Emma Bowman

With many of us confined to our homes during the coronavirus pandemic, we're spending a lot more time with our stuff these days — the piles of clothes that no longer fit, the ever-stubborn junk drawer or maybe it's those sentimental boxes of family heirlooms. You might be thinking about getting rid of some of that clutter, but you aren't exactly sure where to start.

Julie Hall, an estate appraiser and liquidator, has been confronting this problem for nearly three decades. But she's seeing the decluttering trend pop up a lot more in recent months.

Carmen Best, Seattle's first Black police chief, is leaving her post on Wednesday, in the midst of protests against police brutality in her city and across the country.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is overseeing the investigation into the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was left paralyzed after he was shot seven times in front of his three kids by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis.

Until recently, it was common practice that any time an officer fired a gun, the police department conducted the investigation. In 2014, Wisconsin became the first state to end that process – one that has led to accusations of conflicts of interest and police cover-ups.

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET

The Wisconsin National Guard has been deployed to Kenosha, Wis., after a Black man was shot several times at close range in the back during an encounter with police over the weekend.

The shooting was caught on video that has since gone viral on social media, sparking outrage.

Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, built an education enterprise on virtual learning. But as many communities across the country prepare to start the fall with online-only instruction, even he admits that distance learning is a less than perfect substitute for in-person schooling.

The former hedge fund analyst first hatched the idea for Khan Academy as a way to tutor his younger cousins in math. Since its launch in 2008, the site has been providing free video tutorials and lectures. Today, it serves more than 100 million users worldwide.

The National Hockey League resumed play on Saturday, with players emerging from the "bubbles" they've been hunkering down in since July 26.

And so far, players are staying healthy. Since relocating to the bubbles — in two Canadian cities, Edmonton and Toronto — the league says it's given more than 7,000 tests to players on 24 teams, and none have come back positive for COVID-19.

The key to keeping the league safe, says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, has been to "be as flexible as possible."

The Department of Homeland Security has reassigned its top intelligence official, according to media outlets, following news that his office compiled intelligence reports on journalists and protesters in Portland, Ore.

Scientists are in a sprint to find a vaccine that could stamp out the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday he's "cautiously optimistic" that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution in early 2021.

In the late 1950s, Kenneth Felts met a young man who became the love of his life.

Felts, now 90 years old, had not revealed that relationship to his family until a few months ago, when he finally told his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, that he is gay — a secret he'd been keeping for more than 60 years. It happened in mid-March, when Felts was quarantining because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two spoke about Felts' first love, Phillip, during a remote StoryCorps conversation from Arvada, Colo., this month.

Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, says racism is a danger to the health of America's economy.

In a recent opinion piece, Bostic reflected on the recent protests against police brutality that he says are fueled, in part, by economic inequalities that stem from systemic racism.

By the age of 4, Hadiyah-Nicole Green had lost both her mother and her grandparents.

She was sent to live with her Aunt Ora Lee Smith and Uncle General Lee Smith in St Louis, Mo. But in her early 20s, both her aunt and uncle were diagnosed with cancer.

Green, who now works as an assistant professor in the surgery department at Morehouse College's medical school, started the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation in honor of her late aunt.

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 prompted educator Jane Elliott to create the now-famous "blue eyes/brown eyes exercise."

As a school teacher in the small town of Riceville, Iowa, Elliott first conducted the anti-racism experiment on her all-white third-grade classroom, the day after the civil rights leader was killed.

Vivian Garcia Leonard studied to become a pharmacist in Cuba before coming to the U.S. in 1961.

Her daughter, also named Vivian, eventually followed in her mother's footsteps. So, too, did her daughter, Marissa Sofia Ochs. Today, the three generations of pharmacists live near each other and work in New York City.

But recently, the elder Vivian, who's 82, stopped working to limit her exposure to the virus.

In a remote StoryCorps conversation recorded last month, the women talked about living through the coronavirus pandemic.

Just months before starting his freshman year of high school, Cole Phillips lost his vision to glaucoma.

When he entered Bentonville West High School in Arkansas in the fall of 2016, he met Rugenia Keefe — or, as Phillips calls her, "Miss Ru" — a paraprofessional who attended classes with Phillips for the next four years.

Aidan Sykes was just 6 years old when he joined his dad, Albert, to protest the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. They've been attending protests against racial injustice ever since.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, Dr. Roberto Vargas has been working long hours, running labs that do COVID-19 testing in Rochester.

To minimize his family's risk of exposure, Roberto has been isolating himself from his wife, Susan, and their four kids since March.

For two weeks, Roberto stayed at a hotel near Rochester Regional Hospital, where he works as the director of microbiology. Then, he moved to the basement of his home.

Around Memorial Day of 2000, Emily Aho took her then 75-year-old father, Emilio "Leo" DiPalma, on a trip back to Germany, where the World War II veteran served as a guard at the Nuremberg Trials.

Coming up on Memorial Day two decades later, Aho holds those memories with him especially close. Last month, DiPalma died of complications from COVID-19 at 93 years old in Holyoke, Mass.

"He had all these things he wanted to talk to me about. I'll never forget it. I may not have had a lot of time with my dad before, but I had that week," Aho, 62, said.

In Texas, as more businesses get the green light to reopen, those plans have been delayed in some areas where the governor says jump in positive COVID-19 cases follow ramped-up testing capacity.

Celebrities, activists, artists and students themselves recognized America's 3 million-plus graduating high school seniors in a widely broadcast ceremony on Saturday night, after the coronavirus crisis robbed the class of 2020 of a crucial milestone.

The virtual event, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, carried a resounding message of community at a time when COVID-19 rules out the possibility of large gatherings.

When Evette Jourdain was struggling to get back on her feet, landing a job as a postal worker gave her security. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, the job carries new risks she and her colleagues never imagined.

Jourdain, 32, and her friend and fellow mail carrier Craig Boddie, 48, spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation last month from Palm Beach, Fla., about how their work has changed since the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET on Friday

Think your grocery store runs are tough these days?

In the remote Alaskan city of Gustavus, a small-business owner, Toshua Parker, has started traveling 14 hours by boat to Juneau and back to stock up on critical supplies for his store during the coronavirus pandemic.

The roughly 450 residents in Gustavus rely on Parker's Icy Strait Wholesale for the bulk of their provisions, from fresh produce to hardware to home appliances.

Alice Stockton-Rossini and her 90-year-old mother, Jackie Stockton, survived COVID-19.

But the virus took the lives of some of their friends and a relative.

The outbreak in their community in Ship Bottom, N.J., can be traced back to Stockton's 90th birthday party, held at her church on March 8 before much of the U.S. began practicing social distancing.

In a recent remote StoryCorps conversation, Stockton told her 62-year-old daughter that she didn't realize she had contracted the virus until she landed in the hospital.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., Dan Flynn made his way from Santa Barbara, Calif., to New York City, joining 58 others as part of a national mortuary response team.

Flynn, a funeral director, has been with the team since 2008. The group helps identify victims and assist with mortuary services to help loved ones find closure. While in New York last month, Flynn assisted with autopsies and photographed, fingerprinted and catalogued bodies.

When the Upright Citizens Brigade announced plans to permanently close its New York bases last week, comedy lost a beloved home. The scrappy, alternative comedy troupe that grew into a school and theater revolutionized improv in New York and beyond with its embrace of "Yes, and ..."

New York City bus operators Tyrone Hampton and Frank de Jesus have witnessed a crushing loss in their field of work. As of Wednesday, 83 Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers have died from COVID-19, 30 of them also bus operators.

Hampton, 50, and de Jesus, 30, spoke for a remote StoryCorps conversation about how the outbreak is putting their love for the job to the test.

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