WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Emma Bowman

Twelve-year-old Joe Bryant may not be able enjoy a live German soccer match during the pandemic, but he's managed to capture the magic of their stadiums through the fine art form of Lego.

Bryant builds exquisitely detailed models of his favorite Bundesliga stadiums, home to Germany's pro soccer league. He's built more than a dozen models without access to design plans or blueprints.

Evidence of election rigging has roiled New Zealand's "Bird of the Year" competition after a case of ballot-box stuffing has threatened to derail avian democracy.

Suspicion began when organizers received more than 1,500 votes sent from the same email address early Monday — each vote was in favor of the little spotted kiwi (kiwi pukupuku), according to a statement from Forest & Bird, a conservation organization that runs the election.

Basketball superstar Sue Bird cleared many hurdles alongside her teammates over the course of an unusual season to win her fourth WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm earlier this month.

But long before her victory on the court, she joined her WNBA teammates in leading a bigger fight, through activism on social justice issues.

Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET Monday

With eight days until Election Day, the White House again faces the coronavirus in its ranks and controversy over its national strategy for the pandemic, after President Trump's chief of staff said the administration would not control the spread of the disease.

Two top advisers to Vice President Pence have tested positive for the virus in recent days, as Pence — who tested negative on Saturday and Sunday — crisscrosses the country for rallies in swing states.

A conservation group is warning that the development of an effective coronavirus vaccine on a global scale could ravage shark populations worldwide, as researchers race to produce a vaccine using an oil derived from sharks.

Squalene, a compound that is harvested from the livers of sharks, is a common moisturizing ingredient in cosmetics. It's also used in malaria and flu vaccines as an agent that boosts the immune system's response.

As a champion for women "leaning in" at work, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, is worried.

The coronavirus pandemic, and related issues like lack of childcare and school, are taking a disproportionately heavy toll on working women, with effects that will be felt for years to come, according to a new report from Sandberg's Lean In foundation and McKinsey & Company.

Young adults are known for taking to the streets in protest. Now, there's a youth-driven push to bring more of them to the ballot box.

Tyler Okeke, a 19-year-old activist, is among those who champion lowering the voting age from 18 to 16.

With many of us confined to our homes during the coronavirus pandemic, we're spending a lot more time with our stuff these days — the piles of clothes that no longer fit, the ever-stubborn junk drawer or maybe it's those sentimental boxes of family heirlooms. You might be thinking about getting rid of some of that clutter, but you aren't exactly sure where to start.

Julie Hall, an estate appraiser and liquidator, has been confronting this problem for nearly three decades. But she's seeing the decluttering trend pop up a lot more in recent months.

Carmen Best, Seattle's first Black police chief, is leaving her post on Wednesday, in the midst of protests against police brutality in her city and across the country.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is overseeing the investigation into the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was left paralyzed after he was shot seven times in front of his three kids by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis.

Until recently, it was common practice that any time an officer fired a gun, the police department conducted the investigation. In 2014, Wisconsin became the first state to end that process – one that has led to accusations of conflicts of interest and police cover-ups.

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET

The Wisconsin National Guard has been deployed to Kenosha, Wis., after a Black man was shot several times at close range in the back during an encounter with police over the weekend.

The shooting was caught on video that has since gone viral on social media, sparking outrage.

Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, built an education enterprise on virtual learning. But as many communities across the country prepare to start the fall with online-only instruction, even he admits that distance learning is a less than perfect substitute for in-person schooling.

The former hedge fund analyst first hatched the idea for Khan Academy as a way to tutor his younger cousins in math. Since its launch in 2008, the site has been providing free video tutorials and lectures. Today, it serves more than 100 million users worldwide.

The promotional black and white photos from Taylor Swift's new album Folklore show the pop star shedding her lipsticked glamour for an ethereal frock to frolic in the meadow.

The National Hockey League resumed play on Saturday, with players emerging from the "bubbles" they've been hunkering down in since July 26.

And so far, players are staying healthy. Since relocating to the bubbles — in two Canadian cities, Edmonton and Toronto — the league says it's given more than 7,000 tests to players on 24 teams, and none have come back positive for COVID-19.

The key to keeping the league safe, says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, has been to "be as flexible as possible."

The Department of Homeland Security has reassigned its top intelligence official, according to media outlets, following news that his office compiled intelligence reports on journalists and protesters in Portland, Ore.

Scientists are in a sprint to find a vaccine that could stamp out the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday he's "cautiously optimistic" that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution in early 2021.

In the late 1950s, Kenneth Felts met a young man who became the love of his life.

Felts, now 90 years old, had not revealed that relationship to his family until a few months ago, when he finally told his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, that he is gay — a secret he'd been keeping for more than 60 years. It happened in mid-March, when Felts was quarantining because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two spoke about Felts' first love, Phillip, during a remote StoryCorps conversation from Arvada, Colo., this month.

Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, says racism is a danger to the health of America's economy.

In a recent opinion piece, Bostic reflected on the recent protests against police brutality that he says are fueled, in part, by economic inequalities that stem from systemic racism.

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 prompted educator Jane Elliott to create the now-famous "blue eyes/brown eyes exercise."

As a school teacher in the small town of Riceville, Iowa, Elliott first conducted the anti-racism experiment on her all-white third-grade classroom, the day after the civil rights leader was killed.

Vivian Garcia Leonard studied to become a pharmacist in Cuba before coming to the U.S. in 1961.

Her daughter, also named Vivian, eventually followed in her mother's footsteps. So, too, did her daughter, Marissa Sofia Ochs. Today, the three generations of pharmacists live near each other and work in New York City.

But recently, the elder Vivian, who's 82, stopped working to limit her exposure to the virus.

In a remote StoryCorps conversation recorded last month, the women talked about living through the coronavirus pandemic.

Aidan Sykes was just 6 years old when he joined his dad, Albert, to protest the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. They've been attending protests against racial injustice ever since.

In Texas, as more businesses get the green light to reopen, those plans have been delayed in some areas where the governor says jump in positive COVID-19 cases follow ramped-up testing capacity.

Celebrities, activists, artists and students themselves recognized America's 3 million-plus graduating high school seniors in a widely broadcast ceremony on Saturday night, after the coronavirus crisis robbed the class of 2020 of a crucial milestone.

The virtual event, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, carried a resounding message of community at a time when COVID-19 rules out the possibility of large gatherings.

When Evette Jourdain was struggling to get back on her feet, landing a job as a postal worker gave her security. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, the job carries new risks she and her colleagues never imagined.

Jourdain, 32, and her friend and fellow mail carrier Craig Boddie, 48, spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation last month from Palm Beach, Fla., about how their work has changed since the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET on Friday

Think your grocery store runs are tough these days?

In the remote Alaskan city of Gustavus, a small-business owner, Toshua Parker, has started traveling 14 hours by boat to Juneau and back to stock up on critical supplies for his store during the coronavirus pandemic.

The roughly 450 residents in Gustavus rely on Parker's Icy Strait Wholesale for the bulk of their provisions, from fresh produce to hardware to home appliances.

Alice Stockton-Rossini and her 90-year-old mother, Jackie Stockton, survived COVID-19.

But the virus took the lives of some of their friends and a relative.

The outbreak in their community in Ship Bottom, N.J., can be traced back to Stockton's 90th birthday party, held at her church on March 8 before much of the U.S. began practicing social distancing.

In a recent remote StoryCorps conversation, Stockton told her 62-year-old daughter that she didn't realize she had contracted the virus until she landed in the hospital.

When the Upright Citizens Brigade announced plans to permanently close its New York bases last week, comedy lost a beloved home. The scrappy, alternative comedy troupe that grew into a school and theater revolutionized improv in New York and beyond with its embrace of "Yes, and ..."

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have jettisoned all manner of routines, and grooming is no exception.

On social media, many men are leaning into self-isolation with the #QuarantineBeard. Comedian Jim Carrey, for one, is putting down the razor until "we all go back to work," encouraging his Twitter followers to join him in his "meaningless transformation," using the hashtag #letsgrowtogether.

Large numbers of companies are rolling out mandatory work-from-home policies to help limit the risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak. But cybersecurity experts warn that those remote setups invite new hacking risks.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued warnings of an uptick in fraudulent crimes tied to the coronavirus, particularly by scammers posing as official health agencies.

Lillian Bloodworth lives up to her name, so to speak.

Over the course of nearly five decades, the 92-year-old has donated 23 gallons of blood, starting in the 1960s. (The average person's body contains about 1.5 gallons.)

"When I first started, I would have donors read my name tag and ask if that was really my name or was that a gimmick for the blood bank," she said.

During a StoryCorps conversation recorded in January 2010 in Gulf Breeze, Fla., Lillian told her late husband, John, about why it was important for her to give blood as often as she can.

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