Laura Lee

Managing Editor

Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.

Laura briefly strayed from her Tarheel allegiance in 2011 to obtain a masters degree in journalism from the University of Maryland where she was an Eleanor Merrill Fellow.  Prior to WUNC, Laura worked for NPR on the Washington desk, All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation. She was previously WUNC's assistant news director for talk programming. 

Ways to Connect

Veteran student, Fort Bragg
Fayetteville Tech Community College

    

One of the most pressing concerns for armed services members returning home is employment.

Teachers demonstrate Monday morning outside Riverside High School in Durham
Dave DeWitt

    

This week, North Carolina teachers protested funding shortages in the education system by staging walk-ins across the state.

Many were upset by budget cuts that affect instruction for the state’s more than 1.5 million students. Host Frank Stasio talks to North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson about the plight facing the state’s K-12 education system.

mcsurely.com

  

Al McSurely has spent more than five decades fighting racism, poverty and discrimination.

In the 1960s, he was arrested for sedition in Kentucky and then for Contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents to the McClellan Committee. His experience in the legal system led him to start law school at the age of 48. McSurely worked for many civil rights clients, including a landmark case on behalf of UNC housekeepers.
 

Random House

  

For most people, the home is a private sanctuary. But for Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and his family, inviting strangers to live in their house is just a way of life.

Center for Teaching Quality

Teachers who excel in instruction are often encouraged to pursue administration. But what if teachers could take on leadership roles and influence policy without giving up their job in the classroom?

The Road From Gap Creek

More than 12 years ago, Robert Morgan’s “Gap Creek” (A Shannon Ravenel Book/2013) catapulted to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. Oprah selected it for her book club. Fans loved the characters and their struggles in Appalachia. Robert Morgan promised a sequel and more than a decade later, he brings readers back to Gap Creek in his latest book, “The Road From Gap Creek” (A Shannon Ravenel Book/2013) .

Wikipedia

  

Congress finally ended the government shutdown this week and voted to raise the debt ceiling. The battle may be over for the moment, but the political differences continue. Host Frank Stasio talks with Rob Christensen, chief political writer for the News and Observer; and Michael Bitzer, politics and history professor and acting provost at Catawba College.

Rocking Out At Recess

Oct 18, 2013
Justin Roberts

The New York Times calls him, “the Judy Blume of kiddie rock,” and USA Today says he is “hands down the best songwriter in the genre.” Grammy-nominated children’s musician Justin Roberts writes not only for young audiences but for parents and grandparents as well. He and the Not Ready for Naptime Players will play at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Host Frank Stasio talks with Roberts about his music.

Wikimedia

  

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unc.edu

On Saturday UNC Chapel Hill inducted its first female chancellor, Carol Folt.

NC Office of the State Auditor

  

Recent controversy over the handling of the Medicaid system by the state’s Department of Health and Human Service has pointed a spotlight on a seemingly non-controversial office: the state auditor.

https://twitter.com/JayinKabul

    

The American military is drawing down forces in Afghanistan.

As troops depart and resources return home, on-the-ground media coverage of the conflict winds down as well. Reporter Jay Price has covered the country on three different tours. He also covered the war in Iraq for the News & Observer and its parent company, McClatchy Newspapers.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Jay Price about his experiences as a war correspondent and his unique perspective on America’s conflicts.

UNC System

The UNC System, made up of 17 educational institutions, has seen a reduction in funding over the last several years. Some universities are eliminating positions to try to make up the difference. And tuition hikes place a greater burden on students.  UNC System President Tom Ross  addressed the budget problems in North Carolina in a conversation with host Frank Stasio on WUNC's The State of Things.

Wikimedia commons

  Dana Golan spent seven months in the Israeli military’s education corps. The experience changed her perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of soldiers.

She joined with other veterans to give public testimonies about their experiences through an Israeli organization called Breaking the Silence.

She speaks to Triangle activists with the North Carolina Coalition for Peace with Justice, an organization focused on sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine, tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Balsam Range
Balsam Range

In the winter of 2007, five Haywood county bluegrass musicians got together for an informal jam session. Out of that collaboration, the band Balsam Range was born. They are nominated in six different categories for the International Bluegrass Music Awards including Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year. They will play at Merlefest showcase as part of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh this afternoon and the Awards show this evening.

Prison cell
DOliphant via Flickr

Zero-tolerance policies and increased police presence in schools are charting a path for students from classrooms to prisons. Minority and low-income students are especially vulnerable.The Hidden Voices project interviewed youth, teachers, lawyers and police officers about the school to prison pipeline. Then they turned those conversations into art in a project called “None of The Above.” The onstage production takes place tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Food_not_bombs_2.JPG

  

Last night leaders of local charities met to discuss options for distributing food to the poor in downtown Raleigh.

The meeting is part of a continuing negotiation between the organizations and city officials after Raleigh police stopped a group from distributing food in August.  Host Frank Stasio talks with News & Observer reporter Colin Campbell about the latest developments

David Benbennick via wikimedia commons

  Next year, 26 new charter schools will open their doors to students in North Carolina. An additional 170 groups filed initial applications to open charter schools in 2015. The growth comes on the heels of legislature eliminating the 100 charter school cap and voting to form a new advisory board to consider charter school applications. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC education reporter Dave Dewitt about the changes in the charter school movement and the ways the state regulates these independent institutions.

9/11 Tribute
Ekabhishek on Wikimedia commons

Today, the country pauses to remember the attacks of September 11, 2001. Marking the anniversary in a public way shapes how individuals experience grief. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Rev. Louane Frey, a chaplain who worked in the Ground Zero recovery effort and Howard Winokuer, a grief counselor and educator, about the events of 9/11 and the ways we grieve.  

Sign at the U.S. Border
Makaristos via Creative Commons

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported more than 400,000 people. But what happens when those deportees are parents? Children may end up in foster care as parents abroad struggle to regain custody. 

Kay Hagan is urging the US Attorney General to review NC's Voter ID law.
Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says she's asked the nation's Attorney General to look into the state's new Voter ID law.  The North Carolina Democrat says she wanted Eric Holder to examine the legislation signed this month by Republican Governor Pat McCrory.  Hagan says the law enacts restrictions that could suppress voter turnout among minorities, as well as younger and older voters.  Supporters say it's intended to prevent fraud at the polls.  Hagan told WUNC's Frank Stasio those instances barely exist.

Google Images
Google Images / Google Images

Last weekend, Raleigh police stopped a charity organization from distributing food to the needy in downtown Raleigh. The action led to criticism from community groups.

A supporter of the Dream Act petitioned for its passage last August.
OneAmerica via Flickr, creative commons

Last summer, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rolled out a plan to allow undocumented young people who meet certain requirements to receive a temporary legal reprieve. More than 17,000 people in North Carolina have applied for status under the measure, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

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