Lead Stories

The Salt
3:32 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Navajos Fight Their Food Desert With Junk Food And Soda Taxes

A price comparison of Spam and fresh fruit in a grocery store in Navajo Nation. According to the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance, the vast majority of the inventory at reservation stores would be considered "junk food" under the new tax law.
Courtesy of Denisa Livingston

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:57 pm

More than 30 cities and states across the country have attempted to tax soda. Nearly all have failed.

Now, a community of about 250,000 people has found a way to tax not just sugary beverages, but also junk food. At the same time, it's making fresh produce more affordable in one of the hardest regions in the U.S. to buy it.

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The Salt
3:32 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

With Nostalgia And A Last Nosh, 1 Of 3 Remaining HoJo's Closes

A vintage postcard (circa 1930-1945) shows the HoJo's at U.S. Alternate Route I, in Fredericksburg, Va.
Boston Public Library/Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:28 pm

In the 1960s and '70s, Howard Johnson's restaurants were the biggest chain in the country, with more than 1,000 locations.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:22 pm

(This post was last updated at 7:21 p.m. ET.)

Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

The indictment alleges that Menendez abused his office to benefit Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor who was the senator's friend and donor. Menendez has always maintained his innocence.

During a press conference in Newark, New Jersey, Menendez said he was "confident that at the end of the day, I will be vindicated."

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Justice Department Won't Charge IRS' Lois Lerner With Criminal Contempt

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 4:23 pm

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

The Justice Department will not pursue criminal contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was at the center of a political storm over the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups. The announcement came from Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to House Speaker John Boehner. (The letter is embedded at the bottom of this story.)

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

California Governor Issues 1st-Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions

Morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles along the Hollywood Freeway, past an electronic sign warning of severe drought. California Gov. Jerry Brown introduced the state's first mandatory water reduction measure this week.
Richard Vogel AP

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:03 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown instituted California's first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions on Wednesday, as the state endures its fourth year of drought.

"This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said, mandating several new conservation measures:

  • A reduction in water use by 25 percent for California cities and towns.
  • New pricing structures by local water agencies to encourage conservation.
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