Tovia Smith http://iowapublicradio.org en After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-losing-leg-woman-walks-her-own-4-inch-heels Returning to watch the Boston Marathon was never a question for Heather Abbott. After losing her leg in the bombing last year, watching the race is just one item on a long list of things she did before and intends to do again. Also on that list: wearing 4-inch heels.<p>"Sometimes, I think: Why am I doing this to myself? Because I could just wear regular flat shoes," Abbott says. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 39191 at http://iowapublicradio.org After Losing A Leg, Woman Walks On Her Own — In 4-Inch Heels A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard http://iowapublicradio.org/post/year-after-bombings-some-say-boston-strong-has-gone-overboard The phrase Boston Strong emerged almost immediately after last year's marathon bombings as an unofficial motto of a city responding to tragedy. But now some are wondering whether the slogan is being overused.<p>The words are everywhere: Boston Strong is plastered on cars, cut into the grass at Fenway, tattooed on arms, bedazzled on sweatshirts and printed on T-shirts (and everything else).<p>"We have Boston Strong bracelets, we have car magnets, little money pouches, we have mints," says Catherine Thomas, manager of a souvenir shop in Quincy Market. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 38936 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/does-teaching-kids-get-gritty-help-them-get-ahead It's become the new buzz phrase in education: "Got grit?"<p>Around the nation, schools are beginning to see grit as key to students' success — and just as important to teach as reading and math.<p>Experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that <em>je ne sais quoi</em> that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback.<p>"This quality of being able to sustain your passions, and also work really hard at them, over really disappointingly long periods of time, that's grit," says Angela Du Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:07:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 37661 at http://iowapublicradio.org Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead? In Boston, Gay Groups Remain Closed Out Of St. Patrick's Day Parade http://iowapublicradio.org/post/boston-gay-groups-remain-closed-out-st-patricks-day-parade Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he's still hopeful for a deal allowing a gay group to march in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Organizers say talks to include gay groups for the first time in two decades have fallen apart. Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, is still trying to bring the sides together.<p>NPR's Tovia Smith reports.<p>TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Gay rights activists called it historic that they were even talking to parade organizers. But now, chances for a deal are slipping.<p>PHIL WUSCHKE: The parade is actually closed. It's a done deal. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 37076 at http://iowapublicradio.org The U.S. Will Seek The Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect http://iowapublicradio.org/post/us-will-seek-death-penalty-boston-bombing-suspect U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:18:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 35591 at http://iowapublicradio.org In The Long Wait For Aid From Washington, Job Hunters Despair http://iowapublicradio.org/post/long-wait-aid-washington-job-hunters-despair Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Lawmakers are promising new efforts to restore jobless benefits for long-term unemployed, but it may take a while - 1.4 million people who've been out of work long term saw their benefits disappear three weeks ago. Congress failed to agree on funding to renew them. NPR's Tovia Smith visited with a few people who are without work in Boston.<p>TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: John Pratt(ph) has worked in the financial sector nearly 30 years. Starting at the bottom with no college education, he worked his way up to a well-paying operations job. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:15:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 35012 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Story Of The Boston Marathon Bombing, As Told On Skates http://iowapublicradio.org/post/story-boston-marathon-bombing-told-skates <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfP7ZN6ZYN4</p> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:09:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 34704 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Story Of The Boston Marathon Bombing, As Told On Skates A Grieving Newtown Mother's Motto: 'Love Wins' http://iowapublicradio.org/post/grieving-newtown-mothers-motto-love-wins As much as Dec. 14 will forever be a day of unfathomable grief for Nelba Márquez-Greene, Dec. 13 will be one of unending gratitude.<p>"I will never forget that day," she says.<p>On that day, Márquez-Greene stopped the usual frantic drill: rushing to activities and errands, worrying about the dishes and laundry, even cleaning up the mess on the floor.<p>That morning, her 6-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, had knocked down the entire nativity set off the piano. Sat, 14 Dec 2013 10:11:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 33516 at http://iowapublicradio.org A Grieving Newtown Mother's Motto: 'Love Wins' Newtown Parents Seek A Clearer Window Into Violent Behavior http://iowapublicradio.org/post/newtown-parents-seek-clearer-window-violent-behavior The shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December has left families of the 26 victims, most of them children, struggling to heal in different ways.<p>Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel are one such family. They lost their only child, 6-year-old Avielle, in the shooting. In the year since, they've responded as any parents would: Asking why such a tragedy could have happened.<p>But they also responded as the two scientists they are: They immediately threw themselves into trying to answer the question. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:08:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 33403 at http://iowapublicradio.org Newtown Parents Seek A Clearer Window Into Violent Behavior Victims' Relatives To Face Whitey Bulger At Sentencing Hearing http://iowapublicradio.org/post/relatives-face-whitey-bulger-sentencing-hearing It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.<p>Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:11:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 32036 at http://iowapublicradio.org Victims' Relatives To Face Whitey Bulger At Sentencing Hearing Putting Good Deeds In Headlines May Not Be So Good http://iowapublicradio.org/post/putting-good-deeds-headlines-may-not-be-so-good An online collection has raised more than $145,000 for a man who stumbled onto a pile of money and turned it over to police.<p>Glen James' story of a good deed is just one of many making headlines. It may not be exactly brand new, but public interest does seem to be piqued these days by ordinary folks making what are seen as extraordinary ethical decisions.<p>Some, however, question if airing this kind of "good" news is actually good.<p><strong>A Series Of Good Deeds</strong><p>James' story — he's the homeless man in Boston who turned in a backpack filled with $42,000 — went viral. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 21:41:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 29708 at http://iowapublicradio.org Putting Good Deeds In Headlines May Not Be So Good Boston Hospitals Share Lessons From Marathon Bombing http://iowapublicradio.org/post/boston-hospitals-share-lessons-marathon-bombing Boston hospitals say that overall they did well in their response to the bombings because, as crazy as it sounds, they got lucky on April 15.<p>Dr. Richard Wolfe, chief of emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says hospitals were fortunate with both the location and timing of the bombs that stunned the city.<p>Scores of emergency staff were already on scene for the marathon. There was a medical tent just yards away from the bombing site, and there were six Level 1 trauma centers within a mile or two, which were at shift change and had double the staff available to help. Thu, 19 Sep 2013 20:54:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 29358 at http://iowapublicradio.org Boston Hospitals Share Lessons From Marathon Bombing Should It Take 2 Or 3 Years To Earn A Law Degree? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/should-it-take-3-years-earn-law-degree Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 08:27:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 29259 at http://iowapublicradio.org Boston Marathon Victims Push Back On Fund Protocol http://iowapublicradio.org/post/boston-marathon-victims-push-back-fund-protocol Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, money continues to roll into The One Fund, that's the charity set up for victims of the attack. More than 200 claims have already been paid out, but some victims are questioning the methods used to divvy up the funds. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:09:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 24160 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty To Boston Marathon Bombing http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tsarnaev-pleads-not-guilty-boston-marathon-bombing Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a brief appearance in federal court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty to 30 counts in connection with the attack. The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction in an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. The 19-year-old faces the possibility of the death penalty. NPR's Tovia Smith was in the courtroom.<p>TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Tsarnaev looked unkempt in his orange prison jumpsuit and shaggy hair, and uncomfortable, both with the proceedings and physically. His arm was in a cast. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:58:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 23790 at http://iowapublicradio.org Stars, Spangles And Lots Of Security At Boston's July 4 Events http://iowapublicradio.org/post/stars-spangles-and-lots-security-bostons-july-4-events The Fourth of July show will go on as usual tonight in Boston. For the 40th year in a row, the Boston Pops will perform along the banks of the Charles River as fireworks burst overhead.<p>But the scene and the mood will be different, with heavy security measures in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Thu, 04 Jul 2013 12:53:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 23443 at http://iowapublicradio.org Stars, Spangles And Lots Of Security At Boston's July 4 Events Another Republican Hopes For Upset In Mass. Senate Race http://iowapublicradio.org/post/another-republican-hopes-upset-mass-senate-race Both candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts are finishing a frantic day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.<p>Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey is running against Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez. But they are struggling to get voters to the polls in a summer election that has yet to capture much attention.<p>It's hard not to compare Tuesday's special election to the one in 2010. Mon, 24 Jun 2013 22:10:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 22957 at http://iowapublicradio.org Another Republican Hopes For Upset In Mass. Senate Race 1 Month Since The Bombings, Signs Of Progress In Boston http://iowapublicradio.org/post/1-month-bombings-signs-progress-boston Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It has been one month since two bombs rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people. Families of those killed continue to mourn their loved ones; and dozens of the more than 260 people injured continue their rehabilitation, many of them amputees who are now relearning to walk.<p>Meantime in Boston, all but one business has reopened. Wed, 15 May 2013 10:19:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 20792 at http://iowapublicradio.org Markey, Gomez Vie For John Kerry's Senate Seat http://iowapublicradio.org/post/markey-gomez-vie-john-kerrys-senate-seat Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who has been in office for 36 years, and novice Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the race to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts. They won their party primaries Tuesday in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.<p>Officials say voter turnout was light. Wed, 01 May 2013 08:06:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 20055 at http://iowapublicradio.org Markey, Gomez Vie For John Kerry's Senate Seat As Support For Gay Marriage Grows, An Opponent Looks Ahead http://iowapublicradio.org/post/support-gay-marriage-grows-opponent-looks-ahead As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on gay marriage, Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation's leading voices in opposition to same-sex marriage, is also preparing for what might come next.<p>Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, likes to call herself an "accidental activist." After graduating from Yale in 1982, she thought she'd become a writer and focus on what she called "important things," like money and war. Fri, 22 Mar 2013 22:20:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 18102 at http://iowapublicradio.org As Support For Gay Marriage Grows, An Opponent Looks Ahead Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil http://iowapublicradio.org/post/crime-lab-scandal-leaves-mass-legal-system-turmoil A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state's legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.<p>As a result, lawyers, prosecutors and judges used to operating in a world of "beyond a reasonable doubt" now have<strong><em> </em></strong>nothing <em>but</em> doubt<em>.</em><p>Already, hundreds of convicts and defendants have been released because of the scandal. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 13:34:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 17665 at http://iowapublicradio.org Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil Mother Nature Unleashes Dangerous Storms http://iowapublicradio.org/post/mother-nature-unleashes-dangerous-storms Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>Several parts of the country spent time fending off the weather this past weekend. Mississippi residents lived through moments of terror last night. A tornado struck Hattiesburg, home to the University of Southern Mississippi, where Leslie Nash(ph) is a student.<p>LESLIE NASH: We ran downstairs, got into the bathtub. Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:39:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 14819 at http://iowapublicradio.org Colleges Try To Curtail Flu Risk For Students http://iowapublicradio.org/post/colleges-try-curtail-flu-risk-students As college students return to class from winter break this week, campuses around the nation are bracing for the possibility of a flu outbreak.<p>Colleges in Boston are especially worried after the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/10/169033310/as-cases-spike-flu-season-may-be-peaking-in-boston">mayor's declaration</a> last week of a public health emergency in the city. The city's student population is large — around 150,000. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 13551 at http://iowapublicradio.org Colleges Try To Curtail Flu Risk For Students Massachusetts Freshman Brings Kennedys Back To Capitol Hill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/massachusetts-freshman-brings-kennedys-back-capitol-hill Last year marked the first time in more than six decades that there was no Kennedy in elected office in the nation's capital.<p>But that gap ends this week with the inauguration of Rep.-elect Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts. The son of former Rep. Joe Kennedy and the grandson of the late Robert F. Sun, 30 Dec 2012 10:11:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 12670 at http://iowapublicradio.org Massachusetts Freshman Brings Kennedys Back To Capitol Hill As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/colleges-retool-aid-can-entry-stay-need-blind With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity.<p>"It just became clear that if we continue to give more and more aid, the numbers don't add up," says Raynard Kington, head of Grinnell College. Thanks to longtime former board member Warren Buffett, Grinnell has an endowment bigger than most schools dream of. Tue, 27 Nov 2012 21:25:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 11300 at http://iowapublicradio.org As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind? Teacher Evaluation Dispute Echoes Beyond Chicago http://iowapublicradio.org/post/teacher-evaluation-dispute-echoes-beyond-chicago One of the primary issues at the heart of the the Chicago teachers' strike is whether student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and determine their pay. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing that approach, as are other officials around the nation.<p>But many teachers insist that it's inherently unfair to grade their teaching based on their students' learning.<p>Just the fact that there's a growing discussion around teacher evaluations is a huge leap for the education industry. Thu, 13 Sep 2012 20:37:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 7941 at http://iowapublicradio.org Teacher Evaluation Dispute Echoes Beyond Chicago In Chicago, 'Perfect Storm' Led To Teachers' Strike http://iowapublicradio.org/post/chicago-perfect-storm-led-teachers-strike It was a major accomplishment in Chicago that teachers who used to walk out frequently had, for the past 25 years, managed to avoid a strike. But it's not surprising, many experts say, that things would fall apart now.<p>"I think it is a perfect storm," says Tim Knowles, head of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute. Tue, 11 Sep 2012 11:17:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 7771 at http://iowapublicradio.org In Chicago, 'Perfect Storm' Led To Teachers' Strike Ann Romney Adds Fire, Faith To Husband's Campaign http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ann-romney-adds-fire-faith-husbands-campaign If you want to see how much Mitt and Ann Romney consider themselves a team, check out his official portrait at the Massachusetts Statehouse. He's the first governor to request that an image of his wife be included in the painting — he's posed beside a framed picture of her.<p>By all accounts, the Romneys consult each other on everything. So after a bruising campaign in 2008 that left Mrs. Mon, 20 Aug 2012 19:38:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 6656 at http://iowapublicradio.org Ann Romney Adds Fire, Faith To Husband's Campaign The Law — And Reality — Of Gun Access http://iowapublicradio.org/post/law-and-reality-gun-access Timothy Courtois' family had been worried about him for weeks. They repeatedly told police in Biddeford, Maine, that the 49-year-old was off his meds for bipolar disorder. And police were also told he had guns. But still, because he wasn't doing anything that rose to the legal definition of imminent threat, police said their hands were tied.<p>"We're very limited — very, very limited to what we can do," says Biddeford Police Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk. "Just because somebody has a hunch, we will investigate it. Wed, 15 Aug 2012 07:39:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 6372 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Law — And Reality — Of Gun Access To Prevent A Tragedy, How Much Can A School Do? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/prevent-tragedy-how-much-can-school-do A Colorado judge on Thursday will consider whether to lift the gag order in the case of James Holmes, 24, who's accused of killing 12 and wounding dozens more at a movie theater last month.<p>NPR and other news organizations want access to case files, including a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to a university psychiatrist before withdrawing from the school that may have described an attack.<p>The University of Colorado is now reviewing whether there was more they could have done to prevent the shooting. Wed, 08 Aug 2012 20:16:00 +0000 Tovia Smith 6003 at http://iowapublicradio.org