Latest from NPR

The Bureau of Land Management released new plans Thursday for managing sage grouse habitat across public lands in Oregon, Idaho and eight other Western states.

Sage grouse populations have been hit hard east of the Cascades: from habitat loss, invasive species, grazing, and wildfires. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has called these threats “a death of one-thousand cuts.”

The agency will decide by this September whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Thousands of Oregon students have shifted to new state tests this year. The new standardized exams are creating one of the most stressful testing seasons in years. The feelings toward the test vary a lot from one school to another.

In the Columbia Gorge town of Mosier, school officials are putting a positive spin on the new Smarter Balanced tests. Schools Director Brian Schimel calls testing days "a learning celebration."

"A lot of breaks, a lot of fun, a lot of recess, and also a lot of snacks to go along with it — healthy snacks, too," Schimel said.

Beach Balls: A Sea Lion's Worst Enemy

19 hours ago

Port of Astoria Executive Director Jim Knight's inbox overflows with suggestions on what to do with the sea lions crowding the docks.

Build a barge offshore for the sea lions. Shoot off fireworks in the direction of the creatures. Rig the docks to tip under the 800-pound pinnipeds' weight. Frighten them with a 16-foot fiberglass fake killer whale.

"Some ideas are worth pursuing and some ideas I just dismiss offhand," Knight said.

Oregon's Ethics Commission would have to speed up its investigations under a measure approved in the Oregon House Thursday.

Oregon Fire Officials Brace For Potentially Busy Season

19 hours ago

Local, state and federal officials are bracing for an expensive, potentially catastrophic fire season.Over the past two years, the Oregon Department of Forestry spent more than 200 million dollars fighting wildfires. 2013 was a record season for acres burned and money spent firefighting on state land. ODF spokesman Rod Nichols says drought conditions in Oregon may mean another rough season, but a lot depends on the weather.

The Bureau of Land Management released new plans Thursday for managing sage grouse habitat across public lands in Oregon, Idaho and eight other Western states.

Sage grouse populations have been hit hard east of the Cascades: from habitat loss, invasive species, grazing, and wildfires. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has called these threats “a death of one-thousand cuts.”

The agency will decide by this September whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Cholera Surges In Haiti As Rain Arrives Early

20 hours ago

At a government-run clinic in Diquini, near Port-au-Prince, doctors are treating a handful of cholera patients.

One of them is Givenchi Predelus. For five days, the high school sophomore has been lying on a cot with a towel over his midsection and an IV in his arm, listening to tinny music on his bare-bones cellphone.

Predelus speaks in a whisper, a sign of what cholera has done to his strength. "Only one other person in my area has cholera," he says, through an interrupter. "She sells patties on the side of the road. I'm the second victim."

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Chicago. The Illinois Republican, 73, is charged with trying to evade cash withdrawal requirements, and with lying to the FBI about it.

CDC Investigates Live Anthrax Shipments

21 hours ago

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the military managed to ship anthrax spores that were apparently live from one of its facilities to more than a dozen labs across the United States.

"We have a team at the [military] lab to determine what may have led to this incident," says CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. In addition, he says, the agency is working with health officials in nine states to make sure the potentially live samples are safely disposed of and the labs affected are decontaminated.

Forrest Hampton is about to become a family man and he couldn't be happier. He's 25 and he lives in a suburb of Dallas with his fiancée, who's due to have their baby practically any minute. They've already picked out a name: Raven.

In most ways they are a normal family. Except for one thing. Until last year, Hampton was a registered sex offender.

"I honestly don't believe I was supposed to be registered in the first place," he says, "but I wasn't in the position to fight my case."

Cod love the icy cold waters of the North Sea — and British people love eating cod.

But a decade ago, it looked like people were eating the fish to the brink of collapse. Now the trend has turned around, and the cod are coming back.

We pick up this fish tale, which seems to be on its way to a happy ending, at an early morning fish auction in Fraserburgh, Scotland, where buyers and sellers are lined up alongside hundreds of boxes containing cod, hake, monkfish, sole and every other kind of fish you can imagine from the North Sea.

Many farmers in Appalachia are cultivating food not in big open fields but deep in the forest — where ramps, hazelnuts and maple trees for syrup thrive.

But some would like to see the region producing even more forest-grown products — in particular, mushrooms — to meet growing demand at specialty food stores and restaurants that serve local ingredients.

The catch? Cultivating mushrooms is labor-intensive, and if you want to sell them to the public, you'll need to show proof that they're edible and safe.

Chinese writers and publishers are being celebrated this week in New York at BookExpo America — the industry's largest trade event in North America. Organizers of the event say China deserves a seat at the table because it is such a big and potentially lucrative market. But some authors and free speech advocates have seen this as an opportunity to shine light on censorship in China.

Entrepreneur Petar Vujosevic was just a regular guy who saw a big problem with the way the hiring system works.

Typically, a hiring manager posts an opening, describes the ideal candidate and resumes come flooding in. After doing some interviews, the manager has to make a gut decision: Who is the best person for the job?

Research shows that more often than not, managers pick someone whose background is similar to theirs.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.

Earlier this spring, headlines around the world trumpeted an exciting bit of news that seemed too good to be true: "Eating chocolate ... can even help you LOSE weight!" as Britain's Daily Mail put it.

A government program called Lifeline subsidizes basic phone service for low-income people. Now, the head of the Federal Communications Commission also wants to use the program to pay for broadband Internet connections, which many poor people lack.

When it comes to the Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says there are the haves and the have nots. Ninety-five percent of households with incomes over $150,000 a year have broadband access, he says. But just 48 percent of households making under $25,000 do.

For about as long as there have been humans, it seems there have been tattoos.

Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy discovered in the Alps in 1991, had 61 tattoos covering his body. And a quick look around the local coffee shop reveals they're just about as popular today. By one estimate, about a quarter of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo.

Pages