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
10:26 am
Thu September 15, 2011

The Music of Wade Mainer

Wade Mainer

Just about every bluegrass musician has been directly or indirectly influenced by Wade Mainer. Mainer, a master of the banjo, taught himself to play his instrument of choice as a child and developed an innovative two-finger picking style. That style, combined with Mainer’s strong vocals earned him popularity as a performer and recording artist in the 1930s and 1940s. He is credited with bridging the gap between old-time music and bluegrass music and artists like Doc Watson and Bill Monroe have cited Mainer as a major influence. Mainer died earlier this week. He was 104 years old.

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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
5:00 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

Same Sex Marriage Amendment

North Carolina voters will be asked to consider same-sex marriage in the next primary election. A bill that allows people to decide at the polls whether to ban gay marriage in the state constitution passed the Senate today and was approved in the House yesterday. WRAL Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the language of this legislation and how it was debated in the General Assembly.

State of Things
11:59 am
Tue September 13, 2011

Enron on Stage

Ten years ago, Enron became the ultimate symbol of corporate malfeasance. The company robbed Americans of billions of dollars, helped destroy accounting giant Arthur Andersen and caused rolling blackouts across California. Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh is revisiting this dark chapter in American corporate history with the play, “Enron,” on stage now through September 25th.

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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
12:51 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Remembering Josef Vašíček

Josef Vašíček's jersey
Credit indyweek.com

When the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, the team had a young, Czech player on the ice named Josef Vašíček. “Big Joe,” as ‘Canes fans called him, was drafted by the team in 1998 and before his career in North Carolina was over, Vašíček was a key member in the Hurricanes’ success. The 30-year-old player died in a plane crash in Russia on Wednesday, along with 26 members of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, the hockey team Vašíček joined in 2008.

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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
12:19 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

John Vanderslice

Hopscotch Music Festival
Credit hopscotchmusicfest.com

San Francisco indie musician John Vanderslice is well-known for his exhaustive, comprehensive, and lengthy approach to recording music. Legend has it that Vanderslice spent 4,000 hours working on one album. But his latest studio effort called “White Wilderness,” a collaboration with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, was completed in just three days to the surprise of fans and music critics. Vanderslice is in North Carolina to perform at the 2nd annual Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh.

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State of Things
11:46 am
Thu September 8, 2011

9/11 Ten Years Later

This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and Americans will be inundated with commemorations. Amidst that flood of images and stories, how can people find an intimate and meaningful way to reconnect with the events of a decade ago? At the same time, is there a collective way to memorialize a tragedy that changed the country, but changed each of us in different ways? What roles are played by artists, scholars, and theologians?

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