Skip Ockomon is a firefighter in Anderson, Indiana. Even in these tough times, Skip and others have managed to raise money for something they've long been dreaming of…a rescue house for families whose homes have been destroyed by fire.
Milton Ochieng grew up in a rural part of Kenya. Even as a youngster, he was aware that people in his community frequently died of preventable diseases. Milton’s father planned to lessen those odds by opening a local health clinic. But before they could lay the first brick his father died unexpectedly.
Five British men are currently being held hostage in Iraq. Thousands of others have been kidnapped and held since the beginning of the war. James Loney was one of them. James was captured in 2005. Yet he went to Iraq to carry out his belief in peace - he went to Baghdad as a member of the Christian Peacekeepers Team, intending to document human rights abuses. Also in this episode: an Olympic greeting.
Alix Toyo lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He'd worked as a fixer for journalists, but when things got so bad that even journalists stopped coming, he had to do something different. So he opened up a restaurant a year and a half ago, and thought he'd finally get to be independent. Also in the show: Riding the rice boom.
Ryo Souma is an art teacher in Japan. His school is about 35 miles from the damaged nuclear reactor, so he and his students wear face masks to guard against radioactive particles. They wear the masks to school, and during lessons. He says that the stories of those who lost lives and loved ones in the tsunami are being told … but his story, the story of the impact of radiation, is not.
As President Obama gives his perspective on the State of the Union this evening, he might do well to consider how many people listening are in the same state as Frances Reed. She's 72 years old and lives in South Carolina. She tries very hard to get by every month on her social security check and food stamps, but it doesn't always work. The curious thing is, Frances was one of the first to help distribute money from the program designed to help needy women and children, WIC.
The news from Japan’s nuclear reactors remains mixed and questions about the safety of food, milk and tap water abound. These are familiar and disturbing issues for Keiko Ogura. Keiko survived the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. She now opposes nuclear power. Dick talks with Keiko about what she’s thinking now that her country faces another nuclear threat. Also in this episode, Musician Laurelyn Dossett. Plus, Mariana Sadowska.
As violence continues in Syria, guest host Alex Chadwick speaks with former Syrian prisoner Bara Sarraj. He was in the infamous Tadmor prison for nine years and was tortured on a regular basis. He tells of getting picked up and not charged, then beaten and locked in prison. He gives details of daily life and the “symphony of terror” he heard every day.
With nearly 16% of Americans without health insurance, hospitals overwhelmed with non-paying patients, and medical costs rising by double digits, lawmakers are now trying to come up with a solution to America's health care crisis. Dick Gordon talks with one physician in Apex, North Carolina who thinks he offers a partial solution. Dr. Brian Forrest accepts no insurance and operates on a "cash only" basis. His prices are posted in his waiting room. Also in this episode: outsourcing healthcare.
When Camden New Jersey laid off one third of its fire fighters - 60 in total - Lydia Chapman was one of the ones who had to turn in her equipment. Lydia was one of the few women there. Dick speaks with Lydia about the cost of social cuts.
Teachers and principals are also feeling the effects of a budget pinch. We first spoke with Joyce Irvine back in September. She was the principal who had to give up her job under new federal guidelines for her school to qualify for federal funding. We checked in to see what's happened since.
Joel Styzens is a musician, a drummer. But when he developed tinnitus in his ears, he thought he'd have to give up his passion. Soon, Joel realized that he could still play music, he just needed to change instruments. His latest album is Relax Your Ears.