4:25pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Election 2012

In Iowa, Obama's Campaign Team Rehearses For 2012

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:31 pm

President Obama speaks with small-business owners at Rausch's Cafe in Guttenberg, Iowa, during a three-day Midwest bus tour in August.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama doesn't have to worry about winning the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. He's almost sure to be the only Democrat in the first-in-the-nation contest. Yet that hasn't stopped the Obama campaign from organizing its own effort to get out the vote.

While Republican candidates have been hogging the Iowa spotlight, a small army of Obama volunteers has been busy behind the scenes. They've opened eight campaign offices around the state, hosted dozens of house parties, and logged tens of thousands of telephone calls.

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3:42pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Former French President Chirac Found Guilty Of Corruption

Former President French President Jacques Chirac was found guilty of misusing public funds while he was the mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Chirac will serve a two-year suspended sentence after a court found that he had architected a system in which political allies were handed municipals salaries for fake jobs. The scheme, said the court, cost Paris about $1.8 million.

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3:25pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Joe Simon, Co-Creator Of Captain America, Has Died

Joe Simon, who together with illustrator Jack Kirby created the iconic Captain America comic book hero in 1940, has died.

According to The Associated Press, "Simon's family relayed word of his death Thursday, posting a short statement on Facebook and telling The Associated Press through a spokesman that the 98-year-old Simon died Wednesday night in New York City after a brief illness."

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3:07pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Junction City Alcohol Sales Start This Week

Junction City residents are only days away from being able to purchase alcohol in the city. Beer could appear on shelves as early as this week and liquor will follow suit in about a month, city police chief and local Alcohol Beverage Control administrator Merl Baldwin told the Junction City Council on Tuesday. So far, three merchants have completed local requirements for the unlimited amount of retail malt beverage licenses, and submitted applications to the Kentucky ABC Department, which ultimately awards the licensees.

3:04pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Business and the Economy

State's Unemployment Rate Drops

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in November from 9.6 percent in October, according to the Office of Employment and Training. The preliminary November jobless rate was .8 percentage point below the 10.2 percent rate recorded for the state in November 2010. The state’s November 2011 rate is the lowest since the January 2009 rate of 9.2 percent.

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3:02pm

Thu December 15, 2011
All Politics are Local

Democrats Drop Proposal to Tax Wealthy

With time running out before the expiration of the payroll tax cuts, Democrats are dropping their proposal to tax the wealthiest Americans to pay for the relief as a way to compromise with their Republican counterparts. The legislation to extend the cuts passed the House earlier this week, but not without contention or the remaining partisan dispute over how to pay for them. However, it appears the Democrats have blinked first.

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3:00pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Animals

Ornithologist Discusses Causes Of Bird Downings

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

They're just everywhere. That's how a wildlife manager describes the mass casualties of Eared Grebes that crash landed in southern Utah on Monday night. Some 1,500 grebes died, another 3,000 have been rescued. The small water birds were migrating and apparently mistook a Walmart parking lot, highways and football fields covered with snow for bodies of water.

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3:00pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Presidential Race

GOP Presidential Hopefuls To Debate In Iowa

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

The Republican candidates gather for yet another debate tonight. This one is in Sioux City, Iowa. It's the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. And it comes as Mitt Romney and other candidates try to stop the surge of Newt Gingrich. Romney and his allies have been launching a furious assault on the former House speaker.

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3:00pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Remembrances

Founder Of Shakespeare & Co Bookstore In Paris Dies

The founder of a venerable literary institution in Paris has died at 98. George Whitman founded the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, across from the Notre Dame cathedral. The shop was a magnet for English speakers in the French capital.

2:58pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Cabinet Maker Closes Perry County Plant

Major Perry County employer American Woodmark plans to close its plant, which produces parts for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, next spring. It's part of a series of moves the company, based in Winchester, Va., is making, including closing a plant in West Virginia, to combat a downturn stemming from the economy's struggles. The plant in Chavies employs 156 and was established in 2002.

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