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12:42 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Long Road To GM's Ignition Switch Recall

Chevy Cobalts on the assembly line in Ohio in 2008. Documents show General Motors was aware of problems with the car's ignition switch years before, but failed to act.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is a classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

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The Environment Report
9:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Wilderness Proposals Increasingly Divisive On Capitol Hill

Good Harbor Bay is one of five zones of the national lakeshore that are now officially federally protected wilderness areas.
Linda Stephan

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:40 pm

Fifty years ago, Congress set out to guarantee future generations would always have access to America’s great outdoors in its most natural state. But several recent requests for wilderness protections have been languishing on Capitol Hill.  

In the past five years, just one new wilderness bill made it to law. This new law guarantees 35 miles of northern Lake Michigan shoreline will be forever left wild.

Good Harbor Bay

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Auto
11:50 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:43 pm

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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Health
11:06 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe

Garrett shares a moment with his mother, Natalie Peterson. "He has been doing so good," she says. "He's been smiling."
Nicole Haley/University of Michigan Health System

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:59 am

Ever since the day Garrett Peterson was born, his parents have had to watch him suddenly just stop breathing.

"He could go from being totally fine to turning blue sometimes — not even kidding — in 30 seconds," says Garrett's mother, Natalie Peterson, 25, of Layton, Utah. "It was so fast. It was really scary."

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Around the Nation
2:28 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

City Versus Suburb A Longstanding Divide In Detroit

An abandoned home sits in an empty field in Brush Park, north of Detroit's downtown. The city is trying to recover from the largest municipal bankruptcy case in American history.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 7:04 pm

On the No. 34 bus heading out to the suburbs of Detroit, most of the structures are abandoned. But there are people at every stop, still living in the neighborhoods and still trying to get on with their lives during the city's financial troubles and recovery.

Lifelong Detroiter Fred Kidd, a rider on the No. 34, works at a car parts manufacturing plant in another one of Detroit's suburbs. This bus does not make it all the way to the suburbs; it stops at the city line.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Picking Apart Detroit To Make It Whole Again

Gabe Gloden and his wife Emily Goodson bought a table made out of the wood salvaged by Reclaim Detroit when they moved to the city a couple years ago.
Marvin Shaouni for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 12:00 pm

Images of a fallen city have drawn national attention to Detroit. But the focus now is on how to remake Detroit into the grand city it once was.

Part of the recovery process is repairing the bankrupt city's blight.

There are an estimated 80,000 abandoned buildings scattered throughout Detroit. In February, Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager, announced a $500 million project to tear down those structures. Now all kinds of organizations are jockeying for position to win city contracts to do the work. One of those is Reclaim Detroit.

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The Sunday Conversation
2:27 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Rebuilding A Life And A City After Years On Detroit's Streets

Isaac Lott has been working in deconstruction for four years. He's one of several Reclaim Detroit employees who have spent time in prison and are now starting a new life with the company.
Marvin Shaouni for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 12:00 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

After years of selling drugs and serving prison time in Detroit, 54-year-old Isaac Lott is now a site supervisor with the organization Reclaim Detroit. The group deconstructs abandoned homes to reclaim materials from them.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

After 5-Decade Career, NPR's Carl Kasell Will Retire

Doby Photography NPR

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 2:33 pm

After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain "scorekeeper emeritus" for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.

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It's All Politics
10:18 am
Tue February 25, 2014

The Lessons Of John Dingell's Departure

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., whose House career stretches nearly 60 years, will retire at the end of his term as the longest-serving member of Congress in history.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:23 pm

Nearly every news account Monday of Rep. John Dingell's retirement announcement made mention of his amazing longevity — the Michigan Democrat is the longest-serving member in the history of Congress.

While his durability is the stuff of legend, it's also remarkable that an accomplished, heavyweight legislator like Dingell stayed so long into an era of congressional dysfunction.

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The Environment Report
9:50 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Archeologists Diverge On Discovery In Lake Michigan

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:18 am

Archeologists studying a wooden beam pulled from northern Lake Michigan this summer can't say whether it is a piece of the first European ship to sail the upper Great Lakes or a post from an old fishing net. The group managing the project is close to issuing a report to the state archeologist, but it won’t reach any firm conclusion.

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Planet Money
5:02 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

For More Organ Donors, Just Head To The Local DMV

SOEREN STACHE DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

When Kim Zaza became the volunteer coordinator for a non profit called Gift of Life Michigan only 11 percent of Michigan's population was on the organ donor registry. Her job was to increase that number.

Zasa is energetic and really likes people. So she was naturally optimistic about her ability to sell the idea of donating organs to the people of Michigan just by talking to them. "We just went out and signed up for every art fair, church event, every little podunk little thing we could possibly think of just to try to get our information out there," she says.

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The Edge
2:38 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Americans Davis And White Win Gold In Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA — the gold medalists in ice dancing at the Sochi Games.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 3:10 pm

The anticipation that NPR's Tamara Keith reported about earlier is over:

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won gold Monday in ice dancing.

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Around the Nation
5:11 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Fugitive Finally Captured: 'The Eyes Gave Her Away'

Under the name Marie Walsh, Susan LeFevre was on the lam from a Michigan prison for 32 years before being re-arrested in 2008 — also in San Diego.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 9:18 pm

Earlier this winter, Lt. Charles Levens from the Michigan Department of Corrections was stuck at work.

"Well, that day was a bad snow day," he says. "We were not working too much in the field. The roads were horrible, the temperatures were below zero and it was a good day to work on some cold cases."

Cooped up in his office, he pulled out an old file on a woman named Judy Lynn Hayman. She was an escapee who broke out of a Michigan prison in 1977.

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Brothers Levin Near The End Of A 32-Year Congressional Partnership

Sen. Carl Levin (left) huddles with his brother and fellow Michigan Democrat, Rep. Sandy Levin, during testimony on the automotive industry bailout in 2008.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:57 pm

During President Obama's speech Tuesday night, Sen. Carl Levin will be doing what he's done at every State of the Union for decades: sitting with his older brother and fellow Michigan Democrat Rep. Sandy Levin.

No two siblings in the nation's history have served longer than the 32 years the brothers Levin have been together in Congress. Both have held powerful committee chairmanships.

But this will be their last State of the Union together. Carl, who was first elected to Congress four years before his brother, has decided to retire at the end of the year.

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Breaking
3:19 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Suspect Dead, Two Police Officers Injured In Chase At U.S. Capitol

A police officer checks out a car on grass with his canine near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The Capitol and the White House were placed on lockdown after an 'active shooter' situation was reported.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:39 am

We last updated this post at 7:19 p.m. ET.

A woman who authorities say tried to ram a security barrier outside the White House led the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police on a high-speed chase that ended near Capitol Hill, where gunshots were fired by police. Congressional lawmakers were briefly ordered to shelter in place, but by 3 p.m. ET, police had lifted the lockdown.

The incident left a suspect dead and two police officers injured. The 1-year-old child who was in the car with the suspect is OK and in protective custody.

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Offbeat
5:09 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

8 Great 'Shutdown Pickup Lines'

The fun has begun.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 12:32 pm

When a government shutdown loomed in 2011, the Twitterverse had some fun with #govtshutdownpickuplines.

They're back!

Here are some of the better, slightly naughty ones we're seeing (we also also checked #shutdownpicklines):

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Fri September 20, 2013

VIDEO: Tigers' Fielder Takes Fan's Chip After Chasing Foul

Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, who enjoys a snack during a game.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:54 am

He thought about stealing some cheese, too, Detroit Tigers' first baseman Prince Fielder says, but worried that the fan might be a double-dipper.

Watch what happened Thursday when Fielder chased a foul ball toward the stands and casually lifted a nacho chip from an unsuspecting fan's snack tray before heading back on to the field.

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All Tech Considered
2:26 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Inside The 'Bossless' Office, Where The Team Takes Charge

The headquarters of Menlo Innovations, a software design firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. At Menlo, there are no cubicles, few walls and no offices.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:44 pm

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

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Code Switch
11:41 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Killed For Taking Part In 'Everybody's Fight'

Viola Liuzzo carries her shoes while walking with other civil rights activist before she was shot and killed in Alabama. Liuzzo-Prado says her mother walked barefoot whenever she could. "She just hated shoes." When her body was removed from the car she was shot in, she was barefoot.
Courtesy of the Liuzzo family

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 6:21 pm

For the past few months, NPR has been commemorating the monumental summer of 1963 by looking at watershed moments in the civil rights movement. In this three-part series, Karen Grigsby Bates talks with the children of civil rights leaders who lost their lives in the battle for racial equality.

In an obscure corner of Detroit, there's a battered playground honoring a civil rights martyr. It has an overgrown baseball field, some missing swings and on a broken fence, a worn, wooden sign.

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The Picture Show
11:21 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Taking Detroit Into Their Own Hands

Destiny Marshall picks sunflower seeds at D-Town Farm during a tour of the 7-acre locale in Detroit. D-Town Farm is part of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which began in 2006. It has been at its present location on the west side of Detroit for six years.
Erica Yoon

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 12:55 pm

Editor's Note: Erica Yoon is an intern in NPR's multimedia department. She recently spent time in Detroit for a school project and offers this reflection.

I am an outsider to Detroit. And until recently, I'll admit, the place I imagined was shaped by a lot of assumptions. To me it was a city defined by riots, politics and the automobile industry crisis. But all of that changed when I went there for a school project last fall — and began listening to people's stories.

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