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:

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Hunter Lewis
Courtesy of Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis grew up in a big family in North Carolina where gathering for meals was the centerpiece of the day.

He deepened his passion for food when he moved to New York to work in some of the top restaurants in the city. Eventually he merged his love of food with his journalism skills. He became food editor at Bon Appetit, then editor of Southern Living and now, editor of Cooking Light.

Ken Rudin
kenrudinpolitics.com

  Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail after a health issue sidelined her for a few days.

And health becomes a key issue in the campaign. Donald Trump releases some of his medical details of the Dr. Oz show. 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest in political news.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill last week for a short session before the November election. Their priorities include passing a spending bill to avert another government shutdown and coming up with a funding plan to fight the Zika virus. The pressure is on to adjourn the session quickly to allow embattled incumbents, like North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr, time to campaign in their home states.
 

Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent
Wikimedia

  NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for more than four decades.

In that time, she has seen a shift not only in the way the court conducts business, but also in the way individuals consume news about the court. 

Ask The Ethicist

Sep 14, 2016
Ethics
Wikimedia / Wikimedia

What should you do if you know a friend is cheating on their spouse? Should you tell a friend who applied to your firm the real, but confidential, reason she did not get hired? 

Finding solutions to the ethical dilemmas of everyday life are the work of New York Times ethicist, Kwame Anthony Appiah. Appiah is a professor of philosophy and law at NYU. 

Jordan Green

Residents at the Rolling Hills apartment complex in Winston-Salem have alleged Section 8 housing fraud by management. They have been making complaints of housing code violations for months.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Jordan Green, senior editor at The Triad City Beat, about the Rolling Hills story and larger issues of gentrification in east Winston-Salem.   

 

Image of Hank Willis Thomas's 'The natives will get restless'
ourtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

For a century, advertising campaigns have marketed products to white women by pairing phrases with images to construct a standard for white femininity. The contemporary art exhibit "Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015" ​includes a visual chronology of advertisements without the original ad's accompanying text. The collection aims to explore the intersecting dynamics of  beauty, race and gender through decades of marketing.

Image of The Allen Boys
DaShawn Hickman

The pedal steel guitar sits on a stand with foot pedals used to adjust the tension of the strings. The instrument is part of the Sacred Steel musical tradition, which was invented in 1930s-era Pentecostal churches. North Carolina’s only touring Sacred Steel band is The Allen Boys.

Meet Nancy Petty

Sep 12, 2016
Pullen Baptist Church

As an activist pastor at Raleigh’s progressive Pullen Baptist Church, Nancy Petty is often making news. She is openly gay and has championed marriage equality and LGBT rights. She has led Moral Monday protests and chairs the Reverend William Barber’s Repairers of the Breach board. Most recently her work has focused on facilitating interfaith dialogue with Raleigh’s Muslim community and fighting Islamaphobia and racism.  Her transformative journey from her small town upbringing in Shelby, North Carolina, paralleled major social shifts happening in the churches she has served.

Voting sign
JustGrimes on Flickr

The North Carolina State Board of Elections makes final decisions on early voting schedules where the local boards couldn't come to an agreement. Leaders on both sides of the aisle weighed in. Will the election rules finally be set or will more legal action follow? Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol bureau chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest. 

Retired New York City firefighter Joseph McCormick visits the South Pool prior to a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
ASSOCIATED PRESS/ Bryan R. Smith / ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The event caused major shifts in the political, social and economic climates around the world, and has given birth to a wide array of new academic scholarship.

 

 

An image of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
Andrea Tani

Diali Cissokho comes from a long line of musicians and griots in his home country of Senegal. So when he came to the United States, continuing to play music was a natural progression. He teamed up with musicians from North Carolina to form a group called Kaira Ba.

The movie “Spotlight” won high praise and an Academy Award for best picture in 2016. But now that the Oscar parties are over, the real people at the heart of the story are fighting to stay in the public eye. Phil Saviano is the whistleblower featured in the film. He, along with local survivor and author Charles L. Bailey, Jr., join host Frank Stasio to talk about the fallout from the film and their efforts to change laws and perceptions surrounding child sexual abuse.

An image of 'Invisibilia' co-host Lulu Miller
Grace Miller

 

In her podcast "Invisibilia," Lulu Miller explores the invisible forces that guide human behavior. Topics have included explorations of emotions like fear and loneliness or social categories like gender.

  Miller also examines the dynamics behind personal creativity and how our commitment to "dream" projects might be constraining our creative minds.

An image of musician Joan Shelley
Nathan Salsburg

Singer-songwriter Joan Shelley believes in the power of place. She strives to immerse herself in a location's history and folklore, whether that be her hometown of Louisville, Ky. or the islands of Greece.

  Host Frank Stasio talks with Shelley about how she overcame stage fright and now travels the world writing songs.

Am image of a drone capturing videos and still images of an apartment building in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Last week, the Raleigh-based company PrecisionHawk became the first company to acquire a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows pilots to fly commercial drones beyond the line-of-sight.

  PrecisionHawk uses drones for aerial data analysis in industries like agriculture. The F.A.A. waiver is an extension of new federal regulations that will allow more companies to use drones for commercial use. 

The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans
Grand Harbor Press

 Therapist Elizabeth Heaney left her private practice to participate in a Defense Department initiative that offers free, confidential counseling to combat veterans and their families. Despite more than 30 years of counseling experience, she realized that her military clients were unlike any patients she’d met before. She learned to let go of preconceived notions of the military and to adopt new ways to forge relationships with her tight-lipped clients. Gradually the stories of war, loss and re-adjustment to civilian life came tumbling out.

Welcome to Florida sign
Joelk75 and DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Author and comedian Dave Barry is not a Florida native, but he has embraced the state as his homeland. In his new book, “Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/2016), he explores the wacky landmarks and zany stories of the Sunshine State.

 Director Michael Lewis talks with cast on Men of Israel film shoot.
Wikipedia

Traditionally, the media has blurred the line between public and private lives, and the digital age has almost eliminated that distinction entirely. Nowhere is the private becoming public more evident than in pornography. Professor Richard Cante examines the social and political implications of pornography. He is a professor of media and technology studies in the Communication department at UNC-Chapel Hill. Host Frank Stasio talks with Cante about the intersection of media and pornography.

An image of Yaba Blay
Sabriya Simon

  Note: This segment originally aired on Monday, March 7, 2016.

Growing up in New Orleans, Yaba Blay saw firsthand the different roles one navigates as an African-American. At home, she had to adjust to the Ghanaian culture of her parents, but outside the house, her dark skin set her apart from New Orleans' light-skinned Creole community.

Photo of Felicia Reeves
Suzan Bayorgeon

Prosecutors in North Carolina and New Jersey are reopening the case of Felicia Reeves, a western North Carolina woman who was found dead in New Jersey last year.

Authorities originally concluded that Reeves had taken her own life in a motel room, but Reeves had claimed to be a police informant, raising questions about whether someone would have wanted her dead.

There is no evidence that police in New Jersey followed that lead during their investigation of Reeves' death.

Photo of the Benvenue grill in Rocky Mount
Dudley Marchi

The Tar Heel State might not be the first place one would expect to find French influence. In fact, most people associate early North Carolina with English influence.

But a new book by NC State professor Dudley Marchi explores the many connections between French culture and the Old North State.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Marchi about "FraNCe: The French Heritage of North Carolina."

An image of The Bucket Brothers with host Frank Stasio
Charlie Shelton-Ormond / WUNC

Logan Valleroy and Casey Valleroy might be teenagers, but their musical prowess makes them seem like professional musicians. The brothers have been playing music since they were young.

Today, the pair play a myriad of instruments like the violin, keyboard, drums, saxophone and guitar, but started out as kids banging on pots and pans around the house. The Bucket Brothers new album is called "Our State."

Photo of Rome's Gay Pride parade
Fabio Frustaci / AP Photo

LGBT issues continue to make headlines across the country, whether it's in regards to North Carolina's controversial HB2 or how the presidential candidates plan to address LGBT rights.

But how does the U.S. compare to other countries in terms of cultural support and government policies for its LGBT community?

Vivian Howard, Cynthia Hill, A Chef's Life
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Chef Vivian Howard stars in the fourth season of her PBS show, "A Chef’s Life," which debuts later this month. The premiere precedes the release of a Howard’s first cookbook, "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes From My Corner of the South."

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