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Kenny Malone

Kenny Malone hails from Meadville, PA where the zipper was invented, where Clark Gable’s mother is buried and where, in 2007, a wrecking ball broke free from a construction site, rolled down North Main Street and somehow wound up inside the trunk of a Ford Taurus sitting at a red light.

Malone graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH as a mathematics major and economics minor. He took an un-ironic oath to use mathematics for good not evil. Per that oath, Malone has taken on a wide array of non-evil numbers-based reporting endeavors -- everything from proving the existence of a home-field heat advantage for the Miami Dolphins to explaining South Florida’s economy in terms of automobiles on I-95 to exposing the extraordinary toll the densest cluster of assisted living facilities in the state had on both local authorities and the residents of those facilities in Lauderhill, FL.

Malone’s work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition as well as APM’s Marketplace and The Story. His work has won national awards for religion, financial, crime and investigative reporting as well as three Best in Show Green Eyeshade Awards, the National Edward R. Murrow Award for use of sound, the National Headliner and PRNDI awards for series reporting, and the Scripps Howard Award for In-Depth Radio Reporting.

Malone lives in Miami Beach with his scruffy dog, Sir Xavier Charpentier III.

Akira Johnson lives in Columbia, S.C., with her three kids. She tries to make the place joyful for them with flowers and pillows that say things like "happy" and "sunshine."

She has decorated one wall with the logo of her small business: an eye with amazing eyelashes.

"I'm a licensed cosmetologist," Johnson says. "I specialize in eyelash extensions. It takes about two hours."

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A race is underway to help people facing eviction. Congress has approved an historic $47 billion in emergency rental assistance. But the vast majority of that money hasn't reached the millions of people who desperately need it.

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In 1981, President Ronald Reagan faced a test.

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RONALD REAGAN: This morning at 7 a.m., the union representing those who man America's air traffic control facilities called a strike.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a massive shift to remote work. Now, that's a problem in some small cities, many of which have bad Internet. Kenny Malone and Wilson Sayre from Planet Money have the story of a small town that tried to fix the problem.

One Friday in March, Todd Olson was suddenly pulled into a life-or-death project.

General Motors Co. asked Olson, CEO of Twin City Die Castings in Minneapolis: Could he help make tiny pistons? The giant carmaker was committed to helping the country by producing ventilators, which were suddenly in short supply as the coronavirus spread like wildfire. And GM needed lots of pistons for the kind of ventilator it would produce. Most importantly, the pistons had to come together fast.

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When the Trump administration decided to pay subsidies to farmers hurt by trade, it reminded NPR's Planet Money podcast team about the time another president tried to help farmers. Kenny Malone has the epic tale of government cheese.

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So the rise of e-commerce has allowed Americans to order things directly from sellers around the world. Kenny Malone from our Planet Money team met a New Jersey business owner who became obsessed with the mystery of how those items can ship so cheaply.

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Lots of industries acknowledge they have a diversity problem. Maybe it's with age or gender or race. Our Planet Money podcast wondered, how exactly does an industry begin to change itself? And reporter Kenny Malone says the answer is on your feet.

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As the digital currency bitcoin has skyrocketed in value, many of the early adopters have become millionaires - only if, that is, they can find their bitcoins. Kenny Malone from our Planet Money team went on a virtual treasure hunt.

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Economists used to assume that people were, overall, rational. They may make mistakes now and then, but, if reasonably informed, they do the right thing. Then came Richard Thaler, who, in October, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

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In Stockholm this morning, the Nobel Prize in economics was announced.

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In 1874, if you wanted to buy groceries on store credit, the cashier would reach under the counter and pull out a little blue book. Inside would be your name, profession and whether you paid your debts on time. It was the beginning of the Equifax business model. And it was never about the regular citizens. It was about the businesses that wanted to lend to them. Regular people are the product. Banks and businesses are the customers.

There are just about 30 days — and 30 nights — left in South Florida's rainy season. That will not deter a monumental building task being attempted by a group of people near Miami.

The Hidden Ark project was originally planned for a 5-acre spot just outside Hialeah, Fla., not far from the Everglades. In the spring, builders worked to create a one-tenth of a full-scale Noah's ark — imagine a 150-foot-long bathtub made of wood.

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