The State of Things

The Music Of See Gulls

Jul 24, 2015
Image of See Gulls
Alex Boerner

After broken up bands and relationships, the pop punk band See Gulls formed two years ago.

They recently released their first EP, which they tracked at Fidelitorium Recordings with well-known producer Mitch Easter.

Host Frank Stasio talks to See Gulls: Sarah Fuller on lead vocals and guitar, Maria Albani on drums, Leah Gibson on bass, and Duncan Webster on guitar, about their music and lyrical inspirations.

Image of stethoscope
Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

People who live in rural North Carolina are still more likely to suffer from serious health problems than their urban counterparts. Rural counties show higher rates of heart disease and obesity, and rural residents have a lower life expectancy.

The recent closures of rural hospitals around the state makes those residents even more vulnerable. Research shows that systemic problems like slow economic development and spotty insurance coverage also contribute to rural health disparities.

Fayetteville teacher assistant Grace King works with first graders on sight words.
Reema Khrais

Teacher assistant positions in North Carolina have been cut steadily in recent years. And the North Carolina Senate's proposed budget eliminates funding for about 8,500 more TAs in order to hire more teachers.

Teacher assistants and researchers are split on the effectiveness of TAs. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC reporter Reema Khrais about the state of teacher assistant jobs.

Image of Henrietta Bingham (middle) with her brother, nephews and nieces in 1942.
Emily Bingham

When Emily Bingham chose to become an author and historian she set one rule for herself: she would never write anything about her own family. The legendary Louisville media moguls had already been in the headlines far too much for stories about their family politics and lawsuits.

I, Destini

Jul 22, 2015
Image of video being shot for the documentary - I, Destini. Nicholas Pilarski and Destini Riley (left) are working on a documentary to show what it's like having a family member in prison.
Nicholas Pilarski

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics there are approximately 2.3 million people in prisons or local jails in the United States. And many of those individuals have family members living life on the outside who experience their own set of challenges.

Image of Toyota Plant in Indiana. North Carolina was in the running to be the home of Toyota's North American Headquarters in 2014, but Plano, Texas won the bid.
Kurt Weber / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina was able to lure 47 new or expansion business projects to the state last year. The haul promises to bring more than 8,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in capital investment.

But the state recently lost the bids for a Volvo manufacturing plant and the Mercedes Benz U.S. headquarters.

So how's the state doing with economic development overall?

Image of Kathleen DuVal. Kathleen DuVal is a professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of 'Independence Lost.'
Mary Lide Parker

Stories of the American Revolution often engender images of Paul Revere on horseback, George Washington crossing the Delaware or Red Coats firing during the Boston Massacre.

But down along the Gulf Coast, there were others involved in the revolution, many of whom changed American history.

Image of train running in western North Carolina. When the Western North Carolina Railroad Company expanded railroad access to western North Carolina, it allowed several industries to boom.
Gerald Ledford Collection

Railroads have always been important to the economic development of North Carolina, but for many years the western part of the state was left out of the equation. The intense, mountainous terrain deterred companies from developing in the area around Asheville.

But in 1877, the state-owned Western North Carolina Railroad Company, headed by Maj. James H. Wilson, began boring through the mountains west of Old Fort. And this started a new chapter in western North Carolina history. Industries like mining, timber and tourism all began to boom.

Image of Marshall Brain, creator of howstuffworks.com and a professor at N.C. State
N.C. State University

North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain grew up in southern California with a father who was a computer scientist at NASA during the agency's heyday.

Brain watched his father work on lunar excursion modules for the Apollo missions and later, major train systems in San Francisco and Atlanta.

In his spare time, he helped Marshall build a bubble machine out of spare parts. It was an enchanting childhood, and it is no wonder that Marshall was a curious boy who developed a love for all things mechanical. 

Image of video poker
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly three years after North Carolina outlawed Internet sweepstakes games, a new report shows how hard owners fought to keep them going.

  

They spent $10 million on lawyers and lobbyists over four years.

The investigation has led to the resignation of one member of the state Board of Elections.

Some of the money also went to political campaigns in North Carolina, but the report says there were no violations of campaign finance law. 

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