Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Owner of Landfill Loses Part of Case to State

A Rock Island County judge has ruled the current owner of the Taylor Ridge Landfill is responsible for numerous and chronic environmental violations.
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Tropical Storm Erika is drenching the Dominican Republic and Haiti, but the latest National Hurricane Center forecasts suggest that moving over the rugged island may leave the storm too disorganized to reform and threaten Florida.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Joe Whitley's home and 40 acres are located next to the Taylor Ridge Landfill. Since 1972, he's been working with state agencies to try and fix the damage caused by pollution from the garbage dump.

This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.

With fires burning hotter and more intense, there are renewed calls to change how the federal government pays to fight the biggest fires.

"These large and intense fires are a natural disaster in much the same way a hurricane or a tornado or a flood is," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "And they ought to be funded as such through the emergency funding of FEMA."

Here's a duo that's at the foundation of music itself, but which isn't always noticed: the musical interplay between the bass and the drum.

Al Arbour, who set an NHL record by coaching 1,500 games, has died at age 81. As the head coach of the New York Islanders, he led the team to four Stanley Cup championships in 19 seasons. He also won four NHL titles as a player.

"Al will always be remembered as one of, if not the, greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League," Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said, as the team announced Arbour's death Friday.

This week on Wall Street, investors experienced thrills, chills, tears and giggles as their investments plunged, soared, dropped, rose, dipped, moved sideways — and then ended about where they started.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average inched down 12 points to 16,643 for the day, ending a bit higher than last Friday's 16,459 close.

So if you just got back from spending a week on a tiny desert island with no smartphone, you might look at the Dow's close and think it was a pretty tame week.

You would be very, very wrong.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

A Rock Island County judge has ruled the current owner of the Taylor Ridge Landfill is responsible for numerous and chronic environmental violations.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

More than 1,000 square miles of wildfires are burning in Washington state. In the remote Okanogan Valley in the north-central part of the state, many cattle ranchers are scrambling to save their herds.

Ranchers in Omak, Wash., have lost animals, barns, pasture and winter haystacks to the wildfires. But some people still have their cattle, and at the town's Ag Tech Feed Store, owners Monte and Laurie Andrews are trying to help keep those ranchers in business.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, Emily Harris:

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