This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is on the mend. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly last month to 8.3 percent. And according to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added nearly a quarter million workers to their payrolls. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, it's not only good news for the economy and the nation, it's also good news for President Obama and his re-election campaign.
The Fife and Drum Restaurant offers a daily lunch bargain that sounds hard to pass up: For just $3.21, you get a hot, tasty meal, made mostly from scratch and delivered to your table by friendly waiters.
So what's the catch? You have to go through security before you're served.
Tattoo, Prancer and Tanya will compete for the attention of people who want an alternative to Super Bowl XLVI. The three puppies have Kentucky ties - two of them spent time at the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society - and will be featured in "Puppy Bowl VIII," which airs at 2 p.m. CST Sunday on Animal Planet. The show will feature more than 50 puppies that will display their cute glory on a miniature football field known as Animal Planet Stadium. According to the Animal Planet website, this year will also feature a cast of supporting animals, including Meep the Bird and the piggy pep squad.
Family resource and youth service centers in schools are worried about how this year's probable 4.5 percent state budget cuts will affect their programs. Students and families who rely on the centers could see a major decrease in services. The cuts could cause schools to lose some of the programs at their resource centers, which include after-school activities, mentoring, guest speakers, family nights and health education and referrals, she said. The centers also help students with needs such as school supplies and clothing.
Sheriff’s deputies have rounded up 22 of the 28 suspects indicted Wednesday for engaging in organized crime – becoming the second alleged drug ring with connections to the Florida-to-Franklin County pill pipeline. Over 12 months this ring imported about 36,000 pills – with a total street value of more than $900,000 – into Franklin County, Sheriff Pat Melton said during a press conference Thursday.
Denver and Rome could not be farther apart. But today one city used to massive snow storms is facing a blizzard so big it cancelled 310 flights, even though the Denver airport has 500 workers clearing the snow. The other one hasn't seen this much snow since the '80s.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli told our Newscast unit the 1.5 inches of snow in Rome and the 16 inches that have accumulated in the northern suburbs have meant that very few attended schools and big tourist attractions like the Colosseum were closed.
Five years ago, a subprime mortgage firestorm was melting down the U.S. economy, but most analysts didn't see it happening.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress in February 2007, said the housing sector "is a concern, but at this point we don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy."
If he and the vast majority of economists were blind to the economic and financial calamity taking shape then, could they also be missing the start of a huge economic boom now?