Kirk Siegler http://hppr.org en Argument May Have Led To Fort Hood Shooting http://hppr.org/post/argument-may-have-led-fort-hood-shooting Officials at Fort Hood, Texas, are investigating an argument that may have led to a shooting spree there this week. They are moving away from a focus on the suspect's mental health issues. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 30065 at http://hppr.org In Wake Of Fort Hood Shooting, Attention Turns To Base Security http://hppr.org/post/wake-fort-hood-shooting-attention-turns-base-security While it appears the 2009 attack at Fort Hood was different in many ways from what occurred Wednesday, the latest attack is focusing attention again on security measures there. Meanwhile, we are learning more about the alleged shooter, Specialist Ivan Lopez. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=In+Wake+Of+Fort+Hood+Shooting%2C+Attention+Turns+To+Base+Security&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4NDQ1MjMzMDEzMjA3NzExMTA5OTU5Yw004)"/></div><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:45:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 30048 at http://hppr.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops http://hppr.org/post/nevada-farmers-hack-drought-switching-crops Take a drive around the perimeter of Colby Frey's farm in Nevada and it's clear you're kind of on an island — an oasis of green surrounded by a big, dusty desert.<p>Nearby, a neighbor's farm has recently gone under. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:31:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29336 at http://hppr.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court http://hppr.org/post/calif-fight-over-concealed-weapons-could-head-high-court California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the nation's most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws.<p>The state has some of the most restrictive such laws in the country. To get a permit to carry in public, you have to show "good cause" to a local official like a sheriff. In San Diego County, like a lot of urban areas, the sheriff set that bar high. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:02:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29238 at http://hppr.org Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans http://hppr.org/post/drought-could-dry-nevada-dairy-farmers-expansion-plans When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.<p>The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.<p>That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.<p>But like much of the far West, northern Nevada is in the grips of a historic drought. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:21:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 28527 at http://hppr.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' http://hppr.org/post/la-mayor-basics-have-been-neglected-too-long Los Angeles may be known for its celebrities, glitz and glam, but the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, is focused on something decidedly less flashy: infrastructure.<p>Take the city's airport LAX, for example. You'd be forgiven for mistaking its terminals for a cramped bus station. And stepping out onto the curb can feel like an assault on the senses, with the horns, aggressive shuttle drivers and travelers jostling for taxis.<p>"It seems a little disorganized," says business traveler Burton Webb of Boise, Idaho, on his first impressions. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 08:44:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 28151 at http://hppr.org LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm http://hppr.org/post/scientists-help-western-states-prepare-drought-new-norm At a 10,000-foot summit in Yosemite National Park, Frank Gehrke clicks into his cross-country skis and pushes off down a small embankment onto a meadow of crusty snow. He's California's chief of snow surveys, one of the most influential jobs in a state where snow and the water that comes from it are big currency. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 23:29:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 27643 at http://hppr.org Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures http://hppr.org/post/oil-train-derailments-spur-calls-safety-measures Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>The state of North Dakota produces a lot of oil - everyday roughly a million barrels. But there isn't the pipeline capacity to ship all that oil to major markets right now, so the industry has been turning to the railroads. Tens of millions of dollars of new infrastructure has been built on western North Dakota's Bakken rock formation in recent years to transport all this oil. But after some recent derailments and explosions involving oil tanker trains, some are calling for a slowdown. Sun, 02 Feb 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 27475 at http://hppr.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price http://hppr.org/post/commuting-distant-oil-fields-good-money-price Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.<p>Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 07:59:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 27403 at http://hppr.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything http://hppr.org/post/plains-oil-boom-transforming-nearly-everything <em>A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.</em><p><em></em>On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.<p>Jennifer Brown is watching the snowy plains of northern Montana pass by outside the train's frosty windows. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:54:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 27309 at http://hppr.org On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists http://hppr.org/post/whale-traffic-jam-delights-visitors-and-baffles-scientists This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.<p>"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 26189 at http://hppr.org Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection http://hppr.org/post/tragic-year-wildland-firefighters-ends-reflection Thirty-four wildland firefighters died in the line of duty this year. Some of those fatalities were isolated incidents, but one event captured the nation's attention, sparking a larger conversation about the new dangers firefighters face.<p>That event unfolded in central Arizona the afternoon of June 30, a Sunday.<p>"I'm here with Granite Mountain Hot Shots. Our escape route has been cut off," says a crew boss on recently released radio traffic from the Yarnell Hill Fire. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 14:48:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 26118 at http://hppr.org A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department http://hppr.org/post/scandal-may-bring-new-oversight-la-county-sheriffs-department Longtime civil rights attorney Connie Rice has been following this week's indictments against officers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She says it points to a subculture of corruption within certain units, much like the city's scandal-ridden police department of the 1990s.<p>In the main downtown jails, sheriff's officers are accused of beating and choking inmates without provocation, harassing visitors and then covering it all up.<p>"It's like entering the Bastille," says Rice. "It's ancient — you descend down into these concrete bunkers. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:08:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 25468 at http://hppr.org Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department After Fight Over Colo. Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever http://hppr.org/post/after-fight-over-colo-gun-laws-two-sides-dug-ever John Morse was president of the Colorado Senate until September, when he became the first elected official recalled in the state's history.<p>Three months later, he's climbing the rotunda steps of the gold-domed Capitol building — his office for seven years. He hasn't been here since October. Gazing up at the dome, he says, "This is one of my favorite things to do. That's my version of smelling the roses."<p>Morse's political career ended over the gun bills he pushed through these chambers eight months ago. But he says he would do it all again.<p>"I have zero regrets," he says. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:23:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 25464 at http://hppr.org After Fight Over Colo. Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Indicted On Corruption, Civil Rights Abuses http://hppr.org/post/la-sheriffs-deputies-indicted-corruption-civil-rights-abuses Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In Los Angeles today, federal prosecutors announced charges of corruption and civil rights abuses inside the nation's largest jail system. The indictments came against 18 current and former deputies of the LA Sheriff's Department. NPR's Kirk Siegler has details from outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles.<p>KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Today's indictments are the result of an ongoing FBI criminal probe into widespread allegations of inmate abuse at LA County's main downtown jails. U.S. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 23:15:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 25354 at http://hppr.org Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil http://hppr.org/post/pipeline-wheels-trains-are-winning-big-us-oil The oil boom in the United States is creating another boom — for the railroad industry.<p>So far this year, in North Dakota alone, 140 million barrels of oil have left on trains. Shipments of crude oil by rail are up almost 50 percent over last year — and this upward trend is expected to continue.<p>A visit to the world-famous Tehachapi Loop, part of a winding mountain pass in Southern California, demonstrates the scale and reach of the oil boom in the middle of the country. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:26:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 25160 at http://hppr.org Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil Philippine Ex-Pats In Calif. Contribute To Typhoon Relief http://hppr.org/post/philippine-ex-pats-calif-contribute-typhoon-relief Many Filipinos living in the United States are frantically trying to get in touch with loved ones in some of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon. California, with about a million Filipino immigrants, is the center for a large fundraising effort.<p>Los Angeles is home to one of the largest concentrations of Filipino immigrants in the U.S. Many across this city are glued to the local Asian TV stations' nightly news broadcasts. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 07:54:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 24181 at http://hppr.org Should TSA Agents Have Broader Law Enforcement Powers? http://hppr.org/post/should-tsa-agents-have-broader-law-enforcement-powers Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Airports around the country will hold a moment of silence this morning to honor Gerardo Hernandez. He was the TSA officer killed a week ago today at Los Angeles International Airport. That shooting is renewing debate over airport security and the role of the TSA. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.<p>KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Security at major airports is a web of moving parts, and a tangle of bureaucracies and jurisdictions.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORN HONKING)<p>SIEGLER: Take LAX, one of the busiest airports in the world. Fri, 08 Nov 2013 10:10:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 24044 at http://hppr.org New Mayor Asks Compton: What Can Brown Do For You? http://hppr.org/post/new-mayor-asks-compton-what-can-brown-do-you Aja Brown made history this past summer when she became the youngest mayor in the history of Compton, Calif. There is a lot of buzz there around the charismatic 31-year-old.<p>The city of about 100,000 people just south of Los Angeles has <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4804296">long struggled</a> with gangs and street violence. But it wasn't always that way. Compton flourished in the '50s and '60s, when its factory jobs were a beacon for African-Americans fleeing the South.<p>That's the Compton Aja Brown heard about from her family when she was growing up. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 21:42:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 23869 at http://hppr.org New Mayor Asks Compton: What Can Brown Do For You? Gunman Opens Fire At Los Angeles International Airport http://hppr.org/post/gunman-opens-fire-los-angeles-international-airport A lone gunman opened fire Friday at Los Angeles International Airport, police say. Police fired on the alleged shooter, who is now in police custody. The attack left one TSA officer dead and at least seven people needing medical treatment (including the shooter), officials said. The shooting forced the evacuation of a terminal and more than 45 flights into and out of LAX have been cancelled. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 21:51:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 23774 at http://hppr.org In Flooded Colorado, Immigrants' Livelihoods Washed Away http://hppr.org/post/flooded-colorado-immigrants-livelihoods-washed-away In flood-ravaged Colorado, much of the recovery has focused on rebuilding roads and bridges to mountain towns cut off by last month's floods. But take a drive east to the state's rolling plains, and a whole new set of staggering problems unfolds in farm country.<p><strong>Living </strong><strong>In</strong><strong> Limbo</strong><p>A woman named Claudia, who doesn't want to use her last name because of her immigration status, is sitting on a couch in the lobby of a shabby hotel in Greeley, about an hour's drive northeast of Denver.<p>She's come because a friend has been staying here. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 07:22:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 23104 at http://hppr.org In Flooded Colorado, Immigrants' Livelihoods Washed Away Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making http://hppr.org/post/women-first-brewers-lean-craft-beer-making Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the <a href="http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/">Great American Beer Festival</a>. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.<p>And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.<p>Take, for example, Meg Gill, a 28-year-old Yale grad and the president and co-founder of <a href="http://goldenroad.la/">Golden Road Brewing</a> in Los Angeles. Sat, 12 Oct 2013 10:07:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 22856 at http://hppr.org Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making Fresno Officials Dismantle Homeless Encampments http://hppr.org/post/fresno-officials-dismantle-homeless-encampments Any day now, Fresno plans to raze a large homeless encampment that's grown up near downtown. The poor, farm-dependent city in California's Central Valley has one of the highest per capita homeless populations in the country.<p>In recent weeks, city officials there have dismantled three other sprawling shantytowns. The moves have displaced hundreds of people and sparked controversy.<p><strong>Underneath Highway 180 Thu, 26 Sep 2013 22:31:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 22181 at http://hppr.org Fresno Officials Dismantle Homeless Encampments Radio Station KYAY Is Lifeline For Apache Tribe http://hppr.org/post/radio-station-kyay-lifeline-apache-tribe Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And on a reservation in Arizona, there's a tiny radio station marking its first year on the air. KYAY is owned by the San Carlos Apache Tribe and it's become a window into this isolated reservation, offering news and entertainment. Tue, 03 Sep 2013 09:15:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 21077 at http://hppr.org Elite Native American Firefighters Join Crews At Yosemite http://hppr.org/post/elite-native-american-firefighters-join-crews-yosemite One of the firefighting teams trying to contain the Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park is the Geronimo Hotshots team from San Carlos, Ariz., one of seven elite Native American firefighting crews in the U.S.<p>On the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, firefighting jobs are one of only a few ways for many young men to earn a living. For team member Jose Alvarez Santi Jr., 25, the work is rewarding — but being away from home fighting fires can be tough.<p>"I don't really see it as a job. Tue, 27 Aug 2013 21:22:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 20803 at http://hppr.org Elite Native American Firefighters Join Crews At Yosemite Embattled LA Sheriff Still Plans To Give Fifth Term A Shot http://hppr.org/post/embattled-la-sheriff-still-plans-give-fifth-term-shot Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca — who oversees the largest municipal jail system in the country — is facing growing pressure to bow out of the race for what could be his fifth term.<p>There's a lot that's been piling up against Sheriff Baca lately. At the top of the list is an FBI probe into what's been described as a systemic pattern of unnecessary force against inmates in county jails.<p>"Sometimes the term unnecessary force feels antiseptic. We're talking about shattered facial bones, you know 35 and 40 stitches. Mon, 26 Aug 2013 21:15:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 20753 at http://hppr.org Embattled LA Sheriff Still Plans To Give Fifth Term A Shot Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country http://hppr.org/post/immigration-reform-activists-march-calif-farm-country Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Sat, 17 Aug 2013 10:02:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 20354 at http://hppr.org Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country Of Bison, Birth Control And An Island Off Southern Calif. http://hppr.org/post/bison-birth-control-and-island-southern-calif In an open-aired Jeep, it's a bone-jarring ride into Santa Catalina Island's vast interior. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 07:01:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 20142 at http://hppr.org Of Bison, Birth Control And An Island Off Southern Calif. Farm Laborers Get A Foothold With Their Own Organic Farms http://hppr.org/post/farm-laborers-get-foothold-their-own-organic-farms Northern California's Salinas Valley is often dubbed America's salad bowl. Large growers there have long relied on thousands of seasonal workers from rural Mexico to pick <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/04/20/151034145/rewash-that-pre-washed-bag-of-lettuce-dont-bother-probably">lettuce</a>, spinach and celery from sunrise to sunset. Many of these workers seem destined for a life in the fields. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 07:09:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 19548 at http://hppr.org Farm Laborers Get A Foothold With Their Own Organic Farms After Years Of Violence, L.A.'s Watts Sees Crime Subside http://hppr.org/post/after-years-violence-las-watts-sees-crime-subside On most weeknights, in the middle of his shift, Los Angeles police officer Keith Mott trades his gun and uniform for a T-shirt and shorts, and heads to a park in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles. He's there to coach 7- and 8-year-old boys on the Pop Warner Pee Wee football team, the Watts Bears.<p>The kids come from three nearby housing projects: Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts. The park was carefully chosen. It's a neutral site for local gangs. Thu, 25 Jul 2013 07:41:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 19285 at http://hppr.org After Years Of Violence, L.A.'s Watts Sees Crime Subside