Here and Now

South Divided on GOP Primary, NTSB Urges Complete Cell Phone Ban for Drivers, Cleveland Finds Success in Health Care Industry: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: The first primary in the south is January 21 in South Carolina, where Newt Gingrich is 20 points ahead of Mitt Romney. But Politico reports this week that southern conservatives are divided—some voters have a problem with Gingrich’s three marriages and past infidelity. Others are concerned about Mitt Romney’s faith. We’ll talk about the unsettled south.

1:20pm: The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending a total ban on cell phone use while driving—including sending and receiving text messages and using hands-free devices. The regulations are controversial among law enforcement officials who say they would be difficult to enforce, as well as among people who rely on hands-free cell phone communication while driving for their livelihood. We talk to Mary Maguire of AAA, who says it would be difficult to garner the kind of public support needed to forge these recommendations into law.

1:35pm: Politicians and economic development officials like to promote “magic bullet” projects—the idea that tackling just one project, attracting just one industry, can solve many problems at once. But do those big projects ever pay off? We’ll continue a four part series today looking at Cleveland’s success with health care. Can other cities copy the formula?

1:50pm: In Italy they’re traditionally eaten at Easter, but for some families, “sweet bows,” or farfallette dolci, have become a Christmas staple. Fans of these crunchy fried confections find them delicious and addictive, so while we’ll share the recipe, we can’t be held responsible for any dependence you might develop.

Local News Politics

Transportation Safety Board Chair Discusses Road Safety on Trip to Louisville

The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board is meeting with area transportation officials this week.

Deborah Hersman left Washington D.C. Wednesday and is traveling in various semis to the Mid-American Truck Show in Louisville. Along the way, she’s meeting with safety officials in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Hersman says better safety for trucks requires improvement in three areas: the drivers, the vehicles and the roads themselves.

“…Like rumble strips and barriers and better signage and better friction on the pavement for precipitation and contamination on the road ways. All of these things are important,” she says.

Hersman says new technology can make large trucks more stable and likely to stay in the lanes. As for the drivers themselves, Hersman’s agency has promoted requirements that drivers rest frequently during long drives.

Local News Politics

National Transportation Safety Board Chair Traveling to Louisville

The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board is traveling to Louisville by truck.

Deborah A.P. Hersman will left Washington D.C. Wednesday, in the passenger seat of a tractor-trailer. She will ride with five different truck drivers on her trip, which is meant to give her first-hand knowledge of the challenges drivers face and any potential safety hazards on the roads.

Hersman will meet with transportation officials in West Virginia and Kentucky before arriving in Louisville Friday at the Mid-American Truck Show. Hersman holds a commercial driving license, and the truck show is expected to feature one of the largest gatherings of female truck drivers since a 2004 event in the Netherlands.