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This has been a tough year for celebrity deaths — and a sad week for fans of Prince, who died Thursday at age 57. But as flashes of purple filled my social media feeds from friends mourning Prince's death, I just felt numb — and like an outsider, watching a ritual I couldn't fully join.

Law enforcement officials say five people were shot dead in the community of Appling, Ga., at two separate locations on Friday evening. They say the suspect was later found dead in his own garage.

Columbia County Sheriff Captain Andy Shedd said the suspect, who "died because of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," has been identified as Wayne Hawes, The Associated Press reported.

Shedd added that Hawes "knew the victims and the shootings stemmed from a domestic incident."

Appling is about 25 miles west of Augusta.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Wine retailer David Trone is pouring $12.4 million of his own money into his campaign for a Maryland congressional district — the most ever from a self-financing House candidate.

Ahead of the Democratic primary on Tuesday for this suburban Washington, D.C., seat, his decision to entirely self-fund his race with such an exorbitant investment is fueling a debate over money in politics and whether bankrolling your campaign — much like a certain GOP presidential front-runner has done — is a positive or a negative.

A Risky, Expensive Investment

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This Week In Sports

Apr 23, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Some college lectures aren't just dull, they're ineffective. Discuss, people.

You did. Our recent stories on the Nobel Prize winning Stanford physicist who's pushing for big changes in how large universities teach science to undergraduates generated lots of interest, comments, questions, shares and listens — online and on NPR One.

Earth Day got you thinking about how your diet impacts the planet?

The World Resources Institute has news to ease a meat-lover's conscience: In a new report, it says you don't have to bid burgers bye-bye in order to reduce the environmental footprint of what you eat. Cutting back could go a long way, it says.

In the report, the nonprofit calculates the planetary effect of various possible changes in how the world eats.

Local and state officials said Friday that eight people from the same family have been killed at four separate locations in Pike County, Ohio.

County Sheriff Charles Reader told reporters that, while investigators are still identifying the victims, they do know that all are members of the Rhoden family. He adds that all of the deceased are adults except for one 16-year-old boy.

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Billy Ryan visits Roy's Trailer Park on Florida's Stock Island every two months. It's part of his regular rounds as an inspector for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

"Hey, I'm just checking on the yards for the mosquito control," he tells one resident, Marie Baptiste, as he heads into her yard. "OK?" No problem, she tells him.

During a news conference in London Friday, President Obama criticized the North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their gender designation at birth.

Obama said he thinks the North Carolina law and similar measures in other states, including Mississippi, "are wrong and should be overturned."

In a Friday afternoon press conference, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson did not say what led to the death of singer Prince, whose body was found yesterday at his home in Minnesota. He was 57.

Olson did say there were no "obvious signs of trauma" on the singer's body, and that there is no reason to believe his death was a suicide.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In Detroit, 12 public school principals are accused of taking kickbacks on supplies that were never delivered. The charges, announced late last month, pose another blow to the long-troubled Detroit Public Schools, which needs hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term state aid.

Here's how the alleged kickback scheme worked: 12 principals, all working separately, gave contracts for school supplies to a vendor, who then kicked back some profits to them.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says the alleged fraud totals $2.5 million. She calls it a "punch in the gut."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's been nearly two years since the Department of Veterans Affairs came under fire for the amount of time veterans had to wait to see a doctor. The agency scrambled to find a fix, including allowing vets the option of seeing a private doctor via a program they call Veterans Choice.

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

The largest research hospital in the world, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., needs reform so that patient safety is always the priority — and never subservient to the demands of science.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that the federal government paid a steep fee for help accessing data on the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino attackers.

Just how steep?

"Let's see, more than I will make in the remainder of this job which is seven years and four months, for sure," Comey said at a talk at the Aspen Institute in London.

Considering the FBI director makes around $185,000 a year, that means the bureau shelled out more than $1 million for help cracking into the terrorist's iPhone, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

"Who still supports Andrew Jackson?"

An NPR colleague posed that question Thursday morning after news broke that Jackson, or at least his image, will share the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. Tubman, in fact, would be the one on the front of the bill; Jackson would ride in back. News items described this Treasury Department decision in a way that made Jackson seem impossible to support: A slave-owning president was being shoved aside in favor of a heroic escaped slave.

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