Eleanor Boudreau


I love living in Memphis, but I'm not from the city. I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I spent many hours at a highly tender age listening to NPR as my parents crisscrossed that city in their car, running errands. I don't amuse myself by musing about the purity of destiny, but I have seriously wondered how different my life would be if my parents preferred classic rock instead of Car Talk.

I studied English at Harvard then spent a year dry-cleaning and writing poems. I went back to school because of my love for public radio journalism and got a master's in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.

I never seriously considered T.V. or print. I love conversation above images, or even words. I spent a summer working as an intern on NPR's opinions and editorials. When it came time to find a job, I mailed a slim envelop from D.C. to WKNO. Inside was a CD. I passed a breezy lunch break sitting in some grass, chatting with Candice and Dan on my cell-phone and when my internship was over, I drove halfway across the country. The rest, as they say, is history -- or, at the very least, it's archived on WKNO-FM's website.

Ways to Connect

Every year more than 10 million visitors come to Memphis, and spend more than three billion dollars, much of it on music-related tourism. But few ever cross the bridge to West Memphis, Arkansas. Now some in the area are trying to change that by capitalizing on the rich musical history of an old West Memphis radio station, KWEM.

Snowmelt and rainfall in the North have caused the Mississippi River to rise recently, and it is expected to crest at Memphis this morning. Forecasters with the National Weather Service anticipate the river will reach 33.5 ft at its highest point. That’s more than ten feet below the crest of 2011 which flooded thousands of homes and businesses in the area.

Archer Records

Sid Selvidge was a cultural voice in Memphis for more than five decades, and he helped start the Beale Street Caravan radio show, which broadcasts live performances of Memphis music to more than 2.4 million people worldwide.

First and foremost a singer, Selvidge made eight albums as a solo artist and three with the Memphis alt/rock band Mud Boy and the Neutrons. Selvidge also ran his own record label for several years and produced Alex Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbert, Cybill Shepherd’s Vanilla, and Paul Craft’s Warnings!

Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

When Maxine Smith was born in Memphis in 1929, the city was segregated by race.

Smith graduated from Booker T. Washington High School at age 15. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, where she knew Martin Luther King, Jr., who had also graduated high school early and was attending the nearby Morehouse College.

“He was a nerd,” Smith recalled years later.

Smith earned a Master’s degree at Middlebury College in Vermont and taught college level French.

If the governor does not veto a bill passed Monday, then the suburbs outside of Memphis will be able to restart a process to open municipal schools which they originally began in 2012. Last August, all six suburbs passed referendums to open their own municipal school districts, only to have those referendums voided by U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays. The new legislation will allow each suburb to hold another referendum on whether or not they want to open municipal schools.


A provision of the Affordable Care Act requires that Medicare pay for obesity counseling by primary care physicians. The federal health insurance program for people 65 and older has long paid for costly treatments of some of the chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, but in what many viewed as a contradiction, Medicare refused to reimburse doctors for the work they did helping patients lose weight.

Randy Boyd is a somewhat unlikely pick as a special advisor to Governor Bill Haslam on issues of higher education. Boyd is the CEO of Radio Systems Corporation, a pet company best known for their brand names Invisible Fence, Pet Safe, and Sport Dog.

“It seemed it was natural to go from animal welfare to higher education,” Boyd joked, “[but] there is one segue between animal welfare and dog products and this current educational initiative.”


Astawusegne Desalegne is a senior at Kingsbury High School with big dreams, “I would like to be the first generation in my family to go to college,” he said. “Make my dad proud.”

He already has a four-year college picked out—Middle Tennessee State University, or MTSU. Desalegne feels MTSU is more cloistered than other schools he has considered. “I like this picture of a circle and the buildings inside of it. There is nothing but the university. I feel like UT Knoxville is too spread out,” Desalegne said. “MTSU is one place only for MTSU.”

Doby Photography / NPR

In Tunisia on December 17, 2010, government inspectors confiscated the fruit cart Mohamed Bouazizi used to support his family. An hour later Bouazizi stood outside his local government office in the town of Sidi Bou Zid, and lit himself on fire.

That act touched off a wave of protests across Tunisia, videos of which circulated on Twitter with a single hashtag: #sidibouzid. NPR’s Andy Carvin located one of these videos and sent out this tweet: “Arabic speakers: Can someone summarize the protest chants in this video? http://youtu.be/DTOZEJjhWHU thanks! #sidibouzid #tunisia.”

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays will appoint a special master to oversee the merger of Memphis and Shelby County Schools. “It will be someone who can really get into the weeds, so to speak, with the school system on the logistics of meeting this merger target date,” said Senior Reporter for the Memphis Daily News Bill Dries.