The State of Things

M-F 12 Noon, M-Th 8p, Sat 6a

We bring the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you. We're a live show, and we want to hear from listeners. Call 1.877.962.9862, email, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 Or join our live audience for remote broadcasts from Greensboro's Triad Stage and Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences. And you can listen to Political Junkie Ken Rudin Fridays on the program.

Get a daily show update, and special news.

Rep. Mark Meadows
United States Congress

A surprise announcement by Representative Kevin McCarthy yesterday has left Republican House leadership in a bind.

McCarthy was the assumed nominee for the Speakership since John Boehner announced his resignation last month. North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows played a key role in Boehner’s departure.  

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Former Charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick has reached a settlement with the city.

Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter for his killing of an unarmed African American male, but the trial ended in a hung jury. Kerrick has resigned, and the city will pay him more than $100,000. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with WFAE reporter Gwendolyn Glenn about the trial and the settlement.

Julia Dahl grew up in an interfaith household, which informs her work now as a novelist.
Chasi Annexy

Novelist Julia Dahl grew up in Fresno, California, as the daughter of a Jewish mother and Lutheran father. Dahl says contrary to her peers' assumptions, the experience did not confuse her as a child, but gave her a rare outsider's view of both religions.

Heartwood is a Greenville country rock band playing three sold out shows at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro as a reunion series 40 years after they disbanded.
Nick Reitz

Back in the early 1970s, the country rock band Heartwood was on a roll. The group started in a small town outside Greenville, North Carolina and climbed the ladder from jam sessions and club concerts to a national record label.

They toured the country with bands like The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. But road weariness caused the band to break up.  Now, 40 years later, they are back together for a three-night reunion.

U.S. Capitol Building
ttarasiuk / Flickr Creative Commons

Republicans on Capitol Hill met Thursday to nominate a new Speaker of the House after John Boehner announced last month he will be resigning.

The front runner for the nomination was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. However, McCarthy abruptly dropped out of the race Thursday, causing disarray in the Republican caucus. The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a new Speaker at the end of October. The vote has now been postponed as GOP leaders search for a new nominee.

Odili Donald Odita stands in front of his mural, a public art display at the Nasher Museum of Art.
J Caldwell

Duke University’s Nasher Museum opened its doors in the fall of 2005 with a vision for a first-rate museum but without a clear path to get there. Luckily the board hired talented staff, and within a few years they were on their way to becoming an established museum with robust collections of contemporary art and art by people of African descent. 

Robert Rubin is a professor of English at Meredith College and the author of 'Going to Hell in a Hen Basket.'
Robert Rubin

Misusing words and phrases drives the language purists among us crazy, but for English professor Robert Rubin, malapropisms are not only amusing but examples of how language evolves.

His new book, "Going to Hell in a Hen Basket: An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Malapropisms" (Flatiron Books/2015), is an exploration of the newest ways that we say what we do not mean.

Time on a clock
Flickr/Sean MacEntee

Time is an essential part of day-to-day life. Clocks and calendars let people know when to sleep, eat, and where they’re supposed to be each morning.

But time is also something much more complicated; time is an abstract concept that sits at the center of conversations about physics, philosophy and culture.

Host Frank Stasio with brothers Noah and Gabriel Harrell, founders of the Rural Academy Theater, a theater troupe that travels the state by horse and buggy and brings theater to rural audiences.

A Republican congressman charts his course in a Democratic capital.
The Martin Family

Jim Martin was the first and only two-term Republican governor in North Carolina, serving from 1985-1993.


Jedediah Purdy
Travis Drove

In an era where humans and the environment are inextricably tied, how do we approach environmental politics, economics and ethics?

In what ways do the historical perspectives on the relationship between humanity and nature shape how policymakers approach current environmental issues like climate change and global warming?