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STATE OF THE ARTS: Artist Tino Ortega

Tino Ortega is an El Paso artists that combines elements of street and fine art to create colorful works of art. It could be said that the self taught artist creates a series of smaller paintings to make up a large image.

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David Plante is an American novelist, diarist, and memoirist. Plante’s work, for which he has been nominated for the National Book Award, includes Difficult Women and the widely praised Francoeur Trilogy--The Family, The Country, and The Woods. Host Louie Saenz has the opportunity to speak with Plante about his latest novel, American Stranger.

We're almost into mid-February and that exercise equipment you bought at the beginning of the year is started to collect dust. If that's you, don't be so hard on yourself! We revisit with licensed and registered dietitian, Jenifer Tharani, who shares some tips on setting "intentions" rather than "resolutions," and how to get you back on track for your 2018 goals.

Almost since the inception of cinema, African-Americans have contributed in front of and behind the camera. But many of the pioneers remain unknown to mainstream audiences. Frequent On Film contributor Felipa Solis joins us in the studio as we discuss some of the notable African-Americans who have contributed to our cinema and culture, and their legacy today.

Keith Pannell continues his visit at the University of Vermont. He visits the university's Department of Physics and has a conversation with Dr. Madalina Furis, who takes a particular interest in LED's. The Romania-born experimentalist's current research includes spin-polarized magneto-optical spectroscopy studies of nitride semiconductors, the time-resolved spectroscopy of nitride emitters and semiconductor nanocrystals, and magneto-optical Kerr rotation spectroscopy of ferromagnetic nanostructures.

Sergio Troncoso is the author of The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, and the novels The Nature of Truth and From This Wicked Patch of Dust. Among the numerous awards he has won are the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize, Southwest Book Award, Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews, International Latino Book Award, and Bronze Award for Multicultural Fiction from ForeWord Reviews. Troncoso has had much success nationally and internationally but has a special place right here in El Paso. We welcome him back to the border on this week's Words on a Wire.

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Dozens of writers and illustrators earned some of the highest honors in children's literature at a joyous gathering hosted by the American Library Association in Denver on Monday. But just two managed to snag the best-known, most prestigious annual prizes for books aimed at young readers.

Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe won the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children's literature, and Matthew Cordell's Wolf in the Snow won the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children.

Carlos Cordeiro is the new president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, succeeding his boss, Sunil Gulati, in a final vote over the weekend that concluded a contentious race.

Much of northern Puerto Rico that had seen power finally restored months after Hurricane Maria, was in darkness again on Sunday following an explosion and fire at an electrical substation.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, says several areas are without power, after an explosion and fire at the substation in Monacillo on the outskirts of the capital, San Juan.

NPR's Adrian Florido, reporting from San Juan, says the blackout affects the heavily populated northern part of the island after the explosion that occurred at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau completed its investigation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter in July, nearly seven months before Porter was forced to resign over allegations of domestic violence from two ex-wives.

That is at odds with the account from White House, which said the Porter investigation was "not complete" at the time of last week's ouster.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has been uncharacteristically mum this week when asked to comment on reports that he may change his mind about retiring this year.

"I don't really have anything to say," Corker told NPR Monday evening.

Reports surfaced over the weekend, first by CNN, that some forces within the GOP were prodding Corker to reconsider over concerns that an open-seat race could deliver an upset Democratic victory in this year's midterm elections.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Twitter has banned Paul Nehlen, a Republican challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan for a congressional seat, for a racist tweet targeting American actress Meghan Markle, the fiancée of Prince Harry.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The opioid epidemic has cost the U.S. more than a trillion dollars since 2001, according to a new study, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years.

It's 5 p.m. on a Friday at a hip bar and hostel in East Austin. Half a dozen people occupy the blue velvet booths and alternative dance music blares overhead. Leigh Salinas walks in carrying a duffel bag. She's there to spend the weekend studying – sort of.

"I was certainly impacted by the presidential election in a lot of the ways that other people were," says the 31-year-old who works as an accountant for a local food company.

Salinas says she wants to run for local office.

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

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No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder.

Eli Finkel, a social psychologist at Northwestern University, argues that's because our expectations of marriage have increased dramatically in recent decades.

"[A] marriage that would have been acceptable to us in the 1950s is a disappointment to us today because of those high expectations," he says.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


MICHELLE OBAMA: Let's just start by saying wow again.


At the National Portrait Gallery in Washington today, the subjects of two new paintings helped with their unveiling.

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense greens.

"Pretty sharp," Obama said with a grin.

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Best YA Fiction Poll: You Asked, We Answer!

Jul 24, 2012

Our Best YA Fiction poll has only been live for a few hours, and already the cries of outrage are echoing through the intertubes! Where are A Wrinkle in Time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ender's Game? What about Watership Down? My Side of the Mountain? Where the Red Fern Grows? Most of Judy Blume's oeuvre? The Little House books?

We hear you, I promise.

There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.

The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.

The Colorful Days Of Life On The Border

Jul 24, 2012

Editor's note: This is another one of those stories that came to me fortuitously by email. Bruce Berman teaches photography in Las Cruces, N.M., and, like many photography instructors, he has a huge archive of his own. This is just a small selection of his color photographs documenting life in the border town of El Paso, Texas.

In The Twilight War, government historian David Crist outlines the secret history of America's 30-year conflict with Iran. The book, based on interviews with hundreds of officials as well as classified military archives, details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

Crist tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that there have been several incidents that have almost resulted in battle over the past 30 years.

For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.

In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.

Experimental fiction in North America began with a genius of a doyen in Paris: Gertrude Stein, whose aesthetic assertion that writers shape and form and reform the medium of language the way sculptors work with stone, painters work with light and shape and composers work with sound, changed Hemingway forever and, thus, changed the nature of the American short story — or the American art story, at least.

Last month we asked you, our audience, to nominate titles for a top-100 list of the best young adult — YA — fiction ever written. Thousands of you sent in nominations. We've tabulated those suggestions and, with the help of an expert panel, narrowed the list to the 235 finalists you see below.

When William Bolcom's opera A View from the Bridge premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn verismo," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as Puccini. And that pretty much hits the nail on the head.