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.

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.

photo of Jo Maeder
jomaeder.com

Since she was a little girl, Jo Maeder has loved radio. Her fascination became a career path and Jo became "The Madame," a popular deejay on several major rock and roll stations in Miami and New York.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

Early voting is underway in North Carolina's second primary of the year. Two incumbent members of Congress face off against each other. Also on the ballot is a seat on the state's Supreme Court.

At the legislature, the Senate wraps up its budget proposal and lawmakers move behind closed doors to hash out a compromise between the House and Senate plans.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

photo of FRANK Gallery Karen Youth Art Group
Karen Youth Art Group

North Carolina is home to a growing Karen community, an ethnic minority from Burma that has been forced out of their country due to war. Many of these refugees call the Triangle home, and for the past six years, they have been incorporating their traditional farming techniques in growing both local and Asian produce at the Transplanting Traditions Farm, a five-acre plot of land in Chapel Hill.

photo of Jamie Anderson and Dianne Davidson in The State of Things studio.
Charlie Shelton

Jamie Anderson and Dianne Davidson have been touring for more than 30 years as leading singer/songwriters in the women's music scene.

In the 1970s, a collective group of women came out of labels like Olivia Records and empowered and promoted women musicians across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Anderson and Davidson about the legacy of this music scene and how it has shaped their songwriting. They also perform live in the studio with Anderson on vocals, guitar and mandolin and Davidson on vocals and guitar.

The Monti
Jessie Gladdek

When a volunteer storyteller takes the stage at the Triangle’s storytelling event, The Monti, the audience never knows what to expect. He might share a poignant tale about a complex relationship with a parent. Or she might prompt roars of laughter with the story of a first date gone wrong.

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 has stirred up numerous conversations about the lives of transgender Americans. It has also illuminated many misconceptions about what gender identity is and how it is formed.

Groups of scientists have stood up in opposition to HB2, arguing that there are genetic and biological causes of gender differences, and for the vast majority of trans individuals, their gender identity is not a choice.

photo of the North Carolina Senate
Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC / Flickr

The North Carolina Senate reveals its version of the state's budget today.

Like the House plan, the Senate proposal raises teacher pay and other state employee salaries. And a Senate plan to change tuition structure at some state universities, including three historically black colleges and universities, is creating controversy. Plus calls for repeal of House Bill 2 continue with a rally of small business owners.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia about the latest.

photo of "How the Drug War Ruins American Lives" by Art Benavie
Praeger Press

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. This spurred the "War on Drugs" and allowed the federal government to establish the Assets Forfeiture Fund and bring lawsuits against items of property.

In his new book, How the Drug War Ruins American Lives (Praeger Press/2016), Art Benavie examines how the Assets Forfeiture Fund has eroded American citizens' property rights.

Mayor Alice Butler points to a map hanging in Roseboro Town Hall.
Patrick Nichols

Second to Pennsylvania, North Carolina has the most small towns in the United States. And it has been able to remain the so-called “small town state” because of the many miles of state highways connecting dispersed towns to one another.

photo of airport security lines
Kitt Hodsden / Wikimedia Commons

Memorial Day weekend is a peak travel time. And with more than two million travelers in TSA security lines over the holiday weekend, flying was as hassle-filled as driving.

Members of Congress have called for TSA reforms and the administration removed a top official last week. Are the changes enough to shorten the lines and keep the skies safe?

Host Frank Stasio talks with Time Warner Cable senior Washington reporter Geoff Bennett about the TSA challenges.

photo of Matthew Quick
Benj Lipchak

As an English teacher, Matthew Quick reveled in placing the right book with the right student.

He is now a best-selling novelist and explores the power of a good book in his latest work, Every Exquisite Thing (Little, Brown and Company/2016). The novel features the story of an unassuming high school girl who chooses to rebel against her prescribed well-to-do lifestyle after she reads an inspiring book.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

High profile leaders from both sides of the political aisle try to move the state towards compromise on House Bill 2.

And at the capitol, lawmakers continue to negotiate details of the state budget. In particular, the two chambers do not have common ground on the amount and distribution of teacher pay.

And on the national stage, Trump says he officially has the delegates for the GOP nomination, and buzz continues about possible vice presidential selections.

Host Frank Stasio talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest.

photo of Lincoln Durham
Robyn Von Swank

Lincoln Durham is not afraid to reveal his demons.

In his latest album, Revelations of a Mind Unraveling, Durham delivers dark and gritty punk-blues. As a one-man band, Durham arms himself with salvaged vintage instruments like cigar-box guitars and banjos to create his Southern Gothic sound.

The Last Good Girl

May 26, 2016
photo of "The Last Good Girl" by Allison Leotta
Allison Leotta

The statistics about campus sexual assault are staggering: one in five women is assaulted during her time on campus, and the vast majority of these assaults go unreported.

Advocates and survivors across the country have pushed to bring the issue to the forefront, and in the past few years, there has been increased attention paid to how universities are responding to students' needs.

photo of "Ordinary People," by Min Zaw
Courtesy of Ian Holliday

For most of the past 50 years, Myanmar has been under a military dictatorship and subsequently cut off from the western world. But the country is now in a time of transition after democratic elections last year.

Still From documentary
Erin Derham

Julian Price was born into money but spent most of his life giving it away.

A new documentary looks closely at how his social and entrepreneurial vision shaped downtown Asheville.

photo of a spread at Grady's Barbecue in Dudley, N.C.
Rien Fertel

North Carolina is the number two producer of pigs in America, and barbeque is by most accounts the state’s food. But historian Rien Fertel argues that most barbecue writing is hyperbole. 

In his new book “The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook The Whole Hog,” (Touchstone/2016) he examines the history of the southern barbecue art, and the wide range of mythology surrounding the meat and those who tend to it.

An image of the painting "Gassed" by John Singer Sargent
Courtesy of David Lubin

World War I was called the "war to end all wars." And many artists expressed their frustration with or support of the war through paintings, sculptures, films and posters in the years following the conflict.

In his new book, "Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War" (Oxford University Press/2016), David Lubin shows two dozen artists' interpretation of World War I and how the war influenced popular media.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Before there was rock 'n' roll, there was Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

She was a leading figure in birthing rock 'n' roll from gospel music in the mid-20th century. A group of Greensboro musicians will honor Sister Rosetta Tharpe with an evening of storytelling and music.

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