7:53 am
Wed May 1, 2013

DNR plan would lift cap on state land purchases

Lead in text: 
Plan to go to governor approval
Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is delivering a proposal to Gov. Rick Snyder this month that it hopes will help lead to the lifting of a state-imposed cap on land acquisitions. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature limited the state's holdings to 4.6 million acres.
7:50 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Kalamazoo Public Schools cautiously optimistic about passing $62-million bond issue

Lead in text: 
KPS Superintendent Michael Rice says proposal appears to have backing based on survey done in fall
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI -- A week away from the May 7 election, widespread opposition has yet to surface against a $62 million bond issue on the ballot for Kalamazoo Public Schools. "We've been answering all the questions that have been raised and there haven't been a lot of questions," KPS Superintendent Michael Rice said Tuesday.
6:30 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Report calls for improvements to Kellogg Arena

Lead in text: 
Estimate is repairs would cost about $3.49-million. About $2.5-million could come from city as it makes capital improvement projects
City commissioners and other stakeholders will be presented a report on Kellogg Arena as the city administration makes a 'case for investment.' The arena is included in a list of proposed capital improvement projects that would require the city to take on $16 million of new debt.
NPR Story
5:45 am
Wed May 1, 2013

J.C. Penney Wins Legal Fight Over Martha Stewart

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Proof of Martha Stewart's ongoing commercial appeal has been on display in a New York courtroom. Yesterday, an appeals court decided that department store J.C. Penney can continue selling a new line of housewares designed by Stewart. But the ruling keeps Macy's from having the exclusive rights to the brand.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one reason why both J.C. Penney and Macy's want Martha Stewart.

MARSHAL COHEN: She's had a history of having success.`

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NPR Story
5:45 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Decision Day: High School Seniors Secure Spots In College With Deposits

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here in the United States, this is a big day for many high school seniors. It is College Decision Day, May 1st. It's when many seniors have to send in their deposits to college to secure a place in next year's freshman class. For many, this decision caps a long college application process. And to find out what it's been like, we visited a high school here in Washington D.C.

NICK VITALE: My name is Nicholas Vitale. I'm 18 years old and I'm a senior here at Gonzaga College High School. And I applied to six colleges.

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It's All Politics
4:06 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Markey, Gomez Vie For John Kerry's Senate Seat

Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez celebrates with supporters as he makes his way to the stage to deliver a victory speech Tuesday in Cohasset, Mass.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who has been in office for 36 years, and novice Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the race to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts. They won their party primaries Tuesday in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Officials say voter turnout was light. The race for the open Senate seat has been overshadowed by the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

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Business
3:20 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Would You Pay A Higher Price For 'Ethical' Clothing?

The Joe Fresh store in New York City. Some of the clothes made in the building that collapsed last week in Bangladesh were destined for the brand.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

Look at photographs from the Bangladesh garment factory collapse, and you can see clothing in the rubble destined for a store called Joe Fresh, one of the many retailers using supercheap fashions made overseas to keep shoppers buying often.

But in the aftermath of the tragedy, would customers pay more if they knew the clothes were made by workers treated fairly and safely?

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The Salt
3:19 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs Turn Up Again In Turkey Meat

A truckload of live turkeys arrives at a Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., in 2011. Most turkeys in the U.S. are regularly given low doses of antibiotics.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:29 pm

Consumer groups are stepping up pressure on animal producers and their practice of giving antibiotics to healthy animals to prevent disease. In two new reports, the groups say they're worried that the preventive use of antibiotics is contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which get harder to treat in humans and animals over time.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:18 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Investigating The Boston Bombing ... In Southern Russia

Investigators work at the site of a bombing in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala, last year. The blasts near a police post killed at least 15 people. The southern Russian republic has seen persistent violence.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:59 pm

The search for the motivations of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers stretches from New England to Central Asia, but a lot of attention has been focused on Dagestan.

The mostly Muslim republic is located in the southernmost part of Russia, and it's been the battleground in a low-level insurgency that takes lives nearly every day.

One of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, traveled to Dagestan twice in recent years, and investigators want to know whether that experience led him toward a radical and violent form of Islam.

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Code Switch
12:03 am
Wed May 1, 2013

On 'Hicksploitation' And Other White Stereotypes Seen On TV

Some of the cast members of the reality show Duck Dynasty find themselves handcuffed to one another.
A&E

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:10 am

On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Get Off My Lawn! And Other Grumblings About Sports Today

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

My friend the Sports Curmudgeon called me the other day: "Hey, Frank, I got a few things to get off my chest." He was about to take off on a Fantasy Fan cruise, where devoted sports buffs are drafted as fans for desperate losing teams, but he promised to text me his complaints once the ship got out to sea.

Sure enough, here came the Sports Curmudgeon's latest rants.

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9:53 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

State House Committee approves letting commission set wolf hunt

Lead in text: 
Bill is likely to get a final vote in the House this week
The bill, which has already passed the Senate and now moves to the full House, would circumvent the 250,000 signatures turned in to the Secretary of State to ban a wolf hunt. That petition drive sought to overturn a law passed last year allowing the hunt, but the new bill supercedes that law.
9:06 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

WMU men's tennis to open NCAA tournament against Kentucky

Lead in text: 
Broncos face Wildcats Friday afternoon in Lexington
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI - Western Michigan University's men's tennis program earned its 10th NCAA Tournament bid after winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament, but senior Ross VanderPloeg does not want the trip to Lexington, Ky. to be a sight-seeing tour. The Broncos (19-9) will face the University of Kentucky in the first round Friday afternoon.
9:03 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Eight Democrats removed from state House Committees as partisan feud escalates

Lead in text: 
Battle Creek Representative Kate Segal removed from Health Policy Committee
LANSING, MI - Bickering in the Michigan House has led to some Democrats being removed from committee assignments. An email from the office of House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said eight Democrats will be removed from committees effective Wednesday.
Shots - Health News
8:10 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

FDA OKs Prescription-Free Plan B Pill For Women 15 And Up

The Plan B One-Step morning-after pill will now be available to women as young as 15 without a prescription.
AP

In an effort to find a compromise for a politically fraught issue, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a proposal to make the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B more available to some younger teens without a prescription and to older women by moving the medication out from behind the pharmacy counter.

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Music Interviews
7:04 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Mick Fleetwood On Fleetwood Mac: 'It Would Make A Great Play'

John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks have returned with their first new music as Fleetwood Mac in a decade.
Neal Preston Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:51 am

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Reporter's Notebook
6:13 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

New York: A Concrete Jungle And 'City Of Trees,' Too

Tulip
Courtesy of Benjamin Swett

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:26 pm

You expect to find great trees in city parks and botanical gardens. But you might not expect to find ancient or unusual trees in the inner city or smack dab in the middle of a highway.

Benjamin Swett has a love of trees so deep that he's written pamphlets about them, created photo exhibits and now has a new book, New York City of Trees. His book has pictures and stories of some 60 trees in the city.

I took a walk with him to some of the great trees, often in unexpected places.

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Shots - Health News
5:06 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

How Doctors Would Know If Syrians Were Hit With Nerve Gas

Doctors at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, treat a boy injured in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack on March 19. Syria's government and rebels accused each other of firing a rocket loaded with chemical agents outside of Aleppo.
George Ourfalian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:02 pm

President Obama affirmed Tuesday that there's evidence Syrians have been attacked with chemical weapons — in particular, nerve gas.

But that's not the same as proof positive.

"We don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them," Obama said. "We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened."

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One'

Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.

Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.

And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.

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Music Reviews
3:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone

Ceramic Dog is Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahzad Ismaily.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, Marc Ribot made his name in 1985 with Rain Dogs, the album that marked Tom Waits' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. That's much less true on the song-oriented second album by the trio he calls Ceramic Dog.

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Pop Culture
3:31 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

To Avoid Or To Embrace? How Actors Navigate Stereotypes

Retta as office manager Donna Meagle on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:26 pm

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.

Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.

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Latin America
3:13 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

As Youth Crime Spikes, Brazil Struggles For Answers

A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:34 am

In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.

Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.

"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."

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The Salt
3:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

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All Tech Considered
3:07 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help

With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.

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U.S.
2:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts

Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:32 pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Sign Painters': A Close-Up Focus On An Endangered Art

Marquee painted by Norma Jeanne Maloney on "Honky-tonk Row" in Nashville, Tenn.
Faythe Levine and Sam Macon Princeton Architectural Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Before the age of computers and vinyl printers, sign painters worked by hand to illustrate storefronts, billboards and banners. Local craftsmen often developed a signature style that could distinguish a neighborhood, or even a city.

But technology made creating signs less expensive — and less expressive. Sign Painters, a new book and documentary written and directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, focuses on dozens of artists who are keeping the art alive.

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NPR Story
1:59 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

The NBA Has An Openly Gay Player: What Changes?

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. With just a few words, NBA journeyman Jason Collins made sports history. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black, and I'm gay." With that announcement in the May 6th edition of Sports Illustrated, Collins became the first man still active in a major team sport to come out.

Most reaction has been positive. Earlier today, President Obama actually returned to the microphones at the end of that news conference to say a few words.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

An Intimate Portrait Of The Tsarnaev Family

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon bombings, countless questions remain about the two prime suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran a long profile that offers a complicated portrait of the family.

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12:58 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Part-time KVCC instructors file grievance

Lead in text: 
Union officials say the college's proposal would mean "drastic reductions" in pay and hours.
KALAMAZOO, MI -- The part-time instructors' union at Kalamazoo Valley Community College has filed an unfair labor charge against the institution with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, the KVCC Federation of Teachers announced Monday. Beginning in the fall, part-time faculty would be limited to nine contact hours a semester, according to an email sent out to KVCC department chairs April 16.
SW Michigan
12:35 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

State prison food may go private

Maximum security prison in Jackson
Credit AP Photo

State corrections officials have reversed course and decided to privatize food services in Michigan’s prisons. The Gongwer News Service says the decision was announced today. The Corrections Department had earlier rejected all bids by private companies saying they wouldn't save enough money. That led to criticism by majority Republicans in the legislature.

Officials say the winning bid by Aramark will save the state $16 million a year but could eliminate nearly 400 jobs.

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