The State of Things

David Joy's new book tells the story of a young man working for his father's meth ring in rural North Carolina.
David-Joy.com

Jacob McNeely grew up in the mountains of North Carolina.

A life of crime as an employee of his father's meth ring is the only one he has ever known. But a violent event and a reunion with his first love offer McNeely the possibility of escape. 

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

    

Gov. Pat McCrory filed new forms with the State Ethics Commission that show previously undisclosed travel expenses. 

The governor now says outside groups paid for seven of his trips in 2013, totaling more than $13,000. The money comes from appearances at national governors' conferences, including four backed by the Republican Party. 

The governor says it is appropriate for those groups to pay for his travel. Critics say failure to show the expenses on the original form follows a pattern of nondisclosure at the governor's office.

"The Last Barn Dance" tells the story of North Carolina dairy farmer Randy Lewis.
Ted Richardson and Jason Arthurs

    

Randy Lewis' dairy farm has been a gathering place for the people of Eli Whitney, N.C., for more than 50 years.

His family's annual barn dances are living relics of simpler times in North Carolina's agricultural industry.

But the Great Recession forced farmers to find new ways to save those traditions. Many went out of business. Lewis and a handful of others stopped falling further into debt by bottling their own milk. But it remains to be seen whether cultural traditions like the barn dance will stay alive.

Oysters On The Rise

Mar 10, 2015
North Carolina's oyster sales doubled between 2005 and 2012.
Miwok / Flickr Creative Commons

  

Oyster growers, researchers and enthusiasts gather in Raleigh today and tomorrow for the North Carolina Oyster Summit.

Food writer and oyster expert Rowan Jacobsen will give the event's keynote address on the rise of oysterculture in the southeastern U.S. and North Carolina. He wrote a book, A Geography of Oysters: the Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America (Bloomsbury USA/2007).

Penn State Special Collections

    

Rev. Clark Olsen still remembers every detail of the incident that killed a fellow white minister in Selma, Alabama 50 years ago.

Rev. Olsen was one of many clergy members that arrived in Selma on this day in 1965 to show solidarity with black voting rights protestors, and he was at the side of Rev. James Reeb when four segregationists attacked them on the night of March 9, 1965.

Rev. Reeb died two days later. Rev. Olsen now lives in Asheville and still works to keep the memory of Selma and Rev. Reeb alive.

Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his budget plan yesterday.

Education tops the governor's priority list but critics say it doesn't go far enough. Meanwhile, in Washington, Senate democrats are calling for a vote on North Carolina native Loretta Lynch's confirmation as attorney general. Both North Carolina senators have pledged to vote against her confirmation. 

Kevin Spacey plays southern politician Frank Underwood in the Netflix series "House of Cards."
Wikimedia Commons

In the Netflix hit series, House of Cards, Kevin Spacey plays a politician from Gaffney, South Carolina named Frank Underwood.

The fictional president has a heavy southern accent, but some question its authenticity. Vox.com produced a popular video analyzing Spacey's "r-dropping."

Governor Pat McCrory released his budgetary agenda today.
Wikimedia Commons

    

Governor Pat McCrory set forth his budgetary agenda today.

The proposed budget included emphasis on increased educational spending. The most recent projections show a $270 million shortfall, but state budget director Lee Roberts says the deficit is small relative to the overall budget.

The legislature will consider the governor's proposal in the next few weeks.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Roberts about the budget priorities. 

Split-brain studies have illuminated how the brain functions and raised bigger philosophical questions like: what is a mind, and what would it mean to have two minds?
Wikimedia Commons

Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that uses brain damage or atypical brains to theorize about the structure of the mind.

Elizabeth Schechter is a philosopher who uses cognitive neuropsychology to ponder bigger philosophical questions like: What is a mind? What is self consciousness? What would it mean to have two minds?

Hannah Clementine is the author of the new book "Nothing But Your Memories."
Hannah Clementine

    

Hannah Clementine started writing when she was just nine years old. She recently published her first novel after winning the 2013 BookLogix Young Writers Contest. 

Nothing But Your Memories (BookLogix/2014) explores the emergence of ‘The Alternation of Generation’ society in which overpopulation forces bodies and time to be shared. The novel ponders the connection between memory and identity, the importance of race, and the significance of social constructs like the family unit.

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