Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames. She covers agriculture and is part of the Harvest Public Media collaboration. Amy worked as an independent producer for many years and also  previously had stints as weekend news host and reporter at WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts and as a reporter and host/producer of a weekly call-in health show at KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Amyââââ

3:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Business

'Wired' Magazine Story

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:13 am

Google has nearly 20 data centers packed with computer servers that are huge consumers of energy. Google allowed technology writer Steven Levy of Wired magazine to see its facility in Lenoir, N.C. Levy talks to Steve Inskeep about what he saw while he was there.

3:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Latin America

Cuba To Lift Travel Restrictions But Not For All

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

After controlling the comings and goings of its citizens for 50 years, Cuba is relaxing its grip. The government announced it would eliminate the exit visa requirements. That announcement has been welcomed by many there, but as Nick Miroff reports from Havana, not all Cubans will be treated equally when the new immigration rules take effect in January.

NICK MIROFF, BYLINE: Cuban broadcasters read the announcement word-for-word on state television, just in case there were some who wouldn't have believed it otherwise.

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3:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Politics

How Will Sequestration Effect The Federal Budget

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:41 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now let's go to our latest installment in the series Fiscal Cliff Notes.

(SOUNDBITES OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: On January 1st, 2013 there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: ...painful cuts to the Defense Department, food safety, education...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: ...the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cuts...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Taxmageddon.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: It's a cliff.

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3:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Business

Target Begins Running Holiday TV Ads Early

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Are you ready?

(SOUNDBITE OF TARGET COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The holidays are coming, and they're going to be big.

MONTAGNE: Target has aired its first holiday ad of the season.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let me just get my face out of my palm here. That's right. Forget planning your Halloween costume or picking out a turkey. Target is making its mark early - six weeks before Thanksgiving, in fact. It had a lot of people double-checking their calendar.

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3:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Business

Farmers Cautious Of Drought-Resistant Seeds

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.

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2:51am

Wed October 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

Poor Sleep May Lead To Too Much Stored Fat And Disease

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:57 am

Many Americans aren't getting the recommended seven to nine hours per night.
Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.

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2:49am

Wed October 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

States Iron Out The Kinks In Long-Term Care Insurance

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:31 am

Not many elderly people get long-term care insurance. It's expensive and many hope their kids will look after them instead.
iStockphoto.com

Long-term care insurance provides money for care when you're too old or sick to wash yourself and cook, though few American use it. Many who do have found that some insurance companies are slow to pay up or deny payments completely.

Oregon is one of several states that's adopting new regulations to improve the industry.

It used to be that the only way to appeal a long-term care decision in Oregon was in court, an arduous process for a person who may be elderly, sick or in a nursing home.

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2:48am

Wed October 17, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Kickers Are Taking The Kick Out Of Football

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:31 am

Place kicker Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks a second quarter field goal on a hold by Britton Colquitt against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High in Denver on Sept. 23.
Justin Edmonds Getty Images

Of all the strained sports cliches, my favorite was "educated toe." Remember? An accomplished field goal kicker possessed an educated toe. I had a newspaper friend who wrote that a punter had an "intellectual instep," but the copy desk wouldn't allow it. Spoilsports.

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2:47am

Wed October 17, 2012
Health Care

Home Health Aides Often As Old As Their Clients

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:03 am

Onether Lowery, 80, (standing) is a home health aide for Rosalie Lewis, 86. As a whole, the aides are largely female and far older than women in the general workforce.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

In a red brick rambler in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., Onether Lowery begins her daily shift as a caregiver. She skillfully helps 86-year-old Rosalie Lewis into her electric wheelchair, holding her from the back, then bending over to ease her down.

It's an impressive feat: Lowery herself is 80 years old.

"My mother, she was 89 when she passed away," Lowery says. "I took care of her and I just fell in love with older people. I get along with them very well."

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