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Stories for October 30, 2013

New York OKs Raising Age For Tobacco Purchases To 21

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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New York's City Council on Wednesday voted to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products and electronic-vapor cigarettes to 21 from the current 18 years, adopting one of the nation's toughest such restrictions.

Feds Threaten To Withhold School Funding Over California Testing Plan

Oct. 30
By Kyla Calvert
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The U.S. Department of Education threatens to pull millions in federal funding for California school districts if last year's tests aren't used by schools.

Great Performances: Moby-Dick From San Francisco Opera

Oct. 30
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Great Performances: Moby-Dick From San Francisco Opera Tease photo

GREAT PERFORMANCES partnered with San Francisco Opera, one of the nation’s leading opera companies, to record Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s adaptation of the classic Herman Melville novel "Moby Dick." Filmed fresh from his headline-making appearance as a last-minute replacement in the title role of Siegfried in the Met Opera’s epic Ring Cycle, Jay Hunter Morris starred as the obsessive Captain Ahab, delivering a bravura performance.

Ballot Initiative Would Tighten Regulations On Selling Used Cars

Oct. 30
Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio
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A ballot initiative filed Wednesday would require California car dealers to fix any manufacturer safety recalls before selling or leasing used vehicles.

Could Obama's Health Law Vow Mean 2014 Pain For Democrats?

Oct. 30
Frank James / NPR
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Assuming HealthCare.gov's technical problems are largely fixed by November's end, as Obama administration officials have reassured, Democrats will still face an even headier challenge: They must square with reality President Obama's oft-made promise that the new health care law would allow people to keep existing insurance plans they like.

Bilingual Chinese, Vietnamese Poll Workers Needed For Special Election

Oct. 30
By City News Service
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Bilingual Chinese and Vietnamese poll workers can earn a stipend of $90 to $110 for the day.

CROSSING SOUTH: Guerrero Negro Whale Petting

Oct. 30
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CROSSING SOUTH: Guerrero Negro Whale Petting  Tease photo

There is something very special that happens in Baja every year. Thousands of whales migrate there each spring and it makes for some of the best whale watching on earth. Follow CROSSING SOUTH host Jorge Meraz on his visit to Guerrero Negro, where he not only sees the whales, but pets them! Also, visit the largest salt mine on earth that happens to be in the same town.

Nineteen People Found Hiding On Truck At Otay Mesa Border Crossing

Oct. 30
By City News Service
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The federal agents found the suspected undocumented immigrants hiding inside one of three ventilation units on a northbound flatbed truck Wednesday morning.

U.S. Budget Deficit Falls Under $1 Trillion; Lowest Since 2008

Oct. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR
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The U.S. government ran a deficit of $680 billion in the financial year that ended last month -- the first time since 2008 that the annual shortfall has been under $1 trillion. It represents a fall from $1.09 trillion in 2012, but as the AP reports, "It's still the fifth-largest deficit of all time."

San Diego's Sandford Hotel Rededicated After Multimillion Renovation

Oct. 30
By Erik Anderson
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The hotel is nearly 100 years old and had gone nearly 25 years without major improvements.

Covered California Running Relatively Smoothly Compared To HealthCare.gov

Oct. 30
By Kenny Goldberg
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The Covered California site had some glitches in its first few days but officials say they're processing 180,000 applications for health coverage.

Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge

Oct. 30
John Ydstie / NPR, Pauline Bartolone / Capital Public Radio
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President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."

Obama Vows HealthCare.gov Problems Will Be Fixed 'ASAP'

Oct. 30
Scott Neuman / NPR
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President Obama on Wednesday said he takes full responsibility for the troubled HealthCare.gov website and is determined to make sure it gets fixed "ASAP."

Game 6 Of The World Series: What You Need to Know

Oct. 30
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Only one team has a chance of winning the World Series tonight in Game 6 at Fenway Park: the Boston Red Sox. The St. Louis Cardinals have a chance to lose the series -- or they can kick off a two-game sweep to win it all on the road. For Boston fans, this is the first time they would be able to celebrate a home World Series win since 1918.

Woman Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass While Driving In San Diego

Oct. 30
By David Wagner
2 Comments
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A San Diego woman might have made history Tuesday night by receiving what appears to be the first traffic violation for driving while wearing Google Glass.

Online Advice Can Hurt Teens At Risk For Suicide, Self-Harm

Oct. 30
Nancy Shute / NPR
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If you're wondering how to conceal the wounds caused by cutting, a form of self-harm, the Internet can tell you how.

Police, Community Relations Strained After Teen's Death

Oct. 30
Richard Gonzales / NPR
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Sonoma County, Calif., is probably best known for its good wine, green sensibilities and otherwise healthy and peaceful living. But that peace was shattered last week when a county sheriff's deputy shot and killed a young teenager carrying a toy gun.

Soylent: An Offbeat Food Idea Investors Are Taking Seriously

Oct. 30
Eliza Barclay / NPR
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Back in April, we described Rob Rhinehart's experiment concocting something that could give him all the nutrition and none of the hassle of food.

First National Military Dog Monument Unveiled This Week (Video)

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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The U.S. military dedicated this week the first-ever national monument that honors the contributions of military working dogs and their handlers.

In Sandy's Wake, FEMA Re-Examines Flood Insurance Rates

Oct. 30
Christopher Joyce / NPR
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When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

Why The Fed Decided Not To Change Course

Oct. 30
Marilyn Geewax / NPR
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Gas prices are down more than 7 percent from last year. Grocery costs haven't budged lately. And -- just in time for Halloween -- the price of candy is down 2.3 percent from last year, according to the government's consumer price index released Wednesday.

Spatial Disorientation Caused F-16 Crash That Killed California Air Force Pilot

Oct. 30
By Beth Ford Roth
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An Air Force investigation into the F-16 crash that killed California native Maj. Lucas "Gaza" Gruenther found the pilot's spatial disorientation caused him to eject in unsafe conditions, leading to his death.

Turning The Lens On Renowned '60s Photographer Rowland Scherman

Oct. 30
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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One photograph can capture the essence of an emotion, an event and sometimes even a person. When you combine great photography with historic events, you come as close as you can to experiencing the past.

Meth Use Climbing In San Diego County

Oct. 30
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
1 Comment
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A new SANDAG study found that methamphetamine use among at-risk groups in San Diego County has risen back to levels not seen since 2006.

Report: NSA Has Broken Into Google And Yahoo Data Centers

Oct. 30
NPR
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"The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world," The Washington Post reported at midday Wednesday.

Mingei International Museum Founder Martha Longenecker Has Died

Oct. 30
By Susan Murphy
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The founder and director of the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park has died. Martha W. Longenecker, 93, will be remembered for bringing Japanese folk art to San Diego, and beyond.

Debate: For A Better Future, Live In A Red State?

Oct. 30
NPR Staff / NPR
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When it comes to things like the economy, taxes, health care and education, is it better to live in a red state or a blue state?

Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

Oct. 30
Frank James / NPR
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Two wily veterans of Congress' fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.

Boy From The Barrio: David Alvarez And The Race To Be San Diego Mayor

Oct. 30
By Sandhya Dirks
4 Comments
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As the Nov. 19th election approaches, KPBS explores the motivations and history of San Diego's native son, David Alvarez.

Victims of Tainted Steroid Injections Still Struggling

Oct. 30
Nancy Shute / NPR
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A year ago, public health officials were scrambling to figure out why people across the country were suddenly coming down with life-threatening cases of meningitis.

Las Vegas School District Scrambles To Make Space For More Students

Oct. 30
Kate Sheehy
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This year Nevada’s Clark County School District faced record enrollment numbers. It is one of the fastest growing school districts in the nation.

San Diego Mayoral Candidate Mike Aguirre Works To Overcome Past

Oct. 30
By Erik Anderson
2 Comments
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Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre hopes to use his name recognition to win a spot in the runoff election. But he needs to overcome his image as a combative political figure.

Wednesday Political Mix: Obama 'Read My Lips' ACA Problem

Oct. 30
Frank James / NPR
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The Affordable Care Act should dominate Wednesday's news cycle thanks to scheduled high-profile appearances by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the law.

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Oct. 30
Frank Deford / NPR
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As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

Oct. 30
Ina Jaffe / NPR
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Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs -- particularly Social Security.