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Stories for February 20, 2013

La Jolla Seals Rope Permit Shouldn't Have Been Rejected, Court Says

Feb. 20
City News Service
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Court papers filed today by the city of San Diego say that its Planning Commission erred in rejecting a permit for a year-round rope to protect the harbor seals at the Children's Pool in La Jolla.

Filner, Goldsmith Clash Over Hotel Fee Agreement

Feb. 20
By Claire Trageser
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner showed up unannounced to a press conference today and got into a heated debate with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.

Public Hearing: Should Ratepayers Continue To Pay For San Onofre?

Feb. 20
By Alison St John
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Thursday is the first opportunity for ratepayers to weigh in on the San Onofre nuclear power plant before the California Public Utilities Commission. The plant has been shut down for more than a year. The focus of the public hearing is not safety, but cost.

California Consumers Could Get $1.6 Billion From Energy Traders

Feb. 20
By Erik Anderson
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A federal judge is leaning toward giving California consumers a $1.6 billion dollar refund check from energy wholesalers. The money is linked to California's electricity crisis in 2000 and 2001.

'San Diego Cooks' Celebrates: Black History Month

Feb. 20
By Monica Medina
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This year’s Black History Month is nearly over, but I hope you’ll take a moment to think about what honoring the historic contributions made by African Americans is all about. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month with your family, look no further than your own kitchen. Here’s an easy recipe for Shrimp and Grits that looks mouth-watering delicious.

Georgia Death Penalty Under Renewed Scrutiny After 11th-Hour Stay

Feb. 20
Kathy Lohr / NPR

A Georgia inmate's execution was halted Tuesday night with less than an hour to go. Prison officials had already given Warren Lee Hill one of the drugs when a federal appeals court stepped in.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Gary Clark Jr. / Alabama Shakes

Feb. 20
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Gary Clark Jr. / Alabama Shakes  Tease photo

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS presents modern blues and soul with Gary Clark, Jr. and Alabama Shakes. Austin guitarist Clark showcases his major label debut, while Alabama Shakes spotlight their critically acclaimed "Boys & Girls."

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Feb. 20
Julie Rovner / NPR

Perhaps Florida Gov . Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

Republicans Make 'Benghazi' A Frequent Refrain

Feb. 20
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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The White House hopes the Senate will confirm Chuck Hagel next week as defense secretary.

NASCAR Champ Finds Fans With Beer, Tweets And Bangin' Fenders

Feb. 20
Michael Tomsic / NPR
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The first big race of the NASCAR season is on Sunday, and Brad Keselowski, the sport's brash, young champion, will begin defending his title.

Latino Grocery Chain Profits With Changing Demographics

Feb. 20
By Jill Replogle
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As the Latino population grows, one family-owned, Southern California business is booming thanks to Latinos' love for home-cooked food and food from the home country.

Busted San Diego Water Pipe Installed When Taft Was President

Feb. 20
By Katie Orr
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Another day, another water main break that closes a busy San Diego street. So why do the pipes keep busting?

Nation's West, Midwest In Path Of Massive Winter Storm

Feb. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR

As many as 30 million people living from Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley are in the path of a storm moving east out of California that could dump several inches of snow in some areas and freezing rain and sleet elsewhere in the next few days.

Google's Glass Project: Can You Make The Grade?

Feb. 20
Brian De Los Santos / NPR
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Google's Glass has been in the works for some time, but now the company is inviting people to submit ideas for how the wearable technology could be used.

Shakespeare Uncovered: Hamlet With David Tennant

Feb. 20
Shakespeare Uncovered: Hamlet With David Tennant  Tease photo

An acclaimed Hamlet himself in the RSC’s recent hit production (and another recent GREAT PERFORMANCES production), David Tennant meets with fellow Hamlets, including superstar Jude Law, comparing notes on the titanic challenge of playing the most iconic of all roles. He also tries, alongside Simon Russell Beale and Ben Whishaw, to master the meaning of the play and the reason why it is considered the greatest of Shakespeare’s works.

'Gem Of The Ocean'

Feb. 20
Midday Edition
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To celebrate Black History Month, Cygnet Theater brings in some of the cast from August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” to share a scene.

Encinitas Parents Sue To Stop In-School Yoga

Feb. 20
By Kyla Calvert
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The Escondido-based National Center for Law & Policy has filed suit against the Encinitas school district, claiming the district's yoga classes are religious.

Amid Threats Of Violence, Who's Keeping San Diego School Children Safe?

Feb. 20
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Schools across the nation are searching for ways to spot troubled students before they act out violently.

San Diego Cancer Research At Risk As Sequestration Looms

Feb. 20
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Sequestration: It's not just about possible military cuts that could affect the San Diego region. San Diego is a hub for health science research, including cancer research. Spending cuts could affect grants used in this work and slow it down if the funds aren't available.

Cash-Strapped Postal Service To Launch A New Clothing Line

Feb. 20
Elise Hu / NPR
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The U.S. Postal Service is getting creative in its search for new revenue after last year's $15.9 billion budget shortfall. The agency says it will debut a new clothing and accessories line called Rain Heat & Snow, inspired by its unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

'Coast Modern' Showcases Modern Architecture On The West Coast

Feb. 20
Midday Edition
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Two friends (and modern architecture fans) spent years traversing the West Coast, seeking out some of the most prolific modern homes. The resulting documentary, "Coast Modern," tells the stories behind the creation of these homes and their lasting legacies.

Therapy Dogs Help Military Kids With Special Needs Find Love Of Reading

Feb. 20
By Beth Ford Roth
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Military children with special needs in the San Diego area recently got the chance to read to an adoring audience - therapy dogs.

Smallest Planet Yet Found Outside Solar System

Feb. 20
AP / Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Astronomers searching for planets outside our solar system have discovered the tiniest one yet -- one that's about the size of our moon.

50,000 Juvenile Salmon Released In Flooded Field

Feb. 20
AP / Associated Press
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Researchers released 50,000 salmon into a flooded rice field in the Sacramento Valley on Tuesday in an effort to understand whether such fields, flooded between harvests, can stand in for the wetlands that once filled the area and served as a massive nursery for juvenile salmon.

How Should The U.S. Respond To Chinese Hacking?

Feb. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR
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If the Chinese military is regularly hacking into the computers of U.S. organizations, as an American security firm says, it raises all sorts of questions about how the U.S. should respond.

Gay Couples Push For Inclusion In Immigration Reform Bill

Feb. 20
Midday Edition
By Adrian Florido
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The law that makes it easy for a U.S. citizen to adjust a spouse's immigration status doesn't apply to gay couples, who want that addressed as immigration reform takes shape.

Kickboxing Pro Denies Murdering Twentynine Palms Marine Veteran

Feb. 20
By Beth Ford Roth
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Former kickboxing pro Lee Aldhouse of England told a judge in Thailand that while he did stab Marine veteran Dashawn Longfellow to death, it was an accident.

Japan: Probe Of Battery Fire On Boeing 787 Finds Improper Wiring

Feb. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Two reports on troubles with lithium ion batteries aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner:

Calorie Counts: Fatally Flawed, Or Our Best Defense Against Pudge?

Feb. 20
Nancy Shute / NPR
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Eat 200 calories of baby carrots, and you're going to be doing a lot more chomping than if you eat 200 calories of gummy bears. Any dieter can tell you that. So can a 200-calorie photo shoot that's making the rounds on the Internet this week. But when it comes to losing or maintaining weight, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, right?

Guilty Pleas Expected From Jesse Jackson Jr. & Wife Over 'Lavish' Spending

Feb. 20
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s once-bright political career is expected to officially end Wednesday morning in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

Winter Storm Pounds San Diego With Rain, Snow And Wind

Feb. 20
City News Service
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A cold storm from the Gulf of Alaska brought heavy snowfall to the mountains of San Diego County early today, and lighter snow showers to the upper deserts and far inland valleys.

Helicopter Hard Landing Injures 7 U.S. Marines In Thailand

Feb. 20
By Beth Ford Roth
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Seven U.S. Marines were injured in Thailand today during the international military exercise Cobra Gold when their helicopter made a hard landing.

Poll: Obama Rises, Tea Party Dives In California

Feb. 20
AP / Associated Press
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A new Field Poll finds that 62 percent of California voters approve of President Barack Obama's job performance, a level not seen since his first year in office.

Mexican Graffiti Artist Creates Stunning Mural In Juarez Skatepark

Feb. 20
By John Rosman
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Minoz is a Mexico City graffiti artist whose work focuses on realism. He recently visited Ciudad Juarez and drew an amazing mural of a floating infant.

Quarry Creek - A Carlsbad Conundrum

Feb. 20
By Alison St John
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The proposed Quarry Creek housing development in Carlsbad is a project that highlights the tension between preserving open space and building for the future. Tonight, the Carlsbad Planning Commission considers whether to give the project its approval.

Anthem Blue Cross Backs Off On Controversial Policy

Feb. 20
By Kenny Goldberg
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Anthem Blue Cross is suspending a program that would have prevented HIV/AIDS patients from getting their medications from local pharmacies.

Review: 'Moulin Rouge'

Feb. 20
By Beth Accomando
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WARNING! Potential danger of sensory overload while watching “Moulin Rouge”. Okay, you’ve been warned. Baz Luhrmann, the in your face, over-the-top Australian director of Strictly Ballroom and 1996’s Romeo and Juliet— is at it again. No one would ever accuse Luhrmann of being subtle and his film, “Moulin Rouge” (screening tonight at 7pm at the Birch North Park Theater courtesy of FilmOut) is no exception. The film travels back to turn of the century Paris to spin a bold, outrageous love story as only he could do.

Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss

Feb. 20
Yuki Noguchi / NPR
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Sticking to a diet is a challenge for many people, but starting next year, Americans may have an even bigger, financial incentive to keep their weight in check. The new health care law includes a provision that would allow employers with more than 50 employees to require overweight workers who do not exercise to pay more to cover their insurance costs.

In New York, Taxi Apps Raise Objections From Competitors

Feb. 20
Alex Goldmark / NPR
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Even people who've never been to New York can tell you how to hail one of the iconic yellow cabs there. You just raise an arm and flag one down.

When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'

Feb. 20
Ina Jaffe / NPR
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Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.