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence” (IVP Books/2011).

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State of Things
12:09 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Pre-K Funding Flap

Yesterday Superior Court Judge Howard Manning declared portions of the state budget that deal with preschool education unconstitutional. Manning says the Republican-authored budget provisions limit eligible at-risk children from enrolling in a state funded prekindergarten program. 

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State of Things
11:58 am
Tue July 19, 2011

Iron House

John Hart
Credit bigail Seymour Photography

Durham-born writer John Hart has had three New York Times bestsellers, won several awards, and had his books optioned by Hollywood. North Carolina's open spaces and its dark corners continue to inspire his work.

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State of Things
11:51 am
Tue July 19, 2011

Is That You in the Blue?

Dex Romweber Duo
Credit Judy Woodall

Jack White of The White Stripes calls Dex Romweber a huge influence on his music...and he's not alone. Romweber's stripped-down style has inspired a generation of indie-punk rockers. For the last few years, he and his sister Sara have been playing together as the Dex Romweber Duo.

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State of Things
11:21 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Meet Shirlette Ammons

Katina Parker
Credit Katina Parker

Writer and musician Shirlette Ammons is not afraid of intimacy. Her poems and songs are like diary pages that she invites audiences to flip through at their leisure. Ammons is used to sharing her personal space. She grew up in a rural country home with a twin sister and dozens of cousins. After she left home for college, she started to explore her race and sexuality and used the power of the pen to document her self-discovery.

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