The Oregon Trail Game’s Minnesota Roots

May 17, 2016

The Oregon Trail game has sold over 65 million copies worldwide and it is considered to be the most widely distributed educational game ever. But it was created in Minnesota by three aspiring teachers. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with one of them, Paul Dillenberger, about why he and his friends created the game and what its popularity has meant for them. He also stops by the end of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City and talks with school children on a field trip about the game.

Plains All American Pipeline company is facing criminal charges after one of its pipelines ruptured last year, spilling about 140,000 gallons of crude oil that fouled miles of California coastline near Santa Barbara.

A California grand jury indicted the company and one of its employees on 46 criminal counts. Four are felony charges — including one charge of knowingly discharging a pollutant into state waters, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said at a Tuesday news conference.

Remembering Country Craftsman Guy Clark

May 17, 2016

Grammy winner, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and Academy of Country Music Poet's Award honoree Guy Clark has died at 74 after a long battle with illness. Born in Monahans, Texas, Clark was exposed mainly to mariachi music until he moved to Houston and worked the folk-music circuit. It was there that he developed his own style of blues-infused folk-country, and in 1975, he released his debut album, Old No. 1.

Staff Message: Carter Staley

May 17, 2016
CREDIT NPR ILLINOIS/ILLINOIS ISSUES

Exactly 62 years ago, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was historic — but it's not history yet.

Just this week, a federal judge ordered a Mississippi school district to desegregate its schools.

Chinese companies are on a major shopping spree in the U.S. They're set to break a record for investment deals this year, snapping up everything from entertainment companies to methanol plants.

Most of these investments are takeovers, though Chinese companies are also expanding their existing operations to the U.S.

They include Fuling Plastic, one of China's largest manufacturers of plastic cutlery, cups and straws. Its biggest customers are fast food chains in the U.S.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki
Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

Since the high middle ages, the Catholic Church has celebrated a “Red Mass” — attended by lawyers, judges and politicians. One of the best known such services happens every fall in Washington, D.C., the day before the U.S. Supreme Court opens its annual term.

Illinois' capital has a growing tradition in that area, with its own Red Mass set for Wednesday evening. 

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Russia's top prosecutor is threatening to ban the Jehovah's Witnesses for alleged "extremism."

The religious denomination has faced growing pressure in Russia over the past several years, with church members arrested and confiscations of church property.

The Jehovah's Witnesses aren't alone. Other denominations, such as the Mormons, are also under pressure.

This week's essential mix from All Songs Considered includes a surprising, electronic, mostly instrumental cut from The 1975 — a British group known more for its brash Top-40 pop and rock — an intimate home demo recording from My Morning Jacket and a spare, moody cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" by the Irish folk singer known as

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