Participation Nation
5:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Helping Hats In Reeds Spring, Mo.

Sophia Greenwalt in a hat.
Courtesy of the Greenwalts

Sophia Greenwalt, 13, is the founder of Helping Hats, a fundraising program in the Reeds Spring School District. Once a month, students and staff can wear a hat to school for a dollar donation. The money raised that day goes to a non-profit organization in the community.

In 2012, Sophia has gotten nine local businesses on board to match the money raised by the school. Helping Hats has raised more than $20,000 for organizations such as the Joplin School District (after a devastating tornado), the Humane Society and others.

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Planet Money
5:11 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Inside America's Most Indebted City

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg, Pa., incinerator.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:58 pm

Harrisburg, Pa., leads the nation in a dubious distinction: It has the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion.

The bizarre tale behind the massive debt includes a do-gooder who skipped town, an epically mismanaged incinerator, and possible criminal behavior.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:46 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Thalidomide Maker Apologizes After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 2:22 pm

You've probably heard of thalidomide, the infamous sedative that ended up causing birth defects in the children of mothers who took it.

Back in the late 1950s, the drug was sold in 46 countries, though not the U.S., and was particularly popular in then-West Germany, the U.K. and Australia. But in 1961, the drug was taken off the market after the link to birth defects emerged.

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The Salt
4:45 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Battle Over Michigan's New Swine Rules Goes Hog Wild

A Russian sow on Mark Baker's farm. Four other parties have joined Baker's lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Courtesy of Long Haul Productions

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:33 pm

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Participation Nation
4:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Dancing In The Dark In Nashville, Tenn.

Peggy Ivie, right, is a dancer.
Courtesy of Patricia Lefler

I had always dreamed of learning ballroom dancing. But when I lost most of my sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, the dream seemed over.

However, I joined a dance club in Nashville and began taking lessons. My instructor, Patricia Lefler, had never taught dance to a visually impaired person before, but she rose to the challenge.

One day she suggested that we volunteer to teach dancing at the Tennessee School for the Blind. In January, we taught our first group of six.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Thieves Hit Warehouse Holding $30 Million Of Canadian Maple Syrup

Maple syrup bottles sit on a shelf. A Canadian syrup producers' federation says a warehouse holding "over 10 million pounds of maple syrup" was recently burglarized.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation stockpiles vital resources — think of the U.S. Petroleum Reserve, for instance. In Canada, they have warehouses holding millions of pounds of maple syrup. And recently, one of them was the site of what may be "the sweetest heist of all time," as The Vancouver Sun reports.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Eastwood And His Chair Not Only Entertainers On The Trail

Matt Berninger of The National will open for a President Obama rally Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Here, Berninger performs in Brisbane, Australia, in 2011.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Mitt Romney has Clint Eastwood and that now-famous empty chair on his side. But the Republican presidential nominee isn't the only one getting entertainment industry shoutouts this week.

Actors Ashley Judd and Ben McKenzie were campaigning for President Obama in Iowa on Friday ahead of his latest campaign stop in the swing state.

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Law
4:04 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

American Taliban Sues For Religious Freedom

John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 after fighting with the Taliban.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Should Muslims convicted of terrorism be allowed to gather together in prison to pray? That's the question being raised by John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban.

The U.S. citizen converted to Islam as a teenager. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Lindh was caught in Afghanistan. He pleaded guilty to aiding the now defunct Taliban government there and to carrying a weapon.

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Volleyball tournament in Washington Park
3:57 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

AVP Cincinnati Open underway in new home

Tana Weingartner

Washington Park holds its first Cincinnati AVP Open this Labor Day Weekend. This year, Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh will join other Olympians as they compete to make it to the championship in Santa Barbara, CA next week.

Sports insiders are interested to find out if this tournament will reveal Walsh’s new partner. Nicole Banagh is the current favorite to take the place of Misty May-Treanor.

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Recycling Bikes In Albany, N.Y.

Working on bikes at a spring event.
Courtesy of ABC

The Albany Bicycle Coalition started in my backyard in 2003 when a small group of mechanically inclined bike enthusiasts-volunteers gathered to learn bike repair skills and repair bikes that were headed to the dump. The rescued bikes were then donated to local organizations for kids.

Eventually we grew and moved into a community center basement, where the focus is on teaching kids skills while improving community relations.

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