Laura Pellicer

State of Things Producer

Laura Pellicer
Credit Tammy Jean Lamoureux

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things, a show that explores North Carolina through conversation.

Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards.

Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she plans on moonlighting as a mediocre surfer.

Ways to Connect

Donald Trump makes first speech to the UN
Richard Drew / AP Photo - 2017

After multiple failed attempts by Republican leaders to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP lawmakers are back with their newest repeal effort. The Graham-Cassidy bill would cap funding to Medicaid, and many opponents say it would leave millions of people without healthcare coverage. 

North Carolina Opera

Charles Frazier’s Appalachian novel and love story “Cold Mountain” became a modern classic. And now the story of Confederate deserter W.P. Inman and his journey to find his way back to his sweetheart Ada Monroe is on stage at the North Carolina Opera. 

Robert Scoble / Flickr - Creative Commons

Amazon’s recent announcement to establish a new headquarters in North America has ignited a frenzy of proposals from various cities. 

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. 

Edwidge Danticat
Wilfredo Lee / AP - 2017

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

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.

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.

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.” 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Trump sits at head of table to discuss public safety operations in Texas in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey.
Evan Vucci / AP Photo - 2017

President Donald Trump traveled to Texas this week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He met with a number of government officials and rescue workers but received criticism for not meeting with flood victims. 

patrons at self checkout
Wikipedia Commons

The balance of people and machines in the workplace is shifting. 

Jurassic Park at Universal Studios
Marco Becerra / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/aKoNmk

Dinosaurs have graced the silver screen since the early 20th century. But depictions of the pre-historic creatures in movies are often comically inaccurate. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina House and Senate have approved new plans for dozens of district boundaries. 

Courtesy of Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Stephanie Elizondo Griest grew up between two cultural identities: her father is white from Kansas, and her mother is Chicana, or Mexican-American.

Jedediah Purdy and Norman Wirzba sit together on some rocks.
Donn Young / Duke University

The Anthropocene is considered by many scholars and scientists to be the epoch in which humans became a dominant force in shaping the world around us. 

Pxhere - Creative Commons

Sisters in Crime is an organization that asks the tough questions, like how many hours does it take for rigor mortis to set in, and which critters feast on dead bodies. The group is a collection of women crime writers and readers who meet regularly to support each other’s writing. 

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina lawmakers released new voting maps last weekend. The freshly-drawn district lines come after 28 House and Senate districts were found by the U.S. Supreme Court to be illegally gerrymandered along racial lines. 

An image of the total Solar eclipse 1999 in France
Luc Viatour

On Monday, Aug. 21 millions of Americans will experience a cosmic event of a lifetime: a total solar eclipse. This is the first time in 99 years that people from coast to coast can witness the moon completely covering the sun.

Laura Pellicer

For close to two decades, Richard Joyner fought to get away from the farms of Pitt County, North Carolina. He grew up in a family of sharecroppers and repeatedly witnessed racial and economic injustices. His family was never properly compensated for their labor, and his father was treated poorly by white land owners.

Later in his life, Joyner became the pastor for the small 300-person community of Conetoe, North Carolina. Within one year, 30 of his congregants died from health-related illnesses. He decided to return to farming to grow healthy food for his community.

(5/26/17) Johnny Beck Jr. during interview at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn, N.C. Beck is one of 67 former teen offenders in N.C. serving life without parole, even after U.S. Supreme Court ordered states to reconsider juvenile prison sentencing.
Gerry Broome / AP Photo - 2017

 In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional. Last year, the court said the ruling also applies to more than 2,000 inmates who were convicted as teens and are serving life sentences across the country. 

death row jail cell
Christopher / Flickr - Creative Commons-https://flic.kr/p/4wekKV

On the stage stand six men who are serving sentences on death row. They have backgrounds filled with complexity and trauma, and they are the characters in the new play “Count.” 

A stone obelisk honoring  Zebulon Vance
Travis / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/dsjqqa

 In the heart of downtown Asheville sits Pack Square, a bustling center lined by popular restaurants and ongoing construction projects. A stone obelisk stretches skyward from the center of the square honoring Zebulon Vance, North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War. 

winnow ant
Alex Wild

According to Eleanor Spicer Rice, ants have a range of personalities, from team player to charismatic. What she will not call them, however, are pests. 

Bull shark
Brook Ward - https://flic.kr/p/PtKaBo / Flickr - Creative Commons

Intertwining ocean currents off the coast of North Carolina form a unique environment for marine species. Both tropically-inclined and colder water animals mingle at the intersection of the Gulf Stream and the arctic Labrador Current. 

UNC Board of Governor's Committee
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

In a committee meeting of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Tuesday, members voted to approve a litigation ban on the UNC Center for Civil Rights

Workers installing solar panels
skeeze / Pixabay - Creative Commons

A panel of three federal judges has set a deadline for lawmakers to redraw 28 legislative districts that were found to be racially gerrymandered. The judges have also determined that North Carolina will not have special elections this year. Meanwhile Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill that will boost solar energy in the state, but the new law also includes a moratorium on wind development through December 2018.

Crews working at the site of the damaged transmission line
Courtesy of the NC Dot

UPDATE: Officials now estimate between six and 10 days for power to be fully restored for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.

Governor Roy Cooper ordered a mandatory evacuation of tourists on the islands after a contractor sliced through a line carrying electricity from mainland Dare County late last week. The islands are now running on alternative backup generators, but residents are being advised to reduce their electricity consumption. 

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