Stories for June 24, 2011
Local governments must pick up the tab when banks foreclose on homeowners.
When a child dies under suspicious circumstances, abuse is often suspected. That's what happened in the case of six-month-old Isis Vas, whose death was deemed "a clear-cut and classic" case of child abuse, sending a man named Ernie Lopez to prison for 60 years. In a joint investigation, ProPublica, NPR and FRONTLINE unearth more than 20 child death cases in which people were jailed on medical evidence—involving abuse, assault, and “shaken baby syndrome”—that were later found unreliable or flat-out wrong.
Police referred the case of a wayward cop accused of molesting female motorists to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis a year before he was finally charged. But she decided not to pursue the case.
Comedian, actor and musician Billy Connolly braves the elements in this adventurous and dangerous journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, via the legendary Northwest Passage. No ordinary travelogue, the program features Connolly's warm and witty style and provides remarkable insights into the character and lives of the people he encounters on this often perilous trip to the edge of the world. In the final episode, as Billy nears the end of his 10,000 mile journey, he heads even further south towards Vancouver Island through the isolated White Pass Mountains which are below freezing for most of the year.
Wes Cowan decodes the message and the strategy behind a U.S. World War II propaganda leaflet. Then, Gwen Wright traces a cherished family heirloom, a watercolor, to the world of Tiffany stained glass. How did Tiffany open a window of opportunity for early 20th century women? A touching eulogy stitches together the lives of two Americans fought in the Spanish Civil War. Almost a century later, Tukufu Zuberi unites a nephew and a son of those soldiers.
The tragic mauling of a 75-year-old Paradise Hills woman re-ignited a local debate about dog ownership regulations. Emako Mendoza was attacked in her yard by two pit bulls over the weekend, and suffered severe injuries. Doctors had to amputate one of Mendoza's legs, and may need to amputate her other leg and an arm. We discuss what can be done to prevent dog attacks.
Will a leadership change fix the Sweetwater Union High School District's problems? Late Tuesday night, the Sweetwater school board terminated the contract of Superintendent Jesus Gandara after a series of San Diego Union-Tribune stories questioned some of his management practices. Sweetwater has appointed an interim superintendent, who has pledged to address the district's problems in his first 30 days. We discuss what has plagued Sweetwater in recent months, and what can be done to get the district back on track.
Lack of home financing means households will get bigger... for a while.
"Fatherhood Dreams" is a poignant and revealing look at the day-to-day lives of gay dads. The program, a Canadian production, profiles four individuals who are fathers through adoption, co-parenting and surrogacy. Their private journey through fatherhood forces them to deal with much larger issues that affect gay fathers, including the legal aspects of surrogacy (from a Canadian point of view), the complexity of "open adoption," and the controversy over recognition of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and multi-parent families.