Here and Now on KBIA 2

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Here! Now! Imperative: not to be avoided: necessary. In a typical week, the show will cover not only all the big news stories, but also the stories behind the stories, or some of the less crucial but equally intriguing things happening in the world.

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The U.S. beef herd is smaller than it has been in decades, thanks to drought and low cattle prices. But Midwest ranchers are eager to grow. And that has turned grass into a hot commodity.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock has the story.

The FDA estimates that consumers will suffer more than $5 billion in lost pleasure over a 20 year period due to the calorie counts that will soon be required of fast food chains, movie theaters and certain sit-down restaurants next year.

This new lost pleasure calculation is part of the new regulations that are geared to discourage people from eating junk food and curbing obesity.

Sharon Isbin, Guitarist Extraordinaire

Dec 4, 2014

Sharon Isbin has been called “the preeminent guitarist of our time,” and was voted “the best classical guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine.

She was one of the first woman musicians in a field where there are few. And she’s a guitarist in the classical world where few believed the instrument deserved a place.

After decades of pushing against those limitations, Isbin now has three Grammy Awards and numerous other awards under her belt, and has collaborated with many world class composers and musicians of various genres.

According to a new survey, U.S. employees at large companies report spending only about 45 percent of their time at work on primary job duties. Instead, workers reported spending their time on email, in meetings, doing administrative tasks or on “interruptions.”

Gas Dips Below $2 In Oklahoma

Dec 4, 2014

Goldman Sachs estimates that Americans stand to save $75 billion from the recent drop in gasoline prices. That works out to about $1,100 a year per household.

Now, a gas station in Oklahoma City has apparently become the first in the nation to lower the price of gas below $2 a gallon since July 2010.

Yesterday, the OnCue station dropped its price from $2.11 to 1.99 for a gallon of regular gas. That prompted long lines of drivers waiting to fill up, and set off a price war with nearby competitors, who dropped their prices too.

Lawyer: No Indictment For Officer In NYC Chokehold Death

Dec 3, 2014

A lawyer says a grand jury in New York City has declined to indict a white police officer on criminal charges in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in July.

Jonathon Moore, an attorney for the victim’s family, said Wednesday he was told there would be no indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. Garner was stopped in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

High school senior and Youth Radio reporter Eli Arbreton sent us this story making a case for why recess belongs on high schoolers’ schedules, right alongside AP chemistry and English.

High school is crazy. I wake up at like 7 a.m., then I rush to get my stuff together and go to school. Once I’m there it seems like it goes on forever before there’s a break.

Tomorrow, NASA is set to launch the first in-space test of its new Orion spacecraft. The mission could mark the beginning of America’s return to human space exploration and, even, a manned journey to Mars.

The plan is to launch Orion from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and send it twice into a 3,600-mile-high orbit of Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The test is predicted to take less than five hours, but researchers say the information learned will be critical to future flights, set to go farther into space.

Inflated home appraisals appear to be on the rise, according to the Wall Street Journal, in what industry executives see as a comeback of practices that were common leading up to the financial crisis.

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel became an international sensation last year when she voiced the character of Elsa in the Disney animated film “Frozen” and sang the Oscar-winning song “Let it Go.”

Now she’s released the album “Holiday Wishes.”

Following what NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg called a “year of aggression,” NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to plot a new course in Afghanistan, now that the combat mission is ending there.

They are also discussing Ukraine and the role Moscow has played in the fighting there between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus discusses the meeting in Brussels with Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins.

Remembering Poet Mark Strand

Dec 1, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand died on Saturday at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn, New York. He was 80 years old. Strand won the Pulitzer in 1999 for his a book of his poetry called “Blizzard of One.”

Congress Faces Looming Budget Deadline

Dec 1, 2014

With 10 days left in this year’s session, congressional lawmakers have a lot on their plate, before the Republican majority takes over in January. The government will shut down on December 11th unless a new funding bill is passed.

Many Republicans are angry at President Obama’s decision to delay deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants and House Speaker John Boehner is trying to figure out how to respond to his party’s anger over the immigration order and avoid a government shutdown.

Sales from Thanksgiving through the weekend are down 11 percent compared to last year, according to preliminary numbers released Sunday by the National Retail Federation. The numbers have surprised retail analysts, who are still trying to figure out what happened.

What does it mean to be American? That’s the question poet David Roderick explores in his new collection called “The Americans.”

“It’s a series of meditations, I think, on the big, messy, beautiful project that is our country,” Roderick told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “There’s beauty and faith and grace, and there’s also some grit and some doubt too.”

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: judges can’t send someone to jail because they’re too poor to pay their court fines. That would be debtors prison, and those were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War.

But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people are still being sent to jail for unpaid fines and fees. This is an encore presentation of a report filed by NPR’s Joseph Shapiro earlier this year.

Amid all the Black Friday advertisements, you will not see Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales. The company is focusing on 21 to 27-year-olds, so instead of trotting out the horses, its main holiday advertising campaign will feature hip twenty-somethings and a Twitter hashtag.

The move comes during a long-running decline for Budweiser, amid a surge for craft beers. The beer industry publication Beer Marketer’s Insights reports that in 2013, craft beers surpassed Budweiser for the first time, in terms of total barrels shipped.

Authorities in Cleveland have released surveillance video of the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old African-American boy on Saturday night, after a 9-1-1 caller said he might have a gun.

It turned out that Tamir Rice had a BB gun, but reportedly, the police officer who shot the boy did not know that.

The American Heritage Dictionaries added over 500 new words to the fifth edition of its dictionary of the English language, including food words like banh mi, halloumi and mochi, as well as terms like

Congregants at Chicago’s LaSalle Street Church were surprised on a recent Sunday by an announcement by their pastor. Each of them would be receiving $500 and the only criteria for spending it was to use it to “do good.”

Congregants at first sat in silence, unable to believe what they had just heard. And then, many burst into tears. The money was part of a surprise $1.6 million windfall that came to the small non-denominational church when property it had invested in 40 years ago was sold.

The movie adaptation of “The Giver” is released on DVD today. The beloved young adult book by Lois Lowry is the story of a seemingly utopian society where there is no suffering, no pain and no hunger.

But there is also no love or individual freedom, no color, no emotion. Everything and everyone is the same. In this world, only one man holds all the memories and emotions of the past. The book follows a young boy named Jonas, who is chosen to become the next person to receive those memories.

After the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown rocked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., hip hop radio personality Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby turned off the music and opened the phone lines to the people of Ferguson.

Here & Now spoke with Dolby back in August, and now, months later, host Jeremy Hobson checked back in at Dolby’s studio to ask him about how the community is reacting to news of a grand jury’s decision not indict the police officer responsible for the shooting.

The Food and Drug Administration announced new rules today that will require various businesses that sell food to post calorie counts on their menus.

The rules encompass chain restaurants, amusement parks, convenience stores and movie theaters, among other businesses, and have been lauded by public health officials.

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Julia Turner, editor-in-chief of Slate joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to talk about what’s been catching attention online.

Remembering Marion Barry

Nov 24, 2014

Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C., died early yesterday morning. For more than 40 years, Barry was one of the most powerful and controversial figures in the nation’s capitol.

The four-term mayor and longtime council member was part of the generation of civil rights leaders voted onto the district’s first locally-elected government in the 1970s. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, WAMU’s Jacob Fenston has this remembrance.

Colorado's Beer Boom Lacking In Local Hops

Nov 24, 2014

Colorado has about 230 breweries, including some of the most iconic craft beer brands in the country. Some have taken to calling Colorado’s Front Range the “Napa Valley of beer.” But unlike Napa, Colorado doesn’t grow most of the key ingredients.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Ben Markus of Colorado Public Radio reports that it’s been a struggle to change that.

Yesterday on Here & Now, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic talked about how record executives make decisions about who to sign and what to play, based on data about what music people like online.

Thompson’s conclusion is that the process is making music much more bland because people like to hear music that sounds familiar.

It has stopped snowing in the Buffalo area, but now rain in the forecast is leading to worries about possible floods and more roof collapses. Brian Meyer of WBFO in Buffalo joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with the latest.

Country Awaits Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Nov 21, 2014

The country will soon know the fate of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. Tensions have been high in St. Louis County since the August shooting, which sparked violent protests and unrest.

A grand jury has been examining this case for weeks and is expected to come out with a decision on whether or not to indict Officer Wilson.

Legendary Director Mike Nichols Dies At 83

Nov 20, 2014

Note: The audio in this story incorrectly identified the actor in a scene from “The Birdcage.” It was Luca Tommassini, not Hank Azaria. We apologize the error.

One of the most honored and successful directors in entertainment has died. Mike Nichols, director of “The Odd Couple” on Broadway, “The Graduate” on film and “Angels in America” on TV, died of a heart attack Wednesday at age 83. He once said his life as the ultimate showbiz insider came from lessons learned while growing up as an outsider.

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