Employers Struggle With Hiring Undocumented Workers: 'You Cannot Hire American Here'

The lunch rush is over at a popular, cozy restaurant in a city somewhere in Missouri. The owner, Lynn, is sipping a glass of pinot grigio as her cooking crew cleans up. Like thousands of other restaurants across America, Lynn's kitchen is staffed mainly with unauthorized Latino workers. She agreed to openly discuss this employment conundrum if NPR agreed not to give her last name, identify her restaurant, name the city, or even specify the type of cuisine. Like a lot of employers these days,...

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WKNO Features

Katie Riordan


Changes in the economics of recycling have affected cities across the United States, including here in Shelby County. As the costs of recycling services rise, municipalities are looking for new ways to keep their programs afloat. 

As of this month, the City of Collierville is saving money by trucking its curbside materials out of the county, but that also means one popularly recycled item—glass—can no longer be dropped in the bin. It will affect about 12,000 homes.   

The Arcade

The Arcade is Memphis' oldest restaurant, founded in 1919 by Speros Zepatos after he immigrated from Cephalonia, Greece to Memphis.  Originally a wooden structure, the beloved eatery has stood the test of time.

Katie Riordan


Ayile Arnett is driving through North Memphis in her Chevy Trailblazer, making deliveries.

Google maps leads her to a modest home, where she retrieves a small cardboard box from her backseat containing a 90-day supply of prescription drugs.

Arnett introduces herself at the door. “Hi, my name is Ayile, and I have a medication drop-off [from] Good Shepherd,” which results in some initial confusion.

These packages usually come through the mail.

But today, Arnett is demonstrating a smartphone app she created to transport people and things at no cost. 

“ScripRide is basically a platform that is similar to Uber or Lyft, except for we leverage the volunteer spirit of community members in different locations,” Arnett says.  

Justin Bowles

Artist Justin Bowles has transformed the Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University into Temple of the Cha-Cha-Hua, a fantasy environment that will hopefully speak to a sacred space inside each of us: the essence of our childhood dreams. 

James Carey

For 35 years, Memphis College of Art (MCA) students have been following in the footsteps of American artist Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965) as they make a 10-day excursion to Horn Island, an uninhabited barrier island off the coast of Mississippi. This year marked the 35th, and final, Horn Island expedition for MCA. 



Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer is a young progressive running to unseat Mayor Jim Strickland in the October election. This week on WKNO-TV's Behind the Headlines, Sawyer joins Daily Memphian reporter Bill Dries and host Eric Barnes to discuss her political platform.

Sawyer believes that Strickland's administration is oppressing black people, "especially black women." She says she wants to be an influencer and advocate for Memphis citizens who are often marginalized by government. 

If elected mayor, Sawyer says she plans to institute new budget priorities and stronger oversight of the judicial system and tax incentive programs in the city and county.



As the end of summer nears, the three top candidates running for Memphis Mayor are embracing different campaign styles.

Memphis singer-songwriter -- and upright bass player-- Amy LaVere is frequently shelved under "Americana," but her latest solo album, Painting Blue (Nine Mile Records), has enough soul in it to stretch any strict definition of the genre. 

Jennifer Chandler

I am about to make a statement that may ruffle some feathers in a town East of us … but I can say with certainty that Memphis has the best fried chicken in the state of Tennessee.

The current ridership for public transportation in Memphis is about six million per year, says Memphis Area Transit Authority’s CEO Gary Rosenfeld. About half of those riders, he says, come from families that have either no car or one that is shared within the family. With those figures, Rosenfeld's concern is efficiency and frequency in improving MATA service. 



Vehicle Donation

It takes a few seconds: Palestinians place electronic ID cards on a sensor, stare at the aperture of a small black camera, then walk past panels fanning open to let them through.

Israel is upgrading its West Bank checkpoints with facial recognition technology to verify Palestinians' identities as they cross into Israel. The new system, which began rolling out late last year, eases their passage with shorter wait times — but is drawing criticism about the role the controversial technology plays in Israel's military control over Palestinians.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

South Korea plans to terminate a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, prompting concerns about security cooperation between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington as North Korea's nuclear and missile threats loom over the Korean Peninsula.

It's the latest breakdown between Seoul and Tokyo: Earlier this month, Japan removed South Korea from its "whitelist" of favored trade partners, prompting a retaliation in kind.

Jason was hallucinating. He was withdrawing from drugs at an addiction treatment center near Indianapolis, and he had hardly slept for several days.

"He was reaching for things, and he was talking to Bill Gates and he was talking to somebody else I'm just certain he hasn't met," his mother, Cheryl, says. She remembers finding Jason lying on the floor of the treatment center in late 2016. "I would just bring him blankets because they didn't have beds or anything."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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