Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

In the new year we'll be eating pot pesto, pork fat, and pancit along with the newborn progeny of Brussels sprouts and kale.

It's time to set the table for 2015. What will be the next kale? Has the cupcake breathed its last?

We're headed for high times. As states legalize marijuana, cannabis comestibles are coming. Pot brownies — so 1960s — are joined by marijuana mac 'n' cheese and pot pesto. There's a new cooking show called Bong Appetit.

Another crushed leaf is this year's super drink. Matcha is made from green tea and promises a calmer energy boost than Red Bull. The Japanese have been drinking it for centuries.

In more news from the plant world, kale, the mother of all trends, and Brussels sprouts, another trendsetter, have become parents. Their baby is called kalette — little clumps of kale on a Brussels sprout-like stalk. The first new vegetable since broccolini is now available in markets near you.

And what could be better on your vegetables than a little lard? Animal fats being reconsidered include pork fat (lard), beef fat (tallow) and chicken fat (schmaltz).

This is also the year we will become bitter: bitter greens, bitter beer, bitter salads, bitter chocolate for eating as well as baking. A new cookbook, Bitter, may inspire you.

And just when you thought we'd run out of Asian cuisines, Filipino food starts trending. Pancit may someday overtake upscale ramen.

Nduja, from the French andouille, is the new kid at the Italian table. This spicy, spreadable Calabrian sausage is showing up on pizza, bruschetti and pasta.

In New York, Brooklynites are finding their inner Eastern European with new farm-to-table Jewish delis — we're talking gefilte fish as a craft food. Craft, by the way, is the new artisanal.

Speaking of nutritional powerhouses, we need to get beyond "ick" and embrace eating bugs. Cricket flour is already showing up in protein bars. Insects are gluten free, high in protein and emit fewer greenhouse gases than cattle.

Maybe they'll like cricket cuisine in Peoria, because New York is no longer restaurant Mecca. Many chefs are packing their knives and heading for smaller cities. Today, everyone everywhere has a sophisticated palate, helping fine dining continue its decline. You don't need a white tablecloth to eat crickets.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.

Tony Smith's disability check puts him over the income limit to receive standard Medicaid, but it's too little for him to qualify for a subsidy.

Sitting next to a federal health-care navigator at a Nashville, Tenn., clinic, he said he hopes lawmakers think of his plight and that of thousands of others when considering Medicaid expansion.

"I'm not looking for a handout," Smith says. "I'm just looking for some help ... because I need it."

Expanding Medicaid has until recently been seen as a political poison pill in Tennessee. But the hospital lobby has struck a unique deal with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to pay for the expansion, a move that has paved the way for greater GOP support.

Hospital administrators saw no other choice, says Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association.

"We basically left over $800 million on the table in federal dollars, which is a lot of money that could've done a lot of different things," Becker says, referring to the new Medicaid money Tennessee turned away in 2014.

"Look, we're stressed," he says. "Each individual hospital has gone to [Haslam] and said, 'Look we're gonna have to lay people off.' We've seen layoffs here. We've seen hospitals close, and they're saying, 'We're not just crying wolf here.' "

The association will pay for the state's contribution under the deal — taking state taxpayers off the hook. It's not the first time the hospital group has helped finance the state's Medicaid program.

"I've heard from several of my counterparts, and they have all said the same thing — that they're really hopeful that perhaps their states will follow the lead of Tennessee," Becker says.

Tennessee's Senate leader, Ron Ramsey, who once fiercely opposed Medicaid expansion, now says it's an "opportunity that must be taken seriously."

Haslam heads the Republican Governors Association, and the hospital deal might be up to him to reassure other state leaders that accepting federal Medicaid money doesn't have to trigger a bitter partisan fight.

Other states have sought Affordable Care Act waivers, but Tennessee's approach stands out, says John Graves, who studies health care at Vanderbilt University.

"The state views itself as an innovator," Graves says. "They want to create a program that's amenable to not only the governor, but the legislature ... something with their own Tennessee spin on it."

Whether that spin will be enough to satisfy the state's Republican super-majority won't be known until lawmakers reconvene in January.

Copyright 2014 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

Great Dismal Swamp, in Virginia and North Carolina, was once thought to be h...
Most Americans know about the Underground Railroad, which allowed Southern slaves to escape to the North. But some slaves stayed in the South, hidden in a place where they could resist enslavement.

Most Americans know about the Underground Railroad, the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North. Some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, however — in Great Dismal Swamp.

The swamp is a vast wetland in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. In George Washington's time, it was a million acres of trees, dark water, bears, bobcats, snakes and stinging insects. British settlers, who first arrived in 1607, believed the swamp was haunted.

By 1620, some of their slaves may have overcome that fear to find freedom there.

Hidden Islands Of Resistance Communities

Today, 112,000 acres of swamp remain, and archaeologist Dan Sayers has explored many of them. He's found large islands where escaped slaves settled.

"When you're walking through a thousand feet of the briars and the water, the mosquitoes are eating you alive, sweating bullets, and you're almost exhausted, and then suddenly your foot's no longer squishing in the peat but now it's walking on dry ground and crunchy leaves — it blows your mind," Sayers says. "You can't imagine people not living there."

He's now written about life on these islands in a new book, A Desolate Place for a Defiant People. He believes 10 generations of escaped slaves lived here, along with Native Americans who'd been driven off their land and whites who were shunned by mainstream society.

Since 2003, he's found thousands of artifacts during Great Dismal Swamp digs. In his laboratory at American University, he unwraps several: bits of clay tobacco pipes, nails and traces of at least a dozen cabins, along with what could have been an arsenal — a place where Sayers found gun flints and lead shot.

"Make no mistake about it. These were resistance communities. They weren't going out there because they loved swamps," he says. "They were going out there because they were living in a very brutal and oppressive world of enslavement and colonialism."

Ancestors Calling

News of these finds is exciting for professional and amateur historians like Eric Shepherd, a resident of Suffolk, Va., who organizes tours to help African-Americans get in touch with their roots.

"As our ancestors are calling us to look for them, I think we ought to pick up the spiritual phone and answer the call," he says.

Research led Shepherd to a distant relative named Moses Grandy, who left an account of his time in the swamp around 1800. He first went there to dig canals so his master could cut and transport timber.

"The labor there was very severe," Grandy wrote. "The ground is often very boggy: the negroes are up to the middle or much deeper in mud and water, cutting away roots and baling out mud: if they can keep their heads above water, they work on. ... [The overseer] gave the same task to each slave; of course the weak ones often failed to do it. I have often seen him tie up persons and flog them in the morning, only because they were unable to get the previous day's task done."

Grandy was skilled at handling boats, and sometimes his master allowed him to work for others, sharing the money that he made moonlighting. Over the years, Grandy saved enough to buy his own freedom. He could have headed north. Instead, he returned to live in the swamp.

"I built myself a little hut, and had provisions brought to me as opportunity served," Grandy wrote. "Here, among snakes, bears and panthers, whenever my strength was sufficient, I cut down a juniper tree, and converted it into cooper's timber. ... I felt to myself so light, that I almost thought I could fly, and in my sleep I was always dreaming of flying over woods and rivers."

"Slavery will teach any man to be glad when he gets freedom," Grandy wrote.

Such stories, along with some of the artifacts Sayers found, will be on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture when it opens in 2016.

Copyright 2014 WVTF Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wvtf.org.