Around the Nation
2:05 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 11:21 am

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.

Read more
Law
2:04 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 12:09 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.

Read more
Road construction
7:01 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Construction Begins on Harlow Road Phase in Commerce

Daniel Starks KETR

COMMERCE - Crews have begun preparations for the installation of a four-inch asphalt with concrete curb and gutter, a storm drainage system, and a six-inch sanitary sewer line along Harlow Road.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:59 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:49 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:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

VIDEO: When A Shark Steals Your Catch

A shark eats a fish.
YouTube

We dare say that fishing is rarely the most exciting of spectator sports. But a video that is just now going viral makes fishing look like a Hollywood film.

Read more
Politics
4:58 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 5:21 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.

Read more
Police and Courts
4:10 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Paris Man Linked to 1994 North Texas Slaying

Wesley Melton
Times Record News

SEYMOUR, TX - Investigators have used DNA evidence to accuse a Lamar County man, arrested for parole violation in May, to a killing nearly two decades ago.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:59 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

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 4:03 pm

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.

Read more
Music Interviews
3:52 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 10:16 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.

Read more

Pages