Books
2:34 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Poverty Informs J.K. Rowling's New Novel For Adults

Author J.K. Rowling arrives at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in Leicester Square in central London.
Matt Crossick PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:00 am

  • Listen to Part One of the Interview
  • Hear the Extended Interview

The extended interview above includes parts one and two of the Morning Edition interview, plus additional material.


J.K. Rowling has a new novel. She's moved away from Harry Potter, the boy wizard whose stories prompted millions of kids to obsess over books big enough to serve as doorstops. Having concluded that series, she's written a novel for grown-ups called The Casual Vacancy, a story of troubled teenagers and their even more troubled parents.

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Illinois State Workers
1:45 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Ill. Union: State Contract Talks At Standstill

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

A union for Illinois government workers says negotiations with the state are at a "virtual standstill."

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says concessions demanded by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are "an insult to every state employee."

Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch says the state can't afford to keep salaries and benefits at their current levels. He told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that even after cuts, state employees would have generous benefits.

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The Salt
1:04 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

If Genetically Modified Apples Don't Brown, Can You Tell If They're Rotten?

Soon after being sliced, a conventional Granny Smith apple (left) starts to brown, while a newly developed GM Granny Smith stays fresher looking.
Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:13 pm

In the fairy-tale world, a shiny red apple can lead to a poisonous end. But some see two genetically engineered green apple varieties, poised to become the first to gain U.S. Department of Agriculture approval, as similar harbingers of doom.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Psst! Wanna Buy Some Mozzarella? U.S. Cheese Being Smuggled Into Canada

Somebody check the cheese.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:16 am

Criminals and cops looking to grab a slice of some tasty action are smuggling American cheese into Canada, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

At the center of this "mozzarella mafia" conspiracy are some officers in the Niagara Regional Police Service, the news agency says. It says that:

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Crooner, Dies In Branson

Singer Andy Williams in 1970.
Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:24 am

  • A bit of Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'

Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.

He was 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."

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Missouri's Public Defenders
6:26 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Public Defenders Can Now Refuse Cases – But Seek Long-Term Solution

The scales of justice.
(via Flickr/James Cridland)

Missouri’s public defenders won a big case before the state supreme court this summer.

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Foreclosure Mediation
9:29 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Bankers Take Legal Action To Block Foreclosure Mediation Ordinance In St. Louis County

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

The Missouri Bankers Association has filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County over a new ordinance that requires lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure.

The trade group’s president, Max Cook, said they plan to argue that it has a laundry list of legal problems. 

“Not the least of which is statute that says when it comes to banking laws, and rules, and regulation, no entity, be it a county, a city, what have you, can pass an ordinance or a rule more restrictive than that of the state of Missouri,” Cook said.

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US Supreme Court
5:59 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

US Supreme Court To Take On Missouri Drunk Driving Case

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.
(via Flickr/Phil Roeder)

Jacob McCleland of KRCU's reporting used in this story.

The US Supreme Court will pick up a case that could determine whether police can legally administer blood tests without a warrant.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer took Tyler McNeely to a Cape Girardeau hospital for blood tests after he failed field sobriety tests but refused the breathalyzer.

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Politics
5:35 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

McNary Criticizes Zweifel's Handling Of Pensions

Missouri state Rep. Cole McNary, R-Chesterfield. He's running against Democrat Clint Zweifel for the State Treasurer position.
via Flickr/KOMU News

State Representative Cole McNary criticized the State Treasurer's handling of Missouri's pensions Tuesday. McNary is the Republican candidate for the office that is currently held by Democrat Clint Zweifel.

McNary outlined problems he sees with the Missouri State Employees Retirement System: He says there are underfunded pensions, naively optimistic forecasts for returns and a debt that will be a burden on taxpayers.

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Mississippi River
3:50 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Lawmakers: Mississippi River Locks 'Desperate' For Repair

A barge travels the Mississippi River.
(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Federal lawmakers from several states along the Mississippi River are pressing to modernize the waterway's locks-and-dams system, which they say desperately needs repair.

Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt from Missouri, and Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley from Iowa are pressing the Environmental and Public Works Committee to ensure funding to hasten what they term critical improvements.

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