Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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4:39pm

Wed July 1, 2015
Race

Charleston, S.C., Residents Call On Each Other To Improve Race Relations

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Mon June 29, 2015
Around the Nation

Investigators Probe Fires At 6 Black Churches In 5 Southern States

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 8:01 pm

Flowers left at the front door of Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, S.C.
Will Huntsberry NPR

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Investigators continue their examination of a fire at the Glover Grove Baptist Church of Warrenville, S.C.

Fires damaged Glover Grove and some other black churches in the days following nine shooting deaths at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raising concerns that the incidents were hate-inspired arsons.

Now, in the case of Glover Grove, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has released the following statement, saying it still doesn't know how the blaze started.

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4:49pm

Thu June 25, 2015
The Two-Way

After Ben Affleck Scandal, PBS Postpones 'Finding Your Roots'

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:54 am

PBS has released details about an internal investigation that found that actor Ben Affleck exerted improper influence by requesting that the show Finding Your Roots hide details of a slave-owning ancestor in his family tree.

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5:21pm

Wed June 17, 2015
The Two-Way

California Labor Commission Rules Uber Driver Is An Employee, Not A Contractor

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 10:15 am

A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. The California Labor Commission has ruled that one Uber driver in California is an employee of the company, and is owed certain benefits.
Eric Risberg AP

In a decision that could have major implications for the entire sharing economy, the California Labor Commission has ruled that a San Francisco Uber driver is a company employee, not a contractor. In that decision, the commission awarded Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick $4,152.20 in employee expenses, including mileage reimbursements, toll charges and interest.

The ruling was made public when Uber filed an appeal Tuesday in a state court in San Francisco.

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4:30pm

Tue June 16, 2015
Remembrances

Kirk Kerkorian, Las Vegas Casino Mogul, Dies At 98

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Kirk Kerkorian changed the way Vegas did business. The founder of MGM Resorts International died yesterday at his home in California. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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3:33pm

Tue June 16, 2015
The Two-Way

Billionaire Investor Kirk Kerkorian Dies At 98

Kirk Kerkorian arrives at the premiere of the HBO documentary His Way in Hollywood, Calif., in 2011. The billionaire helped revitalize the Las Vegas Strip.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Kirk Kerkorian, child of Armenian immigrants, casino magnate, World War II pilot and grade-school dropout, died Monday night in Los Angeles. He was 98.

The Los Angeles Times reports Kerkorian died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kerkorian, who founded MGM Resorts International and built the largest hotel in the world three different times, was known for making the Las Vegas Strip a destination not just for adults, but entire families.

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7:39pm

Tue June 9, 2015
The Two-Way

McKinney Police Officer Seen Pinning Black Girl To The Ground Resigns

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 8:09 pm

A still from a video showing Cpl. Eric Casebolt forcing a teenager to the ground in McKinney, Texas. Casebolt has resigned as an investigation continues.
YouTube

Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the McKinney, Texas, police officer seen on a video forcing a teenage girl to the ground and briefly drawing his gun while attempting to break up a disturbance at a community pool, has resigned. Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.

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5:28pm

Tue June 9, 2015
The Two-Way

'Headless Body In Topless Bar' Headline Writer Dies

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 7:22 pm

Vincent Musetto, a longtime editor at the New York Post, has died at the age of 74. The Post reports Musetto died Tuesday in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago. His daughter Carly VanTassell told the paper, "He wasn't in any pain. ... He passed peacefully in his sleep."

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4:29pm

Tue June 9, 2015
The Two-Way

Search Still On For 2 Men Who Escaped New York Prison Last Week

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 4:25 am

David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Authorities on Saturday, June 6, said Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, both convicted murderers, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
New York State Police AP

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

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7:22pm

Thu June 4, 2015
The Two-Way

Massive Data Breach Puts 4 Million Federal Employees' Records At Risk

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:44 pm

Nearly 4 million past and current federal employees may have fallen victim to the latest cybersecurity attack against the Office of Personnel Management.

The federal agency said in a statement that it discovered the breach in April, during a recent push to update the its "cybersecurity posture." OPM says people's names, social security numbers, dates and places of birth, and current and former addresses were hacked.

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5:46pm

Wed June 3, 2015
The Salt

Drought May Cost California's Farmers Almost $3 Billion In 2015

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:52 am

A row of newly planted organic tomatoes on April 23, 2015 in Firebaugh, Calif. Some farmers are moving tomato production to the north of the state where water supplies are better.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

California's drought isn't just turning green lawns brown or #droughtshaming into a trending topic. It's taking a multi-billion dollar toll on the state's agricultural industry as well.

The University of California, Davis is out with a new report, and some of the numbers are steep. The study found that in 2015 alone, the drought will cost the state's farmers industry $2.7 billion and more than 18,000 jobs, with 564,000 acres fallowed.

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4:30pm

Mon May 25, 2015
Around the Nation

In California, Technology Makes Droughtshaming Easier Than Ever

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 7:22 am

A sign encouraging people to save water is displayed at a news conference in Los Angeles. Water use restrictions in California amidst the state's ongoing drought have led to the phenomenon of "droughtshaming," or publicly calling out water wasters.
Nick Ut AP

California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.

Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.

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5:16pm

Sun May 24, 2015
Remembrances

Remembering Nobel Prize-Winning Mathematician John Nash

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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5:19pm

Sun May 17, 2015
NPR Story

Rental Rules In California Raise Questions About Who's Using Airbnb

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 10:14 pm

Supporters of Airbnb hold a rally outside City Hall, in New York. Cities throughout the country have been cracking down on the vacation rental site, prompting protests like these across the country.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Eighty-year-old Arlene Rosenblatt rents out her quaint converted duplex in Santa Monica, Calif., whenever she and her husband leave town to visit their seven grandchildren. She charges anywhere from $115 to $220 a night for her home, listing it on Airbnb and other sites.

But over the past few weeks, Rosenblatt's time has been filled with protests instead of family visits: she is one of dozens of Santa Monica residents fighting new city rules for short-term rentals.

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4:30pm

Tue May 12, 2015
The Two-Way

University Of Virginia Dean Sues 'Rolling Stone' Over Discredited Rape Article

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 7:08 pm

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. That fraternity was implicated in a now discredited Rolling Stone story about a rape on campus. A dean named in the piece is suing the magazine for $7.85 million. Phi Kappa Psi says it will also sue the magazine.
Steve Helber AP

Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students at the University of Virginia who handles reports of sexual assault for the school, is suing Rolling Stone magazine over the way she was depicted in a now discredited story.

Eramo has filed suit against Rolling Stone LLC, parent company Wenner Media LLC, and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article called "A Rape on Campus," which painted a harrowing picture of a rape and its coverup at U.Va. The complaint was filed in the Charlottesville, Va., circuit court. Eramo is seeking a total of $7.85 million.

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2:51pm

Mon May 11, 2015
The Two-Way

New York Governor Pledges Action After Revelations Of Nail Salon Work Conditions

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 4:36 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a task force to investigate and tackle abuse in the state's more than 2,000 nail salons.

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6:20pm

Sun May 3, 2015
U.S.

In Baltimore, The Curfew Ends And Residents Observe A Day Of Reflection

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 7:44 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

12:43pm

Thu April 30, 2015
The Two-Way

Baltimore Police Hand Freddie Gray Investigation Report To Prosecutors

Demonstrators gather at Pennsylvania Station to march to Baltimore City Hall on Wednesday over the death of Freddie Gray. A Baltimore Police Department task force handed over its investigation into Gray's death to the state's attorney's office.
Kenneth K. Lam TNS /Landov

The Baltimore Police Department says the van transporting Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody and later died, made one more stop than previously thought.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the stop was made at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Mosher Street. A private camera helped make the discovery, he said.

The stop was one of four made by the van that was transporting Gray who suffered a spine injury at some point after his April 12 arrest on a weapons charge.

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6:12pm

Mon April 27, 2015
All Tech Considered

Google Experimenting With Patent Marketplace To Combat Trolls

A Google sign at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google is launching a two-week-long patent marketplace next month, where sellers can name their own price.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

In the most straightforward of language, Google announced its very own patent marketplace on Monday. "We invite you to sell us your patents," reads the first sentence of the blog post announcing the news.

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5:37pm

Tue April 21, 2015
All Tech Considered

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. This week, Google is changing the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
Virginia Mayo AP

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming "Mobilegeddon."

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed "mobile friendly," giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

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2:57pm

Mon April 20, 2015
The Two-Way

Twitter Now Allows Users To Receive Direct Messages From Any User

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:04 pm

Twitter changed its direct messaging guidelines Monday. Now, any user can direct-message any other user even if they are not following each other. The new feature is not automatically enabled; users will have to opt in.
iStockphoto

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET: Twitter responds to harassment questions

"Communicating with people you may or may not know in real life just got easier," says Twitter Senior Software Engineer Nhu Vuong in a blog post announcing a change to Twitter's direct messaging system. The new feature gives users the ability to receive messages whether the user follows them or not. Vuong used an example of an ice cream shop and a fan to show what's changed:

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3:43pm

Thu April 16, 2015
The Two-Way

Adrian Peterson To Be Reinstated By NFL

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:15 pm

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (center) is seen following a court appearance last year in Conroe, Texas.
David J. Phillip AP

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The NFL has announced that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be reinstated Friday as "an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings."

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3:53pm

Tue April 14, 2015
The Two-Way

White House Says It Will Remove Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 5:22 pm

President Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro during their historic meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City. The Obama administration announced Tuesday it will remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it will remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a major step in normalizing relations between the two countries. The announcement comes just days after a meeting between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit in Panama.

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4:33pm

Mon April 13, 2015
The Two-Way

Storm Clouds Delay SpaceX Spacecraft Launch

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 5:38 pm

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 11. SpaceX will attempt to return a Falcon 9 rocket to a floating ship in the Atlantic Ocean on its next launch.
John Raoux AP

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft by a day, after fast-approaching storm clouds moved into Cape Canaveral, Fla., according to the AP. In a tweet, SpaceX said the next opportunity for a launch will be Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Our original post continues:

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5:04pm

Thu April 9, 2015
The Two-Way

Study Finds The Poor Subject To Unfair Fines, Driver's License Suspensions

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:57 pm

Researchers conclude that tickets and fines hit the poor harder than other Californians. Nonpayment brings additional punishments such as heavy fines and driver's license suspensions.
Reed Saxon AP

A new report says an issue highlighted recently in Ferguson, Mo. — that tickets and fines disproportionately burden people of color and the poor, and lead to their incarceration — is not limited to Missouri.

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6:20pm

Wed April 8, 2015
The Two-Way

Icy Traffic Jam On Lake Superior Has 18 Ships Stuck

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 4:08 pm

United States Coast Guard ships break up ice in eastern Lake Superior on Tuesday.
Kenneth Armstrong Reuters/Landov

Huge ice chunks stacked some 8 feet deep on Lake Superior have left 18 freighters stuck. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards have gotten involved, sending Canadian icebreakers and American vessels to help the ships break free from Whitefish Bay.

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3:46am

Wed April 8, 2015
Pop Culture

For The Modern Man, The Sweatpant Moves Out Of The Gym

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:17 pm

The latest fashion trend for men turns casual sweatpants into designer threads suitable for working professionals. It's called athleisure, and more high-profile retailers are jumping on board.
Craig Barritt Getty Images

They are not blue jeans. They are not slacks. They are not chinos or khakis.

"They're like a jogger," Lee Davis says of his pants, walking through an outdoor mall in Los Angeles called The Grove. He's wearing them with a professional black cardigan over a designer white tee, with a crisp fitted baseball cap and fancy tennis shoes. The pants stand out the most. They fit him impeccably, with clear, tapered lines and a high-end, light-khaki material that flows luxuriously.

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5:52pm

Tue April 7, 2015
The Two-Way

An Edward Snowden Statue Was Replaced By A Hovering Snowden Image Last Night

An art collective installed an Edward Snowden projection in a Brooklyn park Monday night, after a bust of Snowden was removed by authorities park earlier that day.
Kyle Depew The Illuminator Art Collective

Yesterday in a Brooklyn park, anonymous artists erected a large bust of Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency documents. Animal New York has details:

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4:00pm

Mon April 6, 2015
The Two-Way

How Do You Like Los Angeles' New Parking Signs?

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 7:18 am

Los Angeles is trying out 100 of these new parking signs for six months. They're supposed to help streamline the current system. (See photo below.)
Sam Sanders NPR

In Los Angeles, it's really not the traffic, it's the parking.

Every Angeleno has endured that nerve-wracking search for a spot, circling and circling and circling city blocks. Then, when you finally find a space, you've got to solve the logic puzzle that LA parking signs can sometimes be.

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6:16pm

Thu April 2, 2015
The Two-Way

Nixon's 'Western White House' Is Up For Sale

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 12:06 pm

President Richard Nixon's California home, seen in 1969, is back on the market for $75 million. The 10-room Spanish-style adobe is located in San Clemente.
HF AP

After owning the estate for 35 years, retired Allergan CEO Gavin S. Herbert is selling the former home of President Richard Nixon for $75 million.

The estate in San Clemente, Calif., is large. Its main residence is 9,000 square feet, and the entire compound boasts more than 15,000 square feet of living space. The Wall Street Journal has details:

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