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For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

KPLU News - 5 hours 32 min ago
It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

On a recent chilly November morning, I visited Kate Stillman's farm, a 160-acre spread nestled in between some little hilly pastures and some woods. It's a beautiful little place. And it's been a farm here in Hardwick, Mass., since the early 1800s.

Ebola Is Changing Course In Liberia. Will The U.S. Military Adapt?

KPLU News - 5 hours 33 min ago
The Ebola outbreak started in rural areas, but by June it had reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia.

By August, the number of people contracting the Ebola virus in the country was doubling every week. The Liberian government and aid workers begged for help.

Enter the U.S. military, who along with other U.S. agencies had a clear plan in mid-September to build more Ebola treatment units, or ETUs. At least one would be built in the major town of each of Liberia's 15 counties.

Community Activists Question Timing Of Grand Jury Announcement

KPLU News - 6 hours 48 min ago
For weeks, Ferguson police and local leaders met with community groups and activists to work out a plan for the aftermath of the grand jury's decision whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

But any results of that effort quickly vanished following Monday night's announcement as buildings burned and st

At Vandalized Ferguson Businesses, Anger And Tears

KPLU News - 6 hours 56 min ago
Residents and business owners in Ferguson, Mo., awoke Tuesday morning to assess the damage done to their neighborhoods.

The Psychic Effects Of Seeing Police Everywhere In Ferguson

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
After a night of unrest and violence, police are posted at every intersection in Ferguson, Mo. National Guard troops man camouflaged Humvees in strip mall parking lots. The governor ordered more. Is it making the community feel safer?

One thing's for sure: It's keeping people from moving about as they normally would during this holiday week.

The Target store at the end of West Florissant Avenue is virtually empty.

Bureaucratic Hoops Make D.C. Affordable Housing Units Hard To Sell

KPLU News - 7 hours 23 min ago
In Washington, D.C., a city with one of the highest costs of living in the nation, low-income residents are having trouble buying affordable housing — not because of a lack of it, but because of all the red tape.

Nearly 1 in 5 D.C. residents lives at or below the poverty line.


Ferguson Documents: The Physical Evidence

KPLU News - 7 hours 26 min ago
We've already touched on Officer Darren Wilson's testimony and that of the dozens of people who testified as witnesses in front of the grand jury in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Now let's look at some of the physical evidence:

Officer Wilson fired 12 shots in all in his encounter with the 18-year-old.

Missouri Governor Adds 'Significantly' To National Guard In Ferguson

KPLU News - 7 hours 26 min ago
"The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday, announcing that he is sending hundreds more members of the National Guard to the city that saw intense looting on Monday night.

"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community," Nixon said, "burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses — many for the second time."

Nixon said he'd just returned from West Florissant Avenue, a focal point of the unrest.

In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 In A Cowshed

KPLU News - 7 hours 32 min ago
Every day, shortly after breakfast, more than 150 noisy and eager-eyed kids, coated in dust from top to toe, troop into a mud cowshed in a sun-baked village among the cotton fields of southern Pakistan.

Administration Warns Employers: Don't Dump Sick Workers From Plans

KPLU News - 7 hours 48 min ago
As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere.

Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued in early November.

Brokers and consultants have been offering to save large employers money by shifting workers with expensive conditions such as hepatitis or hemophilia into insurance marketplace exchan

Ferguson Protests Continue In Seattle As Students Walk Out To March

KPLU News - 7 hours 50 min ago

Demonstrations continued Tuesday in Seattle as students and others took to the streets to protest the grand jury decision in Missouri not to indict a Ferguson police officer.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles: No Decision Yet On Wilson's Job

KPLU News - 8 hours 3 min ago
Police officer Darren Wilson's "current employment status has not changed," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says, speaking one day after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Saying that an internal affairs investigation into the August incident in which Wilson shot Brown to death is continuing, Knowles added that he couldn't go into more specifics than to say Wilson remains on administrative leave.

After Knowles gave an introductory speech, several clergy members went before the cameras to express their empathy for those hurt and frustrated by recent events in

Florida Woman In 'Stand Your Ground' Case Accepts Plea Deal

KPLU News - 8 hours 21 min ago
A Florida woman who once had been sentenced to 20 years in a case that invoked the state's "stand your ground" law has accepted a plea deal that will see her released from prison in January.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., was accused of firing what she said was a warning shot at her husband and two of his children during a domestic dispute in 2010. She was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, convicted and sentenced under Florida's mandatory minimum guidelines.

Alexander's legal team used the stand-your-ground law as part of her legal defense.

Amid Violence, Iraq Fractures Again Along Religious Lines

KPLU News - 8 hours 36 min ago
The shrine of Imam Ali in the Iraqi city of Najaf is a vast gold-domed edifice, where Shiite Muslims from all over the world gather to pray.

But just a few minutes drive away, are travelers of a different, shabbier kind. A long row of cinderblock and sheet metal buildings is draped in bright flags with religious slogans. Usually, these are for pilgrims to sleep in. But right now, they're spilling over with displaced Iraqi families.

"It's tough for the children," says Zaira Raqib, a mother of four of them.

Drugged Marshmallows Can Keep Urban Raccoons From Spreading Disease

KPLU News - 9 hours 14 min ago
The masked garbage crusaders of the night can be more than just a nuisance. Raccoons also can be bad news for human health, carrying diseases such as rabies and roundworms.

And because raccoons have happily colonized cities and suburbs, a particular roundworm called Baylisascaris procyonis that the critters often carry can make its way into humans. The parasite's eggs are carried in raccoon poop.

When ingested, the eggs release the worm, which can burrow into the eyes and brain causing blindness or even death, in rare cases.

Don't freak out.

Treatment For HIV Runs Low In U.S., Despite Diagnosis

KPLU News - 10 hours 48 min ago
About two-thirds of Americans who are infected with the virus that causes AIDS aren't getting treated for it.

The finding comes from an analysis just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that more needs to be done to make sure people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus get proper treatment.

"For people living with HIV, it's not just about knowing you're infected — it's also about going to the doctor for medical care," says CDC Director

Take A Bite Out Of Ringo: Giant Cookies Honor Pop Culture Icons

KPLU News - 11 hours 51 min ago
Chocolate chip. Oatmeal raisin. Snickerdoodle.

When it comes to cookies, these are the classics.

BirdNote: On The Trail Of The Bobwhite

KPLU News - 12 hours 4 min ago

The Northern Bobwhite -- many call it just the Bobwhite -- has an unmistakable call, which is also the source of its name.

The species is native to the US, east of the Rockies. But Northern Bobwhites have been released into the wild as game birds in many locales in the West.

'New York Times' Hires Former NPR Executive To Lead Digital Push

KPLU News - 12 hours 26 min ago
The New York Times has named former top NPR executive Kinsey Wilson to help its digital news efforts.

Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet appointed Wilson to be one of his top deputies in the newly created role of editor for innovation and strategy, the newspaper announced Tuesday morning.

Wilson was NPR's chief content officer when he was forced out last month by the network's new CEO, Jarl Mohn.

How Can Vultures Eat Rotten Roadkill And Survive?

KPLU News - 12 hours 38 min ago
You might wonder why 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, yet there are some animals that seem to be immune from even the nastiest germs.

We're talking here about vultures, which feast on rotting flesh that is chockablock full of bacteria that would be deadly to human beings. In fact, vultures have a strong preference for that kind of food.

"The real question is how can they actually stand eating things like this," says Lars H.