At Margaret O'Keefe's farm in East Texas, they grow high-quality Bermuda grass. The fields are flat and vibrant green, surrounded by woods of a darker, richer green. The family loves this land. O'Keefe inherited it from her mother, who divided it among eight children.
"She used to call it 'enchanted valley,' " O'Keefe says.
But her "enchanted valley" also lies in the path of the Crosstex NGL Pipeline.
On any given day, there's a wildfire burning somewhere in the U.S. — and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Many western forests have evolved with fire, and actually benefit from the occasional wildfire.
This evening, after a three-year hiatus, Secretary of State John Kerry is re-launching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kerry has tapped a longtime expert on the region, Martin Indyk of The Brookings Institution, to be the day-to-day point person on negotiations. Many are skeptical that this renewed effort will work. But as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Secretary Kerry has made it a top priority.
Finally, this hour, a cause that brought Broadway to Capitol Hill today, unusual coalition of Broadway theaters, along with representatives from pro sports and churches went to the Hill to advocate for wireless microphones. The group is concerned about a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to auction off portions of bandwidth. Supporters of the auction say it will create improved service for smartphones and other wireless devices and raise billions of dollars for the federal government.
Tammy Spencer did a double take when she read the address on her paper and looked at the house in front of her.
Spencer, a volunteer with the nonprofit Enroll America, was spending a hot and humid Saturday morning knocking on doors in Boca Raton, a mostly posh South Florida city, looking for people without health coverage. She wanted to let them know about new online insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Just ahead, the weekly protests in North Carolina known as Moral Mondays may be coming to an end. We'll speak with the main organizer, Reverend William Barber, about where the movement goes from here.
Startups have made it so much easier for peer-to-peer buying and bartering these days. Need a place to stay? Swap houses. Want to fill out your wardrobe? Swap clothing. And coming soon is Leftover Swap, a smartphone app to help you barter or give away your leftovers.
This is either ingenious or cringe-worthy, depending on your penchant for other people's unfinished meals.
Some of Miami Beach's quietest and most historic neighborhoods can be found in a chain of small islands connected by a causeway. On Di Lido Island, a community of homes built 50 and 60 years ago is being torn down and replaced, lot by lot. On one street alone, five houses currently are slated for demolition.
Daniel Ciraldo stands across the street from two '60s-era houses that will soon be demolished and replaced by a new home nearly double their combined size.
Near the end of last year, a big finance company in Charlotte, N.C., was doing what a lot of other businesses have been doing recently: switching up their health care offerings.
"Everything was changing, and we would only be offered two choices and each were a high-deductible plan," says Marty Metzl, whose husband works for the company.
High-deductible plans are the increasingly common kind of health insurance that have cheaper premiums than traditional plans, but they put you on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs before the insurance kicks in.
Steamy days, sultry nights and swarming bugs all make up the thrum of life in the heart of summer. But more and more, our summers are assaulted by the bloodsucking kind of bugs, namely mosquitoes and ticks.
More than a nuisance, new species can impact our health and indicate larger environmental trends.
Beautiful And Adaptable
One relative newcomer prowling the scene is the Asian tiger mosquito. Named for its unique markings, it is black with white stripes.
Just about everything that we do in the water makes noise. When we ship goods from country to country, when we explore for oil and gas and minerals, when the military trains with explosives or intense sonar systems — the noise travels.
But these man-made noises are making it impossible for sea creatures to communicate with themselves, something that is integral to their survival. Michael Jasny, the director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says we have to quiet down.
Slow season for sports? Not one bit. It is the season for that favorite activity of couch potatoes - yacht racing. Also, in another elegant sporting arena, some unexpected lessons at this year's Dallas Cowboys training camp. Our teacher on all this, NPR's Mike Pesca. Hiya, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi. Yachts and the Cowboys. That goes so well together.
STAMBERG: Yeah. So, the America's Cup right now - that's the prestigious yacht sail-off -and it seems that some of the racing boats are making some very serious waves, yes?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg, in for Rachel Martin.
President Obama says Washington has lost focus on the economy. The president's been traveling the country with his economic prescriptions - more job creation, better access to education and a stronger middle class.
NPR senior political correspondent Mara Liasson joins us now. Morning to you.
Amid all the gloom in Detroit, some people were celebrating this weekend. It's the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. There was a big party at the Ford Stage in Dearborn, and people gathered there to remember the inventor who, by the way, was known for his passion for folk dance. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton sent us this audio postcard.
ORSON WELLES: Of course, there are all sorts of fountains. Some are beautiful, some are purely mythological. Some are silly fountains. Of course, the silliest of all, is the fountain of youth. Old Ponce de Leon thought that one was somewhere down in Florida.
A Florida gunman seized hostages and killed six people in an eight-hour standoff at an apartment complex that ended early Saturday when a SWAT team stormed the building and fatally shot the assailant.
The deadly incident occurred in Hialeah, a town just a few miles north of Miami. Police were quoted by The Associated Press as saying the bodies of three women and two men were found at the scene and that another man had been killed nearby. Two hostages were unharmed.
Food banks around the country face growing demand, despite improvements in the economy. Many families are still underemployed and struggling. So some food banks are looking for more permanent ways to address hunger, beyond handing out food.
One of them is the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, based in Tucson. Among the many programs it runs is Las Milpitas de Cottonwood, a community farm located in one of the city's lower-income neighborhoods.