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Stories for July 17, 2009

Border Drug Seizures Up, Migrant Seizures Down

July 17
By Amy Isackson

Federal officials say narcotics seizures along the U.S. Mexico border have hit an all time high and apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have dropped. As KPBS reporter Amy Isackson explains, officials claim both show success, but border analysts question that.

Time Team America: New Philadelphia, Illinois

July 17
Time Team America: New Philadelphia, Illinois  Tease photo

TIME TEAM AMERICA digs for the remains of the first American town founded by former slaves. In 1836 “Free Frank” McWorter purchased his freedom from a Kentucky plantation owner and headed North. When he reached Illinois, he planted roots, started a town, and sold enough property to purchase the rest of his family out of slavery. Now farmers’ fields cover this dramatic testament to victory over enslavement. The local landowners, descendants of the town’s residents, and the McWorter family want to uncover what remains of New Philadelphia to commemorate its place in history.

NOVA scienceNOW: Science of Taste; Walrus Language; Sangeeta Bhatia; Capturing Carbon

July 17
NOVA scienceNOW: Science of Taste; Walrus Language; Sangeeta Bhatia; Capturing Carbon   Tease photo

The science behind our sense of taste; a product that may fulfill the dream of creating an artificial tree that can absorb carbon dioxide directly from the air; shedding light on the evolutionary roots of human language through studies of walrus and sea lion vocal and intellectual abilities; and a profile of medical engineer Sangeeta Bhatia.

Wild Horses Available for Adoption in Lakeside

July 17
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

A federal agency has brought its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to San Diego County. A preview of the mustangs started Friday afternoon in Lakeside.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

July 17
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo

"The Stoning of Soraya M." (opening July 17 at Landmark's La Jolla Village Theaters) is not great filmmaking but it's a great example of how films can help draw attention to issues in a forceful and compelling way. Sometimes film serves not as art or entertainment but as a means of delivering a message. That may turn some viewers off or rile those who want the medium to be viewed as art but the reality is that film can be used in many different ways for multiple purposes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

History Detectives: WWII Diary, Tokyo Rose Recording, Crazy Horse Photo

July 17
History Detectives: WWII Diary, Tokyo Rose Recording, Crazy Horse Photo  Tease photo

A man in Lexington, North Carolina, has a poignant diary written by a World War II pilot. He inherited the diary 20 years ago from his father, who said it once belonged to a close friend whom he fought alongside in WWII, until the war took his friend’s life in 1944. Keeping the last thoughts of this fallen solider is now too great a burden for the contributor. Can "History Detectives" return it to a living relative?

Imposing Term Limits on County Supervisors

July 17
Editors Roundtable

The San Diego County Supervisors have held their offices for more than a decade, and now a county employees union is circulating a petition to impose term limits on the elected officials. What are the arguments for and against imposing term limits on the board of supervisors?

Health Care Legislation in House and Senate

July 17
Editors Roundtable

Both houses of Congress are working on legislation that would make health care a right afforded to all Americans. What are the details of the House and Senate proposals? And, what are the major roadblocks Democrats will face in their health care reform efforts?

CA Budget Deadlock Continues

July 17
Editors Roundtable

Lawmakers in Sacramento are still in a deadlock over how to close the state's $26.3 billion budget deficit. What are the main areas of disagreement between the Republicans and Democrats? And, will lawmakers reach a budget agreement before their planned vacation begins this weekend?

Police: Suicide Bombers Attacked Jakarta Hotels

July 17
Associated Press
Police: Suicide Bombers Attacked Jakarta Hotels Tease photo

Suicide bombers who checked in as guests smuggled explosives into American luxury hotels in Indonesia's capital and set off a pair of heavy blasts that killed eight people and wounded more than 50 others on Friday.

S.D. Scientists Discover the Gene Trigger for Antibodies

July 17
By Tom Fudge

San Diego scientists have identified the gene that leads to the creation of antibodies. They say that will make it easier to create effective vaccines.

Kevin Lynch Photographs the Ultimate Fighting Championship

July 17
By Angela Carone
Tease photo

Through the centuries, violence has often been the subject of art. Now a photographer has found inspiration in a very popular and violent sport. KPBS arts producer Angela Carone looks at an exhibit called Octagon which has just opened at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

San Diego Police Help Homeless Alcoholics Clean Up Their Act

July 17
By Kenny Goldberg
Tease photo

Homelessness and alcoholism often go together. And that's a big problem for California hospitals. Homeless alcoholics tend to be frequent users of emergency rooms, at considerable expense. San Diego is one city that's trying to do something about it.