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Stories for August 29, 2013

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Electric Bill Increase or Fairer Calif. Power Rates?

Aug. 29, 2013
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

A fight is brewing at the state Capitol over legislation that would give the California Public Utilities Commission the ability to set a flat fee of up to $10 a month on electricity bills.

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Federal Court Upholds California Law Barring Gay Conversion Therapy

Aug. 29, 2013
Max Pringle / Capital Public Radio

On Thursday, a federal court upheld a California law making it illegal for therapists to persuade minors to change their sexual orientation. Opponents challenged it on free speech grounds.

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New CAHSEE Scores Highest Since 2006

Aug. 29, 2013
Harry Gibbons / Capital Public Radio

The California Department of Education has released this year’s California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) results. They are the highest since the test was introduced, with 95.5% of students earning passing scores.

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How San Diego's Planning Groups Can Jump-Start Community Involvement

Aug. 29, 2013
By Megan Burks

Planning leaders are considering some policy tweaks that could boost community involvement in land-use decisions.

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San Diego Fast Food Workers Join National Protest For Higher Wages

Aug. 29, 2013
By Tarryn Mento

The people who pour your Frosty or wrap your Egg McMuffin live off a minimum wage income. They rallied in San Diego and across the country to say that's not enough.

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Supporters Hope To Enact Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Aug. 29, 2013
By Erik Anderson

Supporters of a ban on single use plastic bags rallied in San Diego with the hope of pushing their effort statewide.

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Earthflight, A NATURE Special Presentation

Aug. 29, 2013

Take a breathtaking voyage with the world’s birds, soaring across six continents, witnessing spectacular animal migrations and great natural wonders, swooping down to interact with life-and-death dramas on land and at sea. This six-part miniseries employs state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques to show the world from the amazing aerial perspective of a bird’s-eye view.

Your Kitchen Spices Can Often Harbor Salmonella

Aug. 29, 2013
NPR

Spice may be nice, but spices also can carry very bad bugs. About 7 percent of spices tested by Food and Drug Administration researchers were contaminated with salmonella, which can cause serious illness and death. Because of this finding and others, the FDA and international food safety organizations are putting more effort into how to reduce the risk.

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Navy Relieves Commanding Officer Of Hospital Ship USNS Comfort

Aug. 29, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

The commanding officer of the hospital ship USNS Comfort, Capt. Kevin J. Knoop, was relieved of his duties this week. The commander of Military Sealift Command, Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, sacked Knoop because of a "loss of confidence in (his) ability to command."

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No More Car Decals For SENTRI Trusted Traveler Program

Aug. 29, 2013
By Jill Replogle

Users of the SENTRI trusted traveler program, which allows for expedited screening at the U.S.-Mexico border, will no longer have windshield decals identifying their cars. Some SENTRI members have been used by drug traffickers as unwitting couriers.

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Fewer Calif. Schools Meet Performance Targets

Aug. 29, 2013
Associated Press

California school officials say fewer public schools at all grade levels met state and federal benchmarks that are used to evaluate how well schools educate youngsters.

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Congressman Juan Vargas On Syria, Immigration and Filner

Aug. 29, 2013
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Peggy Pico

Syria is in the news as the White House reports the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own citizens. We're joined by Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) for his take on Syria, immigration, jobs in the Imperial County and the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner.

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Preventing Wildfire In San Diego County

Aug. 29, 2013
By Alison St John, Megan Burke

The threat of devastating wildfires is a fact of life in California. CalFire says it has a prevention plan. But critics in Southern California say using prescribed burns to clear vast tracts of land isn't the answer.

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PBS NewsHour Weekend

Aug. 29, 2013

PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND will feature a summary of the day’s national and international news, using renowned experts to provide in-depth analysis. Each weekend broadcast will contain original, in-depth field reporting on topics including education, healthcare, the economy, energy, science and technology, religion, finance and the arts. Hari Sreenivasan anchors.

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How Do You Create A Free Media Culture In Syria?

Aug. 29, 2013
By Tom Fudge

We sit down with a Syrian journalist who shares insights on broadcasting throughout the country, and the hope of bringing news to Syrians engulfed in the ongoing war.

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BEERology, New Exhibit Explores The History of Beer

Aug. 29, 2013
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera

From hunter-gatherers to hipsters, BEERology takes visitors through the science and history of beer making around the world.

Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users

Aug. 29, 2013
NPR

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney Gen. Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

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Embezzler Was Hired By CA High-Speed Rail Agency

Aug. 29, 2013
Associated Press

A woman who embezzled $320,000 from a California state agency was later hired by the state's High-Speed Rail Authority — and she says nobody asked about her background.

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GENEALOGY ROADSHOW: Nashville (New Series Premiere)

Aug. 29, 2013
By Jennifer Robinson

Follow a diverse cast of participants on an emotional journey that uses history and science to uncover their fascinating family stories. Each individual’s past will link to a larger community history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America. The programs feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco — who want to explore a genealogical mystery.

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Soldier From American Samoa Killed In Afghanistan (Video)

Aug. 29, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of American Samoa, was killed August 26 in Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a homemade bomb.

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New School Standards Rolling Out Across San Diego County

Aug. 29, 2013
By Kyla Calvert

Principals from across San Diego County focus on how to lead schools through large shifts in teaching and learning.

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As Filner's Exit Nears, Many Prepare To Replace Him

Aug. 29, 2013
City News Service

As Bob Filner spends his next-to-last day in office, 13 people today were preparing their campaigns to be San Diego's next mayor.

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Blue Shield Won't Pay For Proton Cancer Treatment

Aug. 29, 2013
Associated Press

A major California health insurer says it won't pay for an expensive cancer treatment because there's no science to justify the price.

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California TRUST Act Moving Toward Passage

Aug. 29, 2013
By Adrian Florido

The TRUST Act has been called the anti-Arizona bill, because it seeks to prevent the kind of collaboration between local police and federal immigration agents that's been so controversial in Arizona.

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Predator Drone Now Part Of Calif. Wildfire Battle

Aug. 29, 2013
Associated Press / Associated Press

As crews advanced against a giant wildfire around Yosemite National Park, fire commanders said they would maintain use of a Predator drone to give them early views of any new flare-ups across in the remote and rugged landscape.

Yet Another Democrat Takes The Lead In NYC Mayor Race

Aug. 29, 2013
NPR

The most fluid mayor's race that New York City has seen in decades may finally be firming up. The city's public advocate, Bill de Blasio, has surged to a commanding lead in the latest poll of Democratic primary voters.