Books
2:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Susan Straight: One Home Town, Many Voices

Courtesy of McSweeney's

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Think of all the great writers who have made their hometowns literary history — William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Wolfe, to name a few. Now, Susan Straight is getting the same praise for her portrayal of Riverside, Calif. It's a small town at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, an hour east of Los Angeles.

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Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Navel-Gazing: Why Golf Should Embrace Belly Putters

Carl Pettersson of Sweden putts for birdie on the eighth hole during the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., in April. The long putter he uses is in danger of being banned.
Hunter Martin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:20 pm

When did "issues" become such an all-purpose, often euphemistic word for anything disagreeable? We have issues now where we used to have problems, and concerns, and troubles, and hornet's nests. Like for example: The American and British big wheels who run golf have "issues" with putting.

Now understand, modern golfers have kryptonite drivers with club heads as large as prize pumpkins, and steroid balls that would not pass the drug test, even if the hapless International Cycling Union were doing the random sampling.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Crime On The Farm: Hay Thefts Soar As Drought Deepens

That's a valuable commodity: A hay bale at a farm in Eatonton, Ga., earlier this year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

  • Sheriff Bobby Whittington talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Your crime fodder ... sorry, make that blotter ... news of the day.

From St. Louis:

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Audie Cornish is host of All Things Considered, along with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block.

Previously, she served as host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Prior to moving into that host position in the fall of 2011, Cornish reported from Capitol Hill for NPR News, covering issues and power in both the House and Senate and specializing in financial industry policy. She was part of NPR's six-person reporting team during the 2008 presidential election, and had a featured role in coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Politics
6:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Social Security's COLA At Stake In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:34 am

The Republican plan to avert the "fiscal cliff" that the White House rejected Monday includes at least one element that's likely to produce controversy: a proposal that would, among other things, affect the cost of living adjustment for Social Security.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

The First Book Printed In British North America And A Church's Decision To Sell It

Jeff Makholm holds the Bay Psalm Book.
Monica Brady-Myerov WBUR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:34 am

This past Sunday, the Old South Church in Boston made a decision that cuts to the heart of not only the congregation's history, but to the very beginning of this country's founding.

With an overwhelming 271 to 34 vote, the church decided to give its board the power to sell one copy of the Bay Psalm Book, the first book ever printed in British North America.

Only 11 of the original 1,600 copies of the book printed in Cambridge in 1640 remain. And of those, the church owns two.

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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

President Obama's re-election sent a message to state capitals: The war over the president's health care overhaul is finished.

Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law.

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Music Reviews
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Two Malian Guitar Greats, Gone But Still Wailing

Malian guitarist Lobi Traore died in 2010, at just 49. His last album is called Bwati Kono.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Back in 1985, a young Malian named Zani Diabate became one of the first African musicians to release a successful album in Europe. He was soon crowded out by a flood of superstar African singers, but for anyone who experienced Diabate's rocking guitar tone and edgy African phrasing, the sound is unforgettable.

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Shots - Health News
5:20 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

The Perilous Politics Of The Health Insurance Tax Break

MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, who explained the ins and outs of health overhaul in a comic book, says that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is a terrible idea, at least from an economist's point of view.
Macmillan

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

There's not much in health care that economists agree on. But one of the few things that bring them together is the idea that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is nuts.

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Shots - Health News
4:17 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Computerized Health Records Breed Digital Discontent For Some Doctors

Electronic medical records can have drawbacks, too.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Two years and $8.4 billion into the government's effort to get doctors to take their practices digital, some unintended consequences are starting to emerge.

One is a lot of unhappy doctors. In a big survey by Medscape, an online site for doctors, 38 percent of the doctors polled said they were unhappy with their electronic medical records system.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar: Exploring Music With An Intense Past

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Jamie Jung Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:26 am

British composer Edward Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919 — soon after the end of World War I — and it's suffused with the dark weight of that war.

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Film
3:55 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Hitchcock: Sometimes what happens behind the scenes is as entertaining as what's on the screen

The movie poster for 'Hitchcock'

James Sanford's review of "Hitchcock"

In a screen career that lasted 50 years, Janet Leigh appeared in everything from Jerry Lewis comedies and the screen version of Bye Bye Birdie to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil and John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate. But in the minds of millions of movie lovers, the versatile blonde star will forever be associated with the shower scene in Psycho.

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Theatre
3:41 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Paw Paw Playhouse enlists more than 20 kids for "A Little Princess"

The Paw Paw Village Players will perform the musical A Little Princess starting Friday. The musical is based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett about a girl named Sarah Crewe who is sent to a boarding school in London while her father is doing business in India. 

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1:08 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

House Committee approves bills to change recall elections

Lead in text: 
An official facing recall would have an opponent, instead of a simple up or down vote on removal from office.
LANSING, MI - If Republicans take up controversial "right-to-work" legislation in the lame-duck session, some could face Wisconsin-style recalls organized by labor unions. On Tuesday, a state House panel on Tuesday voted to change the way those lawmakers and other elected officials are recalled in Michigan.
12:54 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Bronson Battle Creek CEO leaving for job in Detroit area

Lead in text: 
Denise Brooks-Williams became President of the former Battle Creek Health Care System in 2009. She retained that position when Bronson took over the hospital in 2011.
Denise Brooks-Williams is leaving her job as president and CEO of Bronson Battle Creek next year for a position at a Wyandotte hospital. Brooks-Williams has accepted the job of president and CEO of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital and will begin work there Feb. 4, according to today's news release from Henry Ford.
SW Michigan
12:43 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Gongwer: SoS dismisses charges against House Speaker Jase Bolger

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has dismissed complaints that State House Speaker Jase Bolger violated campaign finance laws. The Gongwer News Service reports that that the decision was announced in a letter Wednesday to Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer.

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12:18 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Michigan's film credits don't produce promised jobs

Lead in text: 
A New York Times report on Michigan’s credit for film production finds it has not produce the jobs promised. The Times report on a studio built in Pontiac is part of a series on business credits and incentives and their impact on job creation. In Pontiac the studio was built on the site for a former General Motors’ facility. The report finds that the studio reported only 12 employees last year. There were other temporary jobs in areas such as construction. But an emergency financial manager appointed to oversee Pontiac’s finances says the credit diverted needed revenue.
The studio, a state-of-the-art facility fit for Hollywood blockbusters, had risen from the ruins of a General Motors complex here. It was the brainchild of a small group of investors with big plans: the studio would attract prestigious filmmakers, and the movie productions would create jobs and pump money into the local economy.

WMUK EEO Public File Report

For the period June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014

There were two vacancies for WMUK permanent full-time positions during the report period from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014. Both vacancies were for News Producers, one for an Arts and Culture Producer and one for a Government and News Producer. Both of these vacancies were filled on November 27, 2013.  Recruitment and referral source information for applicants is provided below.

Earlene McMichael became WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition in August 2012. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

It's All Politics
9:12 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama Starts His Second Term By Bringing Tougher Talk

President Obama speaks at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Since his re-election four weeks ago, Obama is showing signs of a new, more aggressive leadership style.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 12:37 pm

Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.

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Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the "three p's" of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez's reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.

From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR's news programs.

Animals
8:42 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Puppies May Help Students Ace Finals

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It's finals week for many college students. And to keep the blood pressure down, one Canadian university opened a puppy room for students. It's full of borrowed therapy dogs to cuddle. Therapy animals are a proven stress reliever. The students who organized the puppy room at Dalhousie University say the idea has gone viral. Come to think of it, sharing the puppy story on social media sites might itself be therapeutic. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
8:35 am
Tue December 4, 2012

French Mayor Introduces Rules On Politeness

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Next time you're in France be sure to mind your manners. The mayor of a small town near Paris has introduced new rules on politeness. Anyone who fails to say hello or thank you to staff at the town hall will be asked to leave. A recent poll did find that 60 percent of French list bad manners as their number one cause of stress, so maybe he's on to something. Well, excusez-moi and hello and thank you so much for listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Education
8:32 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Online Courses Force Changes To Higher Education

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There is a lot of speculation now about what issues - big and small - the Obama administration should tackle in its second term. Education is one thing on many of those lists, and in Washington yesterday, the talk was about one of the hottest trends in the field - something called MOOCS. MOOCS is short for Massive Open Online Courses; college courses, to be exact.

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Europe
6:25 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Baby On The Way For Britain's Royals

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Just as soon as it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge, that would be Kate Middleton, was pregnant, a slew of breathless headlines followed. To hear what this royal baby really means for the British, we're joined by Ingrid Seward. She's the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine.

Good morning.

INGRID SEWARD: Good morning.

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Around the Nation
4:11 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Manhattan Project Sites Part Of Proposed Park

The mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity test site in the southern New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:55 am

Congress is considering whether to turn three top-secret sites involved with creating the atomic bomb into one of the country's most unusual national parks.

The Manhattan Project — the U.S. program to design and build the first atomic bomb during World War II — largely took place at three sites: Los Alamos, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Hanford, Wash. On July 16, 1945, the first test of an atomic bomb took place at a site in the southern New Mexico desert. Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, Japan, were bombed less than a month after the test.

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Your Money
4:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

What's Next For The Daily Deal Business Model?

Despite their recent woes, "daily deal" companies Groupon and Living Social can be profitable, says analyst Arvind Bhatia.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:22 am

Are the days of "daily deal" coupons about to expire? Shares of email coupon company Groupon are down nearly 80 percent since going public last year. And its smaller rival, Living Social, plans to lay off as many as 400 employees, after reporting a net loss of more than $560 million in the third quarter.

Those struggles have raised questions about the future of the daily deal strategy, and whether a company like Groupon can stay in business.

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