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Stories for May 12, 2009

SD County Slashing Budget

May 12
By Katie Orr

Department heads in San Diego County told the Board of Supervisors today how budget cuts would affect county services. Less money equals fewer programs, longer wait times for assistance and more work for fewer employees.

No Super Scooper for SD County

May 12
By Katie Orr
Tease photo

San Diego County will not spend $3 million on a so-called Super Scooper plane to fight wildfires this summer.

Calif. Officials Hope to Use Stimulus Funds to Aid Foster Care

May 12
Steve Shadley, California Capitol Network

State officials hope to use federal stimulus dollars to make sweeping changes in California's foster care system. That's among recommendations a Blue Ribbon Commission released at the state capitol today.

Education Officials Pinpoint High School Dropout Rates

May 12
By Ana Tintocalis

The high school dropout problem in the San Diego Unified School District is not as bad as previously reported. New data shows the county's rate also improved slightly.

Bill Banning Gender Pricing in Health Insurance Advances in Sacramento

May 12
By Kenny Goldberg

The California Assembly has approved a bill that would prevent insurers from charging women more than men for health coverage. Insurance companies warn the measure could drive up costs for everyone.

Everyday Food: Cooking With Fruit

May 12
Everyday Food: Cooking With Fruit  Tease photo

In this episode, "Everyday Food" creates delicious recipes that will put more fruit in the diet. Lucinda starts off with crispy coconut shrimp, serving them with two dipping sauces - mustard-curry yogurt and sweet and sour sauce - and two perfect sides, steamed broccoli with lime dressing and fluffy white rice. Today's "Have You Tried?" ingredient is pomegranate juice. Allie uses this sweet and tart juice to glaze chicken and serves it with a Persian-inspired couscous with pistachios.

The Rape of Europa

May 12
The Rape of Europa Tease photo

THE RAPE OF EUROPA relates how Europe’s art treasures survived the systematic theft and deliberate destruction perpetrated by Germany’s Third Reich during World War II. For 12 years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history, but heroic young art historians and curators from America and Europe fought to rescue and return millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. The legacy of this tragic time in history continues to play out today as families recover looted works of art and nations fight over the ill-gotten spoils of war.

Social Security and Medicare Finances Worsen

May 12
Associated Press
Social Security and Medicare Finances Worsen Tease photo

Social Security and Medicare are fading even faster under the weight of the recession, heading for insolvency years sooner than previously expected, the government warned Tuesday.

U-T Names New President, Publisher

May 12
City News Service

The San Diego Union-Tribune today named news executive Ed Moss as its president and publisher effective May 18.

San Diego Unified's High School Dropout Rate Falls

May 12
By Ana Tintocalis

The high school dropout problem in the San Diego Unified School District is not as bad as previously reported. District officials say the four year dropout rate last year was nearly cut in half compared to the year before -- going from roughly 18 percent to about nine percent.

Chula Vista Council to Vote on Whether to Expel Port Commissioner

May 12
By Amita Sharma

Chula Vista Port Commissioner Michael Najera is likely to find out tonight whether he has the confidence of the city he represents. That's when the Chula Vista City Council is scheduled to talk about whether Najera should keep his job.

Border Czar Alan Bersin Discusses Top Priorities

May 12
Tease photo

San Diego's Alan Bersin is now the Department of Homeland Security's Special Representative for Border Affairs. This is Bersin's second reign as border czar. He says the United States and Mexico share a historic opportunity to combat drug and human smuggling together by jointly addressing border issues at their root.

State Deficit Worse Than First Projections

May 12
By Alan Ray, Alison St John, Nick Stoffel

Independent Sacramento political consultant Leo McElroy talks on Morning Edition about more bad fiscal news coming out of Sacramento.

Sweetwater Schools Superintendent Under Fire

May 12
By Ana Tintocalis

The leader of the Sweetwater Union High School District is under attack for the way he's handling contract negotiations with six of the district's employee unions. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis explains.

Effective Strategies for Reducing Credit Debt

May 12
These Days

Are you having trouble paying down your credit debt right now? We speak to a credit counselor and a certified public accountant about avoiding credit debt, and to discuss how people can reduce their credit debt in these tough economic times.

White House Update: Health Care, Budget Deficit, "Stress Tests" on Banks

May 12
These Days

What are the top stories coming out of the White House this week? We speak to NPR White House Correspondent Scott Horsley about a plan to reduce healthcare costs, the $1.8 trillion budget deficit for this year, and the highlights from the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

Supreme Court Reaffirms FCC's Indecent Speech Policy

May 12
These Days

KPBS legal analysts discusses religion in the classroom, fleeting expletives in broadcasting and what Justice Souter's retirement will mean to the Supreme Court.

Vical Works on a New Kind of Vaccine for Swine Flu

May 12
By Tom Fudge

A San Diego-based company called Vical is bringing some groundbreaking technology to the effort to stop swine flu. KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge has more.

Taliban Storm Strategic City in Afghanistan

May 12
Associated Press
Taliban Storm Strategic City in Afghanistan Tease photo

Eleven Taliban suicide bombers attacked government buildings in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, sparking running gunbattles that killed at least 20 people and wounded three U.S. troops, officials said. U.S. and Afghan troops freed 20 hostages taken by the insurgents.

A Trek for the Old and the New

May 12
Michael Shymon, Teen Critic
Tease photo

Teen critic Michael Shymon wasn't even born when the original Star Trek series debuted on American television. But he comes to the new Star Trek film as a fan of its director J.J. Abrams. Find out if the movie can turn him into a Trekkie... or is that a Trekker?