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  • Hosted by Melissa Block, Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish

NEPR News Network: Weekdays, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Weekends 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Every weekday, join NPR’s Melissa Block, Audie Cornish, Robert Siegel and New England Public Radio’s Kari Njiiri and Adam Frenier, for breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special — sometimes quirky — features.

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In July, Nick Baldetti resigned as director of the Reno County Health Department in Kansas.

But it wasn't the 80-hour workweeks that drove him to quit, it was the hostile political environment and threats to Baldetti's family.

"I had the local police watching my house because my family was home and I was not," said Baldetti, who also served as the department's health officer. "There was a period of time that I had escorts to and from work."

President Trump recently signed an order extending a ban on drilling in U.S. waters in the Atlantic. But in the Bahamas, a small company has received permission to begin doing exploratory drilling just 150 miles from the Florida coast.

For 78 years, the Advertising Council has been helping Americans face national challenges. From Smokey Bear's "remember, only you can prevent forest fires," to "loose lips sink ships" during World War II and the 1990s campaign friends don't let friends drive drunk.

More recently, during the coronavirus pandemic, the nonprofit advertising group launched a #MaskUpAmerica campaign.

The coronavirus surge has hit especially hard in the nation's smallest state. Rhode Island now averages about 87 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people — by far the highest in New England, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bars and gyms are closed. And two field hospitals opened this week to care for an overflow of COVID patients. But extra hospital beds only solve one part of the equation.

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Medical dramas are the bread and butter of prime-time TV, so how are they handling the pandemic?

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The coronavirus surge has hit especially hard in the nation's smallest state. Rhode Island has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in New England. Bars are closed. Gyms are closed. And two field hospitals opened this week to care for an overflow of COVID patients. But extra hospital beds only solve one part of the equation. Health reporter Lynn Arditi has more.

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James Ramos, the first member of a California Native American tribe to serve in the state legislature, authored a trio of new laws bolstering the rights of Native Americans in the state.

The measures, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, will go into effect on Jan. 1. One such law will make it easier for tribes in the state to reclaim sacred artifacts and the remains of their ancestors that have been held by museums and other institutions for decades.

Even though it's been a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic, a politically-divided country and social unrest, there is a bright spot in one Kentucky town.

Two young girls are encouraging people to come together — using two words "Be kind."

As a tech journalist for the website The Verge, Casey Newton established himself as something of a Silicon Valley institution. Known for a mix of original reporting and gimlet-eyed analysis, his writing has become essential reading for those who want to better understand the industry.

This fall, he quit his steady job at The Verge to start an email newsletter with Substack, a San Francisco-based startup.

For those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic — and those hit hardest by it — a vaccine could be just weeks away, as the Food and Drug Administration weighs emergency approval for two vaccines. On Tuesday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel recommended that the first vaccines should go to health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Is a non-unanimous jury verdict in a criminal case ever constitutional?

Just months ago, the Supreme Court ruled for the first time that such verdicts violate the Sixth Amendment's right to a jury trial. But the 6-3 decision applied only to future cases. The justices, apparently divided at the time over whether the decision should apply to past cases, left that question for another day.

Kurt Papenfus, a doctor in the small town of Cheyenne Wells, Colo., started to feel sick around Halloween. He developed a scary cough, intestinal symptoms and a headache. In the midst of a pandemic, the news that he had COVID-19 wasn't surprising, but Papenfus' illness would have repercussions far beyond his own health.

Papenfus is the lone full-time emergency room doctor in the town of 900, not far from the Kansas line.

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Hospitals across the U.S. are struggling as workers contract the coronavirus. It's especially tough for rural hospitals, where even one doctor out sick can upend the hospital's patient capacity.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

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Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

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Filmmaker On New Rom-Com 'Happiest Season'

Nov 29, 2020

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Online Games For The Whole Family

Nov 29, 2020

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