The State of Things

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Get a daily show update, and special news.

Gavel
www.stockmonkeys.com / Flickr Creative Commons

The trial of a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in the shooting of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell is underway this week.

Wes Randall Kerrick is charged with fatally wounding Ferrell, who had been involved in a car accident and knocked on a door for help. The resident of the home told officers she believed Ferrell was a burglar. Kerrick shot Ferrell 12 times.

Image of miner loading coal in Portal 31 in Lynch, Ky. in the 1920s.
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and the Appalachian Archives. These photos are part of the U.S. Coal & Coke and International Harvester Image Collection.

Tens of thousands of African-Americans called Appalachia home in the early 20th century, yet most popular representations of the region rarely include details about the black experience.

One young researcher sought to change that through an archival project that examines the history and culture of coal mining communities in eastern Kentucky. Karida Brown grew up in New York, but both of her parents are from Lynch, Ky.

Image of George A. Payne in 1975
David Payne

Critics have called David Payne the most gifted American novelist of his generation. He is best-known for fictional works like “Confessions of A Taoist On Wall Street.”

But in the past decade he has inched farther and farther away from fiction writing and started to take the advice that he gives to his own creative writing students: “write about the hardest material.”

Meet Robert Brown

Aug 3, 2015
Image of Robert Brown (second from right) meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his assistant Bernard Lee and Rev. L.V. Booth.
Robert Brown

Robert Brown is one of the most influential North Carolinians you’ve never heard of.

He had a pretty humble start in High Point, where he was born and raised. He was among the city’s first African-American police officers in the 1950s.

But he moved on quickly, first as a federal drug enforcement officer, and then as an adviser to some of the world’s most powerful people: Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Nixon, Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy, and that’s only part of the list.

Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

Scientists have set their sights on finding a cure for AIDS. At the opening of the International AIDS Society conference in Vancouver, AIDS researchers made a call to action for a worldwide shift in HIV treatment.

They now suggest that doctors provide medication immediately after a diagnosis instead of first waiting for the signs of illness to appear.

Cold Frame

Jul 31, 2015
Image of PT Deutermann, who is a former captain in the Navy and arms control specialist with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Cynthia Brann

P.T. Deutermann spent 26 years in the Navy and working for the government. As a captain in the Navy and an arms control specialist on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Deutermann developed many skills.

When that career ended, he began writing military fiction and has published 18 novels.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Deutermann, a North Carolina resident, about his latest title “Cold Frame” (St. Martin’s Press/2015), a government drama in the age of counterterrorism.

Folk Musician Malcolm Holcombe

Jul 31, 2015
Image of Malcolm Holcombe playing guitar
John Gellman

Malcolm Holcombe was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina. His rugged voice and insistent guitar are the marks of a true folk musician who runs on clear passion.

  He embarks on a North American tour next month, but first he performs in Hickory on Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. at the Acoustic Stage.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Holcombe about his life and music.

Set List:

"Pitiful Blues" (starts at 3:59)

Image of P. Murali Doraiswamy
Duke University

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and new evidence that suggests women's brains are especially vulnerable to the disease.

Image of the Russell School, the last Rosenwald School in Durham County.
Phyllis Mack Horton

In the early 20th century, Sears Roebuck CEO Julius Rosenwald teamed up with educator and civil rights icon Booker T. Washington to bring formal education to African-Americans in the rural South.

Image of Eric Trundy, who has used comedy as a therapy for a traumatizing childhood.
Eric Trundy

 

Up-and-coming standup comic Eric Trundy says that comedy saved his life, and he means that in the most literal sense of the words. His childhood was filled with trauma, from physical and sexual abuse to abandonment, and he repressed those memories for many years.

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