Meghan Modafferi

Producer, The State of Things
WakeMed CEO Donald Gintzig
wakemed.org

After a controversial year, WakeMed Health and Hospitals' Donald Gintzig became permanent CEO last month. Gintzig is a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy with experience leading non-profit, faith-based and private health systems. 

cartoon woman screaming
http://risk-show.com/

Many people assume comedy requires wacky characters and crazy scenarios. But for comedian Kevin Allison, vulnerability is key. His podcast and live show, "Risk!", features personal stories the tellers never thought they would share. "Risk!" will be at DSI Comedy Theater in Chapel Hill on Friday at 8:30pm. 

Check out last week's podcast. The theme was stung. On The State of Things, we played a clip featuring LA-based comedian Jen Kirkman.

Book cover shows newspaper stands
uncpress.unc.edu

The advent of the internet forced many industries to adjust, and newspapers were no exception. To deal with new competition and the changing face of advertising, community papers are reaching across platforms. A new book, "Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability" (The University of North Carolina Press/2014) seeks to assist local papers in that transition.

 

book cover with a canoe on a river
lightmessages.com

  

"The 53rd Parallel" (Light Messages Publishing/2013) is the first novel in a series about the historic, yet little known, contamination of the English River. It was the largest mercury poisoning event in North American history, bringing devastation to the many Ojibway people native to the area. 

boy playing a video game
creative commons

When many people hear the words “video game,” they think of a stereotypical geeky teenage boy. But that image does not represent the true industry. Women account for nearly half of the gaming population and more than a third of gamers are over the age of 36. Video games have expanded into an art form that produces complex narratives, cultural critiques and symphony soundtracks. 

Meghan Modafferi and Durham Comics Project

Superheroes are not the only characters to grace the pages of comic books. The Durham Comics Project invites ordinary people to tell their own stories in cartoon squares. Started by Amy Godfrey, a librarian at Durham County Library, the project seeks to illuminate the small and big moments that make a community. 

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Rain forests are home to an incredible variety of species. From cute olinguitos to slimy spittlebugs, scientists are discovering creatures all the time. The exhibit "Rainforest Adventure" at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences educates kids on rain forest diversity and conservation.

Sociologist Stephen Vaisey
Stephen Vaisey

For a million dollars, would you: 

  • Throw a tomato at a politician? 
  • Kick a dog in the head?
  • Sign away your soul?

Sociologist Stephen Vaisey asked these questions and more in the first stage of his project, Measuring Morality, which seeks to understand moral beliefs and moral divides. The study also followed teenagers for more than a decade to monitor the development of morality in young adults. 

North Carolina Legislative building
NC General Assembly

  Moral Monday protests resume as the General Assembly's short session continues. Protestors visit individual lawmakers today to lobby for Medicaid expansion, unemployment insurance and education reform. Last week, the North Carolina Senate approved a fracking bill and tentatively approved a regulatory overhaul. Both pieces of legislation may face challenges in the House. 

Rapper interacts with contemporary art
juanobando.com

Colombian artist Juan Obando noticed a disconnect between North Carolina art museums and the communities they serve. In response, he invited local hip-hop artists to create songs that playfully critique contemporary art collections at local museums. The result is Museum Mixtape: a series of music videos shot in art museums, featuring hip-hop artists.

  

Museum Mixtape - Trailer from Juan Obando on Vimeo.

A drawing of four girls in diverse clothing
facebook.com/events/411156452355142/

    

For a teenager, a diary can be a safe haven. It is a place to share thoughts that one would never speak aloud. But The Diary Play: Four Teens Tell Their Story brings those intimate details to light. Based on the teenage journals of four women who are now adults, the play asks questions about self-censorship and the boundaries between adults and young people.

Diaries cover everything from the monumental to the mundane. From tests and papers to crushes and self-esteem, it's all in there.

Firefighters use hose to tame large fire
creative commons

Many young children dream of becoming firefighters someday. But not everybody sustains that desire into adulthood. What is it that makes some people want to run into the buildings when everyone else is fleeing? 

poster of sexy athletes
littlegreenpig.org

  Have you ever wondered what goes on in the Olympic Village that doesn't make it on TV? A local playwright imagines a covert operation where sex crosses international borders and makes sport of diplomacy. Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern presents the world premiere of "Tarantino's Yellow Speedo" on Thursday, May 22 at 8:15pm at Man Bites Dog Theater in Durham. It runs through June 5. 

image of hands welcoming sunset
http://womensvoiceschorus.org/

  When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it's a tragedy. But when writer David Wolman's wife contracted breast cancer, he chose to make the experience into art. He wrote an anthology of poetry, which composer Andrea Clearfield set to music.

A local community chorus, Women's Voices Chorus, is performing "The Long Bright" tonight at 8pm in the Hill Hall Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The short session of the North Carolina General Assembly begins today. Environmental issues on the table are coal ash disposal and fracking. Meanwhile, teacher pay remains a hot topic. Legislators will discuss Governor McCrory's proposals to update the teacher pay model. They'll also consider a bill that seeks to repeal Common Core.

The Skin Collector book cover
hachettebookgroup.com

    

Needle phobia is a popular fear, so it is a natural place for a horror writer to start. Author Jeffery Deaver added darkness and poison to the mix in his new book, "The Skin Collector"(Grand Central Publishing/2014). The novel's villain kills his victims in New York City's subterranean tunnels by tattooing them with poison. Detectives try to decipher a message in the tattoos. Jeffery Deaver will be reading at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill tonight at 7pm and at Quail Ridge Books tomorrow at 7:30pm. 

Southern Coalition for Social Justice logo
southerncoalition.org

 

  

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Host Frank Stasio talks with Ian Mance, a civil rights attorney for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice, and Frank Baumgartner, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Baumgartner published a statewide study tracking racial disparities in police stop-and-search practices. He later worked with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to analyze Durham-specific data.

black book cover with neon lighting lettering and Eiffel Tower in background
harpercollins.com

  

It was a photograph of two women at a table, one in a dress and one in a suit, that inspired Francine Prose's latest novel. The suited woman is Violette Morris, a French athlete turned Nazi collaborator. Mixing history with fiction, "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" (HarperCollins, 2014), imagines Morris' life through multiple narrators.

Assorted pharmaceuticals
creative commons

    

A recent deal between the biopharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis may mean more jobs and more attention for the Research Triangle. Plus, the $1.1 billion sale of Furiex pharmaceuticals increases possibilities for investment in the area. Meanwhile, Mooresville's Vestiq Holdings, a much smaller pharmaceutical company, is filing for bankruptcy. 

lemur with white head and body, brown arms and dark facial markings
David Haring / http://lemur.duke.edu

Sixty-five million years ago, ancestors of lemurs journeyed from Africa to Madagascar on a raft of vegetation. This explanation for their arrival, now widely accepted, was the dissertation of Anne Yoder, director of the Duke Lemur Center. It is also the subject of a new IMAX movie, "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar." Many of the lemurs that star in the film are Durham residents who were trained locally by behavioral manager Meg Dye. 

Andrea Moore performs in the opera, Turn of the Screw
Benjamin Britten / andreaedithmoore.com

   

Opera comes to life in elaborate performance halls with high-priced seats. But the high-brow setting is not the only place for opera; it also takes place in modern art museums, bars and even outdoors. "Opera in the Garden" takes the artform outside on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Botanical Garden.

The performance is part of the Chapel Hill Spring Garden tour and proceeds will help build a Children's Wonder Garden.

A picture of a gavel on a document.
Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

Elections for seats on the NC Supreme Court are purportedly nonpartisan. But one race this year is already infused with large outside donations and negative advertising. The state's highest court likely will rule on cases regarding redistricting, teacher tenure, voter ID laws and same-sex marriage in the coming year. Those contentious issues make the race for incumbent Democrat Robin Hudson's seat a particularly heated one. Hudson faces Republicans Eric Levinson and Jeannette Doran.

Alloy book cover shows woman in toga
boomerangbooks.com

    

Inspiration for poetry can strike anywhere, even at the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro. A visit there sparked one of the poems in "Alloy" (2014, WordTech Communications), the latest book from Larry Johnson. 

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez
http://durhamnc.gov/

In the last year, the Durham Police Department has faced public criticism surrounding search policies and three police-related deaths.  The NAACP of North Carolina questioned the police actions in the case of Jesus Huerta, a 17 year-old who died in police custody.

Advocacy organizations like the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Fostering Alternative Drug Enforcement (FADE) have raised accusations of racial profiling.

The department maintains that racial discrepancies in crime statistics do not indicate discrimination. They issued a report in response to the criticism.

In response to public outcry, the Human Relations Commission will make recommendations to the City Council for procedural reforms in police governance in May. 

Prisoners at Ebensee Concentration Camp in 1945
Creative Commons

With each passing year, we lose more survivors of World War II. And not just the soldiers who fought, but the targeted civilians who survived the Holocaust. In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we share a few of their stories.

We begin by talking with speakers from the Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau. It works to preserve the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. Host Frank Stasio talks with three people from the Bureau: Sharon Halperin, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors; Peter Stein, a survivor from Czechoslovakia; and Renee Fink, a survivor from Holland.

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