The headwaters of the Cuyahoga River run smooth and pudding-brown; warblers dart through flooded underbrush, and the canoe I'm in travels swiftly and silently downstream.
This river, an icon of the modern environmental movement, is perhaps most famous for catching fire multiple times in the 1960s and catalyzing the series of environmental protections the U.S. Congress passed in that era. It's now mostly clean, and serves as a symbol for another environmental problem -- the potential risk the natural gas boom poses to clean water in Ohio and other states experiencing a rush of energy activity.
From the shoreline at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, the blue water of Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see. But beneath that pristine image, there's a barely visible threat, says Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes: microbeads.
These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.
Last-minute health insurance shoppers turned up in record numbers Monday, both online and in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries. They were there to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment.
Public radio reporters checked out the scene in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston — three of the 36 states that are using HealthCare.gov — as well as in Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces.