Shots - Health Blog
9:36 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Feds Move To Curb Abusive Debt Collection By Nonprofit Hospitals

Deb Waldin testifies about her experience with a debt collector at a Minnesota hospital during a hearing led by Sen. Al Franken in St. Paul, Minn., in late May.
Minnesota Public Radio/Jeffrey Thompson

Deb Waldin was in agony when she arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Southdale, a nonprofit hospital in suburban Minneapolis. On a scale of 1 to 10, she says her pain was at 12.

She turned out to have kidney stones. But before she got the diagnosis, while she was still lying on a gurney waiting to see a doctor, she was approached by a debt collector from a company called Accretive Health.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Contracts For Home Sales Rose Sharply In May

"Pending home sales bounced back in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, and are well above year-ago levels," the National Association of Realtors reports. The association says that:

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Among the projects that have helped put Stockton in the red: this downtown multiplex, which opened in 2003 and cost $15 million in public and private money.
Ian Hill KQED

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 9:19 am

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Rose In May

There was a 1.1 percent increase in new orders for so-called durable goods in May from April, the Census Bureau says. That's more than economists had forecast, Bloomberg News reports. According to Reuters, economists thought Census would say orders went up about 0.4 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Sign Of Peace: Queen Elizabeth Shakes Hand Of Former IRA Commander

Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness today in Belfast. McGuinness is a former senior member of the IRA.
Paul Faith WPA Pool/Getty Images

Something that was "unimaginable a couple of decades ago" happened today in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk.

As Philip adds:

"McGuinness used to be a senior member of the IRA, the group that killed the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. ... The handshake signals times have greatly changed since the end of the conflict, which claimed more than 3,500 lives, though some tensions remain."

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Wed June 27, 2012

On The Left, Rangel Survives; On The Right, Hatch Easily Wins

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., at his victory party Tuesday night.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Two high-profile, veteran lawmakers — one from the left side of the aisle and the other from the right — overcame primary challengers Tuesday. One had a much easier time than the other.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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World
6:03 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Beyonce's Daughter Named Honorary Citizen Of Hvar

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Off the coast of Croatia is an island where the mayor dines with Eric Clapton, offers to rename an island Facebook Island if Mark Zuckerberg comes to visit, and just gave honorary citizenship to a celebrity baby. The baby is Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce' and Jay Z. Her name was apparently inspired by a tree covered in Blue Ivy at a resort on the island, Hvar. the mayor says the publicity has been great for tourism. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Wichita City Council
6:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Wichita To Eliminate Jobs, Increase Fees To Balance Budget

City of Wichita Budget Manager, Mark Manning, explains updated proposed budget.
Carla Eckels

An update of the proposed 2013-2014 budget was presented to Wichita City council members Tuesday.  The plan includes eliminating 37 positions to help balance the budget.

The 37 jobs slated to be cut include 19 vacant positions in the Office of Central Inspection, and 10 in engineering.  Also, eight police positions will be eliminated including seven grant-funded police officers plus another police position, a civilian working in parking enforcement.

City Manager Robert Layton says the plan is to move these workers into other positions.

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Around the Nation
5:53 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Nordstrom Worker Accused Of Selling Stolen Items

A Nordstrom warehouse worker created a mini department store in his living room — displaying fancy watches and hand bags at very good prices. He even took orders. Police noticed him when he wore a bulky winter coat to work on a hot summer day and made lots of trips to his car.

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