Kirk is a reporter for the NPR member station in Boston, WGBH, where he covers higher education, connecting the dots between post-secondary education and the economy, national security, jobs and global competitiveness. Kirk has been a reporter with Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis.; a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad. Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

'New Deal' Town Turns 75, Utopian Ideals Long Gone

A visiting rabbi teaches children. The majority of Jersey Homesteads came from the Bronx's Jewish community.
Russell Lee Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 1:29 pm

The town of Roosevelt, N.J., was born out of an era not much different from today. It was 1937, the economy was in the toilet, and the country bitterly divided.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had won a second term in office — an election as acrimonious as today's — and with his re-election, a host of New Deal programs moved forward. One of these projects built 99 towns outside of industrial centers across the country. The town of Roosevelt, 50 miles south of New York City, was one of them.

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

Vt. Town Hires Livestock To Save Money, Go Green

Charlotte, Vt., has a new, old-school strategy to keep cemetery grass cut: Let animals do the work.
Kirk Carapezza Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 5:51 pm

Cities and towns facing tight budgets have often neglected their cemeteries, an oversight that has left many of them in disrepair with broken fencing, crumbling gravestones, overgrown grass and persistent weeds.

But this summer, the Vermont town of Charlotte implemented a new strategy to both save money and keep grass in the town's graveyards under control, and it's a decidedly traditional way of doing it: Let goats and sheep do the work.

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Europe
4:17 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

Poverty, Segregation Fuel Marseille Crime Wave

Police climb the stairs in a building on the north side of Marseille, southern France, as part of an operation in January against drug dealing and gun proliferation.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 5:51 pm

Drug and gang violence in Marseille, France's second largest city, has gotten so out of control that one local politician has called for the army to be sent in to restore order.

The proposal shocked the French and President Francois Hollande. Now, the French government is making the city a top priority.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:15 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

The Next Frontier For Elite Med Schools: Primary Care

Mount Sinai Medical student Demetri Blanas wants to specialize in family medicine. It is a new specialty offered by his medical school.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 5:51 pm

Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. What do these medical schools have in common?

Beyond their first-rate reputations, they're also on the short list of top U.S. med schools that don't have departments of family medicine. Elite schools have long focused on training specialists and researchers, but with the federal health law's emphasis on primary care, some schools are looking harder at family medicine.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

Giant Panda Cub Found Dead At National Zoo

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 3:11 pm

The giant panda cub born to much excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., last weekend was found dead this morning.

The Associated Press reports panda-keepers were alerted by sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, but it was too late. The cause of death is not yet known, but zoo officials are planning a press conference at 1 p.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Sun September 23, 2012

Decades-Old Nuclear Standoff Finally Ends ... With New Zealand

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is given a traditional Maori welcome onto the grounds of the Government House on Friday in Auckland, New Zealand.
Phil Walter Getty Images

A little-known, but longtime nuclear standoff ended this week when U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted a 26-year-old ban that kept New Zealand naval ships from docking at U.S. bases.

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It's All Politics
9:37 am
Sun September 23, 2012

Women Head For The Hill In Record Numbers

U.S. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York waves as she takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 12:43 pm

More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. The 18 women running for the Senate break the previous record of 14, set two years ago. Also, there are 163 female candidates for House seats, more than the 141 who ran in 2004.

That gives this election season a Year-of-the-Woman ring to it, says The Center for American Women and Politics. The center's director, Debbie Walsh, offered some reasons in a press release:

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Europe
7:54 am
Sun September 23, 2012

Italy's Fiat Woes A Symptom Of Industrial Malady

Automaker Fiat threatened to shutter operations in Italy.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 1:22 pm

Automaker Fiat announced its commitment to remain in Italy after a meeting Saturday between the company's CEO and the country's president.

Fiat had threatened to shut down its operations in Italy unless it received additional state assistance. The crisis came at a time the entire country is undergoing a steep decline across all industrial sectors.

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U.S.
5:38 am
Sun September 23, 2012

At School, Overweight Children Carry A Heavy Burden

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 5:42 pm

One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Significant numbers of those young people are grappling with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Those conditions can be difficult for children to manage in any setting, but they can pose particular challenges for children during the school day.

Dr. Yolandra Hancock used to be an elementary school teacher, and it shows. She's patient, encouraging and has an endearing way of ending her sentences with "my love" and "my sweet."

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