David Schaper http://nhpr.org en First Responders Unprepared For Another Train Disaster http://nhpr.org/post/year-after-train-disaster-first-responders-unprepared-another Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>Ever since that Canadian train derailment, first responders all across North America wonder, what if it happens here? Sun, 06 Jul 2014 11:55:00 +0000 David Schaper 51406 at http://nhpr.org For Sale: Vacant Lots On Chicago Blocks, Just $1 Each http://nhpr.org/post/sale-vacant-lots-chicago-blocks-just-1-each Chicago is practically giving away land: vacant lots for just $1 each. The catch? To buy one, you must already own a home on the same block.<p>Like many U.S. cities, Chicago has struggled with what to do with a growing number of empty lots in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:01:00 +0000 David Schaper 51191 at http://nhpr.org For Sale: Vacant Lots On Chicago Blocks, Just $1 Each Rainstorms Pummel Upper Midwest, Drowning Resources http://nhpr.org/post/rain-storms-pummel-upper-midwest-drowning-resources Heavy rains over the past couple of weeks have rivers rising all across the Upper Midwest, flooding homes, swamping fields and washing out roads.<p>Fans hum 24/7 as Laura Westra tries to dry out her sopping-wet basement in the small town of Rock Valley, Iowa.<p>The nearby Rock River, in the northwest corner of the state, swelled last week wider and deeper than anyone can remember.<p>"We've lived here 45 years, and this is the first time we had water in the basement," Westra says.<p>Rain and river water inundated her neighborhood, flooding her home and many of her neighbors' homes.<p>"Our son's Thu, 26 Jun 2014 07:16:00 +0000 David Schaper 50873 at http://nhpr.org Rainstorms Pummel Upper Midwest, Drowning Resources Chicago Gets Out From Under Its History Of Political Patronage http://nhpr.org/post/chicago-gets-out-under-its-history-political-patronage A court-appointed federal monitor will no longer oversee hiring in the city of Chicago. A federal judge ruled that the city has put in place enough safeguards to minimize patronage in Chicago government jobs. It took 45 years of court orders and consent decrees, but political reformers say that patronage, which once built a powerful democratic machine, is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 David Schaper 50311 at http://nhpr.org Chicago 'Heroin Highway' Bust Shows A 'New Face Of Organized Crime' http://nhpr.org/post/chicago-heroin-highway-bust-shows-new-face-organized-crime Authorities say they've broken up a major heroin and crack cocaine distribution ring in Chicago.<p>A joint federal and local task force that includes the DEA, FBI, Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies arrested and charged more than two dozen gang members who allegedly supplied a significant amount of heroin to customers coming from the city and suburbs.<p>The increasingly easy availability and lower street cost of heroin has led to a surge of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/28/316673753/todays-heroin-addict-is-young-white-and-suburban">heroin abuse</a> not only in Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:23:00 +0000 David Schaper 50205 at http://nhpr.org Chicago 'Heroin Highway' Bust Shows A 'New Face Of Organized Crime' Illinois Lawmaker Found Guilty Of Accepting $7,000 Payoff http://nhpr.org/post/illinois-lawmaker-found-guilty-accepting-7000-payoff In a case in which some observers suggest the FBI may have gone too far to snare a politician in a bribery scheme, a jury has convicted an Illinois lawmaker of corruption.<p>The verdict against State Rep. Derrick Smith relates to the then-freshman representative's acceptance in 2012 of a $7,000 payoff from an FBI informant.<p>The jury agreed with the prosecution that Smith abused his office for personal gain. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 21:27:00 +0000 David Schaper 50012 at http://nhpr.org Illinois Lawmaker Found Guilty Of Accepting $7,000 Payoff Chicago's Latest Case Of Political Graft Has A Twist http://nhpr.org/post/chicagos-latest-case-political-graft-has-twist It's the kind of political corruption allegation that makes even hardened Chicagoans roll their eyes and exhale a heavy sigh that says, "here we go again."<p>A state representative is caught on tape secretly meeting with a shady character, pocketing an envelope full of cash. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:41:00 +0000 David Schaper 49951 at http://nhpr.org Chicago's Latest Case Of Political Graft Has A Twist Gun Shots Interrupt Interview, But The Conversation Just Gets Started http://nhpr.org/post/gun-shots-interrupt-interview-conversation-just-gets-started Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Shootings are common in Chicago. So far this year, police have responded to more than 600 of them. That includes more than 100 homicides. What's uncommon is a reporter at the scene who sees and hears it. And that happened just last week to NPR's David Schaper. He was interviewing people on Chicago's South side about neighborhood improvement when the shots rang out. The conversation immediately shifted to gun violence. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 David Schaper 49641 at http://nhpr.org NPR Reporter Witnesses One Of Chicago's Latest Shootings http://nhpr.org/post/npr-reporter-witnesses-one-chicagos-latest-shootings Gun violence in Chicago is so common in some neighborhoods that the daily reports of shootings can seem like little more than numbers. Our reporter saw the dangers of Chicago's South Side firsthand. Thu, 29 May 2014 11:03:00 +0000 David Schaper 49359 at http://nhpr.org NTSB Raises New Concerns About Dreamliner's Lithium Ion Battery http://nhpr.org/post/ntsb-raises-new-concerns-about-dreamliners-lithium-ion-battery The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on the FAA to take another look at the safety of the battery used in its Dreamliners. The recommendations issued by the NTSB on Thursday call on the FAA to evaluate whether additional requirements and independent testing outside the aviation industry are needed on the lithium ion batteries used in the Boeing 787s. Incidents involving the batteries' failure caused the fleet to be grounded last year. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:58:00 +0000 David Schaper 49085 at http://nhpr.org Summer Travel Season Expected To Heat Up http://nhpr.org/post/summer-travel-season-expected-heat AAA predicts that more Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend than any other since the start of the Great Recession. Those who do may find higher air fares but gas prices have leveled off. Fri, 23 May 2014 09:01:00 +0000 David Schaper 49016 at http://nhpr.org Oil Industry Blamed For Freight Rail Delays http://nhpr.org/post/oil-industry-blamed-freight-rail-delays Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And here in the U.S., in the upper Midwest and Northern Plains, many grain bins and silos are still full, long after last fall's harvest. This is because the railroads are months behind in shipping.<p>A huge slowdown in rail service is delaying deliveries of grain and other commodities as well, like corn, coal and cars. Mon, 19 May 2014 09:18:00 +0000 David Schaper 48718 at http://nhpr.org Deadly Storms Rip Through Southern States http://nhpr.org/post/deadly-storms-rip-through-southern-states Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>Much of the South is going through a devastating week. Tornadoes struck Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee last night. At least 11 people were killed.<p>GREENE: And all that came a day after a tornado struck Arkansas, leaving 15 people dead there. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 10:05:00 +0000 David Schaper 47564 at http://nhpr.org For Short Trips, Intercity Buses Horn In On Airline Customers http://nhpr.org/post/short-trips-intercity-buses-horn-airline-customers Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>OK. It's hard to imagine a bus getting you some were faster than a plane. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:56:00 +0000 David Schaper 47159 at http://nhpr.org The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars http://nhpr.org/post/long-wait-safety-rules-soda-can-rail-cars Freight trains roll through the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Ill., every day, many pulling older tank cars known as DOT-111s. They're known as the "soda can" of rail cars, says village President Karen Darch, because their shells are so thin.<p>Many of the DOT-111s are full of heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil. Some carry ethanol. And more and more of them are loaded with light Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.<p>"The worry is that if there's a derailment and the car is punctured, if any of the flammable materials in it ... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:47:00 +0000 David Schaper 46817 at http://nhpr.org The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars