Journalist Sarah Smarsh grew up in what she calls a working-poor family in south central Kansas. Her new memoir, Heartland, is out Tuesday. It’s a look at Smarsh’s childhood through the lens of the national politics and the forces of poverty.

KMUW’s Beth Golay talked with Smarsh at our studios.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

Center for the Study of the American West

The Center for the Study of the American West in Canyon has received a major grant from Humanities Texas.

The Center for the Study of the American West, better known as CSAW, is fast becoming one of the nation’s most recognized centers for thought and research into the American West.

The grant of several thousand dollars annually will go toward producing the center’s annual “Forgotten Frontera” community conversation event.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt acknowledges that a multi-state attack on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, could wipe out some popular consumer protections.

But, Schmidt said, he believes Congress will step in to preserve certain parts of the law if he and 19 other Republican attorneys general succeed in striking down the individual mandate — that everybody buy coverage or face a fine on their tax return — as unconstitutional.

A nine-year-old boy in Colorado took his own life on the first week of school this year. The tragedy highlighted a pervasive problem in the state and in the Mountain West region as a whole -- the high suicide rate -- especially among youth. Goal Academy in Pueblo, Colorado is a charter program with high schools around the state that focuses on both academic and mental wellbeing.   

Federal Judge Upholds Texas' Partisan Statewide Judicial Elections System

Sep 17, 2018

A federal judge has rejected a race-based challenge to the way Texans fill seats on the state’s highest courts.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi handed the state of Texas a win Wednesday, writing that its current method for electing judges to the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals does not violate federal safeguards for voters of color.

Watchdog groups say changes to the 2020 census could make it harder to accurately count people living in rural areas, which could ultimately lead to future funding shortfalls.

Thirty years after its hard turn to the right — driven largely by abortion politics and the anti-abortion Summer of Mercy protests — Kansas is on the cusp of what could be another course-changing event: the 2018 race for governor.

Music in His Prose

Sep 17, 2018
Richard Wagamese / Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations

In the novel Medicine Walk, Richard Wagamese writes a love song to the natural world. Wagamese published one book of poetry and a  lot of journalism.

It is poetry, and its music, though, that colors the narration in this book. Wagamese describes his teenage hero Franklin Starlight this way: “Out here where he spent the bulk of his free time there was no need for elevated ideas or theories or talk, and if he was taciturn he was content in it, hearing symphonies in wind across a ridge and arias in the screech of hawks and eagles, the huff of grizzlies and the pierce of a wolf call against the unblinking eye of the moon.”

Shirley Avedon, 90,­­ had never been a cannabis user. But carpal tunnel syndrome, which sends shooting pains into both of her hands, and an aversion to conventional steroid and surgical treatments are prompting her to consider some new options.

"It's very painful; sometimes I can't even open my hand," Avedon says.

So for the second time in two months, she has climbed aboard a bus that provides seniors at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Orange County, Calif., with a free shuttle to a nearby marijuana dispensary.

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NPR Headlines

Last week, hackers stole an estimated $59 million from a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange called Zaif, according to a statement released Thursday by the owners of the exchange.

According to Cointelegraph, the Tech Bureau Corp. said the breach occurred on September 14. The company discovered something was wrong on September 17, and realized it was a hack the following day, September 18.

Copyright 2018 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has reinstated Russia's state anti-doping regulator after a major doping scandal that reverberated across international sports. The move has been roundly condemned by anti-doping advocates.

The reinstatement of RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, is subject to conditions. Nine members of WADA's executive committee backed the decision. Two voted against it – the agency's vice president and Oceania. Europe abstained.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.