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Stories for November 19, 2013

Tease photo for Election Night: Alvarez And Faulconer Appear Winners, But Votes To Be Counted

Election Night: Alvarez And Faulconer Appear Winners, But Votes To Be Counted

Nov. 19
By Mark Sauer, Claire Trageser

Democrat David Alvarez surged past ex-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher Tuesday night in the San Diego Mayor's race. With 34,500 provisional ballots still to be counted, it's likely Alvarez will face Republican Kevin Faulconer.

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Sotomayor's Dissent Highlights Concerns Over Elected Judges

Nov. 19
Isaac Chaput / NPR

Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in a case this week involving the death penalty in Alabama was not aimed at public opinion, but it could be Exhibit A for why the nation's judiciary is falling in the public's estimation.

Divided U.S. Supreme Court Leaves Texas Abortion Law In Effect

Nov. 19
Bill Chappell / NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block abortion restrictions that are included in a new Texas law that was enacted after vigorous debate this year. The law is the subject of an ongoing legal battle.

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Florida Rep. Trey Radel Charged With Cocaine Possession

Nov. 19
Scott Neuman / NPR

Florida Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel is being charged with cocaine possession and faces arraignment on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

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Postal Service Hopes Harry Potter Stamps Spell Revenue

Nov. 19
April Fehling / NPR

Hold onto your owls, Harry Potter fans. The U.S. Postal Service is hoping you'll send your letters with one of 20 new Potter-themed stamps it unveiled Tuesday.

Tease photo for Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto The Ice

Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto The Ice

Nov. 19

"Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto The Ice" takes a behind-the-scenes look at the first successful landing on the Mars polar region and the ongoing search for signs of life on Earth's neighboring planets. The film documents the 422-million-mile journey through space exclusively through the eyes of principal investigator Peter H. Smith and the Phoenix Lander Team.

Fire At East County Grow House Sparked By Illegal Electrical Hookup

Nov. 19
By City News Service

After extinguishing the flames, fire fighters discovered a cannabis-cultivation setup powered by an illicit power connection to a nearby utility pole.

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What's Trending In Food Magazines? Thanksgiving Classics

Nov. 19
NPR Staff / NPR

For many of us, Thanksgiving is just not the same without turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. In other words, tradition tends to trump trendy.

Why College Campuses Get Hit By Meningitis Outbreaks

Nov. 19
Maanvi Singh / NPR

For the past nine months, Princeton University in New Jersey has been trying to halt an outbreak of bacterial meningitis in its students without success. So it's going to offer students a vaccine that's not yet approved for broader use in the US.

Tease photo for Comet Encounter

Comet Encounter

Nov. 19

In this program, scientists around the world follow a once-in-a-lifetime event, the path of the sun-grazing comet ISON. The comet, somewhere between one and 10 kilometers in diameter, is currently just beyond the orbit of Jupiter. As it races past Earth toward the sun, it will likely develop a tail to light up the night skies. Then ISON will slingshot around the back of the sun, to emerge perhaps brighter than ever. But there’s jeopardy, too; ISON could evaporate completely, or the sun’s gravity could tear it apart.

Six Whooping Cough Cases Reported In San Diego County This Week

Nov. 19
By City News Service

Six schoolchildren in San Diego County were reported this week to have whooping cough, and all but one were up-to-date on their immunizations, according to county officials.

El Cajon Ambulance Company Raided By FBI To Collect Evidence

Nov. 19
By City News Service

FBI agents served a search warrant at the offices of Balboa Ambulance in El Cajon this morning. A court order prohibits the government from publicly disclosing details about the case.

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J.P. Morgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

Nov. 19
Bill Chappell / NPR

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JP Morgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday.

Tease photo for San Diego Researchers Discuss Bringing Back Extinct Animals

San Diego Researchers Discuss Bringing Back Extinct Animals

Nov. 19
By Erik Anderson

The fiction of Jurassic Park may be on the verge of reality. Scientists are talking about the possibility of bringing back extinct species.

Tease photo for USS Cowpens Starts 'Snack Drive' For Children Affected By Typhoon Haiyan

USS Cowpens Starts 'Snack Drive' For Children Affected By Typhoon Haiyan

Nov. 19
By Beth Ford Roth

Some crew members of the San Diego-based USS Cowpens have started a snack drive for children affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

Tease photo for NOVA: Asteroid: Doomsday Or Payday?

NOVA: Asteroid: Doomsday Or Payday?

Nov. 19

From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, asteroids have the potential to be planet-killers but some audacious entrepreneurs look up at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday.

Tease photo for Covered California Mulls Extending Cancelled Health Policies

Covered California Mulls Extending Cancelled Health Policies

Nov. 19
By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Amita Sharma

California's health care exchange says it will likely decide by the end of the week if it will honor President Obama's request and reinstate 1 million cancelled policies.

Tease photo for Public Hearing Set For San Diego's Proposed Water Rate Hikes

Public Hearing Set For San Diego's Proposed Water Rate Hikes

Nov. 19
By Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane, Amita Sharma

San Diego's water rates have gone up dramatically in the past decade and water officials predict increases are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Tease photo for Diplomatic Scholar Examines Past And Present Peace Negotiations Between Israel And Palestine

Diplomatic Scholar Examines Past And Present Peace Negotiations Between Israel And Palestine

Nov. 19
By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh

Former diplomat and peace-process scholar William Quandt gives background on the present peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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King Of Thrones: America's Best Restroom Is In Minneapolis

Nov. 19
Bill Chappell / NPR

It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.

Tease photo for Green Beret Killed In Afghanistan Was On First Deployment (Video)

Green Beret Killed In Afghanistan Was On First Deployment (Video)

Nov. 19
By Beth Ford Roth

Army Staff Sgt. Alex A. Viola, 29, died Nov. 17 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Viola, a Green Beret, was killed when his unit was hit by a roadside bomb. He is the second Green Beret to die in Afghanistan in less than a week.

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How To Prepare For Climate Disasters? Artist Says Dehydrate Food

Nov. 19
Eliza Barclay / NPR

Emergency aid workers are rushing this week to get food aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines -- just the latest reminder of how vulnerable the food supply can be when disaster hits.

This Slide Shows Why HealthCare.gov Wouldn't Work At Launch

Nov. 19
Elise Hu / NPR

This is a story of contrast between two popular methods of software development. One is called "waterfall," the other, "agile."

Teen Dies At San Ysidro Crossing After Drinking Meth-Laced Liquid

Nov. 19
By City News Service

Homicide detectives Tuesday investigated the death of a 16-year-old boy who apparently drank a lethal amount of methamphetamine-laced liquid while attempting to cross into the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Route 52 To Be Closed Overnight For Road Work

Nov. 19
By City News Service

Eastbound state Route 52 from Convoy Street to Kearny Villa Road is scheduled to close Tuesday and Wednesday night for paving and striping.

Tease photo for Rising Acidity Threatens Marine Ecosystems Off San Diego

Rising Acidity Threatens Marine Ecosystems Off San Diego

Nov. 19
By Susan Murphy

Acid levels in the ocean are expected to increase 170 percent by the end of the century, according to a new study. A San Diego researcher explains the consequences of climate change playing out off our coast.

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Winter's Coming And Thousands Are Homeless After Tornadoes

Nov. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR

Along with the stories of incredible destruction and heart-breaking losses, Tuesday's reports about the aftereffects of Sunday's tornadoes in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and other parts of the Midwest make this ominous point:

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Reports: Prominent Virginia Lawmaker Stabbed, Son Shot Dead

Nov. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR

Creigh Deeds, a Democratic state senator in Virginia who was his party's 2009 gubernatorial nominee, "is in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center after he was stabbed in his home Tuesday morning," Richmond's WRIC-TV reports.

San Diego County Gasoline Price Drops To Lowest Amount Since Dec. 28

Nov. 19
By City News Service

The dropping pump prices are the result of lower wholesale prices and the Nov. 1 switch to winter blend gasoline, which costs less to produce.

Tease photo for San Diegans Head To Polls To Elect New Mayor

San Diegans Head To Polls To Elect New Mayor

Nov. 19
By Claire Trageser

San Diegans are headed to the polls today in the special election to replace disgraced former Mayor Bob Filner. If no candidate wins the majority of votes, the top two vote-getters will have a runoff early next year.

NSA Releases Some Files On Electronic Surveillance

Nov. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

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LISTEN: For Its 150th, A Reading Of The Gettysburg Address

Nov. 19
Mark Memmott / NPR

On this 150 anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, his words -- not ours -- are important.

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A New Life For An Old Slave Jail

Nov. 19
Hansi Lo Wang / NPR

One hundred fifty year ago, President Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield in Gettysburg, Penn., and declared "a new birth of freedom" for the nation.

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After Floods, Some Colo. Rivers Aren't Where They Used To Be

Nov. 19
Nathan Heffel / NPR

In Colorado, farmers are scrambling to recover from September's historic floods -- floods that decimated miles of roadways, cut off entire towns and sent rivers and creeks into areas they'd never been before.

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Little-Known Immigration Mandate Keeps Detention Beds Full

Nov. 19
Ted Robbins / NPR

Imagine your city council telling the police department how many people it had to keep in jail each night.

'You Just Get Used To It': An LA Commuter's Diary

Nov. 19
NPR Staff / NPR

For two years, Neville Amaria carpooled to his office in Los Angeles. That puts him in the same category as about 10 percent of American workers, who drive or ride to work in a car with two or more passengers.

Technology Outpacing Policymakers, Needs Of NSA

Nov. 19
Tom Gjelten / NPR

The controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs has exposed a problem in the oversight of those programs: The development of the relevant technology has outpaced the laws and policies that govern its use.

Wisconsin Chooses Its Own Path To Overhaul Medicaid

Nov. 19
Erin Toner / NPR

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is one of 25 Republican governors who are rejecting the health law's expansion of Medicaid. But Wisconsin's own Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare, was more generous than that of many states, and now Walker wants to transfer many of those people to the insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

Tease photo for Return Of Schlockfest

Return Of Schlockfest

Nov. 19
By Beth Accomando

The dictionary defines schlock as something inferior, shoddy or cheap. But the folks behind the San Diego Library’s Schlockfest Film Series would disagree.