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Stories for February 18, 2009

Teacher Retirement Deal Continues to Evolve

Feb. 18
By Ana Tintocalis and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego Unified School District wants to offer veteran principals, bus drivers and office clerks extra money in exchange for retiring early. The plan initially included only teachers. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

SANDAG to Use Stimulus Money for Highway Projects

Feb. 18
By Katie Orr and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego Association of Governments says two highway projects are top priorities for the money SANDAG will receive from the federal economic stimulus package. KPBS reporter Katie Orr has details.

County's Assessed Property Value Growth Slows

Feb. 18
By Alison St John and KPBS Public Broadcasting

San Diego County’s Property Tax Assessor says the number of people requesting property reassessments is on track to be as high this year as last year. But he says, the brunt of the reassessments may have already been done. KPBS reporter Aliso,n St John has more.

Hospitals See Big Decline In Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections

Feb. 18
By Kenny Goldberg and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Hospitals have seen a dramatic decline in the antibiotic-resistant staph infection known as MRSA. A new study shows MRSA infections caused by catheters inserted into intensive care patients fell by 50 percent between 1997 and 2007. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Former UK Resident Learns the Hard Way About U.S. Health Care Obstacles

Feb. 18
By Melissa Harrison and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Former U.K. resident Stewart Forster underwent surgery in America in 2002 for prostate cancer -- a procedure covered by his then-employer. But four years later, as a self-employed businessman, Forster needed open heart surgery. He was refused individual health care coverage because of his cancer history, and his medical bills -- which were then solely his responsibility -- totaled almost $250,000.

Sinkhole Closes Montezuma Road in College Area

Feb. 18
By Katie Orr and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Traffic could be messy near San Diego State University this evening. A sinkhole opened this afternoon in the northbound lanes of College Avenue just south of Interstate 8.

Biotech Industry Slams "Comparative Effectiveness"

Feb. 18
By Tom Fudge and KPBS Public Broadcasting

A federal initiative aimed at saving health care dollars has drawn the ire of San Diego's biotech community. KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge has more.

Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing on Encinitas Beach

Feb. 18
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The pilot of a civilian helicopter made a noninjury crash landing near Swami's Beach in Encinitas today after the aircraft developed mechanical problems, a lifeguard official said.

Meals-on-Wheels Receives Large Grant to Provide Food to Homebound Seniors

Feb. 18
By City News Service and KPBS Public Broadcasting

Meals-on-Wheels, Greater San Diego announced today it was awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Wellness Foundation to support its work to provide meals for homebound seniors.

Jury: SD Firefighters Were Harassed in Gay Parade

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

A jury found Tuesday that four San Diego firefighters were sexually harassed for being ordered to participate in a gay pride parade and awarded them combined damages of $34,300.

SD to Seek State Law to Allow Seals on Kids' Beach

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

The San Diego City Council is seeking a state law to block the court-ordered removal of harbor seals from a La Jolla beach.

Caregivers Struggle with Caring for Loved Ones

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Caring for someone who is sick or aging can have a tremendous impact on one's life. It can cause financial, legal and emotional stress. In California, most long-term care is provided by family members, not professional caregivers. An estimated 1.8 million households in Califoria are caring for someone aged 50 or older. We'll talk about the challenges of caregiving and discuss ways caregivers can cope.

County Medical Rule Scares Off Potential Recipients

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

There are more than 600,000 uninsured people in San Diego County. Many of them are eligible to receive medical services from the county. But the application process, including a requirement for recipients to have a lien placed on their property, may be deterring people from using the services. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma discusses the situation.

How to Deal with Getting Laid Off

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

How do we deal with losing our jobs? Our guests offer practical suggestions for coping, including how to avoid getting laid off in the first place, how to maximize and increase your job skills, how to deal with depression and stress and what to tell the kids.

Housing Downturn Hurting Wallets of Local Residents, Governments

Feb. 18
KPBS Public Broadcasting

Cities throughout San Diego County were riding the wave of the real estate boom during the first half of this decade. Houses were being built, people were busy working on new developments, and the cities were bringing in property tax money and other forms of revenue from the housing boom. Then the housing crisis happened, and now people and their surrounding communities are suffering as a result of the economic downturn. As part of our series, "Rough Water: Navigating San Diego's Economy," we speak to KPBS Metro Reporter Katie Orr about the impact the housing market collapse is having on the construction industry and local governments.

In Ongoing Budget Debate, Republicans Oust Their State Senate Leader

Feb. 18
By Marianne Russ and KPBS Public Broadcasting

California state senators didn't go home last night. They spent the night -- and the early morning -- in-session at the state capitol. But they still haven't been able to pass a spending plan to fix the state's $40 billion deficit. And now there's a new complication: Republicans have ousted their leader. Marianne Russ reports.

Trailer Tuesday: Knowing

Feb. 18
By Beth Accomando and Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Saving Trees in Ecuador

Feb. 18
By Ed Joyce and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The city of Solana Beach plans to preserve forest land in Southern Ecuador to offset the city's carbon footprint at the same time. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

SDAFF: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

Feb. 18
By Beth Accomando and Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Tease photo

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Magnolia Pictures)

Construction Industry Collapse Hits San Diego Region Hard

Feb. 18
By Katie Orr and KPBS Public Broadcasting

The once booming construction industry in the San Diego region has collapsed taking jobs and money with it. KPBS Metro Reporter Katie Orr looks at the effect on workers and the region. It’s the third part of our series Rough Water: Navigating San Diego’s economy.