The most elite club in the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is set to get a new member: the chief of the National Guard. Congress approved the change as part of the defense authorization bill last week and the president is expected to sign the bill into law.
And now to the spreading influence of apps and tablets in the business world. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, many small businesses are using tablets to replace everything from the menu to the timecard to the cash register.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That is ceroni, so the green is like a pistachio.
As North Korea mourns the death of its leader Kim Jong Il, both South Korea and China have reacted to the risk of instability on their borders. The South Korean military has been placed on alert, and there are reports that the Chinese have closed their border with North Korea. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Louisa Lim, who is watching events from the South Korean capital, Seoul.
Christmas tree growers are frustrated that politics are delaying a marketing campaign to promote real trees over artificial. Following four years of work to get it passed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the industry-sponsored real Christmas tree campaign in November. But conservatives quickly branded it as "President Obama's Christmas tree tax" and the program was delayed within days of its approval. There are 18 other commodities — like pork and eggs — with similar generic advertising programs. They show anywhere from a two-to-one to a ten-to-one return on investment.
Days after it seemed Congress had struck a budget, tax cut and unemployment deal that would get it through the holidays, it is clear that they did not. House Speaker John Boehner Monday must deal with a restive House GOP caucus that signaled over the weekend that it had no interest in going along with the Senate's two-month plan. NPR congressional correspondent David Welna joins Lynn Neary with the latest.
Last fall, when Debi McMurray saw that a young autistic boy was lost in Central Kentucky, she was heartbroken. "I was watching Channel 3, and Dawn Gee said that an Amber Alert couldn't be issued for this child because he wasn't abducted. I thought it covered everything," she said. "I just couldn't believe that the most vulnerable people [those with developmental disabilities] were not covered." That situation caused family friend state Rep. Brad Montell to sponsor the Chase Alert Bill.
Steve Brooks had big plans when he purchased a small meat processing facility in Walton in 1985. “We started with just a little building with a 14-acre slaughterhouse near the interstate and we slaughtered our own meat.” Brooks said. Since that time, many of those early dreams have been realized and Brooks Meats has become a well-recognized name in the industry, both for its own brand and as a wholesaler and distributor.
A newly formed volunteer group in Bardstown is helping seniors stay in their homes. Bardstown at Home is still in its infancy, but since the nonprofit organization got its first client in early September, it’s taken on 19 more, and about the same number of volunteers. It reaches out to Nelson County residents who are 55 and older, and the services it provides are multifold: volunteers aid clients in everything from transportation and social opportunities to home maintenance and cooking. Volunteers will even come out to help clients change a light bulb.