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For D.C. Second-Graders, It's All About The Bikes

"What's the first thing we do when we get to our bike?" David Gesualdi asks his second-graders. "Check the air!" they yell back at him.His 19 students are sitting in a semicircle in the gym at Walker-Jones Education Campus, not far from the U.S. Capitol.Decked out in blue helmets, hair nets (for lice protection) and bright orange mesh vests, their eyes shift impatiently between their phys-ed teacher and the racks of shiny new BMX bikes behind him.First, though, he walks them through the A-B-C...
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Chris Mintz was shot multiple times by a gunman at an Oregon community college Thursday, and now he's being called a hero, after it emerged that Mintz ran at the attacker and tried to block the door to a classroom and protect his classmates. Mintz is now recovering from surgery.

Mothers have been warned for years that sleeping with their newborn infant is a bad idea because it increases the risk the baby might die unexpectedly during the night. But now Israeli researchers are reporting that even sleeping in the same room can have negative consequences: not for the child, but for the mother.

The New York City Health Department is at it again, this time with ads in the subway and on bus shelters chatting up the glories of IUDs.

"You spent the night in Brooklyn," one brightly colored poster reads. "But you left your birth control in Staten Island. Maybe the IUD is right for you."

NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From Sarah McCammon, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk:

Since 1960, the Democrats were the party that nominated new generation candidates. Three of them — Kennedy, Clinton and Obama — won the White House. Republicans nominated old guys, whether they lost — think Dole, McCain and Romney — or won, like Ronald Reagan. But this year, the geezers are on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is 67, Bernie Sanders is 74 and, if he gets in, Joe Biden is 72. On the Republican side, for a change, it's a completely different story.

President Obama passionately pleaded for stricter gun laws in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting Thursday. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and others renewed their calls for stricter gun control measures.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

A powerful Hurricane Joaquin was pummeling the Bahamas as it stayed put over the islands with sustained winds of 130 mph.

The storm is expected to begin a gradual march north, but most forecast models now place it firmly on a trajectory that stays well offshore from the U.S. East Coast, alleviating some concern over its potential impact.

The Coast Guard was searching for a 735-foot cargo ship with 33 crew aboard after an emergency satellite message was received from the vessel saying it was caught in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

Scientists have just made a breakthrough in understanding how clouds interact with the surrounding air by studying some of the most boring clouds you can imagine in unprecedented detail.

"If you ask a child to draw a cloud they would draw a white puffy cloud floating in the air all by itself — and that's the kind of cloud we were looking at," says Raymond Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Arne Duncan will step down as President Obama's education secretary in December, a White House official confirms to NPR.

Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan. King is a former New York State education commissioner. (President Obama is making a personnel announcement at 3:30 p.m. ET.)


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Local Weekend Features

Events and Activities during Oct. 2 - 8

There's plenty to do this week and 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. This week we talk about all the 5ks and walks that take place this weekend, a special documentary screening at the Hippodrome, and a handful of other activities hitting Waco town this coming week.
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