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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:17 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Bridging The Gap Between Two Neighborhoods

An illustration for a park proposed for Washington's old 11th Street Bridge. If realized, the park would span the Anacostia River, linking the Capitol Hill neighborhood with lower-income Anacostia.
Ed Estes Courtesy of D.C. Office of Planning

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 6:19 pm

Cities around the nation have tried a variety of approaches to revitalizing their urban cores. Some have turned to repurposing old infrastructure to breathe new life into neighborhoods.

One such effort is under way in the nation's capital, where the redevelopment of a bridge linking a wealthy part of the city with a lower-income one may present an opportunity — if an ambitious park plan can be brought to fruition.

A '21st Century Playground'

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It's All Politics
2:28 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Are You Better Off? Democrats In Charlotte Say It's Complicated

Caroline Sink (from left), Liz McKeithen, Mary Edith Alexander and Sue Collins were handing out lemonade and cookies in front of the First Presbyterian Church.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:21 pm

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

As Mark reported earlier, that's the question Republicans want Americans to ask themselves as they head to the polls this November.

The question was brought to the forefront after Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley was asked that question on CBS' Face the Nation.

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Africa
2:26 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Decades Later, South African Miners Sue Employers

Armstrong Ngutyana (left), 55, and Dumisani Mjolwa, 65, were gold miners during the apartheid era. Both worked underground for nearly three decades. They developed lung disease and were forced to quit their jobs, but received only minimal compensation. They are now part of a class-action lawsuit against South African mining companies.
Anders Kelto for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:35 pm

South Africa's mining industry is under heavy scrutiny after 44 people died during protests at a platinum mine near Johannesburg. Now, the industry is facing challenges on another front: Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against three of the country's biggest gold mining companies.

They're suing on behalf of miners who worked during the apartheid era and now have lung disease.

A settlement in the case — and another like it — could reach into the billions of dollars.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

State Must Grant Murder Convict A Sex Change Operation, Judge Rules

Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert, in 1993.
Lisa Bul AP

A federal judge in Boston today "ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison" for murder, The Associated Press writes.

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Education
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Can A New Building Save A Failing School?

Research shows that students who attend school in buildings that are in disrepair score lower on state tests than students in satisfactory buildings.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:59 pm

When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind.

As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance.

A Drain On Spirit And A Drain On Grades

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