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
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Folk Songs From The Soul

Skylar Gudasz
Credit Marie Killen

For Skylar Gudasz, a whisper can resonate louder than a shout. The Carrboro folk singer has toured with national musicians in Big Star Third and collaborated locally with Spooky Woods. She showcases her soft, but powerful vocals and elegant songwriting in her upcoming solo album, Oleander.  

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The State of Things
12:05 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Mapping Inequality: How Redlining Is Still Affecting Inner Cities

The original Home Owners' Loan Corporation map of Durham, dated July 23, 1937. Red areas were largely African-American communities, and considered to be too risky for new home loans.
National Archives

After the stock market crash of 1929, Americans across the country were in danger of losing their houses to foreclosure. 

The federal government stepped in, providing bonds for homeowners to refinance their mortgages as part of the New Deal. But in larger cities, the government drew boundaries between neighborhoods that were eligible and ineligible for new loans. 

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The State of Things
12:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Segregation Again

African American students getting on a school bus in Grimesland, North Carolina in the 1950s
Credit ECU Digital Collections/Flickr

Jenn Ayscue, research associate at The Civil Rights Project and Mark Dorosin, managing attorney at The UNC Center for Civil Rights discuss the re-segregation of North Carolina schools

    

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Brown V. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ushered in the era of school desegregation.

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Future Of NC Film Incentives

Iron Man 3 was filmed in North Carolina.
Credit flickr

Reporters Carol Motsinger and Jorge Valencia discuss the future of NC Film Incentives

Film and television production companies in North Carolina currently receive tax refunds of 25 percent if they spend $250,000 or more. The incentives expire at the end of the year unless the General Assembly reinstates them in the budget. Critics say the incentives are too high given a number of permanent jobs the industry creates. But a report commissioned by industry players shows the state receives a positive return on its entertainment investment. 

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The State of Things
11:37 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Child Labor In North Carolina Tobacco Fields

Tobacco harvest in North Carolina
Jim Dollar/Flickr

An expert panel discusses Child Labor in North Carolina tobacco fields

Federal law permits children to work in agriculture from younger ages and for longer hours than any other industry.

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The State of Things
12:26 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Air Quality Shapes Public Health

Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke professor Dr. H. Kim Lyerly and News & Observer reporter Sarah Wheeler talk about Air Quality

  

Stronger emission controls in North Carolina are closely associated with declining death rates from respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, according to a Duke University study released this week. 

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The State of Things
12:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

The Ethics of Torture

Christian ethicist David Gushee
Credit theology.mercer.edu

A conversation about the ethics of torture with professor David Gushee

Many have criticized the American government's use of torture since 9/11 including military experts who say it it is ineffective. But for Christian ethicist David Gushee, the very question of effectiveness is a degrading one. He believes the usefulness of a behavior does not affect its morality. 

Gushee is part of the non-governmental, bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, convened by the Constitution Project. Gushee speaks tonight at 7pm at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. A declassified report on CIA torture is expected to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later this summer. 

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The State of Things
12:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Not So Happy Ever After

Beyond Fairy Tales book cover
Credit mainstreetrag.com

A conversation with writer and poet Maureen Sherbondy

  

Walt Disney's fairy tale adaptations are known for their neat, happy endings. But in their original states, these tales were rife with darkness and despair. 

Writer and poet Maureen Sherbondy embraces the gloom in her new book, "Beyond Fairy Tales: Poems in Concrete & Flesh" (Main Street Rag Publishing Company/2014). For example, Sherbondy's Rapunzel loses her hair to chemotherapy.

What the Prince Doesn't Know

By Maureen Sherbondy

Two months ago the mammogram revealed
a lump, and days since then have passed.

She can no longer throw her hair over the wall
for him to shimmy up beneath the star-scarred sky.

In a nauseous-chemo blur, clumps of golden thread
fell from her head to the tower's cold stone floor.

Still, the witch keeps her here, caged and ill, the left breast
completely gone. Her head a pale bald egg.

So when the Prince yells up to her, Rapunzel, throw down your golden hair, she hides beneath the sterile sheets.
 

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The State Of Things
11:48 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Meet Geri Dawson: Expanding The Field of Autism Research

Geri Dawson
Credit dibs.duke.edu

    

When Geri Dawson was a graduate student in psychology, she chose an obscure field: autism. Little was known about the disease at the time. More than three decades later, diagnoses have increased dramatically and Dawson is a leader in the field.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism Diagnosis and Treatment, about her career and the state of autism research and treatment.

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The State of Things
11:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Gigabit Internet New To Four NC Cities

Fiber Optics
Credit Michel Tronchetti

A discussion of the impact of high-speed fiber optic Internet service on the state.

Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Winston-Salem have signed on to an agreement with AT&T for high-speed fiber optic Internet service. The service operates at one gigabit per second, which translates to 25 song downloads per second. Still can't wrap your head around the incredible speed of fiber? Check out this video that uses water to demonstrate.

This ultra-fast Internet service is not new everywhere in the state. The cities of Wilson and Salisbury started working on their own fiber systems years ago. That was before a 2011 state law restricted municipalities from building publicly-owned broadband networks. 

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