Pfeffer News


Future of Prisons as Economic Engines in Doubt

Canton, NY

North Country Public Radio – On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will unveil a plan to cut New York’s budget deficit, which now stands at more than $11 billion. Cuomo’s spending plan could hit nearly every part of the North Country’s economy, from schools to hospitals. He’s also considering massive layoffs, with as many as 10,000 jobs on the line statewide. Brian Mann reports one state agency that could face the deepest cuts is the Department of Correctional Services.

Click here to listen to the story.


Distractions Rise, but Accidents due to Distracted Driving Don’t

Ann Arbor, MI

Michigan Radio – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently met with Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally to discuss distracted driving. LaHood has been on a self-described “rampage,” against distracted driving. And while he has mainly focused his attention on cell phones in cars, he’s also angered many in the car business by criticizing infotainment technologies like Ford’s Sync and MyFordTouch. Tracy Samilton reports.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Sugar Co. has Outsized Influence in Washington

Washington, DC

Minnesota Public Radio – If you made a list of the Minnesota-based companies that spend the most money lobbying the federal government, you’d see some familiar names, but Curtis Gilbert reports there is one relatively small company that has become a big political player.

Click here to listen to the story.


A Homeowner’s Tortured Path to Mortgage Modification

Annapolis, MD

WYPR – A record 2.9 million properties nationwide were the target of a foreclosure filing last year, and a million were repossessed, according to RealtyTrac. As homeowners struggled to hang on, the federal government stepped in with its Home Affordable Modification Program. Mary Rose Madden reports on the case of a local homeowner struggling to get her mortgage modified.

Click here to listen to the story.


Picking Chicago’s Next Mayor/CEO

 Chicago, IL

WBEZ – The race to replace Mayor Richard Daley is in its final stretch. With debate season underway, the candidates are trying to convince Chicagoans that they’re the best pick to lead the city, to be its public face, its CEO. With that in mind, Sam Hudzik sought out advice from professional CEO recruiters, or headhunters, and asked them what voters should consider before hiring the city’s new boss.

Click here to listen to the story.


The Origin of Dreams

Washington, DC

WAMU – Where do dreams comes from? Sabri Ben-Achour goes to the animal kingdom and learns most mammals do dream — but no one can explain why.

Click here to listen to the story (RealPlayer)

Click here to listen to the story (Windows)


Retirement Haven Torn by Identity Crisis

Ryderwood, WA

Oregon Public Broadcasting – The small town of Ryderwood in southwest Washington bills itself as the nation’s first seniors-only retirement community. But some unhappy residents are pursing a federal housing discrimination case to get Ryderwood to lift its age restrictions. Tom Banse reports on the turmoil in this retirement community.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page.


Digital Divide Widens for Jobless

Chicago, IL

Changing Gears – When you talk about a digital divide, you’re probably thinking of inner city kids who don’t have ready access to the Internet. But there’s another group that looks at the digital divide with a growing sense of urgency: unemployed workers. Niala Boodhoo looks at how hard it is to find a job when you don’t have the skills or access to technology.

Click here to listen to the story.


Foster Kids Find Benefits in Reconnecting with Family

Sacramento, CA

The California Report – Children who are raised in foster care often lose touch with their biological relatives. Elaine Korry reports a new federal law requires states to help these children find their birth families. 



Faithful Tell Church to “Stand Up” to Violence

El Paso, TX

Changing Americas Desk/KJZZ – Violence in the border city of Juarez is taking a toll on the faithful. Monica Ortiz Uribe reports some are asking the church to step into the fray.

Click here to listen to the story.


Taco Truck Troubles

Nashua, NH

Immigration is down all across the country. Authorized and unauthorized. Unemployment is still high and law enforcement is getting tougher, so many immigrants are relocating or returning home. The drop in the immigrant community is having an impact on local businesses. Simón Ríos reports.

Click here to listen to the story.


Middle Schoolers Flex Their Political Muscle

Presscott, AZ

KNAU – Arizona legislators begin their first session of the New Year Monday. One of the bills they’ll consider would ban texting and hand-held cellphone use while driving. But, it wasn’t drafted by a lawmaker, a social activist or even an adult. It was written by a group of kids, and while they may not be old enough to drive OR vote, these kids have one of the best views of just how dangerous texting and driving can be…the back seat. Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked website.


The Divorce Agent

Seattle, WA

KUOW – It’s a new year and Washington state’s housing market is still one of the worst. The number of foreclosures is going up faster here than anywhere else in the country. Trying to sell in this market is tough. It’s best to ride out the storm and hope prices will come back up someday. But not everyone can wait, that’s especially true for divorcing couples. Sara Lerner talks to a few Washington residents in that predicament.

Click here to listen to the story.


Studying the Art of Conversation

Austin, TX

KUT – Researchers at UT Austin are discovering the hidden form of communication behind our words. Mose Buchele has more.

Click here to listen to the story.


Food Banks Make Nutritional Push

Nashville, TN

WPLN – A slow economy has forced food pantries and soup kitchens into high gear, with nearly 50 percent more people depending on them since 2006. And while food banks around the country struggle to meet the increased demand, they’re also pushing themselves to focus on what they’re feeding people, not just how much. Blake Farmer reports.

Click here to listen to the story.