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Stories for June 19, 2013

San Diego Council Committee Approves Bike Sharing Program

June 19
By Sandhya Dirks
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A City Council committee approved a corporate partnership with bike-sharing company DecoBikes.

California Elected Officials To Get Pay Raise

June 19
Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio
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The salaries of California's state lawmakers and constitutional officers weren’t exempt from years of state budget cuts. But some of those cuts were restored Wednesday when a state commission voted to give lawmakers a pay raise.

Gov. Brown, Calif. Mayors Talk Water, High-Speed Rail and More

June 19
Bob Moffitt, Capital Public Radio
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The mayors of California’s largest cities met with Governor Jerry Brown today. They talked about a host of issues including prison realignment, high speed rail and the governor’s proposed Delta water project.

James Gandolfini Dies At 51, According To Reports

June 19
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Actor James Gandolfini, 51, has reportedly died. Variety magazine reports that he suffered a "sudden stroke." The former star of the HBO series The Sopranos was reportedly in Italy when he died. HBO has confirmed the actor's death, CNN reports.

New Site Tracks Community College Alumni Earnings

June 19
By Kyla Calvert
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California Community Colleges unveiled on Wednesday a site that tracks alumni earnings at Grossmont College.

Meet The New Governor: Sharply Partisan And Upwardly Mobile

June 19
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is already executing prisoners faster than any Florida governor in modern times, signed a bill Monday designed to speed up the death penalty process.

Rants And Raves: Max Brooks And 'World War Z'

June 19
By Beth Accomando
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Hollywood’s version of the zombie apocalypse invades theaters this weekend with Brad Pitt and “World War Z” (opening June 21 throughout San Diego). But the film uses little more than the title of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel.

New San Diego-Tijuana Border Crossing Would Charge Toll To Manage Traffic

June 19
By Jill Replogle
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A new border crossing planned for the San Diego-Tijuana area would charge a toll to keep border wait times down, pay for its own construction and, hopefully, operation.

Federal Agents Accuse Two Of Plotting Deadly X-Ray Weapon

June 19
Bill Chappell / NPR

Two men in upstate New York have been arrested for planning to build a "radiation particle weapon" that could be mounted on a vehicle and used to target people, according to a report by the Albany Times-Union Wednesday. The men allegedly planned to sell the device to either the Ku Klux Klan or Jewish groups.

Capitol Hill's Partisan And Racial Divide Cast In Bronze

June 19
Frank James / NPR
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A 7-foot-tall statue of famed, lion-maned abolitionist Frederick Douglass that was dedicated Wednesday on Capitol Hill is perhaps best understood as a bronze symbol of the partisan divide in Washington and of racial politics.

NCTD Restores Wi-Fi To Coaster Rail Line Cars

June 19
By Alison St John
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Wi-Fi connections on the Coaster light rail line are back, though user discretion is required.

Veterans Connected To Jobs In Apartment Industry

June 19
By Erik Anderson
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Returning veterans are being offered a leg up in the job market by the National Apartment Association Education Institute.

Snowden Reportedly In 'Informal' Asylum Talks With Iceland

June 19
Bill Chappell / NPR

Edward Snowden, the man commonly called "the NSA leaker" for his role in publishing documents that exposed a secret U.S. surveillance program, would reportedly not receive special treatment from the United Nations if he applies for asylum. The AP says Snowden is in "informal talks" with Iceland about applying for asylum there.

A Dry Reservation Clashes With Its Liquor Store Neighbors

June 19
Charles Michael Ray / NPR
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At the Pine Ridge Reservation just outside the town of Whiteclay, Neb., an upside-down American flag flies on a wooden pole next to a teepee. About 60 people gathered here Monday to protest as beer truck drivers unloaded cases into a Whiteclay liquor store a few hundred yards away.

To Rebuild NYC's Beaches, A Native Plant Savings And Loan

June 19
NPR Staff / NPR
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Across the New York region, people are still working to rebuild homes and businesses after the havoc wrought by Hurricane Sandy. But the storm also devastated the dunes and native flora of New York's beaches.

Infections From Contaminated Injections Can Lurk Undetected

June 19
Nancy Shute / NPR
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People who think they didn't get sick from a nationwide meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections used to treat back pain may want to think again.

Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions

June 19
NPR Staff / NPR
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With the Supreme Court expected to hand down big decisions this month -- including rulings on voting rights, affirmative action and same-sex marriage -- we've been talking a lot behind the scenes about how the court works. So we asked you what you really wanted to know and then got answers from NPR's Supreme Court reporter extraordinaire, Nina Totenberg.

After A Marine's Suicide, A Family Recalls Missed Red Flags

June 19
NPR Staff / NPR
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Last year, more U.S. service members took their own lives than died in combat. And despite the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, the pullout in Iraq, and hundreds of new programs designed to help troubled servicemen and women, the number of suicides continues to rise.

Vaccine Against HPV Has Cut Infections in Teenage Girls

June 19
Richard Knox / NPR
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A vaccine against human papillomavirus -- the most common sexually transmitted infection and the cause of almost all cervical cancer -- is dramatically reducing the prevalence of HPV in teenage girls.

Wanna Be A Rock Star? NASA Needs Help Tracking Asteroids

June 19
Hannah Meisel / NPR
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It won't be quite like Bruce Willis in Armageddon, but maybe you'll feel just as much a hero.

Fed Leaves Interest Rates And Bond Purchase Plan Untouched

June 19
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The Federal Reserve will continue its program of purchasing $85 billion in securities and will leave the target interest rate for federal funds untouched to support the U.S. economy, the U.S. central bank said in a policy update issued Wednesday afternoon.

Plans Announced For 2015 Balboa Park Centennial

June 19
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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The group behind the 2015 Balboa Park Centennial said the yearlong celebration will be anchored around four major shows in the hopes of drawing international attention to San Diego. The centennial celebrates the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Is San Diego's Housing Market Headed For Another Bubble?

June 19
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Economists are warning that there are signs that housing prices are going up a little too high, a little too quickly.

San Diego Leaders To Consider Bike Sharing Program

June 19
By Sandhya Dirks
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Is bike sharing coming to San Diego?

Video Of Camp Pendleton Corpsman Saving Baby Bunnies Goes Viral

June 19
By Beth Ford Roth
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An anonymous Camp Pendleton-based Navy Corpsman has taken the Internet by storm by posting video of the baby rabbits he rescued and nursed back to health in his barracks.

'The Watchers' Have Had Their Eyes On Us For Years

June 19
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The revelations about secret National Security Agency programs, leaked by Edward Snowden earlier this month, have stirred great controversy, but this type of surveillance is not entirely new, according to journalist Shane Harris.

Review: 'World War Z'

June 19
By Nathan John
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Max Brook's best-selling undead novel "World War Z," is reanimated for the sliver screen. The apocalyptic film opens everywhere June 21. Check out guest critic Nathan John's review.

Marine Veteran Amputee Becomes Underwear Model (Video)

June 19
By Beth Ford Roth
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Marine veteran Alex Minsky went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego and received further training at Camp Pendleton, before being deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. He lost a leg and suffered major brain injuries in an IED blast. But now, Minsky is making headlines as a top underwear model.

Oops. Wrong Birth Year Fixed On N.Y.C. Mayor Koch's Tombstone

June 19
NPR

"You could call it a 'grave' mistake," says WNBC-TV of New York City.

Study: Juvenile Incarceration Rates Down in California

June 19
Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio
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A new study shows California’s population of incarcerated juveniles dropped more than 35 percent over a ten year period.

San Diego Unified Hopes To Feed 600,000 With Summer Meal Program

June 19
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego free summer lunch program is up and running and organizers hope the federally funded program feeds even more people this year than last.

4 US Troops Killed In Afghanistan Near Bagram Air Base

June 19
By Beth Ford Roth
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Four U.S. service members were killed Tuesday by indirect fire, possibly by a rocket, near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The deaths occurred the same day NATO officially handed responsibility for the country's security over to the Afghan army.

Midday Movies: 'Dirty Wars'

June 19
Midday Edition
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Journalist Jeremy Scahill wrote the bestseller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." Now his book "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield," opening June 21 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas, hits theaters as a documentary feature.

Feds Make $113 Million Claim Against San Diego Hospice: “False Claims”

June 19
Joanne Faryon, inewsource
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After filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, San Diego Hospice faces another hardship: a multi-million dollar claim from the federal government.

IRS Staffer: 'What I Did Was Not Targeting'

June 19
Tamara Keith / NPR
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Another interview with a key IRS employee, another oblique connection to Washington, D.C., and yet still no explosive revelations in the scandal surrounding the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.

Carl DeMaio: 'The Future Something'

June 19
By Claire Trageser and Brooke Williams, inewsource
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Election law experts say Carl DeMaio is walking a blurry line by leading a tax-exempt political advocacy group while running for Congress.

San Diego Teacher Prep Programs Dismiss New Ratings

June 19
By Kyla Calvert
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A report rating 1,200 teacher preparation programs across the country gave only four California programs high marks. UC San Diego was among those standouts. But many are criticizing the report’s methods.

Family Brings School's Health Message Home

June 19
By Kyla Calvert
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With the National Childhood Obesity Conference convening in Long Beach, we check in on a San Diego County school district’s efforts to combat obesity and bring healthy habits into its schools.

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

June 19
Sonari Glinton / NPR
U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady Tease photo

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

How A Merger Could Affect Congress' Favorite Airport

June 19
Brian Naylor / NPR
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If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.