Pfeffer News


Can Small Business Incubators Make a Difference?

Cleveland, OH

WCPN – For a few decades local governments have been trying to “grow” new businesses by “incubating” start-ups…typically that means offering them some space, advice and networking opportunities. During the recession these public-private experiments have thrived and Cleveland boasts seven incubators. But are cities getting a good return on their investments? Ida Lieszkovszky went looking for answers.

Click here to listen to the story.


Surrogate Pregnancy Between Friends

Amherst, MA

WFCR – Every year, an estimated 1,300 babies are born in the US to gestational carriers – women who bear a child made from the egg and sperm of another couple. Only a small percentage of those are among friends – including one surrogate pregnancy in Western Massachusetts. Karen Brown reports a woman is carrying a baby for her best friend whose chronic disease would make pregnancy dangerous. 

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


Tour Lets Visitors Experience Symptoms of Dementia

Miami, FL

The Healthy State – Caregivers of people with dementia often deal with frustrating, inexplicable behaviors by their loved ones. But what is it like for the person with dementia? Sammy Mack followed a virtual tour to find out.

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Popping the Prom Question

Craig, CO

KCFR – It’s prom season when high school kids go all out: fancy outfits, nice restaurants, maybe even a limo. Well, a group of boys got into the spirit a little early at Moffat County High School in Craig. That’s a town of about 10,000 in northwest Colorado. Zachary Barr reports these kids tried to come up with the most romantic way to ask their sweethearts to prom.

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Roll-Your-Own Shops Raise Legal Questions

Brookfield, WI

WUWM – There are new stores popping up in strip malls around Wisconsin with cute names like “Holy Smokes,” “That’s How We Roll” and “Bargain Butts.” They sell cigarettes that cater to do-it-yourself smokers seeking a cheaper, more natural alternative. But as Erin Toner reports, the stores are also stoking a regulatory debate.

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Turning Down the Volume Under Water

Vancouver, BC

N3 – This month in Victoria and Seattle, separate groups of scientists are sharing their observations that the ocean is getting noisier. Tom Banse reports conservationists and shippers are also talking about how to dial down the volume.

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Looking Under the Hood of the Taxi Industry

Charlotte, NC

WFAE – There’s a fierce debate over laws that govern Charlotte’s taxi industry and other passenger vehicle services. The city wants to limit the number of cab companies that serve the airport. There’s now a lawsuit over that process. But the debate goes beyond the airport proposal. Julie Rose reports it’s exposed a system in which the players have little common ground aside from the pavement beneath their tires.

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page (part 1).

Click here to listen to the story on the linked web page (part 2).


Thousands of Jobs Ride on Horse Racing

Baltimore, MD

WYPR – Every year the focus is on the Preakness, the most profitable day in Maryland Racing; but Art Buist reports that is just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the impact of horse racing on the state’s economy.

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


Food Trucks Hit Obstacles in the Midwest

Cleveland, Chicago, Ann Arbor

Changing Gears – Gourmet food trucks have become all the rage in big cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. They’re transforming the way people think about street food and entrepreneurship in the restaurant business. And they’d seem like a natural for the Midwest, as we reinvent ourselves. But food trucks are having a harder time catching on here. Ida Lieszkovszky reports.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable

San Francisco, CA

QUEST – The severe flooding on the Mississippi River has left a lot of damage in its wake. It’s an extreme event that government and insurance companies try to plan for by predicting the risk. But as Lauren Sommer reports, climate change is throwing a wrench in those calculations.


QUEST on KQED Public Media.


U.S. Drug Use Feeds Mexican Violence

Phoenix, AZ

KJZZ – The violence that’s roiling Mexico can at least be partly blamed on our own citizens. Even top levels of the federal government now say it’s our demand for pot and cocaine that has sparked deadly turf battles at the border. Peter O’Dowd reports on this country’s thirst for drugs.

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New Gold Rush Leaves a Mark in Southwestern States

El Centro, CA

Fronteras – During the 19th Century, gold mining fueled the expansion into the so-called Wild West. Today, Ruxandra Guidi reports rising gold prices have led to a new gold rush with ten old mines reopened in the last decade.

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Green Cards For Sale?

Seattle, WA

KUOW – It’s tough to get a US green card. You can try a special lottery, or marriage, or maybe an employer will sponsor you. Or if you’re rich, well, that opens another door. Increasingly, more immigrants are walking through that door to drop some cash in Washington state. That’s thanks to a federal immigration program that offers green cards to foreigners who invest in certain US businesses. As Liz Jones reports, Washington has become one of the top states for these investments.

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Texas at Forefront of Sonogram Legislation

Austin, TX

KUT – Texas Governor Rick Perry has said he will sign into law the so-called “sonogram bill,” that passed through the state legislature this week.  Mose Buchele reports the bill would require women who seek an abortion to get a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure.

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


The Livery Business Model

New York, NY

WNYC – When it comes to catching a cab, New Yorkers living outside of Manhattan often have a tough time. This year, Mayor Bloomberg proposed to allow car services, also known as liveries, to make curbside pickups. But Ilya Marritz reports there’s a catch – they’d have to install meters.


Researchers Link Former NFL Player’s Brain Injuries to Depression

Beford, MA

WBUR – Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears safety who killed himself in February, had been suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and the degenerative brain disease likely contributed to his suicide. Bob Oakes reports.

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Jubilation Over Death of Bin Laden Tainted by Mosque Vandalism

Portland, ME

MPBN – The U.S. killing of 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden is rocking the world. And it’s holding a particular significance in Maine, where two of the al-Qaida terrorists began their journey to destroy the World Trade Center. But Josie Huang reports the celebration was marred by vandalism.

Click here to listen to the story.