The Kentucky State Data Center recently released population projections for every county in the state. The future that is painted for Harlan County is remarkably grim. The demographers project that the county will lose more than 3,000 people over the next 10 years, which would mean that the population decreases by one percent every year. By 2050, they forecast that 16,216 individuals will reside in the county, down from 33,202 in 2000. That would be a dramatic decrease in population by more than 50 percent, in fact, the projected decline in Harlan is greater than in any other county in the state.
Enrollment in Fayette County Public Schools continues to grow by several hundred students or more annually — roughly the equivalent of a whole new school every year — seemingly with no end in sight. Fayette County had 33,481 students in the 2005-06 school year. By last year, enrollment had jumped 10 percent, to 36,775. This year, it's up 2 percent, to 37,365. If you include children in the district's Early Start program, enrollment exceeds 38,000. The rapid expansion has left school administrators weighing how best to serve students — whether to spend money on buildings or on services — and has left students with crowded conditions at several schools.
If Joshua Walkup wants to say the Pledge of Allegiance, he will have to put his hand under his armpit. That’s where his heart sits, barely beneath the surface. When Walkup, 26, lifts his shirt, his heartbeat is visible through his skin. The patchwork of scars all over Walkup’s torso looks like a railroad map to nowhere. But the scars tell the story of a man who journeyed to hell and is making his way back to redemption. Walkup is another casualty of 7H, a product that is marketed and sold as herbal potpourri in hookah lounges and convenience markets. However, many people such as Walkup are smoking the product as a cheap, legal alternative to marijuana, but with disastrous results.
America's only unsolved airline hijacking happened the day before Thanksgiving in 1971. A man boarded a flight to Seattle wearing a dark sports jacket, a clip-on tie and horn-rimmed sunglasses. He took a seat in row 18E, at the very back of the Boeing 727. Almost immediately, he ordered a drink and lit a cigarette.
As the plane began to take off, he passed a note to the flight attendant that read, "Miss, I have a bomb here. I want you to sit by me."
The AP is reporting that Diana Nyad, the 62-year-old endurance swimmer, has given up her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. The cause? Painful man o' war stings, which medics warned her could be life-threatening. CNN says:
Nyad was pulled out of the water shortly after 11 a.m. following injuries sustained Saturday evening and strong cross-currents that were pushing her off course, her team Captain Mark Sollinger said. The 62-year-old swam more than 67 nautical miles — about two-thirds of the distance.
Saudi King Abdullah said Sunday women in his country will be allowed to vote for the first time ever in nationwide elections scheduled four years from now.
The king in a televised speech to his advisory council said women will be able to run as candidates and cast ballots in the next municipal elections scheduled for 2015. He also pledged to appoint women to his advisory council.
The Palestinian push for statehood recognition has sparked fears of new violence in the West Bank. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis appear content with the security provided by their own governments, and "Neighborhood Security Watch" groups have been formed by both groups. While settlers are trained by the Israeli Defense Forces, Palestinians are forming teams to monitor, document and detain settlers they believe will seek out attacks. Sheera Frenkel reports.
Syria's government is quashing protest online as well as in the streets. Host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Deb Amos in Beirut to expand on what the success of the Syrian Electronic Army means for the momentum of the opposition protests and the state of play inside Syria.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, a seasoned dealmaker in the Senate, announced his intention to step down from a key leadership role this week. It's prompted a question going around Washington: Are the best deal-brokers giving up? If so, what does that mean for the future of political compromise? Host Audie Cornish speaks with Rutgers University Political Science Professor Ross Baker, former Republican Utah Sen. Bob Bennett and former Democratic North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan.