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Stories for February 14, 2013

In Kansas, A 'Glide Path' To No Income Taxes. Will It Work?

Feb. 14
Frank Morris / NPR
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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has put the state on what he calls a "glide path to zero" income tax. But that glide path is far from being clear or smooth.

A Husband And Wife Blessed Late In Life

Feb. 14
NPR Staff / NPR
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Harriet and Louis Caplan's love story began 20 years ago in a college town in Kansas. Harriet was 48 and working at a bank. Louis was a 56-year-old physicist.

A Review Of 2012 Confirms A 'Pulverizing' Level Of Political Ads

Feb. 14
Peter Overby / NPR
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If you look back at the 2012 campaign as an unrelenting gusher spewing TV ads of anger and negativity, the Wesleyan Media Project is here to confirm your every grim memory.

Sheriff Says Remains Found In Burned Big Bear Cabin IDed As Ex-Cop

Feb. 14
AP / Associated Press
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Officials said Thursday that the burned remains found in a California mountain cabin have been positively identified as fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner.

Max Disposti Makes a ‘Home’ for North County’s LGBT Community

Feb. 14
By Monica Medina
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Max Disposti oozes boyish charm, right down to his robust, Italian accent. Meet him and you’re immediately caught up in his genuine enthusiasm and zeal for all he’s been able to accomplish here, in San Diego. For Disposti, his achievement amounts to having created a center for the LGBT community in North County, the first of its kind for the area

Lautenberg Retirement Ends Potential May-December Senate Fight With Booker

Feb. 14
Frank James / NPR
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The potential Democratic Party contest for a U.S. Senate seat between 89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg and 43-year-old Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had been shaping up to be a generational battle royale.

Artist Works To Keep Immigrants In The Picture

Feb. 14
Brian De Los Santos / NPR
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Ramiro Gomez Jr. is working fast enough to draw the least amount of attention, but slowly enough to make every detail stand out. He describes the rush he gets as "therapeutic."

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

Feb. 14
Greg Allen / NPR
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The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

Airline Mega-Mergers: 'Good, Bad And Ugly'

Feb. 14
Wendy Kaufman / NPR
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The proposed marriage of American Airlines and US Airways announced Thursday may be the last in a series of industry mega-mergers, but history suggests combining two big carriers isn't easy.

Decades On, Stiff Drug Sentence Leaves A Life 'Dismantled'

Feb. 14
Brian Mann / NPR
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There are roughly half a million people behind bars for non-violent drug crimes in America. But no one really knows how many people have been sentenced to long prison bids since the laws known as Rockefeller drug laws first passed 40 years ago.

Review: 'John Dies At The End'

Feb. 14
By Beth Accomando
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“John Dies at the End” was written as a webserial in 2001. It has now been made into a movie that opens today at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas. It is destined to be a cult hit.

Review: 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

Feb. 14
By Beth Accomando
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John McClane is back and this time he’s trying to mend bridges with his estranged son in the latest installment of the “Die Hard” franchise, “A Good Day to Die Hard” (opening February 14 throughout San Diego).

Medal Of Honor Recipient Clinton Romesha Visits Letterman Show (Video)

Feb. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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Medal of Honor recipient and retired Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha was a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night. The two talked about Romesha's family, especially his precocious toddler Colin.

Report Cites Rising Pension Costs Amid Judge's Prop B Rejection

Feb. 14
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Pension costs in San Diego County are on the rise. That's according to a new report, which comes after an administrative judge's decision that the city of San Diego's attempt to bring its pension expenses down is illegal.

Weekend Preview: Casual Encounters, Love Notes and The HeART of Lotería

Feb. 14
Midday Edition
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Whether or not you're looking to celebrate Valentine's Day, we've got you covered with things to do this weekend.

Drone Draws What May Be Largest Valentine Ever

Feb. 14
By John Rosman
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A man has created what might be the world’s largest valentine — using a drone.

Former San Diego Mayor Gambled Away Millions

Feb. 14
Midday Edition
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Federal prosecutors say former San Diego mayor Maureen O'Connor gambled away millions of dollars.

Veteran Helps Family Of Fallen Iraqi Comrade Get Safely To U.S.

Feb. 14
Midday Edition
By Jill Replogle
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Afghans and Iraqis who work in their countries with American troops often place themselves and their families in great danger. Because of the risks, they're supposed to have an easier time getting U.S. visas for themselves and their families. But the wait can still be long, as the story of one family illustrates.

'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Feb. 14
NPR Staff / NPR
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As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed. That fact itself may not be surprising, but in the introduction to his new book, Klansville, U.S.A., David Cunningham also reveals that, "While deadly KKK violence in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia ha[d] garnered the lion's share of Klan publicity, the United Klan's stronghold was, in fact, North Carolina." North Carolina, Cunningham writes, had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

Feb. 14
Grant Gerlock / NPR
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A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

Orca Born At SeaWorld

Feb. 14
City News Service
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The young killer whale was born at Shamu Stadium and appears to be healthy, according to SeaWorld.

Pain Is 'Indescribable' For Gun Victim Pendleton's Mother

Feb. 14
NPR Staff / NPR
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Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago's South Side.

Crew Of USS Mobile Bay Sends Valentine's Day Wishes Home

Feb. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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The crew of the San Diego-based USS Mobile Bay is deployed at sea somewhere in the Middle East. But that didn't stop many of them from posting Valentine's Day wishes online for their loved ones.

Calif. Couple Says Dorner Tied Them Up, Stole Car

Feb. 14
AP / Associated Press

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (AP) -- A Southern California couple says Christopher Dorner tied them up in their mountain cabin and stole their car hours before his presumed death in a fiery confrontation with law enforcement.

Screening: 'The Thin Man'

Feb. 14
By Beth Accomando
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Tonight you can enjoy murder, martinis, and the sublime screwball comedy "The Thin Man" for Valentine's Day at The Whistle Stop's Shot by Shot Film Series.

Cruise Ship Triumph Will Dock Late Thursday, Carnival Says

Feb. 14
Bill Chappell / NPR

The Carnival cruise ship Triumph is now scheduled to arrive at Mobile's port late Thursday night, as the job of towing the stricken 100,000-ton ship hundreds of miles across the Gulf of Mexico has taken longer than expected. Since an engine room fire Sunday, the ship's 3,143 passengers have coped with sewage problems and a lack of ventilation.

Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Makers Dare To Bare How It's Done

Feb. 14
Nancy Shute / NPR
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If you're looking to buy chocolate in San Francisco this Valentine's Day, just follow your nose down Valencia Street. "A lot of people walk in (and say), 'Oh, my gosh, the smell!" says Cameron Ring, co-owner of Dandelion Chocolate.

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

Feb. 14
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

Fallen Camp Pendleton Marine Who Wrote Goodbye Letter To Be Awarded Bronze Star On Friday

Feb. 14
By Beth Ford Roth
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The military will posthumously award fallen Marine Sgt. William Stacey the Bronze Star at a Camp Pendleton ceremony Friday. Stacey left behind a farewell letter to be read in case of his death - a letter that touched the hearts of many military families.

San Diego Police Revisit Teen's 1978 Slaying

Feb. 14
AP / Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- San Diego police have ordered new DNA tests in the cold-case probe of a teenager's killing nearly 35 years ago.

'I Thought We Were Dead,' Says One Of Cop Killer's Hostages

Feb. 14
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The two people held hostage Tuesday by former Los Angles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner say they expected the worst after they discovered Dorner inside a vacation property they own near the Big Bear mountain resort.

Liberal Label Gives Way To Progress(ive)

Feb. 14
By Tom Fudge
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Left-of-center politicos lean toward “progressive” label to cast off liberal baggage.

Complaint Alleges Edison Inflated Costs Of Steam Generators

Feb. 14
By Alison St John and Associated Press
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A complaint filed with the California Public Utilities Commission accuses the operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant of inflating the cost to ratepayers of the defective steam generators.

Former San Diego Mayor To Be Arraigned On Money Laundering Charge

Feb. 14

Ex-Mayor Maureen O'Connor Takes Deferred Prosecution in Misappropriation Case

The Drug Laws That Changed How We Punish

Feb. 14
Brian Mann / NPR
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The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country, five times as many per capita compared with Britain or Spain.