Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames. She covers agriculture and is part of the Harvest Public Media collaboration. Amy worked as an independent producer for many years and also  previously had stints as weekend news host and reporter at WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts and as a reporter and host/producer of a weekly call-in health show at KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Amyââââ

Contemplative Practices
9:42 am
Mon April 29, 2013

The Sound of Silence

Virginia Tech

In recent years, there’s been growing interest in what are known as the ‘contemplative practices,’ pursuits such as, meditation, mindfulness, yoga and Chi Gong.  

Many say the increasing presence of technology in our daily lives makes it makes it more difficult to feel connected to our own humanity.

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Virginia Public Access Project
9:27 am
Mon April 29, 2013

VaNews for 04.29.13

Virginia Republicans who voted for Governor McDonnells transportation bill are preparing to defend themselves against primary challengers who accuse them of supporting higher taxes...and an administrative skirmish in Chesterfield County has cost the circuit court clerk part of her staff.

Those were two of the most frequently read newspaper stories over the past week the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link.

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Economics & Economy
2:28 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Air Traffic Controllers Back to Work

Lawmakers in the region are divided over a measure to give more flexibility to the FAA while leaving strict spending requirements in place for other parts of the government.

Airport delays caused by the sequester may soon be a thing of the past.  The legislation gives the FAA flexibility so air traffic controllers can get back to work.

Critics say those budget cuts only impact a small minority of the public, like business people and lawmakers themselves, while other parts of sequestration are hitting more vulnerable populations, like low income school children.

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Health & Medicine
2:19 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Health Insurance Exchange Exemptions

Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to exempt members of Congress and their staffs from participating in new health insurance exchanges. While critics say the idea is hypocritical … at least one lawmaker in the region says it’s a valid option.

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Education
1:49 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Revising SOL "Cut" Scores

The State Board of Education is moving forward with proposed "cut" or passing scores for Standards of Learning.

The new cut scores are to help implement more rigorous standards to promote college and career readiness.

Depending on the subject, the cut scores will be applied to grades three, five, and eight for Science and grades five and eight for other subjects.

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Doualy Xaykaothao covers breaking news from Asia for NPR News. She's based in Bangkok, Thailand, and her reports can be heard across all NPR News programs.

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996, and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

Tanya Koonce is the News Director at Peoria Public Radio.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University, and a M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield.  
Tanya started her news career in TV, managed two political campaigns after college, worked in state government and did some state association work before going back to school.  Post masterââââ

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