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Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

When three sacred staples of the South weren't safe from the cloudy, salty water in his town, Clay Duffie knew there was a problem.

"It'd kill your azaleas if you irrigated with it; your grits would come out in a big clump, instead of creamy like they should," Duffie said.

Even the sweet tea.

"Your tea would come out all cloudy," Duffie said. "Oh man, it was bad news."

When 60-year-old Owen Golay talks about the two Confederate flags he flies in his front yard, he sounds like many Southern defenders of such symbols.

"It stands for heritage; it's a part of our history," Golay said.

But it's not really his history. Golay lives in rural Pleasantville, Iowa, about 40 miles from where he was born. He still carries a small Confederate flag that his father gave him as a child. But aside from some people way back in his family tree who fought on both sides in the Civil War, he has no real ties to the South.

After high school, Staff Sgt. Kimi wanted to go to art school, but she didn't have the money. So she joined the military.

Intelligence analysts like Kimi work with drone pilots and others in the Air Force to guide decisions about where to deploy weapons in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida. (The U.S. Air Force won't release her last name because of the high-security work she does).

A lot of teenage girls grow up looking to magazines like Seventeen or Teen Vogue for tips on fashion and dating. But for some conservative Christian girls and their parents, those magazines can seem a bit risqué. For about two decades starting in 1990, the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family offered an alternative: Brio magazine, which is making a comeback in May.

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