Kentucky lawmakers and their staffs have raised more than twenty thousand dollars for disaster relief this week. Members of the Kentucky General Assembly had set a goal of ten thousand dollars to donate to the Red Cross in the wake of tornadoes that struck eastern and northern Kentucky last week. House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s office handled the donations. Today, Stumbo announced to his chamber they had surpassed their goal.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is traveling to through counties in eastern Kentucky hit by severe weather to deliver supplies and assist with the relief effort. Grimes is being accompanied by a group that includes the director of the state board of elections and business filings, who are meeting with county clerks and business owners to assess damage and formulate a plan to help in the long-term recovery.
Joleen Frederick Phipps, the Morgan County attorney, stood on the sidewalk clutching one of her few possessions that wasn't smashed or blown away when the tornado ripped through her hometown. The figurine had been a gift from her late sister-in-law, and she had just found it unharmed in the rubble of her office, across Main Street from the shattered courthouse and not far from her demolished home. "We're all still in shock," Phipps said. "Our town was struggling before this. These little businesses along Main Street were barely making it. But this is a close county; everybody here cares. We will come back."
Japan is remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis a year ago today. At 2:46 P.M. local time, trains stopped, sirens blared, and people across Japan bowed their heads in silence. But one year on, rebuilding has not even begun on much of the country's devastated northeast coast.
And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports, the fishing town of Minamisanriku is still too early for most of the wounds to heal.
(SOUNDBITE OF A BELL AND A CHANTING BUDDHIST MONK)
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
American officials say that a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan walked off a base in the predawn hours this morning and began shooting at civilian homes in the southern province of Kandahar. Initial reports say 15 civilians are dead, including women and children. Relations between the United States and Afghanistan had been slowly returning to normal after last month's accidental burning of the Quran at an American military base. But this morning's news may erase that progress.
Ahead of the primary voting in Mississippi and Alabama, guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with William Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Professor of Political Science at Mississippi State University, about the religious politics of the South.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won Kansas' Republican caucuses Saturday. Neither Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich spent any time campaigning in the state. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports.
This past week, five Irish immigrant laborers were laid to read in Philadelphia, 180 years after their death. From member WHYY, Peter Crimmins reports they were part of a forgotten railroad work crew that was buried in a mass grave under the very railroad tracks they helped construct.