The heat and drought that brought much of Colorado Springs into danger has also hit the Midwest. Temperatures broke 100 degrees in the Great Plains, and the heat and the lack of rain is endangering what was expected to be a bumper crop of corn. Tim Lenz is a farmer near the town of Strasburg in south central Illinois, where he grows corn and soybeans. Mr. Lenz, thanks for being with us.
TIM LENZ: Thank you.
SIMON: What's it been like there for the past couple of weeks?
Firefighters are slowly gaining ground on the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It's scorched about 17,000 acres and believed to have claimed two lives.
More than 300 homes have burned. There's been a lot of talk about how many houses were lost in the fire, but Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown wants you to know there's a flip side to that: He says crews worked hard to minimize damage.
A spectator cools off with a spray mist during first round play Friday at the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
Credit John Middlebrook / CSM /Landov
Chicago White Sox' Eduardo Escobar closes his eyes as trainer Herm Schneider sprays him with cool water during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
Credit Jim Mone / AP
From left, construction workers Santiago Gomez, Jorge Moreno and Abel Lozano take a break from the extreme heat during a road construction project in downtown Chicago, Thursday. Little relief from the heat is expected in the next few days.
Credit Sitthixay Ditthavong / AP
Jason Gerald (left) and Adam Hoffman jump into the Lake Michigan at Montrose Beach in Chicago on Thursday.
Credit Nam Y. Huh / AP
In this photo provided by the Chicago Zoological Society, Honey, a 2-year-old American Guinea hog at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., cools off.
Credit Jim Schulz / AP
Doug Jones, owner of Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro, N.C., waters vegetables Friday as temperatures in the South soar. Triple-digit temperatures are expected for several days in North Carolina.
Credit Gerry Broome / AP
Children cool off from the intense heat at a waterfront park in downtown Louisville, Ky., on Friday.
Credit Bruce Schreiner / AP
Aletta, a rough-legged hawk, flaps her wings as she gets a cooling shower from a hose at the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday.
Credit Chuck Burton / AP
Doug Jones, owner of Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro, N.C., waters vegetables as temperatures in the South soar, Friday, June 29. Triple-digit temperatures are expected for several days in North Carolina.
It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.
The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.
George Needleman is the chief bean counter of an investment bank who, in Madea's Witness Protection, is too consumed with family problems to realize he's being set up to take the fall for a Ponzi scheme. When he grasps what's going on, he's placed in witness protection — at Madea's house.
Tyler Perry, who wrote and directed the movie, plays Madea, as well as most other members of her family. Needleman, the latest fussy, funny, bushy-eyebrowed, precise and put-upon man, is portrayed by Eugene Levy.
This week, the Supreme Court struck down mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles. Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo looks at one case in Michigan that may be affected by the court's decision.