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Stories for August 31, 2011

Caltrans Gets $55M To Improve Rail Safety, Reduce Congestion On L.A. To San Diego Lines

Aug. 31, 2011
City News Service

Caltrans announced today it will use a $55 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to add a key safety feature to trains operating on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner rail corridor.

Half Of Americans Have A Sugary Drink Daily

Aug. 31, 2011
Mike Stobbe, AP

One in 20 people drinks the equivalent of more than four cans of soda each day, even though health officials say sweetened beverages should be limited to less than half a can.

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La Jolla Beach Closed After Shark Sighting

Aug. 31, 2011
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

A two-mile stretch of San Diego coastline near Casa Reef in La Jolla is closed after several people spotted a dorsal fin.

San Diego Offers Assistance For Home Upgrades

Aug. 31, 2011
By Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

San Diego may not be known for extreme weather conditions, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to crank up the AC every now and then. Now there's a new city program meant to make that energy bill cheaper.

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Two State Beach Parks In San Diego Get Needed Funds

Aug. 31, 2011
By Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

Two state beaches in San Diego County are getting some needed money at a time when California is slicing budgets.

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Test Scores Rise At Many San Diego Schools

Aug. 31, 2011
By Kyla Calvert

More than half of San Diego city schools met state performance targets during the last school year. However, the growth wasn't enough to meet separate federal goals.

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Urban Farming -Low Water Edibles

Aug. 31, 2011
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

Urban Farming - Low water edibles and growing your own at home without a yard!

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Medical Ethics And The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Aug. 31, 2011
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane

The San Diego Ethics Forum teams with schools around the county -- to tell the story of the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Firefighters Nearing Full Containment Of Pala Fire

Aug. 31, 2011
City News Service

A brush fire sparked by a car crash in the Pala area was 90 percent contained today, and firefighters expected to have full control over the blaze by Thursday evening.

Viejas Casino Announces Hotel Project

Aug. 31, 2011
City News Service

A 150-room hotel will be built adjacent to the Viejas casino, where the Bingo Pavilion is currently located, tribal officials announced today.

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Hawkeye The Dog May Help Iowa Hawkeyes In Tribute To Fallen SEAL

Aug. 31, 2011
By Beth Ford Roth

Hawkeye belonged to fallen Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, who was one of 30 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan earlier this month. Now the Iowa Hawkeyes football team plans to pay tribute to Tumilson, an Iowa native, during one of their home games.

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CA Legislators Trying To Overhaul Initiative Process

Aug. 31, 2011
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Pat Finn

The number and frequency of state ballot initiatives is becoming a issue among some politicians in Sacramento. There are several initiative reforms being considered by state legislators.

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Report: U.S. Safer Than On 9/11, But Not Safe Enough

Aug. 31, 2011
Alan Greenblatt, NPR

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States is "undoubtedly safer and more secure," but gaps in coordination among the government agencies responsible for security remain a problem.

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Training Afghans To Take Over Bomb-Defusing

Aug. 31, 2011
Quil Lawrence, NPR

August brought a grim new statistic from Afghanistan: The death of at least 66 U.S. soldiers, making it the deadliest month for U.S. troops in nearly 10 years of war.

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San Diego Female Navy Pilot Joins Blue Angels

Aug. 31, 2011
By Beth Ford Roth

Home Post Blog: The Blue Angels start training next week in Florida, and Navy Lt. Holly Taylor will be among their storied ranks. The 36-year-old Taylor is currently assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

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Rants and Raves: 'Scarface'

Aug. 31, 2011
By Beth Accomando

Who could have predicted that Brian DePalma's 1983 "Scarface" (screening tonight as a Fathom event and coming out for the first time on BluRay September 6) would become such a cultural icon?

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Liberty Quarry Up For A Key Vote

Aug. 31, 2011
By Alison St John

A key vote today will decide if a huge rock quarry north of San Diego can go forward, but it faces strong opposition.

San Diego Muslim Group Organizes Blood Drive To Honor 9/11 Victims

Aug. 31, 2011
By Amita Sharma

A Muslim group in San Diego is organizing a blood drive, as part of a national effort to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

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Cancer Patients Face Shortage Of Chemotherapy Drugs

Aug. 31, 2011
By Kenny Goldberg

Cancer patients and health providers in San Diego are facing a tough situation: a shortage of certain chemotherapy drugs. It's a nationwide problem that seems to be getting worse.

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Screenings: SDLFF and SDIFF

Aug. 31, 2011
By Beth Accomando

Film Festivals are annual events yet more and more of them try to maintain a year round presence. I check in with the San Diego Latino and Italian Film Festivals about their events this week.