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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Trump supporters at rally
Chuck Burton / AP Photo

Jared Yates Sexton’s life changed completely in June 2016. He went to a Trump rally in Greensboro, and while he walked amongst people who reminded him of his own family back in Indiana, he also witnessed the kind of anger and rage that mainstream news outlets were missing from their designated press areas.

Courtesy of Jeremy Markovich

Writer Jeremy Markovich decided to go far away to find new stories. In fact, he wanted to go as far from any possible road as he could get in North Carolina.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

When Dominion Energy applied for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the publicly-unveiled plan indicated that the natural gas line would end in the middle of a field in Robeson County, North Carolina.
 

An image of overturned chairs outside of West Lumberton Elementary School
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Last October Hurricane Matthew caused more than two dozen deaths in North Carolina. Floods damaged much of the eastern part of the state, and communities are still picking up the pieces.

An image of the book cover for 'The Last Ballad' by Wiley Cash
William Morrow

 

In the spring of 1929 more than a thousand workers at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina walked off their jobs and went on strike. At the time the mill was one of the largest producers of textiles in the South, but harsh labor conditions and unfair pay sparked unrest among the workers.

Protests went on for months and even led to violent clashes with the police. The events at the mill brought a textile worker named Ella May Wiggins into the spotlight. Wiggins served as a union organizer and also became an influential ballad singer.

man holding gun at shooting range/gun club
Peretz Partensky / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/qwZP5f

The killing spree in Las Vegas was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. But mass shootings have tended to result in laxer gun laws, not stricter ones, according to Susan Ladd, columnist for the Greensboro News & Record.

North Carolina Collection, UNC Chapel Hill / Wikimedia Commons

As many cities struggle to deal with their Confederate monuments, Greensboro has its own concrete legacy of white supremacy to contend with: Aycock Street was named after former governor and white supremacist Charles Aycock, whose name has already been removed from a Greensboro middle school and several other public buildings around the state.

Courtesy of Leslie Isakoff

Leslie Isakoff grew up climbing, flying and spelunking in Alabama and on international trips with her family, where she made friends with local kids and saw firsthand the effects of hunger.

Courtesy of Mylene Dressler

 Writer Mylène Dressler grounds her prose in her experience as an immigrant and the day-to-day happenings of life around her. But for her new book, Dressler realized the story she wanted to tell was decidedly un-grounded.

Courtesy of Beau James

The music for today's show was written and performed by Beau James. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro alum recently returned to the Triad after stints in Los Angeles and Nashville with his rock band The Heavy Heavy Hearts.

James’s solo work taps into Americana sounds and explores themes of heartbreak and identity.

Watch the video for James' song "Indigo Road" below:

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.
 

Loamlands

Kym Register and Will Hackney are Loamlands, a folk-rock band whose often dark lyrics focus on local stories like urban development in Durham and overlooked queer history. The title track off their newest album, “Sweet High Rise,” is a direct reflection on watching the One City Center on Main Street in Durham climbs upward, forever changing the city skyline. Register’s thoughtful lyrics are supported and sometimes played off against contrasting layers of Hackney’s arrangements.


Driving Through a Changing South

Sep 29, 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.

Mother and baby rest on sofa.
Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/i67tuh

Up to one in five women suffer from a postpartum mood disorder like depression. But a new study finds that 20 percent of them do not report their symptoms to a healthcare provider, even when they are asked directly. 

Phil Roeder / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/agLDmm

The state Department of Public Instruction released a shortlist of six low-performing public schools last week that are candidates for its Innovative School District. The new program will turn over control of schools to charter school operators. 

Herm / Pixabay - Creative Commons

Half of the adults in the United States are married, according to the Pew Research Center, which is a sharp decline from the 72 percent of adults married in 1960. But are marriages today better or worse than they used to be? 

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

From 2011 to 2016, more than 120 children died in North Carolina within a year of their cases being referred to social services, according to a new investigative series by The Fayetteville Observer. 

Alex Harris

Reynolds Price was a prominent and prolific voice in Southern literature. Over the span of nearly 50 years, Price wrote dozens of works, including novels, memoirs, poems and plays. 

Courtesy of Scott Reintgen

Scott Reintgen knew many of his students at Jordan High School in Durham loved reading science fiction and fantasy novels, and he wanted to encourage these young readers. But most young adult novels feature white protagonists, and many of his students were unable to see themselves in these books.

 North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue signs House Bill 799 at the Wayne County Veterans Memorial in downtown Goldsboro, N.C. July 24, 2012.
Tech. Sgt. Colette Graham / U.S. Air Force

As a political reporter Lauren Horsch often passes by the photographs of politicians that adorn the halls of the General Assembly. They capture a harsh reality: while women make up just over half of the state’s population, women make up only a quarter of the state legislature. 

Courtesy of Bryant Simon

In September, 1991, a deadly fire killed 25 people at the Imperial Food Products plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. 

Workers at the chicken processing facility tried to escape after a hydraulic line spilled flammable liquid on a fryer and ignited a fireball inside the facility.

Tyree Daye
Courtesy of Tyree Daye

 In Tyree Daye’s debut book of poetry, the young author builds on the stories and superstitions of his mother, as well as his own memories of growing up in two small towns in North Carolina: Youngsville and Rolesville. 

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry
Janie McCauley / AP

It all started when the President of the United States tweeted at a former student from Charlotte Christian High School.

Finbarr O'Reilly

Thomas J. Brennan first started writing about war through letters home to his wife when he was deployed in a remote village in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Donald Trump makes first speech to the UN
Richard Drew / AP Photo - 2017

After multiple failed attempts by Republican leaders to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP lawmakers are back with their newest repeal effort. The Graham-Cassidy bill would cap funding to Medicaid, and many opponents say it would leave millions of people without healthcare coverage. 

North Carolina Opera

Charles Frazier’s Appalachian novel and love story “Cold Mountain” became a modern classic. And now the story of Confederate deserter W.P. Inman and his journey to find his way back to his sweetheart Ada Monroe is on stage at the North Carolina Opera. 

members of diali cissokho and kaira ba
Courtesy of Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba

Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba have long had a dream of traveling to Senegal to record an album. This year they made it happen. The band just returned from M’bour, Cissokho’s hometown and the city where his family still maintains a large compound open to musical relatives and friends. 

Robert Scoble / Flickr - Creative Commons

Amazon’s recent announcement to establish a new headquarters in North America has ignited a frenzy of proposals from various cities. 

Scientist Rachel Lance poses with a replica she created of  the H.L. Hunley submarine.
Courtesy of Rachel Lance

On a winter evening in 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the first combat submarine to sink a warship. The vessel successfully sank its target but then disappeared along with its eight crew members. The Hunley was not found until 1995, when a number of hypotheses as to why it sank rose to the surface. But after hundreds of hours of calculations and experiments, a North Carolina-based naval engineer came up with a new theory: the Hunley sank itself with the blast it created by firing on the USS Housatonic.

cover of 'The Hidden Light' and headshot of Daren Wang
Courtest of Daren Wang

Daren Wang grew up in an old farmhouse in Town Line, New York, a place that was notable for being the only town north of the Mason-Dixon Line to secede from the Union. 

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