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.

photo of Muhammad Ali
AP / AP

In 2009, President Obama declared June "African-American Music Appreciation Month." The tribute started as "Black Music Month" in the 1970s. While the name has changed, it continues to be a time to celebrate the ways black artists have shaped music. These artists include three people who have recently died; Prince, Billy Paul and Phife Dawg. They each left a dynamic legacy in different genres.

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

Earlier this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained 19-year-old Wildin Acosta as he was leaving his home in Durham.

Acosta has been held in a detention facility for nearly five months while he waits for an immigration hearing. The Corrections Corporation of America says he was recently held in "restrictive housing" for nine days for three alleged citations. CCA says the disciplinary action follows ICE detention standards.

A completed Earthcasting installation in Portland, Oregon by sculptor Thomas Sayre.
Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA

Sculptor Thomas Sayre tackles work that is exceptional.

His giant sculptures use the earth as a casting mechanism. Although his art is unusual, it is not solitary.

photo of Joe Webster
Efren Renteria

When Joe Webster became an attorney, one of his first cases was a civil rights lawsuit he filed against his hometown of Madison, North Carolina. He successfully argued that it was wrong for the town to deny him, a black man, his own office space in a predominantly white neighborhood.

photo of a gun show in Houston
M&R Glasgow / Flickr

Democrats in the Senate hold the floor in a 14-hour filibuster designed to force a vote on gun regulations. The measures, expected for votes next week, would restrict gun purchases for suspected terrorists and expand background checks. But the likelihood of passage seems low as the parties disagree on how to enforce the measures.

photo of Greg Humphreys Electric Trio
Mike Benson

After more than 15 years touring as a musician, Greg Humphreys decided it was time to slow things down. He took a break from his career as a solo artist to focus on other things he'd put on the sidelines. He eventually moved to New York City, got married and had a kid.

Photo of Claudia Ruíz Massieu and North Carolina legislators
Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

More than 35 million of the nation’s immigrant population comes from neighboring Mexico.

And America’s relationship with Mexico is at the top of political headlines, particularly when the GOP presidential candidate advocates building a wall along the 2,000 mile border.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruíz Massieu.

Book cover of "The One That Got Away," by Leigh Himes
Leigh Himes

Abbey Lahey is a middle-class working mom who yearns for the finer things in life. And during a trip to the mall to return a Marc Jacobs handbag that she can not afford, she gets that opportunity.

She tumbles down the escalator and wakes up in the hospital as Abbey Van Holt, married to a wealthy man who she could have married years before.

Photo of Sick of Stupid
Sick of Stupid

Comedians Cliff Cash, Tom Simmons and Stewart Huff are tired of seeing ​negative stereotypes plague their Southern identity. The trio of comedians use stand-up to push against these stereotypes and offer different perspectives outside what is seen on shows like "Duck Dynasty." They tackle topics like gay rights, religion and gun control.

Lion King
Jared via Flickr

From Jungle Book to Jaws and Babe to Lion King, the stars of the silver screen are often not humans but instead are our four-legged friends. For the Movies on the Radio on The State of Things, tell us your favorite animal film. Email us here with "Movies" in the subject line. 

photo from "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Moni3 [Public Domain] / Wikimedia Commons

Most movies are sources of adventure and excitement, but some films can also be a source of temptation. Whether a movie was off-limits by your parents or banned by the church, a forbidden film can often be all the more enticing to watch. Maybe your parents thought the dinosaur eating a man off the toilet in "Jurassic Park" was too violent, or that "To Kill a Mockingbird" talked about taboo topics.

Flag of the United States of America, backlit, windy day.
Jnn13 / Wikipedia

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.

The divide between America's top earners and the rest of the population is wide and getting wider. 

Many experts point to the way in which the so-called "one percent" have used their economic power to tighten their grip on privilege as one reason for the widening gap.

photo of David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna
Monika Evstatieva / NPR via AP

An NPR photojournalist and an Afghan translator were killed in Afghanistan this week by Taliban forces. David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna were traveling in Southern Afghanistan when their convoy came under attack. Two other NPR staff were unharmed. David Gilkey is the second American journalist to die in the Afghanistan conflict.

photo of Revolution Mill
Raymond Wyrick / Flickr

In the early 1900s, Greensboro quickly became a global hub for denim and flannel. Textile manufacturing company Cone Mills Inc. built several factories and transformed the surrounding areas into mill villages complete with churches, schools, community centers and company stores.

photo of Clyde Edgerton
clydeedgerton.com

Famed North Carolina author Clyde Edgerton is best known for his witty, character-driven novels about Southern life, like “Raney” and “Killer Diller.” He is now in the headlines for being banned from all public schools in New Hanover County where two of his children attend elementary school.

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