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 or Tumblr.

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State of Things
11:36 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Meet Duncan Murrell

Duncan Murrell
Credit http://cds.aas.duke.edu

Duncan Murrell got an early start on being an outside observer. He went to college on an ROTC scholarship where he vigorously protested apartheid in between military drills. And when Murrell became a Marine, his left wing politics never kept him from being promoted and honored. He went to journalism school as one of the only military veterans, and he covered the Gulf Coast for a paper in Mobile, Alabama after growing up in the North. He's written several groundbreaking stories for Harper's Magazine about New Orleans, edited author Robert Morgan for Algonquin Books and now runs the literary program at The Center for Documentary Studies.

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State of Things
11:32 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean
Credit www.prejean.org

Sister Helen Prejean is a dedicated opponent of the death penalty. Her experience serving as a spiritual advisor to men on death row was captured in the 1995 film "Dead Man Walking," starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn and based on Prejean’s bestselling book of the same name. Through the years, Prejean has stood by six death row inmates as the government executed them for their crimes. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sister Helen Prejean about her experience fighting against the death penalty and ministering to condemned prisoners.

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State of Things
11:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Chapel Hill Community Chorus

The Cantari Voices Ensemble
Credit The Cantari Voices Ensemble

The Chapel Hill Community Chorus has been serenading audiences in the Triangle for 30 years. The 130-member group consists of professional and amateur musicians who love to sing, including a group of 25 called The Cantari Voices Ensemble. A few of the chorus join Host Frank Stasio to perform live and talk about the busy holiday concert season.

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State of Things
11:24 am
Thu December 1, 2011

HIV in North Carolina

Stephen Inrig wants to dispel the notion that HIV is a disease that plagues mostly sub-Saharan Africa and major metropolitan cities in the United States. He is author of the book, "North Carolina and the Problem of AIDS: Advocacy, Politics & Race in the South" (UNC Press/2011). He calls the South the epicenter of HIV infections in America, and North Carolina has not been spared. In his book, Inrig follows the history of HIV in North Carolina and sheds light on the spread of the disease among minority populations in the South.

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State of Things
10:55 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Gram-O-Rama

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fall all over themselves to get into Marianne Gingher's stylistics class. Gingher, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, teaches her language class just once a year. It culminates in the annual performance of Gram-O-Rama, a collection of student-produced skits and songs spun out of grammar assignments.

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State of Things
10:33 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Season 1, Ep. 1: Jade City Pharaoh - Funyuns and a Coke

''That's one bad mutha...''
Credit Jade City Pharaoh

In the pilot episode of the radio drama, “Jade City Pharaoh,” superhero Herald MF Jones’ snack break gets interrupted by the villainous antics of his archnemesis, The Beef Cooka.

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State of Things
9:58 am
Wed November 30, 2011

The Future of NC’s Racial Justice Act

On Monday, the North Carolina General Assembly sent a repeal of the Racial Justice Act to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature. The law, which legislators passed in 2009, gave the state's death row inmates a means to challenge their sentences using statistical evidence. The law has been at the center of controversy since its beginnings. Advocates claimed it would help right racial imbalance in the justice system, while opponents said the law would give convicted murderers access to parole. 

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State of Things
9:53 am
Wed November 30, 2011

I Love the 80s!

Paul Swartzel
Credit today.duke.edu

Contemporary composer Paul Swartzel certainly draws from the masters of classical music for inspiration. But in addition to Beethoven and Haydn, Swartzel studies commercially successful songs from the 1980s for lessons on how to write great music - and how to descriptively write about music for non-musicians. Host Frank Stasio talks with Swartzel, a graduate student in the Department of Music at Duke University, about how Milli Vanilli and Public Enemy can influence today’s classical composers and the course he teaches at Duke called “I Love the 80s.”

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State of Things
9:44 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Tim & Scrooge

Tim & Scrooge
Credit www.osctheatre.com

Watching "A Christmas Carol" is an annual holiday ritual for millions of people around the world. The story of the mean old Ebenezer Scrooge and his conversion from sinner to savior has been shown in a variety of versions on the big screen, the television and on the stage. But for those fans wondering what happened after Scrooge's change of heart, there is only one show to watch: the musical production of “Tim and Scrooge: A Carol for a Later Christmas.” It's a play written by Nick Meglin with music by Neil Berg and the narrative picks up with a now not-so-tiny Tim 12 years after the events of the original story. Host Frank Stasio talks to Meglin about his sequel to "A Christmas Carol," which makes it local premiere at Greensboro’s Open Space Café Theatre on December 8th.

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State of Things
11:37 am
Tue November 29, 2011

North Carolina Mental Health

North Carolina is poised for another radical overhaul of its mental health system. This time the changes have to do with the way state mental health agencies pay for patient care. A new law passed by the state General Assembly last spring requires agencies to become more like HMOs. Instead of billing Medicaid for individual services, agencies will get a lump sum up front, which they will then use to pay patient costs. Opponents of the legislation fear this change will lead to poor care for the state's mentally ill.

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