Weekend All Things Considered

Weekends at 4pm
Guy Raz
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5:06pm

Wed April 10, 2013
It's All Politics

Michelle Obama Steps Into Gun Control Debate

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday speaks about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago earlier this year.
Paul Beaty AP

First lady Michelle Obama gave a personal and emotional speech Wednesday in Chicago as she stepped into the debate over gun control.

"Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common-sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence," she said.

The first lady was in her hometown to encourage business leaders to donate millions of dollars to programs for at-risk youth.

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4:30pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Education

El Paso Schools Cheating Scandal: Who's Accountable?

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:29 pm

Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Ruben R. Ramirez/The El Paso Times AP

No one knows if Atlanta's school superintendent or any of the people accused of falsifying test results will go to jail, but they wouldn't be the first if they do.

Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.

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4:22pm

Wed April 10, 2013
The Salt

Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:07 am

Thick jets of processed sewage arc out 30 to 40 feet from giant moving spreaders at Birmingham Farm in Kansas City, Mo.
Frank Morris for NPR

On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.

After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.

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3:34pm

Wed April 10, 2013
It's All Politics

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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3:25pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Law

A Mother's Fight Against 3 Strikes Law 'A Way of Life'

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Sue Reams campaigned to change California's three-strikes law and help set free her son, Shane.
Ina Jaffe NPR

Since the November election, 240 California prisoners facing potential life sentences have been set free. That's because voters changed California's tough three strikes sentencing law.

As NPR reported in 2009, that law sent thousands of people to prison for terms of 25 years to life for minor, nonviolent crimes. Now those prisoners can ask the court to have their sentences reduced.

One of those set free under the new law is Shane Reams. He owes his freedom in no small part to his mother Sue's 17-year campaign to change the law.

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