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Stories for May 8, 2007

Class Action Suits Linked to California's 'Business Unfriendly' Rank

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

California is getting a bad rep for being too class-action friendly. Businesses have taken to calling California the “sue-you” state and business leaders are pressing lawmakers for tougher limits. The campaign comes as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chides California for having one of the least business-friendly legal systems among the 50 states.

Arson Suspected in Los Angeles Brushfire

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A brush fire erupted in the Los Angeles' sprawling Griffith Park on Tuesday as dangerously windy, hot and dry conditions plagued Southern California.

Massive Honeybee Deaths Could Mean Disaster for Local Agriculture

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Scientists are struggling to figure out what is killing billions of honeybees. And unless something or someone stops it soon, the mysterious killer could have a devastating effect on our dinner plates. That's because honeybees don't just make honey, they pollinate more than 90 crops including apples, peaches and nuts. The problem started in November and it has spread to 27 states, including ours.

Bill Would Ban Under-18 Drivers From Using Cell Phones at Wheel

May 8
By Rebecca Tolin and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The State Senate voted to ban young drivers from talking on cell phones or typing text messages while driving. The bill's author, Senator Joe Simitian, says it will save lives, since teens are more easily distracted by technology behind the wheel. The legislation, if passed, would apply to drivers under 18. It's now headed to the Assembly.

Over 1,000 Nurses Rally for Universal Healthcare at State Capitol

May 8
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Over 1,000 nurses and school employees gathered on the state Capitol lawn Tuesday to support universal healthcare in California. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

San Diego Home Foreclosures Hit 25-Year High in April

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego home foreclosures hit a 25-year high in April. More than 600 homeowners transferred ownership of their property back to their lenders last month. That's up 20 percent from March.

Three San Diego Educators Receive Teacher of the Year Award

May 8
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

It’s National Teacher Day today -- Tuesday -- and three San Diego educators are getting special attention. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Study: Hospitals Charge Uninsured Double For Same Service

May 8
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A new study in the journal Health Affairs says hospitals routinely charge uninsured patients two-and-a-half times what insured patients are billed for the same service. Hospital officials in California are blasting the report as outdated. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Large Algae Bloom Increases Death Rate for California Marine Life

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

The annual bloom of algae off California's coastline is gone. Left in its wake are hundreds of dead or sick animals. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Mexican Immigration Stories Detailed in New Book

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Journalist Sam Quinones has covered the world of Mexican immigrants for the last 13 years. His new book is called “Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration.” Quinones uncovers immigration stories that help illuminate why Mexicans come north and what happens to the villages they leave behind.

Women’s Health Affects Entire Families

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Mid-life health issues such as perimenopause and menopause affect not only millions of women, but their sons, daughters and husbands as well. Nationally-known women's health expert, Mary Jane Minkin, MD, discusses the latest developments with these health care concerns and other issues affecting women's health.

Corporate Boards Reign in CEO Pay

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

With compensation for chief executive officers soaring in recent years, corporate boards have recently begun reigning in the perks for CEOs. The trend appears as pay-disclosure rules grow tougher, and board members risk of shareholder lawsuits and election challenges increase. Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules expanding what companies must reveal about executive compensation. Now the regulations also require a full board to approve, and be legally responsible for, the proxy statement's report on pay practices. Serial entrepreneur and CEO of Quanlight, Neil Senturia, discusses this new trend and its possible impacts on publicly held companies.

Local Journalist Embedded with Camp Pendleton Marines

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Tony Perry, the San Diego bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, is an embedded journalist in the volatile Anbar Province of Iraq with Marines from Camp Pendleton. We get a live update from Tony about life in a war zone as he lives 24 hours per day with local Marines.

Hearing Set in Iraq Civilian Deaths

May 8
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

The biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths in the Iraq war is heading to court at Camp Pendleton.

School Threats Rattle Nerves Following Va. Tech Tragedy

May 8
By Joanne Faryon and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Bogus threats and reports of gunfire reigned havoc on schools across San Diego county last week. Elementary classrooms were in lockdown, middle school students went home in droves and police fortified the grounds of least one high school. All this in response to perceived threats, and a population still recovering from the Virginia Tech shooting spree. KPBS reporter Joanne Faryon has this report on fear in the classroom.