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
12:30 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

A Fresh Tune For West Africa

Host Frank Stasio (left) with (from L to R) Kenny Phelps-McKeown, Atiba Rorie, and Will Darity, the members of Africa Unplugged.

  

Grounded in West African tradition and propelled by the funk and jazz of today, Africa Unplugged blends its own genre of music .

The Greensboro group explores new ways to formulate West African music on their new self-titled album.

The band performs as part of the “Find Your Cool” concert series at the CCB Plaza in Durham next Thursday.

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The State of Things
11:20 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Dirty Business

Michael Christian
Credit kenan-flagler.unc.edu

Business professor and researcher Michael Christian

Former stockbroker Bernie Madoff and former New York Times journalist Jayson Blair share infamy for their unethical business decisions.

A new report considers the psychology behind these transgressions and shows that misdeeds tend to escalate into larger scandals over time.

Life's difficult choices rarely present themselves in one dramatic question or one big decision. Instead, our most important choices in life, including ethical ones, present themselves in small baby steps.

-Jayson Blair  

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The State of Things
11:17 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Michael Jordan: The Origins Of A North Carolina Legend

Jordan regularly stuck out his tongue during drives to the basket
Jason H. Smith Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina has produced countless sports stars over the years but none with the global recognition of native son Michael Jordan. 

He dazzled sportscasters and sports fans first in Chapel Hill, and then around the world as the NBA’s greatest player. 

But through all the championships, MVP awards, and All-Star games, Jordan kept many personal issues to himself. He faced overt racism, allegations of sexual assault in his immediate family, and criticism of his gambling habit. 

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The State of Things
11:15 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina

Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Guidebook

The Blue Ridge Music Trails initiative

    

The Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina are the center of a rich history of music and dance, from musicians like Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs, to traditions like ballad singing and square dancing. 

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The State Of Things
12:19 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

State Senators Walk Out Of Budget Negotiations

NC legislature
Credit Wikimedia

    

Republican senators walked out of budget negotiations this morning at the General Assembly this morning. The move followed House Republican Senior Chairman Nelson Dollar's call for educators to speak to the joint body.

"One of the reasons why we felt it was important to bring folks forward is that if these are going to be public meetings, let's have some public input," Dollar said. 

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown said Representative Dollar overstepped when he called for outside testimony.

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The State Of Things
12:09 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Listen: Young von Trapps Sing "Edelweiss"

The von Trapps
Credit Courtesy of the North Carolina Symphony

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp are the grandchildren of Werner von Trapp. He was portrayed as Kurt in the beloved film, "The Sound of Music." The young von Trapps learned to sing from their grandfather and have been touring together for 13 years. The foursome sang "Edelweiss" on The State of Things.

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Unraveling Of The Family Reed

After the Race by Michael Jones

A conversation with Chapel-Hill based author Michael B. Jones

  

In his debut novel, Chapel-Hill based author Michael B. Jones explores a tumultuous relationship between a father and son who search for happiness and identity as their lives fall apart around them.

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The State of Things
11:15 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Every Seed Has A Story

Funded by Durham Library Foundation, the Digging Durham Seed Library packets give the gardener basic planting information.
Alice Sharpe, Durham County Library

An expert panel discuss the power of seeds

Seeds play a prominent role in global agriculture and food supply systems. 

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The State of Things
11:07 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Meet Alexandra Zagbayou

Alexandra Zagbayou
Credit studentudurham.org

Meet Alexandra Zagbayou

Alexandra Zagbayou was born in Montreal but returned to her father's homeland of Ivory Coast when she was 4 years old. Six years later, her family fled because they feared political persecution in the tense years before the country's civil war.

"We thought we would be in the U.S. for a summer. The summer turned into 15 years," she said.

The family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Zagbayou learned English by reverse engineering her school's French classes.

Later, her parents returned to Africa while she and her sister stayed in Raleigh with their aunt and uncle. A few years after that, their uncle was killed.

Zagbayou's older sister became her primary guardian while she worked hard to finish high school and secure funding for college. 

One summer, Zagbayou taught dance classes to homeless and displaced youth. This was when she first began to process her own challenging life experiences. She realized not only that she related to her students, but that she had come out the other side. 

Today she helps run the Durham-based college-access organization, Student U. The program empowers students to pursue their own educational journeys despite diverse challenges. 

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The State Of Things
9:50 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Red, White And Blue On The Silver Screen

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Credit Via Flickr Cliff1066

  

Tomorrow, across the nation, Americans will celebrate our independence with parades, barbeques and fireworks. Some will celebrate the holiday with an annual viewing of their favorite patriotic film.

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