Nominees: Toys Battle for Hall of Fame Spot
Whimsical ode to a dozen classic playthings -- from paper airplanes to Hot Wheels -- contending for museum recognition (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Celebrating Maria Lionza
Thousands of religious followers make a pilgrimage to Sorte Mountain in Venezuela for a weekend of fire dances, cleansing ceremonies and healing rituals. (NYT)
Lottery Jackpot
Co-workers at the Island Grill restaurant in Michigan collectively tell how they won and spent their $12.7-million prize money. (Detroit Free Press)
Leveling Appalachia
An investigation into the devastating environmental and social impacts of mountaintop-removal coal mining during the last two decades. (Yale Environment 360 / MediaStorm)
Detroit River Kayaking
Not for novices, this paddling trip combines views of wildlife and protected wilderness areas with awesome industrial architecture. (Detroit Free Press)
When No One's Looking
An increasing number of runaway teens are using a variety of legal and illegal strategies to survive on the streets, while being targeted by pimps and drug dealers. (NYT)
Cannon Shoots Pumpkins at 600 MPH
Two guys with a wild idea send gourds flying skyward in upstate New York. Trick or treat! (Times Herald-Record)
Boxing Against Parkinson's
Kristy Rose Follmar uses punching bags to improve patients' confidence and combat the progression of this debilitating disease. (AARP)
The Lord's Resistance Army Hunts Children in Sudan
Young boys are kidnapped and tortured by soldiers from a brutal rebel group from Uganda. A survivor's tale. (Time)
Worm Harvesting with Iron and Wood
Gary Revell makes a living coaxing earthworms out of the ground using music as bait. (St. Petersburg Times)