Agriculture
6:49 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Farm Worker Shortage Hits California Ag Industry

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For the second year in a row, California farmers are complaining of a worker shortage.  Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on how the state’s $43.5  billion agriculture industry is feeling the squeeze – and how consumers might, too.

Last year, nearly two-thirds of farmers in a California Farm Bureau Federation survey said they didn’t have enough workers to pick their crops.  This year, says the Farm Bureau’s Brian Little, it’s a problem again.  For farmers, that means…

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Government & Politics
6:42 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

CEQA Overhaul Supporters Not Happy with Current Proposal

As negotiations over a potential overhaul of California’s landmark environmental law enter their final weeks, supporters of rewriting the California Environmental Quality Act say the current proposal falls short of reform.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

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Arts & Culture
5:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

How I Started an Opera Company in Visalia

Credit Visalia Opera Company

How did I, of all people, end up starting an opera company? The answer has to do with being willing to forget about credentials and just take that first step. The answer also has to do with the open culture of my hometown.

I grew up in Visalia, singing Gloria Estefan and Selena songs at county fairs. All I wanted to do when I grew up was to be a pop singer—to shake my booty on stage and wear glittery outfits. I didn’t know the first thing about opera.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Senate Confirms James Comey As Next FBI Director

Former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on May 15, 2007. NPR has learned that Comey is in line to become President Obama's choice as the next FBI director.
Susan Walsh AP

With a vote of 93-1, the Senate confirmed James Comey as the next director of the FBI. Comey will replace Robert Mueller.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Comey is a Republican and a former Justice Department official during the George W. Bush years. Civil rights groups questioned his record on surveillance and harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects.

"But after Kentucky Republican Rand Paul lifted his hold on the FBI nominee, Comey sailed through the full Senate.

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Code Switch
3:10 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

In Nation's First Black Public High School, A Blueprint For Reform

Dunbar High School has a notable list of graduates, including the first black presidential Cabinet member, the first black general in the Army and several of the lawyers who argued the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:26 am

The nation's first black public high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1870. But more than 140 years later, Dunbar — like many urban schools — has fallen on hard times. The crumbling, brutalist-style building is often described as a prison, and graduation rates hover around 60 percent.

But it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, the yearbook read like a Who's Who of black America.

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All Tech Considered
3:09 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

What We're Watching As World's Big Hackers Meet In Las Vegas

Hackers attend the 2011 Def Con conference in Las Vegas. The 2013 conference as well as the Black Hat hacker conference kicks off this week.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:01 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:09 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Panel Urges Lung Cancer Screening For Millions Of Americans

Some images of lung cancer are clear cut. But in many others, a nodule on the screen turns out not to be cancer at all.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:24 am

A federal task force is planning to recommend that millions of smokers and former smokers get a CT scan annually to look for early signs of lung cancer.

The 16-member US Preventive Services Task Force gives that lung cancer screening test a grade of B, which puts it on the same level as mammography for women between the ages of 50 and 74.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Police Arrest Woman Suspected Of Vandalizing Washington Icon

Green paint was discovered in two chapels inside the National Cathedral in Washington on Monday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 4:07 pm

Police in Washington, D.C., say a woman has been arrested, suspected of splattering green paint across the organ at the National Cathedral, the Episcopalian church that has long served as the country's spiritual home.

CNN's Dan Merica tweeted this photo of church:

NPR member station WAMU reports the arrest follows a series of similar acts of vandalism across Washington.

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It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Obama And Clinton Meet For 'Friendship' Lunch

President Obama has lunch with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the patio outside the Oval Office on Monday.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Talk about a power lunch.

President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Monday for a private lunch that immediately sparked speculation about what it means for the 2016 presidential race.

The visit marked at least the second time the two have met privately since Clinton left the State Department earlier this year. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, met with Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for a private White House dinner in March.

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Environment
2:08 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Once Resilient, Trees In The West Now More Vulnerable To Fires

The remains of a tree are seen in front of a boulder in the Dome Wilderness area of New Mexico in August 2012. The Las Conchas Fire torched the land in 2011, burning through more than 150,000 acres of forest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:24 am

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.

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