The State of Things

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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.

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Get a daily show update, and special news.

Border Odyssey

Jun 23, 2015
Image of US/Mexico border
Charles Thompson

The border that separates the United States from Mexico stretches across four states and spans almost 2,000 miles, but the issues that arise from this separation travel an even greater distance. Immigration touches on the economic, social and political fabric of all 50 states.

Sydney Scherr

Raleigh metalsmith and enameller Sydney Scherr traveled to Malaysia in 2009 to build the jewelry design program at Raffles College of Higher Education. Through a chance meeting with a fellow metalsmith, Scherr began to document the building of a 22-foot tall Hindu temple chariot. 

The work consists of 1,760 pounds of silver and many embellishments. The temple travels throughout communities. Scherr is the first female ever permitted to participate in the construction of such a temple.

Image of Joel Bourne
Andrew Tie / WUNC

Eastern North Carolina native Joel Bourne was living down the road from his family farm at the end of the Green Revolution in the mid-20th century.

At that time, newly modified wheat seeds produced an agricultural boom that allowed farmers across the world to grow more crops than ever before. It was the answer to a growing crisis of food scarcity.

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

Sometimes you watch a movie and realize that it is just, well...bad. Maybe the acting is subpar or the film lacks a cohesive plot. But sometimes you watch these so-called bad movies and realize you actually like them. Despite the puns, cheesy sound effects or box office flop, you like the movie but don't want everyone knowing how much you like it. Some of these movies probably deserve Golden Razzy consideration. 

Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC
Howard Arnoff / Flickr

A gunman shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday evening. 

Police arrested a 21-year-old white man from Lexington, South Carolina, Dylann Roof. 

Host Frank Stasio talks about the latest with NPR correspondent Debbie Elliott

Image of Omar Currie
Andrew Tie / WUNC

The problem started on what Omar Currie thought was a normal day.

It eventually ended with Currie and a vice principal at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School resigning. What prompted the controversy? Currie chose  to read a fairy tale titled “King & King" to his class.

Omar Currie is a University of North Carolina graduate who learned of “King & King” during his training as a teaching fellow. He read the book to his third grade students at Efland-Cheeks in an effort to teach understanding and empathy as they struggled with a bullying problem. 

Jill Andrews press photo.
http://jillandrews.com/press-photos

Musician Jill Andrews began her music career in the early 2000’s as the cofounder of the alt-country group, the everybodyfields. After releasing three albums and touring the country with the everybodyfields, she decided to make a go of it on her own. 

She has been releasing music as a solo artist since 2009. Her music has been showcased on the TV shows Grey's Anatomy, Nashville, Hart of Dixie and American Idol. 

Photo: The North Carolina seal in front of the state legislative building
Jorge Valencia

Lawmakers take up the state's budget with a month-end deadline looming. Senate leaders passed their plan this morning. It increases pay for new teachers but cuts back on teaching assistants. 

The $21 billion plan also puts Medicaid under the control of an outside agency. But the Senate plan differs greatly from the House proposal and the Governor's plan. Lawmakers need to reconcile the differences before June 30 or pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded.

Image of Ashley White, who lived in Raeford and died in action in 2011 and became the first woman remembered on the National Infantry Museum's Memorial Walk.
Department of Defense

American women were officially banned from serving in combat roles until 2013. But the new book “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield” (Harper Collins/2015) documents the story of a team of women who were on night raids alongside Navy Seals and Green Berets before the ban was lifted.

Image of group shot of Daniel Murphy, Mark Phialas, Jim O'Brien, Preston Campbell and Jason Hassell
Stephen J. Larson/ Theatre In The Park / Theatre In The Park

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and blow up Parliament. The “official” story is that Catholic sympathizers were protesting a Protestant king, but many disagree and argue that it was a plot by Protestants to discredit Catholics.

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