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Democrats Question New Agency Head

The director of an embattled state agency took questions this week from statehouse Democrats over nearly one million dollars in improper payments of unemployment benefits. State Auditor Mary Mosiman reports that Iowa Workforce Development sent benefits to applicants who claimed to work for companies that didn’t exist. In addition, legitimate recipients received 700,000 dollars in overpayments. Waterloo Democrat Bill Dotzler says some workers came forward and reported that there had been a mis...
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A new partnership between Iowa State University and the National Resources Conservation Service will create a soil health workbook for farmers and educators to use in the field. The partnership is part of the NRCS' Soil Health Division, which is new in 2016 and is making it a goal to expand educational resources and training opportunities regarding soil health across the Midwest and across the country. 

Doug Peterson, who is the new regional soil specialist for Iowa and Missouri, says this signals a shift in thinking that the soil is more of a living organism than just dirt. 

President Obama has designated three desert areas in California as national monuments.

The move permanently protects "nearly 1.8 million acres of America's public lands," the White House says in a news release.

All three areas lie west of Los Angeles. Two of the new monuments — Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails — are near California's border with Nevada.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

I'm not sure there's ever been a record release as confounding as the one for Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo. He's changed its title and track listing several times in as many weeks, and even up until the very moment I'm writing this, it's not 100 percent certain what will be on that final album, whenever and wherever it comes out.

iprimages

The director of an embattled state agency took questions this week from statehouse Democrats over nearly one million dollars in improper payments of unemployment benefits.     

State Auditor Mary Mosiman reports that Iowa Workforce Development sent benefits to applicants who claimed to work for companies that didn’t exist.

In addition, legitimate recipients received 700,000 dollars in overpayments.  

Waterloo Democrat Bill Dotzler says some workers came forward and reported that there had been a mistake.

Remembering Ballet Great Violette Verdy

1 hour ago

French ballerina Violette Verdy died on Monday at the age of 82. She was an acclaimed star of the New York City Ballet, dancing more than 140 ballets with the company during the 1960s and 1970s.

Verdy originated roles in works by legendary choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. After she retired, she went into teaching and eventually became a professor at Indiana University Bloomington.

Earlier this month, a Saudi court overturned the death sentence of a Palestinian poet named Ashraf Fayadh. Fayadh was accused of renouncing his Muslim faith through his poetry.

After international outrage broke out over his sentencing, the Saudi government modified his punishment to eight years in prison and 800 lashes. He will also have to publicly renounce his poetry on Saudi state media.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Mona Kareem, a poet and friend of Ashraf Fayadh who is translating his controversial book of poetry.

A far-right group that calls itself the Soldiers of Odin is patrolling the streets of Finland dressed in leather jackets, saying people need protection from the influx of migrants.

But not all Finns feel the same. Clowns calling themselves the Loldiers of Odin (think LOL – laugh out loud – plus soldiers) is responding.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Helsinki-based reporter Ilpo Salonen about the colorful activists.

[Youtube]

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Studio One Featured Release

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Featured Release This Week From Shearwater

Shearwater is from Austin, Texas, and led by songwriter, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg. Since the band's name derives from the long-winged seabird called the shearwater, it's often mentioned that Meiburg has a degree in ornithology. That fact, plus Meiburg's lyrics and his vocal style give Shearwater a somewhat cerebral reputation. The band began in 1999 as a side project for Meiburg and Will Sheff when both were in Okkervil River. In time, Meiburg left Okkervil Riv...
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