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.

Cover of Lee Ann Brown's book of poetry, 'In The Laurels, Caught' (Fence Modern Poets Series/2013).
Fence Books / fenceportal.org

Lee Ann Brown splits her time between New York City and Marshall, North Carolina, but she has a special love for her southern home.

The poster for the film 'Within Reach' which screens Monday, July 29th at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC.
withinreachmovie.com/freestore

The words "sustainable" and "community" have quickly become buzz words in our society. But filmmaker Derek Alan Rowe wanted to know what it really meant to live sustainably.

The North Carolina State Seal.
NC Department Of Transportation

At the start of this legislative session, the General Assembly was jam-packed with bills to alter ultra-local affairs.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly is set to vote on a budget this week, one that has defenders of public education up in arms. The proposed budget ends teacher tenure, holds teacher salary flat and cuts funding for teacher assistants.

Three backup singers stand behind the mic.
http://twentyfeetfromstardom.com/tagged/photos

When you find yourself singing along to your favorite rock'n'roll songs, you're probably not singing along with a front man like David Bowie or Bruce Springsteen. You're probably singing along with their backup singers.

Three generations of women wearing clothing bought at Smitten Boutique.
http://thesmittenboutique.com/smitten_around_town

Food is like a religion in the South.  It’s well-known that Durham was named the "Tastiest City in the South" by Southern Living.  But the food scene here is relatively new.  Restaurants, food trucks, and coffee shops opened up in recent years to make Durham's cuisine what it is.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

This week the General Assembly passed a tax reform bill that sets the stage for the state’s budget. The bill, while sweeping, wasn’t as broad as GOP lawmakers originally wanted. A budget agreement is expected to be reached today with details emerging over the weekend.

The band Many Nights Ahead performs on The State of Things.
http://www.manynightsahead.com/

Out of the Shenandoah Valley, Many Nights Ahead is a young 7-member bluegrass band looking to grow. Their music is influenced by the Shenandoah Valley and their backgrounds in genres such as blues and metal. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina General Assembly finally pushed through its tax reform bill, though it’s not nearly as bold as originally proposed. Both personal and corporate income taxes will go down.

Protests taking place in Tahrir Square in 2011
monasosh / Flickr

Students involved in Duke University’s summer program in Cairo, Egypt  came home early.  They left as large protests and a changing political climate shook the country.

Captain America's Shield
Pop Culture Geek/Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

When you watch an X-men movie or read a Captain America comic, you can find a new way to look at material science. Superhero comics can be just as much science as they are magic.

Student loan debt has reached a trillion dollars in this country, and Congress has been unable to prevent the interest rates of some federally subsidized student loans from doubling. With the skyrocketing cost of higher education, is it still worth it?

Nikita Gale is the current artist in residence at Elsewhere.
Nikita Gale

Greensboro’s self-defined “living museum” and art space, Elsewhere, has several new projects in store this summer.

This spring, the space launched one of its newest endeavors entitled “Southern Constellations.” The project attempts to bring together a network of experimental multimedia artists from around the south into Elsewhere’s creative space.

Greensboro established a summer curfew for its youth.
Jeff Tiberii

The Triad has a few changes in store for their region’s youth this summer, including a new summer curfew.

The Greensboro City Council voted on the curfew in a special meeting, and it went into effect on July 3. The new restriction stipulates that teenagers are not to be in downtown without an adult between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

Jeff Tiberii is WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and joins State of Things Host Frank Stasio live at the Triad Stage to discuss the curfew and other new developments in the Triad.

Photos from the Million Hoodies Union Square protest against Trayvon Martin's shooting death in Sanford, Florida.
David Shankbone

On Saturday, July 13, George Zimmerman was pronounced not guilty of second degree murder for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The jury acquitted him on the grounds of self-defense. What does self-defense mean in a case like this?

Before the trial began, Judge Deborah Nelson forbade use of the term “racial profiling” in the courtroom. How does race play into the criminal justice system? 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with a panel of experts to discuss these questions and what the Trayvon Martin case in Florida means for us in North Carolina. His guests are:

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The happenings at the North Carolina General Assembly have put the state solidly in the national focus. Major network news stations, as well as the New York Times editorial board, have begun to point a finger at the state.

The North Carolina Music Love Army Logo.
Skillet Gilmore

Two weeks ago, the North Carolina Music Love Army did not exist. It was just an idea.

Public Housing in Chapel Hill.
Town of Chapel Hill

Section 8 is a federal subsidy program that bridges the gap between people with low-income and market rentals. But this summer, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh, all face cuts to their Section 8 Voucher Program.

Jay Bryan speaking at the Carrboro Centennial.
Justin Valas/ Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

The small town of Carrboro was once a prominent mill town in the early to mid-1900s. But after all of the mills closed down and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continued to grow, the town became a haven to students and an evolving arts scene.

Implanting a Bioengineered Blood Vessel into a patient at Duke University Hospital
Shawn Rocco

A team of doctors implanted a bioengineered blood vessel into a patient with late stage kidney disease at Duke University Hospital in June.   

Camille A. Brown & Dancers
www.camilleabrown.org/the-company

Three years ago, Camille A. Brown made the decision to form her own dance company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

Tom Rankin served as director of Duke's Center for Documentary Studies for 15 years.
Duke University

The former director of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Tom Rankin, stepped down after 15 years at the helm.

The Center has a mission of being at the crossroads of documentary work and academia. CDS started the Full Frame Festival — though it was called Double Take at the time. 

Members of the Senate debating the abortion bill, legislature, general assembly,
screenshot, WRAL live coverage

House Bill 695 was originally designed to ban Sharia Law in North Carolina. But last week, the bill was amended to include new restrictions on abortions in the state. Families across North Carolina came out to protest against the bill when it was discussed in the senate; however, the bill was passed 29-12.

For more than a decade, the number of people in our nation who've newly contracted HIV has gone down two percent. But the South doesn't share in that small victory. During the same period of time, the number of people contracting the virus in the South has risen 36 percent.

Elin O'Hara Slavick

In a little less than a month, Hiroshima, Japan will reach a sad milestone. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped one of only two atomic bombs ever used in an act of aggression. It leveled the city, killing an estimated 80,000 people outright.

Claudia Horwitz of Stone Circles teaches activists to engage in a spiritual practice.
www.stonecircles.org

Claudia Horwitz was a young political activist who worked to raise awareness around hunger and homelessness.  She found a high burn-out rate among activists she worked with it. Through her career, Claudia saw people drop out of political organizing for a variety of reasons, such as exhaustion, lack of progress, illness and addiction.  

The United States Supreme Court
Jeff Kubina

Two landmark decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court last week could have serious implications for North Carolina. Justices struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, leaving southern states free to pursue changes to election law without prior federal approval. The court also struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying that same-sex couples are entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly recently decided to implement cuts to unemployment benefits as well as the maximum number of weeks one can receive unemployment funds. But altering unemployment benefits before the end of 2013 means North Carolina has been disqualified from receiving federal unemployment funding.

Che Guevara
Museo Che Guevara, Havana Cuba, Wikimedia

The life of Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara has long been celebrated and vilified by many. But the story many have yet to hear is of Che’s capture and execution in 1967 Bolivia. The mission to capture Che was one of the first to employ United States Green Berets.

Michael Sulick
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Government

Michael Sulick spent 28 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as chief of counterintelligence and director of the Clandestine Service.

When he retired to North Carolina, he wrote a two-volume history of espionage in America. The first book, Spying in America, covers the Revolutionary War to the dawn of the Cold War. The second, American Spies, takes the story up to the present day, and is due out from Georgetown University Press this fall.

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