3:29am

Thu April 19, 2012
U.S.

Few Answers In Abuse Probes At Homes For Disabled

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:08 am

A memorial to Van Ingraham at his brother Larry Ingraham's home in San Diego. Van Ingraham died after an injury at Fairview Developmental Center in 2007.
Nadia Borowski Scott

Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a sprawling facility of offices, residential buildings and therapy rooms set between a noisy boulevard and a golf course.

Some 400 people with developmental disabilities live at Fairview. And while minor scratches and bruises are not uncommon for these patients, over the years, the center has seen scores of serious injuries and even deaths.

Fairview is one of five state-run developmental centers in California — homes for people with developmental disabilities who are unable to care for themselves.

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1:02am

Thu April 19, 2012
Around the Nation

Alleged $30M Theft By Comptroller Stuns Ill. City

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:52 am

This November 2011 photo provided by The American Quarter Horse Journal shows Rita Crundwell of Dixon, Ill., at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. FBI agents arrested Crundwell, the Dixon comptroller, on charges she misappropriated more than $30 million since 2006 to finance a lavish lifestyle.
AP

The top financial official for the small city of Dixon, Ill., is accused of stealing more than $30 million from city coffers over the past six years. It's a staggering amount of money for the city of just 15,000 residents in northwest Illinois, and federal prosecutors allege she used the funds to finance a lavish lifestyle that included horse farms and a $2 million luxury motor home.

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8:44pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Business and the Economy

Eight Construction Managers to Bid on Centre Point

Eight construction firms are about to bid for the job of building the Centre Pointe project in downtown Lexington.  It might be considered an indication the revitalization effort is building momentum.  Last week, plans were unveiled that convert the old Fayette National Bank Building into a 21-C Museum Hotel.  Just a block away sits the proposed site of the high-rise Centre Pointe project.  Developer Dudley Webb expects eight construction managers to submit bids for the work within the next three weeks.

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7:29pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Music Interviews

Anoushka Shankar: A Sitar Player In Andalusia

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:41 am

"There's a very primal, emotional response I feel when I hear flamenco," sitar player Anoushka Shankar says. "It's quite in the belly in a way."
Harper Smith

Anoushka Shankar is the daughter and protege of the renowned Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, who is credited with introducing Indian classical music to Western audiences. Now, Anoushka Shankar carries on this tradition in more ways than one. On her new album, Traveller, she goes back in time to make the connections between India and Spain.

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6:48pm

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama, Romney Use Opposing Versions Of 'Are You Better Off?'

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:37 pm

Mitt Romney's campaign plans on using variations of Ronald Reagan's "Are you better off?" question frequently over the next six months.
Chuck Burton AP

Ever since Ronald Reagan posed the killer question to voters in a 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter — "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" — challengers to incumbent presidents have tried to repeat the Reagan magic.

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6:11pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Mitt Romney

With Eye On November, Romney To Expand Campaign

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:41 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with a staffer on the night of the Florida primary in January. Now that he's pivoting away from the primaries to the general election, Romney is expected to quadruple his staff soon.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Now that he's all but certain to be the Republican challenging President Obama in November, Mitt Romney has begun to expand his operations. In the past week, he's named a top aide to head his vice presidential selection team, and his paid staff is expected to soon quadruple in size.

With the president's campaign well-staffed and spread across the map, it's become a game of catch-up for Romney.

There are Republican primary contests in five important states next Tuesday, but with Rick Santorum's departure from the race, they've gotten little attention.

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6:10pm

Wed April 18, 2012
The Two-Way

3 Secret Service Agents Will Leave Agency Over Prostitution Scandal

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:22 pm

Three agents accused of cavorting with prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena as part of the "advance" team working on President Obama's trip to Colombia are leaving the agency.

The AP reports:

"Of the three workers forced out in the scandal, one is a supervisor who was allowed to retire. Another is a supervisor who has been designated for removal for cause, which requires that the employee be given 30 days' notice and a chance to respond with the help of a lawyer; and a third employee, not a supervisor, has quit.

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5:51pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Africa

Tourists Make Historic Visit To War-Ravaged Liberia

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 10:26 am

The 150 passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer cruise ship arrive in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on April 16. It's reportedly the largest group of tourists to visit the country since the 1970s.
Tamasin Ford for NPR

Liberia has been better known for conflict than tourism the past couple of decades.

But this week, a group of 150 tourists, many of them Americans, arrived for a brief stay in the small nation on Africa's West Coast. When their cruise liner docked in the capital of Monrovia, they became the largest group of tourists to visit the country in many years, probably since the 1970s.

Dock workers in Monrovia usually unload cargo ships full of secondhand clothes or rice — not a cruise ship full of American tourists.

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5:47pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Three Books...

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books On Writing's Art

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:49 am

iStockphoto.com

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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5:43pm

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Most Small Businesses Don't Quite Fit The Political Picture

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Angela Caragan's A Cupcake Co. offers gourmet cupcakes for special events. Like more than 20 million other small-business owners in the U.S., she has no employees.
Courtesy of Angela Caragan

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

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