The subject of affordability in American cities came up in a referendum yesterday in San Francisco. Voters rejected measures that would have given a green light to a major luxury condo development. The city is enjoying a construction boom. And some San Franciscans saw this vote as a fight over the kind of city they want.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is celebrating an impressive reelection victory but he also suffered a defeat. Voters handily approved a measure to raise the state's minimum wage. That's a measure Christie had opposed.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, New Jersey is the fifth state this year to raise the minimum wage.
Western states have led the way in the legalization of marijuana, first with medical marijuana, and then with the legalization of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington last November.
It's been quite an adjustment for the police. Washington State Patrol is adapting to the new reality in a variety of ways, from untraining dogs that sniff out pot, to figuring out how to police high drivers.
There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.
In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:27 pm
This case is proving a tough nut to crack: Thieves have been making off with shipments of walnuts and almonds in California's Central Valley. The latest heist is valued at $400,000.
Rich Paloma, a reporter with The Oakdale Leader, tells NPR's All Things Considered that in the most recent nut job — he's counted six thefts of walnuts and almond shipments in recent months — the thieves cut through a fence.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:37 am
Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.
In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:27 pm
Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.
A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. That explanation is at odds with the widely held belief that those new immune systems are just too weak to do the job.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 11:46 am
Singer Chris Brown was in the news last week after being accused of punching a fan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. Police later identified the alleged victim as 20-year-old Parker Isaac Adams. Brown maintains it was his bodyguard who threw the punch and only after Adams tried to board the singer's tour bus.
Adams' uncle came to his defense after the incident, insisting to reporters that his nephew wasn't a troublemaker.
"Parker's not some kind of hoodlum," Creighton Adams told the AP.
For women, hair care can be a sensitive issue. But now one woman is picking a fight over hair care with the state of Texas. Host Michel Martin speaks with Isis Brantley who is suing the state for the right to teach hair braiding.
Hazing and bullying are commonly found in schoolyards and fraternities. But pro sports? The NFL is investigating possible harassment within the Miami Dolphins between veteran guard Richie Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Host Michel Martin speaks with sportswriter Kevin Blackistone about the culture of bullying and hazing within the NFL.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:02 am
As loyal readers and listeners know, your NPR tech reporters are organizing our enterprise reporting by exploring a single theme in technology over the course of a week. Our first theme week was on kids and technology and it aired last week. We featured stories about babies and screen time, teens and social media, the science behind video games and more.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:50 am
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel oversees the U.S. military as it moves women to frontline combat. Every month, Hagel has lunch with rank and file members of the armed services to hear what's on their minds. This month, Steve Inskeep sat in on that lunch at the Pentagon.
At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, the subject for debate was the reach of the Constitution's treaty power. But the justices' questions covered subjects from sarin gas to Halloween trick-or-treating. And the facts of the casesounded more like a soap opera.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:10 pm
It's only been hours since Kmart announced its Black Friday plan — to remain open for 41 hours in a row beginning early on Thanksgiving Day. But online critics are throwing a red light on the plan, with some calling the company a Grinch for its aggressive approach to the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Technology giant Apple is buying a large manufacturing space in Arizona, where high-tech glass for its devices will be produced. The move is being hailed in Arizona, where the economy remains slowed by the U.S. housing market crisis.
From Phoenix, Mark Moran of member station KJZZ reports for our Newscast unit:
The news for moose is not good across the country's northern tier and in some parts of Canada. A recent and rapid decline of moose populations in many states may be linked to climate change, and to the parasites that benefit from it.
In Minnesota, moose populations have dropped from a high of more than 12,000 two decades ago to fewer than 3,000 now. Moose in some parts of Manitoba have declined by 50 percent and more.
Florida's citrus industry has a new problem. It's long wrestled with crop diseases like canker and greening. But the effort to halt greening has killed millions of bees, as growers have increased their use of pesticides.
And that, in turn, is straining relationships between citrus farmers and their longtime partners, beekeepers. Here's Ashley Lopez of member station WGCU.
ASHLEY LOPEZ, BYLINE: Harold Curtis runs an 1,100-acre grove in southwest Florida. He walks through the rows of trees, packed full of plump, juicy oranges.
Most sore throats aren't strep. But because strep bacteria can in rare cases cause rheumatic fever, people often feel like they should get tested for possible strep infection.
It might be possible to skip that step someday by checking whether your neighbors have been getting strep throat, researchers say. Aside from reducing the cost and inconvenience of needless clinic visits, the neighborhood strep check could reduce the risk of being needlessly treated with antibiotics.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, we're going to spend some time talking about some important issues in criminal justice, including what happens after people have served their time. Retailer Target recently announced that it would remove questions about an applicant's criminal history from the initial job applications, but many companies still do it. We'll talk about why this has become a growing focus of advocates.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 10:36 am
Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.