Good morning. I'm David Greene, with a story of a harried sports fan - or, rather, a hairy sports fan. Thomas McAllister believes in his Washington, D.C. team so much that he's vowing not to shave until one of them - the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals or Nationals - wins a championship. The Washington Post says he hasn't shaved since last June, a day before he got married. Facebook followers have given his red fan beard a name: Lombeardi.
There's breaking budget news from several places this morning:
-- "President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say." (The New York Times)
Its state bird is a Western Meadowlark. Its state tree is Douglas Fir. Now Oregon wants a state microbe. Saccharomyces cerevisiae - try saying that twice - is a kind of yeast used in beer. And State Representative Mark Johnson thinks making it Oregon's official microbe is a great way to celebrate the state's craft beer industry. Oregon is also proud of its wine. A type of dirt that's used to grow pinot noire grapes is the state's official soil.
GLEN CAMPBELL: And the Wichita lineman is still on the line....
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
We're listening to Glen Campbell here, with his ode to the Wichita lineman, a song that topped the charts in 1968. It might seem a long time ago, but it's still more recent than when the Wichita State Shockers last made it to the men's Final Four. That would be 1965, when the Shockers lost to legendary Coach John Wooden's UCLA team.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament resumes tomorrow. Louisville plays Wichita State and Syracuse faces Michigan. On the women's side, it's Louisville again. They're playing California. Notre Dame is playing Connecticut. These quartets of teams, of course, are known as the Final Four, and this stage in the tournament is a resume booster for teams and coaches. NPR's Mike Pesca ponders the question of why college basketball, unique among major team sports, celebrates the semi finalists.
Now former Enron CEO Jeffery Skilling could be released early from federal prison, as part of a reduced sentencing agreement under consideration at the Justice Department. Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the collapse of the energy trading giant.
Legendary film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday. He was known for his thumbs-up, thumbs-down TV reviews that influenced moviegoers across the nation. On Wednesday, he had announced on his blog that he was undergoing radiation treatment after a recurrence of cancer. Ebert was 70.
Let's go now to the Great Plains, where farmers are preparing for what could be a tough growing season. They are scrambling to find irrigation water, which is scarce in the midst of the region's persistent drought. In eastern Colorado, thirsty cities have gobbled up water rights for decades, selling what they don't need back to farmers.
As Luke Runyon from member station KUNC reports, the agreement only works when water is plentiful.
The Labor Department on Friday reported the nation's unemployment rate inched down to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest rate in four years, mainly due to more people stopping their search for work. In February, the job rate was 7.7 percent.
Stephen Slevin, who spent more than 22 months in solitary confinement despite not being convicted of a crime, is seen here in Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department photos, before and after his time in solitary.
Officials say Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a former Colorado inmate and white supremacist, was released early because of a clerical error. Ebel was killed in a shootout with Colorado police on March 21.
Every year 10 million people funnel in and out of America's jails and prisons. And every year some of them get lost. Recently there have been two high-profile cases of such inmates — one who got out years too early, and one who stayed years too long. Both had disastrous consequences.
In January, Evan Ebel walked out of a Colorado prison four years too early. Two months later, he allegedly rang the doorbell of Tom Clements, the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, shot him in the chest and killed him. Ebel was shot and killed by police two days later.
In recent years, high-profile cable TV dramas like AMC's <em>Mad Men</em> have helped to shift audiences and programming across all types of TV networks. (Pictured, from left: John Slattery, Jon Hamm and Vincent Kartheiser)
Credit Michael Yarish / AMC
The programming convergence between cable and broadcast networks may have already begun, with shows like <em>Cougar Town</em> jumping ship from ABC to TBS. (Pictured: Josh Hopkins and Courteney Cox)
Mad Men comes back for its sixth season Sunday at an opportune moment for basic cable. Last weekend, 25 million viewers combined watched The Bible and The Walking Dead on basic cable channels. That's more than triple the audience for The Good Wife on CBS that same night.
Ruben Aguilar, 85, was forcibly deported from the U.S. 80 years ago as part of a largely forgotten Mexican repatriation program run by the American government.
During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican descent were forcibly deported to Mexico without due process, including many American citizens. Aguilar, an American citizen, was born in Chicago but was deported with his parents, who were undocumented. At the time, he was 6 years old.
Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.