Isaac-Davy Aronson

Producer, "Morning Edition"

Isaac-Davy Aronson is WUNC's morning news producer and can frequently be heard on air as a host and reporter. He came to North Carolina in 2011, after several years as a host at New York Public Radio in New York City.  He's been a producer, newscaster and host at Air America Radio, New York Times Radio, and Newsweek on Air.

Ways to Connect

Duke University

This is a rebroadcast of a show that aired on January 22, 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the integration of Duke University.

Duke University celebrated 50 years of black students in January 2013, with an address by U.S. Senator William "Mo" Cowan.  The Massachusetts Democrat is a 1991 Duke graduate and in 2013, he was one of two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate.

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.

Some of the farmers at Transplanting Traditions.
Transplanting Traditions Community Farm

On 4 acres just outside Chapel Hill, nearly 150 Karen refugees till the soil as they did back home in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Transplanting Traditions Community Farm is educating locals about Burmese vegetables and cuisine, and teaching the refugees about American produce, with the eventual goal of setting them up as full-time farmers.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

Former North Carolina Governor Jim Holshouser was laid to rest today. He died this week at age 78 in a state very different from the one he governed 4 decades ago.

His Republican Party has changed a lot too.  Congressman Howard Coble served in Holshouser's cabinet.  "I think he was concerned in enlarging our tent," Coble told host Frank Stasio on The State of Things. "We have some folks in our party who would like to build a barrier around the tent and permit only those who agree identically with every issue, and that's not practical."

Honey Bees
Clinton & Charles Robertson

The past year has been a bad one for America's honeybees, with commercial beekeepers reporting hive losses of up to 50 percent. Some blame the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder; others blame pesticides; and many scientists say we just don't know. 

Little brown bat; close-up of nose with fungus, New York, Oct. 2008.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

An emerging disease known as White Nose Syndrome has wiped out bats across the Northeast, and now it's spreading in the North Carolina mountains.

Mass bat die-offs could have huge implications for the state's ecology and economy.

The Durham VA Medical Center
Durham VA Medical Center

The latest research suggests that for veterans, social support is just as important as medical care.

Host Frank Stasio talks with UNC Chapel Hill Associate Professor of Psychiatry Eric Elbogen, about his study showing that vets lacking social and financial stability are more likely to engage in violent behavior than those with posttraumatic stress disorder. Joining the conversation are Pete Tillman, public affairs officer for the Durham VA Medical Center, and Jason Hansman of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.

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. 

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.

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.

Book cover of Carol Peppe Hewitt's new book.

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.

Hope Marasco

Hope talks about her efforts with host Frank Stasio, and performs some of her original songs, along with Mary Johnson Rockers and Will Ridenour.

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission /

Federal regulators are investigating the Shearon Harris nuclear plant near Raleigh. They want to know how a flaw in the reactor vessel went undetected or unreported for over a year. News & Observer reporter John Murawski fills in host Frank Stasio on the latest.

Black and white image of a desert road
Alex Klaes &

After spending some time on instrumental projects, Triangle music scene fixture Ryan Gustafson decided it was time to write lyrics again.  His latest project is The Dead Tongues, which released an album earlier this year. 

Image of Powoll's Grocery from the “Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina” exhibit / Duke Center for Jewish Studies

  The Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina has been collecting the stories of the state's Jews for years. Now, those recorded interviews are part of an original musical composition - "Down Home: The Cantata."

Minister Katie Ricks / Church of Reconciliation Chapel Hill, NC


When Katie Ricks became the Associate Pastor of the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill last year, she was the first openly lesbian pastor in the country ordained by the Presbyterian Church. 

Nancy Pierce Photo / DO NOT USE

Two public hearings are scheduled this week in the ongoing fight over whether Alcoa should be allowed to continue operating dams on the Yadkin River. 

The hydroelectric dams are about 60 miles south of the Triad, and they powered Alcoa’s aluminum plant in Badin for decades. The factory is now closed, but Alcoa is seeking another 50-year federal license to operate the dams and sell the electricity on the open market.

The original deed book of slave records from Buncombe County.
Max Cooper, via

During the Great Depression, the New Deal funded a project to collect the narratives of former slaves.  Sarah Gudger came forward to give an account of her life as a slave in Buncombe County.  Her testimony was the same brutal story that is familiar to many of us.  She described a “hard life” of nothing but “work, work, work,” under the threat of abuse. 

The United States has for centuries been a nation of multiculturality, with many cultures and communities existing within it, but not necessarily integrated. Many scholars say that the way to true peace is through interculturality, where cultures are educated about other culture through methods like language, arts and education.

As Washington debates immigration reform, more and more undocumented young people are coming out of the shadows.  One local group is engaging their struggle with their identities through art.

Guest host Isaac-Davy Aronson speaks with artist Annabel Manning about her exhibition, now on view at Duke University. She is also joined by one of the undocumented young artists, Marco Cervantes, and by Jose Torres-Don, a member of the advocacy group NC Dream Team.

Construction workers monitor the a solar farm in Fuquay Varina / Strata Solar

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.