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

Courtesy City of Greensboro North Carolina Police

Like many other law enforcement agencies around the country, the Greensboro Police Department is working to improve community relations while facing a period of heightened tension between police and the public, particularly with marginalized communities.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott about the unique challenges his department faces along with the continuing battle over policies surrounding access to police body camera footage.

Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza speaking at a protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Raleigh.
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

UPDATE: Immigration officials in Charlotte have delayed the deportation order for Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza until a federal appeals court renders a decision on his asylum case. 

Mexican-born Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza is asking for asylum in the United States. He says he faces harassment if he is forced to return to Mexico because he is openly gay. Last time he was in Mexico, Molina Mendoza says he and a former boyfriend were attacked with beer bottles because of their sexual orientation.

Courtesy Marsha Gordon

Starting in the 1950s, filmmaker Sam Fuller produced war films that gave his characters room to question the design of war and their role in it. He also raised conversations about equality of men on and off the battlefield. North Carolina State University film professor Marsha Gordon authored a new book on Fuller's work called, "Film is like a Battleground" (Oxford University Press/2017) that explores his legacy of genre shifting war films.

Will Gehrman / Courtesy The Pinkerton Raid

Durham-based band The Pinkerton Raid released a new album this week called "Tolerance Ends, Love Begins." The new music melds rock and pop with bright harmonies and the twang of traditional Southern instruments. It is the band's third album.
 

David Goldman / AP

UPDATE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement allowing the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be constructed under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

In the wake of the Trump administration’s executive order allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters say they will continue to fight the pipeline through the courts.

Photo Yoon Kim

Comedian Hari Kondabolu has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His work explores his experience being raised in Queens, New York by Indian parents. And though his parents have provided him with plenty of comedic gems, Kondabolu does not use Indian accents in his stand-up.

UNC Program in the Humanities

We define ourselves based on our beliefs like conservatism, liberalism, socialism, or capitalism. In the 2016 election, these differing ideologies came to the forefront but these ideas are not as timeless as many believe.
 

Frank Stasio speaks with UNC History Professor Lloyd Kramer about the historical emergence of the ideologies that shape day to day relationships and civic engagement. Kramer gives a seminar at the Friday Center on the influence of Western “Isms” on Thursday Feb. 9.

 

A picture of the Gravy Boys
Christer Berg

Triangle-based Americana band, The Gravy Boys, recently emerged from the recording studio with a fresh batch of songs with influences ranging from pop to bluegrass. Their new tracks are rich and layered, and channel their foot-stomping stage performances.
 

Carolyn Kaster / AP

At a primetime press conference Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump announced appellate court judge Neil Gorsuch as his pick for the Supreme Court. If confirmed, the 49-year-old judge from Colorado would take up the seat left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Women and their supporters turned out in droves for the Women's March on Raleigh on January 21, 2017.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The Women’s March on Washington last weekend and sister marches around the world brought the feminist movement into the limelight once again. But 2017 feminism looks very different from its 1960s counterpart. The intersectionality of women's experiences are being moved to the forefront of the cause. Since his start in office, President Donald Trump has signed documents which will impact women’s health and rights.

Eno Publishers

A long wait for grape pie, the intricacies of hard crab stew, and a good life for a pig named Crisco are some of the stories in the new book "The Carolina Table" (Eno Publishers/2016).

Courtesy Sheryl Oring

In the lead up to the inauguration, Sheryl Oring, art professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, roamed the country asking people to dictate postcards to the new president. The postcards show a range of support, emotion, and frustration regarding the incoming administration.
 

Women and their supporters turned out in droves for the Women's March on Raleigh on January 21, 2017.
Jess Clark / WUNC

On Saturday, women and their supporters took to the streets of Washington, DC and other cities around the world to voice their opposition to incoming President Donald Trump. In Raleigh, marching women donned knitted pussyhats, the headwear that has become emblematic of feminist protest.
 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with WUNC reporter Jess Clark about the march in Raleigh and the range of issues protested including xenophobia and House Bill 2.

Ninian Reid / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump started work on his first official day in office by signing an executive order on Obamacare. Trump pledged throughout his campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act but has not yet articulated what plan will take its place to cover the 20 million Americans who rely on Obamacare.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Time Warner Cable Washington Reporter Geoff Bennett about Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office. 

Roger H. Goun / Flickr Creative Commons

President Trump has openly shared his animosity towards the media, calling journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” New White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s first remarks to the media from the press briefing room amounted to a lecture against what he called “deliberately false reporting.”

A logo of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Elevatorrailfan / Wikimedia Commons

The Department of the Interior will allow the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to apply for full federal recognition. The department issued a memorandum reversing the agency’s previous reading of the 1956 Lumbee Act. The Lumbee people have been fighting for full federal status for decades.
 

A picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dick DeMarsico / Wikimedia Commons

Martin Luther King Jr. is an inimitable cultural icon known for his vast contributions to the advancement of civil rights in the United States. A new play features an intimate portrait of the civil rights figure by putting his inner concerns and vulnerabilities on display.

In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump talks with reporters at Trump Tower in New York.
Evan Vucci / AP

President Barack Obama called for civil engagement and asked Americans to talk to each other “in real life,” rather than on the internet, in his farewell address this week. Meanwhile at President-Elect Donald Trump’s first news conference in his new role, he pointed to American economic gains since his election, and slammed media outlets for churning out “fake news.”

Sarah Gilbert via Flickr

Over the past five years, the rate of North Carolinian children in foster care has increased by 25 percent. Foster care organizations say they are struggling to find enough homes in which to place the kids.

News & Observer Reporter Madison Iszler speaks with host Frank Stasio about the main factors that have led to this increase of children in foster care, including the effects of North Carolina’s opioid crisis.

Oliver Smithies at the ceremony immediately after the announcement that he had won a Nobel Prize.
UNC Health Care / UNC

Oliver Smithies, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2007, died Tuesday at UNC Hospitals. He was 91.

Courtesy Samuel Peterson

Samuel Peterson has battled addiction all of his life.  When he was young, it was sugar. In his twenties, he turned to methadone and cocaine. As an adult, he moved to prescription painkillers and later heroin.

He eventually found sobriety, and in his 50s, Peterson enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also wrote a play. But underneath these life achievements was the pull of addiction.
 

An image of entomologist Holly Menninger with a cicada on her head.
Courtesy Holly Menninger

Entomologist by training, Holly Menninger has spent much of her life bridging the gap between the science happening in labs across the country, and the general public. As a high school student she was responsible for explaining the Ice Age to visitors at a local museum.

Actor John Wayne aims his gun in the 1956 Western film 'The Searchers' by John Ford.
Wikimedia Commons

From gunslingers to saloons, for the next episode of "Movies on the Radio," The State of Things is asking, what are your picks for the best Western films of all time? Are you a fan of John Wayne classics like “Stagecoach,” Western satires like “Blazing Saddles, or genre-bending releases like “Django Unchained”?

Producer Laura Pellicer shares her favorite stories of 2016.
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

For the final episode of our annual "Producer Picks" series,  veteran producer Katy Barron, and a rookie, The State of Things' newest producer, Laura Pellicer reflect on the stand-out stories from 2016. Barron and Pellicer are the behind the scenes actors that find fresh voices, make editorial decisions, and get the show to air every weekday. For this segment they step in front of the microphone to share their favorite segments they had a hand in producing. 

Portrait of Marshall Rauch from 1962.
Courtesy Marshall Rauch

Marshall Rauch made a name for himself as the first Jewish senator in North Carolina. Before that he played basketball for Duke, fought in World War II, helped integrate Gastonia, and was the largest producer of Christmas ornaments in the world.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Rauch about his legacy and how his faith played a key role in everything he did including the Christmas business.

David Simchock

Balsam Range's new album, "Mountain Voodoo," has taken the band to the top of the bluegrass charts with its mix of bluegrass, gospel, and honky-tonk.

Band members Buddy Melton, Tim Surrett, Darren Nicholson, Caleb Smith, and Marc Pruett chat with Frank Stasio about hosting "A Bluegrass Kinda Christmas," and Raleigh's evolution as a haven for bluegrass musicians of all stripes.

An image of UNC's Old Well
yeungb / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The News & Observer may have uncovered a new figure in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill academic scandal. News & Observer investigative reporter Dan Kane, who has been digging into the story for more than five years, says new questions have emerged about whether an academic aide with UNC basketball may have been involved.

David Goldman / AP

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters are celebrating after the Army Corps of Engineers announced it will block a pipeline from being built under a dammed off portion of the Missouri River.

James MacPherson / AP Photo

Thousands of protesters have spent months at the site of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline under a lake near Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. The protesters say it threatens the safety of the water and undermines a sacred native site. 

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Mandolin Orange's new album, "Blindfaller," moves between a haunting warning about politics, allusions to lingering effects of historical wars in the South, and a honky-tonk ode to life on the road.

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