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.

The Green Party of Ireland/Flickr Creative Commons

Are school movies enjoyable because they are so relatable? Or do they present the far-fetched, fantastical experiences most bored students only daydream about? 

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo - 2017

This week the Trump administration hosted an annual summit at the White House for leaders of historically black colleges and universities. The meeting follows an executive order signed in February that moved a federal initiative supporting HBCUs from the Department of Education into the White House. 

Courtesy of Elisabeth Lewis Corley

The U.S. military has been using a virtual reality program to augment therapy for combat veterans returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder. For the first time that software was made available for use in a theatrical production.

Edwidge Danticat
Wilfredo Lee / AP - 2017

Edwidge Danticat is a renowned Haitian-American writer whose work is rooted in her native country. 

Katie Wyatt poses with children from the program she co-founded, Kidznotes.
Ken Demery Photography

Katie Wyatt first fell in in love with classical music when she joined her school’s orchestra in third grade. Wyatt played the viola and appreciated being part of a group that created art together. Wyatt was a military kid, so her family moved around about every four years. But no matter where she lived, Wyatt found a way to plug into her community through music. 

Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press

Carolina is home to more than 1000 adult care homes – spaces designed to provide shelter and assistance to those living with disabilities and mental health issues. But an in-depth investigation by Carolina Public Press reveals a broken system where oversight for the care homes is inconsistent and shuffled back and forth between state and county agencies.

Helen Chickering / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, raise the government’s borrowing limit and fund the government for three months. 

Courtesy of Kimberly and Michelle Cann

Kimberly and Michelle Cann grew up playing a range of instruments, including the steel drums of their family’s native West Indies. But it was the piano that gripped both of them and inspired their lifelong commitment to serious musicianship. 

Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC
Mission Health / Wikimedia Commons

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Mission Health are going head-to-head over the cost of services for patients in western North Carolina.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Heaney

Stephen Henderson rarely talked about his military service or his time in Vietnam until he joined a writing group of other Vietnam War veterans at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.

Marcia and John Shoop
Courtesy of Marcia Mount Shoop

After coaching football at nearly every level from high school to the NFL, John Shoop and his wife Reverend Marcia Mount Shoop have racked up a lifetime of observations and convictions about the ethics of sports.

Nancy Hatch Dupree
Massoud Hossaini / AP Photo

Nancy Hatch Dupree helped preserve the culture and history in Afghanistan through years of war and turmoil. She moved to Kabul in 1962 with her first husband and went on to write five books and more than 100 articles on Afghanistan. 

Common Whitetail
C.L. Goforth

The dragonfly is often celebrated for its glittering body and elegant flight, but the insect is also a ferocious predator and a boon for mosquito-ridden areas. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will celebrate the many facets of the dragonfly this year at its annual “Bugfest.” 

Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to musical score
Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer / ce Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c27784

Leonard Bernstein is remembered as an exceptionally talented conductor, composer and teacher. His “Young People’s Concerts” television series exposed millions of American children to classical music, and his message that music is for everyone struck a chord with many communities. 

Trevor Noah
Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision/AP, File

Ever since President Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2015, late-night television shows have taken on a new tone. Programs like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” have adopted more political rhetoric, while “The Daily Show” continues to offer political satire with a diverse staff. 

National Guard soldiers in Houston in August of 2017
Texas Army National Guard photo / FBI

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey still filled the streets in Texas when Hurricane Irma blew ashore in Florida. As the latest storm moves toward North Carolina, Duke scientists explore whether these rare weather events are growing more frequent or more extreme. They also analyze how communities and governments can become more resilient.

Jocelyn Casanova
Courtesy of Jocelyn Casanova

Joceyln Casanova grew up in North Carolina and was a high achiever who dreamed of going to college and becoming a lawyer. A few days before she graduated from high school near the top of her class, a college interviewer revealed a secret her parents had kept from her her whole life: Jocelyn was undocumented. 

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

On Tuesday the state of North Carolina initiated a lawsuit against the Chemours Company for allegedly dumping the contaminant GenX into the Cape Fear River. 

Library of Congress

Is North Carolina moving toward prosperity and justice for all, or is the state repeating political mistakes of the past? That is a question a state lawmaker and history professor were both keen to explore. 

Bahamas Junkanoo woman
Jerry Samet

The National Folk Festival returns to Greensboro this weekend with approximately 300 performers showcasing folk traditions from all corners of the world. Performances include everything from cajun music to beatboxing. 

Robert Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate General Robert Lee, speaks out against racism at the 2017 VMA's on 8/27/2017. Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, appears on stage.
Matt Sayles / AP - 2017

Robert W. Lee IV is a North Carolina minister and descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Robert W. Lee IV has made it his mission to counter the racist and problematic legacy of his ancestor by writing and speaking openly about the continued effects of racism in the U.S. 

Julia Gibson, star of PlayMakers Repertory Company production of 'The Cake'
VegaBlue Studios

Bekah Brunstetter grew up in Winston-Salem and was raised in the conservative values of the Southern Baptist church. But as she grew older, her perspective started to shift and she found herself caught between conservative and liberal worlds. 

Courtesy of Alan Gratz

Tens of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes each day due to conflict and persecution, according to the UN Refugee Agency. More people around the world are displaced now than ever before. 

DACA rally in downtown Durham
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program yesterday.

Courtesy of Benjamin Rachlin

In 1987 Willie Grimes was wrongfully accused of raping a 69-year-old widow in Hickory, North Carolina. Despite little evidence against him, Grimes was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life plus nine years in prison.

Courtesy of Heather Bell Adams

Attorney Heather Bell Adams is used to crafting persuasive stories. But in the courtroom they have to be entirely factual.

Doctor checks on baby at hosptial
Slava / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/8mh8fz

Hospital executives announced last week that the state’s largest hospital system, Carolinas Healthcare, would combine with UNC Health. They called the nearly $14 billion move “a marriage, not a merger.” 

Man stares at phone in dark room.
Japanexperterna.se / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/sBDC4d

Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC tech podcast “Note to Self,” has spent years thinking about how people interact with technology. Zomorodi led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices. 

The cast of South Pacific
VanderVeen Photographers

In 1949 composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein premiered their hit musical “South Pacific.” It tells the story of how an American nurse and lieutenant find new love across cultural and racial lines. 

Duke University

Makeba Wilbourn has been immersed in the subtleties of language since she was a child.

As the daughter of a northern white mother and southern black father, she constantly changed the way she spoke to her own family. And as she grew older, she realized she had to be an expert at code-switching in order to succeed as a biracial woman.

Today, Makeba studies how children develop those differences in language, and how that might contribute to our racial biases.

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