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When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

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When is the best time to visit Manhattan?

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How about the beginning of the 17th century?

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Jay Dickey, who served four terms as a congressman from Arkansas, died last week. Most obituaries mention two things. He was an ardent supporter of guns who later became a big proponent of the need for medical research into gun safety.

One of NASCAR's most popular drivers — and one of its most famous names — is leaving the racetrack. Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced Tuesday that he's retiring at the end of the season.

Earnhardt recently took a long break to recover from a series of concussions.

Just a few weeks ago, he told NPR he wasn't sure when he'd be leaving the sport.

It's been a tough three years for an already troubled city. When Flint, Mich., switched to using the Flint River for its drinking water as a cost-saving measure, then failed to properly treat it, lead pipes corroded and contaminated the water with lead.

But Flint residents are fighters, and many are beginning to see signs of hope for a better future.

The most visible are changes are in the city's downtown. There are coffeehouses and restaurants along Saginaw Street where 10 years ago there were almost none.

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