The following are the show notes used to record this episode. They are here for your reference and convenience.
The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better.
A new federal plan aims to reverse America’s declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.
While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move. They say it may help pollinators that are starving because so much of the American landscape has been converted to lawns and corn that don’t provide foraging areas for bees.
“This is the first time I’ve seen addressed the issue that there’s nothing for pollinators to eat,” said University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum, who buttonholed President Barack Obama about bees when she received her National Medal of Science award last November. “I think it’s brilliant.”
Environmental activists who wanted a ban on a much-criticized class of pesticide said the Obama administration’s bee strategy falls way short of what’s needed to save the hives.
Scientists say bees — crucial to pollinate many crops — have been hurt by a combination of declining nutrition, mites, disease, and pesticides. The federal plan is an “all hands on deck” strategy that calls on everyone from federal bureaucrats to citizens to do what they can to save bees, which provide more than $15 billion in value to the U.S. economy, according to White House science adviser John Holdren.
A Tennessee man and his family used much of the $187 million it collected for cancer patients to buy themselves cars, gym memberships and take luxury cruise vacations, pay for college tuition and employ family members with six-figure salaries, federal officials alleged Tuesday in one of the largest charity fraud cases ever, involving all 50 states.
The joint action by the Federal Trade Commission and the states says James T. Reynolds Sr., his ex-wife and son raised the money through their various charities: The Cancer Fund of America in Knoxville, Tennessee, and its affiliated Cancer Support Services; The Breast Cancer Society in Mesa, Arizona; and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America in Powell, Tennessee.
The charities hired telemarketers to collect $20 donations from people across the country, telling consumers that they provided financial aid and other support to cancer patients, including pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy visits and hospice care.
But little money made it to cancer patients, as the groups “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation” with none of the controls used by bona fide charities, the FTC said Tuesday.
Anyone who donated money to these groups shouldn’t expect a refund anytime soon. While litigation against Reynolds Sr. and the Cancer Fund of America is ongoing, the settlement agreements with Reynolds’ son, ex-wife and a long-time associate of the family — Kyle Effler — notes that much of the money has already been spent. The agreement bans the three from fundraising and shuttered their organizations.
“The money is mostly gone,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. Rich declined to say whether a separate criminal investigation might be underway, noting only that the regulatory agency doesn’t have that authority.
The Breast Cancer Society, which agreed to cease operations as part of the settlement agreement, posted a lengthy statement online Tuesday attributed to its executive director — Reynolds’ son, James T. Reynolds II — that blamed increased government scrutiny for the charity’s downfall.
“While the organization, its officers and directors have not been found guilty of any allegations of wrongdoing, and the government has not proven otherwise, our board of directors has decided that it does not help those who we seek to serve, and those who remain in need, for us to engage in a highly publicized, expensive, and distracting legal battle around our fundraising practices,” according to the statement.
One of the men involved with robbing a Family Dollar store helped calm down a hyperventilating worker after she was forced to open the store at gunpoint.
Around 6 a.m., while getting ready to open the Family Dollar store at 1515 Goshen Road Monday morning, the worker was interrupted by two men who shook the front door, one with a gun, and demanded to be let inside.
According to an incident report from the Fort Wayne Police Department, the worker fell to the ground as the men continued to shake the door. She eventually let the men inside.
The robber without the gun told the worker that she was not going to get hurt. At one point when she started to hyperventilate, he got a chair for her and also turned on a fan. She told police the other robber with the gun pointed it at her several times.
The men took diapers and 32 packs of cigarettes, which are valued at more than $200. They also took cash from the night deposit bag and opening money for the day.