Frank Stasio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

The band Natural Born Leaders describes its sound as “the Fugees meets Black Sabbath.” The Asheville-based group is comprised of five members whose musical styles and influences range from metal and hard rock to hip-hop and folk.

Asheville may be tucked away in the mountains, but it is quickly building a reputation as “climate city,” a home for researchers, scientific entrepreneurs and nonprofit and governmental organizations working to address climate change.

A highway expansion project in Asheville is set to destroy several homes in a historically black community for the third time. Parts of the Burton Street Neighborhood in West Asheville were demolished by state highway projects in the 1950s and 1960s. Now the proposed Interstate 26 connection project will go through the neighborhood again.

Racial segregation persists in American neighborhoods, and there is an enduring belief that the divide stems from factors like wealth, personal prejudice, and the decision to live among one’s own. In his latest book, housing policy expert Richard Rothstein rips aparts that belief. Instead, he argues decades of deliberate U.S. government policies created the racially-divided neighborhoods that exist across the country today.

Rothstein explains the long term effects of discriminatory housing policies that have led to the wealth and education gaps between white and black Americans. Host Frank Stasio interviews Rothstein about his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” (Liveright Publishing/2017).


  Days before Hurricane Florence hit, rural Jones County ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents. Left were behind dozens of migrant farm workers who woke up on Sept.15 to find waist-high deep water and property floating away.

 Tena Clark may not be a household name, but most people have heard her music. She has written and produced for legends like Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Leann Rimes. She won a Grammy for her work with Natalie Cole, and contributed to the soundtracks for hit movies like “Hope Floats” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

Ana Nuñez was nine years old before she ever stepped foot inside a grocery store or tasted an apple. Nuñez grew up in Cuba with intermittent access to food and medicine and abundant electricity shortages. In 1991 her father defected to the United States, and a couple years later the family followed.

Millions of Americans were glued to their screens last Thursday when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told her story of sexual assault to the Senate Judiciary Committee and an angry Brett Kavanaugh defended his name against the allegations. A similar battle played out more than two decades ago during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Selective taxes on items like cigarettes and alcohol are often imposed by the U.S. government to help consumers make better choices. But according to economist Todd Nesbit, these so-called “sin taxes” can have unintended consequences that thwart this mission.

Two years ago, the Afrofuturist digital makerspace in Durham started offering hip-hop workshops. Local students gathered at Blackspace to learn about writing and met each Friday night in a public park to rap and make beats. Out of those gatherings, a group of students – who call themselves the Blackspace Afronauts – put together their first album: “Revenge Of The Afronauts.”

The man once known fondly as “America’s Dad” now faces three to 10 years in state prison. 81-year-old Bill Cosby was sentenced last week for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, one of more than 60 women who has come forward with assault allegations against Cosby.

As Hurricane Florence flood waters continue to recede, thousands of students are still out of school in North Carolina. Estimates show this storm caused three times as much damage to the state’s schools as Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Mirsad Hadzikadic left his home of Yugoslavia in 1984 to earn a Ph.D. in the United States. He spent more than three decades as a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte but never forgot his roots.

Kitchens in America’s top-rated restaurants have long been a boys club in which men hold the positions of power and women have to play by their rules, even when they cross the line. However, the reaction to allegations against top chefs and media darlings like Mario Batali show that the tides may be turning as the #MeToo movement enters the kitchen.

State lawmakers hold a special session Tuesday to discuss the response to Hurricane Florence. Legislators will decide how much money to appropriate for disaster relief while citizens and state agencies are still trying to tally up the damages.

When writer Jo Maeder’s parents split up, she vividly remembers her dad announcing: I’m retiring and moving to Miami. Who is coming with me? She was eager to pick up her life and start anew and spent her late high school and early college years under her father’s supervision. But despite the time they spent together, Maeder feels like she did not really get to know her father until after he passed away.

Scholar Lawrence Grossberg has spent decades documenting the rise of the political right. In his latest book, he places the rise of President Trump within the historical timeline of American conservatism.

“Under The Cover Of Chaos: Trump and the Battle for the American Right” (Pluto Press/ 2018) digs into how the turmoil of the Trump presidency has spurred an “explosion of vital and diverse forms of organizing” on the left, but also how that organizing has bypassed real conversations that acknowledge the core of political disagreements and develop long-term strategy.

When Melina Kibbe took the helm of the department of surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 2016, she was only the 15th woman in the country in that role. Beyond carving a path as a woman in a top spot in the medical world, Kibbe is also on a mission for sex equity in research.

Most horror movies are meant to be spooky and scary...but bad acting or cheap special effects can turn a terrifying tale into campy one. The classic example is “Evil Dead” or a B movie like “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

Some films blend horror with humor, two genres that some would call opposites. “Shaun of the Dead” and “Young Frankenstein” are two well-known comedy-horror movies.

The sounds of bluegrass have taken over the streets and venues of Raleigh. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass is a five-day event that strings together free downtown shows, ticketed showcases, a business of bluegrass conference and the illustrious annual International Bluegrass Music Awards

Many subgenres of bluegrass can be quickly traced back to Christian values and ideals, but that is not the case for the music of Nefesh Mountain. The husband and wife team fuse traditional bluegrass music with elements of their own Jewish heritage and traditions. They were recognized for this approach during a panel discussion about diversity and inclusion at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association business conference. 

 Bluegrass has been a part of Becky Buller’s life since she was five years old. She grew up as the fiddler in her family band in Minnesota, received classical violin lessons and learned about bluegrass fiddling from other musicians at various music festivals. 

 The historic flooding from Florence has eased, but communities and environmentalists are just beginning to take stock of the damage it caused.

Marie Antoinette’s biggest crime was being born to a family of wealth and privilege during a time of political upheaval. She was executed by guillotine. 

In his new book, political science professor Patrick Deneen calls on readers to take a long, hard look at America’s oft-exalted liberal ideology.

What happens when the world of fine art and the world of filmmaking meet? This month on Movies on the Radio, The State of Things is not tackling the art of movie-making, but rather the art of making movies about art. 

Do large-scale hog farms make their neighbors sick? A new study from Duke University researchers show residents who live close to industrial hog farms have a higher risk of potentially deadly diseases. 

There are over 2.2 billion people who use Facebook at least once a month. The social networking site is one of the largest companies in the world and Forbes has ranked Facebook as one of the most valuable brands. 

Being able to walk into a supermarket and pick up a carton of strawberries in January makes it easy to believe that all food should be available at all times. 

As a counselor in Laurinburg, North Carolina, Noran Sanford provided therapy to young people whose backgrounds weren’t too far removed from his own. These boys came from broken homes, struggled with poverty and addiction and lost family members to violence. But as he stood over yet another grave of a talented young man he had tried to help, Sanford knew he hadn’t done enough.

Pages