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Stories for January 3, 2013

Loophole in Lobbying Ban on Newly-Retired Calif. Lawmakers

Jan. 3
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

California law bans former state lawmakers from becoming lobbyists until they’ve been out of office for a year. But public interest groups say many firms find a way to employ ex-lawmakers anyway.

San Diego's Economic Outlook Remains Bright

Jan. 3
By Erik Anderson
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The University of San Diego's index of leading economic indicators continues to show slow but steady economic growth in the coming year.

Project Director Dies Days Before New Homeless Families' Shelter Opens

Jan. 3
By Alison St John
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The director of a new shelter for homeless women and children in North County died unexpectedly on New Year’s Day, two weeks before the project is due to open.

In New Congress, More Latinos Than Ever

Jan. 3
By Jill Replogle
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The new U.S. Congress has more Latinos than ever before.

Market Warriors: Antiquing In Walnut, Iowa

Jan. 3
Market Warriors: Antiquing In Walnut, Iowa  Tease photo

MARKET WARRIORS head to Walnut, Iowa, to the Walnut Antique Show, with a new competitor in the mix. The target assignment is gold, and Mark L. Walberg injects some quick wit when one of the pickers goes for a broad interpretation the others aren’t buying. Some key finds include a Herman Miller chair, an aluminum plane and a piece of tramp art (a woodcutting style that involves layers of whittled pieces).

California Conditionally Approved to Run Its Own Health Insurance Market

Jan. 3
Pauline Bartolone, Capital Public Radio

Today’s approval is conditional, based mostly on the state's ability to meet federal guidelines and satisfy conditions of its own plans for the new marketplace.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Corpus Christi, Texas - Hour One

Jan. 3
By Jennifer Robinson
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: Corpus Christi, Texas - Hour One Tease photo

In Corpus Christi, Texas, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW discovers a million-dollar item when a guest brings in a Diego Rivera oil painting created in 1904 when the artist was just 18 years old! Other highlights include a 1967 painting by Alexander Calder; a Japanese bronze depicting a mythical figure; and a giant Fisk “Tire Boy” sign valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

Jan. 3
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

Avis Buying Zipcar In Deal Worth Nearly $500 Million

Jan. 3
SAMANTHA BOMKAMP, Associated Press
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Avis is leaping into the car-sharing service business by buying Zipcar for $491.2 million, aiming to capture a new type of customer and technology that will vastly expand its car rental options.

Two New San Diego Congressman Sworn In Thursday

Jan. 3
City News Service
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Two new members of San Diego's congressional delegation were sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner today.

Secrets Of Highclere Castle

Jan. 3
By Jennifer Robinson
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It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of “Downton Abbey,” but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. See how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” Also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds and what life in a fairytale castle is like today.

Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

Jan. 3
Carrie Johnson / NPR

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Legal Hitch May Keep Thousands In District 4 From Voting For New City Councilmember

Jan. 3
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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A perfect storm of unusual election events may keep some residents of the newly redistricted San Diego City Council District 4 from being able to vote for their own City Council representative.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Sonic Youth/The Black Keys

Jan. 3
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Sonic Youth/The Black Keys  Tease photo

Austin City Limits presents the evolution of electric guitar music with Sonic Youth and The Black Keys. Sonic Youth showcases the avant-garde rock of its latest album "The Eternal," while The Black Keys highlights the classic blues rock of its recent record "Brothers."

Film On Quadruple Amputee Staff Sgt. Travis Mills Hits Kickstarter Goal (Video)

Jan. 3
By Beth Ford Roth
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Filmmaker Katie Norris got one step closer today to making a documentary about the life of Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, one of only five quadruple amputees to survive the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She hit her Kickstarter goal of $12,000 this morning - and that dollar amount continues to climb.

Weekend Preview: Tribal Baroque, Nature Walks and Latin Jazz

Jan. 3
Midday Edition
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It's a new year, which is the perfect excuse to try something new. From free nature walks to free live music, here are some suggestions for your weekend to-do list.

Second Chance Is Lifeline For Job Seekers

Jan. 3
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Students at San Diego Second Chance--the homeless, the jobless, the under-educated, even those with a criminal record--can become productive members of society if they can learn to follow the rules.

Coming Up: House Selects Its Speaker

Jan. 3
Mark Memmott / NPR

The 113th Congress is now in session. The gavels have been dropped in both the House and Senate. So, work on the People's Business has begun.

Veteran Parade Float Train Collision Case Goes To Grand Jury

Jan. 3
Associated Press
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A Texas prosecutor says a grand jury will consider the case involving a train collision that killed four veterans who were riding on a parade float.

Was Boehner's Fiscal Cliff End Run Past GOP The New Normal?

Jan. 3
Frank James / NPR
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By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?

President Obama Signs Defense Bill (Video)

Jan. 3
Matthew Daly - Associated Press
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President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for next year despite serious concerns about the limits Congress imposed on his handling of terror suspects and lawmakers' unwillingness to back the cost-saving retirement of aging ships and aircraft.

Camp Pendleton Marine Who Lost Custody Of Son Gets Second Chance

Jan. 3
City News Service
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A panel of appellate court justices in Santa Ana have ruled that lower court judges erred when they took primary custody of his son away from a Camp Pendleton-based Marine while he was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, according to records obtained this week.

Judge: US Can Keep Secrets On Targeted Killings

Jan. 3
David Caruso - Associated Press
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A federal judge has ruled that President Barack Obama's administration doesn't have to publicly disclose its legal justification for the drone attacks and other methods it has used to kill terrorism suspects overseas.

Mexico Training Midwives In Hope Of Preventing Maternal Deaths

Jan. 3
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
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These days the majority of babies in Mexico are born in hospitals, but that hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths. So health officials are now betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, may be a solution.

San Diego Energy Projects Can Tap Extended Wind Credits

Jan. 3
By Erik Anderson
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California wind energy supporters are pleased that Congress turned back conservative headwinds and approved a one-year extension of tax credits for their industry.

Review: The Studio Ghibli Collection

Jan. 3
By Beth Accomando
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Landmark Theatres presents a two-week long retrospective of Japanese animation called The Studio Ghibli Collection, and it offers a great opportunity to see the works of master animator and storyteller Hayao Miyazaki on the big screen.