The Struggle To Breathe Life Back Into Empty Schools

Virginia Savage lives in a part of north St. Louis, Mo., that's filled with vacant buildings, including Marshall Elementary. It has been closed for years now, and vines crawl into the building's smashed-out windows. The playground is littered with empty liquor bottles.Savage went to school at Marshall as a young girl, and now she sees bigger problems beyond all those blemishes: "Drug dealers, drug users, eyesore. That's what I see."In St. Louis, the student enrollment is one-fourth the size...
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Jamestown, Virginia — the first successful English colony in North America — was a difficult place, to say the least. Most of the colonists who arrived in 1607 died shortly thereafter.

Now archaeologists have discovered the remains of some of the colony's first leaders — Jamestown's elite.

Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility worker who was charged last month with aiding two convicted killers' escape, has pleaded guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Mitchell, 51, was an instructor in the tailor shop at the prison in northern New York — a position that officials say allowed her to pass tools such as hacksaw blades and a screwdriver to prisoner Richard Matt.

Jia Jia, a giant panda living at an amusement park in Hong Kong, celebrated her 37th birthday on Tuesday and, along with it, broke two Guinness World Records.

Jia Jia became the oldest giant panda ever living in captivity and the oldest giant panda currently living in captivity.

CNN reports that a Guinness representative was on hand at Ocean Park to congratulate Jia Jia. Blythe Ryan Fitzwilliam said Jia Jia had achieved "an amazing longevity achievement."

Here's a bit of good news for Medicare, the popular government program that's turning 50 this week. Older Americans on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital; they're living longer; and the cost of a typical hospital stay has actually come down over the past 15 years, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

President Obama capped a five-day trip to Kenya and Ethiopia by becoming the first sitting American president to address the African Union.

In a speech intended for the entire continent and delivered from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Obama called on African leaders to create jobs and foster democracy. NPR's Gregory Warner reports that Obama spoke of Africa's bright future and called on leaders to end corruption and political intimidation.

Gregory filed this report:

Twitter has started taking down jokes for copyright infringement. The removals were first spotted by @PlagiarismBad, which traced the takedown notices to Olga Lexell, a freelance writer in Los Angeles.

During a meeting with all 27 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Tuesday, Turkey said it wanted to give the members a heads up that at some point it may need their help fighting against the self-declared Islamic State.

Turkey called a rare Article 4 meeting of the NATO allies after it began an air campaign against ISIS targets in Syria.

Cancer patients who do rehabilitation before they begin treatment may recover more quickly from surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, some cancer specialists say. But insurance coverage for cancer prehabilitation, as it's called, can be spotty, especially if the aim is to prevent problems rather than treat existing ones.

A mega-economic story is playing out globally. It involves U.S. interest rates, the Chinese stock market and jobs in Minnesota, Arizona and North Dakota.

And your wallet, too.

No kidding. It's all related. To see how, let your mind wander back.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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