US Features

Most recent US Features blogs and columns

  • Tasha Schuh plunks out notes on a keyboard in her Ellsworth, Wis. home on Wednesday April 9, 2014. Schuh, 33, who is paralyzed from the chest down, is an inspirational speaker and shares her message with thousands of people each year at churches, schools and businesses around the country. (AP Photo/St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jean Pieri)

    Refusing to Let Catastrophic Fall Define a Life

    ELLSWORTH, Wis. — When someone told her to move out of the way during a scene change for “The Wizard of Oz,” Tasha Schuh took... Read more

  • Nathaniel Steward, 17, recites his lesson May 21, 1954. The Brown v Board of Education decision outlawed segregation in state schools for the first time. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v Board of Education never happened. (Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

    Segregation Now

    Though James Dent could watch Central High School’s homecoming parade from the porch of his faded-white bungalow, it had been years since he’d bothered. But... Read more

  • A file photo of a goat. (Shutterstock*)

    Goat-Raising Rabbi Leads Jewish Organic Food Movement

    DENVER — When Rabbi Marc Soloway is troubled, he goes to the goats. It’s a short walk to the Jewish goat-milking co-op in his semirural... Read more

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    Pianist Teens Earn Maximum Rating From Music Teachers Association

    A few weeks ago, we followed 14-year-olds Michael Wierenga and Jeffrey Qiu as they won second place for piano duos and duets at the U.S... Read more

  • In this March 20, 2014 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott, of Newport, R.I., speaks with a reporter at her home in Newport, R.I. Within four months of getting a prosthetic leg, Abbott went paddle boarding. Soon after, she got a special leg so she could walk in 4-inch heels, her preferred footwear. She also has a special running blade, as well as an “everyday” leg. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Marathon Survivor Who Lost Leg Wants to Enjoy Life

    NEWPORT, R.I.—Within four months of getting a prosthetic leg, Heather Abbott went paddle boarding. Soon after, she got a special leg so she could walk... Read more

  • (Screenshot/Mashable)

    Boston Bombing: A Wedding and a Recovery

    Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino were severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Amidst their painful recovery, they got engaged. Mashable met with... Read more

  • In this photo taken on March 21, 2014, Adonis Ortiz, 3, gets nourishment from his NG tube as he watches a video while at his Tampa home. Ortiz uses a rolling backpack to carry the formula. Adonis had a five-organ transplant last year at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The two still travel to Miami once a week for his appointments. (AP Photo/The Tampa Tribune, Jason Behnken)

    3-Year-Old Multiple Organ Recipient Plays Like Normal Little Boys

    TAMPA, Fla. — Adonis Ortiz is like any other 3-year-old boy. He wears light-up sneakers with “Cars” characters on them. He loves playing with his... Read more

  • Lt. William Gordon (L) and Officer Laura Gordon (R) with their Saint Bernards Rosie and Clarence, at the Animal Medical Center Top Dog Award Gala, Dec. 2013. (Photo courtesy of Lt. William Gordon)

    In the Line of Healing: Therapy Dogs Soothe First Responders

    BOSTON—Just before the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, the city is still reeling from the loss of two firefighters in a nine-alarm fire on... Read more

  • Slow Art Day, April 12, encourages gallery visitors to spend quality time with a small number of artworks rather than feel obliged to see everything on offer. (Jupiterimages/Thinkstock)

    The Slow Art Day Challenge: Look at One Artwork for 10 Minutes

    NEW YORK—My husband and I are on the same page for most things, but as soon as we step into a museum, we lose each... Read more

  • “Kyogen Actor Shigeyama performing Sanbaso,” circa 1925–1936, by Elizabeth Keith (Scottish, 1887–1956). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper.

    Exhibition Explores Art of Traditional Japanese Theater

    Quite by chance my recent trip to visit family in Eugene, Ore., coincided with an exquisite exhibition of Japanese theater prints and other artifacts on... Read more

  • Students at Tinley Park High School in Tinley Park, Ill. listen as Cody Lewis talks about his addiction to heroin and the tremendous problems it causes for him and his family. At age 12, Lewis started using marijuana. By freshman year, he was smoking weed daily at home - hiding his stash in a bedroom vent - or outside school in Batavia, a far western Chicago suburb. "It would bring my mood up," he says. "I felt ... like a normal teenager." (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    At 21 Cody Lewis, a Recovering Heroin Addict, Starts Over

    EDITOR’S NOTE _ The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman underscored a troubling development: Heroin, long a scourge of the back alleys of American life,... Read more

  • Air Force Football

    Big Changes at Air Force Academy After 60 Years

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Sixty years into its existence, the Air Force Academy is changing again. This time, the biggest change is money. Planned... Read more

  • Campfire

    At Outdoor School, Students Escape Modernity

    THREE LAKES, Wis. — There’s a group of four people in the woods somewhere east of Three Lakes, nearing the end of a year spent... Read more

  • Execution Drugs Secrecy

    Secrecy Surrounds Execution Drugs in Most States

    ST. LOUIS—Dating to the days when the guillotine operator or the hangman wore a mask, a certain amount of anonymity has always surrounded executions. But... Read more

  • In this Monday, May 6, 2013 file photo, a drug addict prepares a needle to inject himself with heroin in front of a church in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in February 2014 spotlighted the reality that heroin is no longer limited to the back alleys of American life. Once mainly a city phenomenon, the drug has spread to the country and suburbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    ‘We’re all paying’ as Heroin Spreads Misery in US

    On a beautiful Sunday last October, Detective Dan Douglas stood in a suburban Minnesota home and looked down at a lifeless 20-year-old — a needle... Read more

  • A worker climbs on a cellular communication tower in Oakland, California on March 6. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Deadly Cell Towers

    This story was co-published with Frontline. In a two-week span last August, four workers died from falls on cell towers scattered across the country. Before... Read more

  • Medical Marijuana

    Medical Marijuana Penalties Are Mostly Mellow

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — For Patrick McClellan, here’s what mitochondrial myopathy can feel like: muscle spasms that won’t stop, spreading through half his body and... Read more

  • In this photo taken March 15, 2014, at Phantom Falls, Fall Creek forms a huge ice sculpture surrounded by an ice-misted landscape near Oakley, Idaho. The brush-covered hills southwest of Oakley hide a little-known spot of startling beauty, Phantom Falls, the highest waterfall in the South Hills. (AP Photo/Times-News, Virginia Hutchins)

    On the Trail of Idaho’s Icy Phantom of the Falls

    OAKLEY, Idaho — I heard reports of the ice phantom, saw the secret spot where it was said to appear, wondered about it for two... Read more

  • Long hours and incredible pressure to produce, with millions of dollars at stake, create the perfect environment for drug abuse. (Top L  Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Top R  stokkete/; Bottom L John Moore/Getty Images; Bottom R Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times;

    Affluent and Addicted to Drugs on Wall Street

    Martin* is a 32-year-old bond trader who has given up the fight. Wide-eyed and looking a bit lost, he slumps back in his chair. “The... Read more

  • David Fiske (L) and Rachel Seligman (R), two of the co-authors of “Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave," pose at the Solomon Northup historical marker on March 13, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    ’12 Years A Slave’ Author’s Death Remains a Mystery

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Historians know where Solomon Northup was born, where he lived and where he worked. They know whom he married and how many children... Read more