Power companies all over the country are in the process of replacing old residential meters with new digital smart ones. These meters transmit real time data back to the utilities, giving a precise picture of how much electricity customers are using and when. Audie Cornish talks to Severin Borenstein — director of the University of California Energy Institute — about the technology.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Ten years ago tomorrow, a sagging electrical line outside of Cleveland touched some overgrown tree limbs. That seemingly minor event triggered a chain reaction and a massive power outage. The blackout affected some 50 million people in eight states and Canada. From member station WCPN, David C. Barnett reports on the biggest power blackout in U.S. history and some of the changes that it prompted.
The New York Department of Financial Services has issued subpoenas to several companies using the virtual currency Bitcoin for more information on how they do business. Audie Cornish talks to Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about the complications of regulating digital money.
'Stranger Danger' used to be the mantra parents taught their kids to keep them safe. But now we're learning that strangers aren't the main problem - children are usually harmed by people they already know. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks child safety with a roundtable of experts and parents.
With so many marriages ending in divorce today, some people wonder if the legal definition of marriage needs updating. One lawyer, Paul Rampell, says maybe it's time to consider 'leasing' your marriage - with the option to renew. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Rampell about his idea.
Now we want to hear from one of the plaintiffs in the New York's stop-and-frisk lawsuit. Nicholas Peart is a lifelong resident of Harlem. He told his story to StoryCorp, that's the national project that records interviews between families and friends across the nation. More than once, he was stopped by police and patted down. One of the first incidents occurred seven years ago while he was out celebrating his 18th birthday, and he talked about that night in his own words.
A federal judge says New York City's stop-and-frisk policies have violated the rights of thousands of people. Guest Host Celeste Headlee discusses the ruling with Scott Burns of the National District Attorneys Association and criminal justice professor Delores Jones-Brown.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:10 am
We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.
NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:38 pm
A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
For many communities around the country, the yellow school bus is the quintessential sign that school is in session. Well, one school district is taking its buses off the roads. Citing the need to cut costs, district officials in Hoover, Alabama are canceling school bus service starting one year from now.
A Boston jury has found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of 11 murders, racketeering, extortion and other mob-related crimes. Bulger, who was the subject of a worldwide manhunt for more than a decade before being captured in 2011, likely faces life in prison. Audie Cornish speaks with WBUR's David Boeri.
A federal judge in New York City ruled that the police department has been violating the civil rights of tens of thousands of minority New Yorkers with its practice of warrantless searches, better known as "stop-and-frisk." It's a rebuke for city officials have defended the tactic as an important crime-fighting tool. Judge Shira Scheindlin is appointing a federal monitor to oversee reforms at the department.
Attorney General Eric Holder outlined federal steps to cut long prison sentences for some drug offenders. In a speech before the American Bar Association, Holder said the change is necessary to curb growing incarceration costs and to make the justice system more fair.
A trip to Malibu is the perfect getaway during your summer vacation. But good luck finding a place to park. Some Malibu residents place fake "No Parking" signs along the coast to keep tourists off of public beaches. And it's not just a problem in Malibu. A bill in the California Legislature would allow the state's Coastal Commission to start cracking down on the 600 backlogged public access violations along the coast.
After an extensive investigation lasting well over a year, NPR's ombudsman has concluded the network's series on South Dakota's efforts to put Native American children in foster care was fundamentally flawed.
The network and the ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, who is paid to critique NPR's news coverage, have split sharply over his findings.
Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, a Type 1 incident commander, addresses the media in the then-evacuated town of Idyllwild, as the Mountain Fire grows closer. Pincha-Tulley has a reputation for being frank and direct with the media and public. "For the next two days," she said, "the fire is going to put embers right over this town."
Credit Nate Rott / NPR
A Smokey the Bear sign stands undamaged by the flames that raced by it two days earlier on their way to engulfing 42 square miles of the San Jacinto Mountains in California. The sign sits next to the Esperanza Firefighters Memorial Highway, named after five firefighters who died battling the Esperanza Fire in similar terrain in 2006.
A line of dirty fire engines rumbles off of Southern California's Pine to Palms Highway into an open field, trailing a cloud of brown dust. The drivers' faces are smudged with black soot.
Across the road, helicopters land to fill with water and fuel before whacking their way back up through the smoky sky. The scenic San Jacinto Mountains behind them are bare and black, burnt clean of tree and bush. Puffs of gray smoke rise like faint ghosts.
After Medgar Evers was murdered, his wife, Myrlie Evers, carried on his work. This photo shows Myrlie Evers and her children, Van, 9; Darrell, 16; and Rena, 14, in June 1969 in their Claremont, Calif., home.
Credit Myrlie Evers Private Collection
Medgar Evers embraces friends James Meredith (left), the first black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi (with Evers' help), and iconic writer James Baldwin (right), who covered the civil rights movement for magazines like The New Yorker. Van Evers stands in front: "It's one of the very few photos I have of my dad and me," he says.
Credit J. Van Evers
Leading ladies of the civil rights movement: Van Evers waited years for the opportunity to get Dr. Betty Shabazz (educator and widow of Malcolm X), Coretta Scott King (activist and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and his mother, Myrlie Evers-Williams, in the same room at the same time for a portrait.
Credit J. Van Evers
At his second inauguration, President Obama speaks with Nolan Evers, 12, and Alex Evers, 13, about the importance of their grandfather Medgar's work, as their grandmother Myrlie Evers-Williams looks on.
James Van Dyke Evers was only 3 when his father, Medgar, was assassinated in the driveway of the family's home in Jackson, Miss., in June 1963.
A sniper shot Medgar Evers in the back as he returned from a meeting late at night. Tensions had been running high because Evers, the first field secretary for the NAACP, was making headway in pushing the state's black citizens to register to vote. White Mississippians who had lived comfortably under segregation could feel the ground shifting beneath them — and they didn't like it.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:19 pm
The 16 women and men who won more than $86 million in last week's Powerball drawing validated their ticket and posed with a gigantic check Monday. The group, which calls itself "Ocean's 16," famously worked at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department the day after they learned they would become millionaires.
"Lottery officials say each will get about $3.8 million after taxes," the AP reports.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We turn now to the future of aging in America. By the year 2050, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. That's according to the U.S. Census. And when we talk about getting older, most of us think about, what? Saving for retirement, Medicare, Social Security.
Viola Liuzzo carries her shoes while walking with other civil rights activist before she was shot and killed in Alabama. Liuzzo-Prado says her mother walked barefoot whenever she could. "She just hated shoes." When her body was removed from the car she was shot in, she was barefoot.
Liuzzo was shot to death by Ku Klux Klan members following a voting rights march in Alabama.
Credit J. Carlisle Larsen / WDET
Sally Liuzzo-Prado stands in a park dedicated to her mother, Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights activist who was killed in Alabama.
For the past few months, NPR has been commemorating the monumental summer of 1963 by looking at watershed moments in the civil rights movement. In this three-part series, Karen Grigsby Bates talks with the children of civil rights leaders who lost their lives in the battle for racial equality.
In an obscure corner of Detroit, there's a battered playground honoring a civil rights martyr. It has an overgrown baseball field, some missing swings and on a broken fence, a worn, wooden sign.
On Aug. 14, 2003, a series of cascading power failures led to a blackout that spread across the Northeast and as far west as Ohio. Some 50 million people were affected, and the power outages lasted up to 31 hours.
New York City was especially hard hit as the skyline went dark, and its 8 million residents coped without traffic lights or subways. We'll be exploring the lessons learned in the week ahead, but reporter Beth Fertig of member station WNYC reminds us what happened in her city.
Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 12:59 pm
A leap of faith that sent an Arizona family bound for the South Pacific in a sailboat has returned them in an airplane after a harrowing ordeal at sea that saw them adrift and nearly out of food in one of the remotest stretches of ocean on the planet.
Ah, the road trip - one of the great American summer rituals. But sharing this great tradition with other road trippers can also be intensely frustrating. Perhaps you've found yourself wondering why traffic jams take so long to clear up or why they seem to last so much longer than a crash. Well, Bill Beaty is a research engineer at the University of Washington. He has a little advice about that.
Baltimore, Maryland was one of the many American cities ravaged by the drug war. In the 1980s and '90s, drugs, mostly heroin and crack cocaine, flooded many of the city's neighborhoods. And with the drugs came violent crime. Today, to walk through some of those neighborhoods is to get an education in the underground drug economy - a group of kids on bicycles, a man in front of the corner grocery, a woman sitting on her front stoop. Any of them could be part of the drug chain.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The U.S. prison population has declined in the past few years but the incarceration rate is still the highest in the world. Prison overcrowding is a serious problem in several states, especially California. The federal government is weighing in on the issue too.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I think there are too many people in jail for too long and for not necessarily good reasons.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
In 2005, Brad Duke of Star, Idaho, hit a huge jackpot: $220 million in the Powerball lottery. It took a couple days, even a couple of weeks, for the magnitude of his win to hit. He didn't tell anyone, and went about his daily routines while he tried to figure out what he wanted to do next.