State Capitol News
8:50 am
Thu February 2, 2012

State GOP Lawmakers Launch Attack Against Labor

State lawmakers launched a broad attack Wednesday against public unions -- including an absolute ban on state and local governments and school districts from bargaining with organizations that represent public workers.

Goldwater Institute economist Steve Slivinski told lawmakers that making the move now will save the state more than $500 million a year in about seven years, as wage hikes are held down. But Senate Democrat Steve Gallardo said the Goldwater Institute and the Republicans have a hidden agenda.

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Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.

Election 2012
10:01 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Sour Economy Has Nevada Looking For New Jackpot

The site of the demolished Frontier casino sits vacant on the Las Vegas Strip in December. Construction of a new hotel and casino, the Las Vegas Plaza, has been delayed until economic conditions improve.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 3:35 am

It's noon on the Las Vegas Strip, and the barker outside O'Shea's Casino is hard at work.

"Twenty-four-hour happy hour, 24-hour $5 blackjack and 24-hour beer pong action going on right here today," he says. Dressed in a lime green tuxedo, he's doing his best to get tourists to come in.

Despite the recession, nearly 39 million visitors came to the city last year, the second-highest number in Las Vegas history. The problem is those tourists don't have as much money as they once did.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

How One Hospital Entices Doctors To Work In Rural America

Dr. Dan Shuman (right), who was recruited to the Ashland Health Clinic as part of its mission-focused medicine program, consults with a patient about smoking cessation.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 7:04 pm

Recruiting doctors to live and work in rural America is a chronic problem. Most health centers try to attract workers with big salaries and expensive homes.

Shots previously reported that one center in Maine was trying to lure medical students to the countryside for their final two years with the hope that they stick around.

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Digital Life
10:01 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Zynga CEO Wants To Bring Play Time To The Masses

Mark Pincus is the CEO of Zynga, the largest maker of games on Facebook. Right now 1 billion people play games online. Pincus wants to see that number double in five years, and wants his company to grab a larger market share.
AP

Ever harvested crops on FarmVille or laid down a triple-point Q on the Scrabble knockoff Words With Friends? Then you've spent time with Zynga, the largest maker of Facebook games.

Armed with cash and a massive database of user habits, Zynga's CEO Mark Pincus wants to expand the universe of digital game players from sci-fi geeks to soccer moms and their kids.

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Europe
5:26 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

The Mood Shifts For Russia's Putin In His Hometown

With the Russian presidential election set for next month, the heavily favored candidate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, visited the election center last week as it prepared for the polls.
Yana Lapikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:53 am

Even in the dead of winter, the Russian city of St. Petersburg, with its church spires, palaces and waterways, is one of the world's truly beautiful cities. It was here that the Russian revolution began, and it's here where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev cut their teeth politically.

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Book Reviews
2:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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World Cafe
2:44 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Centro-Matic On World Cafe

Centro-Matic.
Matt Pence

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 8:39 am

The celebrated alt-country group Centro-Matic hails from Denton, Texas. What began as a side project for singer-songwriter and guitarist Will Johnson in the 1990s soon grew into a full-fledged band. With 20 albums in just 14 years, Centro-Matic has built a solid reputation for playful yet masterful, country-infused rock. With Matt Pence, Scott Danborn and Mark Hedman supporting Johnson's quick wit and pop influences, Centro-Matic's catalog exudes both boundless energy and emotional restraint.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Freddie Mac's Conflict Is 'Unsavory,' 'Shocking,' 'Stunning,' Key Senators Say

Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac "has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

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Around the Nation
10:46 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Occupying The Nation's Attention, If Not Its Cities

A protester at the Occupy D.C. encampment in Freedom Plaza packed up his belongings Monday ahead of a National Park Service deadline to clear out.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Most of the tents are gone, the parks are empty and nearly 99 percent of Occupy Wall Street's 99 percenters have gone home.

But even as the occupation enters a denouement, the nationwide movement sparked in September can claim a huge victory in the battle of ideas. Occupy has spoken, and Americans have listened.

Subjects that were largely taboo on Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just six months ago have moved to center stage. Higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Capping the cost of higher education. Corporate greed.

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