Janet Napolitano's announcement that she'll be stepping down as Department of Homeland Security secretary after four years on the job leaves an opening at the top of the key Cabinet agency. But it's not the only job opening at Homeland Security.
Fifteen top posts at DHS, including secretary, are now vacant or soon will be. Many are being filled on a temporary basis, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want the Obama administration to get busy filling those jobs, too.
Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, defended his decision to take the city into bankruptcy. The most contentious issue regarding the city is what bankruptcy protection could mean for the pensions of some retired city workers.
In a blunt interview with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, Orr said that saying retirees will receive no money is false.
"We're just talking about adjusting them to today's realities," said Orr.
Last fall, Hurricane Sandy damaged homes, buckled boardwalks and ruined much of the infrastructure of the small vacation spot of Fire Island, just off the coast of New York. The storm also destroyed many of the island's copper phone lines. But the island's only traditional phone company has no plans to replace them. Instead, Verizon is offering customers a little white box with an antenna it calls Voice Link.
"It has all the problems of a cellphone system, but none of the advantages," says Pat Briody, who has had a house on Fire Island for 40 years.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
On Wednesday, President Obama will return to Illinois and to the town of Galesburg. It was the site of a pivotal speech he gave about the economy in 2005, his first year as a senator. This week, the president will appear once again at Knox College in Galesburg, to lay out his economic vision as we approach the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis.
Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:16 am
You may be familiar with the Italian Beef, a Chicago roast beef sandwich you can get dipped, completely, in Meat Juice (or jus, if you insist on trying to be classy while dipping a sandwich in Meat Juice). Order "gravy bread," and you get nothing but the bun, soaked, completely, in Meat Juice.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:30 am
The offseason is a time of relaxation for NFL players. A time spent away from the field and with family and friends. Unfortunately, this is also a time where players seem to get into more trouble with the law. The arrests of notable players such as Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriot charged with murder, have sparked a flurry of reports regarding a "problem" in the NFL.
More than ever, Americans are getting to work by driving alone.
As the graph above shows, the share of Americans driving to work rose sharply in the second half of the 20th century, as the nation became more suburban. The rate has been flat for the past few decades — but during that time the percentage of people who carpool fell (even as carpool lanes proliferated).
Detroit last week became the biggest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. And now we're learning about some of the tough decisions that may come with that. Assuming the filing goes forward, Detroit will have to figure out how to reduce billions of dollars of debt. Creditors will, of course, push for the most money they can get, which means they're eyeing some of the city's most treasured assets. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.
On a scorching hot summer afternoon along the banks of the Little Bighorn River in Montana, seasonal ranger Mike Donahue brings the historical Battle of Little Bighorn to life with remarkable enthusiasm and passion.
At a recent presentation, Donahue welcomes a crowd to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. "Why did it happen in the first place?" he asks during the presentation. "Because you had two peoples that really didn't understand or appreciate one another very well."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is fighting for her bill to curb sexual assaults in the military. Her measure would give independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which cases should be tried in military court.
Military leaders fiercely oppose moving that authority outside the chain of command, arguing that commanders are responsible for the health and welfare of their soldiers. Removing their authority would undermine their ability to lead, they say.
Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:15 pm
Police in Ohio have discovered three bodies wrapped in plastic in a Cleveland suburb.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said late Saturday that the bodies had been discovered about 100 to 200 yards apart and that a 35-year-old man – a registered sex offender who served prison time — had been arrested as a suspect in all three deaths. Authorities were searching for more bodies on Sunday, Norton told The Associated Press in an interview.
Another American who listened intently to President Obama's remarks Friday was linguist and commentator John McWhorter. He's written several books about race in America, including "Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority." McWhorter says Mr. Obama's emphasis on the police and criminal justice hit an essential problem of black inequality in America.
Arlington County, Va., wants more female firefighters. The fire department there has even set up a camp to inspire potential recruits. Donning helmets and matching camp shirts, teenage girls line up to watch a demonstration: A model room with furniture is ablaze.
Camper Tara Crosey says she came to camp in part because she "wanted to show that girls are as strong as boys and girls can do what boys can do."
Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.
When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.
One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.
When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.
"I hadn't watched The Office,"Twisselman says. Kaling both wrote and appeared in the NBC hit.
As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama was part of an intense conversation around the nation.
In dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African-Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.
Can astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's "giant leap for mankind" be permanently preserved? Two House Democrats want to do just that: They proposed a bill to create a national historic park for the Apollo 11 mission — on the moon. The legislation would designate a park on the moon to honor that first mission, as well as preserve artifacts from other lunar missions
Charles Ogletree is a professor of law at Harvard and the director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the law school there. Ogletree was a senior advisor to President Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign. I asked him about his first reaction to what the president said.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. One year ago today, a gunman opened fire during a sold-out midnight showing of the newest Batman movie at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people died, 70 were injured. Minutes after the attack, police arrested James Holmes.
The days are few and far between when President Obama has intentionally reminded us that he is the first African-American president.
Friday was one.
The president did something no other holder of his office has ever had the life experience to do: He used the bully pulpit to, as an African-American, explain black America to white America in the wake of last week's acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
In the days after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin, protesters camped out at Gov. Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee, calling for a meeting.
When Scott met with protesters on Thursday, one of the group's leaders, Philip Agnew, asked the governor to convene a special session of the Legislature to look at repealing the state's stand your ground law.
"It is the time for leadership," Agnew said. "The world is watching. Most definitely, the nation is watching. And you have the opportunity to stand tall above the rest."