The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.
But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.
It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.
The Wyoming School Boards Association will monitor how school districts handle tougher University of Wyoming admission standards that take effect in 2013. Association executive director Mark Higdon says the university is doing what it thinks best for the students but the devil will be in the details.
The new admission standards were approved last Friday by the UW Board of Trustees. They are aimed at improving the retention and graduation rates of students who attend the state's only public four-year university.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says that the state’s unemployment in October was at five-point-seven percent, well below national figures of nine percent. David Bullard is a Senior Economist with the department.
“The unemployment rate came down a tenth of percent from September to October. But it has really been in the narrow range of five point seven to five point nine in the past few months, so little change. But it is lower than a year ago.”
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants AT&T to prove that its merger with T-Mobile would be "in the public interest." Julius Genachowski sent the request for a hearing to the other three commissioners.
The move throws another roadblock in the proposed $39 billion merger. As we reported back in August, the Justice Department is already suing AT&T over the merger.
For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.
The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 3:52 pm
The moment of last-minute head counts and late-night runs to the supermarket has nearly arrived. But a small but proud segment of the population simply smiles and puts their feet up. They're having Thanksgiving dinner served to them in a restaurant.