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Stories for May 15, 2013

The Obamas Release 2012 Financial Disclosure

May 15
Scott Neuman / NPR
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President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have released their latest financial disclosure form, which covers 2012.

Take Your Seat, The 'No Photography' Sign Is Lit

May 15
Martin Kaste / NPR
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You probably saw this bit of Internet virality earlier this week -- showing a woman getting kicked off an American Airlines flight for channeling Whitney Houston.

Jury Finds Jodi Arias Eligible For Death Penalty

May 15
Krishnadev Calamur / NPR
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A jury has found Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman found guilty last week of first-degree murder for killing her onetime boyfriend in a fit of rage, eligible for the death penalty.

Hazard Crossing: Researchers Assess Health Impacts of Long Border Waits

May 15
By Adrian Florido
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They hope their findings will influence better border infrastructure design.

Obama Announces Resignation Of Acting IRS Commissioner

May 15
Scott Neuman / NPR
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President Obama announced late Wednesday that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steve Miller, has resigned in the wake of a report that employees at the agency engaged in partisan scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Filner Announces Director Of San Diego's Arts And Culture Commission

May 15
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A former leader of the arts community in Denver has been appointed as executive director of San Diego's Arts and Culture Commission, Mayor Bob Filner announced Wednesday.

Partial Smoking Bans In Hotels Don't Protect Guests From Dangers Of Tobacco

May 15
By Kenny Goldberg
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Non-smoking rooms in hotels that have a partial smoking ban don't protect people from tobacco smoke, according to a new study from San Diego State University.

L.A. Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

May 15
Nathan Rott / NPR
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School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspending students deemed "willfully defiant."

Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story

May 15
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called "a very grave leak" to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there's a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.

Ten Things We Learned From the IRS-Inspector General Report

May 15
Frank James / NPR
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Scintillating isn't how you'd describe the report issued by the Treasury inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

May 15
Brian Naylor / NPR
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Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

SDSU Hires Stacie Terry As Women's Basketball Head Coach

May 15
By Katie Schoolov
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SDSU women's basketball has a new head coach, Stacie Terry, who is a San Diego native and spent the last 12 years as a Division I assistant coach.

Wired And Fired: A New 'Smart Rifle'

May 15
Mark Dewey / NPR
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A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective some in the industry say it should not be sold to the public.

One Voice

May 15
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Through the personal stories of student song directors, this music documentary tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest. Every year in Hawai’i, 2,000 high school students compete in the contest, in which young leaders direct their peers in singing Hawaiian music in four-part harmony. Follow the elected student song directors to see how the tradition creates an indelible experience that builds class unity, instills cultural pride and builds character. Experience Hawaiian culture as it has survived, flourished and grown through the universal power of music and song.

Richard Swanson Didn't Reach Brazil, But He Found An Audience

May 15
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Hundreds of condolences are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon. Many see his story as an inspiration, and say they'll continue his charity work.

Maryland Suburb Says 16 Is Old Enough To Vote

May 15
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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If you're old enough to drive, are you old enough to vote?

NASA's Planet-Hunting Kepler Telescope Shut Down Because Of Technical Difficulties

May 15
By David Wagner
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For the last four years, the Kepler space telescope has been searching for distant relatives of the Earth. Today, NASA announced that their planet-hunting spacecraft is no longer able to keep up that search.

When The Missing Return, Recovery Is Long, Too

May 15
Liz Halloran / NPR
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They call themselves "Rooters," and they convene in a private online place they call the "RooterHood."

Immigrants To Be Largest Driver Of U.S. Population Growth

May 15
Hansi Lo Wang / NPR
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New immigrants will be the main driver of population growth in the U.S. by as early as 2027, according to new Census Bureau projections.

Sophak Yem Stands Up For Human Rights

Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2013 Honoree

May 15
By Monica Medina
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There are little girls who dream of princesses, playing with friends, or discovering a new and exciting book. And, there is Sophak Yem. What she longed for were gooseberries, a bright green berry that grows wild in Cambodia and has a particularly tart taste. Gooseberries. How she loved them when served with a mixture of salt and chili mixture. For Yem, a 2013 Asian Pacific Heritage Month Local Hero honoree, growing up in a Cambodian concentration camp, gooseberries represented one of the few joys in her young life.

Elmer Bisarra Helps HIV Patients Heal

Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2013 Honoree

May 15
By Monica Medina
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Elmer Bisarra learned early on what was expected of him. As the son of a Filipino father and a Chinese Hawaiian mother, he knew that the man is supposed to be the provider for his family, and that women serve best as educators, healers and nurturers. He remembers how this belief was embedded in his culture, passed down to him by his parents.

Mexico Now A Latin American Leader In Tech Services

May 15
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
2 Comments
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In the last decade Mexico’s tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth is fueled by demand from the United States. But without certain reforms Mexico’s progress can only go so far.

Publisher Threatens Librarian With $1 Billion Lawsuit

May 15
Bill Chappell / NPR
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A scholarly publisher has issued a warning to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian who writes about what he calls "predatory" practices in the scholarly publishing industry, threatening him with a $1 billion lawsuit for his blog posts criticizing the company.

SAVOR SAN DIEGO WITH SU-MEI YU: Cultivating Communities

May 15
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San Diego's many community gardens serve their surrounding neighborhoods in a variety of ways. On this episode, Su-Mei visits two unique growing grounds, New Roots Garden in City Heights and Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City. After discovering how the gardens not only supply fresh, healthy food but also help to cultivate better communities, Su-Mei prepares a garden fresh stir-fry so easy to make that even kids can cook it.

Former Freddie Mac Chief Economist Says Housing Finance Model Can Be Found Outside The U.S.

May 15
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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What to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: that's the focus of housing finance reform. Dr. Michael Lea, director of SDSU's Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate, was Freddie Mac's chief economist in the 1980s. Next month, he heads to Washington where he'll testify on housing finance reform and, more specifically, what to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Party Campaign Contributions Cap Heads To City Council

May 15
City News Service
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A divided Rules and Economic Development Committee today approved a proposal to limit the amount of money political parties can give candidates and causes in municipal elections in San Diego.

From 'The Cooked Seed,' Writer Anchee Min Sows A Path In America

May 15
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Bestselling author Anchee Min's second memoir "The Cooked Seed," tells the story of Min's life as an American immigrant.

Mayor Bob Filner Meets With World's Tallest Man, Sultan Kosen

May 15
City News Service
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No, the National Basketball Association isn't returning to San Diego, but you might see a very tall Turk walking around town today.

Source May Have Misled Media About Key Benghazi Email

May 15
Mark Memmott / NPR
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In the reporting about multiple revisions made by the Obama administration to "talking points" concerning last September's deadly attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, one of the hottest stories in recent weeks was this one from ABC News on Friday:

Navy SEAL Auctioning Knife From Osama Bin Laden Mission

May 15
By Beth Ford Roth
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Want to own a piece of history and have tens of thousands of dollars to spare? You're in luck! Former Navy SEAL "Mark Owen" is auctioning off the knife he says he used in the Osama bin Laden raid.

A GROWING PASSION: Waterwise And Wonderful

May 15
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With only eleven inches of rain a year on average, San Diego’s hot dry climate can be tough on garden plants. Host Nan Sterman takes us to a look at climate appropriate gardens in home and commercial landscapes. From low water plants, to water smart designs, we’ll show you beautiful gardens that are low water winners.

Play Ball: Little Leaguers Get Assist From 'Pitch In' Charity

May 15
Bill Chappell / NPR
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This year's Little League baseball and softball season is under way -- and in the Northeast, some teams and players have taken the field again, despite losing vital equipment to Hurricane Sandy. Many donations were handled by Pitch In For Baseball, which gathered used and new gloves and helmets for the players.

Scandal Prompts Hagel To Order Rescreening Of Military Sexual Assault Responders

May 15
By Beth Ford Roth
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered all military sexual assault responders and military recruiters be retrained, re-credentialed, and rescreened - his response to news that the Army is investigating a sergeant who was a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator at Fort Hood for sexual abuse.

Is A Smaller Budget Deficit A Lasting Trend?

May 15
John Ydstie / NPR
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As the economy improves, the federal budget deficit is growing dramatically smaller. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply revised its estimates from just a few months ago, knocking off $200 billion in red ink for the current fiscal year. Some temporary factors are being cited for the projected improvement.

Boehner: Who's Going To Jail For What IRS Did?

May 15
Mark Memmott / NPR
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He doesn't want to know who's going to resign, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday morning.

Dirty Diapers Pile Up In Portland Recycling Bins: 'It's Not Pretty'

May 15
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Waste and recycling handlers in Portland, Ore., say they're seeing an unfortunate side effect of the city's reduction in garbage pickups: 120 pounds of dirty diapers a day, tucked into recycling bins.

Get In Line! Enormous Powerball Jackpot Up For Grabs

May 15
Korva Coleman / NPR
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If it seems as though lottery jackpots keep growing in size, you're right -- the multistate Powerball lottery has ballooned to its third-largest size in history, and one or several lucky people could win Wednesday night's drawing.

Grand Jury Report: San Diego Needs To Be More Bike-Friendly

May 15
By Tarryn Mento
24 Comments
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Whether you're an expert or occasional rider, you might have thoughts about how San Diego measures up as a bicycle-friendly city. So does the San Diego County Grand Jury.

Military Recruiters, Sex Assault Responders To Be Retrained

May 15
Mark Memmott / NPR
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All branches of the U.S. military have been ordered "to retrain, re-credential and rescreen all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters," the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday morning.

Cleveland Kidnaps Suspect Will Plead Not Guilty, Lawyer Says

May 15
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Saying that their client is not a "monster," attorneys for Ariel Castro have told Cleveland's WKYC-TV that the man accused of kidnapping three young women, holding them captive and repeatedly raping them over the course of about a decade will plead not guilty to all charges if he is indicted by a grand jury.

Review: 'The Brass Teapot'

May 15
By Beth Accomando
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The new micro cinema inside the Media Arts Center’s Digital Gym on El Cajon Blvd is expanding film choices for San Diego audiences. It's taking a break from its usual documentaries and foreign fare for the indie comedy “The Brass Teapot” (opening May 17).

Read The Report On IRS's 'Inappropriate' Scrutiny Of Groups

May 15
Mark Memmott / NPR
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The language is not dramatic but the message is clear: A much-anticipated report from the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is straight forward about how Internal Revenue Service personnel unfairly singled out some conservative groups for unnecessary scrutiny during the 2012 campaign cycle.

Firefighters To Conduct Controlled Burn In East County

May 15
City News Service
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Smoke may be visible in the East County today as firefighters conduct a controlled burn in Jamul, a battalion chief said.

Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms and Making It All Work

May 15
Jennifer Ludden / NPR
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The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.

SD Prevailing Wage

May 15
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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council's Rules and Economic Development Committee today directed staff to develop an ordinance based on a proposal by Mayor Bob Filner to expand the city's prevailing wage requirements on municipal public works projects.

Utah Charter School Nurtures Entrepreneurial Spirit

May 15
Whittney Evans / NPR
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A new charter school in Utah wants to equip students in kindergarten through ninth grade with a solid foundation in business.

IRS Inquiries Crossed The Line, Tea Party Groups Say

May 15
Don Gonyea / NPR
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Tea Party activists are calling for a full investigation, and possibly lawsuits, following revelations that the Internal Revenue Service flagged so-called patriot groups for extra scrutiny in applications for federal tax-exempt status.

Budget Woes Mean Big Delays For Small Claims Courts

May 15
Emily Green / NPR
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Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services -- they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

Women In Combat: Obstacles Remain As Exclusion Policy Ends

May 15
Larry Abramson / NPR
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Wednesday's deadline for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to submit plans for ending the policy that keeps women from serving in ground combat positions will open up more than 200,000 positions in the military to them. But the change won't end questions about the role of women in the armed forces.