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Stories for October 29, 2007

Regulators Issue New Rules to Curb Illegal Health Insurance Cancellations

Oct. 29
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

State insurance regulators have issued a new set of rules aimed at curbing illegal cancellations of individual health policies. Regulators say the practice has been widespread in California. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

FEMA Responds to Criticism Over Staged News Conference

Oct. 29
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Responding to criticism over a staged news conference about the Southern California wildfires, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said today changes will be made in the way the agency works with the media.

Fire Expert: Smart Design, Development Could Have Mitigated Disaster

Oct. 29
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

For most of the past week, we've heard that the San Diego County wildfires are the worst in history. But by some accounting, that's not true. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

Heroics In Air and On Ground Saved 4 Firefighters in San Diego’s Backcountry

Oct. 29
By Aaron C. Davis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A week after flames engulfed Southern California, a handful of firefighters are still trying to forget the screams that pushed them to make a heroic rescue.

Reopened Poway School Rejoins a Fractured Community

Oct. 29
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A Poway school reopened today, and for many people it was a chance to reconnect. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Takeover of Non-Native Plants One Result of Wildfire Cycle

Oct. 29
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

One of the tragedies emerging after the fires is the destruction of wildlife habitat. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more on the toll the wildfires has taken on nature.

San Diegans Begin to Clean-up, Regroup After Disastrous Week of Fires

Oct. 29
By Rene Gutel and KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

San Diegans used the weekend to regroup after their disastrous week of fires. Reporter Rene Gutel spent Saturday and Sunday talking to people as they began to put their lives back in order.

S.D. Chamber Confident San Diego will Rebound Quickly

Oct. 29
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego wildfires have destroyed homes, some businesses, and a number of lives. But the regional chamber of commerce remains confident the region will rebound quickly. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Blackwater Provided Potrero with Relief Suplies During Fires

Oct. 29
By Amita Sharma and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The tiny town of Potrero east of San Diego first made national headlines this year when many of its residents opposed Blackwater USA's plan to build a military training camp on an old cattle ranch. A week ago, Potrero transformed into ground zero for one of the larger wildfires that scorched tens of thousands of acres in the region. And Blackwater, as it turns out, was one of the first groups to transport relief supplies to the blaze-stricken community. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Agriculture Industry Hit Hard by Fires; Growers Still Assessing Damage

Oct. 29
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County growers are still trying to assess the damage from the wildfires. Agriculture officials say the total numbers probably won't be known for a few more days. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Cedar Fire Victims Offer Advice to Victims of This Year's Firestorm

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting
Tease photo

In the 2003 Cedar Fire, the small community of Crest, east of El Cajon, lost more than 300 homes. As we look toward the challenges facing victims of last week's fire, we'll learn what challenges Crest homeowners went though. Also, we'll open the phone lines to hear the stories of our listeners who survived the Harris and Witch fires.

Fans of Beethoven and the Rolling Stones Find Common Ground

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting

There are surprising similarities between classical and pop music. La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ music director Steven Schick joins us to talk about the connection.

Airport Authority Says Aviation Woes Need Long-Term Solution

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority focuses on several different plans to increase efficiency to Lindbergh Field. What solutions does it propose? We speak to Robert Watkins, a board member with the Airport Authority, about adding gates, using public transportation and the benefits and drawbacks of expanding the airport on Pacific Highway.

Director of Emergency Services Brings Update

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The 2007 October Firestorm destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Many homeless San Diegans face the challenge of rebuilding and finding a place to live.

Residents Urged to Register Cell Phones for Reverse 9-1-1

Oct. 29
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Residents of San Diego County are encouraged to register their cell phones and e-mail addresses for emergency notifications by visiting www.alertsandiego.org within the next few days, county officials said today.

Residents of Fire-Scarred SoCal Communities Mull Next Step as Firefighters Keep Eye on Weather

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A week after a half million people fled Southern California's wildfires, shelters began closing and residents were figuring out what to do next -- even as firefighters kept a wary eye on the possibility of strong winds developing later in the week.

Witch Fire 90 Percent Contained

Oct. 29
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The largest of the wildfires to ravage San Diego County was 90 percent contained today, and firefighters expect to have the blaze fully contained by tomorrow.

Poomacha Fire Continues to Burn, Threatens 500 Homes

Oct. 29
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The Poomacha fire was moving north and east today, threatening nearly 500 homes and keeping firefighters on the attack.

Busy Tecate Border Crossing Re-Opens

Oct. 29
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A busy border crossing shut down for a week by the Harris Fire reopens today. Passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the Tecate port of entry is set to resume at 5 a.m., according to Caltrans and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. But only some roads will be accessible to the border, and cargo traffic will continue to be diverted.

Harris Fire 70 Percent Contained

Oct. 29
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The fire, which started on Harris Ranch Road Oct. 21, has charred 90,750 acres. Firefighters expect to have the fire fully contained by Wednesday. The Harris fire also injured 21 civilians and 34 firefighters and destroyed at least 206 homes, according to Cal Fire.