The Verdict on “Serial”

0c89f3e75c770e778f0a5da51580812c57517_mediumIf you haven’t heard the true crime podcast “Serial” by now, you’ve likely at least heard about it. A spinoff of “This American Life,” “Serial” is the most downloaded podcast in history.

Host and executive producer Sarah Koenig—also a producer for “This American Life” and formerly a reporter at ABC News, The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun—applies her journalistic skills on “Serial” to answer the following question: Did Baltimore high school student Adnan Syed kill his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, 15 years ago—or was he wrongfully convicted?

For 15 months, Koenig and her team combed through documents and conducted numerous interviews with people associated with the case. And although Koenig didn’t drop any bombshells in Thursday’s season finale, her work on “Serial” is noteworthy for a few reasons.

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How to get the most out of your totally unnecessary Thanksgiving night holiday shopping trip

7ac0807163594874a9e84b08d629c43633373_mediumTo the dismay of an increasing number of Americans, Thanksgiving has replaced Black Friday as the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Those opposed to the new tradition say Thanksgiving should be a day for families to be together and that retail employees should have the day off. Others say every dime counts and if the stores are going to open anyway, they’ll be there to take advantage of the savings.

Of course, Thanksgiving is not the only day that shoppers can find bargains. They can shop on Black Friday, every day until Christmas, the day after Christmas and/or pretty much any other day of the year. And if they can’t find what they’re looking for in stores, they can always join the millions of people who shop online year-round.

However, if you count yourself among those who feel the need to take advantage of the totally optional savings this Thanksgiving, consider the following tips.

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Blow Up the Barge

225379a18f319f1a74bb9e500c736d0738792_mediumIn 2009, developer Allen Casey brought a barge from Pittsburgh to the Chattanooga Riverfront. Casey was responsible for developing the Chattanooga Choo-Choo back in the 1970s and planned to convert the barge into a floating restaurant and bar. The plan fell through, however, and since then, the barge has sat rotting across from Ross’s Landing. Pieces have fallen off, it spent several months flooded and partially submerged, and it’s now covered in graffiti.

A few months ago, Casey and one his companies, River City Resort, filed bankruptcy petitions in response to a lawsuit brought by investors alleging that Casey defrauded them regarding a portion of land near the barge. (Casey had wanted to develop a hotel and condos on the land.) Casey denies the allegations, and as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, a prospective buyer, RCW Inc., planned to purchase, dismantle and move the eyesore. But just like the planned restaurant and bar, that plan for the barge fell through as well, as RCW had second thoughts about the purchase. Other options are now being considered.

Read the rest of this piece at Nooga.com.