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The Graveyard Of Shelved Ice Cream Flavors

May 28, 2012

The first installment in Dead Stop, Morning Edition's summer road trip series about interesting gravesites in America.

When the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company kills a flavor, it's treated with respect — including a burial in the company's "Flavor Graveyard."

"I think we've got the best, and the not-best, up here," Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, says from the cemetery in Waterbury, Vt.

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Legendary Rats Return To German Town

May 25, 2012

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One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

Four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. The country abandoned its own currency and switched to the U.S. dollar — a move experts say prevented a complete economic collapse.

But using American dollars has created a host of bizarre issues. The bills are filthy, crumbling and often in short supply. There are no U.S. coins to make change, so chocolate is handed out instead. There is, oddly, an abundance of $2 bills.

On May 27, 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting bustling San Francisco to sleepy Marin County to the north. The Oakland-Bay Bridge had opened six months earlier — but the Golden Gate was an engineering triumph. It straddles the Golden Gate Strait, the passage from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay, where rough currents prevail and winds can reach 70 mph.

Nurses are the backbone of the hospital — just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said "nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help."

Since nurses provide most of the patient care in hospitals, we were surprised at the findings. We wanted to find out more. We wanted to know what was going on from nurses themselves. So we put a call-out on Facebook.

Booksellers know how important a good story is — one that reaches out, pulls you in and keeps you reading late into the warm summer night. As readers seek out recommendations for their summer travels, booksellers are scouring their shelves for the stories that shine.

Russia is still the world's largest producer of oil and gas, but growth has stalled and to get to new supplies requires going to a very difficult place — the Arctic.

"If you want to be in this business in 2020, 2025, you must think about the Arctic," says Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.

The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

May 25, 2012

During World War II, Harrison Wright served with the Army in Europe. And as he recalls during a visit to StoryCorps with his grandson Sean Guess, he was sent on a very special assignment to mark the end of the war.

Wright was drafted in March 1943.

"I was an 18-year-old boy," he says. "I blew the bugle in our outfit," he adds, largely because he had played the trumpet in high school.

Safeway Meat Clerk Reinstated After Fight

May 24, 2012

Ryan Young saw a pregnant woman being kicked by her boyfriend. He leaped out from behind the meat counter and intervened. Safeway suspended him, citing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence. But after the union took up his cause and people boycotted the store, Safeway reinstated Young, calling his action "commendable."

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