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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The State of Things
1:19 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Indicting John Doe

Young joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the tragic attack she suffered and the unique path she took to bringing her assailant to justice.

On a night in 1994, Patricia Young of Nashville, Tennessee was asleep in her bed when she was startled awake by a masked man who had broken into her house. The man, undressed from the waist down, brutally attacked Young and attempted to rape her. Young, an attorney, put up a fierce struggle, biting off a piece of his finger. Eventually the man left, but not before sexually violating Young with his hands.

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The State of Things
1:05 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Eugenics in America

Illustration from a 1954 brochure, ''The Population Bomb''

Host Frank Stasio talks about the articles with Begos and Alexandra Stern.

In the first decades of the 20th century, the eugenics movement led scientists and policy makers to embrace radical tenets of genetic engineering. This movement included involuntary sterilization of criminals, poor people, the mentally impaired and minorities – in hopes of breeding out undesirable traits. Most Americans refuted eugenics after World War II, but a small contingent of influential researchers and social engineers remained devoted to the flawed science. Their persistence led to state-supported, involuntary sterilizations as late as the 1970s. In 2002, then-Governor Mike Easley issued an apology for the atrocities the state committed in the name of eugenics.

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The State of Things
12:56 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

The Trouble with the Tobacco Trust Fund

Credit www.tobaccotrustfund.org

Host Frank Stasio talks about the role of Tobacco Trust Fund money in the state’s economy with Linda Shaw Andrew Brod.

The future of the state’s Tobacco Trust Fund, which provides financial compensation to North Carolina’s former tobacco farmers, remains in question. Budget proposals for the multi-million dollar program diverge widely between the state House and Senate. Senators have suggested continuing the distribution of funding dollars. State House members have suggested cutting funding all together. Small farmers and the organizations supporting them worry that losing this money could mean the demise of many enterprising agricultural projects.

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The State of Things
11:43 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Skin Color and Social Privilege

Daniel Sharfstein's book, ''The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White''

Skin color is the most influential factor behind racial identity, but determining race has never been black and white; host Frank Stasio navigates the spectrum of skin pigment and social constructs.

Skin color is the most influential factor behind racial identity, but determining race has never been black and white. A new book by legal scholar Daniel Sharfstein called “The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White” (The Penguin Press/2011) reveals that there was a time when the legal definition of race was so blurry that families considered African-Americans in one part of the country could be classified as white in another.

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The State of Things
12:34 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Remembering Harvey Dorfman

More than any other American sport, baseball is a game where mental focus is as important as speed or strength. The challenge for coaches has long been how to get top athletes to exercise the muscle between their ears. One of the leaders in that area was Harvey Dorfman, who is considered the father of sports psychology. He had a long career helping some of the world’s most famous baseball players — Roy Halladay, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux among them — learn to think more rigorously about the game. Dorfman died earlier this year at his home in Brevard, North Carolina.

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The State of Things
12:17 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Blake's Infinite Writing

Stan Peskett and his artwork featuring William Blake's vision

Host Frank Stasio talks to Eric Wilson and visual artist Stan Peskett about Blake's visions of creativity and inspiration.

Nearly every school child on both sides of the pond can recite the opening lines of “The Tiger” by William Blake. The poem is part of the collection “Songs of Experience” and is among William Blake’s best known works. There’s a companion collection called “Songs of Innocence,” and together they explore the duality of good and evil existent in everyone.

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The State of Things
2:20 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Meet Tom & Heather LaGarde

The LaGarde family

Tom and Heather LaGarde join host Frank Stasio to talk about community building, music and basketball.

Tom LaGarde was literally skating through his life after basketball stardom when he met his wife Heather. Tom played for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid 1970s, won an Olympic gold medal in 1976 and finished the decade in the NBA. He was running a program for at-risk kids in New York City that involved playing basketball while Rollerblading. Heather was in the crowd at one of these roller basketball games, their eyes met across the crowded court and they've been together ever since.

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The State of Things
3:27 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Man of the Cloth

Father O'Connor talks with host Frank Stasio before delivering the baccalaureate sermon to Elon University’s graduating class.

When Father Andrew O'Connor started his Goods of Conscience project several years ago, he had no idea that Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts would end up wearing his clothes. O'Connor, a parish priest in the Bronx, designs casual, upscale clothing made from cotton hand-woven by Mayan workers in Guatemala. Seamstresses in the Bronx put the pieces together. The project raises money for the weavers, seamstresses and the parish, and could serve as a model for other communities across the country. Father O'Connor talks with host Frank Stasio before delivering the baccalaureate sermon to Elon University’s graduating class.

The State of Things
1:50 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

On the Brink of Civil War

North Carolina was among the last Southern states to secede from the Union and the complex factors that led to the state's slow conversion to the Confederacy are more nuanced than history often remembers.

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The State of Things
1:13 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Fan Modine

CD cover, ''Gratitude for the Shipper''

Fan Modine joins host Frank Stasio to play selections from the new CD, ''Gratitude for the Shipper.''

Gordon Zacharias has been writing songs and playing under the name Fan Modine for more than 15 years. He was happily at work on a new album in New York City when 9/11 changed everything. No longer feeling at home in the Big Apple, Zacharias decamped to Chapel Hill, NC, where the music scene embraced him.

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