Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Investigators Probe Fires At 6 Black Churches In 5 Southern States

Flowers left at the front door of Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, S.C.
Will Huntsberry NPR

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Investigators continue their examination of a fire at the Glover Grove Baptist Church of Warrenville, S.C.

Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following nine shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.

Now, in the case of Glover Grove, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has released the following statement, saying it still doesn't know how the blaze started.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

After Ben Affleck Scandal, PBS Postpones 'Finding Your Roots'

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:54 am

PBS has released details about an internal investigation that found that actor Ben Affleck exerted improper influence by requesting that the show Finding Your Roots hide details of a slave-owning ancestor in his family tree.

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

In The Battle Between Taylor Swift And Apple, Swift Didn't Fight Alone

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 11:51 am

Taylor Swift is no stranger to positive, even fawning, press coverage. Just this month, there was the story about teenagers using light-up bracelets from a Swift concert to flag down help when they were trapped inside their car after a crash. The headline from MTV read "Taylor Swift Saved Three Teens' Lives — Literally."

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Here's Why The Grass Isn't Greener At This Year's U.S. Open

Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay. The brown grass may seem unusual to some American golf fans.
Matt York AP

The U.S. Open kicked off today, at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington. One aspect of this year's tournament is standing out already: the grass. It is quite brown in some places, an aesthetic that is almost totally in opposition to say, the lush, verdant greens of the Augusta National Golf Club, where The Masters takes place.

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Around the Nation
3:47 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Redesigned $10 Bill To Feature Female Face, Treasury Announces

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 6:05 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now this news. All the men featured on U.S. currency are about to be joined by a woman. The government says this will happen when a new $10 bill is rolled out in 2020. NPR's Sam Sanders has the story.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

California Labor Commission Rules Uber Driver Is An Employee, Not A Contractor

A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. The California Labor Commission has ruled that one Uber driver in California is an employee of the company, and is owed certain benefits.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 8:15 am

In a decision that could have major implications for the entire sharing economy, the California Labor Commission has ruled that a San Francisco Uber driver is a company employee, not a contractor. In that decision, the commission awarded Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick $4,152.20 in employee expenses, including mileage reimbursements, toll charges and interest.

The ruling was made public when Uber filed an appeal Tuesday in a state court in San Francisco.

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Remembrances
2:30 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Kirk Kerkorian, Las Vegas Casino Mogul, Dies At 98

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Kirk Kerkorian changed the way Vegas did business. The founder of MGM Resorts International died yesterday at his home in California. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Billionaire Investor Kirk Kerkorian Dies At 98

Kirk Kerkorian arrives at the premiere of the HBO documentary His Way in Hollywood, Calif., in 2011. The billionaire helped revitalize the Las Vegas Strip.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Kirk Kerkorian, child of Armenian immigrants, casino magnate, World War II pilot and grade-school dropout, died Monday night in Los Angeles. He was 98.

The Los Angeles Times reports Kerkorian died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kerkorian, who founded MGM Resorts International and built the largest hotel in the world three different times, was known for making the Las Vegas Strip a destination not just for adults, but entire families.

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All Tech Considered
7:57 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Emoji Passwords Could Be Coming Your Way. Is That A Good Thing?

A UK banking services provider says emoji passwords will be easier to remember and safer than numeric or letter-based codes.
Intelligent Environments

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 1:32 am

Soon, you might be able to log into your bank account with a litany of smiling poo emojis, or a string of little chicken wing images, or multiple little monkeys holding their hands over their eyes.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Some Answers To Your Questions About California Water Use

Drought-stricken California hopes to save some water by not serving it to restaurant patrons who don't ask for it. Other water-conservation measures aren't so straightforward.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 8:17 pm

As California endures its fourth year of drought, water restrictions are taking effect across the state. On April 1, Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order implementing a mandatory 25 percent water cutback in cities and towns across the state from 2013 usage levels. It took effect June 1.

Brown's executive order, and the hundreds of other water guidelines throughout the state, can be confusing. NPR asked listeners what questions they have about California water restrictions. We took those questions to experts to get to the bottom of what all these rules actually mean.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

EPA Takes First Step In Limiting Aircraft Emissions

The EPA has taken a step toward regulating greenhouse gases created by aviation.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 4:25 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday started what could be a lengthy process: making rules to limit the amount of climate-warming pollution that comes from aircraft engines.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

McKinney Police Officer Seen Pinning Black Girl To The Ground Resigns

A still from a video showing Cpl. Eric Casebolt forcing a teenager to the ground in McKinney, Texas. Casebolt has resigned as an investigation continues.
YouTube

Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the McKinney, Texas, police officer seen on a video forcing a teenage girl to the ground and briefly drawing his gun while attempting to break up a disturbance at a community pool, has resigned. Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

'Headless Body In Topless Bar' Headline Writer Dies

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:22 pm

Vincent Musetto, a longtime editor at the New York Post, has died at the age of 74. The Post reports Musetto died Tuesday in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago. His daughter Carly VanTassell told the paper, "He wasn't in any pain. ... He passed peacefully in his sleep."

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Search Still On For 2 Men Who Escaped New York Prison Last Week

David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
New York State Police AP

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 2:25 am

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

University Of North Carolina Charged With 5 'Level 1' Violations By NCAA

The Old Well on campus at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Reports from the school and the NCAA say UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff oversaw a student-athlete grade-inflation scheme that lasted almost twenty years.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 4:58 am

Last October, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released findings from an internal investigation that revealed approximately 3,000 students — mostly student athletes — had their grades inflated through sham courses in the school's African and Afro-American studies department over a span of almost 20 years.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Massive Data Breach Puts 4 Million Federal Employees' Records At Risk

Nearly 4 million past and current federal employees may have fallen victim to the latest cybersecurity attack against the Office of Personnel Management.

The federal agency said in a statement that it discovered the breach in April, during a recent push to update the its "cybersecurity posture." OPM says people's names, social security numbers, dates and places of birth, and current and former addresses were hacked.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Drought May Cost California's Farmers Almost $3 Billion In 2015

A row of newly planted organic tomatoes on April 23, 2015 in Firebaugh, Calif. Some farmers are moving tomato production to the north of the state where water supplies are better.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 5:52 am

California's drought isn't just turning green lawns brown or #droughtshaming into a trending topic. It's taking a multi-billion dollar toll on the state's agricultural industry as well.

The University of California, Davis is out with a new report, and some of the numbers are steep. The study found that in 2015 alone, the drought will cost the state's farmers industry $2.7 billion and more than 18,000 jobs, with 564,000 acres fallowed.

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All Tech Considered
6:33 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Coming Soon: More Ads On Instagram, And A 'Buy' Feature On Pinterest

Pinterest will soon allow users to buy products they find directly through the app. The company says users have been asking for that feature for a while.
Pinterest

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 8:27 am

Both social apps have the announcements in posts to their respective blogs. Instagram says its new ad strategy will bring "new formats, increased relevance, and broader [ad] availability." Pinterest is more direct; the title of its post is "Coming soon: Buyable Pins!" Here's a breakdown.

Instagram

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Wreck Of A 221-Year-Old Slave Ship Is Confirmed Off South Africa

Underwater archaeology researchers explore the site of the São José slave ship wreck near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Susanna Pershern Courtesy of U.S. National Parks Service

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 11:11 am

For some time, researchers suspected that the São José-Paquete de Africa, a Portuguese slave ship, was lost in 1794 off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. But only now, after years of painstaking work, have they finally confirmed it.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

To Avoid Muhammad Ads, D.C. Subway System Forgoes Millions In Revenue

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 10:08 am

In Washington, D.C., commuters see ads on issues of public concern all the time as they ride subways and buses. But one ad has created such controversy that it has disrupted that pattern.

On Thursday, the board of directors of D.C.'s transit authority temporarily suspended what it calls "issue-oriented advertisements" throughout the D.C.-area Metrorail and bus system through the end of the calendar year. That category, according to a motion by the chair of the Board of Directors, includes but is not limited to "political, religious, and advocacy advertising."

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Scientists Discover Evidence Of A 435,000-Year-Old Murder

A team of scientists say they've discovered evidence of a 435,000 year old murder, based on evidence from the injuries on this skull.
Javier Trueba Madrid Scientific Films

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 7:01 pm

Two episodes of "localized blunt force trauma" to the skull with "an intention to kill." 3-D imaging to re-create the injuries. Bodies dropped down a 43-foot-deep vertical shaft into a mass grave. A murder case — more than 435,000 years old.

It's all detailed in a study in the journal PLOS One called "Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene," and its authors say it's evidence of one of the earliest murders on record.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Apple's Jony Ive Promoted To Chief Design Officer

The Apple logo hangs in the glass box entrance to the company's Fifth Avenue store in New York. The company has just promoted designer Jony Ive to chief design officer.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:27 pm

The news of Jony Ive's promotion was first revealed, oddly enough, in a long, fawning profile of Ive in the Telegraph, written by British comedian and TV host Stephen Fry. "Until now, Ive's job title has been Senior Vice President of Design," Fry wrote. "But I can reveal that he has just been promoted and is now Apple's Chief Design Officer. It is therefore an especially exciting time for him."

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Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

In California, Technology Makes Droughtshaming Easier Than Ever

A sign encouraging people to save water is displayed at a news conference in Los Angeles. Water use restrictions in California amidst the state's ongoing drought have led to the phenomenon of "droughtshaming," or publicly calling out water wasters.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:22 am

California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.

Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.

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Remembrances
3:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Remembering Nobel Prize-Winning Mathematician John Nash

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 4:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Economy
3:09 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Los Angeles Minimum-Wage Workers To Get A Raise

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
9:12 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

Rental Rules In California Raise Questions About Who's Using Airbnb

Supporters of Airbnb hold a rally outside City Hall, in New York. Cities throughout the country have been cracking down on the vacation rental site, prompting protests like these across the country.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 8:14 pm

Eighty-year-old Arlene Rosenblatt rents out her quaint converted duplex in Santa Monica, Calif., whenever she and her husband leave town to visit their seven grandchildren. She charges anywhere from $115 to $220 a night for her home, listing it on Airbnb and other sites.

But over the past few weeks, Rosenblatt's time has been filled with protests instead of family visits: she is one of dozens of Santa Monica residents fighting new city rules for short-term rentals.

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The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Santa Monica Cracks Down On Airbnb, Bans 'Vacation Rentals' Under A Month

Santa Monica, Calif., is trying to block home rentals through Airbnb and other online services. The city will now impose a hotel tax on such rentals and mandate that permanent residents remain in the home with guests for stays less than 30 days.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Santa Monica, Calif., is cracking down on Airbnb and the rest of the short-term rental industry. Tuesday night, the Santa Monica City Council adopted its home-sharing ordinance, which bans the rental of an entire unit for less than 30 days and requires those who take part in allowable home-sharing to obtain a business license from the city and pay a 14% hotel tax. The law takes effect June 15.

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

University Of Virginia Dean Sues 'Rolling Stone' Over Discredited Rape Article

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. That fraternity was implicated in a now discredited Rolling Stone story about a rape on campus. A dean named in the piece is suing the magazine for $7.85 million. Phi Kappa Psi says it will also sue the magazine.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 5:08 pm

Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students at the University of Virginia who handles reports of sexual assault for the school, is suing Rolling Stone magazine over the way she was depicted in a now discredited story.

Eramo has filed suit against Rolling Stone LLC, parent company Wenner Media LLC, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article called "A Rape on Campus," which painted a harrowing picture of a rape and its coverup at U.Va. The complaint was filed in the Charlottesville, Va., circuit court. Eramo is seeking a total of $7.85 million.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

New York Governor Pledges Action After Revelations Of Nail Salon Work Conditions

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:36 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a task force to investigate and tackle abuse in the state's more than 2,000 nail salons.

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Business
4:33 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Whole Foods Tries To Shake 'Whole Paycheck' Rep With Cheaper Spinoff

A woman shops at the Whole Foods Market in Woodmere Village, Ohio, on March 27, 2014. The grocery chain has become known for its high-priced food and says its new chain will offer "value prices."
Tony Dejak ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:51 am

Upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods (often referred to as "Whole Paycheck" because of its high prices) announced this week that it's launching a new offshoot brand — with lower prices — to appeal to younger, millennial shoppers.

Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods, says it will be a "uniquely branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace" with "value prices ... a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection."

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