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The rich pine forest surrounding Pine Lake Forest Road in Hubbard County, Minnesota. Hubbard County is located in the Heartland Lakes region of northern Minnesota. There were once nearly 150 fire towers standing guard over the state's forests as protection against unwanted fires. Today, only a handful of towers exist. Sarah Stacke hide caption

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Sarah Stacke

See how Minnesota fire towers help preserve a 5,000-year-old bog

Two of the top three deadliest fires in U.S. history were in Minnesota. In response to the fires, the Minnesota forestry service was established in the early 1900s, creating the system of fire towers.

People walk by a hiring sign in a store window in New York on Nov. 17. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How understaffed are stores? Smaller retailers feel the holiday-shopping strain

Large retailers have spent billions of dollars to woo workers. Smaller stores that can't do that expect staff shortages will lead to lost sales. They're asking shoppers to be patient.

How understaffed are stores? Smaller retailers feel the holiday-shopping strain

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The Lucid Air takes the stage at the 2021 LA Autoshow on November 17, 2021. The luxury electric sedan won the 2022 Motortrend Car of the Year award this month. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Every auto startup wants to be the next Tesla. Why these 2 may have a real shot

They aren't household names yet, but Rivian and Lucid are two auto startups attracting a lot of buzz — and loads of money.

Every auto startup wants to be the next Tesla. Why these 2 may have a real shot

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Three generations, (from left to right) grandmother Genoveva Calloway, daughter Petra Gonzales, and granddaughter Vanesa Quintero, live next door to each other in San Pablo, Calif. Recently their extended family was hit with a second wave of COVID infections a year after the first. Beth LaBerge/KQED hide caption

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Beth LaBerge/KQED

COVID hit 13 members of their family the first time. A year later it struck again

KQED

The second time Vanessa Quintero's family caught the virus, probably from her 8-year-old daughter, fewer people got sick. They and their doctors credit the protection of vaccination.

COVID hit 13 members of their family the first time. A year later it struck again

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Republicans often present a united front, but loyalty to former President Donald Trump, seen here with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, and views about his future in the party are showing some divisions. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Trump, tough issues and personal rivalries test the GOP's reputation for unity

Tensions are driven by the still-divisive personality of former President Trump, by issues such as vaccines and mandates and by the prospect of big Republican gains in the elections of 2022 and 2024.

Joanne Shenandoah in 2020 at Hart's Falls Preserve, near the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Studies, an organization run by Shenandoah and her husband, Doug George-Kanentiio, in Hermon, N.Y. Jane Feldman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jane Feldman/Courtesy of the artist

Musician Joanne Shenandoah, a powerful voice for Native culture, dies at 64

A singer and composer whose songs bridged Native and numerous mainstream styles, Shenandoah was driven to create, and to share her history, with audiences around the world.

Huge waves crash the against the sea wall and Roker Lighthouse after gusts of almost 100 miles per hour battered some areas of the country during Storm Arwen, in Sunderland, England, on Saturday. Owen Humphreys/AP via AP hide caption

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Owen Humphreys/AP via AP

At least 2 people have died during the first winter storm in the United Kingdom

The first winter storm of the season, named Arwen, hit parts of the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland particularly hard, with gusts of nearly 100 mph. Falling trees killed two people.

Rob Gann puts on his clown makeup in the backstage locker room at the Adirondack Stampede Rodeo in Glens Falls, N.Y. M. Scott Brauer for NPR hide caption

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M. Scott Brauer for NPR

Meet the Arkansas cowboy who found a new life as a rodeo clown

Rob Gann travels the country as a jester in the rodeo of life. His clowning fills the lulls in the action. It also takes the edge off a sport that can be dangerous and unforgiving.

Meet the Arkansas cowboy who found a new life as a rodeo clown

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