I freelance for National Public Radio, Planet Money, Morning Edition and Marketplace. I was a daily news reporter for WHYY, Philadelphia's NPR affiliate. Here are a few of my favorite stories.  

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"It was the best thing that ever happened. I was like OH. MY. LORD. This is a miracle pill."

There’s a pill called Suboxone that treats addiction to heroin and pain pills like oxycontin. Doctors say it’s the holy grail. Drug dealers say it takes overdoses out on the street. Drug addicts say it’s a miracle pill.  The government spent tens of millions of dollars developing Suboxone. Doctors can prescribe it in their offices. But a lot of people who want it can’t get it from a doctor, so they have to buy it on the street. On this episode of Planet Money’s podcast: why people have to turn to drug dealers to get a pill that fights addiction.

Link to story on Planet Money’s podcast
Link to shorter story on Morning Edition
{Photo: Mara Zepeda}

 

 


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 "It just came to me. It was like, ‘Wow, it’s a very simple test. Can you knock over one kind of cup more than another?’"

Instant cups of soup — the kind that often come in a Styrofoam cup full of noodles — send children to the hospital every day.  Doctors say these soups are dangerous because of the way the cups are designed. The cups are tall, lightweight, and have an unstable base that makes them tip over easily. Eight of the 12 burn units across the country contacted for this report treat this injury one to three times a week. In the colder months, a hospital in Washington D.C. sees as many as six children a week injured by these  products.

Link to story on NPR/Planet Money

{Image: Courtesy of the Journal of Burn Care & Research}


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"He didn’t want to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said ‘I don’t want that. What the hell is that? I don’t want that.’"

Many fallen soldiers have died in combat, but increasingly, for off-duty members of the National Guard and Army Reserves, soldiers are dying by their own hands. Nationally, the number of those who’ve committed suicide has nearly doubled from 80 in 2009 to 145 in 2010. The family and friends of Sgt. Ivan Lopez remember his life cut short by war.

Link to story on NPR
Link to original story on WHYY

{Photo: Courtesy of Jadira Lopez}

 


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"We both had French class in Montgomery, Alabama…Our friendship blossomed from there. Were were just inseparable."

When members of the armed forces are deployed, it’s often up to the other parent, or a family member, to care for their children. But what happens when there’s no family around to help? For Navy operations specialist Sheena Sullen, that meant calling on an old friend, Jihan Sanders. Sanders moved from Alabama to help care for Sullen’s children while she’s away.

Link to story on NPR

{Photo: Courtesy of Amanda Lucier and the Virginian Pilot’s While You Were Gone series}

 

This video was created for the Virginian Pilot’s While You Were Gone series. I conducted a number of interviews with the families of service members, collected ambient sound and produced the audio in collaboration with photographer Amanda Lucier. The piece was awarded first place in the Online Slideshow category by the Virginia Press Association.

Additional interviews from this series are available on PRX