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.

Courtesy PublicAffairs

Between 2005 and 2013, 10 students in the national college fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) died due to alcohol and hazing. Bloomberg journalist John Hechinger reported extensively on the frat and dubbed it the “deadliest fraternity in America.”

Courtesy Lakota John

Lakota John did not have to wait long to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a touring musician. At just 12 years old he was invited to travel across the country and play his ragtime blues.

Child actress Shirley Temple in 'Poor Little Rich Girl.'
classic_film (Creative Commons)

Everyone is familiar with famous child actress Shirley Temple. But there are a lot of other child actors in Hollywood, and there are many movies where the kid steals the show. In the next installment of Movies on the Radio, we're talking about movies featuring child stars.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Donald Trump just celebrated his first year in office, and the burning question in some circles is: should Oprah Winfrey take his place? The buzz around #Winfrey2020 started after she gave a rousing speech at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards.


Countless films have used money as a central theme throughout the years, from the 1924 silent film “Greed” to recent hits that explore the 2008 financial crisis, like “Margin Call” and “The Big Short.”

Erin Flynn, Hank Pressley, and Paul Ringel getting ready to go on stage at the Triad Stage in Greensboro.
Jenn Brookland / WUNC

High Point University history professor Paul Ringel wanted to give his students a lesson in local history that took them beyond traditional sources and into the very community they were studying. He led students through an oral history project in which they interviewed community members about their experiences living through and participating in the civil rights movement from the base of William Penn High School, which was then a segregated, African-American institution.

Flickr Creative Commons/Stephen Melkisethian

By their own admission Republican lawmakers have purposefully drawn the state’s election maps in favor of their own party, sending 10 Republicans and just three Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives.


In the new album “The Other Side of My Heart,” the Lorena Guillén Tango Ensemble tells the stories of Latina immigrant women in the United States. Lorena Guillén moved to the U.S. from Argentina about 20 years ago.

Courtesy of Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Stephanie Elizondo Griest grew up between two cultural identities: her father is white from Kansas, and her mother is Chicana, or Mexican-American.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The House has approved a stopgap measure to fund the government through mid-February, but Senate Democrats seem dissatisfied. They want concessions including deportation protection for some young immigrants before giving their vote.

N.C. Department of Transportation
Dave DeWitt

The North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation last summer aimed at preventing violence during police stops.  House Bill 21 instructed that the Department of Motor Vehicles update the driver’s license handbook to include updated guidelines for behavior during a police stop.

Courtesy Rachel Kiel

Rachel Kiel grew up buried in stacks of records in her family home, and from an early age her musical influences were abundant and varied. 

Men drinking beer.
Max Pixel / Max Pixel - Creative Commons

Women live longer than men in many countries around the world. In the United States, women outlive men by an average of five years. Scientists have long attributed this divide to genetics and biology, but a physician at Duke University is posing an alternative theory: toxic masculinity. 

man preparing injection
Carol E. Davis - US Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr - Creative Commons -

The American medical system is good at providing care to people in the middle: those who need regular doctors’ visits and a few medications. But the system is inadequate for many patients with complex needs. And although they make up a tiny proportion of healthcare users, these high-need patients end up using a shockingly high percentage of health dollars.

winnow ant
Alex Wild

According to Eleanor Spicer Rice, ants have a range of personalities, from team player to charismatic. What she will not call them, however, are pests. 

Jessica Lussenhop / BBC News

A new investigation by the BBC has uncovered scores of cases where women allegedly endured sexual harassment or may have been forced to do sexual favors to avoid eviction or secure housing.

Fracking on the Haynesville Shale near Shreveport, Louisiana.
Daniel Foster (Creative Commons)

 Author Daniel Raimi began his journey studying natural gas and oil development in Durham. While interning at a state agency, he wrote a report about the potential for shale gas development in North Carolina. Since then, he has visited every major oil and gas producing region of the country to examine the local impacts of shale production.

courtesy of Natasha Powell Walker

Visual artist Natasha Powell Walker was struck by the dichotomy required of her as a woman in corporate America: at work she had to be cutthroat and self-promotional, while her friends and family expected her to be loving and nurturing as soon as she left the office.

West Lumberton Elementary teacher June Hunt helps second grader Niveah Barnes with a grammar assignment in their temporary classroom at Lumberton Junior High. Flooding from Hurricane Matthew destroyed the home where NIveah was living.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

A new study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina confirms a large and growing gap in public school funding between the wealthiest and the poorest counties. The study found that in 2015-2016, the 10 highest spending counties spent $2,364 more per student than the 10 lowest-spending counties, and the gap has increased every year since 2011.

Equity In Education

Jan 16, 2018
a street sign with the words education and future on them
Creative Commons/TCODL


Education equity is becoming a popular phrase among educators, but what does it mean, and what is North Carolina doing to provide a sound education to both privileged and disadvantaged students? Nonprofit news organization EdNC explores the topic in their new documentary series “Equity Meets Education,” a story told through the eyes of four African-American leaders. 

infant sleeping
Andrés Nieto Porras / Wikimedia Commons -2017

Doctors at fertility clinics often recommend women test their ovarian reserve to see how many eggs they have left. While the test can show how long a woman has before menopause, it was also commonly used to evaluate women’s likelihood of naturally conceiving. 

Joan Kroc at a news conference in 1984.
Greg Vojtko / AP Photo

Ray Kroc is the man who transformed McDonald’s from a family restaurant in San Bernardino, California to one of the biggest corporations in the world. 

Courtesy of Daniel Snyder

Magnolia Collective is made up of local musicians who describe their sound as psychedelic rock fused with Southern Gothic. 

Computer keyboard
Defence Images/Creative Commons

More than half of North Carolinians were affected by personal data breaches in 2017. This month the North Carolina Department of Justice announced that the number of people hit in 2017 was seven times the number affected in 2016.

Ten years after the Great Recession North Carolina’s economy is back on its feet by many measures. Rates of employment are up, and the hard-hit manufacturing sector has been superseded by a growing tech and professional services industry.

colorful clouds of gas and dust in the orion star-forming region

Once a year the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences gathers researchers who spend their waking hours investigating the mysteries of the universe. At ‘Astronomy Days,’ scientists divulge their new findings. 

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Federal judges ruled yesterday that the state's congressional districts drawn by Republican lawmakers are too partisan. They described them as  drawn to “entrench Republican domination of the state’s congressional delegation.” This ruling marks the first time a federal court has struck down a congressional map on those grounds. 


The news media industry has changed enormously in the past 10 years. Every day the line between news and entertainment is blurred further, and the Internet redefined who is considered a journalist. Host Frank Stasio spends the hour examining this blurred line and how it affects news consumers.

Thomas Farr, with right hand raised, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Thomas Farr is a Raleigh-based lawyer who has counseled North Carolina Republicans on a multitude of racially divisive cases.