Sarah McCammon | KCUR

Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

For Kathy Tran, the decision to breastfeed her daughter on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates was simple.

"I had a baby that was hungry and I needed to feed her," Tran says.

Tran is by all accounts the first Virginia state delegate to breastfeed on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates. Since taking office in January, she's been juggling daycare and feeding schedules around meetings and late-night votes. She often ducks her 13-month-old under a nursing cover and continues on with her business.

Norfolk, Va. is among the American cities most threatened by sea-level rise. A new zoning ordinance aims to get in front of that, but some home builders are not happy with the plan. The debate is a preview of the challenges residents of coastal areas may face in years to come, as more communities are threatened by rising seas.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Cecile Richards, the longtime president of Planned Parenthood, will step down later this year, the organization announced on Friday.

At a secluded retreat center outside Austin, about a dozen, mostly middle-aged women are gathered in a quiet conference room. Some huddle under blankets to ward off the chill from an unusual Texas cold spell.

This session's topic: guilt and shame.

"Does anybody feel like they're still dealing with, like, shame? Like, feeling bad about yourself as a person, because of what you've done in the clinics?" Abby Johnson asks the women seated in a circle of chairs around her.

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Virginia Republican David Yancey is the winner of a tie-breaking drawing for a House of Delegates seat, a result that appears to allow Republicans to barely hang on to control of the chamber.

Each candidate's name was placed in a film canister; those were then placed into a bowl and one name was drawn.

Attacks on the press are a hallmark of President Trump's style, and he has avoided much of the media, often preferring Twitter to sit-down interviews with journalists. But a religious TV network has scored interviews with Trump and members of his administration this year, surpassing more prominent networks and news organizations in its access to the administration.

In Norfolk,Va., the YWCA South Hampton Roads's crisis counselors have been answering calls on a 24-hour hotline that serves the region in southeast Virginia. They help victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and related types of abuse find shelter, counseling, and other services.

"[We're hearing from] people who were recently sexually assaulted, people just wanting to process a harassment issue, or people who experienced it a long time ago and were maybe triggered from the recent social media stuff," says Nicole Nordan, the counseling program director.

When a pregnant woman finds out that she's likely to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, she's often given the option to terminate the pregnancy. But families affected by the genetic disorder, which causes developmental delays, are conflicted over whether such abortions should be legal.

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Every love story must have an ending. For Isabell and Preble Staver, the end came quietly last month, after more than seven decades of marriage.

The Stavers, who died in Norfolk on Oct. 25, were two of the hundreds of World War II veterans who are dying each day in the United States.

Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver met on a blind date while they were both studying in Philadelphia. A romance blossomed, their daughter Laurie Staver Clinton said, but was interrupted by the war. Her mother was a Navy nurse and her father was in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Collectively speaking, the Democrats haven't had a good day in a very long time. Yesterday, though, they finally came out on top.


An evangelical Christian writer and pastor says he's been banned from the Liberty University campus for criticizing President Jerry Falwell, Jr., a longtime ally of President Donald Trump.

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., has ruled in favor of a teenager who is in the country illegally and seeking an abortion. The 17-year-old is from Central America and has been blocked by the Trump administration from leaving the facility where she is being held so she can obtain the procedure.

In a case that pits the Trump administration against a 17-year-old Mexican girl in the U.S. illegally, a panel of federal judges said Friday that she has a right to an abortion — but she's not being allowed to get the procedure yet.

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State legislative races don't usually draw a lot of national attention – but Virginia's House District 13 race is: it pits a Republican incumbent known for unsuccessfully sponsoring a so-called "bathroom bill" against a transgender woman.

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The news of Harvey Weinstein's expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the weekend is prompting victims to share their own experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

The academy ousted the powerful Hollywood producer over multiple abuse allegations, prompting social media users around the world to proclaim a simple idea: that sexual abuse is a common experience in women's lives.

Markie Henderson is grateful that her brother and sister got out of the Route 91 country music festival in Las Vegas alive. They were separated in the rush to escape the shooting, she says, but unlike hundreds of others, both got out physically unharmed.

Henderson wonders what could motivate someone to fire into a crowd of people.

"For the families that were affected, I'd want to know what happened to my brother or sister if it was one of them, for sure," she said.

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Anne Blessing grew up in a classic antebellum house with double-decker porches and gorgeous brickwork, just steps from Charleston Harbor. For years, the home in Charleston, S.C., had been a stop on a popular historic home tour.

"Normally, people want to see the fancier parts of the house," Blessing said. "You know, where in Colonial times they would have taken people upstairs to the nicer parlor; the dining room, of course, with the beautiful wood and all the molding."

Kentucky is down to only one clinic that performs abortions: the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville. A trial kicking off Wednesday morning in federal court in Louisville will decide whether Kentucky will become the only state without a single such clinic.

This summer, NPR reporters are returning to their hometowns to see how they've changed. Sarah McCammon grew up in Kansas City – on the Missouri side of the state line.

Like a lot of places, Kansas City is experiencing a couple of major trends – suburban sprawl and, more recently, a downtown revitalization.

My two siblings who still live there are a pretty good example of this. My brother, Dan Fowler, is in his late 20s, works for a tech startup and, like many of his friends, lives in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

Updated August 22.

A group of alumni from one of the country's most influential evangelical Christian universities is condemning their school's president for his continued alignment with President Trump.

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The town of Charlottesville, Va., is trying to look forward this morning after a weekend of racist protests and counter-demonstrations that all turned violent.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Yelling, unintelligible).

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


When Taylor Merendo moved to Bloomington, Ind., nearly two years ago, fleeing an abusive marriage, she needed help.

"I was six months pregnant and at that point in time, I really didn't have a stable place to live," Merendo says.