Environmental interests see gains in legislative session The just-completed legislative session stands apart from others by the availability of new money for the environment. After years of budget cuts and reallocations, state agencies now get a boost in funding, and a mandate to use it effectively.5:45 a.m.
'What Maisie Knew' finds modern truths in Victorian satire The directorial team behind the indie hit "Bee Season" and "The Deep End" return with an updated version of the Henry James satire on bad parenting. Scott McGehee and David Siegel co-direct a number of films. For the critically acclaimed adaptation they have not only succeeded in telling a very modern story, they may have unearthed a new child star.6:55 a.m.
What caused the Lilydale landslide? A fourth-grade field trip to a Lilydale Regional Park turned deadly Wednesday when a hillside, saturated by persistent rain gave way, killing one child and injuring two others. One child is still missing. Dr. Satish Gupta is a professor in the University of Minnesota's department of Soil, Water and Climate. He spoke with Morning Edition host Phil Picardi about how landslides like this can happen.7:45 a.m.
Pre-school scholarships headed to low income kids A program signed into state law yesterday is designed to allow more kids a jump-start on quality early childhood education. The new program puts $40 million on the table to provide low-income parents with scholarships to pay for early education. MPR's Phil Picardi spoke about how the scholarships will work with Frank Forsberg. He's a Greater Twin Cities United Way executive and chairman of MinneMinds, a coalition that advocated for more investments in education.8:35 a.m.
More state money to flow to local governments One thing the Legislature did this week was raise the amount of money the state will send to local governments to help them provide basic services. MPR's Phil Picardi spoke with Dave Peters, who directs MPR's Ground Level project on community issues, about local government aid about how they might spend the money.8:45 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Losers In Chicago School Closings Target Elected Officials
The Chicago school board voted to close dozens of schools, despite community protests that the closings disproportionately affect minority students. Now the teachers union and community activists want to change the system and oust the elected officials who disagreed with them.
College Students Wait To See If Loan Rates Double
College students could end up paying a higher interest rate on their government subsidized loans unless Congress steps in. In a replay of last year's battle, Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration all have competing proposals. A vote is scheduled in the House of Representatives Thursday. But with no consensus in sight, it's not clear if lawmakers can keep interest rates from doubling on July 1.
Living In Two Worlds, But With Just One Language
Elysha O'Brien calls herself a "Mexican white girl." Not just because of her ethnically ambiguous appearance, she says, but also because she can't speak Spanish. Fearing their children would experience discrimination if they spoke Spanish, her parents chose not to teach them their native tongue.
IRS Official's Silence Riles House Committee Members
On Wednesday, Lois Lerner, the IRS official overseeing the tax-exempt organizations office, refused to testify during a hearing on Capitol Hill, and was attacked by some Republicans on the House committee. Her brief appearance was the beginning of a five-hour session marked by angry outbursts and allegations of political motives.
Obama Group's Climate Push Puts President Under Scrutiny
Organizing for Action — a group that formed out of President Obama's re-election campaign — has focused its ire on Republicans it calls "climate change deniers." But some environmentalists are frustrated with the president himself on issues like the Keystone pipeline.
Kerry To Meet With Netanyahu, Abbas
Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Middle East. He's meeting with Israeli and Palestinians leaders in a new push to revive the moribund peace process.
Tesla Proves Critics Wrong
Three years ago President Obama's green energy loan program gave a $455 million federal loan to electric car maker Tesla. Critics bashed the loan as risky. On Wednesday, Tesla announced it had paid that loan back in full – and early.
Goldman Sachs Is Doing Well. So Is Its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein
Big bank Goldman Sachs holds its annual shareholder meeting Thursday. Five years ago, during the financial crisis, Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein was a poster boy for overpaid executives. To find out how much he is making now, Renee Montagne talks Neil Weinberg, editor in chief of American Banker.
When Will Fed Officials Ease Off The Accelerator?
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday that the central bank is not ready to scale back on economic stimulus. But he suggested the Fed may start to pare back bond purchases if the economy picks up momentum. Stocks fell following Bernanke's remarks.
Venezuela Suffers Through Toilet Paper Shortage
Venezuela is rich in oil, but relies on imports for many basic goods — including toothpaste, soap and toilet paper. For weeks now the country has had a chronic toilet paper shortage. Lawmakers voted to approve a $79 million credit to the government to resolve the issue.