Karen Keating's eighth-grade English students at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, Pa., fire up their laptops and gather a bundle of snowball microphones. With the click of a mouse, their laptops become studios, and they're ready to record.

Keating's class is writing, producing and editing podcasts that they'll submit to the NPR Student Podcast Challenge, and, like many teachers, Keating is using apps to help them make it happen.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)

Feb 21, 2020

In the final round of the Battle of the Podcast Stars, the two surviving podcast hosts go H2H in this T/F game about commonly-used acronyms. Who will take the L?

Heard on Ben Sinclair: High Maintenance And The Battle Of The Podcast Stars.

I'm Just The Messenger With Ben Sinclair

Feb 21, 2020

On the HBO series High Maintenance, actor Ben Sinclair plays a weed delivery man. But can the man behind The Guy identify the famous historical messengers in this quiz?

Heard on Ben Sinclair: High Maintenance And The Battle Of The Podcast Stars.

Hold Me Close, Tiny Glucose

Feb 21, 2020

Unofficial Expert podcast hosts Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington put their confectionery knowledge to the test in this delectable music parody game where every answer is a dessert.

Heard on Ben Sinclair: High Maintenance And The Battle Of The Podcast Stars.

Midwest Punks | Episode 106

Feb 21, 2020

So this weekend we met our smallest, biggest fan while hanging out at the NWI Comic-Con event! Tune in for that story along with a full hour of music from the Midwest. We go old school with bands like Zero Boys, The Gizmos and The Dancing Cigarettes, but also keep it current with bands you can catch at a local show like Death and Memphis and The Raging Nathans.

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Updated at 8:57 a.m. ET

Afghan forces, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Taliban militia will begin a seven-day "reduction in violence" across the country beginning Saturday midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET Friday) — a possible prelude to a broader peace deal following two decades of war, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The quasi cease-fire was hammered out during protracted negotiations in Qatar that began in 2018. It could ultimately lead to a significant reduction of the approximately 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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The "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better Call Saul" is back for a new season in a two-night event on Sunday and Monday. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says the show and its portrait of lawyer Jimmy McGill has stayed sharp, cinematic and tragic.

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Shig Yabu was 10 years old when he and his family were forced from their home in San Francisco and relocated to an internment camp in Wyoming.

In 1942, two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the detention of anyone deemed a potential threat to the country. Roughly 120,000 people of Japanese descent were forcibly relocated to internment camps as a result — the Yabu family included.

How about some girl's basketball trivia: the head coach of the South Central girl's basketball team is only 31 years old.  Ah, but youth has served Wes Bucher, especially in the post season with the Satellites clinching their second regional title in school history and preparing for a semistate date with Frankton tomorrow.  Bucher talks about his Saturday opponent on today's sports.

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Next weekend is THE BIGGEST Comic Book Convention in the Midwest. Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, or C2E2 is a huge gathering of Nerds from all walks of life, guests from the industry, and some childhood heroes all there to celebrate the passions we live everyday. Tom Rosy from the 501st Star War cosplay Group joins us to give you the low down on C2E2 on the Next region Nerd Alert, every saturday at 7pm, right here on Lakeshore public radio, 89.1fm  

The first Americans quarantined after evacuation from Wuhan, China, the center of this winter's coronavirus outbreak, are now beginning to settle back into normal routines.

For 24-year-old Daniel Wethli, a history buff who majored in philosophy as an undergrad, leaving Wuhan last month at the urging of the U.S. State Department was bittersweet.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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President Trump has named Richard Grenell, the vocal and controversial U.S. ambassador to Germany, as the new acting director of national intelligence, replacing the current acting head of the nation's 17 spy agencies.

Grenell, who has been the U.S. envoy to Berlin since May 2018, is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience.

Updated at 3:23 p.m. ET

A federal judge sentenced Roger Stone, a political adviser to President Trump, to more than three years in prison on Thursday amid an uproar about what critics call Trump's interference in the workings of justice.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson found herself in the middle of a political sandstorm as she and the parties closed in on sentencing for Stone following his conviction last year.

Stone also was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and to serve two years of supervised release.

Forever 21, the fast-fashion mall standby that filed for bankruptcy last year, will live on. Three companies announced Wednesday that they are jointly acquiring the retailer aimed at young shoppers and that they plan to continue to operate its U.S. and international stores.

The buyers are Authentic Brands Group, which owns major brands such as Barneys New York, Aeropostale and Nine West; and real estate companies Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners.

More than two decades after it went missing, a ceremonial crown dating back to the 18th century has found its way home to Ethiopia. The country's prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, received the glistening artifact at a ceremony Thursday in Addis Ababa, in a triumphant end to a twisty saga that transcends national borders.

Three years ago, NPR accompanied disease ecologist Kevin Olival on a field trip to Malaysian Borneo.

Holcomb Orders Action On Erosion Along Lake Michigan

Feb 20, 2020

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order on Thursday to help cities along Lake Michigan experiencing erosion. Among other things, it directs the state to speed up approvals for projects that protect homes and infrastructure and determine whether Indiana can declare an emergency to receive federal dollars. 

Lawmakers are considering restrictions on how often schools in need of additional funding can propose referendum measures to local taxpayers, and education groups are once again pushing back on the proposal.

Right now, schools can propose referenda twice a year and in school-funded special elections, but lawmakers added a proposal into a bill this week that would limit those to general elections – about once every two years.

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Michael Bloomberg was in Utah today trying to turn the page after a rocky performance in the Democratic debate in Las Vegas last night. He got a warm reception at his rally, which he joked was a welcome change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Wabash County Jail

Feb 20, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU) has filed a new lawsuit against an Indiana county jail.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of individuals incarcerated at Wabash County Jail and claims the jail is overcrowded, understaffed and unsanitary. ACLU of Indiana attorney Stevie Pactor says that violates the constitution.

All IN: Do Innovation Schools Work?

Feb 20, 2020

Indianapolis Public Schools has a unique, complicated system in place designed to help them address underperforming schools. Since its adoption about five years ago, IPS’s so-called “innovation schools” have been a dramatic, controversial change for education in the city.

The Associated Press

Today:  We begin with "Post-Tribune" reporter Meredith Colias-Pete's stories she put in print and online, including the news that Indiana Medicaid must reimburse the federal government about $1.1 million for payments made to Medicaid patients who reportedly died but not cleared from the payment system.   Meredith also reported the news of a legal disciplinary hearing officer's report on Indiana Attorney General  Curtis Hill,  Lakeshore Public Radio's Dee Dotson talked with the founder of an organization that focuses on inspiring and empowering the next generation of entertainers -- and we revisit Sharon Jackson's conversation with an American Lung Association board member about the ALA's request to the FDA to crack down on vaping product makers who claim they are in the "quitting smoking" business.   We also revisit our conversations with immigration attorney Alfredo Estrada and Northwest Indiana Forum chief executive Heather Ennis.

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