4:57pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Animals

A Bug's Life: Store Caters To Collectors Of Crawly Pets

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:49 pm

The Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula that reflects a metallic blue color. It is just one of many tarantulas for sale in Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil's pet store. Price: $200.
Kenthebugguy.com

If you're the kind of person who screams at the sight of an insect or spider — or worse, steps on it — then a new store in Tucson, Ariz., might not be the best place for you to pick up a new family pet.

Owner Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil says his store is the only retail pet shop in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods. Judging from the recent opening day crowd at the store, plenty of people think the critters make great pets.

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4:52pm

Tue April 24, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Olympian's Arc: From 'Ninja Turtles' To London

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:37 pm

Terrence Jennings (right) lands a kick during a taekwondo match last fall. Jennings, who says his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drew him to the sport, will compete in his first Olympics this summer.
Martin Mejia AP

Taekwondo is fairly new to the Olympics; it was first officially included in 2000. But in just a few years, the Olympics have become the pinnacle event of the Korean martial art. And the odds of earning a spot competing on that stage are incredibly slim. There are only four slots for Americans — two for men, and two for women.

Terrence Jennings has beaten those odds, by defeating opponents over months of qualifying matches. In July, he'll head to London for his first Olympics.

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4:33pm

Tue April 24, 2012
-From The Soil with Sollecito

Is your green space a lawn, or a yawn?

Snappy lawns do not just happen - they result from thoughtful planning, regular maintenance and a bit of friendly competition from that neighbor with the green thumb - and the perfect hedge.  If your lawn is looking a bit retro, think makeover. You can bring your lawn into the 21st century with these simple tips.

4:30pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Newt Gingrich

Through Debt And Derision, Gingrich Keeps Running

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win all five of the Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday. The GOP front-runner hasn't had to worry about real competition since Rick Santorum dropped out of the race earlier this month.

But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is still running for president, even though he's short on money and lagging far back in the polls.

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4:28pm

Tue April 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Calls Secret Service Employees In Prostitution Scandal 'Knuckleheads'

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:42 pm

President Barack Obama laughs with Jimmy Fallon during commercial break as he participates in a taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.

"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."

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4:15pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Law

Firm Leaves Miss. After Its Prison Is Called 'Cesspool'

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 8:06 pm

In 2010, former inmate Ross Walton describes mistreatment he says inmates received from guards. Faced with a court order to reform the Walnut Grove juvenile prison, the company managing the prison is leaving Mississippi.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

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4:05pm

Tue April 24, 2012
NPR Story

Senate Democrats Blast Arizona Immigration Law

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:37 pm

On the eve of oral arguments in an important immigration case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue came to Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer convened a Senate hearing on the controversial Arizona law.

4:05pm

Tue April 24, 2012
NPR Story

Student Loan Debt Exceeds One Trillion Dollars

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 5:37 pm

President Obama wants Congress to extend the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which would freeze interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans for one year. Melissa Block speaks with Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert and publisher of FinAid.org for a primer on student loans and repayments.

4:01pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Books

'America's Great Debate' Saved Union From War

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 12:32 pm

The Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history and the defining crisis of the nation. But it might easily have started 12 years earlier.

In 1850, California's application to join the Union threatened to unhinge the delicate balance of pro- and anti-slavery forces. The flood of European immigration had shifted power in the House of Representatives decisively to the North. Another free state would tilt the U.S. Senate.

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3:40pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Los Angeles Bets On Crusading Doctor To Turn Around Public Health System

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 9:24 pm

Dr. Mitch Katz rides his bike to work, defying the commuting norm in Los Angeles.
Michael Wilson L.A.County Health Services Dept.

It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.

His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.

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