Produced by Mariia Prus
October 31, 2019
Halloween Fan Lights Up Arlington
Every year on October 31, or Halloween, American streets overflow with candy and costumes. On average, people spend $86 a year on decorations, sweets, costumes and accessories. Yet some love the spooky holiday much more than others. Mariia Prus met with a true Halloween fan who takes the holiday frightfully seriously.
February 10, 2019
Smart Watch Can Tell If You're Sick But Not Time
Scientists are helping patients fight flu, diabetes and other maladies with the help of a smart watch that monitors body chemistry for blood sugar, sweat and other data. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas say it can also help couples get pregnant by tracking the stress. Mariia Prus traveled to Texas to learn more. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
February 03, 2019
How Texas University Helps Start Startups
In December 2018, Apple announced its plans to build a new campus in Austin. Texas is rapidly becoming more and more attractive for tech companies and is often called a second Silicon Valley, thanks to affordable housing, highly qualified workers and the abundance of universities that train IT professionals. Mariia Prus traveled to Dallas to see how universities help their students become entrepreneurs. Joy Wagner has her report.
September 23, 2018
What Does the USDA Organic Seal Really Mean?
What makes food organic and what does the "USDA organic" label really mean? VOA's Mariia Prus visited a certified organic farm in southern Maryland to find out more and spoke to some consumers about why they prefer organically grown products. Joy Wagner narrates for VOA reporter Mariia Prus in Saint Mary's County.
August 13, 2018
Washington DC Reconsiders Cashless Approach
American businesses have long been preparing for a cashless economy as the use of credit and debit cards, instead of cash, become more widespread. But the move towards a cashless economy may have hit a snag in the nation's capital. Some Washington DC council members say the cashless trend has gone too far. And if a new bill, introduced by DC Council member David Grosso, passes -- some cashless businesses could end up paying big fines. Mariia Prus has the story narrated by Joy Wagner.
July 21, 2018
Some US Colleges Now Offering Scholarships to Gamers
Not so long ago, someone playing video games into the early morning hours might have been seen as a slacker, someone lacking in ambition. But perceptions are changing with the times. Today, being glued to an X-Box or Play Station and excelling at computer games might pay off, as more and more U.S. universities start offering scholarships aimed at attracting computer gamers. Maria Prus has the story, narrated by Steve Baragona.
June 30, 2018
Door-to-Door Campaigning a Feature in Primary Elections
Most of the primary elections in the U.S. are over, but a handful still remain in states such as Florida, Georgia and Wyoming. So campaigning by candidates from both parties, Democrat and Republican, continues as they seek support from voters to be elected as their party's candidate to run for office in the midterm elections in November. Mariia Prus looks at how candidates in primary elections go about seeking voter support. Joy Wagner narrates.
June 24, 2018
Americans Hit the Road in Their Own 'Homes'
For many Americans, the ultimate embodiment of their love for cars and freedom is renting or owning recreational vehicles, or RVs, which made their mass debut in the U.S. in 1930s, only to become more popular in ensuing decades. Today, more than nine million Americans own RVs and love traveling and spending their vacations in these miniature homes. Mariia Prus explains how it is possible to have everything needed for a comfortable trip in one vehicle or towed trailer. Steve Baragona narrates.
April 11, 2018
Miami Is Gaining Popularity As a Major Birth Tourism Destination
(This story originated in VOA's Ukrainian service.) — Mild climate, warm ocean temperatures, buzzing nightlife – Miami has been a favorite tourist destination for Eastern Europeans for years. But lately, many of those coming to The Sunshine State have been bringing home much more than a beautiful tan, as Russians and Ukrainians come to the city to give birth, so that their babies are US citizens. VOA’s Mariia Prus has more.
April 07, 2018
Workshop Teaches Ukrainian Art of Dyeing Easter Eggs
The Catholic Easter custom of hunting brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies may be over now, but in the Orthodox world, Easter comes one week later. And it brings with it, its own unique traditions. One of them is the centuries-old practice of drawing elaborate patterns on Easter eggs decorated and painted using hot wax. Mariia Prus and Konstantin Golubchik produced this report from Alexandria, Virginia that is narrated by Katherine Gypson.
February 14, 2018
Hotel Offers Cooking Class for Couples Before Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day is probably the most romantic holiday. In the United States, with people sending 190 million Valentine's Day cards and spending around $100 per person on gifts. Instead of going out for a restaurant dinner for the holiday, a new idea is taking hold. These days more couples are planning to do something together. Classes like painting and cooking are a popular. Mariia Prus checked out the options for couples at one of Washington's fanciest hotels.
December 22, 2017
How a Ukrainian Folk Chant Became the Theme of American Christmas
For several decades Carol of the Bells or the Ukrainian Bell Carol has been an essential part of the American Christmas tradition – just like Christmas trees or presents. One can hear the song on radio or in TV-commercials, it has rock, jazz or metal versions. What makes it so memorable and popular? Mariia Prus and Dmitriy Savchuk addressed the question to professional musicians.
December 20, 2017
History Behind the Carol of the Bells
The traditional Ukrainian Bell Carol has become an essential part of the American Christmas tradition. "Carol of the Bells" is a popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a Ukrainian folk chant called "Shchedryk."
August 18, 2017
Ben's Chili Bowl Appeals to Longtime DC Regulars, Newcomers Alike
America is the birthplace of fast food and many of the restaurants that serve it have gained famed and fortune worldwide. Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington is a neighborhood landmark. Its spicy sausages are loved by presidents, movie stars and locals. During its almost six-decade history, it has survived tough times, but now the family-run business is booming. VOA's Mariia Prus and Kostiantyn Golubchik went to the famed restaurant and found out its recipe for success.