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Stories for November 20, 2013

National Book Awards Go To McBride, Packer, Szybist, Kadohata

Nov. 20
Greg Henderson / NPR
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James McBride won the National Book Award for fiction Wednesday for The Good Lord Bird, about a young slave in the 1850s who meets and travels with abolitionist John Brown.

The Story Behind Nathan Fletcher's Loss

Nov. 20
Joe Yerardi, Joanne Faryon/inewsource
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An analysis of votes cast in San Diego's mayoral special election show Nathan Fletcher's support was broad but shallow.

Fletcher Says Farewell To Politics, Concedes Mayor's Race

Nov. 20
By Sandhya Dirks
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Nathan Fletcher bows out of the mayor's race after coming in third behind City Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer.

CROSSING SOUTH: Tijuana: Cecut And Caesar Salad

Nov. 20
CROSSING SOUTH: Tijuana: Cecut And Caesar Salad Tease photo

Cecut is the main museum and cultural center of not only Tijuana, but of Baja California. Host Jorge Meraz shows us around and gets in touch with the artistic and historical side of things. Afterward, Jorge samples the famous Caesar salad at the restaurant it was first invented at, right in Tijuana.

FAA Orders Apnea Testing For Overweight Pilots, Controllers

Nov. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR
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U.S. pilots and air traffic controllers who are deemed overweight will be screened for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, a condition that could cause them fatigue on the job, endangering the lives of air passengers, a new FAA order says.

California Taking New Steps To Reduce Recividism

Nov. 20
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California is taking new steps to keep former inmates from re-offending and going back in prison.

After Years Of Deficits, Budget Surpluses Projected For California

Nov. 20
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio
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California’s non-partisan budget analyst says the state’s structural deficit is gone. The new projection: a surplus of more than $2 billion by the end of the current fiscal year next June.

California's Water Demand Could Far Exceed Supply In 2014

Nov. 20
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio
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Californians may have to be more cautious with their water use in the coming year. Initial projections indicate there won’t be much to go around.

Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

Nov. 20
Midday Edition
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The power companies that operate the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant must refund ratepayers $94 million, under a proposal released this week.

What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency

Nov. 20
Peter Overby / NPR
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Bitcoin, the virtual currency that exists as alphanumeric strings online, is on the verge of getting into politics.

With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat

Nov. 20
David Welna / NPR
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For the third time this year, the Democrats who run the Senate are again threatening to change that chamber's rules on the Republican minority's most potent weapon: the filibuster. They say the GOP's obstruction of President Obama's nominations leaves them no other choice.

Illinois Joins Growing List Of States With Same-Sex Marriage

Nov. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation making Illinois the latest state to approve same-sex marriage.

How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans

Nov. 20
Richard Knox / NPR
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By the current blood test for vitamin D, most African-Americans are deficient. That can lead to weak bones. So many doctors prescribe supplement pills to bring their levels up.

Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles

Nov. 20
Julie Rovner / NPR

Buried in the paltry enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act that were released last week was something that came as a surprise to many -- the success states are having signing people up for the Medicaid program, which provides health care to low-income people.

Justice Says FISA Was Used To Help Crack 2010 Oregon Bomb Plot

Nov. 20
Carrie Johnson / NPR

The case against a Somali-born U.S. citizen convicted in a foiled bombing plot was built partly on secret information "obtained or derived" from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Justice Department has acknowledged.

Season's First Significant Storm Blowing Into San Diego County

Nov. 20
By Susan Murphy
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The first significant storm of the rainy season is expected to blow into San Diego County overnight, bringing chilly temperatures and some much needed rain through the weekend.

Food Stamp Cuts Leave Rural Areas, And Their Grocers, Reeling

Nov. 20
Mike Moen / NPR

One recent evening, some shoppers at the Countryside Market in Belvidere, Ill., were loading up on staples, like milk and eggs. Others, like Meghan Collins, were trying to plan Thanksgiving on a newly tightened budget.

Navy Officer Accused Of Taking Bribes Appears In Federal San Diego Court

Nov. 20
By City News Service

A Navy commander charged with accepting the services of prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000 in cash from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for classified information was given a Dec. 5 arraignment date.

Common Core Funds Focus On Training San Diego Teachers

Nov. 20
By Kyla Calvert
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Money to roll out the new Common Core curriculum in San Diego city schools will go mostly to train teachers on the new approach to education.

U.S., Afghanistan Reach Tentative Security Pact

Nov. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR

Secretary of State John Kerry says he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have agreed on the text of a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay on the ground in the South Asian country beyond 2014.

Can Congressman Trey Radel Survive A Drug Bust?

Nov. 20
Adam Wollner / NPR
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After pleading guilty Wednesday to cocaine possession, Florida Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel's political future is unclear.

City Of Vancouver Shows Doorknobs The Exit

Nov. 20
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The doorknob is dead. At least in Vancouver, British Columbia.

'Talent Wants To Be Free' — A Look At Innovation In The Workplace

Nov. 20
Midday Edition
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Many businesses require employment contracts and non-compete clauses to protect their intellectual properties. But a new book suggests doing so restricts creativity of workers and hurts innovation.

Female Marines Make History, Will Become First-Ever To Graduate From Enlisted Infantry Training

Nov. 20
By Beth Ford Roth
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For the first time in Marine Corps history, three women will graduate from the Marine Corps’ grueling enlisted infantry training course.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Downton Abbey: Season 4

Nov. 20
By Jennifer Robinson
MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Downton Abbey: Season 4 Tease photo

Season 4 of the international hit finds aristocrats coping with last season’s shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance alongside the beloved returning ensemble, including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and many others.

Border Patrol Finds $1.3M Of Heroin In Hidden Wheel Compartment

Nov. 20
By City News Service
Border Patrol Finds $1.3M Of Heroin In Hidden Wheel Compartment Tease photo

Attempts to smuggle $1.3 million worth of heroin and 369 pounds of marijuana into the United States via San Diego ports of entry were thwarted on Monday, border officials announced.

Chula Vista Schools Share How To Reduce Waist Sizes Of A Student Body

Nov. 20
By Kyla Calvert
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Chula Vista Elementary schools are sharing the steps they took to help students adopt healthier lifestyles.

Oceanside Water Main Break Creates Large Sinkhole In Road

Nov. 20
By City News Service

North River Road between Stallion and Sleeping Indian drives in Oceanside is closed until further notice due to a large sinkhole caused by a water main break.

Soul Food For Thanksgiving: Mac And Cheese, 'Red Drink,' And More

Nov. 20
NPR
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Adrian Miller is a lawyer and former special assistant to President Clinton. After the president's second term, finding himself with extra time on his hands, he ended up spending the next decade or so researching soul food. "With the only qualifications of eating the food a lot, and cooking it some, I dove in," says Miller.

Two Colorado Airmen Killed In Car Accident

Nov. 20
By Beth Ford Roth
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Law enforcement officials are investigating a car accident this morning that took the lives of two service members assigned to Schriever Air Force Base. The names of the airmen were not released.

Kids Are Less Fit Today Than You Were Back Then

Nov. 20
Nancy Shute / NPR

Children around the world are less aerobically fit than their parents were as kids, a decline that researchers say could be setting them up for serious health problems once they're grown up.

Selfies: The World Is More Interesting Because I'm In It

Nov. 20
TELL ME MORE STAFF / NPR

If Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo or Romare Bearden were alive today, would they have loved the selfie?

Education Secretary Loses Some Of His Luster

Nov. 20
Frank James / NPR
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If Americans know Education Secretary Arne Duncan for anything at this point, it would be as that guy who claimed last week that opposition to the Common Core national K-12 educational standards sprang from "white suburban moms" who feared that tougher requirements would reveal their children to be as not "brilliant" as they thought.

Can A Fish Farm Be Organic? That's Up For Debate

Nov. 20
Alastair Bland / NPR
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This year, Americans are expected to buy more than $30 billion worth of organic grains, produce, coffee, wine and meats.

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey Among 16 Honored At White House

Nov. 20
Mark Memmott / NPR
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A former president, a baseball legend, a country music star and a woman who's a powerhouse in American media were among 16 people honored Wednesday at the White House with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Tech Team Podcast Episode 2: The Sharing Economy

Nov. 20
Elise Hu / NPR
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Keeping with our just-started tradition, all the features that we do during our themed reporting week get a new home in a podcast on SoundCloud. The first episode featured kids and technology, this time around, our four stories on the sharing economy get freshened up and hosted by our Silicon Valley correspondents, Steve Henn and Laura Sydell. Just press play or download for your device. If you prefer just to read the sharing economy stories, you can do that, too.

What You Need To Know About The Iranian Nuclear Talks

Nov. 20
Greg Myre / NPR
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If you've ignored the countless rounds of fruitless talks on Iran's nuclear program for the past decade, you haven't missed much. But today would be a good day to start paying attention.

Florida Congressman Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Possession

Nov. 20
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel of Florida pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to misdemeanor cocaine possession.

Rain Expected In San Diego County This Evening, Possibly Into Weekend

Nov. 20
By City News Service
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Showers are expected this evening and will continue over the area Thursday through Friday, and possibly into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

UCSD Hospital Workers Take Part in Statewide One-Day Strike

Nov. 20
Evening Edition
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Thousands of University of California health care workers across the state will picket today day at hospitals and clinics statewide, including at UC San Diego medical campuses in San Diego and La Jolla.

Tragedy In Virginia Preceded By Son's Psychiatric Evaluation

Nov. 20
Mark Memmott / NPR
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As authorities try to piece together what happened inside the home of a prominent Virginia lawmaker Tuesday, there's word that a lack of space in psychiatric facilities may have played a role in the tragedy.

Lyceum Theatre $2.2M Renovation Up For Vote By Civic San Diego Board

Nov. 20
By City News Service
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The $2.2 million renovation project has been in the planning stages for five years and was approved in 2011. However, the project was delayed when the state dissolved redevelopment agencies.

Scripps Research Study Finds Drug Effective In Curbing Cravings For Alcohol

Nov. 20
By Kenny Goldberg
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Could a pill help heavy drinkers stay on the wagon? New study from Scripps Research Institute suggests a drug long used to treat seizures could be an effective element of treatment.

White Supremacist Murderer Who Shot Larry Flynt Is Executed

Nov. 20
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Joseph Paul Franklin, the white supremacist who was convicted of eight murders, suspected in as many as 20 others and who shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in 1978, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri.

Alvarez, Faulconer Headed To Runoff In San Diego Mayor's Race

Nov. 20
Midday Edition
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City Councilman David Alvarez edged past fellow Democrat Nathan Fletcher and earned a spot in a February run-off for mayor against his colleague, Republican Kevin Faulconer.

First Satellite Developed By High Schoolers Sent Into Space

Nov. 20
Greg Henderson / NPR

The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.

Profit, Not Just Principle, Has Tech Firms Concerned With NSA

Nov. 20
Tom Gjelten / NPR
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Along with the privacy advocates and the national security establishment, there is another set of players with strong views on NSA surveillance programs: U.S. tech companies.

The Art Of Letter-Writing Isn't Lost On These Scribblers

Nov. 20
Jennifer Weingart / NPR
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If the answer is "not recently," then you can count yourself among the millions of Americans who just don't write letters anymore. The post office says the average American home receives only one personal letter about every two months.