NPR US News

All over eastern Kentucky, you see cars and pickup trucks with black license plates proclaiming the owner is a "friend of coal."

Even though the license plates are all over, it's getting harder to find actual coal miners here: Fewer than 6,000 remain in the state, where the coal industry is shrinking fast. More than 10,000 coal workers have been laid off since 2008.

Many have had to leave the area to find work, but a few have found employment in other — and sometime unexpected — fields, as businesses are innovating to use former coal workers in new ways.

Police say they are investigating a "possible link" between a Department of Homeland Security police officer suspected of killing his wife Thursday, and two shootings in suburban Maryland on Friday.

At least two people were killed and two others injured Friday in separate incidents outside two shopping centers, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

Is failure a positive opportunity to learn and grow, or is it a negative experience that hinders success? How parents answer that question has a big influence on how much children think they can improve their intelligence through hard work, a study says.

Commuters faced scenes of "mash destruction" this morning on Interstate 77 in Charlotte, N.C.

That's right — I-77 South was littered with spuds after a tractor-trailer overturned at around 2 a.m. ET Friday, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

In the early 1990s, voters in Oregon were feeling some tax anxiety.

Property values were rising, and many worried that also meant a rise in property taxes. And so, with something called Measure 5, they capped them.

Since schools depend heavily on property taxes, Oregon did something unique. The state decided to use income tax revenue to help offset the effect of this new property-tax cap.

There's just one problem: In tough economic times, income is more volatile than property values. And so began a roller coaster for Oregon's schools.

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