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.

A veteran is honored at Fort Rucker
Fort Rucker / Flickr Creative Commons

For many veterans of World War II and Vietnam, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts were popular social gathering places to share stories of war experiences. And they were powerful lobbying voices in the political sphere.

But across the nation, participation in these organizations has declined. Veterans groups are making new efforts to recruit younger members.

The von Trapps
Ben Moon

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp are descendants of the family made famous by the beloved musical, "The Sound of Music."

Their grandfather, Werner von Trapp, taught them Austrian folk songs as children, and it was during their childhood that they realized their voices blended perfectly in classical choral music. Today, with their legacy in mind, The von Trapps have created their own version of folk music with a touch of indie rock.

Photographer Nadia Sablin spent seven summers documenting the lives of her aunts Alevtina and Ludmila in a small village in northwest Russia. These photographs are some of those shown in her new book 'Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila.'
Nadia Sablin

Photographer Nadia Sablin grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, and each summer her family escaped the hustle and bustle of the city to spend time with their extended family in a small, rural village. They left Russia for good in 1992 and Sablin didn’t know whether she would ever get a chance to go back.

She went back for the first time more than 15 years later, and although everything in Russia had changed, one little piece of the world remained exactly the same: the small family home in Alekhovshchina.

Blue Ridge Mountains
Christopher Sessums / Flickr Creative Commons

Duke Energy has scrapped a proposal to build new transmission lines in western North Carolina.

The decision comes after environmental groups raised concerns about the plans for 45 miles worth of towers from Asheville to South Carolina. The controversy attracted more than 9,000 public comments online.

Stories From The Arab Spring

Nov 10, 2015
Reynolds on a tank in the Panshjir Valley, Afghanistan
Andy Reynolds

UNC political science professor Andy Reynolds is one of the world’s leading experts in governmental and electoral design. During his graduate school years in post-Apartheid South Africa, Reynolds advised writers of the constitution.

He continued to help other countries devise political structures over the last two decades. During the Arab Spring revolutions, Reynolds spent time in Egypt, Libya and Yemen working for the United Nations and the United States National Security Council.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

December marks the two-year anniversary of The State of Things monthly Movies On The Radio series. Each month, Host Frank Stasio and film experts Laura Boyes and Marsha Gordon select a category and listeners submit their film picks. The tables are turning. We want to hear from you - what topic would you like to hear on Movies On The Radio? Send an email to and put "Movies" in the subject line. 

Jedediah Purdy
Duke University

Jed Purdy grew up in West Virginia and spent much of his time exploring the countryside and reading. So he was just as surprised as anyone when just a few years later his first book “For Common Things” threw him into the limelight.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie.

With the passing of Congressman Howard Coble, North Carolina loses one of a vanishing breed: the old style politician.

Meanwhile, municipal elections across the country led to unexpected results in some places. Salt Lake City will likely have its first openly gay mayor, pending a recount later this month. 

In Houston, voters repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBTQ residents, and Jeb Bush's numbers fall as the Republican presidential primary continues.

Paul Smith

Peyton Reed fell in love with movies after watching the original “Planet of the Apes” as a child. He grew up in Raleigh and dedicated his teen years to film production.

He studied film at UNC-Chapel Hill and soon moved to Los Angeles to jump start his career. But it took Reed years to work his way into the directing ranks.

Jeanne Jolly is out with her second album, 'A Place To Run.'
Bruce Deboer

A lot has changed in the last three years for musician Jeanne Jolly. She finished a national tour of the album “Angels," got married, got a dog, and completed the new album, “A Place To Run.”

The new collection has a grittier country rock feel and looks at what it means to have ‘places to run.’ Jolly explores where people turn for refuge or why people run away to escape grief.