Matt Bush

Lost or forgotten no more: Incarcerated Black laborers that built WNC railroad memorialized

Outside of Old Fort, the Western North Carolina railroad bends around Andrews Geyser. The man-made fountain is named after the vice president of the company that owned the railroad, built in the 1870’s. Now, the thousands of laborers who did the work are finally memorialized at the site too.

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Updated October 24, 2021 at 10:03 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO — A powerful storm barreled toward Southern California after flooding highways, toppling trees and causing mud flows in areas burned bare by recent fires across the northern part of the state.

Drenching showers and strong winds accompanied the weekend's arrival of an atmospheric river — a long and wide plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific Ocean. The National Weather Service's Sacramento office warned of "potentially historic rain."

The problem with apple-picking

6 hours ago


Finally today, we're going to talk about apple picking. Lots of people do it each fall, and they enjoy it. Or so it seems when you ask them about it. We picked some apple pickers at an orchard in Red Hook, N.Y., to tell us about their experience.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: It's probably my favorite fall tradition. It's also, like, more meaningful and more delicious and more fun if you pick it yourself, for some reason.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: More fresh, and it's about the experience and everything.


The U.S. government wants to know why some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers are getting sick. It's called Havana syndrome, after the illnesses turned up in Havana. Many say they've suffered debilitating migraines, dizziness and memory loss.

Some history may be relevant. Years before the first Havana cases were reported, the U.S. government documented microwave radiation being directed at a U.S. embassy and at officials abroad. NPR national security correspondent Greg Myre has the backstory.


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Flooding an email inbox with hundreds of messages, manipulating smart home devices, and hacking a cell phone with stalkerware are all methods of digital domestic abuse. While this misuse of technology predates the pandemic, the isolation, financial instability and fear of the past year and a half heightened risks for victims. As abusers find ways to exercise power and control through technology, advocates and experts are looking closely at ways to protect the most vulnerable.

Jay Black, lead singer for the 1960s pop group Jay and the Americans, has died at the age of 82. The band announced the singer's death in a statement posted to Facebook on Saturday.

Mourners gathered at a vigil on Saturday to remember cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed in an accidental shooting on the set of the film Rust last week.

Alec Baldwin was given a prop gun which he was told was safe before firing it, killing Hutchins, 42, and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin is cooperating with investigators.

The White House has announced that a trove of remaining records concerning the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy will not be released as planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress declared in 1992 that all government records surrounding Kennedy's assassination "should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination."

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery has put Brunswick back in the national spotlight. Arbery was the 25-year old Black man shot to death last year while jogging through a neighborhood.

Artist Marvin Weeks memorialized Arbery in a mural that has become a focal point for racial justice advocates in this town on the Georgia coast.

Updated October 24, 2021 at 3:27 PM ET

Would you move to a small Indiana town for on-demand grandparents?


Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Whether on stage or on the page, Gina Cornejo has always brought a focus and fluidity to her identity. For now, she uses the pronouns she/her and they/them. 

“This is me in my own transition of, not only in this time of coming into my own voice within my work, but coming to my own very gentle identifying as queer, identifying as a queer female, even Latina,” Cornejo said. “I’m very much coming to terms with all these identifiers. I just want to keep it open and available.”

Matt Peiken | BPR News

“Searching For Jimmy Page” isn’t merely the title of Christy Hallberg’s debut novel. It was an obsession that once compelled Hallberg to  hatch a wild plan to meet the Led Zeppelin guitarist. 

In 2005, Hallberg learned that Page and Brian May of Queen were to judge a guitar competition in London. Hallberg flew there and worked her way backstage at the Hammersmith Palais, armed with an envelope that included a personal letter, a photo she hoped he would autograph and part of the book she had started as her Master’s Degree writing thesis. 

“All I could do was chase him and I stopped him at the top of the stairway and just screamed the only thing that came to mind: ‘Jimmy, I came all the way from America just to meet you,’” she recalled. “It’s not my most dignified moment, but there you go.”

Over the subsequent years, Hallberg crafted that quest into the spine of what became her book. Her central character takes the same flight to the same competition in “Searching For Jimmy Page.”  

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