Jobs may be scarce around the United States, but not in western North Dakota. A massive oil boom in Williston and the surrounding area is transforming the landscape and culture of this once-tranquil region.
Producer Todd Melby, who has been covering the boom for public media, composed an interactive documentary with radio stories and videos called "Rough Ride: The Oil Patch Tour." This guided tour through the oil patches illustrates the growth of oil fields over time.
Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.
Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 1:12 pm
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit off the coast of southeastern Alaska just before midnight local time Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS initially reported the event as a magnitude 7.7 quake.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says sea level readings indicate the quake caused a tsunami. "It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter," a NOAA report said.
In 1991, photographer Alex Harris was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his book River of Traps, written with William deBuys. It told the story, in words and pictures, of an old-time New Mexican villager. Harris didn't win.
Instead, the prize went to evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson for The Ants.
"It took me 20 years to get over that defeat," said Harris.
Whether you're a homeowner who bought an energy-saving refrigerator last year or a company hoping to build a wind farm, the tax package Congress just approved may give you a reason to cheer.
"It's got something in there, a Christmas gift if you will, for almost everyone — American homeowners, workers who commute via transit, and manufacturers of efficient equipment like clothes washers, dryers, refrigerators," says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.
Every year at around this time, tens of thousands of people take part in a kind of bird-watching marathon. From Canada to Latin America and throughout the United States, participants will get up in the middle of the night. Some brave frigid winter temperatures, and many do whatever else it takes to count as many birds as they can in 24 hours.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
A massive deep-sea oil rig is still aground in shallow water near Kodiak Island in Alaska. The rig was being towed from its offshore drilling site in the Arctic to its winter harbor in Seattle when it broke loose in a fierce storm. It ran aground last night. Officials say the rig appears to be stable, and it does not leak any of its 150,000 gallons of diesel, lube oil or hydraulic fluids aboard.
But as NPR's Howard Berkes reports, there continues to be concern about potential environmental damage.