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Holiday specials for Thanksgiving, chapter 1

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Thanksgiving Day finds the JX staff off celebrating, leaving some past interviews for which we are thankful.

At 8: The late educator Bertie Simmons got a reputation for unorthodox approaches to problems in her schools, including a high school that was regarded as a dropout factory and prison prep center. We get the stories and the thinking behind them in Simmons' book Whispers of Hope: The Story of My Life.

At 9: Political historian Julian Zelizer, a regular on CNN and public radio, tells the story of Congressional politics turning nasty, in Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.

Zelizer shows how Gingrich changed the rules of the game, spurred on by Republicans happy at victory and Democrats reluctant to embrace the new tactics. The author gives us most of an hour to explore what happened, and why it still matters today.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.