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.

Roy Cooper at a podium with his wife, addresses his supporters in Raleigh. North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Cooper and incumbent Pat McCrory are locked in a tie with their race likely heading to a recount.
Brian Batista / WUNC

Last night, North Carolinians watched as successful candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and State Supreme Court took to the podium to thank crowds of exuberant supporters in their acceptance speeches. But one race is still undecided: the race for North Carolina's governor. Only a few thousand votes separated Republican incumbent Pat McCrory from his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper.

President-elect Donald Trump won by nearly four percentage points in North Carolina. He is seen on stage clapping at a rally.
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Voters cast their ballots and elected Donald Trump as their 45th president. Trump won by nearly four percentage points in North Carolina. North Carolinians also re-elected Republican Richard Burr to the Senate, and Democratic Judge Mike Morgan as the newest N.C. Supreme Court Justice.

Image of Flags Outside Climate Conference
AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

World leaders and climate change negotiators gathered in Marrakech, Morocco yesterday for the first day of a United Nations climate talks conference . Leaders are following up on last year’s historic meeting in Paris where they developed a blueprint for reducing carbon emissions and voluntarily pledged to do their part to limit the rise in global temperatures. Officials in Marrakech are expected to operationalize the Paris agreement and discuss how to develop the financial and technical...

Cucalorus Film Festival

The 22nd annual Cucalorus Film Festival kicks off tomorrow in downtown Wilmington and two films by former Port City locals are in the lineup. “Women Who Kill” is a wry lesbian romantic comedy/murder mystery from writer, actor and director Ingrid Jungermann. “Finding Home” is a heartfelt drama about adoption from director Nick Westfall. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Jungermann and Westfall about relationships and love in all its many forms. Cucalorus runs Nov. 9-13th. “ Women Who Kill ”...

Donna Helen Crisp has worked as a nurse in North Carolina for more than two decades.

She thought she knew the healthcare system inside and out until one day she went in for a routine surgery, expecting only an overnight stay, and almost died from a chain of medical errors.

The cover of Running Man, a memoir by Charlie Engle.
Scribner/2016

Charlie Engle spent much of his young adulthood chasing the next high. His addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly cost him his life. But he eventually attained sobriety, and along the way, developed a new passion: running. He started with marathons but moved to longer distances and adventure expeditions. In 2006, he led a team across the Sahara, a feat documented in the film, Running The Sahara . His fame drew the attention of government officials, including one determined tax agent at the IRS...

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The campaign season is in the final stretch, and both presidential candidates are making last minute pleas in North Carolina. Polls predict a tight race, and candidates up and down the ballot are working to get out the vote. Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the election.

An image of writers Clare Beams and April Ayers Lawson
Kristi Jan Hoover/Jason Ayers

When writing a short story, an author must be swift and succinct. A short story does not allow a plot the same amount of breathing room compared to a novel. Writers April Ayers Lawson and Clare Beams welcome the immediacy inherent in a short story as they integrate intimate and engaging tales into their work. Lawson's debut short story collection " Virgin and Other Stories " (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/2016) grapples with gender, sexuality and intimacy in gothic Southern landscapes. Meanwhile,...

An image of Peter Lamb and the Wolves with Maceo Parker
Peter Lamb and the Wolves

For their latest album, " Carolina Tiger Milk ," Triangle-based jazz group Peter Lamb and the Wolves invited some of North Carolina's most prominent musicians. The band's guest lineup includes vocalist Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony, saxophonist Maceo Parker and members of the Mint Julep Jazz Band. Host Frank Stasio talks with Lamb about the inspiration for the band's new album and Lamb's experience playing jazz across the country. The band also performs live in the studio with Peter Lamb...

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it will send election monitors to watch the polls in five North Carolina counties. This comes after the state chapter of the NAACP filed a lawsuit alleging local election boards acted illegally when they removed the names of thousands of people from voter registration rolls in three counties within 95 days of the election. Host Frank Stasio talks with WFAE reporter Michael Tomsic about voter issues in the state.

A view of the Blue Ridge Parkway on October 11, 2016 north of Devil's Couthouse in western North Carolina.
Jennifer Mesk / http://humansofasheville.net

New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau paints a complex picture of the changing demographics in western North Carolina. Carolina Public Press managing editor Frank Taylor sifted through the data to find trends in poverty, education, and employment, as well as to undercover political implications of the area's demographic makeup. Host Frank Stasio talks with Taylor about the findings and their implications for Election Day.

Lady Parts Justice League Graphic
Courtesy of Lady Parts Justice League

Hundreds of thousands of American women terminate pregnancies each year. But in the past decade, state governments around the country have enacted a series of laws that reproductive justice advocates argue impede women's access to safe, legal abortion.

An image 'Black Righteous Space' by Hank Willis Thomas
Hank WIllis Thomas

For Hank Willis Thomas , a good photograph is an image that sticks with somebody long after they first see it. As a photographer and conceptual artist, Thomas uses images to critique cultural perceptions about race, gender and class. His Unbranded series removes text from advertisements as way to examine generalizations about black identity and femininity, and his interactive installation Black Righteous Space pairs the colors of the Pan-African flag with the symbolism of the Confederate flag...

Cover image for Death Faire
Courtesy of Tami Schwerin

Death and spirits are part of conversations this week more than most other times of the year. On Monday, many donned costumes of ghosts and goblins to celebrate Halloween, and yesterday others around the world gathered for festivals and celebrations to mark the first day of El Dia de Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. But talking about death and dying is usually more taboo. While everyone experiences grief, illness, and death, these experiences are often kept private,...

Image of multicolor gems. A new PBS NOVA series explores gems and precious stones, some found right in North Carolina.
PBS NOVA

Hiddenite, North Carolina, is a tiny community with a big secret. Emeralds, some of the largest in the world, along with sapphires, and other precious stones lay hidden under the earth at this site in Alexander County. A new series of the popular PBS show NOVA , titled “Treasures of the Earth,” takes a deeper look at the science behind this local phenomenon.
Host Frank Stasio speaks with the senior executive producer of NOVA, Paula Apsell , about the new series and about the ripple...

An image of a gavel
creative commons

More than 300 veteran treatment courts exist around the country to help former service members who have been charged with low-level crimes. The courts put veterans in counseling and rehabilitation programs for issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. The number of veteran treatment courts has grown in the last decade, and proponents argue that the system better serves veterans while also cutting court, jail and prison costs. However, in states like North Carolina, only...

Cover Image from ‘Resisting Arrest Poems To Stretch The Sky,’ a new anthology of poetry about police aggression against people of color.
Jacar Press

Does a smile help defend against potential police aggression? What is a mother’s role in protecting her child from a dangerous situation? A new collection of poems, “Resisting Arrest Poems to Stretch the Sky” (Jacar Press/2016) , explores these questions through the work of more than 70 writers.
The poems address the many ways people of color experience police interactions and questions what role artists have in speaking out about rising tension in their communities. Host Frank Stasio...

Life Pig

Nov 1, 2016
University of Chicago Press

In two new books, writer and professor Alan Shapiro explores themes of convention, pain and self-expression. “Life Pig” (University of Chicago Press/2016) is his latest book of poetry and “That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration” (University of Chicago Press/2016) is a new collection of essays. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Shapiro, the William R. Kenan Jr. distinguished professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about family, poetry and the...

WUNC

Wildin Acosta was 17-years-old when he came to North Carolina. He enrolled at Riverside High School in Durham and was a well-loved student. Last January he was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, and his case galvanized the local community. While Acosta sat in a detention center in Georgia awaiting deportation to his native Honduras, activists, teachers and students raised money and brought political pressure to bear on his case. He returned to Durham in early August...

An image of Nicole Sarrocco
Jason Hedrick

For Nicole Sarrocco , experiences with the supernatural are nothing new. As a child growing up on a tobacco farm on the border of Wake County, she knew that her family's land was filled with spirits. She went on to live in multiple haunted houses, and encounters with ghosts seemed to follow her wherever she went. Sarrocco has since worked to come to terms with the occult and channeled these experiences into a novel. Host Frank Stasio talks with Nicole Sarrocco, an English and history teacher...

Political Junkie Ken Rudin
Ken Rudin

Early voting is underway in North Carolina and predictions for which party is leading the state have already emerged. Meanwhile both parties continue actively campaigning in swing states including North Carolina. Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, is raising a red flag concerning what he says is a rigged election and both parties have turned Trump’s ‘nasty woman’ comment into a rallying cry.
Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin , about all the campaign...

Screenshot from the 1961 cult film 'Hercules in the Haunted World' showing a male character hovering over a woman laying on a slab
SPA CINEMATOGRAFICA

It’s a battle oft overlooked by the history books, but North Carolina Opera is paying tribute to the epic battle between Hercules and vampires in their new live-film event.
Audience members are encouraged to dress up and take in the cult film “Hercules in the Haunted World” accompanied by a live operatic score. Host Frank Stasio talks to the opera’s composer Patrick Morganelli and singers Vanessa Becerra and Scott MacLeod ​ about the unique performance. Pianist Danielle DeSwert Hahn...

An image of a bottle of OxyContin
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Deaths by opioid overdose are on the rise nationwide, and North Carolina remains hit hard by the epidemic. In 2014, opioids killed more than 28,000 people, more than any years on record. At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid . In North Carolina, four cities are among the top 25 worst cities for opioid abuse, according to a report earlier this year by Castlight Health. However, organizations like Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuse, also known...

Image of chicago alderman
Courtesy of Michael Karlik

With fewer than 15 days until the election, it is nearly impossible to avoid conversations about politics. While some Americans may be tempted to unplug their televisions until it is all over, comedian Michael Karlik is doing exactly the opposite. Michael Karlik is a Colorado-based writer who is actively seeking out conversations about civics and government from every corner of America.

His project “City Council Chronicles,” reviews city council meetings—telling the stories of...

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Incumbent Governor Pat McCrory spent 14 years as the mayor of the state's largest city, Charlotte, before making a run at the governor's mansion. He lost his 2008 bid but won the gubernatorial race in 2012. Four years later, he faces a tight battle with democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper. Campaign issues include House Bill 2, voter identification, the state of the economy and body cameras. Host Frank Stasio talks with Governor Pat McCrory about his priorities and his re...

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