Al Neuharth died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
He was 89.
Al's name may not be familiar to you, but this blogger hopes that you are acquainted with the newspaper he willed to life in 1982: USA Today.
From 1984 to 2009, I was either a reporter or editor — and sometimes both — at McPaper (a nickname that critics bestowed upon USA Today, but which those of us who were there in its best days adopted with the pride of underdogs).
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.
"I always felt like I was being stalked by that feeling of heartbreak." That's Josh Ritter talking about the beast that exists in the title of his seventh and latest record, The Beast in Its Tracks, an album written in the wake of his 2011 divorce from singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. To the extent that these new songs were written post-divorce, this is Ritter's "divorce album," but that's where comparisons to the likes of Blood on the Tracks and Shoot Out the Lights stop.
With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.
On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.
Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.
Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.
The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens with links to the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia. Moscow's reaction to that fact appears to be as complex as the region's turbulent history.
Some stories stand the test of time: Shakespeare's plays, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and the Child ballads.
If you're unfamiliar with them, they're not for children. They're Scottish and English folk songs from the 17th and 18th centuries and earlier. They're named after Francis James Child, the Harvard professor and folklorist who collected them.