1:59 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

KPS graduation rate better than Grand Rapids

Lead in text: 
The report says report says the Kalamazoo Public Schools' high school "on time" graduation rate in 2012 was 69 percent compared to only 45 percent in Grand Rapids.
Editor's note: This is part of a series of posts on the academic progress in Kalamazoo Public Schools, comparing 2012 student-achievement numbers to 2008, the earliest comparable data available. To read the introduction to the series, click here.
Europe
1:59 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild

European bison, or wisents, keep a safe distance from human visitors to their enclosure on the property of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in Germany's densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 5:17 pm

A small herd of European bison will soon be released in Germany's most densely populated state, the first time in nearly three centuries that these bison — known as wisents — will roam freely in Western Europe.

The project is the brainchild of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. He owns more than 30,000 acres, much of it covered in Norwegian spruce and beech trees in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the 78-year-old logging magnate, the planned April release of the bull, five cows and two calves will fulfill a decade-old dream.

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Author Interviews
12:44 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

A Young Man Gets 'Filthy Rich' Boiling, Bottling Tap Water

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:16 pm

In his new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid's nameless protagonist is an ambitious young man who moves from the countryside to a megalopolis in search of his fortune. The city is modeled on Lahore, Pakistan, where Hamid was born and partly raised and where — after living in the United States and England — he has now settled with his family.

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Music Reviews
12:26 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Moving Sidewalks: Where The British Invasion Met Texas Blues

Before ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons (second from right) was in the more psychedelic Moving Sidewalks.
Rancho Deluxe Productions

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:22 pm

There must be something in the water — or the beer — in Texas that caused the huge eruption of garage bands and psychedelic bands in the mid-1960s, because there sure were a lot of them, and their records on obscure labels have kept collectors busy for decades. Most of them were amateurs, but the Coachmen, who came together around 1964, were different.

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NPR Story
11:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Write A Little Everyday, You'll Have A Book

Samantha Loomis Paterson

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:51 am

Katherine Paterson is the beloved author of many young adult novels, including Jacob Have I Loved, The Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terabithia.

The American Library Association recently honored her with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

Paterson, who has been writing for a half-century, tells NPR's Michel Martin that despite all the awards she has received throughout the years, this one means a lot.

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NPR Story
11:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

How To Have Your 'First Retirement' At 32

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:34 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We want to turn now to someone who is thinking about retirement in a very different way. Carl Seidman is in his early 30s, but just a few weeks ago, he quit his job as a consultant in Chicago and hopped on a plane to Chile. He's calling it his first retirement and he says you don't have to wait until you're 65 to retire either, and he's going to tell us more about that.

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NPR Story
11:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

When Retirement Goes Wrong

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:34 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, we want to take some time to talk about retirement. Later this hour, we will hear from someone who decided to retire at the advanced age of 32 and - no, his last name is not Buffett or Rockefeller or Gates. We'll ask him why and, equally important, how he managed to do this. That's coming up later this hour.

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11:24 am
Wed March 13, 2013

House committee approves money for emergency harbor dredging

Lead in text: 
Historically low lake levels have made dredging necessary in many harbors
LANSING - Emergency dredging in the Great Lakes moved a step closer to reality Wednesday when the House Appropriations committee approved spending $20.9 million to clear 49 bays and harbors.
7:35 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Kashi operations moving to Battle Creek

Lead in text: 
Kellogg bought Kashi in 2000 for $33-million
Kashi is moving most of its operations from southern California to Battle Creek this week. U-T San Diego, the website of The San Diego Union-Tribune, reported Monday that Kashi, which makes breakfast cereals and frozen entrees, issued layoff notices to 14 employees and offered another 14 the option of relocating to Battle Creek, where its parent company, Kellogg Co., is headquartered.
6:30 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Lieutenant Governor says road funding is Snyder's hardest task

Lead in text: 
Calley tells audience in Holland that $1.2-billion is needed for roads. He says lawmakers should offer alternatives if they don't like Snyder's plan
During the past 10 years, the state has made aggressive attempts to rehabilitate roads, Calley said. However 17.2 percent of the state trunkline roads (those designated with an 'M' or an 'I') were rated as poor or very poor, while 33.6 percent were rated as excellent or good and 49.2 percent as fair, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
6:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Michigan House Democrats propose reforms aimed at candidates switching parties

Lead in text: 
Grand Rapids Representative Roy Schmidt's switch to the Republican party set off controversy last year.
LANSING, MI - The latest round of legislative proposals that supporters say are designed to make the workings at the Michigan Capitol more transparent and ethical comes from House Democrats - and it includes measures stemming from last year's political party switch involving former Rep. Roy Schmidt.
6:17 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Portage City Council approves new regulations on donation boxes

Lead in text: 
Ordinance regulates what boxes are made of, placement and size of the boxes
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
PORTAGE, MI - Portage may be the first community in Southwest Michigan to regulate collection or donation boxes. After a good deal of discussion the Portage City Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 to approve a collection box ordinance amendment that will regulate the 25 or so for-profit and non-profit collection boxes around town that take donations of everything from clothing to books.
Religion
5:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Can't Read Smoke Signals? Try A Pope Alert Via Text

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if the cardinals now locked away in the Sistine Chapel are losing sleep over who will become the next pope, that does not mean that you have to, thanks to Popealarm.com. The service is provided by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It lets eager Vatican watchers sign up for a text or an email alert that will go out as soon as the pope is chosen.

Their slogan? When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:35 am
Wed March 13, 2013

A Real-Life 'Jump Street' In Tennessee

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Police Deputy Donna Rogan relived her high school years. She went undercover pretending to be a transfer student in Carter County, Tennessee. The Elizabethton Star reports it was called Operation Jump Street, after the old TV show. Now, we do not know Ms. Rogan's grades or which boys asked her out. But we do know she played a student convincingly enough to slip into the local drug culture, gathering information leading to 14 arrests.

The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
4:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What

A submission to the Race Card Project, which asks people to describe their experience with race in six words.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:46 am

This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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It's All Politics
4:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retiring Carl Levin Says He Wants To Leave The Senate Fighting

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin speaks in Dearborn on Feb. 4.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Retiring Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says he wants to spend his last two years in the Senate focusing on issues "that I believe to my core are really, really important to the country."

Although the Democrat says he "kind of" enjoys campaigning, he has decided not to seek another term in 2014 after 34 years in office. Levin says campaigns cost too much.

"Even in a state which leans Democratic — at least we think it will — still there's fundraising involved, and it's much more important that we, frankly, do our job here," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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Middle East
4:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Syrian Cyber-Rebel Wages War, One Hack At A Time

Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:27 pm

The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.

The Syrian Electronic Army, an arm of the Syrian military, is in charge of the monitoring.

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It's All Politics
3:06 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Republicans Face Off Over Strategy For Picking Candidates

Karl Rove and the big donors behind his Crossroads superPAC have formed a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, to vet and recruit Republican Senate candidates.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Republicans have a steep hill to climb if they want to take control of the Senate next year. The GOP would need to pick up six seats in 2014.

There are plenty of open seats and vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, but Republicans are debating the best way to win.

Last year's Senate results were disappointing for the GOP: The party ended up losing a number of seats it thought were winnable — and now it's trying to figure out what to do differently next year.

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Sweetness And Light
1:53 am
Wed March 13, 2013

School Bands Should Not Be Entertainment Adjunct For Sports

A marching band performs at halftime on the field during a high school football game.
Jani Bryson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Several years ago I gave a speech in which I mentioned that athletes tended to be the only college students who were awarded scholarships for what is an extracurricular activity.

Afterward, Myles Brand, the late president of the NCAA, told me I was wrong, that many music extracurricular scholarships were awarded at colleges.

Brand and I seldom agreed on much of anything, but I've always found him to be a gentleman. So, I expressed surprise at this claim.

Read more
9:18 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Wayne State President defends long contract for faculty

Lead in text: 
Republican lawmakers have raised concerns that contract may be effort to circumvent new "right to work" law.
LANSING - Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour came out swinging this morning in Lansing, asking Republican lawmakers whether an eight-year labor contract for faculty or continued cuts in state funding were worse for students. Gilmour contended it is the latter, a point he tried to stress to members of the state House higher education subcommittee.
9:06 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Portage Public Schools budget plans don't include pay increases

Lead in text: 
Scenarios were presented to the school board based on Governor Snyder's budget plan presented last month.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
PORTAGE, MI -- Best- and worst-case 2013-14 budget scenarios for Portage Public Schools do not include funding for base-salary increases, according to a presentation at Monday's Portage school board meeting. Raising base salaries for 2013-14 "will require negotiations but would seems obtainable based on circumstances," says a memo written by Karla Colestock, the district's finance director, who made Monday's presentation.
Urban poverty
8:56 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

WMU speaker discusses urban poverty and race

Renaissance Center in Detroit
Credit River North Photography / iStrock Photo

A scholar well-known for his work on poverty, race and inequality will speak on Friday at Western Michigan University. William Julius Wilson teaches in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He’s also the author of several books on the issues of urban poverty and race. 

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The Salt
6:24 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Can Dunkin' Donuts Really Turn Its Palm Oil Green?

Dunkin' Donuts plans to go green by committing to purchasing all of its palm oil from sustainable sources.
Andrew Huff/via Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 7:13 pm

Dunkin' Donuts is changing its recipes — though you may not notice much difference the next time you bite into a cruller. In response to pressure from one of New York's top elected officials, the company recently announced that it will set a goal of using only 100 percent sustainable palm oil in making its donuts.

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It's All Politics
5:47 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

'Unprecedented': Budget Cuts Could Hit Some Airport Towers

A statue of golf legend Arnold Palmer stands outside Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:45 pm

Control towers at many small and medium-sized airports around the country are set to shut down next month because of the across-the-board federal budget cuts. The towers have been operated under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration.

One of the airports affected is in Latrobe, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh — the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, named after the golf great who grew up a well-placed drive from the runway. A statue of Palmer watches over the small terminal.

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National Security
5:25 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Cyberattacks, Terrorism Top U.S. Security Threat Report

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (center), accompanied by FBI Director Robert Mueller (left) and CIA Director John Brennan, testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:42 pm

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in a bit of a sour mood. He led off complaining that he had to speak publicly at all.

"An open hearing on intelligence matters," Clapper said, "is a contradiction in terms." And then, before getting to any international problems Clapper hit a domestic one: the spending cuts mandated under the sequestration package.

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Arts & Life
5:18 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Muses And Metaphor 2013: Tweet Us Your Poetry!

Melanie Taube NPR

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:50 am

Poetry and social media join forces once again in April. Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month with its 3rd annual Muses and Metaphor series. We'll feature poems exchanged via Twitter by NPR fans — always in 140 characters or fewer. Tweet your poem using the hashtag: #TMMPoetry.

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All Tech Considered
4:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Dad's 'Donkey Kong' Hack Recasts Female As Hero For Daughter

A screenshot shows game designer Mike Mika's Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition he created for his daughter show she could play as a female hero.
Screengrab via YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:42 pm

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Animals
4:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Quick Brown Fox Can't Find Camouflaged Quail Eggs

Researchers wanted to know if Japanese quail were aware of the colors and patterns on their eggs.
Courtesy of Lovell et al.

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:57 am

It's almost spring, and for many animals, warmer weather means it's time to find a mate. If you're a bird, finding that mate means a new clutch of eggs won't be far behind.

But keeping those eggs safe until they hatch can be a challenge, especially if you're a Japanese quail — a small ground-nesting bird that counts foxes among its predators.

The eggs of Coturnix japonica are tiny — not much bigger than a quarter. They're off-white or tan in color, with darker speckles.

Read more
4:31 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Michiganders earn $4,000 less than the U.S. average, says UM Economist

Lead in text: 
Economists at the University of Michigan say workers in the state's private sector earn about $4,000 less a year than the national average.
(courtesy photo/used under Creative Commons license) By Rick Haglund/Bridge Magazine correspondent Separate data compiled by state labor market analysts on 22 occupational groups found the average wage in Michigan was lower than the national average wage in 16 of those groups in 2010.
3:46 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Alamo group may monitor speedway noise

Lead in text: 
Controversy over a proposed noise ordinance prompted township officials to delay action on the issue earlier this year.
Township Supervisor Lou Conti said he would like to form a six-member committee, with three members chosen by the Kalamazoo Speedway and three by the township, to monitor noise coming from the race track this year. The group would have assistance from Kalamazoo Township, which has agreed to loan equipment and train residents on how to properly take sound readings, he said.

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