National News

Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:45

The federal government just listed the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species, but states are pushing back hard, saying that restrictions could negatively impact a number of industries.

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Ukrainian Protesters Seize Weapons, Raising The Stakes

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:37

Pro-Russian demonstrations have led to standoffs in three Ukrainian cities. The confrontation is considered especially dangerous in Luhansk, where protesters took over a building filled with weapons.

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'Kissing Congressman' Video Puts Scandal In Unusual Focus

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:27

A video of married Rep. Vance McAllister in a passionate embrace with a co-worker has put his job in peril. In a prudent move, he decided against pursuing an FBI investigation into who leaked it.

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Wanted By The FBI: Bank Robber With Perfect Grammar And Spelling

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:18

The bureau is seeking a 30-something black male who writes stickup notes with "proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation."

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Obama Honors Victims Of Fort Hood Shooting

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:07

President Obama is traveling to Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for those killed in last week's shooting.

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With Proposed Mega-Merger On The Hill, Spotlight's On Consumers

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:07

Comcast and Time Warner executives ran into stiff opposition as they pitched their proposed merger to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The deal would give the combined company a large share of both pay TV and broadband internet service markets. In both cases, lawmakers wanted to know how consumers would be affected.

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Pursuing IRS Controversy, House GOP Pivots Toward Crossroads

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:07

House Republicans want former IRS official Lois Lerner prosecuted for allegedly revealing information about one of their most powerful outside groups, Crossroads GPS.

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Before Classes Even Begin, Mass Stabbing Leaves School Reeling

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:07

Police say that 20 people were injured — some of them critically — during a knife attack at a suburban high school outside Pittsburgh. A 16-year-old boy is in custody following the attack.

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Toyota Pulls Over 6 Million Vehicles Worldwide

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:07

Toyota is recalling 6.4 million vehicles due to defects. The recall comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of automakers, only weeks after Toyota agreed to a $1.2 billion settlement with the U.S. government for misleading consumers.

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Medicare Pulls Back The Curtain On How Much It Pays Doctors

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 11:59

Physicians and health data specialists caution that the information can be easily misconstrued. Some cancer doctors receive payments that cover the cost of expensive drugs for patients.

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Pop Stars Are Sippin' On Patron, And Teens Are Bingeing

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 11:52

If you know Ciroc and Patron, you may well be listening to a lot of songs that name-check brand-name alcohol. And if you're a teenager, you may be binge drinking a lot more, researchers say.

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Obama: Passing Of Fort Hood Victims 'Shakes Our Soul'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 11:33

For the second time in five years, President Obama delivered a message of resilience and service at a memorial service for slain soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.

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Gut-Eating Amoeba Caught On Film

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 11:28

Dangerous and impolite: This little guy triggers food poisoning in people by biting off chunks of intestine, chewing on them for a bit ... and then spitting them out.

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House Votes To Refer IRS Official Lois Lerner To Justice Department

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 10:46

The House Ways and Means Committee voted to send the Justice Department a criminal referral over what they said was the former IRS official's "extreme bias."

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More Force May Be Used To Move Pro-Russia Protesters, Ukraine Says

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 10:30

Demonstrators have taken over some government buildings in eastern Ukraine, saying they want a vote on whether to join Russia. Ukrainian officials vow to resolve the situation within 48 hours.

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What's your type?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 10:04
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 16:55 http://helvetica-the-perfume.myshopify.com/

Someone loved Helvetica so much, they made it into a perfume.

The break-up of a graphic design duo has resulted in a lawsuit of $20 million – over fonts. Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler worked together for 15 years to create some of the most famous and ubiquitous fonts around– used by GQ, Martha Stewart, the New York Jets and Saturday Night Live. They won awards for their typefaces - before the relationship turned sour. So now we want to know: How much do you care about fonts? Take our survey! (function(){var qs,js,q,s,d=document,gi=d.getElementById,ce=d.createElement,gt=d.getElementsByTagName,id='typef_orm',b='https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/share.typeform.com/';if(!gi.call(d,id)){js=ce.call(d,'script');js.id=id;js.src=b+'widget.js';q=gt.call(d,'script')[0];q.parentNode.insertBefore(js,q)}})()Marketplace for Thursday April 10, 2014by Sally HershipsPodcast Title What's your type?Story Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

In Turnaround, More Moms Are Staying Home, Study Says

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:41

The number of "stay at home" moms in the U.S. has been on the decline for decades. But a newly released Pew Research Center survey shows a 6 percent increase from 1999 to 2012.

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Detroit Reaches Bankruptcy Deal With Some Bondholders

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:40

The plan shifts $100 million to pension funds and resolves one of the record bankruptcy's most contentious issues.

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When the coal layoffs trickle down

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:25
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 06:40 Lorri Shundich

Kae and David Fisher opened their store in downtown Whitesburg last year.  

Coal communities in eastern Kentucky are feeling the effects of a relentless wave of mining layoffs the past few years. Competition from cheap natural gas and high production costs have hurt the mining business here. That, in turn, is hurting Main Street.

Take Whitesburg, Kentucky, population 2,000 give or take. At the Railroad Street Mercantile, owner Kae Fisher surprises visitors with an eclectic mix of merchandise. Homemade jellies, aromatherapy oils, snack chips, and jalapeno eggs fill the shelves. In the back of the store, she’s selling used LP’s and consignment quilts.

“These are from ladies across the county who try to earn a little extra money because a lot of them, their husbands have lost their jobs,” says Fisher.

Fisher and her husband David opened their “corner market” last year, as mining employment in eastern Kentucky plunged. Inauspicious timing, but Fisher believed the downtown needed at least one store. “We’re able to pay the bills,” says Fisher. “But have we got our money back that we’ve invested? Not yet.”

A midday stroll down Main Street, Whitesburg can be a lonely experience. The courthouse is the busiest place in town, but tables at the Courthouse Cafe across the street are fairly empty. On a weekday afternoon co-owner Laura Schuster worked the kitchen by herself. She can’t afford an assistant right now. “Once the layoffs started we immediately knew what would happen, that people would be afraid that they also would lose their jobs and they would cut back anyway they can,” says Schuster. “And one way to cut back is to not eat out. I’d say business is down 50 percent, if not more.”

Whitesburg and other coal towns in the region are also suffering from a steep drop in coal tax revenue. The money goes to counties and was originally intended for an economy beyond coal. In Whitesburg’s Letcher County, coal tax revenue is half what it was just a few years ago.

Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says over the years coal severance taxes have been diverted for other uses. “Local governments in eastern Kentucky have gradually become dependent on the coal severance as just a general fund source for operations,” says Bailey “For them to pay for police, to do basic road repair. So they’ve had a really hard time because there’s the lack of a tax base outside that as well to generate revenue.”

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, says the transition to a “low-coal” economy will be “slow, hard and expensive.” He points out the region was poor, even while coal boomed. “So there will be no easy fix.”

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, April 11, 2014 Lorri Shundich

Kae and David Fisher opened their store in downtown Whitesburg last year.  

Check out all our Coal Play stories.

Lorri Shundich

Laura Schuster, co-owner of the Courthouse Cafe in Whitesburg, KY, says business is down 50 percent, if not more.

by Sarah GardnerPodcast Title When the coal layoffs trickle downStory Type FeatureSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

The loaded meaning behind 'What do you do?'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:08

Jim and Deb Fallows of the Atlantic continue their travels across the United States, in partnership with Marketplace. This week, the Fallows are taking a break from exploring different towns across the country to examine something we all do – introduce ourselves.  

Or more precisely, they're examining the thing we say right after we introduce ourselves. It’s different in every part of the country.

In New York or D.C., the first question after an introduction is often “What do you do?” – meaning, what’s your job? But careful asking that question in Burlington, Vermont, says Fallows. People are more likely to respond, “I ski or I run a lot or I have a little boat.”

Deb Fallows says “It’s a question that matters. It’s something we say all the time." She was caught off guard when, in Greenville, South Carolina, she was asked what church she went to. In cities like Chicago or Boston, it’s not uncommon for people to ask "Which parish do you live in?" In midsized cities, it's often "Where did you go to high school?"

Fallows says the questions are meant to tease out socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, and cultural background.

“You know that somebody’s kind of digging for information to put you into their world – how do you fit into my world?

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