For many people, chitlins (or chitterlings) are a tasty (or, for some, nasty) soul food dish made out of pig intestines. If you can get past what they are (or how badly they stank when cleaned and cooked), then you can shake some hot sauce or sprinkle some cha-cha relish on top and dig in. There's even an annual chitlin' festival in South Carolina.
The water has been contaminated for residents in nine counties. At a congressional hearing in West Virginia, their representatives demanded the answer to that simple question we asked earlier: Is the water safe?
Here's Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito questioning the state's commissioner of public health, Letitia Tierney.
REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO: Dr. Tierney, is the water safe to drink?
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
There are some basic things we take for granted, at least in the developed world, that the air we breathe or the water that flows into our homes won't make us sick. So imagine you turn on your local TV news to this.
(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORT)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: State of emergency in several counties tonight after a chemical spills into the water supply. Good evening. I'm...
Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, talks with NPR's Arun Rath about his organization's mission and financial struggles. The nonprofit, which is going into its 26th year, is the largest gang-intervention program in the country.
Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.
Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.
Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.