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 are 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.

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photo of the NC legislature
Wikimedia

A new bill in the North Carolina Legislature proposes changing the juvenile penal system to raise the age of adult prosecution for most offenses. The state is currently one of only two in the nation where 16 and 17 year olds are routinely charged as adults.

Courtesy of The Department of Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries

Flores Forbes joined the Black Panther Party when he was just 16 years old. He became the youngest member of the Central Committee and eventually got involved in the party’s military arm. 

Stories from the President's Kitchen Cabinet

Mar 16, 2017

When Adrian Miller was researching his book on the history of Soul Food, he kept coming across references to African-American cooks who had served in the White House.

Courtesy North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture

A newly-formed group comprised of former politicians, academics, and community leaders will investigate possible connections between North Carolina and the CIA’s interrogation program.

Aero Contractors, a private aviation company based at the Johnston County airport, allegedly picked up suspected terrorists and transported them to CIA-run black site prisons.

Driving Through a Changing South

Mar 15, 2017
book cover of "Discovering the South: One Man's Travels Through a Changing America in the 1930s."
Courtesy of Jennifer Ritterhouse

In the summer of 1937, Jonathan Daniels, the young, white, liberal-minded editor of the News & Observer, embarked on a driving tour of 10 Southern states. He documented the stories of the diverse people he encountered and hoped to change the national perception of the region.

An image of an advertisement for the play 'The Miraculous and the Mundane'
Manbites Dog Theater

In the new play “The Miraculous and the Mundane,” an African-American family in Durham must readjust their lives when the family’s patriarch begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Percy Nelson has worked hard to provide for his children, but his health issues begin to fracture the family’s stability.
 

Courtesy E.C. Hanes

When E.C. “Redge” Hanes was looking for a backdrop for his latest novel, he decided to draw from his own experience. He once raised hogs on a farm with his brother, and he also participated in an environmental study commission looking into the impact of hog farming on North Carolina’s ecology.

Hanes’ new book “Justice By Another Name” (Rane Coat Press/2017) is a tale of love and revenge set in fictional Hogg County, North Carolina.
 

An image of UNCA professors and co-hosts Marcus Harvey and Darin Waters
David Allen / UNC-Asheville

Asheville has been home to an African-American community for centuries. However, African-American residents in Asheville and western North Carolina have historically suffered from systemic inequality and racial disparities.

In the new radio program and podcast “The Waters and Harvey Show,” co-hosts Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey examine western North Carolina’s cultural history and the narratives of marginalized communities.
 

Roy Cooper
Brian Batista / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper says the future of the state is promising. The Democrat delivered his first "State of the State" address during a joint session of the General Assembly Monday night.

Courtesy Western Carolina University

Davy Arch grew up on a subsistence farm in western North Carolina. As a boy, he learned the value of traditional Cherokee culture from his grandfather, who taught him the old stories, how to hunt and fish, and how to identify valuable medicinal plants.

Today Arch is a practitioner of traditional medicine, a historian, storyteller and a folk artist with work on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
 

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

State lawmakers have advanced a measure that would remove some judicial appointment powers from Gov. Roy Cooper.

They also continued touting a bill that would change opiate prescription guidelines and proposed, yet again, to send 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds who are alleged to have committed nonviolent crimes to juvenile courts instead of being tried as adults.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about this week’s activity at the legislature.

Courtesy Rob Dunn

The banana is always in season and always available at the grocery store. A new book explores how the prevalence of the popular fruit is a model for the dangers of a food system that is increasingly dependent on fewer food staples.

“Never Out Of Season” (Little, Brown, and Company/2017) by biologist Rob Dunn, a professor in the department of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, walks readers through the precarious corporate food system and explains how diversity is crucial to crop survival.
 

An image of James Phillips, Stacy Harden and Daniel Michalak of Bombadil
DL Anderson

A few years ago, Durham-based indie-folk band Bombadil decided to do some soul searching. After one of the band members left the group, the rest of the band decided to take a step back and find a new direction. The group eventually picked up new bandmate and worked with a data scientist to create “the perfect Bombadil song.” The band’s new style guides its latest album “Fences.”
 

AP Photo/Alex Sanz

UPDATED 12:11 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 10

 

North Carolina district attorney David Learner said Friday that two assistant district attorneys no longer work for his office.

 

Learner’s statement is in response to an investigation by the Associated Press that reported prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back helped derail criminal investigations into allegations of abuse by church leaders of the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

 

Courtesy Danielle Purifoy

Lawyer and environmentalist Danielle Purifoy and artist Torkwase Dyson loaded up art supplies and media equipment in a mobile art studio and traveled to North Carolina and Alabama to meet people who live in the shadows of structural racism. The documentary project “In Conditions of Fresh Water” focuses on how residents of some communities in Alamance County, North Carolina, and Lowndes County, Alabama lack access to adequate sanitation infrastructure.

Courtesy of the Artists

Indian immigrants have been been settling in North Carolina for decades. Today there are an estimated 100,000 Indian immigrants who call North Carolina home, and a large concentration of those individuals live in the Research Triangle.

 

A picture of an empty classroom.
f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / Flickr

Today is International Women's Day, and women across the United States are participating in a mass strike called, “A Day Without a Woman.” The organizers behind the historic Women’s March on Washington that came in that wake of President Trump’s inauguration are behind the mass protest. They called on women to not attend work, not to shop, and if unable to do either of those, to wear red in solidarity. 

United Nations Photo

“Seven” is a documentary-style stage production that tells the stories of seven women who have made positive change in their countries.

The show features the true stories ranging from a woman in Pakistan who champions education for girls in disadvantaged areas to a woman in Russia who created the first domestic violence hotline in her country.

A book cover
Princeton University Press

Since the beginning of a capitalist economy in the United States, business endeavors have been fraught with examples of fraud and deceit. In his new book, “Fraud: An American History From Barnum to Madoff” (Princeton University Press/2017), Edward Balleisen chronicles the history of fraud in the U.S., from mail-order scams in the 19th century to examples of corporate fraud in the late 20th and early 21st century. 

Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez / U.S. Marine Corps

The Department of Defense has launched an investigation after the non-profit news organization The War Horse broke a story about Marines spreading nude photos of female service members online. The report says Marines used a closed Facebook page to post links to explicit photos of the women with their ranks, names, and military stations of duty.

‘Stained-Glass Millennials:’ Keeping The Faith In A New Era

Mar 7, 2017
Jessi Lancaster

Millennials are the least likely to go to church and less religiously oriented than generations before them. It’s a statistic that has been repeated often in recent years to explain the drop in attendance at Christian churches across the country.

But Rob Lee, a Methodist millennial, says that the faithful in his generation have been lost in that narrative.

Ben Vereen
Courtesy of Isak Tiner

Ben Vereen made a name for himself on Broadway in the late 1960s with performances in hit productions like “Sweet Charity” and “Hair.” He later won a Tony award in 1973 for his role in “Pippin.” Since then, he has also acted in more than a dozen television shows, including the 1977 hit miniseries “Roots.”
 

In his one-man show “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen,” Vereen performs hit songs from Broadway and pays tribute to iconic performers Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.

An image of the gospel singer Mary D. Williams
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

When Mary D. Williams was a kid growing up in Garner, North Carolina, she often visited her grandparents in Johnston County. She remembers passing a sign that said, “You are in the heart of Klan country” along the way. The sign was a visible example of the racism her grandparents endured in rural North Carolina.

kenrudinpolitics.com

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under fire for corresponding with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election.

The revelations are leading to more calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration's ties to Russia.

Nin Solis

Hundreds of thousands of individuals move to Mexico from the United States each year. This number includes both those who are deported and those who choose to return. Many of those individuals spent their formative years in the United States and experience distinct challenges upon return to Mexico, including extreme culture shock, depression and mental illness, and barriers to accessing employment and education in Mexico.

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