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Stories for August 7, 2007

Casino Shuttle Riders Warned of Tuberculosis Threat

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A regular patron of the Golden Acorn Casino who frequently rode a free shuttle service from National City to the gaming hall in Campo has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to county health officials.

Canada, Mexico, U.S. Advance to Finals of World Geography Contest

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Teams from Canada, Mexico and the United States will face off later this week in the final round of the eighth National Geographic World Championship.

Development Blamed For Recent Jump in Local Beach Pollution

Aug. 7
By Erik Anderson and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Beach pollution advisories and closings jumped last year in San Diego, but local clean water officials say they're not terribly concerned. The Natural Resources Defense Council compiles water quality data on 3,500 beaches around the nation. Pollution warnings jumped nearly a third from 2005 to 2006.

Calif. Aims to Boost Care Quality With Audit of PPO Health Plans

Aug. 7
By California Capitol Network, Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The State Insurance Commissioner is getting ready to launch a review of PPO health plans. He says the first-in-the-nation report will drive up the quality of care. Others say it won't really help consumers. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Official: New Voting System Means Counts Are Slower, More Secure

Aug. 7
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California Secretary of State's decision to pull the plug on most screen voting machines is forcing San Diego to resort to a vote counting technology that is slow and cumbersome. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Locals to Hold Meeting to Address Teen Cough Medicine Abuse

Aug. 7
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Local officials are concerned about the growing problem of cough medicine abuse by teenagers. Officials are holding a meeting tonight to discuss ways to address the problem. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The Tradition of Afro-Cuban Drumming is Alive and Well in San Diego

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

Afro-Cuban drumming has a rich folkloric tradition. We'll talk with three of San Diego's finest percussionists about playing drums in this tradition.

Panda Cub Throws a Kink in San Diego Zoo's Renegotiations With China

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The new baby panda born at the San Diego Zoo on Friday throws a kink into the zoo’s renegotiation with China for the yearly fee the zoo pays for the cuddly, endangered bears. The zoo pays $1 million a year to rent the pandas and an additional $600,000 for each new cub. The San Diego, Atlanta and Washington zoos say the fee is too steep and isn't offset by greater attendance. San Diego estimates it has spent $30 million on pandas since 1996.

Native American Baskets Reflect California’s Early Identity

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Native American basket trade from the 1880s to the 1940s fulfilled the desires of Americans to enjoy the mystique of the west. The curator for the exhibit joins us to discuss the impact of Native American art on American society.

Key Questions Need Answers Before Local Diocese Can Settle Lawsuits

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Did the Diocese of San Diego intentionally hide millions of dollars in assets from the bankruptcy court? If so, how will those actions impact the bankruptcy case and the sexual-abuse lawsuits filed against the church? We speak to a Union-Tribune reporter and a bankruptcy law professor about the latest news on the lawsuits against the San Diego Catholic Diocese.

San Diego County Creates Restaurant Health Inspection Website

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Have you ever walked into your favorite restaurant and wondered how well it did during a health inspection? The County of San Diego unveils a new website to explain what those "grades" in the restaurant windows mean, how the county inspects food establishments, and what actions the county plans to take if violations exist. We speak to a registered environmental health specialist for the County of San Diego about the new searchable database.

San Diego Firefighters Claim Harassment During Gay Pride Parade

Aug. 7
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Four firefighters are pressing sexual-harassment claims against the city's fire department after they were taunted while driving a fire engine in a gay pride parade last month, an attorney said Monday.

Owner Wants Justice for Bill the Cat's Death

Aug. 7
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A Vista man is facing trial for allegedly killing his neighbor's cat with a bow and arrow. Robert Eugene Brunner pleaded not guilty to three counts of animal cruelty. The cat's owner wants justice. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has the story of Bill the Cat.

Aggressive Vector Control Helps Prevent West Nile in S.D., So Far

Aug. 7
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in three Central California counties hard hit by West Nile Virus. Officials say the mosquito-borne illness appears to be spreading rapidly this year. Fortunately, the virus hasn’t gotten a firm toe hold in San Diego. That could be due in part to the County’s aggressive vector control program. KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.