Pfeffer News


Looming Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

Parker, CO

KRCC – The new federal health care law set to kick in by 2014 will expand access to health care in Colorado. That’s causing some experts to warn of a looming shortage of family practice doctors. Already, there aren’t enough of them to go around in poor urban areas and in rural Colorado, where it’s hard to lure young medical students. Carol McKinley takes a look at the situation.

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Doctor-Approved Pot Sold Out of State

Fresno, CA

The California Report – Over 1,000 dispensaries in California sell medical marijuana to people with recommendations for the drug from a doctor. But federal officials believe that some physicians may be facilitating the illegal export of pot to other states. Michael Montgomery reports.


Jailed Bronx Teens Find a Muse in Music

New York, NY

WNYC – Incarcerated teens were recently given a chance to write and record their own songs with the help of professional musicians, composers and producers from Carnegie Hall. Cindy Rodriguez reports.


A Glimpse at a River’s Pre-Commercial Past

Wellesley Island, NY

NCPR – Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s massive system of locks and channels began in the 1950s and changed the river profoundly. Brian Mann sets off in his kayak around Wellesley Island, to see if he can catch a glimpse of what the St. Lawrence might have looked like before it was used for international commerce.

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Destroyed Church a Comfort to Tornado Victims

Joplin, MO

KSMU – As the city of Joplin begins the long, slow road to recovery following the powerful tornado that ripped through on May 22, its churches are providing emotional and spiritual support to people who lost almost everything. Jennifer Moore reports one church is trying to serve those around it, even though its structure was at the center of the tornado damage.

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Do-Over for Nature, Convicts on Chicago’s Southeast Side

Chicago, IL

WBEZ –  A lot of attention has gone toward making the city’s emerald span of lakeside parks shine. But Chicago is also working to improve less well-known areas, including Hegewisch Marsh on the far Southeast Side. The marsh is an ecologically valuable wetland, but it was also a dumping ground for big-industry. Michael Puente reports those working to restore the area are looking for a second chance themselves.

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Relaxed Regulations Translates to Steep Rise in Permits

Cedar Valley, IA

Iowa Public Radio – In just under six months, some 60,000 Iowans have received non-professional permits to carry a gun. That’s a fifty percent increase over all gun permits issued last year. The spike follows a recent change in state law. Kate Wells reports it standardizes Iowa’s permit process and makes it easier for most residents to get a permit – especially those with criminal records.

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Courts Force Reimbursement Hike for Foster Parents

San Diego, CA

KPBS – California has repeatedly balked at boosting how much it pays the people who care for society’s mistreated children. The number of foster parents declined about 30 percent over the last decade, and Amita Sharma reports child advocates blame California’s lousy track record on foster parent reimbursement for the drop off.

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How Latinos are Changing the Midwest’s Economy for the Better

Aurora, IL

Changing Gears – Recent census reports show Midwestern cities are shrinking and people are moving out. But one group is actually growing – the Hispanic population. Niala Boodhoo went to a few of the fastest growing areas Latinos are moving to in the Midwest to learn more about their economic impact.

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Fishermen, Stylists Fight Over Feathers

Coeur d’Alene, ID

N3 –  One of the key feathers used in fly-tying is suddenly becoming scarce as a new trend pits fishermen against stylists. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Understanding Bears Could Help Human Hearts

Minneapolis, MN

MPR – University of Minnesota researchers think lessons learned from hibernating black bears could one day improve the odds of surviving a heart attack. Dan Gunderson explains.


Mental Health Strained in Tornado Aftermath

photo credit: Butch Dill, AP

Birmingham, AL

WBHM – Victims of April’s tornadoes have endured a whirlwind of emotions. It’s virtually impossible to live through such a disaster and not endure mental stress and strain. But Andrew Yeager reports the adrenaline and shock of those first few days are wearing off, bringing on a new set of mental health concerns.

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Clergy Abuse Case Becomes Spiritual Struggle for Attorney

Coeur d’Alene Reservation, ID

KUOW –  One of the largest clergy sex abuse cases in the country has turned into the case of a lifetime for one Northwest attorney. The settlement between the Northwest Jesuits and abuse victims will soon go before a federal judge in Portland for confirmation. The north Idaho attorney who helped negotiate this $166 million deal says he was a small town “nobody” before the case. Jessica Robinson tells the story of how going up against the Catholic Church shook up his own long-held beliefs.

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Even with Witnesses Gang Shootings Often Go Unsolved

Portland, OR

OPB – Over the last few years, several young people have been shot by gang members in Portland. Some shootings have been downtown. There was one at a funeral. Gang members open fire, sometimes finding their target, sometimes an innocent bystander. But even when there are dozens of witnesses, police say investigations are often stymied by a wall of silence. Two years ago, 18-year-old Shelly Washington was shot in a park.  Kristian Foden-Vencil has the story.

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