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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

For The Poor, Warmth In The Winter Comes At A Steep Price

Christopher Sessums Flickr

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:05 pm

Even as signs of spring emerge around the country, one particular remnant of winter remains: high energy bills. For low-income residents, a hefty heating bill can be an especially big burden, and not just in traditional cold-weather states.

In January, as temperatures dipped to record lows in eastern Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board urged its customers: If you think you cannot pay your bill, call us. On average, gas bills were 29 percent higher than they were a year ago. And the poor have suffered even more, says Jeanie Fox, a customer counselor.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Feds Say New York's Metro-North Rail Line Values Punctuality Over Safety

Cranes prepare to salvage the last car from from a train derailment in the Bronx section of New York, in December 2013.
Seth Wenig AP

The Federal Railroad Administration issued a scathing report on New York's Metro-North rail line.

The inquiry, which was launched after a derailment in December that killed four passengers and injured 70, found that the rail line put punctuality above safety.

The Washington Post reports:

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Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Can Congress Put An End To Annual Medicare Payment Ritual?

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after House Republicans passed a measure Friday that would overhaul the system Medicare uses to pay doctors.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 7:08 pm

Congress is still searching for money to avoid a 24 percent cut in pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

But seniors are already paying their share of the cost in premiums, as if the pay cut — scheduled to kick in on April 1 — won't happen.

Seniors' premiums cover 25 percent of their Medicare Part B outpatient services, including doctor visits, outpatient lab tests and hospital visits, medical equipment and home health care.

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The Salt
2:22 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

See More, Eat More: The Geography Of Fast Food

The density of fast-food joints where we live, work and commute could be a problem for our waistlines.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:16 pm

When it comes to avoiding unhealthy food, it might be that out of sight means out of mind.

The more fast-food joints people encounter around their homes and workplaces, the likelier they are to be obese, according to a study published Thursday.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that the people who are most exposed to fast food were almost twice as likely to be obese as those who were least exposed.

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NPR Story
2:22 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Choral Music Based On Great American Words

Lisa Graham will direct a music program March 15 and 16 featuring Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Here & Now's Robin Young. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” has been performed numerous times since Copland wrote the piece, shortly following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942. Iconic voices including Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and James Earl Jones have read Lincoln’s words to Copland’s music.

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