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Stories for March 7, 2013

News Corp. Education Tablet: For The Love Of Learning?

March 7
David Folkenflik / NPR
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The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp, called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.

Review: 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

March 7
By Nathan John
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Guest blogger Nathan John says, welcome to the re-imagined, re-colorized, yet not totally legally, Land of Oz! Follow the grey cement road to Disney's prequel in San Diego theaters March 8. (Warning: I will be spoiling things.)

National City ACORN Worker Gets $100K Settlement From James O'Keefe

March 7
KPBS News
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A National City man who worked for the political group ACORN won $100,000 in a settlement today from activist James O’Keefe.

GOP Bill Would Allow Flexible Work Schedules

March 7
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

A California lawmaker is reviving a proposal that’s stalled in previous years that would allow employees to work flexible schedules – such as four 10-hour days each week.

Blue Shield Of California Raises Rates Again

March 7
By Kenny Goldberg

A quarter of a million Californians with Blue Cross PPO plans are being hit with double-digit premium hikes.

California Agency Defends Top Officials, Says Inquiry Almost Complete

March 7
By Erik Anderson
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The California Department of Toxic Substance Control says it is close to wrapping up an internal inquiry that focuses on two key officials.

Trademark Board Hears Challenge To 'Redskins' Team Name

March 7
Bill Chappell / NPR
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A group of Native Americans says the NFL's Washington Redskins should not be allowed to trademark the team name, which they say is offensive. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, part of the U.S. Patent Office, heard the case Thursday.

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement

March 7
Bill Chappell / NPR
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When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.

Lawmakers Move Step Closer To Expanding Medi-Cal

March 7
Amy Quinton, Capitol Public Radio
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Legislation that would expand health care coverage to an estimated one million low-income Californians has moved a step closer to passing.

Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment Performing At Camp Pendleton On March 15

March 7
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Battle Color Detachment of the Marine Corps is scheduled to perform next Friday, March 15, at Camp Pendleton.

Watchdogs Not Celebrating Obama Group's Switch On Big Donors

March 7
Frank James / NPR
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Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.

Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story

March 7
Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story  Tease photo

For over 75 years, the game of MONOPOLY has brought friends and families together and created millions of memories. This award-winning documentary, narrated by Zachary Levi, reveals the little-known early history of MONOPOLY, shows how the game has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, and follows the colorful players who compete for the coveted title of MONOPOLY World Champion.

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

March 7
Ann Dornfeld / NPR

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.

Pedestrians Targeted In San Diego Police Sweep

March 7
By Claire Trageser and City News Service
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San Diego police launched a daylong enforcement sweep targeting violations on the part of people walking, jogging, bicycling and skateboarding on city streets.

Festival Highlight: Documentaries At The San Diego Latino Film Festival

March 7
By Rebecca Romani
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Guest blogger Rebecca Romani suggests going beyond the feature film at the 20th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Shrimp Trawling Comes With Big Risks

March 7
Scott Hensley / NPR
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Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.

State Senate OKs Money For Gun-Seizure Program

March 7
AP / Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Legislation approved Thursday by the state Senate would send more money to a program unique to California that seizes guns from people who are prohibited from having them.

Padres 2013: Hope Springs Eternal

March 7
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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For Padres fans, the long wait is over. The new season is just weeks away. The team has new ownership and a re-vamped ball park. But a major portion of the county won't be able to watch.

Lawmakers Give Initial OK To Medi-Cal Expansion

March 7
AP / Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- State lawmakers gave initial approval Thursday to a pair of bills that would expand Medicaid to more than 1 million low-income Californians, a critical step to implementing federal health care reforms.

Festival Highlight: San Diego Latino Film Festival's Shorts Program

March 7
Rebecca Romani, Guest Blogger
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Guest Blogger Rebecca Romani gives us a preview of the shorts program st the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

South Florida Beaches Reopen After Shark Scare

March 7
Scott Neuman / NPR

Several beaches in South Florida are open again following their closure earlier this week as a precautionary measure after thousands of migrating sharks were spotted near shore.

Study: Military Caregivers Need More Support

March 7
By Beth Ford Roth
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There are nearly one million Americans who are charged with taking care of an injured service member - and almost all of them are women, according to a new Rand study.

Rand Paul Talks His Way Into The Political Big Time

March 7
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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Rand Paul has gained new prominence in ways that inevitably lead to speculation about his political future, including the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.

What Happens If You Don't Cooperate At Inland Check Points?

March 7
Midday Edition
By David Martin Davies
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What happens if you refuse to answer the questions agents ask at a Border Patrol checkpoint?

Thunderstorms, Rain And Snow In The San Diego Forecast

March 7
By Susan Murphy
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A cold Pacific storm is making its way to San Diego today, bringing showers and thunderstorms, and snow in the mountains.

Midday Movies: San Diego Latino Film Festival Kicks Off Tonight

March 7
Midday Edition
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The San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off its 20th season with more than 100 films from around the globe.

USS Peleliu Crew Honors Newtown Massacre Victims (Video)

March 7
By Beth Ford Roth
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The crew of the San Diego-based USS Peleliu took part in a special memorial field day while deployed at sea to honor the victims of the Newtown massacre.

Pentagon Report Warns Of F-35 Visibility Risks

March 7
Aaron Mehta - Associated Press
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Significant visibility issues could lead to dangerous flight conditions, according to test pilots who have flown the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. That is just one of several issues identified by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester in a new report.

San Diego To Consider Pot Vending Machines

March 7
AP / Associated Press
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San Diego may soon permit marijuana sales from vending machines.

San Diego's Leading Cancer Research Centers Partner To Accelerate Treatments

March 7
By Susan Murphy
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San Diego's leading cancer research centers have joined a new partnership to share their resources in hopes of accelerating innovative cancer treatments.

Today: First Key Votes On Gun Laws Since Newtown Shootings

March 7
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The most aggressive attempts to change federal gun law since 1994, when Congress passed a ban on assault-style weapons, come up for key votes Thursday on Capitol Hill, as Morning Edition reports.

Visa Overstays Present Challenge For Immigration Reform

March 7
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
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Among the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, some 40 percent entered the U.S. legally with a temporary visa. But once they arrived, they decided to stay.

Two New Homeless Shelters Operating In North County

March 7
By Alison St John
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Two new homeless shelters are opening in North County. Both of them have been years in the making.

Rants And Raves: Bugs!

March 7
By Beth Accomando
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The San Diego Natural History Museum just opened a new bug exhibit called Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders. I spoke with the museum’s curator of entomology, Dr.Michael Wall to go beyond the exhibit to find out more about the insect world.

Suspect In New York City Hit-And-Run Surrenders To Police

March 7
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Four days after a hit-and-run in Brooklyn that killed a young couple riding in a cab, suspect Julio Acevedo surrendered to police at a convenience store parking lot in Bethlehem, Penn.

Nearly 13 Hours Later, Sen. Paul Ends His Filibuster; Here's The Video

March 7
Mark Memmott / NPR
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After nearly 13 hours during which he had only a few short breaks while sympathetic senators took over the talking, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky ended his filibuster of John Brennan's CIA nomination early Thursday.

BP Bows Out Of Solar, But Industry Outlook Still Sunny

March 7
Jeff Brady / NPR
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The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP.

Challenge To Michigan's Gay Marriage Ban Grows From Adoption Case

March 7
Rick Pluta / NPR
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A federal judge in Michigan could rule as soon as Thursday on a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. The challenge comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases dealing with gay marriage later this month.

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

March 7
Scott Horsley / NPR
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President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

With Budget Cuts For Ports, Produce May Perish

March 7
Ted Robbins / NPR
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Budget-cutting from the government sequester that began March 1 could affect U.S. exports and imports, including what we eat.

ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions

March 7
By Jude Joffe-Block
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Before the controversy surfaced around ICE's release of detainees due to budget cuts, the agency had quietly begun to use a new instrument to decide which immigrants to hold in its custody.