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 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.

Author Lori Horvitz at age 14 as an amateur magician
Lori Horvitz

For most of us, our coming-of-age stories start and end during our years in high school or college. 

They are defined by strong relationships, rebellion and that awkward junior prom.

But for author Lori Horvitz the coming-of-age story was decades in the making. When she finished writing it, the product was a collection of comedic essays that covered her childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Each tells the story of her search for identity as a quiet, Jewish Long Island girl who was exploring her sexuality.

Image of Sydney Scherr, who is a jeweler and professor now working with victims of sex trafficking.
Sydney Scherr

For many victims of sex trafficking, the struggle continues after escaping the industry. Without skills to earn a livelihood, they may turn to prostitution.

Jeweler and professor Sydney Scherr started a project to teach sustainable jewelry design to victims of sex trafficking. She leads groups of students to instruct and create designs through simple techniques so that they can earn a living. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Scherr and two students involved in the project: Ezatul Mazwe Muhammad Arif and Hanson Foong.

Image of Glen Warren and his three children
Glen Warren

Glen Warren vividly remembers the first moments of single fatherhood: he was standing in the living room of his new mobile home with his three kids, and he quickly realized that he had no idea how to make them dinner. 

In the coming years he learned how to piece together meals, filed for child support, and worked multiple jobs to put food on the table. And through all of this, he became increasingly certain about one thing: fatherhood is incredibly important. 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie.
kenrudinpolitics.com

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis skipped out on a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about ISIS last week and instead met privately with former Vice President Dick Cheney. This follows Tillis’ loud campaign criticism of former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan for her attendance record at meetings related to ISIS.

Meanwhile, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a bill that widely protects Confederate monuments in the state. 

A Thinking Man's Comedian, Stewart Huff

Jul 24, 2015
Image of Stewart Huff
Jonathan Baldizon

Stewart Huff brings a different perspective and insight to stand up comedy. He uses philosophical and historical themes in his comedy, and that is on purpose.

He says his main goal is not to make you laugh, but to make you think. But don't worry, he will slide in a few jokes. Stewart is also a writer for Adult Swim and won "Best of the Fest" at the Aspen Comedy Festival.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Stewart Huff about his comedic themes and the long pauses they often induce.

The Music Of See Gulls

Jul 24, 2015
Image of See Gulls
Alex Boerner

After broken up bands and relationships, the pop punk band See Gulls formed two years ago.

They recently released their first EP, which they tracked at Fidelitorium Recordings with well-known producer Mitch Easter.

Host Frank Stasio talks to See Gulls: Sarah Fuller on lead vocals and guitar, Maria Albani on drums, Leah Gibson on bass, and Duncan Webster on guitar, about their music and lyrical inspirations.

Image of stethoscope
Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

People who live in rural North Carolina are still more likely to suffer from serious health problems than their urban counterparts. Rural counties show higher rates of heart disease and obesity, and rural residents have a lower life expectancy.

The recent closures of rural hospitals around the state makes those residents even more vulnerable. Research shows that systemic problems like slow economic development and spotty insurance coverage also contribute to rural health disparities.

Fayetteville teacher assistant Grace King works with first graders on sight words.
Reema Khrais

Teacher assistant positions in North Carolina have been cut steadily in recent years. And the North Carolina Senate's proposed budget eliminates funding for about 8,500 more TAs in order to hire more teachers.

Teacher assistants and researchers are split on the effectiveness of TAs. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC reporter Reema Khrais about the state of teacher assistant jobs.

Image of Henrietta Bingham (middle) with her brother, nephews and nieces in 1942.
Emily Bingham

When Emily Bingham chose to become an author and historian she set one rule for herself: she would never write anything about her own family. The legendary Louisville media moguls had already been in the headlines far too much for stories about their family politics and lawsuits.

I, Destini

Jul 22, 2015
Image of video being shot for the documentary - I, Destini. Nicholas Pilarski and Destini Riley (left) are working on a documentary to show what it's like having a family member in prison.
Nicholas Pilarski

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics there are approximately 2.3 million people in prisons or local jails in the United States. And many of those individuals have family members living life on the outside who experience their own set of challenges.

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