Lead Stories


Sat August 1, 2015
marc on the blues

Two Fisted Pianist Henry Gray Is A Powerful Link Between Chicago And Louisiana

There are more than a few Blues historians who pinpoint Henry Gray as the number one creator of what has become Chicago Blues piano. Most any riff or turnaround that shouts "Chicago!" when you hear it very probably originated with Gray. He has played with true giants and became a true giant.

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Fri July 31, 2015


Fri July 31, 2015

Philosophically Speaking, Allen's 'Irrational Man' Is Asking All The Right Questions

Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Irrational Man.'
Sabrina Lantos courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

In Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, a couple of space creatures ask Allen's character Sandy Bates why he isn't funny anymore. You see, Allen stopped giving dazzling belly laughs a long time ago. He offers chuckles in his last dozen films or so, but his latest, Irrational Man, doesn't even do much of that.

It's a moral and intellectual drama that casts a clear and sometimes amused eye on human self-delusion and hypocrisy. Yet, when I think back on Allen's career, these are the best qualities in his movies, and that moral voice is what's been missing since the '90s.

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Fri July 31, 2015

Maj. Bambi: Meet The Marine Who Was Disney's Famous Fawn

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 10:23 am

Newspaper clippings of young Donnie Dunagan from the early '40s.
Courtesy of Donnie and Dana Dunagan.

Donnie Dunagan is a hard-nosed Marine, a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War who served for a quarter-century. First drafted in the '50s and subsequently promoted 13 times in 21 years — a Corps record at the time, he recalls — Dunagan found the Marines a perfect fit. That is, so long as he could keep a secret.

A dark reminder of the past Dunagan left behind still lurked unspoken: He was Bambi.

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Thu July 30, 2015

Drifting Pesticides Threaten Organic Farms

Farmers Margot McMillen and Julie Wheeler check on their tomato plants, which they moved into a greenhouse to protect from unwanted pesticides.
Kristofor Husted Harvest Public Media

Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don’t plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers.

“We’ve traditionally raised about an acre and a half of pretty intensively managed produce, so it’s a very productive acre and a half,” Eric Reuter said. “We’re really into cropping things.”

Their neighbors grow acres of corn and soybeans and they mostly got along. That is until one July evening in 2014. Joanna Reuter was transplanting some broccoli when a sound caught her attention.

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