Pfeffer News


Audio Postcard: Prisoner Art

Ann Arbor, MI

WUOM – More than three-hundred works of art are on display at the University of Michigan by artists who are incarcerated prisoners. Stephanie Rowden visited prisons in Michigan and spoke with several incarcerated artists.

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Hunting for an Extinct Mountain Lion

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Adirondacks, NY

WNPR – Forests across much of the Northeast are still home to bobcats, and Canada Lynx can still be found in Maine. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicerecently declared the region’s biggest wild cat – the eastern mountain lion — is officially extinct. That might sound like the end of the story, but Brian Mann reports a growing number of biologists think mountain lions could return to reclaim their territory in the Northeast.

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Rethinking Zoning Laws

Streetsboro, OH

Changing Gears – Zoning is the DNA of a community: it controls how you live, shop, and work. Dan Bobkoff reports after nearly a century of many cities separating those uses, now, they’re going back to the future: trying to recreate an old way of life.

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Audio Postcard: Laid Off

Nashville, TN

WPLN – Two years ago, with unemployment on the rise, Rachel Agee was grateful to have a job. She worked at a law firm, producing training videos about, ironically, how to properly fire someone. The company terminated her, without warning, in February of 2009. Kim Green has this audio postcard.

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Sex Ed in NYC Schools Takes Many Forms

New York, NY

WNYC – Sex education for New York City teens takes many forms and occurs in many settings – all in an effort to reduce the risk of pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted disease. Fred Mogul reports.

Boston’s Black Infant Mortality Problem

Boston, MA

WBUR – A black baby born in Boston is four times more likely to die than a white infant, according to health officials. There is no clear reason why, but Martha Bebinger digs into this disturbing fact by talking to a black mom who lost one infant and now has a 7-month-old.

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DOJ Releases Report on NOPD Misconduct

New Orleans, LA

WWNO – The U.S. Department of Justice has released a blistering report after a 10-month investigation into the New Orleans Police Department. Eileen Fleming reports the findings came with few surprises.

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


Cattle Numbers Down, Beef Prices Up

 Eldora, IA

Iowa Public Radio – As more farmers convert from cattle to crops, the nation and Iowa are seeing the lowest cattle inventories in more than 50 years. Sarah McCammon reports, not surprisingly, that beef prices are on the rise.

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What’s Next for Sears?

Chicago, IL

Changing Gears – Sears & Roebuck has been a dominant retailer in the Midwest since it was founded in Chicago almost a 120 years ago. It’s hung on while other brands – like Marshall Fields, Montgomery Ward – and mostly recently Borders – have disappeared or stumbled. Although its stores have winnowed, there’s still a Sears in every corner of the Great Lakes. Changing Gears is a public media project looking at our regional economy. In this story, reporter Niala Boodhoo looks at what’s next for Sears.

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A Place for Awful Art

Jesus in Peeps

Seattle, WA

KPLU – There’s myriad places to view great art, but what about the art that doesn’t make the cut…by a mile. Now there’s a home for those pieces at the Official Bad Art Museum of Art. It’s The “OBAMA.” Jennifer Wing reports the collection’s curators are the Seattle couple Marlow Harris and Jo David.

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Pressure on Texas Lawmakers to Scrap Education Cuts

Austin, TX

KERA –  Public school teachers facing layoffs are taking their message to state lawmakers in Austin today. Their noon rally follows a Saturday march for education funding that drew an estimated 11,000 to the capitol. Shelley Kofler reports a growing number of Texans are pressuring officials -especially the Governor- to find money for schools.

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


Improving Big Rig Gas Mileage

Potsdam, NY

North Country Public Radio/Innovation Trail – The trailers you see on semi-trucks are great for packing and moving goods, but aren’t good for fuel economy. As Ryan Morden reports, researchers at Clarkson University have designed a product to reduce drag from those trailers and improve gas mileage.

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Gay Couples Struggle to Navigate Retirement

Johnson County, IA

Iowa Public Radio – Among Iowa’s aging population, one community may be especially vulnerable. Gay and lesbian seniors are more likely to experience social isolation, financial insecurity, and discrimination from care givers, according to research from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Kate Wells reports Johnson County is creating their own task force to try to help Iowa’s so-called “gay and gray.” 

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Medicaid on the Chopping Block as States Eye Budget

Flagstaff, AZ

Arizona Public Radio – $140 billion – that’s the combined budget deficit states are facing when federal stimulus dollars dry up this summer. Many state lawmakers are eyeing their ballooning Medicaid programs to help balance those budgets. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer has proposed cutting about a quarter million people from its rolls. But as Daniel Kraker reports, those initial savings would have some significant costs in the long run.

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


Calls from Jail Shed Light on Crime

St. Paul, MN

Minnesota Public Radio – Domestic violence is one of the most confusing crimes prosecutors have to deal with. The victim and suspect know each other and they may even love each other. But Sasha Aslanian reports prosecutors do have one powerful tool that gives them insight into, and sometimes ammunition for their cases: inmate phone calls from jail.


Detroit Symphony Strike Plays out on Facebook

Detroit, MI

Michigan Radio – As the fight between Detroit Symphony Orchestra management and musicians drags on, Jennifer Guerra reports another fight of sorts is playing out on facebook.

 Click here to listen to the story.