12:26pm

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Drought's Still Deep In Nation's Midsection

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:04 pm

The week of Aug. 21.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.

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11:55am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

One Poll Finds Zero Percent Of Blacks Support Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP annual convention in Houston, Texas in July.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Over at The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart writes that few poll numbers "make me gasp."

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11:48am

Thu August 23, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Famous Gorilla Ivan Dies At Age 50: An Animal Obituary

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Ivan chews on his finger at Zoo Atlanta in 1996.
John Bazemore AP

I've written before in this space about how an animal obituary may help mark a life of significance. Here is my obituary for Ivan the gorilla.

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11:47am

Thu August 23, 2012
Top Stories

Middle School Sexual Harrassment Case Upheld

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal court has denied an appeal made by the Wayne County Board of Education in a case involving two students who were bullied and awarded $100,000 each.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit today affirmed a lower court ruling to deny a motion for judgment filed by the school board.

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11:44am

Thu August 23, 2012
Top Stories

Questions About East Tenn. Coal Ash Cleanup

KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP.WMOT) — Four years after a massive coal ash spill in East Tennessee, officials still aren’t sure how to complete the cleanup of the two East Tennessee riverbeds impacted by the disaster.

An estimated 500,000 cubic yards of ash remains at the bottom of the Emory and Clinch rivers following a 2008 spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant.

At a community meeting Tuesday night at Roane County High School, an official with the EPA told residents the options are to leave the submerged ash alone, dredge it up, or cap it.

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11:39am

Thu August 23, 2012
Top Stories

Tenn. Corn Crop Likely Smallest Since 2006

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee’s corn harvest is three to four weeks ahead of schedule because an unusually warm spring allowed farmers to plant earlier.

Analysts were predicting a bumper crop this year, but estimates fell steadily as the summer progressed and drought conditions persisted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture now says this year’s corn crop will likely be the smallest since 2006.

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10:28am

Thu August 23, 2012
Africa

South Africa Mine Shooting Hints At Deep Divisions

Memorial services are being held for miners shot dead recently by police at a South African mine. The violent images were compared to the darkest days of apartheid. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with prominent Johannesburg radio host John Robbie to gauge the mood in the country.

10:28am

Thu August 23, 2012
Around the Nation

Cop Car Death Ruled Suicide, But Doubts Remain

Questions are swirling around the death of a 21-year-old Arkansas man who died in police custody in July. An autopsy report lists Chavis Carter's death as a suicide. But his family is asking how he could have shot himself in the head while handcuffed in a police car. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with Associated Press reporter Jeannie Nuss.

10:28am

Thu August 23, 2012
Election 2012

Is Tampa Ready For 2 Oncoming Storms?

The Republican National Convention is being held in Tampa, Florida, and it's expected to bring the city tens of millions of dollars. But many are wondering if Tampa is ready for two oncoming storms — the whirlwind of people descending on the city, and brewing tropical storm Isaac. Guest host Viviana Hurtado talks with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

10:04am

Thu August 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Former Penn State President Launches 'Full-Throttle Defense'

Then-Penn State President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno last fall, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal cost them both their jobs.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's

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