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 weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have been waiting months - sometimes years - for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Recently, piled up claims threatened to buckle the floor at the Winston-Salem office. 

Hannah Shaw

Mount Moriah fans are familiar with Heather McIntyre’s heart-wrenching vocals.  But they may not be familiar with her work with the summer camp Girls Rock NC.  In fact, several fan favorites of the Triangle music scene support Girls Rock, including singer-songwriter Laura Thurston and Maria Albani of Schooner.

David Alsobrooks

When Nike used the Beatle’s song “Revolution” in an ad campaign, the Beatles sued. Their lawyer released a statement: “The Beatles’ position is that they don’t sing jingles to peddle sneakers, beer, pantyhose or anything else.” 

The North Carolina Legislative Building
Dave Crosby / flickr

Rucho resigned his co-chairmanship of the finance committee in protest of Berger's plan, which passed the Senate Thursday.

Regardless of what ultimately passes, Jessica Jones, WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief, said on the State of Things that the implications could be far reaching.

Cover of Jeanne Jolly's album 'Angels'.
Celeste Young / Family Love Photography

Jeanne Jolly visited our studio a year ago in the early stages of working on her album, “Angels.” Now, she is back in the midst of a national tour promoting her album.

The IPAS logo
Ipas

  Forty years ago, the controversial supreme court decision Roe Versus Wade ushered in a new era of reproductive rights and touched off a culture war that has waged ever since.

Cover of Jon Buchan's book, 'Code of the Forest'
http://www.jon-buchan.com/code-of-the-forest/

South Carolina lawyer Jon Buchan is fond of saying that all journalists and attorneys have at least one good novel in them. He's been mulling his for years, but he's finally finished and published it. "Code of the Forest" tells the story of a scrappy newspaper, trying to survive an onslaught by a senator determined to silence it. It examines the subtle underpinnings of corruption.

Buchan says that corruption, as he portrays it in his book, is a much more subtle form of influence. One that might infect a politician before they realize it's too late.


Eric Rudolph
FBI

At one time, Eric Rudolph was one of the most wanted men in the country. He was responsible for a series of bombings in Georgia and Alabama, including at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.


Sameer Abdel-Khalek

Across the country, 306 wrongfully convicted inmates have been exonerated because of DNA evidence. The number of people exonerated through other means is hard to calculate, since not all states keep records of exonerees.  It might be close to 1,000. But that could be a gross undercount. Over 100 exonerees and many others gathered in Charlotte this past weekend for the 2013 Innocence Network Conference.  There, The State of Things host Frank Stasio sat down with two exonerees and two legal professionals to learn more about their stories.

Cover of Lionel Shriver's new book, 'Big Brother.'
http://www.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/manually-added/big-brother_custom.jpg

In her new book, "Big Brother," Lionel Shriver takes on the struggle of obesity through Edison. He is a formerly good looking, charismatic jazz musician who has become hugely obese and down on his luck. His sister takes him on as a project, threatening her marriage and her sanity.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Benjamin Franklin famously said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."  But in the North Carolina legislature, three competing plans seek to reform the tax code, and the future of these plans is all but certain.  Two bills are waiting in the Senate Finance Committee. One bill passed the House yesterday and will move to the Senate.

Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke University.
http://www.spdlc.org/faith-life-continues-with-william-willimon-february-4

Will Willimon has served at Duke University in a variety of roles for decades, but he always left to continue his calling as a Methodist minister.

He knew from an early age that he had a special connection to God.

"I think I always had an extraordinary sense of the divine," he said.

Though, he said that his fundamentalist upbringing in rural South Carolina scared him off from faith for a while.  

"I sort of decided that Christianity was for people who weren't very good at thinking things through," he said.

When he went off to Wofford College, he was exposed to a religous studies professor who helped him see a different view of Christianity.  

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

A sweeping reform of the tax code in North Carolina is poised to move to the Senate. The plan would reduce personal and corporate income tax while expanding the reach of sales tax.

Cover of the 80th Anniversary Issue of Our State Magazine
Our State North Carolina

Our State magazine has been telling the stories of North Carolina since 1933. It’s celebrating its 80th anniversary this year with a party at the Museum of History in Raleigh tomorrow.

Tennessee Playboy is a new play written and adapted by Preston Lane, set to debut at Triad Stage.
Triad Stage

A stranger staggers into an East Tennessee truck stop with a tale of murder. So begins the play Tennessee Playboy, premiering at Triad Stage next week. Host Frank Stasio talks with Triad Stage artistic director Preston Lane about his original adaptation of J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. Plus, the cast performs a scene.

Jo Maeder
Jo Maeder

When writer Jo Maeder inherited her mother's collection of 700 dolls, she thought she'd quickly be rid of them. Instead, she became attached, and found herself drawn into the world of doll collectors. Jo Maeder has written about this experience in the New York Times.  Her latest book is Opposites Attack. Host Frank Stasio talks with her...and meets some of the dolls.  

For more information on Jo's doll obsession, you can visit the official site or the Facebook page for Mama Jo's House of Dolls. 

Ndabarushimana Christopher is a musician and refugee from Burundi who now calls Greensboro his home.
Ndabarushimana Christopher

Now in its fourth year, the Mosaic Festival celebrates the diversity and cultures of the Triad, attracting thousands of attendees. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sarah Ivory, director of the Immigration and Refugee Program of Church World Service of Greensboro, which organizes the festival. Plus, the band Wareware featuring Ndabarushimana Christopher, a Greensboro musician and refugee from Burundi, performs live at Triad Stage.

Cover of best-selling author Jeffery Deaver's new novel, 'The Kill Room.'
http://www.jefferydeaver.com/novel/killroom/

  Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver has garnered international acclaim through his murder mystery series of novels featuring former NYPD homicide detective Lincoln Rhyme.

Cover of Tracy Thompson's New Book, 'The New Mind of the South.'
http://www.tracythompson.com/new-mind-of-the-south.php

As the economics, politics, and demographics of the South change, what happens to the culture and identity of the region?

Father and son relaxing in a living room, a scene from American Winter film.
http://www.americanwinterfilm.com/families

Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said on The State of Things today that the financial collapse really hurt the poor but that the problem is multifaceted.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Smithfield Foods is set to be sold to Chinese firm in a $7.1 billion deal. The Shuanghui Group is the largest meat processor in China, and they have agreed to purchase Smithfield Foods to satisfy a large demand for American-made pork in China. If the deal goes through, it would be the largest ever Chinese acquisition of an American company.

Rabbi Raachel Jurovics

For years, Raleigh Rabbi Raachel Jurovics cared for a Torah scroll looted by the Nazis from a Czech town she thought had been destroyed. As it turns out, the town is still there, and the residents have restored the synagogue that was the scroll's original home.

A drone
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson / http://commons.wikimedia.org

Last week, President Obama laid out his strategy for a new phase in the war on terror.  He repeated his belief that Guantanamo Bay should be closed and cited the political reasons for his failure to do so until now. 

Obama also outlined a new policy that scales back the use of drones to kill suspected national security threats.  What are the laws and policies that President Obama faces? 

100 Men in Black Male Chorus
http://www.100mib.org/

Wednesday, June 5th, the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham is hosting a celebration of spirituals with acclaimed author Ashley Bryan and the 100 Men in Black Male Chorus.

Durham Bulls Stadium with people in front.
Joenad / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DBAP.jpg

The brainchild of documentarian Sam Stephenson continues as the Durham Bulls season goes on. He and a group of artists, writers and others are trying to document all 72 home games of the Durham Bulls.

Kaaba
Turki Al-Fassam / flickr

About 26,000 Muslims live in North Carolina, a 30 percent increase during the past 10 years. At the same time, the post 9/11 fear of Islamic terrorism continues to dominate people's views of the Muslim religion and people in their community.

Book cover of Carol Peppe Hewitt's new book.
http://financingourfoodshed.com/

Members of a growing movement are taking their money off of Wall Street and investing it in local food systems through small peer-to-peer loans. Slow Money lenders watch their investments used to grow businesses and farms right in their own communities. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Carol Peppe Hewitt, the founder of Slow Money NC. She reads from her new book “Financing Our Foodshed” (New Society Publishers/2013) at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill tonight at 7.

Unveiling of the confederate monument in 1913.
Wilson Library

On June 2nd, 1913, the University of North Carolina dedicated a memorial on its Chapel Hill campus to students who had fought for the Confederacy.  A century later, Silent Sam – as the statue has come to be known – still stirs passions.

A student at McDougle Elementary School.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

  A North Carolina House Committee approved yesterday a bill that would provide funding to low income families wanting to go to private or religious schools Host Frank Stasio talks about that and other education-related news with WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief and Education Reporter Dave Dewitt.

A crowd od protesters in Miami rallies against the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, who opposes abortion.
Danny Hammontree

Host Frank Stasio speaks to a panel of experts to discuss the fight over abortion legislation in North Carolina. Jessica Jones is WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief; Suzanne Buckley is the Executive Director of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) Pro-Choice North Carolina; Tami Fitzgerald is the executive director of North Carolina Values Coalition; and Erika Levi is an OB/GYN and abortion provider in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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