Melissa Block en LBJ Carried Poor Texas Town With Him In Civil Rights Fight <p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Melissa Block 39015 at LBJ Carried Poor Texas Town With Him In Civil Rights Fight Drilling Frenzy Fuels Sudden Growth In Small Texas Town South Texas is in the midst of a massive oil boom. In just a few years, it has totally transformed once-sleepy communities along a crescent swoosh known as the Eagle Ford Shale formation and has brought unexpected prosperity — along with a host of new concerns.<p>Among the towns drastically changed by the drilling is Cotulla, southwest of San Antonio, about 70 miles up from the border with Mexico. The area is called brush country — flat, dry ranch land, scrubby with mesquite and parched by drought.<p>Before the boom, jobs were few and poverty was high. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38937 at Drilling Frenzy Fuels Sudden Growth In Small Texas Town In NCAA Finals, Two Recent Champions On Unlikely Rides Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>It's Huskies versus Wildcats as the Men's Division I college basketball season comes to an end tonight. Facing off are two recent champions: the University of Connecticut, who won in 2011, and the University of Kentucky who won in 2012. They've both had improbable rides to tonight's title game.<p>For more, I'm joined by NPR's Tom Goldman who will be covering the game in Arlington, Texas. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:23:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38741 at Another Tragedy For A City All Too Familiar With Extreme Gun Violence Flags are fluttering at half-staff across Killeen, Texas, <a href="">after yesterday's shooting at Fort Hood</a>. This is a city that's all too familiar with spasms of extreme gun violence: a shooting rampage at <a href="">Luby's Cafeteria in 1991</a> that left 23 dead. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 21:55:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38592 at Another Tragedy For A City All Too Familiar With Extreme Gun Violence On Base And In Town, Shooting Summons A Dread All Too Familiar From Killeen, Texas, where Fort Hood is based, Melissa Block talks to soldiers who were on base during the shooting, as well as with Killeen's mayor. The mayor explains how the town is trying to cope. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38578 at As Texas Gets More Diverse, Educators Grab The Bull By The Horns Texas is in the midst of a population boom and demographic sea change. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:33:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38466 at As Texas Gets More Diverse, Educators Grab The Bull By The Horns Orthotic Brace Takes Soldiers From Limping To Leaping A deceptively simple leg brace is changing the lives of hundreds of wounded service members. Soldiers with badly injured legs who thought they'd have to live with terrible pain can walk and run again, pain-free.<p>Earlier this month, Army Spc. Joey McElroy took his first steps in the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, or IDEO (pronounced: eye-DAY-oh). The device squeaked a bit as he stepped briskly on an indoor track.<p>McElroy was hit by a car and thrown from his motorcycle on Dec. 5, 2012.<p>"I knew that when I looked down there was bones comin' out of the leg that didn't look correct. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:04:00 +0000 Melissa Block 38391 at Orthotic Brace Takes Soldiers From Limping To Leaping Tell Your Bestie: The OED Has New Words The Oxford English Dictionary is adding some 900 new words and phrases to its pages, with wackadoodle, bestie and DIYer among them. Melissa and Robert review some of the new entries. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Melissa Block 37574 at Fake Chef, Real Recipes — And The Food's Disgusting Nick Preuher is no chef; he only plays one on TV. More accurately, he has pretended to be one, appearing on various local morning television shows as a prank. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:36:00 +0000 Melissa Block 37082 at Letters: Genetic Experiments And Hopes For Saving Voices Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Finally this hour: Your letters. We heard from Aaron Berger, a high school biology teacher in Minneapolis. He listened closely to our conversation this week about mitochondrial DNA. A debate is raging over whether women who want to have children but have errors in their DNA should be allowed to get a healthy transplant.<p>Berger wrote to add something he did not hear on our air: Mitochondria are the organelles that allow our cells to release energy from the nutrients in our food. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Melissa Block 36885 at More Findings, More Questions About Value Of Mammograms Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>There's new evidence out today that's raising questions about whether women in their 40's and 50's should routinely undergo mammography to detect breast cancer. A new analysis of a big Canadian study found no evidence that regular mammograms save lives. The study even suggests that for many women, regular breast X-rays may do more harm than good.<p>NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about this report. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Melissa Block 36187 at Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation' The home of Sean Morey bears the impressive signposts of his 10-year career in the NFL: a Vince Lombardi trophy for his Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. A hefty Super Bowl ring. A framed photograph showing Morey in midair, launching himself like a missile to block a punt. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 23:13:00 +0000 Melissa Block 35637 at Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation' U.S. To Face Ghana, Portugal And Germany In World Cup Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>The first round match-ups for next summer's soccer World Cup in Brazil are set, and things look tough for the U.S. men. The American's first three opponents will be Ghana, Portugal and Germany. So, does this qualify as the dreaded group of death? NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to talk about that. And before we do that, Mike, let's talk about the draw itself, the process, because it's pretty fun to watch. Fri, 06 Dec 2013 22:52:00 +0000 Melissa Block 33170 at The Enigmatic Pecan: Why So Pricey, And How To Pronounce It? The price of pecans is going up, up, up, which may mean that if you're planning a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, the time to buy them is now. The reasons behind that escalating price all come down to natural forces: supply and demand and weather.<p>China can't get enough pecans, according to fourth-generation pecan farmer Randy Hudson. His <a href="">Hudson Pecan Co.</a> in Ocilla, Ga., ships 80 to 90 percent of its pecans to China. Fri, 08 Nov 2013 22:16:00 +0000 Melissa Block 31862 at The Enigmatic Pecan: Why So Pricey, And How To Pronounce It? JPMorgan Chase Agrees To Pay $5.1 Billion To Feds JPMorgan Chase agreed pay $5.1 billion to settle litigation over mortgage assets sold during the housing bubble. The deal, announced late Friday afternoon, is to resolve claims the company misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the housing market crashed. It is part of a tentative $13 billion deal the company is trying to reach with federal and state agencies over its mortgage liabilities. Fri, 25 Oct 2013 22:48:00 +0000 Melissa Block & Dan Bobkoff 31167 at Brazil's New Middle Class: A Better Life, Not An Easy One Tens of millions of Brazilians have risen out of poverty over the past decade in one of the world's great economic success stories. The reasons are many: strong overall economic growth, fueled by exports. A rise in the minimum wage. A more educated workforce. And big government spending programs, including direct payments to extremely poor families.<p>But becoming middle class in Brazil means a better life, not an easy one. The new, lowest rung of the middle class is what in the U.S. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 21:28:00 +0000 Melissa Block 29307 at Brazil's New Middle Class: A Better Life, Not An Easy One 'Treme' Cookbook Captures The Flavor Of A Show And A City If you find yourself craving New Orleans food, you could go there and melt in the sweltering heat for a dose of gumbo or praline bacon. Or you could settle in on your couch, as I've been doing, and torture yourself watching reruns of the HBO series <em>Treme</em>. It's set in post-Katrina New Orleans and, along with the music, it puts the city's food on center stage.<p>Now, if you want to cook the food for yourself, there's <em>Treme: Stories and Recipes From the Heart of New Orleans</em>. Tue, 20 Aug 2013 20:35:00 +0000 Melissa Block 27768 at 'Treme' Cookbook Captures The Flavor Of A Show And A City Attorneys Assigned To Fort Hood Shooter Want To Back Out There was an unexpected hold-up on day two of the court martial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of gunning down fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. His "standby" attorneys have told the judge that don't believe it's ethical for them to keep assisting a man who they believe is trying to get the death penalty. Wed, 07 Aug 2013 20:31:00 +0000 Melissa Block 27101 at Amazon CEO To Buy 'Washington Post' And Sister Papers Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The man who pushed the book publishing industry into the digital age is now buying one of the country's most storied newspaper companies. Jeff Bezos, founder of, is acquiring The Washington Post and its small sister papers. The news broke after the markets closed today. NPR's David Folkenflik covers the newspaper industry, and he joins me now. And, David, this was, I think, the best-kept secret in Washington. Tell us some details of this transaction and how it came about.<p>DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Well, it's an astonishing development. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 21:11:00 +0000 Melissa Block 26962 at Weiner Says He Won't Drop Campaign For NYC Mayor Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. Disgraced former congressman - and current New York City mayoral candidate - Anthony Weiner is apologizing again, this time after the publication of still more lewd messages and photos that Weiner exchanged online with a woman who is not his wife.<p>Today's sexting scandal is, in some ways, a replay of the one that ended Weiner's congressional career two years ago. But this time, Weiner says he is not dropping his campaign for mayor of New York. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:19:00 +0000 Melissa Block 24499 at Guy Clark, Music's Master Craftsman, On Making Songs Last If you want to learn how to write a song — one that's built to last, with vivid characters and images that plant you squarely inside a scene — listen to <a href="" target="_blank">Guy Clark</a>. <br /> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:41:00 +0000 Melissa Block 24491 at Guy Clark, Music's Master Craftsman, On Making Songs Last Chemical Weapons Use In Syria Crosses U.S. 'Red Line' Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. The Obama administration has now joined France and Britain in concluding that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people. That crosses a red line that President Obama has repeatedly warned would change the U.S. calculation in Syria.<p>Tonight, the administration announced that it will step up its military support for the Syrian rebels. Thu, 13 Jun 2013 23:37:00 +0000 Melissa Block 22414 at Feds Drop Opposition To Restriction On Sales Of Morning-After Pill Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. The morning-after pill will soon be available - without a prescription - on pharmacy shelves, with no restrictions on age. That's because the Obama administration has dropped a long-running battle to keep age restrictions on emergency contraception. NPR's Julie Rovner joins me to explain this policy change. And Julie, this was an unexpected development. It came tonight. Tue, 11 Jun 2013 02:35:00 +0000 Melissa Block 22222 at The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced Opponents of expanding background checks for gun sales often raise the fear that it would allow the government to create a national gun registry — a database of gun transactions. In fact, federal law already bans the creation of such a registry. And the reality of how gun sales records are accessed turns out to be surprisingly low-tech.<p>The trace begins after police seize a gun at a crime scene and then reach out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, W.Va. Mon, 20 May 2013 21:11:00 +0000 Melissa Block 21077 at The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced Boeing's 787 Dreamliners To Fly Again After FAA Approval Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And as we continue to cover the events in the Boston area, we want to also talk about one other story, Boeing 787. The jet known as the Dreamliner will be back in the air soon. This afternoon, the FAA approved Boeing's redesign of the plane's battery system. Fifty 787s have been grounded for the last three months following two serious battery failures, one which led to a fire.<p>NPR's Wendy Kaufman has been following the story, and she joins us now. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 21:59:00 +0000 Melissa Block 19497 at Report: North Korea May Be Able To Deliver Nuclear Weapons Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 22:07:00 +0000 Melissa Block 19105 at On Gun Ownership And Policy, 'A Country Of Chasms' The ideological gulf between gun owners and non-gun owners is a wide one — made all the more obvious by the ongoing debate over what, if any, gun control measures should be adopted in the U.S.<p>Sometimes, the debate feels like people are coming from different worlds, even for people within the same family. And while Americans are often willing to discuss their own views, it's rarer to hear conversations between people who own and love guns and those who do not.<p>Paul Gwaltney is one of the former. Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Melissa Block 18035 at On Gun Ownership And Policy, 'A Country Of Chasms' Among Thousands Of Gun Deaths, Only One Charles Foster Jr. The Morris Missionary Baptist Church is nestled down a red dirt road, in Morris, Ga., set among pine trees near the Alabama state line. Next to the small white church lies its most recent grave site: that of Charles Foster Jr.<p>While the mass killings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., garnered a frenzy of news coverage, statistically, they are not the norm. Each year, thousands of gun homicides in the U.S. — 11,000 in 2010 alone — attract little or no media attention.<p>In those killings, the victim is most often a minority male between 15 and 25 years old and shot in an urban area. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Melissa Block 17858 at Among Thousands Of Gun Deaths, Only One Charles Foster Jr. Fugitive Ex-LAPD Officer Apparently Barracaded In Cabin Kirk Siegler talks to Melissa Block for an update on the search for former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner. A man that authorities identified as Dorner was holed up in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of officers surrounded the home. Dorner is wanted for questioning in three murders and one attempted murder. Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:11:00 +0000 Melissa Block 14933 at U.S. May Build Base For Drones In Northwest Africa Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>We're going to head west now, from Egypt across Libya to Niger. The Pentagon has signed a deal with the government there. The agreement could allow the U.S. to establish a forward base in Niger so that it could operate drone aircraft across northern and western Africa. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been reporting on the U.S. military's growing presence on the continent. He joins me now here in the studio.<p>And Tom, how close is the U.S. to actually setting up a drone base in Niger?<p>TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Well, it doesn't seem to be that close. Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:24:00 +0000 Melissa Block 14202 at