The State of Things

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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 sot@wunc.org, 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.

Photo: NC Legislative building
Jorge Valencia

A busy Tuesday at the General Assembly ended with mixed results for proposals on religion, taxes and redistricting.

A bill that could allow private businesses to refuse service to someone based on personal religious beliefs could stall in the House. 

Meanwhile, the House and Senate agreed to lower North Carolina's gas tax by 3.5 cents over the next year. And a House committee approved a measure that would redistrict Wake County's Board of Commissioners.

The John Hope Franklin Young Scholars worked together to write and published a novel about a Durham teenager.
David Stein

More than 30 Durham Public School students recently published a novel that combines fact, fiction and illustration.

North Carolina writers share how their state inspires them in "Amazing Place: What North Carolina Means to Writers."
UNC Press

From Thomas Wolfe to Lee Smith, the state of North Carolina is home to a wealth of literary greats.

But what is it about the Tarheel State that inspires these authors? That's the prompt Marianne Gingher asked 21 North Carolina writers. Their answers form a new creative nonfiction collection called Amazing Place: What North Carolina Means to Writers (UNC Press/2015).

In addition to taking on education initiatives, PAGE encourages girls to produce photography and digital stories.
Madison County Photo Exhibition / carolinapage.org

Rural communities in western North Carolina are in the midst of an economic shift.

The rise and fall of the family farm means places like Madison County are looking for new ways to support themselves. The answer could be in the tech industry. But technology businesses rely on a steady stream of well-educated workers. 

A panel discussion tonight at Duke University, "Rethinking Appalachia," examines ways to develop a high-tech workforce in rural Appalachia.

Olympia Stone's film 'Curious Worlds' follows artist David Beck.
floatingstone.com

Artist David Beck carves, sculpts, paints and creates playful and imaginative creatures from dragonflies to elephants.

Much of his art is miniature, in contrast to the sculptures of many of his contemporaries. He has been praised as a “master craftsman and ingenious mechanic.”

Olympia Stone's latest film goes inside the magical world of miniature architect David Beck. 

Native Appropriations And New Media

Mar 31, 2015
Adrienne Keene is the Cherokee writer behind Native Appropriations.
Matika Wilbur

Washington's NFL team made headlines last year but not because of their record.

The name, offensive to many, became the subject of public debate. Native communities used social media to make their voices heard on the mascot debate and other important issues.

Vivian Connell

When Vivian Connell was in college, she was already a teachers' advocate. She was on CNN in the network's early years to talk about a teacher's wrongful termination at the University of Georgia. But she wanted more people to hear her voice.

When Vivian became a teacher, she amplified it through her students. They advocated for land conservancies and against genocide in Africa. But she still wanted to be louder.

Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

Governor Pat McCrory and state Senate leaders clashed this week over how to distribute sales tax revenues.

Meanwhile, in the House, lawmakers passed a bill to restore historic preservation tax credits but a medical marijuana proposal died in House committee. Advocates say just having a chance to speak was a victory.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Political Junkie Ken Rudin about the latest in North Carolina political news.

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
David Melchior Diaz / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1944, Nazi soldiers sent Zev Harel and his family to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was 14 years old.

Harel stayed alive by lying about his age, and he endured a 400-mile trip to the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria where he was forced to build underground storage tunnels for Nazi weapons.

    

Seventy years later, the horrific stories of survivors like Zev Harel live on through North Carolina's yearly remembrance of the Holocaust. 

The Suffers are a Gulf Coast soul band out of Houston, Tx.
Daniel Jackson

The Suffers, a 10-piece band out of Houston, Texas, features a horn line, rhythm section and the gigantic soulful voice of front woman Kam Franklin.

The Suffers draw their inspiration from the diversity of their hometown of Houston. While the overall effect of their music harks back to the soul greats of the 1960s and 1970s, diverse elements, including gospel, cumbia and reggae, give their songs a fresh, eclectic feel.

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