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3:05 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not: Town To Tap Sewers For Energy

Brainerd Public Utilities' Scott Sjolund at a sewer site. Sewers around the city were monitored to gauge the amount of potential energy flowing through the system.
Conrad Wilson for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 12:21 pm

Most Americans use electricity, gas or oil to heat and cool their homes. But the small city of Brainerd, Minn., is turning to something a bit less conventional: the sewer.

As it turns out, a sewer — the place where a city's hot showers, dishwashing water and organic matter end up — is a pretty warm place. That heat can generate energy — meaning a city's sewer system can hold tremendous potential for heating and cooling.

It's just that unexpected energy source that Brainerd hopes to exploit.

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Law
3:04 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Fake Pot Is A Real Problem For Regulators

A screengrab from the Mr. Nice Guy site shows the company's products, including Relaxinol, which was blamed for contributing to an accidental death.
NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:09 pm

This week, President Obama signed a law banning synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs. Dozens of states and local governments have already tried to outlaw fake marijuana, which has been blamed for hundreds of emergency room visits and a handful of fatalities.

But the bans have proved largely ineffective, and there are fears that the federal law won't be any different.

Synthetic marijuana looks a bit like dried grass clippings. It's readily available on the Internet and in convenience stores and smoke shops, where it's sold as herbal incense or potpourri.

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The Two-Way
6:59 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

From Our Readers: A Tale of Two Cities

In San Bernardino, Calif. the city government is suddenly seeking bankruptcy, while in Scranton, Pa. city workers have seen their salaries reduced to minimum wage. One of our readers disparages San Bernardino's actions while another advocates bankruptcy for Scranton.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Syria's Ambassador To Iraq Says He Has Joined The Revolution

Marking him the most senior diplomat to defect from the Bashar Assad regime, Syria's ambassador to Iraq said he has joined the revolution.

Reuters reports that Nawaf Fares posted a video on Facebook announcing his resignation.

"I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people," Fares said according to Reuters.

The AP, which reported the defection earlier quoting the opposition, says this is the second prominent Syrian to defect in less than a week. The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

VIDEO: When A Shark Steals Your Catch

A shark eats a fish.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 6:10 pm

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Politics
5:33 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Arizona Immigration Activists Mobilize Latino Vote

Maxima Guerrero and Daniel Rodriguez canvass for votes in Phoenix. Rodriguez moved to the U.S. with his mother when he was a child, and is undocumented. "The best thing I can do now," he says, "is organize those that can [vote], and make them vote for me."
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 6:21 pm

For years, Maricopa County, Ariz., has been ground zero in the debate over immigration.

On one hand, the massive county, which includes the state capital of Phoenix, has a growing Latino population. On the other, it's home to publicity savvy Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made his name by strictly enforcing, some say overstepping, immigration laws.

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Music Interviews
5:33 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

At 100, Woody Guthrie Still Resonates

July 14, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth.
Al Aumuller Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:16 am

Woody Guthrie would have been 100 years old on Saturday. The singer and songwriter wrote "This Land Is Your Land," among thousands of other songs.

Even though Guthrie died almost 45 years ago, his lyrics and message continue to appeal to new generations of Americans.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Astronomers Discover Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated P5.
NASA

We now know that Pluto, the dwarf planet formerly known as a planet, has one more moon orbiting it. Using the Hubble Space telescope, astronomers have discovered Pluto's fifth moon.

NPR's Joe Palca filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The new moon is tiny, something between 6 and 15 miles across. It showed up in nine separate images the space telescope made in the last month. The latest image came earlier this week.

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Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
5:02 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

To Beat Odds, Poor Single Moms Need Wide Safety Net

Shyanne (left) holds 1-year-old Makai, as Stepp checks to see if all of Shyanne's homework has been completed.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 6:51 pm

Single mothers have an especially hard time getting out of poverty. Households headed by single mothers are four times as likely to be poor as are families headed by married couples.

Still, many of these women are trying to get ahead. Some know instinctively what the studies show: Children who grow up in poor families are far more likely to become poor adults.

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The Salt
5:00 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Wake Up Call To Grocery Stores: Young People Shop Around

The millennial generation doesn't shop at the grocery store the way their parents and grandparents do.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 11:31 pm

Supermarkets have spent decades catering to the needs and wants of baby boomers, and now the millennial generation is disappointed with what they're finding at traditional grocery stores, and are shopping elsewhere in greater numbers.

In fact, a new market research report called Trouble in Aisle 5 reports that millennials buy only 41 percent of their food at traditional grocery stores, compared to the boomers' 50 percent.

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