Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Investigators Probe Fires At 6 Black Churches In 5 Southern States

Flowers left at the front door of Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, S.C.
Will Huntsberry NPR

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Investigators continue their examination of a fire at the Glover Grove Baptist Church of Warrenville, S.C.

Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following nine shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.

Now, in the case of Glover Grove, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has released the following statement, saying it still doesn't know how the blaze started.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

After Ben Affleck Scandal, PBS Postpones 'Finding Your Roots'

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:54 am

PBS has released details about an internal investigation that found that actor Ben Affleck exerted improper influence by requesting that the show Finding Your Roots hide details of a slave-owning ancestor in his family tree.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Here's Why The Grass Isn't Greener At This Year's U.S. Open

Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay. The brown grass may seem unusual to some American golf fans.
Matt York AP

The U.S. Open kicked off today, at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington. One aspect of this year's tournament is standing out already: the grass. It is quite brown in some places, an aesthetic that is almost totally in opposition to say, the lush, verdant greens of the Augusta National Golf Club, where The Masters takes place.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

California Labor Commission Rules Uber Driver Is An Employee, Not A Contractor

A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. The California Labor Commission has ruled that one Uber driver in California is an employee of the company, and is owed certain benefits.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 8:15 am

In a decision that could have major implications for the entire sharing economy, the California Labor Commission has ruled that a San Francisco Uber driver is a company employee, not a contractor. In that decision, the commission awarded Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick $4,152.20 in employee expenses, including mileage reimbursements, toll charges and interest.

The ruling was made public when Uber filed an appeal Tuesday in a state court in San Francisco.

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Remembrances
2:30 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Kirk Kerkorian, Las Vegas Casino Mogul, Dies At 98

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Kirk Kerkorian changed the way Vegas did business. The founder of MGM Resorts International died yesterday at his home in California. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Billionaire Investor Kirk Kerkorian Dies At 98

Kirk Kerkorian arrives at the premiere of the HBO documentary His Way in Hollywood, Calif., in 2011. The billionaire helped revitalize the Las Vegas Strip.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Kirk Kerkorian, child of Armenian immigrants, casino magnate, World War II pilot and grade-school dropout, died Monday night in Los Angeles. He was 98.

The Los Angeles Times reports Kerkorian died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kerkorian, who founded MGM Resorts International and built the largest hotel in the world three different times, was known for making the Las Vegas Strip a destination not just for adults, but entire families.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

'Headless Body In Topless Bar' Headline Writer Dies

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:22 pm

Vincent Musetto, a longtime editor at the New York Post, has died at the age of 74. The Post reports Musetto died Tuesday in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago. His daughter Carly VanTassell told the paper, "He wasn't in any pain. ... He passed peacefully in his sleep."

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Search Still On For 2 Men Who Escaped New York Prison Last Week

David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
New York State Police AP

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 2:25 am

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Drought May Cost California's Farmers Almost $3 Billion In 2015

A row of newly planted organic tomatoes on April 23, 2015 in Firebaugh, Calif. Some farmers are moving tomato production to the north of the state where water supplies are better.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 5:52 am

California's drought isn't just turning green lawns brown or #droughtshaming into a trending topic. It's taking a multi-billion dollar toll on the state's agricultural industry as well.

The University of California, Davis is out with a new report, and some of the numbers are steep. The study found that in 2015 alone, the drought will cost the state's farmers industry $2.7 billion and more than 18,000 jobs, with 564,000 acres fallowed.

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Around the Nation
2:30 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

In California, Technology Makes Droughtshaming Easier Than Ever

A sign encouraging people to save water is displayed at a news conference in Los Angeles. Water use restrictions in California amidst the state's ongoing drought have led to the phenomenon of "droughtshaming," or publicly calling out water wasters.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:22 am

California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.

Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.

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Remembrances
3:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Remembering Nobel Prize-Winning Mathematician John Nash

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 4:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

University Of Virginia Dean Sues 'Rolling Stone' Over Discredited Rape Article

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. That fraternity was implicated in a now discredited Rolling Stone story about a rape on campus. A dean named in the piece is suing the magazine for $7.85 million. Phi Kappa Psi says it will also sue the magazine.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 5:08 pm

Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students at the University of Virginia who handles reports of sexual assault for the school, is suing Rolling Stone magazine over the way she was depicted in a now discredited story.

Eramo has filed suit against Rolling Stone LLC, parent company Wenner Media LLC, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article called "A Rape on Campus," which painted a harrowing picture of a rape and its coverup at U.Va. The complaint was filed in the Charlottesville, Va., circuit court. Eramo is seeking a total of $7.85 million.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

New York Governor Pledges Action After Revelations Of Nail Salon Work Conditions

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:36 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a task force to investigate and tackle abuse in the state's more than 2,000 nail salons.

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The Salt
9:41 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Whole Foods Tries To Shake 'Whole Paycheck' Rep With Cheaper Spinoff

A woman shops at the Whole Foods Market in Woodmere Village, Ohio, on March 27, 2014. The grocery chain has become known for its high-priced food and says its new chain will offer "value prices."
Tony Dejak ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:51 am

Upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods (often referred to as "Whole Paycheck" because of its high prices) announced this week that it's launching a new offshoot brand — with lower prices — to appeal to younger, millennial shoppers.

Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods, says it will be a "uniquely branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace" with "value prices ... a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection."

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U.S.
4:19 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

In Baltimore, The Curfew Ends And Residents Observe A Day Of Reflection

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 5:44 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
10:43 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Baltimore Police Hand Freddie Gray Investigation Report To Prosecutors

Demonstrators gather at Pennsylvania Station to march to Baltimore City Hall on Wednesday over the death of Freddie Gray. A Baltimore Police Department task force handed over its investigation into Gray's death to the state's attorney's office.
Kenneth K. Lam TNS /Landov

The Baltimore Police Department says the van transporting Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody and later died, made one more stop than previously thought.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the stop was made at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Mosher Street. A private camera helped make the discovery, he said.

The stop was one of four made by the van that was transporting Gray who suffered a spine injury at some point after his April 12 arrest on a weapons charge.

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All Tech Considered
4:12 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Google Experimenting With Patent Marketplace To Combat Trolls

A Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google is launching a two-week-long patent marketplace next month, where sellers can name their own price.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

In the most straightforward of language, Google announced its very own patent marketplace on Monday. "We invite you to sell us your patents," reads the first sentence of the blog post announcing the news.

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All Tech Considered
3:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. This week, Google is changing the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
Virginia Mayo AP

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming "Mobilegeddon."

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed "mobile friendly," giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Twitter Now Allows Users To Receive Direct Messages From Any User

Twitter changed its direct messaging guidelines Monday. Now, any user can direct-message any other user even if they are not following each other. The new feature is not automatically enabled; users will have to opt in.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 3:04 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET: Twitter responds to harassment questions

"Communicating with people you may or may not know in real life just got easier," says Twitter Senior Software Engineer Nhu Vuong in a blog post announcing a change to Twitter's direct messaging system. The new feature gives users the ability to receive messages whether the user follows them or not. Vuong used an example of an ice cream shop and a fan to show what's changed:

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Adrian Peterson To Be Reinstated By NFL

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (center) is seen following a court appearance last year in Conroe, Texas.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 4:15 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The NFL has announced that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be reinstated Friday as "an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings."

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

White House Says It Will Remove Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism

President Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro during their historic meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City. The Obama administration announced Tuesday it will remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 3:22 pm

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it will remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a major step in normalizing relations between the two countries. The announcement comes just days after a meeting between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit in Panama.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Storm Clouds Delay SpaceX Spacecraft Launch

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 11. SpaceX will attempt to return a Falcon 9 rocket to a floating ship in the Atlantic Ocean on its next launch.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft by a day, after fast-approaching storm clouds moved into Cape Canaveral, Fla., according to the AP. In a tweet, SpaceX said the next opportunity for a launch will be Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Our original post continues:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Study Finds The Poor Subject To Unfair Fines, Driver's License Suspensions

Researchers conclude that tickets and fines hit the poor harder than other Californians. Nonpayment brings additional punishments such as heavy fines and driver's license suspensions.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:57 pm

A new report says an issue highlighted recently in Ferguson, Mo. — that tickets and fines disproportionately burden people of color and the poor, and lead to their incarceration — is not limited to Missouri.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Icy Traffic Jam On Lake Superior Has 18 Ships Stuck

United States Coast Guard ships break up ice in eastern Lake Superior on Tuesday.
Kenneth Armstrong Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 2:08 pm

Huge ice chunks stacked some 8 feet deep on Lake Superior have left 18 freighters stuck. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards have gotten involved, sending Canadian icebreakers and American vessels to help the ships break free from Whitefish Bay.

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Pop Culture
1:46 am
Wed April 8, 2015

For The Modern Man, The Sweatpant Moves Out Of The Gym

The latest fashion trend for men turns casual sweatpants into designer threads suitable for working professionals. It's called athleisure, and more high-profile retailers are jumping on board.
Craig Barritt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:17 pm

They are not blue jeans. They are not slacks. They are not chinos or khakis.

"They're like a jogger," Lee Davis says of his pants, walking through an outdoor mall in Los Angeles called The Grove. He's wearing them with a professional black cardigan over a designer white tee, with a crisp fitted baseball cap and fancy tennis shoes. The pants stand out the most. They fit him impeccably, with clear, tapered lines and a high-end, light-khaki material that flows luxuriously.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

An Edward Snowden Statue Was Replaced By A Hovering Snowden Image Last Night

An art collective installed an Edward Snowden projection in a Brooklyn park Monday night, after a bust of Snowden was removed by authorities park earlier that day.
Kyle Depew The Illuminator Art Collective

Yesterday in a Brooklyn park, anonymous artists erected a large bust of Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency documents. Animal New York has details:

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

How Do You Like Los Angeles' New Parking Signs?

Los Angeles is trying out 100 of these new parking signs for six months. They're supposed to help streamline the current system. (See photo below.)
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 5:18 am

In Los Angeles, it's really not the traffic, it's the parking.

Every Angeleno has endured that nerve-wracking search for a spot, circling and circling and circling city blocks. Then, when you finally find a space, you've got to solve the logic puzzle that LA parking signs can sometimes be.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Nixon's 'Western White House' Is Up For Sale

President Richard Nixon's California home, seen in 1969, is back on the market for $75 million. The 10-room Spanish-style adobe is located in San Clemente.
HF AP

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 10:06 am

After owning the estate for 35 years, retired Allergan CEO Gavin S. Herbert is selling the former home of President Richard Nixon for $75 million.

The estate in San Clemente, Calif., is large. Its main residence is 9,000 square feet, and the entire compound boasts more than 15,000 square feet of living space. The Wall Street Journal has details:

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The Two-Way
2:09 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California Governor Issues 1st-Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions

Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles along the Hollywood Freeway, past an electronic sign warning of severe drought. California Gov. Jerry Brown introduced the state's first mandatory water reduction measure this week.
Richard Vogel AP

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:50 am

Gov. Jerry Brown instituted California's first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions on Wednesday, as the state endures its fourth year of drought.

"This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said, mandating several new conservation measures:

  • A reduction in water use by 25 percent for California cities and towns.
  • New pricing structures by local water agencies to encourage conservation.
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The Record
3:37 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Jay Z's Music Service, Tidal, Arrives With A Splash, And Questions Follow

Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West and Jay Z onstage at the Tidal launch event.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 12:57 pm

Jay Z doesn't do anything small. His album drops feature entire new apps. His tours (with his wife, Beyonce, or collaborator Kanye West) gross hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. So of course the launch of his recently acquired streaming music service, Tidal, would have to be just as big.

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