The Salt
4:19 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Moonshine As Moneymaker? Eastern Tennessee Will Drink To That

Ole Smoky has helped revitalize the local economy in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The distillery sources its corn, jars and other packaging locally, and employs more than 150 people.
Van Gallik Courtesy of Ole Smoky

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 1:07 pm

Moonshine is trendy these days, with distillers large and small throughout the country offering up their own variety. But in eastern Tennessee, locals will tell you they've got the real "white lightning." Everyone seems to boast a family connection, and everyone has his or her own recipe.

"It's a local point of pride, a big part of eastern Tennessee family tradition," says Robert Cremins, a college student from Knoxville. Many in the region identify themselves with moonshine, Cremins tells The Salt. "I grew up hearing stories about moonshine."

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspect Indicted; Could Face Death Penalty

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:19 pm

A federal grand jury handed down a 30-count indictment against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing today. Dzohkhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Boston on July 10.

The charges against Tsarnaev, 19, include killing four people and using weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney's office in Massachusetts announced on its Twitter feed. The attacks also injured more than 250 people.

Update at 3:10 p.m. ET.

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Local News
3:45 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Kentucky Kingdom Lease Finalized; Reopening Slated for May 2014

Ed Hart (left) and members of his investment group. (And a lion.)
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

Kentucky Kingdom will reopen next spring, said Ed Hart, the Louisville businessman leading the effort to get the amusement park operating again.

The lease between an investment group Hart leads and the Kentucky State Fair Board has been fully executed now that the requisite financing has been secured, Hart announced Thursday.

Plans include a new rollercoaster and doubling size of the Hurricane Bay water park. Existing rides such as Thunder Run, the Great Wheel and Mile High Falls will also be ready, the new operators said.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Pence Defends Deletion of Facebook Gay Marriage Comments

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is defending his staff's decision to delete pro-gay marriage comments from his Facebook page that he says included personal attacks.

Pence said Thursday that his social media policy allows for differing opinions without personal attacks. He says it mirrors the online commenting policy of many news organizations.

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Politics
2:29 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Says Bestiality Comments Were Misunderstood

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,

Appearing on NPR's "Here and Now" Thursday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says his controversial comments equating gay marriage to bestiality are being misinterpreted.

During an interview with radio show host Glenn Beck, the two discussed the high court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and uphold a lower-court's decision that struck down Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California.

Beck argued that changing marriage laws allows for new definitions of the institution, such as polygamy.

Paul questioned if lawmakers should use their moral beliefs when drafting bills but went further saying: "And I think this is a conundrum...If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further—does it have to be humans? You know?"

The senator's office said he was being sarcastic.

Paul told NPR the same thing, but added the comments are being misunderstood and that people should listen to the recording again.

"In the interview we were talking about not having laws. We weren't talking about gay marriage. We weren't talking about DOMA," he says. "What we were talking about was whether state government should be involved at all and if there are no state government rules what could potentially happen."

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Local News
12:35 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Death Sentence Case

Sarah Hansen
Credit Evansville Courier&Press

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of a death row inmate condemned for the kidnapping and killing of a high school honor student in western Kentucky.      

The high court on Thursday granted a Kentucky prosecutor's appeal seeking to reinstate the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Keith Woodall. A jury sentenced Woodall to die for the 1997 murder of 16-year-old Sarah Hansen.

Hansen vanished on Jan. 25, 1997, after going to a store in Greenville. Her remains were later found in Luzerne Lake.

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Politics
12:25 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell Says Immigration Reform Fails to Properly Secure U.S. Border

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

UPDATE: The Senate passed the 'Gang of 8' bill by a 68-32 margin with 14 Republicans joining Democrats to approve the legislation.

Earlier: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is voting against the comprehensive immigration reform bill due to a lack of border security provisions.

The Senate is expected to vote on the final version of the so-called ‘Gang of 8’ measure on Thursday, and observers predict it will receive bipartisan support.

Earlier this week, lawmakers amended the bill to include a number of security provisions such as doubling the number of federal agents, authorize aerial drones to track illegal crossings and require a 700-mile fence to be constructed along the U.S.-Mexico line.

The changes were co-sponsored by Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota, and received a bipartisan 69-29 vote in the Senate.

But speaking on the Senate floor Thursday morning, McConnell says the legislation still doesn't meet a proper threshold of needed security and that it repeats the problems with previous bills.

"In other words, in the absence of a very firm, results-based border security trigger, there’s just no way I can look at my constituents, look them in the eye and tell them that today’s assurances won’t become tomorrow’s disappointments. And since the bill before us doesn’t include such a trigger, I won’t be able to support it,” he says.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Obama: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has More Documents

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:12 am

During a news briefing in Senegal, President Obama said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in possession of more classified documents and that the government did not know "what other documents he may try to dribble out there."

That said, the president added that he will not "be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker."

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Unbound: Silas House and Manuel Gonzales on 'The War at Home'

On today’s episode, we’re going behind the front lines in the war at home. In our first story, a young boy in Eastern Kentucky writes to his pen pal, an Indian immigrant living in Manhattan, about life in the mountains during the 2008 elections. Silas House reads a chapter from “Same Sun Here.” Then, a man shrinks his wife and gives her a doll house to live in. The wife doesn’t take it lying down. Manuel Gonzales reads “The Miniature Wife.”

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Parallels
6:37 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage, Around The World

In Montpellier, France, Vincent Autin (center) and Bruno Boileau, with Mayor Helene Mandroux, are married in a civil ceremony on May 29. They were the first same-sex couple to marry in France after the government voted to legalize gay marriage.
Claude Paris AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:52 am

Same-sex couples rejoiced in the United States on Wednesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling struck down as unconstitutional a federal law denying benefits to same-sex couples.

That got us wondering: Where else in the world can same-sex couples get married legally?

Here's a list of countries and the year each legalized gay marriage.

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