National

1:19am

Wed April 4, 2012
Law

Gay Marriage Lawsuit Presses For Survivor Benefits

Herbert Burtis' spouse, John Ferris (left), died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.
Courtesy of Herbert Burtis

Herbert Burtis met the person he wanted to marry in college, in 1948. But since the object of his affection was another man, they had to wait until 2004 for the ceremony, when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages.

"It's a long engagement," Burtis says, laughing. "We thought it was time that we made each other honest people."

His spouse, John Ferris, died four years ago. When Burtis went to the Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits, the clerk told him the federal government did not recognize his marriage.

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1:18am

Wed April 4, 2012
Around the Nation

College Student Pieces His Way To Lego Mastery

Andrew Johnson, 23, of Bartlett, Ill. has been named the new master model builder of Legoland Discovery Center Chicago after competing for the job against seven other finalists.
Rick West The Daily Herald

1:05am

Wed April 4, 2012
U.S.

Activist Puts Albany Neighborhood On The Bus Map

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 12:47 pm

Willie White pushed for the creation of a new bus route for his previously underserved neighborhood in Albany, N.Y.
Marie Cusick for NPR

The New York state capital, Albany, is a gathering place for the state's most powerful people.

But in the city's poor and predominately black South End neighborhood, many residents once felt powerless.

They had repeatedly asked for better public transit for South End, an area plagued with poverty and crime not far from New York's gated governor's mansion.

Today, the city's Route 100 bus glides easily up Morton Avenue, a steep hill in the South End neighborhood. Many feel there would be no Route 100 if not for the efforts of local resident Willie White.

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1:02pm

Tue April 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Tornadoes Touch Down Near Dallas; Widespread Damage Reported

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 4:58 pm

Destroyed vehicles sit in a Kenworth trailer lot after a tornado that swept through the area toppling many of the trailers on the lot on Tuesday in Lancaster, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

"We've got two tornadoes, one in Dallas and one in Arlington. I just watched it plow through a tractor trailer parking lot like it was Godzilla in a temper tantrum."

That's how NPR's Wade Goodwyn just described the images being shown on local television in Texas.

The images from WFAA, the local ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, show tractor trailers flailing across the air in the middle of a dark debris ball.

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10:35am

Tue April 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Census Bureau's Website Is Coming Back: 1940 Data Now Viewable

Sara and Arthur Memmott, July 1939.
Family photo

After a tough start because of huge interest that overwhelmed servers, the Census Bureau's new website devoted to records from the 1940 census is showing signs of life.

Monday, as The Associated Press says, the website was "nearly paralyzed shortly after the records became available to the public":

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