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Stories for December 14, 2012

In Grief-Stricken Newtown, Vigils And Support For Victims And Families

Dec. 14
Bill Chappell / NPR

Hours after a Connecticut community was riven by a deadly gun assault on an elementary school's students and staff, residents reached out to support one another, and to grieve. Churches and public spaces became the settings for vigils, as the shocking murder of 20 children and six adults at the school echoed through Newtown, Conn.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Tom Waits

Dec. 14
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Tom Waits  Tease photo

Tom Waits performs in this classic episode from 1979. The song list includes "Summertime/Burma Shave," "Annie's Back in Town/I Wish I Was in New Orleans," "A Sweet Little Bullet From a Pretty Blue Gun," "On the Nickel," "Romeo is Bleeding," "Silent Night/Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis" and "Small Change."

Schools Review Plans In Wake Of Connecticut Shootings

Dec. 14
Midday Edition
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School staff, teachers and parents across the country are grappling with how to respond to the tragic mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Devices To Count Number Of Bicyclists On Streets Installed In San Diego

Dec. 14
City News Service
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Devices that tally the number of bicyclists on streets and along bike paths have been installed in 14 cities in San Diego County, with plans for more in the works, county officials announced today.

Below-Average Voter Turnout in November Election

Dec. 14
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio Network

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has certified the results of last month’s general election. The turnout rate was a below-average 72%.

UC Suspends Use of Controversial New Logo

Dec. 14
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio Network

The University of California is bowing to heavy criticism and suspending the use of a new logo. The monogram’s modern design sparked complaints from students and alumni.

Doctors Livid About Medi-Cal Pay Cut

Dec. 14
By Kenny Goldberg
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California doctors say their Medi-Cal payment rate is already too low. Now an appeals court ruling has given the green light to cut the rate even more.

Border Patrol To Stop Translating For Local Police

Dec. 14
By Adrian Florido
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Advocates had criticized the agency for allegedly using its interpretation services as an opportunity to deport people.

Obama Remembers 'Beautiful Little Kids,' Calls For 'Meaningful Action'

Dec. 14
Frank James / NPR

Horrible acts of violence have forced President Obama to speak to a shocked nation after several mass shootings -- at a shopping center in Arizona, a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and, on Friday, a Connecticut elementary school.

Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

Dec. 14
Andrea Smardon / NPR
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Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

Connecticut School Shooting: Confusion Over Suspect's Name

Dec. 14
Bill Chappell / NPR

As details emerged about the tragic shooting deaths of more than 20 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school today, law enforcement sources first named Ryan Lanza as the suspected gunman. But that account, reported by NPR and other news outlets, was later called into question by reports that identified Lanza's younger brother, Adam, as the suspect.

Winning Lottery Ticket Bought At Naval Base San Diego Still Unclaimed

Dec. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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A winning lottery ticket - to the tune of $170,827 - bought at Naval Base San Diego in September still has not been claimed. The folks at the California Lottery say it's been three months since the winning Mega Millions numbers were drawn, and the winning ticket buyer has just three months left to claim the money before that cash gets transferred to California's public schools.

Schools Have Become More Secure Since Columbine, Experts Say

Dec. 14
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Even as Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., suggests that more could be done, the whole culture of school security has undergone a revolution since the 1999 Columbine school shooting, experts say.

Arrests Made In Large California Drug Trafficking Operation

Dec. 14
By Adrian Florido
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Fifteen arrests were made this week as the result of an investigation into a large drug trafficking operation.

Most States Punt Health Exchanges To The Feds

Dec. 14
Phil Galewitz / NPR
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Few people expected that the Obama administration would be running health exchanges in more than 30 states when the federal health law was signed two years ago.

Transcript: President Obama's Remarks On Conn. School Shooting

Dec. 14

Transcript of President Obama's speech on Dec. 14 following a deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Source: White House

U.S. Officials: Syria Has Prepared Several Dozen Chemical Bombs

Dec. 14
Tom Bowman / NPR
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U.S. and allied officials say the forces of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad have prepared several dozen bombs and shells loaded with the lethal chemical sarin.

King Tides Give San Diego A 'Peak' At Sea Level Rise

Dec. 14
By Erik Anderson and GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press
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The highest tides of the year in San Diego County could serve as a warning about the threat of climate change.

Kids Arte Book Series A Hit

Dec. 14
By David Martin Davies
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A series of early childhood books filled with art with a bilingual spin is selling so well the creators are expanding the series.

Regulators Approve Free Cellphones For The Poor

Dec. 14
Associated Press
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Impoverished Californians will soon get free cellphones. The state Public Utilities Commission has approved a federal cellphone giveaway program designed to help the homeless and other impoverished people connect with family, friends and potential employers.

Free Tax Prep Software For Military Families

Dec. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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A version of TurboTax tax preparation software, created just for the needs of military families, is now available - and it's free for junior enlisted members of the service.

Man Kills 26 At Connecticut School, Including 20 Children

Dec. 14
Associated Press
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A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary school where his mother was a teacher, killing 26 people, including 20 children, as youngsters cowered in corners and closets and trembled helplessly to gunshots reverberating through the building.

San Ysidro School District Superintendent Under Investigation

Dec. 14
Associated Press

California's political watchdog is investigating the head of a school district in San Diego who took $2,500 in cash from a contractor.

Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise

Dec. 14
Sarah Zielinski / NPR

The world isn't going to end next Friday, but December 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually was a time for celebration and renewal -- the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with -- what else? -- beer.

It's All Politics, Dec. 13, 2012

Dec. 14
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Labor pains in Michigan, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner head to the cliff, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is steamed, and we're still waiting for a Senate replacement for Jim DeMint in South Carolina.

Sailor From San Diego Killed In USS Carter Fall

Dec. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Navy has identified the Sailor killed in a fall aboard the USS Carter Hall as 19-year-old Seaman Darian Drouin of San Diego.

Tragedy In Connecticut: Deadly Shooting At Elementary School

Dec. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR

The nation is watching in horror today as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., becomes clear.

Tragedy In Connecticut: Shooting At Elementary School

Dec. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR

Tragedy struck this morning in Newtown, Conn., where there's been a shooting at an elementary school and it's being reported that some -- perhaps many -- of the children there were killed.

Developing: Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Conn.

Dec. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR

There was a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., this morning, but as is often the case in the early minutes and hours after such a tragedy it is not clear what has happened.

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, Six Adults Killed At Elementary School

Dec. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR

The nation is watching in horror today as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., becomes clear. As as a visibly upset President Obama said at mid-afternoon, "our hearts are broken."

Restaurant Manager Quits After Flap Over Military Discount

Dec. 14
Associated Press
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A restaurant manager who described expectations from military members for meal discounts as "pathetic" has quit after his Facebook post went viral.

'We've Got Bigger Fish To Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers, Obama Says

Dec. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR
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It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Pentagon To Send U.S. Troops And Missiles To Turkey

Dec. 14
Associated Press
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The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.

SDSU Student Dies From Meningitis

Dec. 14
City News Service

A 30-year-old Chula Vista man who was a graduate student at San Diego State University has died of meningitis, and county health officials are seeking anyone who might have had close contact with him.

6.3-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off San Diego Coast

Dec. 14
By Susan Murphy
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A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the San Diego coast at approximately 2:30 Friday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Rants And Raves: 'The Hobbit'

Dec. 14
By Beth Accomando
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I have loved Peter Jackson ever since "Bad Taste," "Meet the Feebles," and of course "Dead Alive." I was pleased to see him win Oscars for bringing J.R.R. Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" to the screen. So I was looking forward to "The Hobbit" (opening December 14 throughout San Diego).

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Dec. 14
Scott Horsley / NPR

The Labor Department on Friday issues its report on inflation for the month of November. Consumer prices have been growing slowly, at an annual rate of about 2 percent.

In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School

Dec. 14
Claudio Sanchez / NPR

Parents in one small California community have used a "parent-trigger" law for the first time to shut down and take over an elementary school. It's a revolt led by parents who say the school has failed their children, but others say it's not the school's fault.

Making The Rich Pay More For Medicare

Dec. 14
Julie Rovner / NPR
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When it comes to reducing Medicare spending, asking wealthier seniors to pay more is one of the few areas where Democrats have shown a willingness to even consider the subject.

Farewell, Bosses: A Wave Of Young Entrepreneurs

Dec. 14
Benjamin Skirvin / NPR

Thirty-year-old Alisha Mustafa spent years working at low-paying restaurant jobs. The unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent in her hometown of Bloomington, Ind.

Families Of Spain's 'Stolen Babies' Seek Answers -- And Reunions

Dec. 14
Sylvia Poggioli / NPR

Allegations of the existence of a secret network of doctors and nuns who stole newborn babies and sold them for adoption are reviving a dark chapter in Spain's recent history.