This week a highly-anticipated robotics competition for 15- to 18-year-olds from 157 countries ended the way it began — with controversy.

On Wednesday, the team from the violence-torn east African country of Burundi went missing. Well before the competition even began, the teams from Gambia and Afghanistan made headlines after the U.S. State Department denied them visas. Eventually, they were allowed to compete.

The drama marred an otherwise upbeat event focused on kids and robots.

Aaron Albaugh peers out from under the brim of his cowboy hat, surveying the acres of hay fields in front of him. The fourth-generation rancher is raising about 450 cattle this year, in this remote corner of Lassen County, California.

His closest neighbor lives a half mile away. "And that's my brother," Albaugh says.

"If I want to go see a movie, it's 70 miles, round-trip," he adds. "If I want to go bowling, that's 100 miles, round-trip."

At 14, Jenipher Sanni married a man who already had a wife and kids. He yelled at her a lot. She dropped out of school.

Now 20, she's left her husband and is a newly minted high school graduate. And she's helping girls in her community stay in school.

Walk up the white steps of the front porch where Mary Jo and Mike Picklo live, and you'll see three rocking chairs and a pair of binoculars.

The couple bought their home on five acres in 2003 and planned to spend their golden years overlooking a vista of green farmland and thick trees in western Pennsylvania.

In this week's edition of our education news roundup, we take you from school vouchers to AP exams to community college.

Betsy DeVos speaks to American Legislative Exchange Council

Protests greeted the education secretary in Denver this week at her speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Her family has close ties to the organization, which brings together state legislators, free-market conservatives and corporate sponsors to write model bills that get adopted all over the country.

NPR reporters are returning to their hometowns this summer to find out how they've changed – from job prospects to schools and how people see their community and the country.

Once home to thriving timber and fishing industries, Gold Beach, Oregon now subsists on tourists and retirees looking for a quiet beach, a nice river trip and, in a few cases, marijuana.

I left Gold Beach after graduating from high school in 1985. Back then, it was a blue-collar town dominated by the timber industry.

An al-Qaida-linked suspect who prosecutors say conspired to murder a Swedish cartoonist has been charged in federal court in Philadelphia, despite the Trump administration's vow that alleged terrorists would be tried in military courts.

Prosecutors say Ali Charaf Damache, 52, an Algerian-born Irish citizen also known as "Black Flag," was allegedly part of an Ireland-based cell that included Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman known as "Jihad Jane." LaRose pled guilty in a U.S. court in 2011 to conspiracy and terrorism-related crimes. She is serving a 10-year sentence.

As general sessions judge for White County, Tenn., Sam Benningfield says the vast majority of cases he hears are drug-related offenses. The opioid epidemic has hit the state especially hard — resulting in more than 1,400 drug overdose deaths there in 2015 alone, according to the CDC — and he felt that an unusual solution would be necessary to drive home the dangers of illegal drugs for would-be parents.

When Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, she was introduced to him as a "Russian government attorney" with dirt on Hillary Clinton. After it turned out that Veselnitskaya couldn't deliver the goods, the meeting ended quickly.

Citing concern for the nearly 800,000 young immigrants who've been granted protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 19 of his colleagues are asking President Trump to keep the program running.

Pages

Program Showcase

Music Without Borders with Joel Cohen 07/17/2017

Jul 17, 2017

10:06AM-10:10AM (4:31) Ralph Towner “Pilgrim” composed by Ralph Towner from My Foolish Heart (2017) on ecm New

10:12AM-10:15AM (3:00) Judith Farmer & Nic Gerpe “Flurry” composed by Gernot Wolfgang from Gernot Wolfgang: Passing Through on Albany Records

Friday July 14th at 9 a.m. Pacific daylight time on Politics: A Love Story, Bob Bushansky interviews Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and current president of the American Action Forum policy institute, a conservative think tank. They discuss a study that Holtz-Eakin oversaw during his CBO tenure from 2003 to 2005 that concluded that tax cuts to stimulate the economy usually do not pay for themselves and actually lose the economy 50-70 cents for each dollar cut.

Due to the recent fires, the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has activated an air quality advisory for Mendocino Counties.

According to a press release from the MCAQMD, smoke from the Grade Fire is expected to bring some communities into the unhealthy range. The threat mostly lies with Potter Valley and portions of Lake County as the winds are blowing towards the south east.

Courtesy of Cal Fire

Another fire broke out in Mendocino County on Monday, taking resources away from Sunday's Grade Fire.

According to Cal Fire, the Range Fire started around 12:50 p.m. near the gun range on the west side of Cow Mountain. As of  2:15 p.m., the fire was at 20 acres with a moderate rate of spread.

The new fire has caused fire crews to divert resources from Sunday's Grade Fire, which grew to 900 acres and is 25 percent contained.

Further details on the Range Fire's containment weren't available. No injuries or structural damage was reported.

Update at 11:45 PM says:

** Evacuation Order for Baker Subdivision is still in effect. The advisory for the area west of West Road, from Tomki to State Street HAS BEEN LIFTED.**

Update 9:15 p.m. -- According to Cal Fire Public Information Officer Patricia Austin, the fire is estimated at 900 acres and is 10 percent contained. The original estimate was 1,000 but it was lowered after "more detailed mapping."

A briefing from the agency is expected around  10 p.m.

Update 9:05 p.m. --

The herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's weed-killer called Round Up, is going on the state of California's list of potentially cancerous chemicals, the list is required by state law under proposition 65. Officials from the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced on Monday the glyphosate listing will become effective on July 7, 2017.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service will be holding a public meeting in Fort Bragg Thursday about the future of its  northern spotted owl assistance program.

According to a release from the Department of Interior, the service plans to stop providing the program for timber operations. However, there will still be training and guidance to California Fish and Wildlife and Cal Fire operations.

The meeting, which will also include representatives from the CDFW and Calfire, will be held at 4 p.m. at the Redwood Coast Senior Center.

More Local News

Due to the recent fires, the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has activated an air quality advisory for Mendocino Counties.

According to a press release from the MCAQMD, smoke from the Grade Fire is expected to bring some communities into the unhealthy range. The threat mostly lies with Potter Valley and portions of Lake County as the winds are blowing towards the south east.

Courtesy of Cal Fire

Another fire broke out in Mendocino County on Monday, taking resources away from Sunday's Grade Fire.

According to Cal Fire, the Range Fire started around 12:50 p.m. near the gun range on the west side of Cow Mountain. As of  2:15 p.m., the fire was at 20 acres with a moderate rate of spread.

The new fire has caused fire crews to divert resources from Sunday's Grade Fire, which grew to 900 acres and is 25 percent contained.

Further details on the Range Fire's containment weren't available. No injuries or structural damage was reported.

Update at 11:45 PM says:

** Evacuation Order for Baker Subdivision is still in effect. The advisory for the area west of West Road, from Tomki to State Street HAS BEEN LIFTED.**

Update 9:15 p.m. -- According to Cal Fire Public Information Officer Patricia Austin, the fire is estimated at 900 acres and is 10 percent contained. The original estimate was 1,000 but it was lowered after "more detailed mapping."

A briefing from the agency is expected around  10 p.m.

Update 9:05 p.m. --

The herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's weed-killer called Round Up, is going on the state of California's list of potentially cancerous chemicals, the list is required by state law under proposition 65. Officials from the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced on Monday the glyphosate listing will become effective on July 7, 2017.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service will be holding a public meeting in Fort Bragg Thursday about the future of its  northern spotted owl assistance program.

According to a release from the Department of Interior, the service plans to stop providing the program for timber operations. However, there will still be training and guidance to California Fish and Wildlife and Cal Fire operations.

The meeting, which will also include representatives from the CDFW and Calfire, will be held at 4 p.m. at the Redwood Coast Senior Center.

More Local News

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You rely on KZYX to bring you the programs you love, and the news you need.

KZYX relies on you for survival, and now more than ever, listeners make it all happen.