National News from NPR


Author Interviews
4:57 pm
Sun September 4, 2011

A 'Showdown' That Changed Football's Racial History

Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. But it wasn't until 1962 that the last NFL franchise integrated — the Washington Redskins.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Sun September 4, 2011

Three-Minute Fiction: Round 7

We have our judge, we have our writing prompt and now we have our date. Round 7 of our exclusive Three-Minute-Fiction contest starts Saturday, September 10.

Around the Nation
1:53 pm
Sun September 4, 2011

Nation's Jails Struggle With Mentally Ill Prisoners

Three hundred and fifty thousand: That's a conservative estimate for the number of offenders with mental illness confined in America's prisons and jails.

More Americans receive mental health treatment in prisons and jails than in hospitals or treatment centers. In fact, the three largest inpatient psychiatric facilities in the country are jails: Los Angeles County Jail, Rikers Island Jail in New York City and Cook County Jail in Illinois.

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The Picture Show
11:44 am
Sun September 4, 2011

America's Asylums In Photographs

Straightjacket, Logansport State Hospital, Ind.
Christopher Payne

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:27 am

In the 19th century, the mentally ill were often sent to horrific asylums. Today they fill the nation's jails; the conditions aren't much better. Last year, almost 1.1 million people with serious mental illnesses were arrested nearly 2 million times.

It's those old asylums — mostly closed, often abandoned — that have fascinated photographer Christopher Payne. A few years ago, he put together a book of images from those buildings, titled Asylum: Inside The Closed World Of State Mental Hospitals.

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Art & Design
11:42 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Dream Weaver: This Guy's Quilts ROCK!

Artist Ben Venom makes quilts using vintage heavy metal T-shirts.
Ben Venom

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:27 am

If you were a metal-head in a past life, you probably have a collection of concert t-shirts stashed away somewhere.

Maybe you use that prized souvenir from Pantera's Cowboys From Hell tour to polish your vintage 1981 Pontiac Firebird.

A San Francisco artist who goes by the name Ben Venom has come up with an unusual use for those old heavy metal shirts — he sews them into quilts.

And the results are on exhibit in galleries in the Bay Area and Birmingham, England.

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Around the Nation
11:16 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Modern Firefighters: Tackling More Than Just Flames

Firefighters of Station 4 in Alexandria, Va.: (left to right) Chief Fire Marshall Robert B. Rodriguez, Jeff Taylor, Capt. Tony Washington, Assistant Chief of Operations Andrew Sneed.
Lily Percy NPR

Fires are on the decline nationwide, but that doesn't make a firefighters job any easier. In fact, it may be harder now. Not only are fires more complicated these days, but the scope of firefighting has changed drastically and now includes fire prevention, public education, safety inspections and more than anything, emergency medical assistance.

"Seventy percent of our calls are medical calls," probational firefighter Jeff Taylor tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan.

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Music Interviews
7:33 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Thomas Dybdahl: Norwegian Invasion

Thomas Dybdahl's first U.S. release, Songs, collects music from the Norweigian songwriter's hit-heavy career overseas.
Kevin Westenberg Courtesy of the artist

In his home country of Norway, Thomas Dybdahl is already a star. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released five well-received albums there over the past decade.

Now, he's making his U.S. debut with Songs, a sort of compilation of the best of his Norwegian hits. One thing that's making the transition easy: His songs are all in English.

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7:00 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Palin Offers No Clues On Presidential Ambitions

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin offered her supporters no hint of her political plans during a speech Saturday at a Tea Party rally in Iowa.

The atmosphere was that of an end-of-summer county fair. There was plenty of food, lots of T-shirts for sale even some country music. But for the 2,000 or so people gathered on a soggy field in Indianola, south of Des Moines, Palin was the main attraction. It wasnt her first visit to Iowa, home of the nation's first presidential caucus next year.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
6:14 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Ten Years Later, Flight 93 Memorial Still Unfinished

Lloyd Smith, left, and Laura Sprankle of Hagerstown, Md., visit the overlook at the temporary Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pa., Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.

Originally published on Sun September 4, 2011 8:58 am

The National Park Service will dedicate a new memorial to the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 next Saturday, in time for the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The airplane crashed outside the town of Shanksville in southwestern Pennsylvania. A decade later, it's the only one of the three major Sept. 11 memorials that has yet to be fully funded.

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Around the Nation
5:30 am
Sun September 4, 2011

Gator Wrestling: 'Not A Thinking Man's Sport'

Jay Young, owner of Colorado Gators, holds Peewee, his 11-year-old daughter's former pet. Colorado Gators offers classes on how to wrestle alligators.
Sean Post

Standing in a pool full of 2-foot-long alligators, Jay Young starts teaching a class on gator wrestling.

"He who hesitates gets bit. Don't think about it," says Young, owner of Colorado Gators. "Alligator wrestling is not a thinking man's sport."

It takes a certain kind of crazy to want to pay $100 to handle animals sensible people run away from. People do sign up, however, ready to try their hands at this most extreme of sports.

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