Mark Memmott | KERA News

Mark Memmott

In an email to a friend, Mike McQueary says he did speak with Penn State University police after seeing what he says was former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the team's locker room.

Harrisburg's Patriot-News writes that McQueary, who at the time of the 2002 incident was a graduate assistant with the football team and later became an assistant coach, says in the email that:

There's one week to go before the so-called supercommittee on Capitol Hill is supposed to come up with a deal that combines at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts and revenue increases to narrow upcoming deficits over the next decade. If lawmakers don't reach an agreement, that amount of spending cuts are supposed to happen automatically — with about 50 percent coming from defense and 50 percent from domestic spending other than Social Security and Medicare.

Note: There are some details of alleged sexual activity with minors in this post.

There's a story unfolding in Charleston, S.C., that sounds depressingly similar to the scandal that has rocked Penn State University.

From a conversation later today on All Things Considered with her husband Mark Kelly, to last night's interview with the couple on ABC-TV to an audio message for her constituents, there are several things to pass along this morning about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and the recovery she's making from being shot in the head last January.

An Associated Press story that says a "28-year-old German is the designer of an award-winning new textile made entirely from milk that's environmentally friendly as well as soothing to people with skin allergies," caught our eye this morning — especially when we saw that the noo ... er, new ... product is called Qmilch.

That's "q" for quality and milch for milk (in German). Sounds like a winning word for Scrabble fans.

For all of us who want to know when the economy's going to get moving again and when we'll start to see some consistently healthy job growth, the conversation that opened Morning Edition today was enlightening — though not particularly encouraging.

Two new economic indicators:

-- Sales in the retail and food sectors rose 0.5 percent in October from September, the Census Bureau says. They were up 7.2 percent from October 2010.

Bloomberg News says the increase in retail sales was "more than projected as Americans snapped up new Apple Inc. iPhones and demand for automobiles improved."

As former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was being heard on NBC-TV last night declaring "I am innocent of those charges" and that he's not sexually attracted to young boys, The New York Times was landing with a report th

Saying that "the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protesters and to the surrounding community," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the clearing of Zuccotti Park early today.

Before it could be awarded, the trophy for the winner of the Big Ten Conference Football Championship has been changed from the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy to just the Stagg Championship Trophy.

National Basketball Association players have rejected the latest contract offer from the league's owners, The Associated Press and SI.com are reporting.

And as the AP adds, "the decision likely jeopardizes the season," which has already been delayed.

Accounts vary on how much flack he caught, but they agree that some Penn State fans did not appreciate John Matko's one-man protest outside the school's football stadium Saturday before the game with Nebraska.

The 34-year-old Penn State alum held two signs with messages such as "put abused kids first. ... Don't be fooled, they all knew. ... Honor the abused kids by cancelling this game and the season NOW."

This headline today on a story behind The Wall Street Journal's paywall ...

"U.S. Farmers Reclaim Land From Developers"

... sent us looking for other reports about what the Journal says is a national trend: "raw land destined for residential development has fallen so far in value that thousands of acres across the country are being used again for agriculture."

A few other pieces underscore the strength in farmland prices:

If you've been waiting anxiously for that $199 Kindle Fire tablet you pre-ordered from Amazon.com, this should be welcome news:

The company says it started shipping the tablets today — one day earlier than it had planned.

"Kindle Fire quickly became the bestselling item across all of Amazon.com, and based on customer response we're building millions more than we'd planned," Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, says.

Jack Raykovitz has resigned as CEO of The Second Mile — the program for at-risk children founded by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who's been accused of sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade.

Neither Raykovitz nor anyone else at Second Mile has been accused of any crime. Sandusky, through his lawyer, has maintained his innocence.

Calls for Larry the cat to resign from his position as No. 10 Downing Street's semi-official mouser have been "rebuffed," the BBC reports.

"Hundreds of police officers raided the Occupy Oakland tent city" early this morning, the Oakland Tribune reports, but there were few if any people there:

"There's no one in the tents, it seems empty. ... It seems about 30-40 tents were taken down in anticipation of the raid."

Gloria Cain, who has preferred to stay mostly out of spotlight so far during the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has now been heard from about the sexual harassment charges leveled at her husband, GOP contender Herman Cain.

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