Tom Drury's "Driftless Area" Tom Drury titled his novel "The Driftless Area." It's very hard to place in a specific genre. There are elements of a thriller. There's a robbery. And there's a spine-tingling sense of ghostly predestination. One reviewer recently called the book "a Midwestern paranormal noir."4:49 p.m.
GOP convention: What's the payoff? Some folks involved in the campaign to land the convention have been throwing around estimates of an economic kick worth $150 million. But that forecast seems to be based more on rumor than research.5:18 p.m.
If you live in the Twin Cities, you might have enjoyed a run by the lakes, or walked your dog this morning along the Mississippi. Those experiences are important to Will Rogers. And he wants to make sure there are more of them for city dwellers. Will Rogers is the president of the Trust for Public Land, based in San Francisco.
The national organization helped create the Bruce Vento Wildlife Sanctuary in Saint Paul and numerous public projects across the country. Balancing public policy and commercial interests in the effort to develop "Green Infrastructure." Tom Crann talked with Rogers.5:24 p.m.
Back to the Gulf Coast
A year ago, in the wake of Hurricaines Katrina and Rita, a team of medical providers answered the call to provide assistance to those affected in the Gulf Coast. Jon Hallberg, who's our regular medical analyst here on All Things Considered was one of the doctors to head south and help out. This week, Jon is back for a visit to Abbeville, Louisiana. He returned to investigate what things are like, one year on.5:48 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Senate Votes to Approve Detainee Treatment Bill
The Senate passes a landmark bill for trying and questioning terrorism suspects, in a 65-34 vote that split along party lines. Final approval of the bill seemed assured earlier in the day Thursday, when an amendment aimed at preserving the right of all detainees to challenge their imprisonment in federal courts was narrowly defeated.
Details of the Senate's Detainee Bill
The bill laying out how to handle terrorism detainees has undergone several changes since it was first introduced last week. Now that the legislation appears to be in its final form, Melissa Block talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about what the bill says and what its implications would be.
Democrats Suspect New Intel Report Suppressed
A forthcoming National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq -- an update of the April 2006 report that has recently stirred debate on Iraq's role in the fight against terrorism -- is already largely complete, Democrats say. But, they say, it is being suppressed until after the November elections. The Bush administration disagrees.
Holy Start-Up? A Pastor's 'Giving Kiosks' Spread
Parishioners at some American churches are now donating money by using a debit card. The move away from tithing envelopes has led a pastor in Augusta, Ga., to start a new business. Michele Norris talks with Marty Baker of Stevens Creek Community Church about his "Giving Kiosks," which are now taking in money at seven churches -- with plans to expand.
Maine Retiree Takes Cemetery Under Her Wing
Cemeteries are struggling. Many can barely pay to have the lawn mowed, let alone care for gravestones. But in Maine, a 71-year-old retiree named Isla Estabrook has taken it upon herself to clean the grime off thousands of gravestones. What started as a small project to clean a cemetery where a friend was buried has turned into an obsession. Producer Patty Wight sends an audio postcard.
Inmate Questions California's Lethal Injections
The future of capital punishment in California could be determined by the outcome of a federal court hearing in San Jose. Earlier this year, lawyers for death-row inmate Michael Morales succeeded in getting his execution postponed by challenging the methods California uses to put condemned prisoners to death.
Job Court: Sentencing Convicts to Work
Instead of jail, judges in Lancaster County, Pa., have a new option for sentencing criminals: Get a job and keep it. The Job Court connects people convicted of certain crimes with supervised employment. The theory is that a regular schedule and a regular paycheck can help some people go straight.
Letters: Secretary Spellings, Adult Marching Bands
Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' letters and emails. Comments this week include responses from college educators to Michele Norris's interview with U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. We also hear music from Atlanta's Seed and Feed Marching Abominable, one of a handful of marching bands around the country with a somewhat older membership.
Devious Dodder Vine Sniffs Out Its Victims
Some flowers release a pleasing fragrance. Other plants smell. And then there's the vampire-like dodder vine, a parasitic plant which sniffs out its victims, sinks its fangs in and starts drinking.
'Abadazad' Heroine Casts Spell on Girls and Boys
Author J. M. DeMatteis and illustrator Mike Ploog are the creators of a series of graphic novels called Abadazad. The books concern a modern-day girl who discovers a 19th century novel and the elderly woman who had been the inspiration for those stories. It's a dark tale, something the authors thought was important to do — the heroine is cool and tough enough to make her palatable even to little boys. Michele Norris talks to DeMatteis and Ploog.