NC Education Board Wants Schools Reopened By End Of March

Top North Carolina education officials on Thursday called for all of the state's 115 school districts to make available at least partial in-person instruction by the end of the month to any of the system's 1.5 million students who want it.

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In remarks after a divided Senate approved his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, President Biden praised lawmakers for securing the additional round of aid and thanked the American people for making it possible through their "overwhelming bipartisan support."

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Semler about her new album. On Preacher's Kid, Semler reckons with her faith and queerness.

By the time a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, fueled by far-right conspiracies and lies about a stolen election, a group of researchers at New York University had been compiling Facebook engagement data for months.

The NYU-based group, Cybersecurity For Democracy, was studying online misinformation — wanting to know how different types of news sources engaged with their audiences on Facebook. After the events of Jan. 6, researcher Laura Edelson expected to see a spike in Facebook users engaging with the day's news, similar to Election Day.

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist John Archibald about his book, Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution.

Mississippi endured a winter storm that knocked out power and water to hundreds of thousands of residents. Black Mississippians say their needs continue to be ignored.

More and more countries are getting shipments of vaccines and starting to inoculate their populations. But it's an unequal picture across the globe.

In January, Dallas resident Shannon Marrs paid $257 for electricity. But after Texas suffered the worst winter storm in years, Marrs' February electric bill totaled more than $10,000.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Perseverance rover took its first test drive on the surface of Mars this week, traversing some 21 feet of terrain in a short trip that scientists say represents a major milestone.

Updated at 12:56 p.m. ET

The Senate approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan Saturday, securing additional aid for American families, workers and businesses — and a legislative victory for the Biden administration.

After more than 24 hours of debate, the evenly divided Senate voted 50-49 to approve the measure. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was absent because he was in Alaska for a family funeral.

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Arts & Performance

"Hindsight 2020"

Every college student has experienced academic and social turmoil over the past year. Few have had the encouragement, as Tristan Rice has, to put it into song.

 

Rice and a couple dozen other UNC-Asheville students answered an open call in the fall to write music, poetry and plays, make dances and create digital art inspired by the past year of the pandemic and social justice movements.

 

Stephanie Hickling-Beckman, the founder of Asheville’s Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective, rehearsed and coached the students, whose work comes together in “Hindsight 2020,” a variety show streaming over video March 5-6 through the university’s theater department.

Bars in North Carolina  welcomed back customers indoors over the weekend after almost a year of outdoor only cocktail service.  On Friday, the Governor Roy Cooper’s new executive order took effect, allowing indoor service at bars with 30% capacity,  lifting the 10 p.m. curfew and  easing capacity restrictions for a number of businesses and venues.  During Wednesday’s briefing the governor stressed that the new order was part of his continued “dimmer switch approach”  noting that key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction.  On the same day the order went into effect, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the country’s recent progress in slowing the coronavirus spread may be "stalling" as highly infectious new variants become more predominant.     BPR’s Helen Chickering discussed the new order and variants with NC Health News Editor Rose Hoban.

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