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
12:14 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Crime Lab Controversy

Derrick Allen
Credit newsobserver.com

Host Frank Stasio talks about the case and pending legislation that could change operations at the SBI with Mandy Locke and Joe Neff, staff writers at the News & Observer.

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.

The State of Things
12:30 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Food Deserts

Credit www.trosainc.org

Joining host Frank Stasio to discuss the food desert phenomenon are Wendy Noel and Joshua Stack.

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.

The State of Things
12:27 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Minimalist Music

Credit www.stevereich.com

Host Frank Stasio talks with Reich about that composition and his pioneering body of musical works.

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.

The State of Things
12:23 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Morgan Writer-in-Residence

Credit http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/morgan

Hempel joins host Frank Stasio to talk about reading, writing, and teaching.

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.

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The State of Things
9:00 am
Mon March 14, 2011

Meet Joe's Diner

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.

The State of Things
9:00 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

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.

The State of Things
11:01 am
Thu March 10, 2011

Journal Of A UFO Investigator

Journal of a UFO Investigator

Host Frank Stasio talks with Halperin, a professor of religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about how myth can be a mirror for realities we'd rather not face.

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.

The State of Things
10:48 am
Thu March 10, 2011

Investigating Islamist Extremism

Department of Homeland Security
Credit Department of Homeland Security

David Schanzer, the center’s director and an associate professor of the practice for public policy at Duke, joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his findings on Islamist extremism.

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.

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The State of Things
10:33 am
Thu March 10, 2011

The North Carolina Gazetteer

The North Carolina Gazetteer
Credit The North Carolina Gazetteer

Hill joins host Frank Stasio to talk about collecting the treasured stories of the Tar Heel State to put together the second edition of '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.

The State of Things
10:27 am
Wed March 9, 2011

The State Of Collective Bargaining

Public Demonstration in Wisconsin
Credit cbsnews.com

Host Frank Stasio talks with MaryBe McMillan, Steve Allen, and Robert Korstad, Kevin D. Gorter.

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?

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