Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Punxsutawney Phil has his counterpart in the average Maryland crab - except while Phil supposedly predicts the weather and this year missed a cold snap, Maryland crabs react in real time. This week was supposed to be the start of crabbing season but the chill in the Chesapeake has left the water too cold for the crabs to come out of the mud. It turns out this is extending their life spans - since it means watermen can't catch them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Raedyn Grasseth might get the award for most creative 911 operator. The Washington state woman dispatched an officer to rescue a stranded kayaker on the Colombia River. The boater was in powerful currents, hanging onto a pile of logs. Grasseth had a feeling she might not be reached in time. And so, she called an experienced kayaker who happened to live nearby, her mother. The dispatcher's mom paddled out and within minutes brought the woman to safety.
Teachers and administrators in Atlanta surrendered to authorities yesterday at the Fulton County jail. The group were among 35 Atlanta school board employees charged in a racketeering indictment, accused of cheating in district schools. Prosecutors say the teachers and administrators were plotting to help schools academic goals. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports.
KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: Around 7:30 in the evening, former superintendent of the Atlanta schools, Beverly Hall, turned herself into the jail, escorted by attorneys.
For Florida Atlantic University, a recent decision to sell the naming rights of its new football stadium to the GEO Group, turned from being a cash windfall to a PR disaster. When FAU's president announced the deal, she called GEO, a private prison corporation, a wonderful company. Not everyone agreed. Students, troubled by allegations of abuse at some facilities, held protests and now the deal has been called off.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
New Yorkers woke up yesterday morning to the scene of politicians being rounded up by federal agents, arrested and taken to court. OK, it's New York City, this happens with politicians. But this time, the charges were pretty remarkable against a councilman and a powerful state legislator.
If you travel a lot you're probably doing a lot of meals in airports, maybe fast-food by Gate C31 or the chain coffee place nearby. Well, one of the busiest airports in the country is now bringing in local restaurants.
As Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ in Phoenix, these small businesses are taking a risk for a shot at a big reward.
For all of last year, Fannie Mae posted net income of $17.2 billion. Just a year earlier, it had lost nearly the same amount. The company that finances home mortgages is still under government conservatorship.
The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act - the national healthcare law. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the new online marketplace that start next January. NPR's Julie Rovner reports that the change might dampen enthusiasm, at least at the start. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.
President Obama urged Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence while speaking in the East Room of the White House last week. Standing with Obama are Vice President Joe Biden and, according to the White House, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and others, whom the White House did not want to name.
Camden, N.J., has serious health problems, with too many people going to local emergency rooms unnecessarily. But progress is being made, albeit slowly.
John Pike, 53, is a Camden resident who used to be a frequent flier at the ER.
Pike has a smoker's cough, and when that cough or pain in his bad hip flared up, he'd go to the ER — maybe eight or nine times a year. But when he did, ER staffers didn't really remember him or his medical history.
The demand from American companies for high-skilled immigrants seems to be up this year. And that could mean something is about to change for the overall economy.
There is a cap on the number of visas the government gives out for these kind of workers every year. Lately, that cap has been 85,000. Demand always outstrips supply, but for the past couple of years, it has taken at least a few months to hit the quota. But this year, the H-1B visas might be gone by the end of the week.
President Obama has announced an ambitious plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain.
In a speech Tuesday, Obama said he will ask Congress for $100 million in 2014 to "better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember." Other goals include finding new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.
A child is immunized against polio at the health clinic in a farming village in northern Nigeria. The procedure involves pinching two drops of the vaccine into the child's mouth. For full protection, the child needs three doses, spaced out over time.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
A child crosses a bridge over the cement-lined Gogo stream, which flows behind the main market in Kano, Nigeria. Sanitation workers regularly test the sewage here for the presence of the polio virus.
Polio is on the verge of being eliminated. Last year there were just over 200 cases of polio, and they occurred in just two remote parts of the world — northern Nigeria and the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border region.
A new $5.5 billion plan being pushed by the World Health Organization strives to eliminate polio entirely, phase out vaccination campaigns and secure polio vaccine stockpiles in case the virus somehow manages to re-emerge.
If the effort is successful, polio would be just the second disease in human history, after smallpox, to be eliminated by medical science.