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Stories for April 18, 2013

As Florida Bill Looks To Aid Feral Cats, Opponents Claw Back

April 18
Greg Allen / NPR
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In state legislatures around the country, lawmakers are debating important subjects -- education reform, election laws, gun control and abortion. But in Florida, one of the hottest issues to come before the Legislature this term involves cats.

Gun Fight Didn't End Too Soon For House GOP, Some Democrats

April 18
Frank James / NPR
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It was inevitable that each side of the gun debate would accuse the other of playing politics -- especially after the failure this week of legislation to expand background checks to gun shows and Internet sales.

USDA Official Stops In San Diego To Promote Summer Lunch Program

April 18
By Megan Burks
2 Comments
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San Diego students had a power lunch with the federal government's highest agriculture official Thursday.

Homeless Census Finds Fewer People Without Permanent Shelter

April 18
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego County's homeless population dropped to fewer than 9,000 in this year's one day count.

Medical Marijuana Community On Board With New Draft Ordinance

April 18
By Claire Trageser
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A draft medical marijuana ordinance coming before the City Council on Monday so far has the medical marijuana community’s support.

Newtown Residents: Senate Gun Votes 'A Slap In The Face'

April 18
Craig Lemoult / NPR
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Following the Senate's rejection Wednesday of a range of gun control measures, including universal background checks, many in Newtown, Conn., are reacting with surprise and disappointment. The town is still stricken with grief from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December that took the lives of 20 students and six adults.

Judge: County's Climate Action Plan Is Inadequate

April 18
By Alison St John
5 Comments
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A judge has confirmed his ruling that San Diego County’s plan to address climate change is inadequate. The Climate Action Plan was approved by Supervisors last summer but the Sierra Club said it has no teeth.

Calif. Assembly OKs money for gun-seizure program

April 18
LAURA OLSON / Associated Press
1 Comment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California's one-of-a-kind program to seize guns from felons, the mentally unstable and others prohibited from owning them is close to receiving more money after an Assembly vote Thursday.

In D.C., Art Program Turns Boys' Lives Into 'Masterpieces'

April 18
Elizabeth Blair / NPR
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This is the third in a three-part series aboutthe intersection of education and the arts.

San Diego-Based USS Freedom Arrives In Singapore (Video)

April 18
By Beth Ford Roth
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The San Diego-based USS Freedom arrived in Singapore today on the first phase of its Southeast Asia deployment. Like the San Diego-based Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group's recent port visit in Hong Kong, much is being made by Asian media about the Freedom's presence in the region during a time of tension in the Korean Peninsula.

Bipartisan Senate Gang Begins To Sell Immigration Plan

April 18
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Following the defeat of comprehensive gun control legislation, a bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators on Thursday outlined a wide-reaching immigration overhaul introduced this week.

Nonunion Reps To Sue City Over Convention Center Expansion Deal

April 18
City News Service
2 Comments
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A group representing nonunion construction firms announced today it will sue the city of San Diego in order to publicly unveil terms of a deal with labor on the convention center expansion project.

Orchestra Of Exiles

April 18
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Orchestra Of Exiles  Tease photo

"Orchestra Of Exiles," a 90-minute documentary film by Academy Award nominated Josh Aronson, tells the dramatic story of celebrated Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman (1882-1947) who — with courage, resourcefulness, and an entourage of allies including Arturo Toscanini and Albert Einstein — bravely stood up to racial intolerance, ultimately saving almost 1,000 Jews from 1933–1936 while forming the Palestine Symphony Orchestra.

North County Transit District Rebuts KPBS/inewsource Investigation

April 18
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
2 Comments
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The SPRINTER light rail line is undergoing repairs, and KPBS/inewsource looked into the maintenance budget for North County Transit District. That public agency is now refuting some of the findings in our investigation.

San Diego's Lowrider History Documented

April 18
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A new documentary focuses on San Diego's low riding history and its contribution. Everything Comes from the Streets highlights the voices of pioneers in the movement and how its influence led to the establishment of Chicano Park. The film premiers Sunday at Sweetwater High School.

Boston's Heroes Seriously Inspire Ray From 'Car Talk'

April 18
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Jokes weren't on his mind Thursday morning when Car Talkfunny guy Ray Magliozzi was a guest on WBUR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

SDPD Partners With Nextdoor to Boost Neighborhood Safety

April 18
Amanda Guerrero
1 Comment
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Nextdoor users can privately share community-related news with their neighbors, who are verified by their home addresses. Now, San Diego Nextdoor users can access SDPD crime alerts and public safety tips.

Boston Brings Out The 'Crowdsleuthers'

April 18
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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If you were at the Boston Marathon wearing a backpack, chances are some citizen sleuth has pored over your photo in the hunt for possible suspects in Monday's blasts.

National Guard Aids In Aftermath Of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion (Video)

April 18
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Texas National Guard is on the scene of a Central Texas fertilizer plant rocked by several explosions Wednesday night, monitoring air quality and aiding first responders.

Weekend Preview: Bottled & Kegged, CityBeat Festival of Beers And The Revival Tour

April 18
Midday Edition
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It's going to be a beer-heavy weekend in San Diego, but not to worry. We've rounded out our weekend to-do list with not one — but three — gallery openings, acoustic music and a day celebrating records.

US Soldiers Deployed To Jordan To Defend Border With Syria

April 18
By Beth Ford Roth
1 Comment
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A U.S. Army headquarters element will be deployed to Jordan to, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put it, "prepare for a number of scenarios" and help the country defend its border with Syria.

New Mexico Umpire Resigns After English-Only Call

April 18
By John Rosman
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The New Mexico umpire who allegedly threatened to eject high school baseball players for speaking Spanish has resigned.

Sebastian Junger: 'Which Way' To Turn After Hetherington's Death

April 18
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War photographer Tim Hetherington said he thought war was wired into young men. And he risked, and ultimately gave, his life to capture these young men in photographs and video -- in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and other war zones. Hetherington was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round while taking pictures in Libya in 2011, during the uprising against President Moammar Gadhafi.

Santa Ana Winds, Low Humidity Increase Fire Risk In San Diego County

April 18
By Susan Murphy
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A red flag warning is in effect for the mountains and valleys of San Diego County from 9 a.m. Thursday through 5 p.m. Friday as gusty Santa Ana winds, combined with single-digit humidity, are expected to increase the danger of wildfires.

War Medicine Now Is Helping Boston Bomb Victims

April 18
Marilynn Marchione - Associated Press
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The bombs that made Boston look like a combat zone have also brought battlefield medicine to their civilian victims. A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has sharpened skills and scalpels, leading to dramatic advances that are now being used to treat the 13 amputees and nearly a dozen other patients still fighting to keep damaged limbs.

San Diego County Health Officials Investigate Cases of Meningococcal Disease

April 18
City News Service
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An investigation was underway today into two confirmed and two probable cases of meningococcal disease in San Diego County, including one that led to a death and another that left a man hospitalized in critical condition.

Red Flag Warning in Effect for San Diego County

April 18
City News Service
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A red flag warning was in effect today for the valleys and mountains of San Diego County as dry, windy conditions heightened the risk of wildfire in the region.

Both Sides Find Things To Like, Hate About Immigration Bill

April 18
By Adrian Florido
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Immigrant rights activists and business groups say the bill is a good first step, but they'll still lobby for changes.

Environmental Advocates Rally Outside Pipeline Conference

April 18
By Tarryn Mento
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Waving signs and shouting chants, environmental advocates rallied outside a Coronado resort Wednesday morning to protest the American Petroleum Institute's pipeline conference hosted indoors.

Ricin Suspect Described As Conspiracist & Elvis Impersonator

April 18
Mark Memmott / NPR
0 Comments

Paul Kevin Curtis, the 45-year-old Mississippi man arrested Wednesday in connection with the possibly ricin-tainted envelopes sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is "better known to some as a celebrity impersonator," The Clarion-Ledger writes.

Boston Marathon Explosions: Thursday's Developments

April 18
Mark Memmott, Eyder Peralta
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Throughout the day, we'll be updating with the latest news about the two explosions Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts killed three people and injured about 180. We'll also be publishing related posts as the day continues. (See this note about how we cover events such as this.)

Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast Killed Several, Injured Dozens

April 18
Scott Neuman, Mark Memmott
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After a fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others, rescue workers on Thursday are still sifting through the smoldering rubble hoping to find survivors.

Cleveland Celebrates Superman, Its Hometown Hero

April 18
Brian Bull / NPR
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April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story -- faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.