The NBA finals aren't the only big news in Oklahoma City.
This morning, shareholders of Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller at the center of the nation's hydraulic fracturing controversies, are meeting in Oklahoma City, where the company is headquartered. But the buzz at this gathering won't be about fracking or basketball. It will be about Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's controversial CEO.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. High school students graduating in Prince George's County, Maryland, got a surprise on their diplomas: a typo. The diplomas celebrated that each of the 8,000 students had completed an approved "progam" of study.
The Washington Post reports that the school system has ordered new diplomas, and apologized. School officials had a pretty good excuse; they blamed vendor error. No word yet on whether a dog was somehow involved.
OK. Let's go from the futuristic to a show biz monument from the past. The Hollywood Palladium is up for sale, according to according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's well known as a concert venue, hosting musicians ranging from James Brown to the Rolling Stones to Jay-Z. But we want to bring you back to the Palladium's beginnings as a stylish art deco ballroom back in 1940.
Jose Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky at StoryCorps in Trenton, N.J. Jose is now a Special Olympics coach — he'll be overseeing games this weekend.
Credit Courtesy of of Charles Zelinsky
Champions: The New Jersey basketball team -- including Jose Rodriguez (kneeling, second from right) -- poses for the cameras after winning the gold medal at the Special Olympics National Games in 2010.
States around the country are hosting their regional Special Olympics games this summer. In New Jersey, the games' opening ceremonies begin Friday.
Jose Rodriguez participated in the New Jersey Special Olympics back in 2003, when he was 13. Special Olympics offers a chance for people with intellectual disabilities to pursue a sport. Jose has trouble learning — mostly through reading and writing.
Speaking at StoryCorps, Jose, 23, told his former basketball coach, Charles Zelinsky, 57, what his life was like before he found the games.
A $970 billion bill, covering everything from food stamps to crop insurance, passed a key procedural hurdle in the Senate today, and it did so with overwhelming bipartisan support. The measure, known as the Farm Bill, comes up for renewal every five years. For lawmakers it's long been a way to bring big money back to their states.
But NPR's Tamara Keith reports that this year's bill comes with an austere spin.
The public employee unions that unsuccessfully opposed the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suffered two other defeats on Tuesday. Voters in San Diego and San Jose, Calif., approved measures to curb city pensions. Firefighters in those cities vow to take the matter to court but public support for the cutbacks was overwhelming.
The chairman of Washington, D.C.'s city council resigned Wednesday night, as federal prosecutors moved to bring campaign finance and bank fraud charges against him. Kwame Brown is the second member of the council to resign amid corruption charges in the last few months. And Mayor Vincent Gray has been dogged throughout his tenure by allegations of misuse of campaign funds.
A Massachusetts judge imposed the maximum sentence on a teen driver who was texting when they caused an accident that killed a pedestrian. It's part of a growing effort in a few states to bring tougher charges and impose harsher sentences for texting while driving.
A gavel rests in a makeshift courtroom at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. The local school district has cut the number of student suspensions in half in six years by adopting a youth court program and other new discipline methods.
Robert, a talkative sixth-grader in the city of Richmond, has been suspended three times from his elementary school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. If he gets suspended one more time, he says, he might get expelled. [NPR has withheld his last name because he is a minor.]
Since Republicans took back the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, abortion has been a fairly constant theme. The House took eight separate abortion-related votes in 2011 — the most in a decade, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Damon Lindelof was a producer on the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which seemed to win over loyal Trekkies. And this weekend Lindelof will earn the devotion — or wrath — of Alien fans. He helped write the screenplay for the new film Prometheus, an origin story for Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic.
Union shops in the private sector have dwindled in recent decades. Now, public union leaders across the country worry that they're losing political clout, bargaining power and members. That raises questions about whether unions fallen victim to their own success, and who needs unions.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren continues to face criticism over undocumented claims she made that for several years she was Native American. Warren acknowledged that she told officials at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania that she was of Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage, but she insists that played no role in her hiring.