Garret K. Woodward

'An Eternity Away': Six Years In A North Vietnamese Prison Camp

As Americans commemorate the sacrifices of our soldiers this Veterans Day, one Macon man recounts his time as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, which he called “an eternity away” from his boyhood Franklin home. When Tom McNish finally returned to his 400-acre boyhood home, tucked up next to a babbling brook near the top of a broad mountain holler in rural Macon County, he found seven years worth of Christmas presents sitting under a tree. But it wasn’t Christmas; it was May, 1973, and...

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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.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has defeated Republican Martha McSally to win the Arizona Senate race, the Associated Press projected Monday evening.

With Sinema's victory to flip the open seat of retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, she becomes the first Democrat Arizona has elected to the Senate since 1988. She will not only be the state's first female senator but will also be the first openly bisexual senator in U.S. history.

Updated at 8:16 p.m. ET

As recounts are underway in Florida, a judge issued a warning on Monday to "ramp down the rhetoric" as top Republicans — including President Trump — are casting doubt on the process.

Investors worried about a slowdown in global growth helped push stocks sharply lower Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 602 points, or 2.3 percent.

Technology stocks fared especially badly, with Apple down 5 percent, after a report it was cutting orders for iPhone parts. The decline knocked 100 points off the Dow and helped lead to a broader rout. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell almost 2.8 percent., wiping out its gains for November.

Commercial satellite imagery has revealed the location and layout of a previously undisclosed North Korean missile base, including deep underground tunnels designed to house the weapons.

"Stan Lee" was a pseudonym. Which is to say: an alter ego. A larger-than-life persona whose secret identity was that of not-particularly-mild-mannered writer Stanley Martin Lieber.

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue through the early part of this week in California as the state battles several wildfires.

The Camp Fire in Northern California, which started Thursday, is the state's most destructive fire ever, scorching more than 113,000 acres north of Sacramento and killing 29 people so far, according to state officials on Monday. In Southern California, officials say the Woolsey Fire, which also started Thursday, has killed at least two people and burned more than 91,000 acres.

The I-word is popping up again in Washington D.C.: infrastructure.

It's one of the few issues on which President Trump and Democrats in Congress might be able to agree. Both sides say they're willing to work together on a plan to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges, transit and water systems.

"It really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation," Trump said in his news conference last Wednesday. While he was combative on a lot of issues, this wasn't one of them: "We have a lot of things in common on infrastructure," he added.

Having a diverse newsroom is crucial if NPR wants to tell stories that matter to an increasingly diverse country. For that reason, in each year of my tenure I have requested the newsroom staff diversity statistics from NPR's human resources department. Numbers don't tell the whole story, of course, but they offer one way to keep NPR's progress (or lack of significant progress in recent years) front and center.

In a video posted on Twitter over the weekend, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi is seen complimenting a supporter by saying, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

Hyde-Smith, who is white, is the appointed incumbent locked in a runoff for her Senate seat with Democratic challenger Mike Espy, a former congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary who is African-American.

Israel and militants in Gaza traded rocket and mortar fire Monday, a flare-up of violence prompted by an Israeli military operation over the weekend that resulted in the deaths of seven Palestinians and one Israeli.

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Matt Wilson remembers tagging along with his older brother, Brian, to comic book shops near his family home of Shelby, N.C. Brian was interested in the investment potential of comic books. The younger Wilson had a different motive.

“I didn’t know about the collectibility aspect of it,” he said. “More than anything, I just liked reading them. I’d find some books to buy and I would just read them over and over again, cover to cover.

Courtesy of Tina Barr

Tina Barr earned a PhD in poetry and a tenured professorship at a small college, and then she met a jazz pianist.

“My husband was willing to do his work or die, so he spent years living in Brooklyn, sleeping on a futon rolled up under his piano,” Barr said. “He really was an example to me of how to be an artist, and so I feel like now I can call myself a writer.”

Courtesy of Okapi

Scott Gorski and Lindsey Miller are lucky they found each other, because it’s hard to imagine them making music with anyone else.

“You learn what you like by identifying what it is you don’t identify with,” Gorski said. “That’s an easier way of exploring and identifying what it is that resonates with you.”

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Only those involved with local theater might be surprised Steven Samuels is back in action.

In September of last year, Samuels was fired from Asheville’s Magnetic Theatre, which Samuels co-founded and ran for eight seasons. He was still smarting, still angry, when he decided, in some respects, to pick up right where he left off, but with a fresh company.

“My concern and caring for other artists is so strong that, even though I knew the best thing I could do was focus on myself and my family, I couldn’t do that,” he said. “I had to find a way to support these other artists, as well.”