Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.

Siegler grew up near Missoula, MT, and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado.  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

Politics
3:40 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

It Took Only 5 Minutes? House Votes To Stay Funded

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), pictured here on Tuesday, was one of a few House members present Thursday to vote to keep the government funded till next week. "Once you get to yes, things can move quickly," he says.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 6:13 pm

The House or Representatives met for exactly 5 minutes and 2 seconds Thursday and — in less time than you can eat lunch — passed a spending bill that will keep the government up and running.

That is, for a few days, anyway.

How It Happened

At 11 a.m., an officer of the sergeant at arms threw open the doors of the House of Representatives to carry in the 4-foot ceremonial mace with the golden eagle on top.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) was in the chair and called on the House chaplain to give the prayer.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Authorities Charge 37 In Drug Sting At Boeing's Penn. Plant

The Justice Department announced that 36 Boeing employees and one non-employee were arrested in connection to a drug sting at the aerospace company's Ridley Park, Penn. plant.

Twenty-three of them were charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug; while the rest were charged with buying the drugs. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration placed an uncover agent at the plant, after Boeing complained that there was a problem.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:24 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Worries About Autism Link Still Hang Over Vaccines

University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl last week in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 12:44 pm

Even before Rep. Michele Bachmann made waves by questioning the safety of vaccines against cervical cancer, there was plenty of resistance to routine immunization.

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Law
3:14 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Law Doesn't Mark End Of Alabama Immigration Battle

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters outside the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday. Bentley said he will work with the state attorney general to appeal the parts of the decision that struck down sections of the state's illegal immigrant law.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri September 30, 2011 4:37 am

Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation law on illegal immigration went into effect Thursday, a day after a federal judge upheld some of its key provisions, but the court battle over the issue appears far from over.

State law enforcement can now question and detain without bond people they suspect may be in the country illegally, and public schools are required to verify students' immigration status.

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Rick Perry
3:04 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Can Rick Perry Regain His Momentum?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in Orlando, Fla. The next day, he finished a disappointing second in the Florida GOP straw poll.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Texas Gov. Rick Perry rocketed to the top of the field after he jumped in the race for the GOP nomination for president last month.

His early rise in the polls was based on what Republican voters thought they knew about him. But the debates gave Republicans a chance to see Perry in action — and the normally aggressive Texas governor has been forced into the uncomfortable position of defense.

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News
2:48 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

University family invited to ceremonies for deceased student

COMMERCE - A series of memorial services are planned for the Texas A&M University-Commerce student who died Saturday in a two vehicle accident.

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Robert Christgau contributes regular music reviews to All Things Considered.

Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

L.A. County Prepares To Take On State Prisoners

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca says he's already cleared as many as 4,000 beds in the county for the new group of prisoners, and he plans to use more home detention and electronic-monitoring systems.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 5:15 pm

The state of California will begin shifting responsibility Saturday for tens of thousands of prisoners to local officials. The unprecedented change is under way because the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce its dangerously overcrowded prisons.

County officials have had just months to plan for the influx of prisoners and parolees into their communities. Of all the prisoners and parolees leaving the state's system, the bulk are headed to Los Angeles County. Los Angeles is expecting to have to deal with 15,000 additional criminals.

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Music Reviews
2:32 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops'

Mates of State's newest album is Mountaintops.
Glynis Selina Arban

Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.

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