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Stories for April 23, 2013

Nearly 30 Years Later, Centerline Gets on the Fast Track

April 23
By Megan Burks
Tease photo

A decades-long wait for a mid-city transit project could be over in 2015, thanks to some unexpected funds.

Armstrong 'Unjustly Enriched' Self, Justice Department Says

April 23
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR

Disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong "unjustly enriched" himself through his contract with the U.S. Postal Service, the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed against the cyclist Tuesday.

Death Toll In West, Texas, Fertilizer Explosion Rises To 15

April 23
Bill Chappell / NPR

The number of people who died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week now stands at 15, officials said Tuesday. Some earlier reports had indicated that 14 people had lost their lives. At least 200 more were injured.

County Leaders Mull Broader Representation On Fair Board

April 23
Midday Edition
By Alison St John
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Supervisors will continue negotiations for more local control of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Plenty Of Finger-Pointing As Budget Cuts Delay First Flights

April 23
Frank James / NPR

Blame shifting was in high gear Tuesday on Capitol Hill and at the White House as the first air traffic delays tied to the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration controllers began to get attention.

Filner 'Disappointed' With City Council's Medical Marijuana Decision

April 23
James R. Riffel, CITY NEWS SERVICE
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The City Council's decision to draft new medical marijuana regulations based on a rescinded 2011 ordinance doesn't mean the eventual law will overly restrict patients' access to the drug, two of San Diego's top elected officials said today.

Lindbergh Field Expands With New Gates and Amenities

April 23
Amanda Guerrero
Tease photo

New passenger gates at Terminal 2 in Lindbergh Field offer comfortable seats with electrical outlets and cup holders. There will be a even more of them when expansion of the terminal is completed in August.

Three Years After SB 1070, Political Climate Sees Change

April 23
By John Rosman
Tease photo

Three years ago, Arizona SB 1070 was signed into law. The bill is one of the strictest state immigration enforcement laws in the country. But in that time, the political climate for immigration has dramatically shifted.

Arson Burns IB; Molotov Cocktails Thrown at Vehicles

April 23
Khari Johnson

Purposely lit malicious fires in Imperial Beach in the past week alone have exceeded the number of arson incidents reported in 2011 and 2012, records show.

Justices Say U.S. Improperly Deported Man Over Marijuana

April 23
Nina Totenberg / NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a longtime legal resident of the United States was improperly deported for possession of a small amount of marijuana. By a 7-2 vote, the justices said that it defies common sense to treat an offense like this as an "aggravated felony" justifying mandatory deportation.

Clues Suggest Boston Suspects Took A Do-It-Yourself Approach

April 23
Tom Gjelten / NPR
Tease photo

As investigators look into the Boston Marathon bombings, one crucial question is whether the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, acted alone or had help. The clues might be found in the bombs used.

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

April 23
Scott Horsley / NPR
Tease photo

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe

April 23
Eleanor Beardsley / NPR
Tease photo

At the famous Hippodrome de Longchamp just outside of Paris this month, crowds came to cheer and bet on the sleek thoroughbreds that opened horse racing season by galloping down the verdant turf course.

Boston Search Shines Spotlight On Surveillance Cameras

April 23
Carrie Johnson / NPR
Tease photo

Footage from surveillance cameras along the Boston Marathon route gave the FBI early clues about the bombing suspects. And prosecutors say they'll use some of those images to try to prove their criminal case against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. But the proliferation of cameras in America's big cities is raising some tricky questions about the balance between security and privacy.

San Diego-Based Marines And Sailors Visit Special Needs Kids In Hong Kong

April 23
By Beth Ford Roth
Tease photo

Members of the Camp Pendleton-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit recently spent time with special needs children at the Lok Hing Child Care Centre in Hong Kong. The 15th MEU is deployed with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group.

Prospero's Son: Local Author Writes Of Life, Books, Love And Theater

April 23
Midday Edition
Prospero's Son: Local Author Writes Of Life, Books, Love And Theater Tease photo

UC San Diego Arts and Humanities dean discusses his memoir "Prospero's Son," a story about his family, its secrets and finding resolution.

Want To Forage In Your City? There's A Map For That

April 23
Kristofor Husted / NPR
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If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

Boston Carjacking Victim Thought He Would Be Killed

April 23
Mark Memmott / NPR

Though they told him he wouldn't be hurt, the man who was allegedly forced by the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings to hand over his SUV and go with them says he was convinced the gunmen would "kill me later."

Pew: Wealthiest Experience Big Boost In Post-Recession Worth

April 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Some 93 percent of Americans saw their mean net worth fall in the first two years of the post-recession recovery, while the remaining 7 percent increased net worth by nearly a third, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.

AP Twitter Account Hacked, Tweet About Obama Shakes Market

April 23
Mark Memmott / NPR

A Twitter account from The Associated Press was hacked Tuesday afternoon and the erroneous message -- to be perfectly clear, it WAS NOT TRUE -- sent stocks down sharply for a few moments.

Board of Supervisors Supports Laws To Halt Ramona Airport Tower Closure

April 23
Ramona Patch

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday urged federal lawmakers to approve pending legislation in Congress that would save the Ramona Airport traffic control tower.

San Diego's Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.7 Percent

April 23
Midday Edition
Evening Edition

For the first time in more than four years, the county's unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent, but is it too soon to celebrate?

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Cites Wars In Iraq, Afghanistan As Motivation

April 23
By Beth Ford Roth
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Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators he and his brother were motivated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an exclusive report by the Washington Post.

Bush Sees Approval Hike, But Trumanesque Recovery? Unlikely

April 23
Liz Halloran / NPR
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A poll released days before the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas is serving as fodder for some sequestered GOP nostalgia about his two terms in the White House.

Second Child Of Philadelphia Faith-Healing Couple Dies

April 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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A Philadelphia couple already on probation for the 2009 death of their toddler after they refused medical treatment in favor of prayer could be facing similar charges over another child, The Associated Press reports.

Soldier Dies From Wounds Suffered In Afghanistan

April 23
By Beth Ford Roth
Tease photo

Army Pfc. Barrett L. Austin, 20, died April 21 at a military hospital in Germany of injuries he suffered when his vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on April 17.

Senate Immigration Bill Calls For A Drone-Patrolled Border

April 23
By Jill Replogle
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The major immigration reform bill introduced last week by a bipartisan group of senators would earmark $6.5 billion to beef up border security. And it specifically calls for more drones to keep a watch on the southern border. But the border drones have yet to prove their worth.

Wall Street Anxious Over Apple First-Quarter Earnings

April 23
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Investors are waiting, many not so eagerly, for a look at how Apple did in the first three months of the year.

Army Sgt. Pleads Guilty To Killing 5 US Service Members In Iraq

April 23
Associated Press
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An Army sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to killing four soldiers and a Navy officer in 2009 at mental health clinic in Baghdad during the Iraq War.

SDSU Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Visit

April 23
Midday Edition
Tease photo

Kennedy's 1963 visit was more than pomp and circumstance -- it helped shaped the SDSU of today.

San Diego Council To Consider Keeping Veterans Shelter Open

April 23
By Susan Murphy
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The San Diego City Council will decide today whether to spend $250,000 of a $5.5 million budget surplus to keep the 150-bed veterans emergency shelter open until July.

City Funds Some Half Pipes in City Heights

April 23
By Megan Burks
Tease photo

The city has identified funds to complete a skate plaza, but the project stops short of the traditional skate park the community wants.

Is Compass Card City’s Bus Ticket To 21st Century?

April 23
By Tom Fudge
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Cash fare for transit is becoming a thing of the past. But the San Diego Compass Card still has some transfers to make before it reaches the end station.

Interview: San Diego Opera Property Master Retires

April 23
By Beth Accomando
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When "Aida" closes this weekend it not only marks the end of the San Diego Opera’s 2013 season but also the end of their property master’s 25-year career. Ned W. Krumrey provides a behind the scenes glimpse of what a property master is responsible for -- everything from human sacrifices to taking out the trash.

Father Saves Boy From Alligator Attack, With A Stranger's Help

April 23
Bill Chappell / NPR
Tease photo

A 6-year-old boy's day off from school Friday left him with a vivid story to tell his classmates, after he was seized -- and eventually released -- by an alligator in South Florida. The attack occurred at a wildlife refuge near Boynton Beach, Fla., where Joseph Welch had taken his son, Joey, for a canoe ride.

Newspaper Takes The Pulse Of San Diego Coffee Culture

April 23
Eliza Barclay / NPR
Tease photo

Portland and Seattle may take coffee very seriously, but San Diego can boast a newspaper devoted entirely to coffee shops and all the news that's fit to print about them. John Rippo is the publisher of The Espresso, and he's convinced that coffee shops are the places to catch juicy moments of the human experience as they happen.