It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.
Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.
"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.
The Northeast's latest winter storm, which the Weather Channel named Nemo, is winding down, but it has left behind more than 30 inches of snow in some places. It's also left a lot of people stranded, either #CoopedUp indoors or stuck in cars overnight on the Long Island Expressway.
That's the header on a 14-page letter attributed to Christopher Dorner. The former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a massive manhunt spanning California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico after he allegedly shot and killed three people — including a police officer — and wounded several others during a shooting spree.
Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.
Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.
The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.
President Obama speaks about his gun control agenda before law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday. The president was doing what his aides say he didn't do often enough in his first term: getting outside of Washington to build public support for legislation.
Gun control historically has been one of the most divisive issues in Congress, between the parties and even inside the Democratic coalition. Yet some in President Obama's own party say he has put together a gun agenda that is sweeping without being too painful for most Democrats to support.
Lack of water supply isn't just an issue in hot spots like Texas, Colorado and the Mississippi; it has also become a problem in the Northeast, where rivers are drying out in the summers and infrastructure developments are competing more for resources.
One of the area's biggest public universities, the University of Connecticut, needs more water. But plans to obtain it are generating controversy in a region where the availability of water is becoming more and more unpredictable.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The Northeast is now enveloped in a blizzard that is likely bound for the record books. That means snow falling at two to three inches an hour and wind gusts as high as 70 miles an hour. One more number for you: Some places could see as much as three feet of snow. NPR's Tovia Smith reports even the most seasoned New Englanders are hunkering down.