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Stories for March 19, 2007

Sheriff's Department Uses Robots to Disarm Bombs

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

U.S. law enforcement has introduced robots to help protect local communities from improvised explosives. In San Diego County, the sheriff’s department uses the new device to disarm bombs and protect deputies on dangerous assignments. Rebecca Tolin has that report.

Special Olympics Athletes Stuck on the Sidelines

March 19
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego office of Special Olympics has been closed pending an investigation into whether employees violated charity standards. As a result, an invitational basketball game has been cancelled. We’ll hear more on the investigation and its effect on community members. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has more.

Chula Vista Bayfront Masterplan Unveiled

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Plans for a massive project that would help revitalize Chula Vista's bayfront have been unveiled. Gaylord Entertainment presented designs for a 2 million-square-foot convention center and resort to a packed house last week. Full Focus talks to Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox about the designs and how it is part of the community's master plan that would transform hundreds of acres of industrial land into the largest waterfront development in the state.

Debut Summit Held Concerning Housing for Ex-Con Sex Offenders

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of state and county officials gathered in Sacramento on Monday to talk about where to house sex offenders when they get out of prison. The summit -- the first of its kind -- was recommended by a task force formed by Governor Schwarzenegger to address the issue.

90 Percent of Americans Don't Eat Enough Fruits and Veggies

March 19
By Jenny O'Mara and KPBS Public Broadcasting

If you're not eating five or more servings a day of fruits and veggies -- you're not alone. New research shows few Americans are. So officials are changing marketing tactics -- in essence, urging people to do their best. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

Video Essay: Four Years of War

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Four years ago today, the United States invaded Iraq. Over the years, the number of dead and wounded has mounted. As of yesterday, 3,217 men and women in the military have died since the beginning of the war. Recently, San Diego Veterans for Peace staged a memorial at San Diego State University, with a cross, star or crescent to represent each U.S. Service member lost their lives in the war.

State and Agribusiness to Debate E. Coli Safety Guidelines

March 19
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California lawmakers and the state's agriculture industry will face off in Sacramento on Tuesday. A state Senate committee will hold a hearing on a number of bills designed to prevent E. coli outbreaks. E. coli infections can be caused by eating contaminated food. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

S.D. Council, Mayor Battle Over Purse Strings

March 19
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego City Council will take a third stab today at sorting out how much power the mayor has to control the city's purse strings. It's a struggle that affects residents because it could affect whether services are cut without notice. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

San Diego Appreciates Clouds

March 19
By Tom Fudge and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Host Tom Fudge talks with cloud enthusiast Gavin Pretor-Pinney about his book The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds.

Legal Update: Gun Laws, Office Gambling

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

These Days legal analyst Dan Eaton discusses how a Washington, D.C. appeals court's ruling might change gun laws across the country. Also, Dan tells us why your NCAA office pool may be illegal and what your employer should tell you about gambling at the office.

Tips for Springtime Pest Control

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

As the weather gets warmer, the number of creepy-crawly pests will continue to increase. How can you protect your garden from an influx of spring pests? Which bugs are good for your yard, and which bugs do you need to get rid of? Host Tom Fudge speaks to David Kellum, county entomologist, about springtime pest control.

SD City Council to Vote on a Budget Issues

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

KPMG finally gave San Diego its 2003 audit of the city's financial statements. What will this mean for the city's fiscal health? Also, this week the San Diego City Council votes on a budget ordinance which allows the mayor to make certain budget cuts without City Council approval, and a new Independent Rates Oversight Committee will monitor the city's water and sewer departments.

Active Duty Service Members Speak Out on War

March 19
By Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Four years into the war in Iraq, San Diegans are divided over what to do now -- and that includes service members. KPBS Radio's Andrew Phelps was at this weekend's protest downtown.

War Recruiting Steady, Marine Dad Angry

March 19
By Andrea Hsu, Andrew Phelps and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A thousand San Diegans marked the fourth anniversary of war in Iraq with a protest this weekend.Even as the nation grows weary, the military is still finding enough men and women to serve. The Pentagon says all four active-duty services met or exceeded recruiting goals for February. The Marine Corps added nearly 1,800 service members.

Questions on Firing of Prosecutor in Cunningham Case

March 19
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The day after then-U.S. Attorney Carol Lam in San Diego notified the Justice Department of warrants in a corruption case focused on Republicans, a DOJ official contacted the White House about "the real problem" with Lam, according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Part 1: Pet Safehouse Program

March 19
By Andrea Hsu and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

If you're a pet owner, you're familiar with the dilemma of what to do with your cat or dog when you go away. But imagine for a moment that you're a victim of domestic violence, needing to leave for good. Studies have shown that many victims won't leave a bad situation if it puts a pet in danger. And that perpetrators will abuse animals to intimidate or silence their human victims. KPBS Radio's Andrea Hsu has this report on efforts in California to address those problems.