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BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
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MARK GARRISON: Thank you, Rachel. Severe storms loaded with tornados and hail hit Kansas yesterday. This is the latest in a series of storms that have battered several states. Iowa was especially hard hit over the long weekend. The town of Parkersburg there lost half its homes.
Some 450 children are still in state custody, after their forced removal from a polygamist ranch in West Texas. Their care is costing the state a bundle. NPR's John Burnett has the story of the struggle to cover costs.
JOHN BURNETT: The children of Yearning for Zion Ranch have been spread all across this huge state, with some brothers and sisters separated by as much as 600 miles. Caseworkers for Child Protective Services, the agency overseeing the care of the sect children, are logging hundreds of miles a week to check on youngsters in foster care. The Texas State Employees Union has received complaints that reimbursements are slow for the caseworkers' out-of-pocket expenses. One lawmaker on the state finance committee suggested letting the adults left behind on the FLDS ranch foot the bill.
GARRISON: NPR's John Burnett reporting. President Bush may be short on approval ratings, but his friends' bank accounts are flushed. Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain, is hoping they'll send some of it his way. The president headlines three fundraisers in Phoenix for McCain today. Elsewhere in campaign land, Obama swings through Nevada. Hillary Clinton visits Montana. That state's primary is June 3rd.
Politics can be a snake pit, but usually nobody dies. But actual snakes, they can be deadly. In Arizona, scientists aren't sure why rattlesnake deaths are up. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris Kohl has more.
GILLIAN FERRIS KOHL: At least five people statewide have died from rattlesnake bites in the last six years. That's the same number of total deaths for the two previous decades. Toxicologists say they aren't certain why they're seeing a spike in deadly symptoms. Some say it could be a chemical change in rattlesnake venom, a change in their behavior or environment. More than 8,000 people are bitten by rattlesnakes each year in the Unites States.
GARRISON: Gillian Ferris Kohl from Arizona Public Radio reporting. To sports and the NBA playoffs, the Eastern Conference Final is now all tied up. The Detroit Pistons beat the Boston Celtics to even the series at two-all. Tonight, the LA Lakers visit the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers lead the Western Conference Finals two to one. In hockey, the Detroit Red Wings are up two-nothing in the Stanley Cup Finals. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. Game three is Wednesday.
And Japan is worried a high-tech monster is after its kids. Not giant robots or Godzilla, like in the movies, Internet-enabled cell phones are the bad guys, actually. The government says too many school kids are addicted to mobile web-surfing and emailing. There's also the fear Internet scammers will target smart-phone kids. An education-reform panel wants kids to have phones that can only be used for talking. About two-thirds of Japanese kids have mobile phones by ninth grade. That is your news and your sports. If you want more, it's always online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
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