Ben de la Cruz is an award-winning documentary video producer and multimedia journalist. He joined NPR as the multimedia editor for the Science Desk in June 2012. In this role, he serves as the visual architect for NPR's coverage of health, science, environment, energy, food and agriculture.

De la Cruz began his career as a multimedia journalist at in January 2000. During his 12-year career there, he helped create the newspaper industry's groundbreaking multimedia site, Camera Works. Along the way, he managed the dozen-person multimedia and documentary video departments, overseeing feature and news reporting.

TN Stand Your Ground Law
7:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tennessee Legislators Call For Review Of State's "Stand Your Ground" Law

TN State Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis, chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators / George Walker IV / File / The Tennessean
Read more
TN Special Education Focus
6:32 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tennessee Education Commissioner To Focus On Special Education

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman / Photo by George Walker IV / The Tennessean
Credit George Walker IV, Nashville Tennessean

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman told the Tennessean newspaper yesterday that he’s going ahead with his plans to have the fastest-improving schools in the nation by 2015 and his next focus is special education.

Read more

Zoe Chace explains the mysteries of the global economy for NPR's Planet Money. As a reporter for the team, Chace knows how to find compelling stories in unlikely places, including a lollipop factory in Ohio struggling to stay open, a pasta plant in Italy where everyone calls in sick, and a recording studio in New York mixing Rihanna's next hit.

In 2008, Chace came to NPR to work as an intern on Weekend Edition Saturday. As a production assistant on NPR's Arts Desk, she developed a beat covering popular music and co-created Pop Off, a regular feature about hit songs for Morning Edition. Chace shocked the music industry when she convinced the famously reclusive Lauryn Hill to sit down for an interview.

Scott DesJarlais
4:58 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

DesJarlais' GOP Challengers Leading Money Race

Last November, Tennessee's Fourth District Congressman Scott Desjarlais coasted to a 12-point victory over Democratic challenger Eric Stewart in Desjarlais' first re-election campaign.  That's despite revelations that the pro-life physician had participated in sexual relations with some of his patients and had encouraged one to get an abortion. 

Read more
4:00 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Tennessee Department Of Labor Offers Workers' Comp Seminars

Construction workers tie rebar cages to form the columns of the overpass.
Credit Port of Tacoma, flickr Creative Commons.

  Employers with questions about Tennessee’s 2013 Workers’ Compensation Reform Act will have a chance to put those questions to the state next month.  

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is coordinating seminars across the state to explain the Reform Act's impact. Presenters will also provide information on ways to better handle accidents if they happen. The Worker’s Compensation division and Tennessee OSHA will also provide information on ways to avoid workplace injuries.  

Read more
Tennessee Lottery
7:17 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Tennessee Lottery Proceeds Set Another Record


Officials with the Tennessee lottery say proceeds for the fiscal year just ended are almost 5% higher than the previous year.

The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation reports proceeds of $339.7 million. That’s another yearly record for the state’s lottery, and is up from last year's $323.4 million.

Read more

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returns to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield.  For 2012, she was named "Newsfinder of the Year" by the Illinois Associated Press. She is not afraid to brag at parties that she has met Carl Kasell, Ira Glass, and Garrison Keillor (and has pictures to prove it). She and her husband live in Aurora.

3:59 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Tennessee Schools Offer Fruit And Veggie Snacks

Credit Brittany Randolph via Flickr Creative Commons.

Some Tennessee students will get more than a typical serving of fresh fruits and vegetables in class this year. Tennessee received $3.3  million dollars in federal funds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to schools with the most kids in free and reduced lunch programs. Students in participating schools will get fruit like kiwis or peaches or a vegetable like broccoli or peppers during the school day as a snack outside of regular meals. Schools receive $50 dollars per enrolled student to cover the price of the fresh produce; each school decides how to deliver the snacks.

Read more
Pilot Flying J
5:57 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Pilot/Flying J Offers To Settle Price-Skimming Lawsuits

Pilot/Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam speaks to the media in April 2013 after federal officials raided the company's Knoxville headquarters.
Credit Christine Jessel

Officials from Pilot/Flying J announced today the Knoxville-based truck stop chain has offered to settle and consolidate several of the lawsuits filed against the company by trucking clients who claim Pilot's sales staff shorted them on promised fuel rebates.  According to documents filed in an Arkansas courtroom, the company has agreed to pay back all rebates owed with 6% interest.  This will extend to all accounts held the Pilot Flying J, not just those named in the class action lawsuit.

Read more