Reviewing A Busy Week In WNC Politics

Much of the focus in North Carolina politics this week was on the continuing revelations of alleged election fraud in the state's 9th Congressional district, or at the state capitol in Raleigh where the General Assembly was in session. But a lot also happened in Western North Carolina this week. Republican Congressman Mark Meadows was under consideration to become President Trump's next chief of staff, until the president this week told Meadows "we need him in Congress" where he has become...

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The State of Things

“The State of Things” covers diverse issues & topics in NC. Frank Stasio talks to authors, musicians, politicians, & citizens about subjects that matter to North Carolinians.

It's Christmas and Kellyanne Conway spots Donald Trump at a party.

Cambodia Nabs More Than 3 Tons Of Illegal Ivory

4 hours ago

The tusks were hidden among marble in an abandoned shipping container in Cambodia's Phnom Penh port. Sent from Mozambique, these yellowing prizes arrived last year, AFP reports. The owner of the shipment never arrived to pick up the cargo, and a tip from the U.S. embassy alerted Cambodian authorities to the haul.

Longtime Alaska fisherman Bill Harrington has a few choices words about killer whales.

"As far as I'm concerned, they're only thieves in tuxedos," Harrington says.

He's retired now, but a video from a decade ago shows him pulling in his line as he curses out a pod of killer whales swarming his boat. His catch is exposed; he is not happy. A sperm whale bursts out of the water and Harrington tells them what he really thinks. He knows even just a couple of killer whales could pick his line clean.

A spike in blood pressure. A racing heart rate. Sweaty palms.

For many adults, this is what they feel when faced with difficult math.

But for kids, math anxiety isn't just a feeling, it can affect their ability to do well in school. This fear tends to creep up on students when performance matters the most, like during exams or while speaking in class.

One reason for a kid's math anxiety? How their parents feel about the subject.

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The Philippines and the United States have reached a rare meeting of the minds: Both are enthralled that church bells seized by the U.S. have been returned to the Philippines after 117 years.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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More than four millennia after being chiseled by Egyptian artisans, the intricate hieroglyphics and stone carvings of an ancient tomb have been uncovered.

Egyptian officials made the announcement Saturday at the site of the discovery in Saqqara, outside of Cairo, according to multiple media reports. Photographs of the tomb show a narrow doorway leading to a rectangular room, its walls covered with carved symbols, images and human forms. Particularly striking are their well-preserved colors – light yellows, rich blues and a reddish-brown skin tone.

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News


It’s an early December evening, and cellist Franklin Keel is rehearsing with the Blue Ridge Orchestra. He’s the featured soloist in their upcoming program, and he wants to hear this Vivaldi cello concerto in a particular way.

“Ignore the half-rest,” he tells his fellow musicians. “Play quarter, rest, quarter, rest.”

Just from this window, you might see Keel as an exacting musician. In a conversation the following day, he insisted that’s far from the case.

Matt Peiken | BPR News


At first listen to his new album, it would be easy to cast Marley Carroll as a musician whose instruments are a computer and software.

“Once I started really getting into computer-based production, that was the thing that showed me it was possible to produce full records on my own,” he said. “Basically opening up this program and hooking up a MIDI keyboard and hearing a Rhodes sound or a Strat or drum set, it just seemed like the whole universe of musical possibilities was suddenly available to me.”

Courtesy of Aaron Snook


Aaron Snook has devoted his professional life to creating theater off the beaten path.

“I started envisioning a theater that was different, that was more inclusive, and more community building,” he said. “The mission itself is to create new American myths.”

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Monica McDaniel didn’t grow up with theater and hasn’t seen much theater as an adult. So even she can’t quite answer why she thought about writing her first play.

“I was sitting at a family member’s house, watching TV and I was like “What would you think if I did a play?’ And she was like ‘OK?” And I just went home and wrote a play,” McDaniel recalled. “I feel like God gives me something and I go with it.”