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Stories for December 17, 2013

Barrio Logan Community Plan To Go To Voters

Dec. 17
City News Service
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The San Diego City Council agreed on Tuesday to put the Barrio Logan Community Plan on the ballot for a citywide vote.

Poway Unified Sells Rancho Bernardo Land To Health Care Company

Dec. 17

The Poway Unified School District sold the water tower site for $7.38 million to San Diego-based AmeriCare Health and Retirement Inc.

San Diego Mayoral Runoff Set For February 11

Dec. 17
City News Service
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The City Council Tuesday set Feb. 11 as the date for a runoff election for San Diego mayor.

Retirement Flurry Creates Openings For Both Parties In 2014

Dec. 17
Adam Wollner and S.V. Date / NPR
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Congress got a jolt Tuesday when three House members announced they will step down at the end of their terms, creating 2014 pickup opportunities for both parties.

California Prison Parole Board Changes Policy For Life-Term Inmates

Dec. 17
Don Thompson / Associated Press
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California has agreed to change its policy for considering when murderers and others serving life sentences should be eligible for parole, though corrections experts differed Tuesday on whether the change could lead to shorter prison terms for thousands of inmates.

Prices Are Low, And That Could Be Bad

Dec. 17
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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That's the number the Federal Reserve Board's policymakers wanted to see this year. Having an annual inflation rate of 2 percent would confirm that the U.S. economy is strengthening -- workers are getting raises and companies are seeing enough customer demand to mark up prices.

Red State Retirement Takes Democratic House Seat Out Of Play

Dec. 17
Adam Wollner / NPR
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Rep. Jim Matheson announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of his term, providing Republicans with a likely House seat pickup in 2014.

How This Bay Area Tech Boom's Different From The Last One

Dec. 17
Elise Hu / NPR
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This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

Diary Of Influential Nazi Given To Holocaust Museum

Dec. 17
Allison Keyes / NPR
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A long-lost diary kept by a top aide to Adolf Hitler was formally transferred to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Tuesday. Scholars say the 425-page document gives a glimpse into the mind of Alfred Rosenberg, and a view of his role in shaping the Nazi regime's genocidal policies.

A Majority In U.S. Favor Legal Pot, But Will That Stick?

Dec. 17
Martin Kaste / NPR
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As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. They're numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in.

Attorney Says Navy Investigator Will Plead Guilty To Bribery Charges

Dec. 17
Associated Press

John Beliveau II will plead guilty to bribery charges Tuesday in federal court in San Diego. Beliveau could face a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Earthquake Felt Off California's North Coast

Dec. 17
Associated Press
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A magnitude 4.2 undersea earthquake jiggled communities along California's far north coast.

What Has NAFTA Meant For Workers? That Debate's Still Raging

Dec. 17
Don Gonyea / NPR
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Two decades ago, the strongest critics of the North American Free Trade Agreement were members of labor unions. They warned that the trade deal would mean the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico and lower wages for U.S. workers.

San Diego Symphony CEO To Step Down Next Year

Dec. 17
By Angela Carone
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San Diego Symphony CEO Edward "Ward" Gill will step down when his contract ends in September 2014.

Big Sur Fire Growth Small, 5 Percent Containment

Dec. 17
Associated Press

A bolstered firefighting force made gains Tuesday against an unusual fall wildfire that has destroyed 15 homes and forced about 100 people to flee the forested mountains of the scenic Big Sur region overlooking the Pacific.

San Diego Moving Toward Zero-Waste Policy

Dec. 17
City News Service
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The San Diego City Council directed its staff to come up with a plan for reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills and to eventually stop it altogether.

Some Competitors Say Freediving Needs A Safety Sea Change

Dec. 17
Charles Lane / NPR
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Dahab, Egypt, just north of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula, is perfect for freediving. A diver can have tea in a simple beach cafe and then take just a handful of steps into the Gulf of Aqaba, where the sea floor plunges more than 100 yards into a wine-glass-shaped blue hole.

Water Rates At Root Of San Diego's Case Against Metropolitan Water District

Dec. 17
By Deb Welsh

The latest salvo in a long-standing feud between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is playing out in a San Francisco court beginning Tuesday.

Bridge Controversy Could Take Toll On Chris Christie's Future

Dec. 17
Frank James / NPR
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Were access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the nation's busiest span, closed as political retribution against a mayor who didn't publicly endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election?

Tijuana Official Shot, Killed By Unknown Assailants

Dec. 17
By Jill Replogle
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The head of Tijuana’s municipal sports department was murdered Monday night while in his vehicle. Arturo Hachadur Kaloyan Aguirre, nicknamed “Hacho,” was shot several times by unknown assailants.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Vampire Weekend/Grizzly Bear

Dec. 17
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Vampire Weekend/Grizzly Bear Tease photo

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS presents indie rock with Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear. Vampire Weekend plays songs from its latest "Modern Vampires of the City," while fellow New York act Grizzly Bear highlights its album "Shields."

The Year Of Disappointing The Liberal Base: Obama, 2013

Dec. 17
Liz Halloran / NPR
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It's been a long, disappointing year for many of President Obama's most ardent supporters.

Grilling In San Diego For The Holidays

Dec. 17
Midday Edition
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You may want to dust off your grill for the holidays because in San Diego, grilling season is year-round.

Judge Hears Case Involving San Diego County Water Authority

Dec. 17
Midday Edition
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It's been a long time coming, but San Diego's claims that it has been overcharged for water transport fees are being heard this week in a San Francisco courtroom.

2014 Forecast For San Diego's Housing Market

Dec. 17
Midday Edition
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Good news and bad news seemed to go hand in hand for San Diego's housing market this year. We'll hear what may be in store for local real estate in 2014.

Concussion Research Slowed By Shortage Of Brains

Dec. 17
Alan Yu / NPR
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Former NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher's body was exhumed last week so doctors can perform tests on the remains of his brain. The family hopes to find out if a degenerative brain disease played a role in Kansas City Chiefs veteran's death last year, when he shot his girlfriend then killed himself.

Um, @chaddickerson How Did You Get An Invite To The White House?

Dec. 17
Steve Henn / NPR
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President Obama is meeting with high-tech luminaries Tuesday at the White House.

San Diego Ballet's Nutcracker

Dec. 17
By Jennifer Robinson
San Diego Ballet's Nutcracker  Tease photo

The San Diego Ballet's "Nutcracker" features an international cast from China, Japan, Russia, Hungary and Mexico as well as San Diego School of Ballet's children from all over San Diego County. In its 24th year, this ballet fantasy delights with over 100 beautifully costumed dancers, reveling in Tchaikovsky's beloved score.

Report: 6.4 Million U.S. Homes Still Have Negative Equity

Dec. 17
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Although most of the housing indicators have been looking up recently, there are still about 6.4 million homes with "underwater" mortgages, in which the homeowner owes the bank more than the house is worth.

'Rapture' Prophet Harold Camping Dies

Dec. 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Harold Camping, the radio preacher who generated headlines around the world in 2011 with his ultimately wrong predictions that the world was about to end, has died.

Above Normal Surf, Strong Rip Currents Expected Along San Diego Coast

Dec. 17
City News Service
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A west-northwest swell spurred above normal surf and strong rip currents along the beaches of San Diego County Tuesday, meteorologists said.

$586 Million Mega Millions Jackpot In Play

Dec. 17
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to $586 million -- and it could reach a seemingly impossible $1 billion if no one wins by Dec. 24.

Pentagon Starts Testing Troops For Spice (Video)

Dec. 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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Troops taking random drug tests will now be scanned for the synthetic drug known as "Spice."

6 US Troops Killed In Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

Dec. 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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Six American service members were killed Tuesday when their Sikorsky UH-60 'Black Hawk' helicopter crashed in Southern Afghanistan.

India-U.S. Row Over Diplomat's Arrest in New York Escalates

Dec. 17
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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At issue is the arrest last week of Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York.

From 'Death Jars' To Wasps: A Quest To Stamp Out The Stink Bug

Dec. 17
Alan Yu / NPR
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The brown marmorated stink bug doesn't just smell bad. It's also been causing trouble for homeowners and farmers from New Hampshire to California for the past three years.

Medicare Names Best And Worst Hospitals For Joint Replacements

Dec. 17
Jordan Rau / NPR
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Around a million people get hip or knee replacements a year, and those operations cost Medicare and private insurers a lot of money. For the first time, the federal government is evaluating how good a job individual hospitals are doing.

Aircraft Crash In Afghanistan Kills 6 NATO Troops

Dec. 17
Associated Press

NATO says six service members have died in an aircraft crash in southern Afghanistan, in an area where there was no fighting reported at the time.

San Marcos Nursing Students Care For The Poor In Oceanside

Dec. 17
By Kenny Goldberg
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The Cal State University San Marcos School of Nursing has opened its third student-run clinic to serve the poor.

San Diego Avocado Growers Brace For New Invasive Beetle

Dec. 17
By Susan Murphy
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A tiny Asian insect has arrived in San Diego County with the potential to cause widespread destruction to more than 100 of species of trees, including oaks and avocados.

San Diego County Students Receive First Dream Act CalGrant Awards

Dec. 17
By Kyla Calvert
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California lawmakers passed the state’s Dream Act more than two years ago. This was the first semester students who are in the country illegally were eligible for state financial aid.

Shipyard Union Switches Sides on Barrio Logan Community Plan Update

Dec. 17
By Sandhya Dirks
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The shipyard union workers say they were lied to and now support the community plan update for Barrio Logan.

How To Prosecute A Revenge Porn Profiteer?

Dec. 17
By David Wagner
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Making money by exposing the private, nude images of strangers may be sleazy, but is it illegal?

Edward Snowden Seeks 'Permanent Political Asylum'

Dec. 17
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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Edward Snowden says "permanent political asylum" will give him the freedom to talk about U.S. surveillance programs.

Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt And KISS Are In The Rock Hall

Dec. 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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We can stop wagging our tongues about KISS not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It's Looking Like The Senate Will Approve The Budget Deal

Dec. 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The vote margin will be slim, but it's looking increasingly likely that the Senate on Tuesday will take the first important step toward approving the two-year, bipartisan budget plan that the House overwhelmingly endorsed last week.

Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question

Dec. 17
John Ydstie / NPR
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Many economists and investors think there's a good chance that at the end of their two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers will announce that they'll begin reducing their $85 billion monthly stimulus, their third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.

Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms

Dec. 17
Luke Runyon / NPR
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When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.

Economists, Unemployed Fret Over Long-Term Jobless Aid Lapse

Dec. 17
Yuki Noguchi / NPR
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Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. With the House already in recess, the benefits are expected to expire at the end of the month.

To Make Science Real, Kids Want More Fun And Fewer Facts

Dec. 17
Eric Westervelt / NPR
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Are American kidsbeing adequately prepared in the sciences to compete in a highly competitive, global high-tech workforce? A majority of American parents say no, according to a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle

Dec. 17
Wade Goodwyn / NPR
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Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.