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Stories for February 26, 2013

Dear College Presidents: Break The NCAA's Vise Grip On Athletes

Feb. 26
Frank Deford / NPR
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The great social quest in American sport is to have one prominent, active, gay male athlete step forward and identify himself.

San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba To Retire

Feb. 26
CHANNEL 10 NEWS
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San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba will retire this summer.

Battle For The Elephants

Feb. 26
Battle For The Elephants Tease photo

The elephant, Earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal, today faces market forces driving the value of its tusks to levels once reserved for gold. This groundbreaking National Geographic special goes undercover to expose the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand. It also demonstrates how the elephant, with its highly evolved society, keen intelligence, ability to communicate across vast distances and to love, remember and even to mourn, is far more complex than ever imagined.

Supreme Court Makes It Harder To Challenge Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Feb. 26
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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A sharply divided Supreme Court has made it practically impossible for American citizens to challenge the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Sequestration To Affect California Schools

Feb. 26
Marianne Russ, Capital Public Radio

School districts across California will lose millions of dollars if the automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration take effect on Friday. The California Department of Education says statewide, schools could lose about $260 million.

Advocates Warn Sequester Could Mean Big Cuts For The Low-Income

Feb. 26
Pam Fessler / NPR
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Many programs affecting low-income Americans -- like food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- are exempt from across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect March 1.

Workplace Wellness Programs: Worth The Weight?

Feb. 26
By Kenny Goldberg
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Workplace wellness programs can save money and improve employee health, but not overnight.

SDHC Tests Children for Lead Poisoning

Feb. 26
Amanda Guerrero
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Children may be vulnerable to lead poisoning, as a result of lead-based materials used to build homes in older San Diego neighborhoods

New Faster Water Quality Test Is Given A Chance In San Diego

Feb. 26
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego County officials will start testing a DNA-based tool to measure water quality at beaches. That new test could protect public health better than the current system.

Has U.S. Outgrown The Voting Rights Act?

Feb. 26
Liz Halloran / NPR
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The nation has twice elected an African-American president.

Anesthesia Care And Web-Surfing May Not Mix, Nurses Say

Feb. 26
Nancy Shute / NPR
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The next time you're being wheeled into the operating room, you might want to ask the medical professionals there to lay off the eBay and Twitter apps on their phones.

It's A Trap! 4 Possible Presidential Pitfalls

Feb. 26
Linton Weeks / NPR
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You are Barack Obama and you find yourself hacking away in the weeds of sequestration -- and some frustration. What's going on?

California Braces For Deep Cuts From Federal Sequestration

Feb. 26
Midday Edition
By Susan Murphy
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California is bracing for massive cuts to federal spending from so-called sequestration, including a $3.2-billion hit to the region's defense industry, unless Congress acts by March 1.

California and the Pacific: A Love Story

Feb. 26
Midday Edition
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Author David Helvarg explores the unique, symbiotic relationship between the Golden State and the ocean that shapes its existence.

Sequestration Cuts Will Slash Border Patrol, Hobble Border Trade

Feb. 26
By David Martin Davies
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If Congress isn’t able to avoid the automatic budget cuts of sequestration on March 1, border protection and legitimate border traffic could suffer.

Texas Latino Leaders Support Voting Rights Act

Feb. 26
By David Martin Davies

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case that could considerably weaken a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Texas civil rights leaders say if that happens, Latino and African-American voters will certainly be discriminated against.

How Will Sequestration Affect Military Families?

Feb. 26
By Beth Ford Roth
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There are a lot of rumors floating around about how sequestration would affect military families. Fortunately, the non-profit National Military Family Association is quashing a lot of those rumors, and hopefully putting some minds at ease.

Businesses, Military Bases Preparing For Sequester

Feb. 26
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
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In the Southwest one of the states that could be hardest hit by sequester is New Mexico. The upcoming deadline has government agencies, local businesses and military bases on edge.

UCSD Researcher Surprised To Win $3 Million Breakthrough Prize In Life Sciences

Feb. 26
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Could new "Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences" be the "Oscar" of prizes for scientists?

Tijuanans Throw Birthday Party For A Pothole

Feb. 26
By Adrian Florido
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An online video shows Tijuana youth celebrating a pothole's birthday to pressure the city to complete repairs.

Obama's Sequester Gamble: What If Nobody Notices?

Feb. 26
Frank James / NPR
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President Obama has for weeks warned congressional Republicans and the American public of the dangers facing the nation from the sequester budget cuts.

Coast Guard Releases Mayday Call Of Family Missing Off California Coast (Audio)

Feb. 26
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Coast Guard has released audio of a mayday call in an effort to identify a family of four that went missing off the California coast when their sailboat began to sink.

Daytona 500 Ratings Hit 5-Year High; Viewership Spikes In Cities

Feb. 26
Bill Chappell / NPR

This year's edition of the Daytona 500 posted its strongest TV ratings since 2008, thanks to a buildup of attention drawn by Danica Patrick's history-making pole position and a horrendous crash during a race at the track Saturday. Viewership peaked late in the race, when Patrick dropped from third position to finish eighth behind winner Jimmie Johnson.

Force Behind Race-Law Rollback Efforts Talks Voting Rights Case

Feb. 26
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Edward Blum isn't a lawyer, and he doesn't play one on TV.

San Diego-Based USS Warrior To Replace USS Guardian

Feb. 26
By Beth Ford Roth
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Instead of heading home to San Diego as planned, the USS Warrior is leaving Bahrain and heading toward Japan. The ship will replace the USS Guardian, which has been grounded on a reef near the Philippines since January 17.

Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake

Feb. 26
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Nearly $152,000 has been donated online to help Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City who returned an engagement ring to the woman who accidentally left it in a cup he uses to collect change.

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

Feb. 26
Nina Totenberg, NPR
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The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing — a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Car Eases Road To A Degree For San Diego Teen

Feb. 26
By Kyla Calvert
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One student's road to a college degree just got a little easier.

Despite Promises, Downtown San Diego Residents Have Not Yet Been Refunded

Feb. 26
By Claire Trageser
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The city of San Diego said downtown residents who were overcharged on their property taxes would get their money back. But nothing has happened yet.

Technology Upends Another Industry: Homebuilding

Feb. 26
Yuki Noguchi / NPR
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Years into the economic recovery, hiring remains slow. Many businesses learned to do more with less during the recession, so they don't need to bring on as many people now.

Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

Feb. 26
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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The country has been debating gun regulations for months. Later this week, a Senate committee will start work on various proposals, including a background check on every gun sale and an assault weapons ban.

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

Feb. 26
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing -- a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Seeking A 'Field Of Dreams' For A Rising Drone Industry

Feb. 26
Ryan Delaney / NPR
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In three years, the federal government is expected to open the skies for the civilian use of drones. But before that, the Federal Aviation Administration will set up six drone test sites around the country. Stiff competition to get one of the sites is anticipated -- driven by hopes of attracting thousands of new jobs.