It's All Politics
5:40 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

As Spending Cuts Loom, Alarm Bells Begin To Sound

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:27 pm

Senate Democrats offered an alternative Thursday to the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to hit March 1.

Despite dire warnings in congressional hearings this week, many on Capitol Hill seem resigned to the sequester.

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U.S.
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:15 pm

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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Movies
4:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Hooray For Nollywood: Nigerian Distributor Casts Wide Net Online

A typical Nigerian film market in Lagos. Though physical distribution of Nollywood films is booming, the digital market has also grown, thanks to a plugged-in African diaspora.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:56 pm

The massively popular Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS.

Nollywood caught on globally, and piracy was a major factor in the industry's growth, as copies of copies of Nollywood tapes sold on street corners from Lagos to Harlem. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online.

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The Legacy And Future Of Mass Incarceration
4:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Now 59, George Prendes works as a telemarketer in New York and struggles to make the rent on his small Bronx apartment.
Natasha Haverty

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:11 pm

There are roughly half a million people behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

What's clear is that tough sentencing laws, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts, shaped a generation of young men, especially black and Hispanic men.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:54 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause Peter Lieberson

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Perch exposed to the anxiety drug oxazepam were more daring and ate more quickly than fish that lived in drug-free water.
Courtesy of Bent Christensen

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Many of the drugs we take aren't actually digested — they pass through our bodies, and down through the sewer pipes. Traces of those drugs end up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife. Nobody's sure what effect they have.

Now, a paper being published in Science magazine finds that drugs for anxiety drugs — even at these very low levels — can affect the behavior of fish.

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WMUK News
2:42 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Paw Paw native helps search for Amelia Earhart

Patricia Webb at dockside
Credit Patricia Webb

Amelia Earhart’s disappearance near the end of what she hoped would be a flight around the world in 1937 created an enduring mystery. But a 1978 graduate of Kalamazoo College is part of an organization that may have found the aviator’s final resting place.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Oscar Documentaries: A Look Behind The Scenes

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Campaign To End Violence

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:38 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

This morning, hundreds of Somali men and women gathered in a community center in Mogadishu after a flash mob. Campaigners in Parliament Square in London held up one finger while MPs debated violence against women inside Westminster. And hundreds of Egyptian sang and danced after 10 a.m., Cairo time, all that from live coverage provided by The Guardian. Events all marked V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign, designed to boost awareness of violence against women all over the world.

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Medical Marijuana
1:15 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Proposed legislation would make some marijuana dispensaries legal

File photo
Credit The Associated Press

Proposed Legislation in the state House would make some types of medical marijuana dispensaries legal in Michigan. 

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Author Interviews
1:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:30 pm

As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed. That fact itself may not be surprising, but in the introduction to his new book, Klansville, U.S.A., David Cunningham also reveals that, "While deadly KKK violence in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia ha[d] garnered the lion's share of Klan publicity, the United Klan's stronghold was, in fact, North Carolina." North Carolina, Cunningham writes, had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.

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Music Reviews
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Richard Thompson's New Album Examines 'Electric' Love

Richard Thompson's new album is titled Electric.
Pamela Littky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:23 pm

Delicate phrasing, with both voice and guitar, has always made Richard Thompson a musician worth hearing — and sometimes even liking on a personal level. For a man who can make such pretty music, it's to his credit that he prefers to show his thorny, stubborn, cranky, even mean side in many of the songs in his solo career.

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Around the Nation
12:20 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Chicago Youth Hopeful, Cautious Ahead of President's Visit

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are going to continue our conversation about gun violence. We're focusing on Chicago. President Obama is heading there tomorrow and our next guests say it's really about time that the violence in Chicago receives this kind of high level attention and response. They're both young people living in Chicago and they've both been directly affected by violence. They say that voices like theirs are not being heard in the national gun control debates, so we are going to bring them to you now.

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Around the Nation
12:20 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Pendleton's Mother: 'It's My Job' To Keep Talking

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Just ahead, President Obama will be speaking on gun violence in Chicago tomorrow. Some feel this visit is long overdue. We'll speak with two young people who have been working to get the president to come to Chicago. We'll ask them why and what they hope to hear from him in just a few minutes.

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Around the Nation
12:20 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Pain Is 'Deep,' 'Indescribable' For Gun Victim Pendleton's Mother

Cleopatra Pendleton (left) is consoled by her sister Kimiko Pettis on Jan. 30.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago's South Side.

"I went into temporary shock, I grabbed my nearest coworker ... [and said] 'Help me understand what they're saying, because clearly they're not talking about my baby,'" she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. When she got to the hospital, a nurse told her Pendleton had died.

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12:05 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obesity rates rise in Michigan, as do the costs

Lead in text: 
31% of Michigan residents were obese in 2011. That's expected to climb to nearly 60% by 2030.
  • Source: Bridgemi
  • | Via: Center for Michigan
If Michigan took an honest look in the mirror, the reflected image would reveal far more than a few unsightly extra pounds.
12:00 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Number of people with employee-based health coverage drops in Michigan

Lead in text: 
Nearly 1.6-million state residents lost employer-sponsored coverage between 2000 and 2011. More than any other state.
  • Source: Bridgemi
  • | Via: Center for Michigan
The huge increase in the number of Michigan residents who have lost health insurance through their employers is mainly a result of the state's dramatic job loss, particularly in the auto industry, which has traditionally offered excellent benefits.
Music
11:56 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Busy mandolinist Mike Compton to perform at Cooper's Glen Music Festival

Musicians David Grier (left) and Mike Compton (right)

Mandolinist Mike Compton will travel from Nashville, Tennessee to perform Saturday evening at the Cooper's Glen Music Festival. The festival takes place February 15 and 16 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo and is put on by the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association.

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Business
10:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway To Buy Heinz

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Warren Buffett is teaming up with another big investor in the $28 billion deal. Berkshire Hathaway has been looking for places to invest, with other recent deals involving consumer icons Coca-Cola and Mars.

8:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Former director of WMU's Black Americana Studies Program Leroy Ray dies

Lead in text: 
Ray came to Western in 1973 and worked there until his retirement in 1996.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
Leroy Ronald Ray, Jr., 82, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 in Kalamazoo. He was born Oct. 17, 1930 to Leroy Sr. and Tommie Lee Ray in Temple, TX, and attended segregated public schools in Temple, graduating from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School.
7:58 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson opposes raising vehicle rates to pay for roads

Lead in text: 
Johnson says roads are in rough shape, but many families could not afford higher registration rates.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Michigan's crumbling roads need attention, but money for those repairs shouldn't come from increasing vehicle registration fees, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says. Johnson, a Republican whose office is charged with collecting such fees, said she has tremendous respect for Gov. Rick Snyder.
7:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Michigan corrections costs remain high, despite drop in inmate and staffing

Lead in text: 
State Senator John Proos says prisons should competitively bid prison services such as food and health care.
Despite significant drops in the number of inmates and prison staff, it still costs $2 billion to run the Michigan Department of Corrections -- the single biggest drain on the state's general fund. The static nature of the department's budget, despite a 15% drop in the number of inmates since 2006, is an increasing source of frustration for lawmakers.
Around the Nation
7:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada Is Ready For Attacking Zombies

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. This summer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Preparedness 101, a just-in-case guide for of a zombie pandemic. Yesterday, a Canadian parliament member asked the foreign minister how his country's preparing for zombies. The foreign minister said he's dedicated to the proposition that...

(SOUNDBITE OF PARLIAMENT SESSION)

JOHN BAIRD: Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies, ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here, here!

Sports
7:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Death

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Animals
7:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pets Feel The Love On Valentine's Day

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Chocolate is bad for dogs and cats, but that doesn't mean they won't be feeling the love on this Valentine's Day. The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend more than $800 million on gifts for their pets - from heart-shaped treats to heart-healthy vitamins. And in honor of Valentine's Day, the ASPCA hosted an online dating show to match humans and animals in need of a home. They called that event "Puppy Love." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Michigan 2014 election
7:19 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Democrats seek candidate for governor, could Schauer be answer?

Mark Schauer - file photo
Credit The Associated Press

Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he hasn’t decided if he will run for governor next year. The Battle Creek Democrat also served in the state House and Senate for a total of 12 years. He has become the subject of intense speculation since Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer announced that she will not run for governor in 2014. 

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Africa
6:50 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Olympic Athlete Charged With Girlfriend's Murder

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:40 am

Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after his girlfriend was shot dead Thursday at his home in South Africa. Pistorius is the sprinter and double-amputee known as "Blade Runner."

6:42 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Men's Basketball Bowling Green 70 Western Michigan 60

Lead in text: 
Broncos have lost two straight, but remain tied for first in Mid-American Conference West Division.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
It was tough enough for the Western Michigan University basketball team to contain Bowling Green's dynamic duo of A'uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford Wednesday night. The Broncos made things more difficult on themselves with turnovers and missed free throws. As a result, WMU suffered its second straight loss on the road, 70-60, at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.
6:31 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pokagon Tribe, schools consider use of nicknames, mascots

Lead in text: 
State Department of Civil Rights has filed a complaint with federal Education Department asking for a ban on Indian nicknames and imagery.
DOWAGIAC - Consensus may be elusive among Pokagon Band Potawatomi when it comes to what they think about schools using Indian nicknames and mascots, a tribal spokeswoman said.

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