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A new homeless initiative in Hawaii is raising some eyebrows, and the department in charge of implementing it has concerns of its own.

As part of a larger housing bill in July, the state Legislature approved $100,000 per year for a three-year pilot project that would help get some homeless people off the island and back to their families on the mainland. Participants must leave voluntarily.

If it's early August, it must be time for Damson plums. Gersine Bullock-Prado — a Vermont-based pastry chef and author of Bake It Like You Mean It — has a special place in her heart for them.

"They're not like your normal plum. They're not round. They're oval and very dark purple, almost black."

When barely ripe, the plums are firm, tart and olive green, Bullock-Prado says. "[They're] just these lovely little orbs of joy."

Every Sunday, hundreds of worshippers descend on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee. They come here to pray and to eat a weekly meal together, called a langar. On Aug. 5, 2012, as women were preparing the meal, a gunman opened fire, killing six people, including the temple president, a priest, fathers and a mother, before turning the gun on himself. Photos of the victims now hang in the lobby of the temple, called a gurdwara.

Seventh-grader Senicka Arciaga-Spears wants to be a Boy Scout. Over a homemade Sunday evening dinner, he tells his two moms, Eliza and Kelly, that he wants to learn survival skills — including fishing and "dangerous hiking."

Eliza would like her son to join the Scouts, too. "They teach discipline and obedience and respect and self-sufficiency. I want that for him," she says. "I want him to learn those things and be surrounded by those things."

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The United States military chaplaincy program has a proud heritage that stretches all the way back to the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

"They are rabbis, ministers, imams and priests who serve our nation's heroes and their families as committed members of the U.S. Army," according to one video produced by the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.

But are they ready for an atheist chaplain?

Author Michael Walker says that by the end of the 1960s, you could fairly say there were two generations of baby boomers: those who had experienced that decade's peace-and-love era of music firsthand, and those who learned about it from their older brothers and sisters.

While gay rights have been gaining ground in the West, they've been facing a strong backlash in many countries of the former Soviet Union.

Russia recently passed a law that makes it a crime to give information about "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors.

Jack Goodman remembers the day his mother, Julie, told the family she had colorectal cancer. He was in seventh grade.

"They just sat us down on the futon in the living room, or the couch that we had, and told us," Jack says. "But I didn't worry because I give it up to God."

His younger sister, Lena, was in fourth grade. She wasn't so easily comforted.

"I was worried. Like she was going to like, maybe die from it, because it's happened to a few people that we know."

Julie Goodman reflects on how hard it was to tell them.

Several states are dealing with a shortage of lethal injection drugs and have had problems getting enough to carry out executions. In Georgia, lawmakers passed a measure that makes information about where the state got its supply a secret.

The Lethal Injection Secrecy Act says that the identity of people or companies that manufacture, supply or prescribe drugs used in executions is a state secret. But attorneys for death row inmate Warren Lee Hill are challenging the state over whether that law is constitutional.

Cruel And Unusual Punishment?

Zimbabweans vote for a new president Wednesday, after a violent and disputed election in 2008 and five anxious and turbulent years since.

The much anticipated vote ends a power-sharing deal between veteran leader Robert Mugabe and his main political rival, who is the leading challenger in the presidential race.

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If you are among NPR host Scott Simon's 1.3 million Twitter followers, you likely know the news. Simon's mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman, entered a Chicago hospital on July 21 and died Monday night. She was 84 years old.

The rock club Maxwell's is a tiny space that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than 30 years. R.E.M., Nirvana and many more bands have squeezed onto Maxwell's stage in Hoboken, N.J. Native son Bruce Springsteen recorded the music video for "Glory Days" there.

The nation's first black public high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1870. But more than 140 years later, Dunbar — like many urban schools — has fallen on hard times. The crumbling, brutalist-style building is often described as a prison, and graduation rates hover around 60 percent.

But it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, the yearbook read like a Who's Who of black America.

A federal task force is planning to recommend that millions of smokers and former smokers get a CT scan annually to look for early signs of lung cancer.

The 16-member US Preventive Services Task Force gives that lung cancer screening test a grade of B, which puts it on the same level as mammography for women between the ages of 50 and 74.

For decades, Koreans have been pushing to preserve the legacy of women forced to provide sex to Japanese army soldiers during World War II. Glendale, Calif., will dedicate a statue memorializing the victims, known as "comfort women," on Tuesday. But the statue has spurred controversy in this Southern California city, where some area residents say it is a divisive reminder of the horrors of war.

The sculpture is a bronze statue of a young girl. She looks about 14 — around the same age as many comfort women when they were forced into military brothels run by Japan's imperial army.

At Margaret O'Keefe's farm in East Texas, they grow high-quality Bermuda grass. The fields are flat and vibrant green, surrounded by woods of a darker, richer green. The family loves this land. O'Keefe inherited it from her mother, who divided it among eight children.

"She used to call it 'enchanted valley,' " O'Keefe says.

But her "enchanted valley" also lies in the path of the Crosstex NGL Pipeline.

As sales of recorded music continue to plummet, the concept of fans "owning" music may soon be considered old-fashioned. Today, it's all about access to music, rather than ownership of an album or a song, and newer streaming services like Spotify are at the center of the storm.

Near the end of last year, a big finance company in Charlotte, N.C., was doing what a lot of other businesses have been doing recently: switching up their health care offerings.

"Everything was changing, and we would only be offered two choices and each were a high-deductible plan," says Marty Metzl, whose husband works for the company.

High-deductible plans are the increasingly common kind of health insurance that have cheaper premiums than traditional plans, but they put you on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs before the insurance kicks in.

A Touching, 'Telling' Book About Cheese

Jul 28, 2013

The first thing you should know: This is not a book about cheese. I mean, it is — and a famous, award-winning cheese at that, a Spanish sheep's milk cheese called the Páramo de Guzmán that cost $22 per pound in 1991. A cheese so good, the king of Spain himself couldn't get enough of it.

But this book is far more about its makers — the cheesemaker himself, an enormous and enormously charming Castilian named Ambrosio, and the book's maker, journalist and author Michael Paterniti, who basically falls in love with Ambrosio at first sight.

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VA Offers Free Gun Locks To Help Prevent Vet Suicides

Mar 7, 2013

Every day an estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. and most of them use a gun to do so, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This trend mirrors the general population where more people kill themselves with guns than by all other methods combined.

The VA is trying to help with a program that offers gun locks to veterans for free. The thinking is that if they lock their guns up they might not reach for them in the spur of the moment.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

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