Robert Benincasa is a computer-assisted reporting producer in NPR's Investigations Unit.

Since joining NPR in 2008, Benincasa has been reporting on NPR Investigations stories, analyzing data for investigations, and developing data visualizations and interactive applications for NPR.org. He has worked on numerous groundbreaking stories, including an exclusive on the independence level of nursing home residents, the safety of automated aircraft, and a government mandate to produce $1 coins that Americans don't want.

Prior to NPR, Benincasa served as the database editor for the Gannett News Service Washington Bureau for a decade. In 1995, he joined the Burlington VT Free Press as a staff writer.

Shots - Health News
4:28 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Administration Touts Competition In Insurance Exchanges

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

The Obama administration is countering criticism that the new health insurance exchanges will be lacking in competition, though it's doing so a bit quietly.

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Business
4:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Drive-Ins Soon Face Hollywood's Digital Switch

Many drive-ins and mom and pop theaters will soon have to make the switch from film to digital after putting it off because of the high cost of new projectors.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:48 pm

Pull into the Bourbon Drive-In just off U.S. Highway 68 near Paris, Ky., and it's like stepping back in time. Patricia and Lanny Earlywine own the 7-acre drive-in. It's been connected to the family since the theater opened in 1956. Even the popcorn machine is original.

"To do a drive-in, it sort of gets in your blood. You have to love it," Patricia says.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
4:23 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Baton Rouge's Corroded, Overpolluting Neighbor: Exxon Mobil

An evening view of the Exxon Mobil oil refinery complex in Baton Rouge, La.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:50 am

If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.

"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

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The Salt
4:23 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

No, Frosted Mini-Wheats Won't Make Your Kids Smarter

YouTube
  • Hear Robert Siegel's Interview With Attorney Tim Blood

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All Tech Considered
4:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Online College Courses Get A Big Boost, But Doubts Persist

The University of Tennessee became one of 10 state university systems teaming up with Coursera, a for-profit tech company.
Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:01 pm

From New Mexico to New York, 10 state university systems have announced they are joining the ranks of elite institutions embracing the massive open online course, or MOOC, system.

On Thursday, they unveiled a landmark partnership with Coursera, a for-profit tech company with 3.5 million registered students. It's the biggest effort to catapult degree-granting institutions into the world of global education.

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Remembering Heroes Of The Second World War
3:59 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Public Servant Herman Boudreau, Heroic Under Enemy Fire

Herman Boudreau served in the U.S. Army in World War II, then rose to the rank of command sergeant major in the Maine Army National Guard.
Courtesy of the Boudreau family

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:51 pm

When Herman Boudreau joined the U.S. Army in 1941, he set in motion a lifetime of public service. Boudreau, who died in April at age 93, served in the Army in New Zealand and the South Pacific during World War II.

He spent more than two years fighting the Japanese, and years later shared many of his war experiences with his daughter, Nancie Smith. In one incident, she says, he had to secure an airfield while removing the last Japanese resistance on three occupied islands.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

The Survivor: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Outlasts Political, Legal Trouble

Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America," is best-known for aggressively enforcing immigration laws.
Laura Segall Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:52 am

Update at 7:12 p.m. ET Recall Fails

The Associated Press reports that organizers of a petition to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio fell short of Thursday's deadline to collect 335,000 signatures.

Our original post:

Once again, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is at the center of political and legal controversies. Once again, it appears he will survive.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

U.S. Shot Putter Awarded Gold, Years After 2004 Olympics

Adam Nelson (left), has been awarded the gold medal in the men's shot put, after original winner Yuriy Bilonoh of Ukraine was found to have violated doping rules.
Nick Laham Getty Images

U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson has been awarded a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, after his rival at those games, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was stripped of the victory last December for violating doping rules. The International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Olympic Committee made the change official Thursday.

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Movie Interviews
3:17 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Michael Caine: 'I Spent My Life Doing Something That I Love'

These days, Caine gets smaller roles than he used to, but that doesn't bother him. Back when he did repertory theater, "I did a play a week," he says. "One week I'd be the lord, the next week I'd be the butler." He's pictured above in 1965.
Stephan C. Archetti Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:28 am

Over the course of his career, Michael Caine has played big parts and small parts, all of them memorable. His films include everything from Alfie to The Man Who Would Be King, from The Cider House Rules to The Dark Knight.

"I've been very fortunate," Caine tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "because I spent my life doing something that I love doing so much, I used to do it for nothing. So you can't have a better life than that."

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