7:23 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Three finalists selected for Saint Joseph City Manager

Lead in text: 
Plainwell City Manager Erik Wilson among three finalists
ST. JOSEPH - City commissioners took just five minutes Monday to settle on three finalists to interview for the city manager's position and appoint an interim manager.
6:41 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Lower water levels prompts call for re-evaluation of Lake Michigan water diversion

Lead in text: 
Rep. Candice Miller has asked Governor Snyder to reconsider agreement that diverts water from Lake Michigan to Mississippi River
Washington D.C. - Even flood-causing April rains in west Michigan and heavy snow in the Upper Peninsula won't be enough to overcome record-low water levels in lakes Michigan and Huron that have led to emergency dredging and plenty of worry.
6:34 am
Tue April 30, 2013

New casino opens Tuesday in Dowagiac

Lead in text: 
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi opening third Four Winds Casino. Others are in New Buffalo and Hartford
DOWAGIAC - Matt Wesaw, tribal chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, has a simple answer when people ask him why the tribe decided to open a casino in Dowagiac.
6:22 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Marshall residents file petitions against overlay for Oaklawn Hospital

Lead in text: 
Overlay district was set for possible expansion of hospital. Neighborhood residents say they want alternatives explored
MARSHALL - Residents believe they have gathered enough petition signatures to force a referendum on the city's Hospital Campus Overlay District ordinance. Martin Overhiser, president of the Marshall Neighborhood Association, said some 20 registered voters helped collect 998 signatures. Only 543 are required to put the issue on the ballot, possibly in the fall.
Politics
5:25 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Advocates Honor LaHood's Time At Transportation Department

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

As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?

Business
5:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Virgin Galactic Reaches Milestone In Space Tourism Industry

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The billionaire Richard Branson is happy this morning. His Virgin Galactic spacecraft successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Branson's high flying endeavor has been plagued with delays and technical problems, but on Monday, after an early morning flight from the California desert, the often flamboyant billionaire said history was being made.

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Politics
5:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Sanford, Colbert Busch Clash In Sole Debate Before Special Election

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.

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National Security
3:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

U.S. Faces Fight At Intersection Of Crime And Extremism

Gen. Antonio Indjai (left), Guinea-Bissau's army chief of staff, at the funeral of the country's late president, Malam Bacai Sanha, on Jan. 15, 2012. The U.S. says Indjai has been involved in drug trafficking, an allegation he denies. He recently eluded a U.S. sting operation that led to the capture of other officials from his country.
Mamadu Alfa Balde AFP/Getty Images

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

A suspected drug kingpin from the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was captured on the high seas by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this month, brought to Manhattan and is now awaiting trial.

The dramatic sting operation sheds light on what officials say is a growing national security threat: criminal networks teaming up with extremist organizations.

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Author Interviews
3:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wonderful Words' In Willa Cather's No-Longer-Secret Letters

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

Willa Cather is one of America's greatest literary voices. Most notably, her stories of immigrant farmers in Nebraska are intimate windows into the lives that make up a greater history of American settlement and struggle.

Cather was also a pioneering female writer in a literary world run by men, and a driven businesswoman — meticulous about every detail of her work, down to the very design of a book jacket. And when she died in 1947, she left a will forbidding the adaptation of her works to theater or film and the publication of her personal letters.

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It's All Politics
3:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

ATF Allies Say Agency Handicapped By Lack Of Director

ATF agents search last week for evidence at the site of the fire and explosion in West, Texas.
Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News AP

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

It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.

Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.

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Latin America
3:17 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Brazil Seeks To Avoid Own Goal Ahead Of World Cup

The renovated Maracana stadium hosts a game by the teams "Friends of Bebeto" and "Friends of Ronaldo" during the stadium's inauguration in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:19 am

Soccer isn't just a sport in Brazil, it's a religion, and the main temple is the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The venue is not only the biggest stadium in Brazil but the biggest in South America. Over the weekend, the newly renovated complex reopened to great fanfare, with stirring musical numbers, a light show and dignitaries including Brazil's president.

The headlines in the local media, however, focused not on the fanfare but on the many problems, from flooding in the VIP area to malfunctioning seats and turnstiles. The stadium was also four months late reopening.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

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

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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9:14 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Portage School Board to reopen superintendent search

Lead in text: 
Board members say they will likely have to actively recruit a candidate for the job
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
PORTAGE, MI -- The Portage Public Schools Board of Education has agreed to reopen its search for a superintendent through the end of May and will ask its search consultant to "reach out" to potential candidates. "I want to make sure we get this right," board President Bo Snyder said.
9:14 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Portage School Board to reopen superintendent search

Lead in text: 
Board members say they will likely have to actively recruit a candidate for the job
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
PORTAGE, MI -- The Portage Public Schools Board of Education has agreed to reopen its search for a superintendent through the end of May and will ask its search consultant to "reach out" to potential candidates. "I want to make sure we get this right," board President Bo Snyder said.
Shots - Health News
4:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family

iStockphoto.com

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

Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Thursday mornings at the clinic were reserved for pregnant teens, and when East arrived the waiting room would be packed with them, chair after chair of pregnant adolescents.

It was in this waiting room, East explains, that she discovered her life's work — an accidental discovery that emerged from the small talk that staff at the clinic had with their young clients as they walked them back for checkups.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:20 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Remembering Janos Starker, The Cellist 'Born To Be A Teacher'

Cellist Janos Starker with one of his classes at Indiana University. He said he was "put on this earth to be a teacher."
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

Renowned concert soloist and prolific, Grammy-winning cellist Janos Starker died Sunday. He was 88.

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Music Interviews
4:02 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Iron And Wine: Words Like Seedlings

Iron and Wine's new album is titled Ghost on Ghost.
Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

It's kind of surprising that Iron and Wine's Sam Beam has ended up making his living in music. Early on, he received a cautionary lesson from his dad.

"My father used to book Motown bands in college," Beam says. "And he imparted some wisdom on me that it's an easy gig to lose your shirt in."

Beam grew up in South Carolina; he studied art in college, then got into making movies. Music was just something he did on the side, for fun.

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3:34 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Former Kalamazoo city manager eyeing the DC mayoral race?

Lead in text: 
Robert Bobb served as Kalamazoo's city manager during the mid-1970's. From 2009 to 2011 he was the state-appointed emergency financial manager of the Detroit Public Schools.
Bobb sought to downplay his efforts, saying that the political conversations should not be interpreted as a prelude to a mayoral run. "I would characterize it as not anything other than I want to be a political voice in town," Bobb said. "I want to watch and see what's going on with all these races.

Sandhya Dirks arrived in Iowa in January of 2012 as a general assignment reporter. Since coming to Des Moines she has covered the Statehouse and traveled across Iowa to bring back stories for IPR. Sandhya was previously a reporter at KALW in San Francisco, covering education and criminal justice issues. Her work was awarded a SPJ Sigma Delta Chi and a regional Edward R. Murrow award.

Most recently, Sandhya earned her Master of Science from Columbia Journalism School in New York. Her master’s project was an investigative documentary about international adoption for which she was awarded the Pasty Preston Pulitzer Documentary Fellowship.

Sandhya’s favorite public radio program is Radiolab.

3:08 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Peters expected to announce U.S. Senate bid

Lead in text: 
Republicans thinking about running for the seat held by retiring Democrat Carl Levin include congressman Justin Amash and Mike Rogers as well as former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Gary Peters is expected to announce his intention to run for Michigan's soon-to-be-open U.S. Senate seat on Wednesday in Rochester Hills. A Democratic source told the Free Press today that Peters, who had been widely expected to run, would announce his intentions and visit several other cities around the state - including Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids - this week.
Asia
2:47 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Chasing The Chinese Dream — If You Can Define It

A woman in downtown Beijing walks past a building adorned with a patriotic mural by Chinese graffiti artists on April 22.
Stephen Shaver UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 8:16 pm

Forget about the American dream. Nowadays, the next big thing is the Chinese dream. In Beijing, it's the latest official slogan, mentioned on the front page of the official People's Daily 24 times in a single week recently.

With this level of publicity from the official propaganda machine, the Chinese dream even looks set to be enshrined as the new official ideology.

But what exactly is it?

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U.S.
2:45 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

With Or Without Overhaul, Immigration Lawyers In Short Supply

People attend a legal clinic for deferred action applicants in New York in August. Immigration attorneys say demand for their services outstrips the nation's supply of trained immigration lawyers.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

With immigration a hot-button issue in Washington, some version of immigration reform is likely this year. Even so, immigrant activist Sandra Sanchez concedes that the country might not be ready for an overhaul of its immigration laws.

Sanchez, director of the American Friends Service Committee Iowa's Immigrants Voice Program, doesn't mean that in political terms, but in practical ones. "We need to be prepared for the wave of millions of potential applicants that will be needing ... legal services," she says. "And we will not have enough resources to serve them."

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The Opinion Page
2:16 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Op-Ed: Did Boston Law Enforcement Drop The Ball?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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Middle East
2:13 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Diplomacy, Sanctions And A Nearing Red Line With Iran

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 2:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. While Syria is the crisis of the moment in the Middle East, Iran looms as an even more difficult challenge in the months ahead. And these two issues are not unconnected. Iran remains the most important ally of President Assad in Damascus, and the survival of his regime is critical to Iran's larger struggle with its Arab rivals.

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Music
2:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Life After Sweet Honey, A Founding Member Moves On

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

For 40 years now, Sweet Honey in the Rock has created music deep in the tradition of the African-American community. When the women joined us in our studios in 2005, they outlined the group's message: Keep moving forward, and make a way for those who are coming behind you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I REMEMBER, I BELIEVE")

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: (Singing) I don't know how my mother walked her trouble down. I don't know how my father stood his ground. I don't know how my people survived slavery. I do remember. That's why I believe.

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Health Care
2:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Health Care Policy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The country is about to undergo the largest transition of national health policy ever. The Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Obama's first time, continues to phase in. Some of the more popular measures are already in effect. Parents can keep children on their own plans until they turn 26. Women have greater access to birth control.

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Arts & More
1:39 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Let worms do the work on your garbage

Nancy Essex picks up a handful of red worms used in vermicomposting
Credit Nancy Camden

The next time you put food scraps down your garbage disposal or in your garbage can, consider using nature’s garbage disposal, vermicomposting. Vermi is Latin for worm. So, it’s composting using worms.

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Hobbies
1:03 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Robotics teaches kids hands-on math, science

Korbin Fletcher working on a motor
Credit Maggie Kane

The Youth Robotics program hosted by Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek is part of a push to introduce kids to STEM topics – that’s science, technology, engineering and math – in a fun and interesting way.

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Author Interviews
12:47 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Marc Maron: A Life Fueled By 'Panic And Dread'

Marc Maron, whose latest book is Attempting Normal, is also the author of The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life As a Reluctant Messiah.
Leigh Righton Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:15 pm

When Marc Maron started his podcast "WTF with Marc Maron" out of his garage in September 2009, he was in a dark place: He was going through a divorce, his comedy career had hit a wall and — in his mid-40s — he didn't have a Plan B.

"I was at a place in my life where I had gotten very cynical," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I had lost a lot of hope for my comedy and everything else, and I really feel that I was no longer able to really appreciate other people's stories. I had lost my ability to really kind of listen and enjoy the company of other people."

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Jazz Diva Jane Monheit Gets To The Heart Of The Matter

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:43 pm

Growing as a musician is often a balancing act of challenging yourself without alienating your fans. For jazz diva Jane Monheit, maturity has given her singing new depth, and has given her new confidence as a performer. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with the Grammy nominated vocalist about her latest album The Heart of the Matter.

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