When Dr. Tim Ihrig crosses the threshold of the Avelleyras home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, he steps over a doormat that says, "One nice person and one old grouch live here."
It doesn't take long to figure out who the nice person is.
Phyllis Avelleyra grew up on a farm in western Iowa and met her husband, Augie, in "the big city," otherwise known as Fort Dodge. Population 25,000. The couple has been married for 60 years. They have five daughters, the oldest of whom is already a grandmother herself.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:59 am
Tech giants aren't on the best terms with the Obama administration lately, with the NSA's surveillance revelations getting more widespread by the day. But a lot of big tech names have agreed to visit the White House for a chat.
Tiny plastic beads used in some cosmetics and toothpaste are making their way into the bellies of fish in the Great Lakes, and it's raising concern among environmentalists. Dr. Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has been researching the issue, and she joins Audie Cornish to explain what this means for the Great Lakes ecosystem.
From, NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
City College of San Francisco is one of the biggest community colleges in the country and it may be about to close. Its accreditation is in jeopardy. The problems aren't in the classroom, they're financial and administrative. And a lot of people in higher education are watching closely.
This week the Fed's influential Open Market Committee meets to discuss some unfinished business. With Chairman Ben Bernanke getting ready to turn things over to Janet Yellen, Fed policymakers must decide whether it's time to start winding down the "quantitative easing" program put in place years ago to protect the recovery.
The police chief in Miami Gardens, Florida, has stepped down and the force is facing allegations of racial profiling. For more why the department is under fire and how residents are responding, host Michel Martin speaks with Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown and pastor Horace Ward.
Holiday shopping season is in full swing, but some people might be getting more than they paid for. Host Michel Martin talks about racial profiling, and what to do if you're a target. She's joined by Rutgers professor Jerome Williams and attorney Melba Pearson .
Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.
Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.
About one-third of American adults say they have problems falling asleep. And prescriptions for sleeping medications are on the rise, with about 4 percent of people using the drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But sleep specialists say people should exercise caution before deciding to take medication to help them sleep.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:15 am
South Korean Kim Dong-hwan, a professional StarCraft II player, has received a special U.S. visa, normally reserved for baseball players and other athletes.
The five-year P-1A visa given to the video game player last week is for "internationally recognized athletes." This follows another visa given to a Canadian League of Legends player earlier this summer.
Mitt Romney speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 15. New research suggests Democrats and Republicans had different perceptions of his physical appearance during the 2012 election.
It's clear that Republicans and Democrats had different political opinions about Mitt Romney. But did Romney literally look different to the two sides? A forthcoming study suggests that might be the case.
According to new research from Ohio State University psychologists, individual political biases might have caused 2012 GOP presidential nominee's physical appearance to appear different to Republicans and Democrats.
Most of us like to think we comport ourselves with a certain level of civility. But apparently, phone calls with customer service representatives of all stripes can lead us into more colorful speech. And some people like to track it.
"There's just something about big data and sailor-cursing that complement each other — like peanut butter and mothereffing jelly," writes Megan Garber of The Atlantic.
Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston won the 2013 Heisman Trophy as college football's best player. He's shown here in a Nov. 2 game against Miami.
Credit Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images
The Heisman Trophy finalists pose with the award Saturday. From left are Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Auburn running back Tre Mason, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Boston College quarterback Andre Williams and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the nation's top-rated passer who led his team to college football's title game in his first season, was named the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Saturday as the country's best collegiate player.
Winston, 19, became the youngest player and second straight redshirt freshman to win the award, following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Winston completed nearly 68 percent of his passes for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Undefeated Florida State plays Auburn in the Jan. 6 Bowl Championship Series title game.
For the first time, a woman has been named CEO of a major U.S. automotive company. Mary Barra, 51, breaks a glass ceiling in one of the most male-dominated industries in the nation. But women buy more than half the cars in America, so the question is why it took so long.
The latest budget deal from Washington includes provisions that would make new federal workers contribute more toward their retirement. And changing the rules for public pensions has been happening for a while at the state and local level.
Even the most mundane online tasks require us to hand over sensitive data. Privacy policies pass by with an easy click. Yes, each company has its own legal language about the risks we take on, but the standards for consumer protection are murky.
"There is no one law in the United States that mandates that websites and phone applications have good data security," says law professor Woodrow Hartzog, who focuses on the area of privacy law and online communication.
So if there isn't one set of rules, who's working to keep your personal information safe?
Ian and Nicole Hockley are parents of Dylan Hockley, one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary last year. Nicole helps lead Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit seeking to prevent the causes of gun violence.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Mark Barden, whose son Daniel, 7, died in the Sandy Hook school shooting last year, testifies at an Illinois State Senate hearing on assault weapon legislation in May.
Nicole Hockley says she used to be the kind of person who knew where she was going in life. Then, last Dec. 14, her 6-year-old son, Dylan, was one of the 26 victims killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary.
"Every plan I had went out the window, and I just kind of lost my way in terms of where do you go from here, how do you pick yourself up and move forward and find a new path," Hockley says.
The phone kept ringing at home, and media outlets sent flowers with cards asking for interviews.
British-Iranian comedian and actor Omid Djalili gained a degree of fame in the United States talking about and even joking about issues of terrorism and the Middle East following 9/11. After several years and success in Britain, he's coming back to the States.
Darin Repp found this photo in a forest preserve in the southwest Chicago suburbs, about 100 miles from where they came from in Washington, Ill. Overall, he's found about 80 photos and has been able to return 35 of them. This one coincidentally belonged to a close friend of his cousins in Washington.
Credit Courtesy of Darin Repp
Darin Repp found the photo of Barbara Walsh's husband and daughter. They were able to connect on a Facebook page dedicated to returning lost photos.
The tornado on Nov. 17 missed the house of Darin Repp's cousins in Washington, Ill. But less than a half-mile away, it flattened rows of homes, uprooted trees and flung cars around the neighborhood like a child with a temper tantrum.
In the following days, Repp noticed posts on Facebook about people finding — and returning — photos that belonged to Washington residents. Eager to help his cousins' community, he drove out to a forest preserve along the storm's path.