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Stories for December 19, 2013

Review: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

Dec. 19
By Greg Magnus
Review: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' Tease photo

Throughout the first "Anchorman" (opening December 18 throughout San Diego), homegrown hero Ron Burgundy kept reminding us to "stay classy, San Diego." Maybe he should have taken his own advice.

Will 2nd-Term Obama Show More Mercy Through Pardons?

Dec. 19
Frank James / NPR
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President Obama came to office after bemoaning the disparity in sentences for crack versus powder cocaine offenses, and with a background as a community organizer and constitutional law teacher that had some progressives anticipating a robust use of the Constitution's "reprieves and pardons" power.

Survey Finds Muslim Students In California Are Subject To Bullying

Dec. 19
By Erik Anderson
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A survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found biased-based bullying against Muslim students is occurring in California schools.

Senators Cross Aisle To Call For New Sanctions On Iran

Dec. 19
Scott Neuman / NPR

A bipartisan measure defying President Obama would impose new sanctions on Iran if it breaks an interim deal to curb its nuclear program.

New York Extends Smoking Ban To E-Cigarettes

Dec. 19
Scott Neuman / NPR
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New York's City Council has approved extending the city's strict smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, which emit a vapor.

Poll: Americans Favor Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Dec. 19
Scott Hensley / NPR
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Emergency contraception has been embroiled in controversy pretty much from the start.

This Old House: Arlington Italianate Project 2014

Dec. 19
This Old House: Arlington Italianate Project 2014  Tease photo

Kevin and Tom introduce us to the popular suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts, and to a new project: the first Italianate Style home THIS OLD HOUSE has tackled in years. Malcolm and Heather’s 1872 home has seen some changes over the years, leaving it with an awkward layout. Now it’s time to polish it and make it work for this century’s busy family. Richard and Roger are on site to help the demolition work get started.

President Obama's Rocky Year Falls Far Short Of Ambitions

Dec. 19
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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President Obama heads to Hawaii on Friday. He goes there for Christmas every year and always talks about how good it is to get away from Washington. This year, that's likely to be especially true.

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.S. Credit Card Security Lags

Dec. 19
Alan Yu / NPR
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Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target. A possible weakness? The magnetic stripe on credit cards -- which fraudsters can pull credit card numbers and expiration dates from to make counterfeit cards.

Once A Mighty Bomber, A B-52 Meets Its End In The Desert

Dec. 19
Ted Robbins / NPR
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A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

A City Turns To Lettuce Fields To Grow High-Tech Startups

Dec. 19
Aarti Shahani / NPR
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Salinas is just one hour south of California's Silicon Valley, but generations behind when it comes to technology. Many of its sprawling lettuce farms are stuck in the era of rakes and hoes.

Free Parking Expanding To Two Hours At Downtown San Diego Library

Dec. 19
City News Service
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Free parking at the downtown San Diego Central Library will be extended from one hour to two hours with the new year, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday.

Antiques Roadshow: Boise, Idaho - Hour One (New Season Premiere)

Dec. 19
Antiques Roadshow: Boise, Idaho - Hour One (New Season Premiere) Tease photo

Highlights include a first edition of the Book of Mormon that has been passed down through the guest’s family since 1833; a 1955 Madoura plate designed by Picasso that previously hung above the stove, collecting grease; and one of the top finds of the season — an 1858 oil painting by important Hudson River artist Sanford Robinson Gifford, valued at $300,000.

Pentagon IDs 6 US Soldiers Killed In Helicopter Crash

Dec. 19
By Beth Ford Roth and Department of Defense
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The Department of Defense has released the names of the six U.S. soldiers who died Tuesday when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. Killed were: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, and Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon.

Santee Firefighters Hope to Oust the Fire Chief, Not the City Manager

Dec. 19
Steven Bartholow / Patch
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A closed session meeting of the Santee City Council this week concerned the ongoing friction between the Santee Fire Fighters Association (SFFA) and the Fire Chief.

Guilty Plea From Sweetwater School Official In Public Corruption Case

Dec. 19
City News Service

A Sweetwater Union High School District board member indicted in a public corruption case pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of accepting gifts above state limits and will resign from the board.

Tuite's Parole Extended Until Next Summer

Dec. 19
City News Service

A mentally ill man acquitted in a retrial this month of fatally stabbing a 12-year-old Escondido girl in her bed nearly 16 years ago will be on parole for eight months, instead of the initially ordered period of less than two weeks.

Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern?

Dec. 19
Gene Demby / NPR
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Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.

Big Sur wildfire now 79 percent contained

Dec. 19
Associated Press

Rain and higher humidity on Thursday helped firefighters battling a wildfire in California's Big Sur region that has destroyed an estimated 22 homes.

California man emerges as focus of Reno shooting case

Dec. 19
Associated Press

Police in Nevada plan to hold a news briefing this afternoon to announce the identity of a gunman who shot three people and killed himself at a Reno hospital.

Obama Issues Year-End Commutations For Drug Crimes

Dec. 19
Scott Neuman / NPR

President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug crimes, saying their terms were unusually harsh due to a system that treated crack cocaine as a more serious offense than powder cocaine.

US Service Member A Suspect In Navy Broadcaster's Death

Dec. 19
By Beth Ford Roth
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There's been an update in the case of a U.S. Navy broadcaster's mysterious death in Germany. This week, a German judge charged an unnamed member of the U.S. military with manslaughter in the death of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov.

Can Meditation Make Your Heart Healthier?

Dec. 19
Midday Edition
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Using wireless technology, a Scripps study hopes to explore what physical changes take place during meditation.

From "Cronut" To "Selfie," NYT's 2013 Words Of The Year

Dec. 19
Midday Edition
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Phrases that became part of San Diego's public lexicon this year included "Filner headlock and "Filner dance." We take a look at the top words/phrases of the year with A Way With Words co-host, Grant Barrett. He tells us what made his New York Times list.

Report: Policy allows governor to veto employment discrimination cases

Dec. 19
Associated Press

A long-secret policy allows California's governor to veto employment discrimination cases against public agencies without explanation or disclosure, a state legislative report has revealed.

New Mexico's High Court OKs Same-Sex Marriage

Dec. 19
Scott Neuman / NPR
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New Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that same-sex marriage is legal, validating initiatives in several counties allowing the practice in the absence of a specific state law.

Southwestern Gems: Our Desert National Parks

Dec. 19
Southwestern Gems: Our Desert National Parks Tease photo

The Emmy-winning "Southwestern Gems: Our Desert National Parks" showcases the top national parks, monuments, preserves and historic sites within the four major North American deserts. Stunning high-definition footage brings to life the majestic landscapes of The Great Basin Desert of Nevada and Utah; the Mojave Desert of California; the Sonoran Desert of Arizona; and the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico and Texas.

Small Quake Jiggles Western Los Angeles

Dec. 19
Associated Press

A small earthquake has rattled the west side of Los Angeles and coastal suburbs.

2 Soldiers ID'ed In Helicopter Crash That Killed 6 In Afghanistan (Video)

Dec. 19
By Beth Ford Roth
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Two of the six soldiers killed in Tuesday's Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan have been identified as helicopter crew chief Chris Bohler, 29, and Staff Sgt. Jesse Lee Williams, 30.

'Bolder Than Most Rapist' To Learn Fate At San Diego Hearing

Dec. 19
City News Service

A probable cause hearing was scheduled in San Diego Thursday to determine whether a convicted serial rapist should be deemed a sexually violent predator.

Methodist Minister Who Officiated At Gay Wedding Is Defrocked

Dec. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Leaders of the United Methodist Church have defrocked a Pennsylvania minister who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast Desk.

How To Master The Fine Art Of Political Symbolism

Dec. 19
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Dec. 19
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

Notice Of Appeal Filed Against Removal Of Mt. Soledad Cross

Dec. 19
City News Service
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The lawyers for supporters of the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla filed a notice Wednesday that they will appeal last week's federal court ruling that supported the removal of the religious symbol.

Rain, Snow And Gusty Winds To Hit San Diego County

Dec. 19
City News Service
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Rain, snow and gusty winds were expected throughout San Diego County Thursday, thanks to a cold low pressure system from the Northwest, meteorologists said.

Five Killed In Puerto Peñasco Tourist Zone Gun Battle

Dec. 19
By Michel Marizco
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Five people were shot dead in a gunfight with Mexican police in the Sonora beach resort of Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, early Wednesday.

Impostor Service Dogs On The Rise In San Diego

Dec. 19
By Claire Trageser
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Impostor service dogs are becoming more common, even as San Diego dog owners find many local businesses welcome their canine companions.

Covered California Officials Admit They Need To Do More To Attract Latinos

Dec. 19
Midday Edition
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California and other states that operate their own Obamacare exchanges are seeing major surges in enrollment, but people whose primary language is Spanish are largely staying away.

'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch Doubles Down; Palin Defends Him

Dec. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E; to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.

Breach At Target Stores May Affect 40 Million Card Accounts

Dec. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 -- the heart of the holiday shopping season.

Russian Market Fuels Comeback Of North American Fur Market

Dec. 19
Jennifer Mitchell / NPR
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Not in North America, necessarily, but "you can't keep fur in stock in Russia," says furrier Greg Tinder. "The higher the price tag you put on it, the faster it sells."

This Stanford Ph.D. Became A Fruit Picker To Feed California's Hungry

Dec. 19
NPR
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By some estimates, we Americans throw away about 40 percent of our food, from the cabbage that's wilting in our refrigerators, to the fruit that's falling off the orange tree in our neighbor's backyard.