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Stories for December 6, 2013

What's Behind San Diego's Gang Problem?

Dec. 6
By Megan Burks

Local law enforcement say gangs have gotten worse in the last five years. Officers say it's due to prison realignment. Researchers say San Diego is behind the gang deterrence curve.

Mall-Based Artwork To Reopen To Public After Controversy

Dec. 6
By Angela Carone
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An art installation in a mall in Carlsbad was closed for a week due to concerns about its content. Mall management has agreed to let the artwork reopen to the public.

North Korea Frees Elderly U.S. Tourist After Weeks In Detention

Dec. 6
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, reports that Pyongyang has deported Merrill Newman, the U.S. tourist and Korean war veteran who was arrested in October during a visit to the reclusive state.

Alpha Project Gets Home Improvement Help For San Diego Women's Residence

Dec. 6
By Dwane Brown
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Volunteers turned out to refurbish an Alpha Project homes in Logan Heights, which will become the project's first residence for women.

Balboa Park Readies For December Nights, Rain Or Shine

Dec. 6
By Katie Schoolov
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Crews set up for the estimated 350,000 people expected to show at the 35th annual "December Nights" holiday festival, rain or shine.

San Diego Economy Expected To Grow Despite Challenges

Dec. 6
By Erik Anderson

San Diego's economy will continue to improve next year, economist says.

Nosy Driver In The Next SUV? It May Be A Cop Watching You Text

Dec. 6
Alisa Roth / NPR
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Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws that make it illegal to text while driving. Six others forbid new drivers from texting behind the wheel.

President Obama Attends National Christmas Tree Lighting

Dec. 6
Scott Neuman / NPR
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President Obama threw the switch on the National Christmas Tree on Friday amid a constant rain that soaked many of the estimated 17,000 attendees.

Six Radiation Exposure Victims Arrested At Central Mexico Hospital

Dec. 6
By Jill Replogle

Six people are admitted to a hospital in central Mexico with potential radiation poisoning days after a truck containing a highly radioactive load of cobolt-60 was hijacked at a gas station.

San Diego Chargers Avoid Broadcast Blackout For Sunday's NFL Game

Dec. 6
By City News Service

A San Diego television station and car dealership promised to buy enough tickets to Sunday's NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants to avoid a TV broadcast blackout.

CRAFT IN AMERICA: Holiday

Dec. 6
By Jennifer Robinson
CRAFT IN AMERICA: Holiday   Tease photo

“Holiday” celebrates some of our most important traditions. Nordic folk woodcarver Harley Refsal brings to life the rich history of winter solstice. Clay artist Susan Garson creates fanciful Chanukah menorahs. George Vanderbilt’s opulent turn-of-the-century Christmas is recreated at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Daring chefs make lavish gingerbread houses for the competition at Grove Park Inn. Navidad is celebrated in San Antonio with religious processions, tamales and Kathleen Trenchard’s sparkling luminarias. Garcia Art Glass makes colorful ornaments, and Veronica Castillo creates a traditional Mexican Tree of Life.

Man Linked To Mexican Cartel Gets 21-Year Sentence

Dec. 6
Associated Press

A man whose brother is believed to be a prolific cartel hit man was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in what authorities said was a plot to kill a mother and son in Southern California who owed a drug debt.

Atlas V Rocket Launches From California Air Base On Top Secret Mission (Video)

Dec. 6
By Beth Ford Roth
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A 19-story tall rocket called the Atlas V launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base late Thursday night, carrying a top secret payload for the U.S. government's National Reconnaissance Office.

Roundtable: Tuite Not Guilty; Genetic Testing Shutdown; Drones Coming To San Diego?

Dec. 6
By Pat Finn, Mark Sauer
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Will San Diego County be one of six drone-testing sites? The FDA tells a California company to stop selling genetic test kits. And Richard Tuite's retrial for killing Stephanie Crowe lurches toward a close.

Sen. Thad Cochran To Seek Re-Election In Mississippi

Dec. 6
Adam Wollner / NPR
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Get ready for a bruising GOP primary battle in Mississippi.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2013

Dec. 6
By Jennifer Robinson
The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2013  Tease photo

The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation announced that multiple Grammy award-winning superstar Mariah Carey will be performing at the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch will host the ceremony, which also includes holiday performances by The Avett Brothers, Grammy award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, acclaimed soprano and musical ambassador Renée Fleming, multicultural operatic trio Forte, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe, Latin music superstar Prince Royce, jazz legend Arturo Sandoval, the multiplatinum, Grammy-winning band Train, and Nolan Williams, Jr. and Voices of Inspiration.

Marine Maj. Robb McDonald To Receive Silver Star At Camp Pendleton Ceremony

Dec. 6
By Beth Ford Roth
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Marine Corps Maj. Robb McDonald will receive the Silver Star on Dec. 9 at Camp Pendleton, for heroic actions during the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion the night of Sept. 14, 2012.

For Workers, A Week Stuffed With Good News

Dec. 6
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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Here's something you haven't heard in years: The U.S. economy had a great week.

San Diegans Can Get Free Dental Care This Weekend

Dec. 6
By Kenny Goldberg

Dental care is a luxury many San Diegans can't afford. But this weekend people can get it for free.

San Diego Jury Finds Richard Tuite Not Guilty In Retrial For The Murder Of Stephanie Crowe

Dec. 6
By Mark Sauer
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Richard Raymond Tuite was found not guilty Friday by a Superior Court jury of killing 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe of Escondido.

World Cup 2014 Draw Is Set: U.S. Will Face Germany, Portugal, Ghana

Dec. 6
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The final draw of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was announced Friday. The U.S. team will face Germany, Portugal and Ghana in Group G; host Brazil will face world No. 16 Croatia in Group A. Only the top two teams of each group advance to the next round.

Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients

Dec. 6
Richard Knox / NPR
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HIV has reappeared in the blood of two Boston patients who scientists had hoped had been cured of their infections.

Canceled In California: People Eye Health Plans Off Exchange

Dec. 6
Lisa Aliferis / NPR
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Some Californians whose policies have been canceled are finding relief in a surprising place: from insurance companies that aren't offering plans on the new Covered California marketplace.

San Diego Mountains Under Winter Storm Watch

Dec. 6
By Susan Murphy
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A cold, blustery storm from the north is expected to move into San Diego County early Saturday morning, bringing heavy rain to coastal and inland areas and snow to the mountains.

Amber Alert In California For Missing Washington Teen

Dec. 6
City News Service
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An Amber Alert was issued Friday for a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted in Kennewick, Wash., by a man who may be trying to take her to Mexico.

The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries

Dec. 6
NPR

"There's our ship!" says Officer Lisa Sacco.

Artwork In Carlsbad Mall Temporarily Halted By Management

Dec. 6
By Angela Carone
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An art installation inside the Westfield mall in Carlsbad has been temporarily closed. Mall management is concerned about the content of the artwork titled "Winter Wonderland."

U.S. Unemployment At 7 Percent; 203K Jobs Added In November

Dec. 6
Bill Chappell / NPR

The U.S. unemployment rate now stands at 7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, coming down from 7.3 percent in October to hit its lowest mark in five years. Employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November, the agency says.

Major Snow, Ice Storm Predicted For Several States Going Into Weekend

Dec. 6
Bill Chappell / NPR
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A large tract of America can expect "a major icing event," the National Weather Service says, predicting snow and ice in an area that includes at least eight states from Texas to the Ohio Valley. The winter storm has already hit Western towns; some will endure lows far below zero this weekend, forecasters say.

Adrift In Frigid Water, Not Caring 'If You Live Or Die'

Dec. 6
NPR Staff / NPR
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It was 1966, and a ship called the Daniel J. Morrell was making its last run of the season, hauling steel across Lake Huron. The crew was eager to head home for Christmas. But one night, caught in a severe storm, the ship broke apart and sank.