Pawlenty announces online meth registry
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty today ordered the creation of a methamphetamine registry which will track names and addresses of people convicted of selling or making meth. Minnesota joins Tennessee and Illinois as states with online meth offender registries. Tennessee officials say there have been over half a million hits on its website since it was set up. Those officials say its unclear how the people visiting the site are using the information. Pawlenty also announced the deployment of six additional Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents to work on the meth problem.5:19 p.m.
Parts of Minnesota are in an "extreme" drought The National Drought Mitigation Center says much of the northern half of Minnesota is now in an "extreme" drought. That's worse than last week's designation of a "severe" drought. Conditions aren't likely to improve anytime soon.5:21 p.m.
When can voters change state law?
The South Dakota Supreme Court was asked today to decide when voters can change state law. Petition drives generated enough signatures to repeal video lottery and a cell phone tax. The measures would be go before the voters in November. But the Secretary of State refuses to put them on the ballot. He says laws that make money for the state can't be put to a statewide vote.5:48 p.m.
Biting the bullet
We're living in an age where teeth are extracted with little pain, we sleep through long,complex surgeries, and wounds are stitched without much discomfort. However, if we lived about 100 years ago, all three procedures would have us yowling in pain! Anesthesia can make some medical procedures more comfortable for patients. That topic is on the mind of our regular medical analyst, Dr. Jon Hallberg, who benefited from the power of anesthetic very recently.5:52 p.m.
And you think herding cats is hard
You've seen their work even though you might not know who they are. Remember the sky-diving Gold'n Plump chickens? Or the Holiday Inn Express campaign to "stay smart." How about the humorous "herding cats" ad during the 2000 Superbowl? The creative people who came up with those commercials work for the Minneapolis advertising firm Fallon Worldwide. Fred Senn is one of the agency's founders and co-author of "Juicing the Orange: How to turn Creativity into a Powerful Business Advantage." He says it's important for business leaders to know that managing creative people brings a certain responsibility.6:19 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Tour Champ Landis Failed Doping Test in Comeback
Tour de France champion Floyd Landis has tested positive for high levels of testosterone, according to a statement from his cycling team, Phonak. The test was reportedly conducted after Landis' comeback victory in the 17th stage. If the result is confirmed, Landis could lose his title.
Doping Detective Hunts for Drug Use in Sports
News that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis failed initial doping tests confirms, at least for now, the suspicions of the man known as the international detective of drug use in sports. Richard Pound, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, has made allegations about the prevalence of doping in cycling.
Bolton Confirmation More Likely Now Than in 2005
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton is once again up for Senate confirmation to the post he has occupied since President Bush named him in a recess appointment. While intractable Senate opposition to Bolton's nomination made the recess move necessary last year, there are signs Bolton may be confirmed.
Homeland Security Blamed for Waste, Mismanagement
The Department of Homeland Security has wasted money on no-bid contracts and inadequate management of the contractors, according to congressional investigators. Their report's individual complaints have been discussed publicly before, but the document unifies them. DHS officials says the agency is working to correct the problems.
Doppelgangers Cause Confusion on Capitol Hill
Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Steve King of Iowa are Republican members of Congress who often agree on the issues, and who look enough alike to pass for each other in the halls of Congress and beyond.
As Populations Swell, Prisons Rethink Supermax
Almost every one of the estimated 25,000 U.S. inmates in isolation will be released back into the public one day. A few prison officials reconsider the idea of isolation -- and wonder if there might be a better way.
Two Quests in Novel 'Fiddler's Dream'
Alan Cheuse reviews Fiddler's Dream, by Gregory Spatz. The novel follows a young bluegrass musician as he seeks his long-lost father -- and a chance to play with the bluegrass legend, Bill Monroe.
The Sound of Silence
At a recent Paul Simon concert, hearing-impaired fans were able to enjoy the music through the help of sign-language interpreters. Sign Language Associates sent three interpreters who had gone through Simon's songs line by line to come up with translations.
Israeli Security Cabinet Plans Call-Up of Reserves
Israel's security Cabinet authorizes another call-up of army reserves. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also decided against expansing ground operations. There has been a lull in the fighting in southern Lebanon, where Israeli troops have sustained heavy casualties in combat with Hezbollah guerrillas.
A Family Displaced: Life in Lebanon
As many as 700,000 Lebanese civilians have fled their homes as a result of the Israeli campaign against Hezbollah. NPR's Jackie Northam focuses in on a family from the town of Srifa, deep in south Lebanon, which came under heavy Israeli bombing in the opening days of the conflict.