Local News
4:04 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Daniels Authorizes Pay Hikes for Indiana State Workers

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has approved performance-based pay raises for thousands of state workers.

There will be three tiers of raises: Three percent for those whose job performance meets expectations, five percent for those exceeding expectations and eight percent for workers who are evaluated as ‘outstanding.’

Daniels predicts about ten percent of state employees will get no raise for failing to meet expectations or being in need of improvement.

This Is NPR
3:27 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Campaign Collections: NPR Election Team Finds From The Races

Seasoned and new election journalists from NPR talk about their favorite campaign memorabilia collected along the election trail through the years. Read the story behind each of these items, and what makes them so special, below.
Katie Burk NPR

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 9:08 am

Whether it's their first election cycle with NPR or their tenth, the Washington Desk reporters, producers and staffers have many opportunities to collect memorabilia and unique items from various campaign events while they are traveling across the country reporting on elections. But with all of the buttons, knick-knacks, and posters, how do they decide what to take?

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It's All Politics
1:44 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Boehner's Power Outage Dimming Obama's Options As Well

House Speaker John Boehner speaks at a press conference Friday on Capitol Hill.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:53 pm

The most important measure of power on Capitol Hill can be summed up with a question: "Do you have the votes?"

For House Speaker John Boehner, the answer once again appears to be "no." In a move that's hard to view as anything short of humiliating for the speaker, Boehner had to shelve his own "Plan B" fiscal-cliff-avoidance proposal Thursday evening after it became clear he couldn't get enough fellow Republicans to support it.

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Politics
1:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Beshear Still Weighing Medicaid Expansion; Will Make Decision Early Next Year

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Gov. Steve Beshear says he'll make a decision about Medicaid expansion in Kentucky by early next year.

While many states are still deciding on the early elements of the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- Kentucky has only one decision left: whether to opt in to Medicaid expansion.

Under the health care law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of costs for three years if states expand their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Obama Taps Sen. Kerry For Secretary Of State

President Obama and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the White House this afternoon.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 4:02 pm

  • President Obama nominates Sen. Kerry

President Obama announced this afternoon that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be his next secretary of state.

Kerry's long experience in the Senate (he was first elected in 1984) and especially in foreign affairs (he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee) mean the senator's "not going to need a lot of on-the-job training," Obama said.

We followed the short appearance at the White House by the president and Kerry and posted some highlights.

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Local News
11:58 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Maker's Mark Bourbon House Subject of Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

The Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge
Credit Creative Commons

A Louisville man is claiming that the Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge at Fourth Street Live refused to allow him to host a party at the venue because all of the party-goers would be African-American, says a lawsuit filed this week in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Andre Mulligan alleges that the Maker's Mark Lounge "officials" asked him about the "'ratio' of 'black people' to 'white people' at the planned party during a meeting, the lawsuit said.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Only 'A Good Guy With A Gun' Can Stop School Shootings, NRA Says

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at this morning's news conference in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 2:08 pm

(We retopped this post at 11:35 a.m. ET.)

Saying that last week's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., could have been prevented or stopped if there had been armed, trained security personnel on site, officials of the National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school.

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The Picture Show
9:58 am
Fri December 21, 2012

The Life Of Christmas Trees, Before The Merriment

Ripshin Mountain, Carter County, Tenn., 2011
Courtesy of John Lusk Hathaway

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 6:03 am

While many are putting the final touches on their decorated Christmas trees across the country this week, photographer John Lusk Hathaway is more concerned about the trees before they were chopped down.

Hathaway, who has a background in science, always thought it was strange to see trees growing in such rigid patterns, as opposed to the natural way they grow in forests.

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Research News
9:22 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Science Skills

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:49 pm

If you're a student at the halfway point of the academic year, and you've just taken stock of your performance, perhaps you have reason to feel proud of yourself.

But a recent study suggests some of the pride you feel at having done well — especially in science — may be unfounded. Or at least your sense of your performance may not be a very accurate picture of how good you actually are.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Consumer Spending, Orders For Durable Goods Rose In November

Shoppers at a K-B Toy store in northern Virginia last month.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:53 am

There are two positive economic signals to pass along this morning:

-- The Census Bureau says orders for durable goods rose 0.7 percent in November from October. That follows a 1.1 percent rise in October from September and is the sixth increase in the past seven months.

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