Laura Pellicer

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things (hyperlink), a show that explores North Carolina through conversation. Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards. Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she plans on moonlighting as a mediocre surfer.

In a Facebook video posted Saturday afternoon, Pasquotank County, N.C., Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said his office wants the body camera footage related to the killing of Andrew Brown Jr. to be made public.

His statement came three days after Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office deputies in Elizabeth City. The events were captured by the deputies' body cameras.

This week, North Carolina is getting its first shipment of a new COVID-19 vaccine — the CDC-authorized, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination. The state has also announced significant changes to its vaccine waitlist, with new categories becoming eligible for the shot as early as Wednesday.

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Mass vaccination events, like the recent untaking at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, hasten distribution but also come with a significant flaw. Deputy Health Secretary Benjamin Money says the events pose challenges for the state's mission of equitable distribution.

Updated on Jan. 22. This post will be updated periodically as we tackle your questions.


North Carolina had a rocky start to its initial rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked the state as sixth worst in the country for initial vaccine distribution per capita. Since then, state officials made significant moves in hopes of speeding the process. On Jan. 5, Governor Roy Cooper announced that he mobilized the NC National Guard to support vaccine distribution. On Thursday, health officials released a significant revamp of the state vaccine rollout plan. Essentially, they’ve done away with the previous sub-tiered four-phase system and introduced a new five-group plan.

Updated at 8:15 p.m.

In a Tweet issued Wednesday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called for President Donald Trump to either step down or be removed from office. The Tweet was personally signed, indicating that it came directly from Cooper and not a member of his staff. 

Updated at 9:08 p.m.

Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power. They forced lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupted challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

As you continue to hunker down for this stay-at-home period, here’s a creative way to bring in a little company and curiosity from the outside world. Cameras sprinkled across the state dive into the daily lives of North Carolina’s rich marine life, take you to an idyllic small-town street corner, and peer over the marshes of the Intercoastal Waterway.

It's not easy keeping the family engaged and entertained during this unprecedented time, but these North Carolina museums are making that tall task a little more accessible. Across the state, museums have turned to digital technology to craft online tours that aren’t subject to regular business hours.

Federal and state law enforcement have arrested 21 people associated with a large-scale drug ring involving the North Carolina campuses at UNC-Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University and Duke University.

Updated at 6:10 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that North Carolina could receive a limited supply of a COVID-19 vaccine in as soon as two weeks. Hospital workers will be first in line to get it.

In the final countdown to Election Day, the Trump and Biden campaigns turned attention to a swath of land just north of the South Carolina border and to the diverse people who live there.

Updated at 6 p.m.

Democrat Cal Cunningham conceded to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina on Tuesday, saying “the voters have spoken” and it was clear Tillis had won.

With Cunningham’s concession, all eyes turned to Georgia, where two U.S. Senate runoff races in January are likely to determine the balance of the upper chamber.

North Carolina’s coronavirus cases continue to climb, with the state hitting its second-highest new case count on Thursday.

Updated at 1:40 a.m. on 11/4/2020

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was reelected Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

In the final days before the election, both the Trump and Biden campaigns are trying their luck at courting a last few votes. They are hoping Lumbee voters may help swing the state.

Over the weekend, Trump greeted thousands at a rally in Lumberton, Robeson County. The visit came on the heels of recent statements from both Trump and Biden asserting support for full federal recognition for the Lumbee tribe.


Updated at 10:32 a.m. Aug. 29, 2020

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday night to denounce police violence and the recent killings of Black Americans. Protesters marched peacefully for about three hours carrying signs with slogans including "Abolish the Police" and "Black Lives Matter."

Justin Ravary Ellis is no stranger around the Triangle music scene. The multi-instrumentalist has played bass in — and fronted — multiple bands and often has a number of collaborative projects on the go. But in 2015 he made the explicit decision to carve out more space and time for something a little more intimate.

The term “Underground Railroad” evokes the image of the legendary Harriet Tubman engineering daring escapes in a false-bottomed carriage or slaves following the North Star through dark woods. Researcher and longtime history professor Adrienne Israel says those popular images only tell a sliver of the story.

 

 

In 2019, The State of Things met musical visionaries, people fighting to save endangered cultures, and folks who supported their neighbors through another devastating hurricane. The individuals and stories at the heart of those conversations stuck with State of Things producer Laura Pellicer throughout the year.

The University of  North Carolina Board of Governors voted today for Interim UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to step into the role permanently. 

Avery Greer knows what it is like to feel like a suspect in her own town. Greer, the central character in Megan Miranda’s new novel, lives in a coastal community in Maine, and when her best friend commits suicide, some people begin to suspect she had something to do with the death.

She eventually uncovers a critical clue that could counter the police narrative, and starts on a quest to clear her name and seek justice for her best friend.

 

From the time she was young, musician and writer Cameron Dezen Hammon craved a spiritual connection with the world around her.

Emma and Tyler Millard have their own separate, busy musical careers, but when they perform and write together, they deliver a sound that is moody and intimate. The couple pen tales that conjure the ghosts of the past and dig into feelings of nostalgia, often infused with a healthy dose of humor.

Emma and Tyler Millard have their own separate, busy musical careers, but when they perform and write together, they deliver a sound that is moody and intimate. The couple pen tales that conjure the ghosts of the past and dig into feelings of nostalgia, often infused with a healthy dose of humor.

While Emma’s musical roots go back to classical training in her youth, Tyler picked up a guitar as he faced the ever-advancing degenerative eye condition Retinitis pigmentosa. Today, Tyler is legally blind and his music has grown into his primary passion.

Greensboro city officials are looking into high levels of a likely-carcinogenic chemical compound identified at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The levels of 1,4 dioxane in the wastewater were more than 2,700 times the EPA limit for drinking water.

As a law student in 1969, Flint Taylor wanted to make a difference in the fight for civil and human rights. He and other young lawyers teamed up and formed a law practice that went on to represent clients in high profile fights, including a civil suit that challenged the official story of slain Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and a case that uncovered systemic use of torture by the Chicago Police Department to coerce confessions from African American men.

Durham is one of a number of North Carolina cities that have experienced rapid growth in the last decade.

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors and the East Carolina University Board of Trustees held closed-door meetings Tuesday, just days after the resignation of ECU interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

A three-judge panel has ordered North Carolina legislators to throw out the current Congressional maps.

A court decision on whether to build a contentious rock quarry in Wake County is expected within a week. The planned site for the quarry is a strip of forested land nestled alongside Umstead Park in Raleigh.

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