The State of Things

WUNC's The State of Things brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you.  The State of Things Podcast presents new stories every weekday with topics from our show.  To subscribe:

Get a daily show update and special news. Subscribe to our podcast on Google Play or iTunes.  Or, use the links at the right.

Visit the main SOT page.

DACA rally in downtown Durham
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program yesterday.

Courtesy of Benjamin Rachlin

In 1987 Willie Grimes was wrongfully accused of raping a 69-year-old widow in Hickory, North Carolina. Despite little evidence against him, Grimes was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life plus nine years in prison.

Courtesy of Heather Bell Adams

Attorney Heather Bell Adams is used to crafting persuasive stories. But in the courtroom they have to be entirely factual.

Doctor checks on baby at hosptial
Slava / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/8mh8fz

Hospital executives announced last week that the state’s largest hospital system, Carolinas Healthcare, would combine with UNC Health. They called the nearly $14 billion move “a marriage, not a merger.” 

Man stares at phone in dark room.
Japanexperterna.se / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/sBDC4d

Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC tech podcast “Note to Self,” has spent years thinking about how people interact with technology. Zomorodi led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices. 

The cast of South Pacific
VanderVeen Photographers

In 1949 composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein premiered their hit musical “South Pacific.” It tells the story of how an American nurse and lieutenant find new love across cultural and racial lines. 

Duke University

Makeba Wilbourn has been immersed in the subtleties of language since she was a child.

As the daughter of a northern white mother and southern black father, she constantly changed the way she spoke to her own family. And as she grew older, she realized she had to be an expert at code-switching in order to succeed as a biracial woman.

Today, Makeba studies how children develop those differences in language, and how that might contribute to our racial biases.

Trump sits at head of table to discuss public safety operations in Texas in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey.
Evan Vucci / AP Photo - 2017

President Donald Trump traveled to Texas this week in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He met with a number of government officials and rescue workers but received criticism for not meeting with flood victims. 

Takao Bill Manbo / Courtesy of Eric Muller at Scapegoat Cities

Seventy-five years ago the U.S. government relocated more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans into internment camps following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Parents were separated from their children, and many individuals were forced to give up their property.

From left: Robert Thornhill, Pattie Hopkins, Ben Parker, Scott E. Warren, and Hank Smith
Courtesy of Hank, Pattie and the Current

Classically-trained violinist and fiddler Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw and bluegrass banjo player Hank Smith might seem like an unlikely duo. But Hank Smith grew up testing the limits of his instrument and bending the conventional genre in unexpected ways. 

Female barista at espresso machine
Wikimedia Commons

Millennials have a reputation for being overeducated and undermotivated when it comes to working and saving money. But a forthcoming report from the left-leaning North Carolina Justice Center explains that millennials face pressures previous generations were not subject to, and that state and national policies compound their difficulties in building wealth and finding good jobs. 

patrons at self checkout
Wikipedia Commons

The balance of people and machines in the workplace is shifting. 

Courtesy of James Costa

There is no doubt that Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s changed his life’s work. It  put him on the path to develop his game-changing theory of evolution. But Darwin’s observations were not isolated to one exploration. For years after his pivotal excursion, Darwin conducted unorthodox and innovative experiments to test his speculations, and he often did so in his own backyard. 

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. 

Jurassic Park at Universal Studios
Marco Becerra / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/aKoNmk

Dinosaurs have graced the silver screen since the early 20th century. But depictions of the pre-historic creatures in movies are often comically inaccurate. 

Cover of 'The Salt Line' by Holly Goddard Jones
Courtesy of Holly Goodard Jones

Holly Goddard Jones was in between projects when she sat down to write a little horror story about killer ticks. But literary questions kept sneaking into her thoughts, and as she probed the backstories and motivations of her characters, her short thriller grew into a novel. 

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina House and Senate have approved new plans for dozens of district boundaries. 

Gone With The Wind (1939) - Vivien Leigh & Hattie McDaniel
Rossano aka Bud Care / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/prAfHm

Hollywood was just getting its glamorous start in the early 1900s, and Southerners played a surprisingly important role in the fledgeling industry. Notable southern producers and corrupt movie theater moguls helped shape the growing industry, just as their subject matter shaped perceptions of the South and propagated racial stereotypes. 

from left to right: Dana Marks, Drina Dunlap, Jessica Hudson, Meredith Sause)
Kim Black

Viv Albertine was a guitar player for The Slits, a British punk band from the late ‘70s. She rubbed elbows with members of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, but unlike her male punk peers, she heard ‘no’ much more often than she heard ‘yes.’ But that did not deter her from doing what she wanted to do anyway. 

Courtesy of Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Stephanie Elizondo Griest grew up between two cultural identities: her father is white from Kansas, and her mother is Chicana, or Mexican-American.

Autumn Sandeen, veteran, holds a picture of herself as a man and navy seaman recruit.
Gregory Bull / AP Photo

In the past decade the military has become increasingly open to service members of different genders and sexual identities.

Jedediah Purdy and Norman Wirzba sit together on some rocks.
Donn Young / Duke University

The Anthropocene is considered by many scholars and scientists to be the epoch in which humans became a dominant force in shaping the world around us. 

Courtesy of Africa Unplugged

The music of Africa Unplugged harkens back to the African diaspora. The Greensboro-based group channels jazz and funk, while still maintaining roots in West African traditions. 

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

From 2010-2015, North Carolina’s public university teacher training programs experienced a 30 percent decrease in enrollment. Meanwhile the state also saw a high rate of teacher turnover. 

James Mitchell (left) and John Jessen
Trial Evidence / ACLU via AP

A settlement was reached last week in a lawsuit against two psychologists who were paid by the CIA to develop its post-9/11 interrogation program.

Pxhere - Creative Commons

Sisters in Crime is an organization that asks the tough questions, like how many hours does it take for rigor mortis to set in, and which critters feast on dead bodies. The group is a collection of women crime writers and readers who meet regularly to support each other’s writing. 

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina lawmakers released new voting maps last weekend. The freshly-drawn district lines come after 28 House and Senate districts were found by the U.S. Supreme Court to be illegally gerrymandered along racial lines. 

Army Sgt. David Breaud directs a high water vehicle down a flooded roadway.
Sgt. Jerry Rushing / U.S. Department of Defense

This week the Trump administration disbanded a federal advisory committee for the National Climate Assessment. It is one of several steps President Donald Trump has taken to diminish the fight against climate change. But Trump’s skepticism of climate change puts him at odds with officials in the Pentagon. 

Pixabay - Creative Commons

When Josh Sabey’s sister was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, his family wanted to provide her with the best care possible. But after spending thousands of dollars and seeing no improvement for years, they started to investigate what was going wrong. 

Confederate Monuments, Robert E. Lee, Duke Chapel, Duke University
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Confederate monuments have become flash points for a national debate about free speech, race and memory. Statues have been removed in more than a dozen states including Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Florida and New York. 

Pages