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Stories for January 31, 2013

When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals

Jan. 31
Shankar Vedantam / NPR
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In popular lore -- movies, books and blogs -- criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse.

Mayor, Police Chief To Announce Whether They'll Give Green Light On Red Light Cameras

Jan. 31
City News Service

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Mayor Bob Filner and police Chief William Lansdowne are scheduled to announce this morning whether they will maintain the city of San Diego's red light camera program.

Apple Is Biggest US Phone Seller for 1st Time

Jan. 31
AP / Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Research firm Strategy Analytics says the launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. in last year's holiday season, for the first time.

S&P Boosts California's Credit Rating

Jan. 31
Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

California no longer has the worst credit rating of any state in the nation. The independent ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has upgraded the state from an A-minus to an A.

Kamala Harris Joins CPUC Investigation Into San Onofre

Jan. 31
By Alison St John
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California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris will play a role in a CPUC investigation into whether ratepayers should continue paying for the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which has been offline for a year.

Cyclo-Cross Championship Takes U.S. By Storm, Mud And Sand

Jan. 31
Devin Katayama / NPR
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While many Americans will be tuning into the Super Bowl on Sunday, there's another big sports competition this weekend: the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. This weekend's event, in Louisville, Ky., marks the first time in its 60-year history that the world championships will be held outside of Europe.

Review: 'Warm Bodies'

Jan. 31
By Nathan John
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"Warm Bodies" is fun for zombie and rom-com enthusiasts alike. Experience the exhumed in theaters starting February 1.

Rants And Raves: The Whaling Bar

Jan. 31
By Beth Accomando
Rants And Raves: The Whaling Bar Tease photo

My friend D.A. Kolodenko and I share a passion for film noir. So when he told me about the closing of the La Valencia Hotel's The Whaling Bar where Raymond Chandler would sit and drink, I decided it was worth noting.

Are Shooting Ranges The New Bowling Alleys?

Jan. 31
Linton Weeks / NPR
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The traditional American shooting range is extending its range.

Double-Arm Transplant Vet Gets Wish For First Handshake (Video)

Jan. 31
By Beth Ford Roth
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Quadruple amputee and double arm transplant recipient Brendan Marrocco recently told reporters he wanted country music star Blake Shelton to be his first post-transplant handshake. And Shelton has reached out through Twitter to assure Marrocco he'll make that wish come true.

Has Obama Done Some Skeet Shooting? Fox News Says Yes

Jan. 31
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The Washington Post's Fact Checker takes on the subject of whether President Obama was shooting straight when he told The New Republic that he has fired a gun and that "we do skeet shooting all the time" at Camp David.

Calif. stem cell agency to change grant system

Jan. 31
AP / Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The governing board of California's stem cell funding agency has voted to overhaul how it distributes scientific grants after critics raised concerns that too many board members represented schools that have won funding.

Google Maps Now Include Trails At Grand Canyon

Jan. 31
AP / Associated Press
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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) -- Google is giving people a way to virtually hike the Grand Canyon.

Preview: San Diego Black Film Festival

Jan. 31
By Beth Accomando
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The San Diego Black Film Festival kicks off tonight at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas and runs through February 3.

U.S. Moves To Halt AB InBev's Purchase Of Grupo Modelo

Jan. 31
Bill Chappell / NPR

A $20.1 billion merger of beer conglomerates is now delayed, after the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of Mexico's dominant brewer, Grupo Modelo, Thursday. The agency's antitrust division says the two corporations haven't done enough to protect consumers.

For Asian-Americans, Immigration Backlogs Are A Major Hurdle

Jan. 31
Gene Demby / NPR

Although the national conversation about immigration policy tends to focus on Latinos, it is Asian-Americans who encounter some of the knottiest challenges facing immigrants and immigration reformers.

USS Peleliu Crew Plans Sandy Hook Memorial At Sea

Jan. 31
By Beth Ford Roth
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The crew of the San Diego-based USS Peleliu, which is currently deployed at sea, is planning a special memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Sailors and Marines will take part in a "field day" on February 16 as a way to show support for the families of those killed.

Screening: 'Bestiaire'

Jan. 31
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Sometimes there are too many films to cover. Today, the San Diego Black Film Festival kicks off and UCSD's ArtPower holds a screening of "Bestiaire," and then on Saturday Reading Cinemas launches another month of 40 Foot Films. Too much to see!

Oh, Baby: Squeezable Snacks Might Be Tough On The Teeth

Jan. 31
April Fulton / NPR
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Those squeeze pouches full of organic pureed food in clever combos like plum, berry and barley have become a lifesaver for busy parents.

Dear Lawyers: Order In The &*%# Court!

Jan. 31
Tanya Ballard Brown / NPR
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Remember the scene in the 1979 movie ... And Justice For All where Al Pacino, who is playing an attorney, loses it in court?

Body Of Missing F-16 Pilot Found

Jan. 31
By Beth Ford Roth
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The family of Capt. Lucas Gruenther has announced his body was recovered from the Adriatic Sea on Thursday. Gruenther, an F-16 pilot, went missing during a training mission Monday night off the coast of Italy.

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Jan. 31
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

In Alabama, Hostage Standoff Continues; Child Thought To Be Unharmed

Jan. 31
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The scary situation remains unchanged in southeast Alabama, where authorities say a man shot and killed a school bus driver on Tuesday and then took a 5-year-old boy to an underground bunker.

Shooting Death Of Chicago Teen Ignites Outrage, Enters National Gun Debate

Jan. 31
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Hadiya Pendleton's shooting death Tuesday in a park just a mile from President Obama's home in Chicago has generated outrage "from City Hall to the White House" and is now part of the "national debate over guns and crime," The Chicago Tribune writes.

14 USS Midway Museum Workers Fired

Jan. 31
AP / Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fourteen employees of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego have been fired after money earned by recycling scrap metal from the historic aircraft carrier went missing.

San Onofre Shutdown, One Year Later

Jan. 31
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Today marks one year since the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was shut down. KPBS News takes a look back at the investigations and hearings and a look forward at what's next for the troubled power plant.

Kaiser Has Biggest Piece Of State's $53 Billion Insurance Market

Jan. 31
By Kenny Goldberg
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Kaiser Permanente has 40 percent of California's lucrative health insurance market.

Gregory Canyon Landfill Hearing Thursday Night

Jan. 31
By Alison St John
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The long debated Gregory Canyon Landfill needs a federal permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to move forward. The public has a chance to weigh in at an Army Corps hearing Thursday night.

Behind The Scenes: La Jolla Playhouse's DNA New Works Series

Jan. 31
By Beth Accomando
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The La Jolla Playhouse launched its inaugural DNA New Works Series last week with two performances of "Chasing the Song" and the first performances of "The Tall Girls." Watch the behind the scenes video.

Future Farms Of America Might Not Include Much Family

Jan. 31
Jessica Stoller-Conrad / NPR
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It may sound like a line from The Godfather, but some agricultural specialists advise that farming isn't personal; it's business. And family farms need to think and act more like a business to survive in a competitive world, says Bernie Erven, professor emeritus in the department of agricultural economics at Ohio State University.

Boeing Contract Offer Could Prompt Engineers' Strike

Jan. 31
Ashley Gross / NPR
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Boeing is scrambling to figure out why two batteries malfunctioned on its 787 Dreamliner, prompting officials to ground the airplane this month. And at a time when Boeing most needs its skilled engineers, they're weighing a possible strike. Union leaders are considering the company's final contract offer.

Cabinet Picks Show A Shift In How U.S. Wages War

Jan. 31
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Colin Kaepernick?

Jan. 31
Mike Pesca / NPR
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There's always a question surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Years ago, people wondered whether the talented athlete would be good enough to start in college.