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Stories for December 28, 2007

Car Smoking Ban, Minimum Wage Boost, Among New California Laws

Dec. 28
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Lighting up behind the wheel will become an expensive habit in California if there are kids in the car. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more on several new laws that kick in next week.

CHP Out in Full Force Through New Year's

Dec. 28
By KPBS News and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The New Year's Holiday is typically a deadly one on the state's roads. And the California Highway Patrol will be out in full force to crack down on drunk drivers. Eighty percent of CHP officers will be on the roads statewide. CHP Commissioner Mike Brown says there will be a clear presence.

San Diego's Visitors Decline in 2007, Outlook Bleak for 2008

Dec. 28
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A new report finds fewer tourists visited San Diego this year than last year. And the outlook in 2008 doesn't look too rosy either. KPBS Reporter Ana Titocalis has more.

Congress Seeks Plan to Boost Forest Service Vacancies in SoCal

Dec. 28
By Erica Werner and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Congress wants the U.S. Forest Service to boost hiring and retention of federal firefighters in Southern California, where the agency has experienced an exodus of experienced personnel.

Medical Marijuana Users Gain Support in Fight for ID Cards

Dec. 28
By Dwane Brown and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Medical marijuana users in San Diego have a new ally in their battle to get ID cards. County officials are opposed to the law but Mayor Jerry Sanders says he supports providing pot for medical purposes. KPBS Reporter Dwane Brown has more.

Gas Prices Rising in San Diego

Dec. 28
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Automobile Club of Southern California says the price of unleaded regular fell in San Diego this week for the fifth consecutive week. But the Auto Club's Marie Montgomery says those prices are already on the way back up.

Mourners Attend Funeral for Teen Who Died During Transplant Delay

Dec. 28
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who died after her insurance company initially refused to approve a liver transplant then reversed the decision hours before the girl died.

Analysts Worried Californians will Catch Voter Fatigue

Dec. 28
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Just thinking about the endless stream of campaign ads sure to accompany the three statewide elections next year is enough to make anyone tired. But in all seriousness, analysts are worried about how voter fatigue might affect turnout. Marianne Russ reports.