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How much would you pay to avoid traffic jams on your daily commute? $10? $20? How about $40?

That's how much a tollway in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., charged for a short time last week. Outraged commuters call it highway robbery.

But transportation officials say the high-priced toll is less about money and more about changing commuter behavior and reducing congestion, and commuters all across the country might soon see more tolls in the future.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

North Carolina band Blame the Youth has been playing together in and around Charlotte for three years.

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Flipping through O Magazine this month, we saw a blurb that read reckless decorating.

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And we laughed and thought, like, what does that mean, mixing tinsel and garland?

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Dies At 65

Dec 12, 2017

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San Francisco lost its mayor early this morning. Ed Lee died after suffering a heart attack last night. He first took office in 2011 as acting mayor, succeeding Gavin Newsom. Here is Lee at that swearing-in ceremony.

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Thousands of firefighters who have traveled from across the country to Southern California have started making progress containing the fifth-largest wildfire in the state's history.

The week-old, nearly 230,000-acre Thomas Fire is now 20 percent contained, after firefighters on the ground and in aircraft took advantage of weakened Santa Ana winds on Monday night. The fire has consumed an area larger than the size of New York City.

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Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee, most recently known for embracing the "sanctuary city" label, has died at age 65. Lee was not known to be ill; he reportedly died at a San Francisco hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Member station KQED cites a statement from the mayor's office, saying he died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital:

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The U.S. Department of Transportation released a statement last week announcing it would withdraw a proposed rule that would force airlines to disclose baggage and other fees at the time of ticket purchase. The decision to rescind the yet-to-be-enforced regulation from the Obama administration received heated responses from members of Congress and airline consumer rights organizations.

This week marks five years since the mass shooting deaths of 20 young children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

One of those killed was 6-year-old Avielle Richman, who was shot in her first-grade classroom. Her parents, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel, plan to spend this year's anniversary day quietly, at home with the two children they had after Avielle's death.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

In a tug-of-war with a massive wildfire north of Los Angeles, authorities said the ground they lost to the fire a day ago had been regained.

Firefighters on the ground, as well as water-dumping fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, had managed to bring the week-old, nearly 236,000-acre Thomas Fire, to 25 percent containment, after retreating from the massive blaze on Sunday.

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Open enrollment on the federal health law's marketplace — HealthCare.gov — ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline.

But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.

"While a lot of people will be eligible ... I am still worried that a lot of consumers won't know it," says Shelby Gonzales, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Following a federal court ruling, the Pentagon has confirmed it will allow openly transgender individuals to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1. The Trump administration had resisted that deadline in court, seeking to have its ban on new transgender troops reinstated — but on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld an earlier decision to temporarily block President Trump's ban.

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The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. Among the nominees is Christopher Plummer for a role he played as a last-minute replacement for Kevin Spacey. NPR's Camila Domonoske reports.

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I'm Robert Siegel with All Tech Considered.

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One of the country's best-known celebrity chefs has left day-to-day operations of his businesses after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

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