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Strange News
3:16 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Small Town's Police Blotter Is A Riot

Unalaska's Sgt. Jennifer Schockley has earned fans worldwide for her local police blotter.
Alexandra Gutierrez KUCB

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 11:16 am

In one Alaskan fishing village, crime is a laughing matter. It's not the crimes that have residents chuckling so much as how they're written about. The Unalaska crime report is full of eagle aggression and intimate encounters gone awry in the Aleutian Islands.

When Sgt. Jennifer Shockley heads out on patrol each day, she's got the police blotter on her mind. Her goal is to paint a detailed picture of the town's often ridiculous crimes.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Indian Engineers Build A Stronger Society With School Lunch Program

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit based in Bangalore, partners with the government to make close to 1.3 million nutritious meals a day for schoolchildren throughout India.
Ryan Lobo for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:54 am

At a government-run public middle school in Bangalore, the blackboard's cracking, the textbooks are tattered and most of the students are barefoot.

But with all those challenges, the biggest obstacle that teachers face in keeping kids in school is hunger. Many students show up at school having had nothing to eat for breakfast.

On mornings one student comes to school hungry, the thought of school makes her break down, she says.

"When I had to get on the bus, I would start crying," says K. Suchitra, 13.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

With Some Profanities Edited, 'Bully' Receives PG-13 Rating

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.
Lee Hirsch The Weinstein Company

The Motion Picture Association of America and The Weinstein Co. have finally come to an agreement: After editing some profanities, the MPAA walked back its R-rating and Bully, a documentary about school bullying, will be released on April 13 with a PG-13 rating.

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Europe
2:20 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Homelessness Becomes A Crime In Hungary

Two homeless men lie on mattresses in central Budapest in 2010. Hundreds of people live on the streets in the Hungarian capital; many refuse to stay in night shelters for fear of having their goods stolen.
Karoly Arvai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 9:25 pm

Hungary's new anti-vagrancy laws — the toughest in Europe — now mean that homeless people sleeping on the street can face police fines or even the possibility of jail time.

Advocacy and human-rights groups are alarmed by the new efforts to crack down on and effectively criminalize homelessness, where the ranks of the needy have increased during the country's dire financial crisis.

Debt, joblessness and poverty are on the rise. The country's bonds have been downgraded to "junk" status, and the nation's currency, the forint, has dropped sharply against the euro.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Toy Companies Debut Bald Dolls For Cancer

A lineup of the bald Bratz and Moxie Girlz dolls that are scheduled to hit store shelves this summer.
MGA Entertainment

Barbie is best known for her curvy figure and long blond hair — but Mattel plans to produce a doll that's a dramatic departure from that classic image.

This Barbie will be bald.

Mattel decided to make the doll after a campaign by Jane Bingham, a survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Philadelphia. She started a Facebook group with her friend called "Beautiful and Bald Barbie." She tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that they wanted the toymaker to create a doll for kids who have cancer or have lost their hair for medical reasons.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Doctor Blazed Trails For Women In Medicine

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Dr. Leila Denmark led an exceptional life. She fought hard to become a doctor when women were largely shut out of the profession and helped research and test the whooping cough vaccine. She then opened her own practice and spent the next 71 years caring for child patients and their parents. Dr. Denmark died this week at the age of 114. That's right, 114.

Charles Edwards of member station WABE in Atlanta has this remembrance.

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Food
2:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Early Spring Has Farmers Battling Frost At Night

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Philippe Coquard could use some sleep. He's the co-owner of the Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. And he's been up two nights in a row. He blames it on the weather.

PHILLIPPE COQUARD: The month of March was like summer, which we never see that in Wisconsin. And everybody is so happy and it feels like summer. Well, it's not good to us.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Guerrilla Grafters Bring Forbidden Fruit Back To City Trees

Guerrilla grafter Tara Hui grafts a fruiting pear branch onto an ornamental fruit tree in the San Francisco Bay Area. She doesn't want the location known because the grafting is illegal.
Lonny Shavelson for NPR

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 6:00 am

Spring means cherry, pear and apple blossoms. But in many metropolitan areas, urban foresters ensure those flowering fruit trees don't bear fruit to keep fallen fruit from being trampled into slippery sidewalk jelly.

But a group of fruit fans in the San Francisco Bay Area is secretly grafting fruit-bearing tree limbs onto those fruitless trees.

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Book Reviews
1:03 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

100 Years Later, Titanic Lives On In Letters

The ill-fated Titanic rests at Harland and Wolff's shipyard, Belfast, in February 1912.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 5:23 pm

When I hear the word "Titanic," I picture a tuxedoed Leonardo DiCaprio, waiting at the bottom of a gilded staircase while the voice of Celine Dion swells in my mind. It's all Edwardian glitz and glamour, decadence and passionate love, the kind best enjoyed in a dark theater with plenty of popcorn. And then I quickly remember that the ship sinks, and that Titanic is more than just an epic film from my youth. On April 15, a century will have passed since the ship plummeted into the icy Atlantic, and it is the tragedy we should remember, not just the mythology surrounding it.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
12:59 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Company Ties Shoes And Ethics Together

Gideon Shoes co-founder Matt Noffs with youth from The Street University, the nonprofit youth center that launched the fair trade company.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 11:16 am

You don't go through corporate communications to meet the executive steering committee at Gideon Shoes.

Instead, you walk through a basketball court with graffiti-covered walls and into a sound studio. There, Gideon employees are warming up their talking points: rap lyrics.

"There's no excuses in this life, so I'm fighting on. ... The flame inside my heart is more like a firestorm," they rap.

The team is made up of Suhkdeep Bhogal from India, Thane Poloai from Samoa and Allan from New Zealand, who doesn't want to give his last name.

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Economy
12:49 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

For Long-Term Unemployed, Help Is Running Out

Job seekers line up to enter a career fair in Los Angeles. Both Congress and states are cutting back on unemployment benefits.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Diane Turner can't find work. She spent 30 years managing dental practices in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, but lost her last job in that field a couple of years ago.

She worked for a while greeting customers at an auto body shop, but lost that job a year ago. "It was very depressing," Turner says. "I always worked, and I was always able to get a job."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:19 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Spotting Dyslexia May Be Possible Even Before Kids Learn To Read

How to test reading ability in children who can't read has been a problem for researchers.
f_ iStockphoto.com

For people with dyslexia, problems recognizing words can make life difficult. Children usually aren't diagnosed until elementary school, when it becomes clear they're struggling with reading. But scientists say it could be possible to diagnose and help kids much earlier by identifying problems with visual attention — long before they learn to read.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Reports: F-18 Fighter Jet Crashes In Virginia Beach

The burning fuselage of an F/A-18 Hornet lies smoldering after crashing into a residential building in Virginia Beach, Va. on Friday.
AP

A Navy fighter jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach on Friday afternoon. Television images showed thick, black smoke billowing near a row of apartment buildings.

Update at 8:24 a.m. ET April 7. No Fatalities, Officials Confirm

Fire officials say they have accounted for everyone who lived at an apartment complex in Virginia where a Navy fighter jet crashed on Friday.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

How Homo Sapiens Became 'Masters Of The Planet'

The first Homo sapiens appeared on the planet some 200,000 years ago. But even though they looked fully human, they didn't act fully human until they began creating symbolic art, some 100,000 years later. Paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall discusses those human origins in his book Masters of the Planet.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Taking A Walk On New York's Wild Side

New York City has been referred to as a concrete jungle. But researchers say it is more 'jungle' than you might think. A panel of experts discuss the plant and animal life found in city waters and green spaces. They also discuss the impact of urbanization and climate change on a city's biodiversity.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Coyotes Come To The Big Apple

Coyotes were first spotted in New York City in the 1990s. Now they are thought to be permanent residents of the Bronx, and have been seen in Queens and Manhattan. Wildlife biologist Mark Weckel, of the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, is documenting their immigration through camera traps in New York City parks.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

New York City's Mayor Is A Geek At Heart

Did you know Mayor Michael Bloomberg has an engineering degree and built a ham radio as a child? The mayor talks about his passion for science and how it shapes the way he thinks. He also discusses plans for an applied sciences campus in New York and potential spin-offs from the project.

The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri April 6, 2012

VIDEO: Rapping Federal Worker Adds To Evidence Of Waste And Excess

From the GSA employee's rap video.
House Oversight & Reform Committee

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Poll: Opinion On Trayvon Martin Case Divided Along Racial Lines

Shirley Jackson (right), a teacher in Miami Dade school system, joins hundreds of other people in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood during a rally on Wednesday in Miami, Florida.
Angel Valentin Getty Images

Opinion about the Trayvon Martin shooting is sharply divided by race, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds.

The divide is clear, when pollsters asked if George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed the black, unarmed teenager, was guilty of a crime.

A little more than half of the African Americans polled said he was "definitely guilty," while only 15 percent of non-blacks shared the same opinion.

The poll also found:

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Economy
11:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

March Jobs Report Offers Mixed Messages

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Governing
11:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Deal Might Be The Key To Save Detroit

The city's leaders agreed to a compromise with state officials this week, that may save Detroit from bankruptcy. But Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley tells host Michel Martin that a lot more work needs to be done to save the struggling city. They're also joined by NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:48 am
Fri April 6, 2012

It's All Politics, April 5, 2012

Steven Senne ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Listen to the Roundup

Mitt Romney's sweep in Tuesday's primaries essentially signals the beginning of the general election campaign. And President Obama joins the fray, attacking Romney by name in a speech to news editors; the former Massachusetts governor returns the favor a day later. Paul Ryan draws attention from the president as well as those speculating on the GOP ticket. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin have the latest in this week's political roundup.

Sports
10:37 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Behind The Plate, A Baseball Catcher Tells All

Ausmus (left), playing for the Houston Astros in 2006, talks with pitcher Brad Lidge on the mound during a game.
David. J Philip AP

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:39 am

This interview was originally broadcast on August 18, 2011.

Brad Ausmus has spent most of his career in a squatting position. As a major league catcher, he crouched behind home plate for roughly seven months a year while playing with the San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

How did he practice for games? Even more squats.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Check It Out: St. Louis Keeps Adding To Its Chess Prowess

When it comes to chess, St. Louis is in the game.
Tom Gannam AP

We're seeing headlines today about an entire college championship team moving from one school to another. And though the story's about two months old, it's still so unusual and has enough interesting angles to warrant passing along.

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Music Reviews
10:35 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Finding And Curating The Roots Of Soul Music

The Burden Lifters.
Tompkins Square Records

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:50 am

Some years back, I was driving across the South with a German friend, leaving early Sunday morning from Athens, Ga., and heading to Louisiana. I turned on the radio and found a black church service in progress, and a woman with a remarkable voice singing. "Who's that?" my friend asked. I told him I had no idea. "But with a voice like that, she must be famous," he said. Some miles down the road, when the station had faded out, he still didn't believe me.

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