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.

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.

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The State of Things
11:24 am
Tue July 1, 2014

State Department Documents Show Threats From Blackwater During Investigation

Blackwater helicopters in Iraq
Credit Heath Powell / Flickr Creative Commons

    

During the early years of the Iraq War, the North Carolina security firm Blackwater received billions of dollars from government contracts with the State Department and the CIA. 

But the business began to suffer in 2007 when Blackwater contractors opened fire in a public square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians. The incident severely damaged American relations with Iraq. Today, four Blackwater guards are on trial. 

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The State of Things
11:07 am
Tue July 1, 2014

The Art of Drag

Vivica C. Coxx
Justin Clapp

  Drag performance has a rich history and a lively culture that is increasingly more mainstream. Drag queen Vivica C. Coxx has performed in drag shows for more than a decade, regularly hosting events at The Pinhook in Durham.

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The State of Things
11:07 am
Tue July 1, 2014

A Fictional Trilogy Explores Nature's Secrets

"Authority" is the second book in The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer

Host Frank Stasio talks with author Jeff VanderMeer

    

Author Jeff VanderMeer dreamed he was walking down a tunnel where words were appearing on the wall.

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Meet Randall Williams

Randall Williams
Credit Randall Williams

  

North Carolina native Randall Williams says he knew he was going to be a doctor when he was four years old.

Unlike many who think they know their career path, Williams never changed his mind. He started working in the emergency room of his hometown hospital in Burlington as a teenager. He served as everything from a candy striper to an orderly before going to medical school.

He is now a Raleigh physician who has taken 11 trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Palestine for medical missions. He ran for mayor of Raleigh in the latest election.

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The State Of Things
12:06 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Reflections From Former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee

Buttons from Howard Lee's campaign for Congress
Credit Ken Rudin

When Howard Lee was elected as mayor of Chapel Hill in 1969, he made history. Lee was the first African American elected to run a majority white city in the south since Reconstruction. The post marked the beginning of Lee’s long career in public service. Host Frank Stasio talks with Howard Lee and political junkie Ken Rudin.  A timeline from UNC-TV traces Lee's long career in North Carolina politics and policymaking.

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The State of Things
12:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Folk Songs From The Soul

Skylar Gudasz
Credit Marie Killen

For Skylar Gudasz, a whisper can resonate louder than a shout. The Carrboro folk singer has toured with national musicians in Big Star Third and collaborated locally with Spooky Woods. She showcases her soft, but powerful vocals and elegant songwriting in her upcoming solo album, Oleander.  

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The State of Things
12:05 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Mapping Inequality: How Redlining Is Still Affecting Inner Cities

The original Home Owners' Loan Corporation map of Durham, dated July 23, 1937. Red areas were largely African-American communities, and considered to be too risky for new home loans.
National Archives

After the stock market crash of 1929, Americans across the country were in danger of losing their houses to foreclosure. 

The federal government stepped in, providing bonds for homeowners to refinance their mortgages as part of the New Deal. But in larger cities, the government drew boundaries between neighborhoods that were eligible and ineligible for new loans. 

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The State of Things
12:03 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Segregation Again

African American students getting on a school bus in Grimesland, North Carolina in the 1950s
Credit ECU Digital Collections/Flickr

Jenn Ayscue, research associate at The Civil Rights Project and Mark Dorosin, managing attorney at The UNC Center for Civil Rights discuss the re-segregation of North Carolina schools

    

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Brown V. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ushered in the era of school desegregation.

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

The Future Of NC Film Incentives

Iron Man 3 was filmed in North Carolina.
Credit flickr

Reporters Carol Motsinger and Jorge Valencia discuss the future of NC Film Incentives

Film and television production companies in North Carolina currently receive tax refunds of 25 percent if they spend $250,000 or more. The incentives expire at the end of the year unless the General Assembly reinstates them in the budget. Critics say the incentives are too high given a number of permanent jobs the industry creates. But a report commissioned by industry players shows the state receives a positive return on its entertainment investment. 

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The State of Things
11:37 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Child Labor In North Carolina Tobacco Fields

Tobacco harvest in North Carolina
Jim Dollar/Flickr

An expert panel discusses Child Labor in North Carolina tobacco fields

Federal law permits children to work in agriculture from younger ages and for longer hours than any other industry.

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