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Here's The Buzz On America's Forgotten Native 'Tea' Plant

During a severe drought in 2011, JennaDee Detro noticed that many trees on the family cattle ranch in Cat Spring, Texas, withered, but a certain evergreen holly appeared vigorous. It's called a yaupon."The best we can tell is that they enjoy suffering," Detro says with a laugh. "So this kind of extreme weather in Texas — and the extreme soil conditions — are perfect for the yaupon."Detro began researching yaupon — a tree abundant in its native range, from coastal North Carolina to East Texas ...
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Reflecting On Football And Addiction As 'Friday Night Lights' Turns 25

Twenty-seven years ago, journalist Buzz Bissinger decided that he wanted to write about the big-time stakes of small-town high school football — he just needed to find the right town. At the suggestion of a college recruiter, he visited Odessa, a west Texas town with a high school football stadium capable of seating 19,000 — and a population of approximately 90,000."Odessa is just kind of a dusty, gritty place," Bissinger tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "And I see that stadium ... and it's...
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One of the world's most prominent free divers is missing off the coast of an island called Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain. Natalia Molchanova of Russia was on a recreational dive on Sunday when she was separated from companions, according to AIDA, the worldwide federation for free diving. The organization calls her the most accomplished and most famous female free diver in the world.

Summer camp typically brings to mind s'mores, campfires and the beach, but for some kids in Southern California, it's all about marine mammals. Day camp at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach teaches children to care for the sick and stranded baby sea lions and elephant seals. (Check out the center's live poolside webcam.)

"It's sad that they have to come in, but it's good that they're coming in to get rehabilitated," says camper Jameson Ibe, 11.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

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We offer a lot of reading suggestions here at NPR, and we hope we get it right. But what happens when you buy a book and it's nothing like what you thought it would be?

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Why 'Pep' The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

6 hours ago

A 1925 article in The Boston Daily Globe featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

The caption says: This is Pep, "the pet dog Gov. Pinchot of Pennsylvania sentenced to Eastern State Penitentiary for life."

"He had killed the Governor's wife's cat," or so the story went, says Annie Anderson, the historic site researcher at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia — now a museum.

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And we turn now to Mark Ghilarducci. He's director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and he joins us from the State Emergency Operations Center just outside Sacramento.

Welcome to the program.

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The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive — sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

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Likely Stories: The Green Road

Story of a dysfunctional family in 20th century Ireland who gather from around the globe to celebrate Christmas.
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Events and Activities July 24 - 31

There's plenty to do this weekend. Act Locally Waco director Ashley Bean Thornton is back in the KWBU studio to give us the latest on what's happening in the Heart of Texas.
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via flickr.com/photos/psd/ (CC BY 2.0)

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KWBU's new website is designed to deliver news from the Heart of Texas in a clean format that's easy to use. What do you think?