Laura Pellicer

State of Things Producer

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

McGuire's Miracle The Documentary

Alexander Julian is credited with the iconic revamp of Tar Heel sports uniforms. But his journey to creating the legendary Carolina blue argyle was a long time in the making. Julian drew up his first designs when he was a child, and he started working the sales floor at his father Maurice Julian’s haberdashery when he was in his teens.

Courtesy PublicAffairs

Between 2005 and 2013, 10 students in the national college fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) died due to alcohol and hazing. Bloomberg journalist John Hechinger reported extensively on the frat and dubbed it the “deadliest fraternity in America.”

Courtesy Lakota John

Lakota John did not have to wait long to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a touring musician. At just 12 years old he was invited to travel across the country and play his ragtime blues.

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.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The House has approved a stopgap measure to fund the government through mid-February, but Senate Democrats seem dissatisfied. They want concessions including deportation protection for some young immigrants before giving their vote.

Courtesy Rachel Kiel

Rachel Kiel grew up buried in stacks of records in her family home, and from an early age her musical influences were abundant and varied. 

Men drinking beer.
Max Pixel / Max Pixel - Creative Commons

Women live longer than men in many countries around the world. In the United States, women outlive men by an average of five years. Scientists have long attributed this divide to genetics and biology, but a physician at Duke University is posing an alternative theory: toxic masculinity. 

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. 

Jessica Lussenhop / BBC News

A new investigation by the BBC has uncovered scores of cases where women allegedly endured sexual harassment or may have been forced to do sexual favors to avoid eviction or secure housing.

Joan Kroc at a news conference in 1984.
Greg Vojtko / AP Photo

Ray Kroc is the man who transformed McDonald’s from a family restaurant in San Bernardino, California to one of the biggest corporations in the world. 

Ten years after the Great Recession North Carolina’s economy is back on its feet by many measures. Rates of employment are up, and the hard-hit manufacturing sector has been superseded by a growing tech and professional services industry.

colorful clouds of gas and dust in the orion star-forming region
NASA

Once a year the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences gathers researchers who spend their waking hours investigating the mysteries of the universe. At ‘Astronomy Days,’ scientists divulge their new findings. 

Thomas Farr, with right hand raised, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Thomas Farr is a Raleigh-based lawyer who has counseled North Carolina Republicans on a multitude of racially divisive cases.

Courtesy Raymond Barfield

For most of his life, Raymond Barfield was a person of faith. He grew up in the church and maintained his faith right up to his early years as a physician. But his time working as a pediatric oncologist pushed him to the limits of his emotional and spiritual capacity.

Associated Press

The relationship between President Trump and former campaign strategist Steve Bannon seems to have hit an all time low. In an official statement the president declared Bannon has “lost his mind.”

Courtesy Melissa Darrow Engleman

'Now Voyager' is the dreamy fourth album by Greenville, North Carolina-based composer Melissa Darrow Engleman. Through compositions like “In Neptune’s Shadow” and “Jupiter’s Moons,” Engleman carries listeners on a musical expedition. 

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Healthcare in North Carolina is a tale of corporate giants in which business moves have major spillover effects on access and quality of healthcare for millions of residents. 

The post-holiday season is a time when many people look back at the memories they made and the money they spent. According to behavioral economist Dan Ariely, many of the financial decisions made during this time, and throughout the year, are based on instincts or emotions rather than value. 

The post-holiday season is a time when many people look back at the memories that were made, and the money that was spent. According to behavioral economist Dan Ariely, many of the financial decisions made during this time and throughout the year, are based on instincts or emotions rather than value.

With the growth of popular technologies like taxi apps and mobile payments, Ariely argues people are also becoming increasingly distanced from the physical pain of spending which can be helpful for keeping unnecessary spending in check.

FORTYONCEGOLD

2017 was a big year for both rising stars and foundational artists with roots in the North Carolina music scene. Pop-electronic group Sylvan Esso, hip-hop artist Rapsody, and other North Carolina-based artists garnered Grammy nominations, and the state’s music was elevated once again to the national stage.

Tammy Jean Lamoureux

2017 was a whirlwind year in national politics. Major national political fights, like the battle for Standing Rock, had spillover effects on the state and local level.

The State of Things Producer Laura Pellicer shares memories of her favorite stories she produced this year: from coverage of Lumbee resistance to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to conversations about scientific explorations and tech news.

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Doug Jones and his wife Louise wave to supporters before speaking Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

Democrat Doug Jones won the red state of Alabama in his senate race against Republican Roy Moore this week.

thanksgiving pies
Laura D'Alessandro / Flickr- Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/BxsqdH

For many North Carolinians, food is the anchor for friends and family to come together over the holidays. And a simple request to “pass the potatoes” can be a welcome interruption that keeps the family dynamic from spiralling downhill. So how do family traditions emerge and what determines their staying power for generations to come?

Cover of 'The Spark' by David Drake
Courtesy of David Drake

Society is split apart into nodes, tucked into different corners of the world and connected by a common road. It is a land where chaos rules, but with the help of the ‘Champions,’ civilization is taking hold once again. 

screen shot of code
Joffi / Pixabay Creative Commons

Two major data breaches in North Carolina have come to light in the past week. 

Mahatma Gandhi
Unknown / Wikimedia public domain

From a young age, humans receive messages from school, religion, and society about developing a strong moral compass and learning how to do “the right thing.” But according to expansive psychological research, there is a gap between how good we are and how good we think we are. 

Image of pills spilling out over money.
TaxRebate.org.uk / Flickr Creative Commons

The biggest healthcare provider in Western North Carolina and the largest insurer in the state have reached a deal over reimbursement rates. 

people marching with confederate flags in Washington, D.C.
Elvert Barnes / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/ye6c21

Alderman Ralph Hamlett wants symbols of hate and racism to be banned from parades in his town of Canton, North Carolina.

The founders of the Found Footage Festival, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett.
Courtesy of Nick Prueher / Joe Pickett (left) and Nick Prueher (right

Friends Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett’s fascination with VHS tapes started in elementary school. The two would scour garage sales and thrift stores for odd and entertaining videos and then head home to host viewing parties for their friends. 

man sitting at computer, stressed.
Time Gouw / Pexels commons

The Republican tax overhaul is a $1.5 trillion package that features a wave of tax cuts with the goal of spurring the economy. GOP leaders said the plan would pay for itself, but new analysis out yesterday shows otherwise. 

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