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Stories for September 11, 2013

Heavy Rains Dominate New Mexico Forecast

Sept. 11
Carrie Jung, KUNM
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Heavy rains have dominated the weather forecasts across much of the Southwest this week. Some areas in eastern New Mexico have seen almost four inches of rain so far. That's more than double the average amount of moisture that usually falls there in the entire month of September.

Here's Why You Can Mail Scorpions But Not Spiders

Sept. 11
By David Wagner
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Researchers at UC Riverside studying poisonous spiders put out a public call for samples, but the post office had to remind citizen scientists that mailing spiders is against the law. So why is it legal to mail scorpions, then? The most plausible answer seems to be "lobbyists."

Weekend Preview: Latin Food Fest, Butcher Dinner, Picasso & San Diego Music Thing

Sept. 11
Midday Edition
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From festivals to music and art, here's a look at what's happening around San Diego County this weekend.

School Principal On Leave Following Gun, Drug Arrest

Sept. 11
City News Service
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The principal of Lee Elementary School in Paradise Hills was placed on leave following her weekend arrest on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs and a stolen gun, authorities reported Wednesday.

Minimum Wage Deal At Calif. Capitol

Sept. 11
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio
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Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders announced Wednesday that they're supporting legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.

Stroke Patient Returns To Hospital As Volunteer

Sept. 11
By Dwane Brown
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Many organizations have chosen to turn 9/11 into a day of service by encouraging people to volunteer. Aimeeleigh Coulter, who suffered a massive brain steam stroke in 2012, is one of those volunteers.

Satellite Image Suggests North Korea Restarting Reactor

Sept. 11
Scott Neuman / NPR
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North Korea appears to be in the process of restarting a nuclear reactor used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, five years after shutting the facility down as part of international disarmament efforts.

San Diego Moves Toward A Plastic Bag Ban

Sept. 11
By Erik Anderson
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San Diego could become one of the largest California cities to enact a ban on single use plastic bags. A city council committee is drawing up an ordinance.

Nationwide Immigration Mass Hopes To Sway Congress

Sept. 11
Joey Palacios / Fronteras Desk
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In response to a call from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, dioceses across the country will hold Mass with an immigration theme this coming Sunday.

Pets Or Livestock? A Moral Divide Over Horse Slaughter

Sept. 11
NPR
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Few Americans eat horse meat, and many don't like the idea of horses being slaughtered. But a handful of investors are struggling to restart a horse-slaughter industry in the U.S.

The Zozobra Goes Up In Flames

Sept. 11
Carrie Jung / Fronteras Desk
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About 30,000 people gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico recently to watch the annual burning of Zozobra , a fifty-foot tall marionette effigy. The event has been held in New Mexico for nearly 100 years and celebrates the burning away of the world's gloom.

California Immigrant Protection Law Passes State Senate

Sept. 11
By Adrian Florido
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SAN DIEGO - The California State Senate has passed Assembly Bill 4 -- better known as the TRUST Act. If signed into law, the bill will protect many immigrants arrested for minor crimes in California from deportation.

Hollywood Provokes With New Drug War Shows

Sept. 11
Laurel Morales / Fronteras Desk
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The War on Drugs makes for good drama. It has inspired Hollywood for years and lately a recent surge of television shows like "Breaking Bad," "Weeds" and "The Bridge." These shows are trying to do something new, however - showing the complexity of the conflict, with bad guys on both sides of the border.

New Mexico Behavioral Health Auditor Helped Vet Arizona Firms Before Finishing Work

Sept. 11
Tristan Ahtone / Fronteras Desk
1 Comment

In June the state of New Mexico froze Medicaid payments to 15 behavioral health providers due to "credible allegations of fraud." The agencies were then taken over by five mental health firms from Arizona. But controversial practices by auditors are raising new questions about the states actions.

Elderly Health Care Costs Could Spike Under Federal Health Law

Sept. 11
Tristan Ahtone / Fronteras Desk
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When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, many consumers buying health insurance could take a big hit to their checkbooks, and New Mexico may take the biggest hit of all.

Company That Conducted NM Behavioral Health Audit Has Questionable Record

Sept. 11
Tristan Ahtone / Fronteras Desk
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Fifteen New Mexico behavioral health providers that were accused of fraud and shut down still haven't been able to see the audits that lead to their downfall. The audits supposedly showed the companies over-billed the state for Medicaid reimbursements. Now, the company that performed the audit is having its track record questioned.

Revisiting An Iraqi Immigrant Family

Sept. 11
By Jill Replogle
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On a recent, muggy afternoon in the city of El Cajon, I hugged Maladh Mohammed Ali in the parking lot of her drab apartment building next to a school.

Border Technology Contracts Take New Approach

Sept. 11
Jude Joffe-Block / Fronteras Desk
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PHOENIX -- In the coming months, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts will be finalized for new surveillance technology along the Southwest border. The federal government is taking a new approach to awarding these contracts in an effort to avoid past mistakes.

The Trouble With Enrolling In The Affordable Care Act

Sept. 11
Jude Joffe-Block, Kate Sheehy, Tristan Ahtone
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Across the Southwest, groups are canvassing neighborhoods to inform uninsured people about how to sign up for coverage under Obama's Affordable Care Act beginning Oct. 1. But getting the message across is a difficult task, especially reaching certain minority groups and those that may not speak English well.

Feds Slow To Clean Up Air At National Parks

Sept. 11
Laurel Morales / Fronteras Desk
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Even though the Clean Air Act has been in effect for almost four decades, many national parks are still dealing with haze. An environmental group has called on the Obama administration to clean up the air pollution at a much faster rate.

Potential Border Spending Means Opportunity For Security, Defense Companies

Sept. 11
Jude Joffe-Block / Fronteras Desk
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PHOENIX -- Imagine this scenario. An intruder hops a fence and starts to walk in a forbidden zone. Instantly, a camera senses his movement, spins around to record him, and detects that he is human, not wildlife.

Zozobra To Meet Another Fiery End

Sept. 11
Tracy Greer / Fronteras Desk
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Fall brings many traditions to New Mexico: the smell of roasting green chile, the sounds of high school football and the burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe.

San Francisco Could End Immigrant Detentions

Sept. 11
By Adrian Florido
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San Francisco County appears ready to make it illegal for local jails to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally and turn them over to immigration agents.

ICE Changes Solitary Confinement Policy, Gets Praise From Advocates

Sept. 11
Peter O'Dowd / Fronteras Desk
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The federal government has issued new policies that will change the way it places detained immigrants in solitary confinement. The move has the support of the American Civil Liberties Union.

When Napolitano Leaves

Sept. 11
Jude Joffe-Block / Fronteras Desk
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Today marks the last day that Janet Napolitano will serve as Secretary of Homeland Security before she leaves for the University of California.

Cross-border Airline Terminal Under Construction

Sept. 11
By Adrian Florido
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Construction is beginning on the cross-border airline terminal that will give travelers easier access to the Tijuana airport form the San Diego side.

Did Lifting U.S. Assault Weapons Ban Lead To Mexico's Killings?

Sept. 11
Michel Marizco / Fronteras Desk
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A recently published study tries to draw a correlation between the sunsetting of the 1994 assault-weapons ban in the United States and an increase in violence in Mexico's border states.

San Diego Leaders Rally To Keep Immigration Reform Hopes Alive

Sept. 11
By Jill Replogle
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With Congress back to work, immigration reform advocates are ramping up their efforts to get a bill passed before the end of the year. But debate over the federal deficit and Syria are threatening to push immigration reform to the bottom of the legislative agenda.

Best Of The Border (9/2 - 9/6)

Sept. 11
Crystal Chavez / Fronteras Desk
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Illegal Crossings Increasingly Deadly Along South Texas Border

Cases Test The Border Patrol's Police Powers

Sept. 11
By Adrian Florido
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Several ongoing court cases are testing the authority that United States Border Patrol agents have to enforce laws not within their jurisdiction.

14 Schools, 1 Plan: Nevada's New Blueprint For ELL Education

Sept. 11
Kate Sheehy / Fronteras Desk
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Nevada schools have the largest percentage of English Language Learners in the country. For the first time, the state has designated funds to go directly towards improving ELL education. The bulk of the money, nearly $40 million, will go to Las Vegas' Clark County School District, the biggest in the state.

Affordable Healthcare Act Outreach

Sept. 11
Fronteras Desk
0 Comments
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The Obamacare web-based health insurance marketplace goes online at the start of October. That's when consumers will finally get to see just how much it's going to cost them to enroll in the various health insurance plans.

How Crossing The Border Can Get Your Laptop Confiscated

Sept. 11
By Adrian Florido
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A report by The New York Times sheds light on how the United States government has routinely confiscated and searched the computers and electronic devices of people entering the U.S., even without a search warrant.

Qualcomm Announces $5 Billion Stock Repurchasing Program

Sept. 11
City News Service
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San Diego-based cell phone chip-maker Qualcomm announced a $5 billion stock repurchasing program today.

Assembly Passes Bill To Set Fracking Regulations

Sept. 11
Associated Press
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A bill to regulate a drilling technique known as "fracking" has passed the state Assembly. It will now go to the Senate for a final vote.

Review: 'Men In Suits'

Sept. 11
By Beth Accomando
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Most people can rattle off the names of movie monsters from Godzilla to Predator but very few can name the suit actors who play them. The documentary “Men in Suits" (playing Saturday, September 14 at the Digital Gym Cinema) tries to set that right.

From Anonymous To Media Star To Unemployed In A Week

Sept. 11
NPR
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If you're following the Syrian debate, there's a good chance you've come across Elizabeth O'Bagy, an analyst on the Syrian war, who went from obscure think tank analyst to media darling to unemployed in roughly a week.

SD Equine Ordinance

Sept. 11
City News Service
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Supervisors Approve Tiered System for Stable Permits

San Diego Plastic Bag Ban Moves Forward

Sept. 11
James R. Riffel / City News Service
14 Comments
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The City Council's Rules and Economic Development Committee today unanimously directed staff to develop an ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and other retail outlets in the city of San Diego.

Best Of Home Post: Marine Who Surprised Family At Christmas Killed In Afghanistan (Video)

Sept. 11
By Beth Ford Roth
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The mother of fallen Twentynine Palms Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Barfield got in touch with me a few months ago to let me know her son was to be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Combat Valor on March 7, 2013 - what would've been Jason's 24th birthday. Jason's story has stayed with me because of what he did before he lost his life, planning a beautiful Christmas surprise for his family. This post was originally published October 26, 2011.

Applying Lessons From 9/11 To Syria

Sept. 11
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
2 Comments
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Against the backdrop of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, we look back at the lessons learned as the U.S. faces action in another Middle Eastern country.

The Experiences Of Widowers Through Stories And Photos

Sept. 11
Midday Edition
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The stories and faces of people who've suffered the loss of a spouse are profiled in a new book by San Diego writer and photographer Judith Fox.

CROSSING SOUTH: Mexicali And Tecate

Sept. 11
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CROSSING SOUTH: Mexicali And Tecate Tease photo

In this episode, we try a zip-line at the city park, meet an off-road race organizer, try some beer at El Zume pub, discover the natural wonder of La Rumerosa, play in the snow, and eat sweet bread in Tecate.

Dow Jones Industial Averages Is Set For Changes

Sept. 11
By Deb Welsh
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Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard are being dropped from the index of America's 30 top companies and replaced by Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa.

Review: 'The Citizen'

Sept. 11
By Rebecca Romani
1 Comment
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A Syrian immigrates to the U.S. on September 10, 2001 to find the American Dream...and gets much more than he bargained for. Guest blogger Rebecca Romani reviews "The Citizen" (opening Friday at the Digital Gym Cinema).

What To Avoid At The Orthopedist's Office

Sept. 11
NPR
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If the orthopedist wants to inject saline into your arthritic knee, it's time to say no thanks. Same for taking the popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain.

Report Shows Some Veterans Charities Misusing Funds

Sept. 11
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Donations to veterans and military charities has climbed into the billions since the 9/11 attacks. Most groups do good work, but a report reveals some groups are scams.

Best Of Home Post: USS Boxer Sailor Matthew Bergman - A Father Remembers

Sept. 11
By Beth Ford Roth
0 Comments
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This post honoring a fallen service member is special because it was primarily written by the father of Matthew Bergman, a 21-year-old Sailor who went missing from the USS Boxer and was presumed lost at sea. Originally published August 1, 2011.

Valley Fever Hospitalizations Increase In Calif.

Sept. 11
Associated Press
0 Comments

A new study shows rate of hospitalizations for valley fever, a potentially lethal but often misdiagnosed disease, has doubled over the past 12 years in California.

Maybe 'Muddling Through' Isn't That Bad For The Economy

Sept. 11
NPR
0 Comments

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Series Reveals Underground Market For 'Re-Homing' Adoptees

Sept. 11
NPR
0 Comments

In an exhaustive, 18-month investigation, Reuters has detailed a practice in the U.S. of "private re-homing" of unwanted foreign adoptees and allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of guardians.

Containment Lines Holding In Calif. Wildfire Fight

Sept. 11
Associated Press
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Crews battling a wildfire in Northern California that destroyed 30 homes and damaged 30 others are expecting more favorable weather to help.

Environmental Department To Propose Banning Plastic Bags At San Diego Stores

Sept. 11
City News Service
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The city of San Diego's Environmental Services Department is scheduled today to propose banning plastic bags at stores.

More Border Protests Planned

Sept. 11
Michel Marizco / Fronteras Desk
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Fresh off its success in July, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance is planning to hold another immigration protest at the U.S.-Mexico border.

San Diego Marks Anniversary Of 9/11 Terrorist Attack

Sept. 11
By Susan Murphy
2 Comments
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People across the county will commemorate 9/11, the day al Qaeda terrorists, some with ties to San Diego, hijacked four airliners and killed nearly 3,000 people.

Legislative Roundup: A Busy Tuesday At The Capitol

Sept. 11
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio
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School testing, lead ammunition and public records. Those issues are among the dozens California lawmakers debated Tuesday during this busy final week of session.

How The Internet Of Things Is Making Our Homes Smarter (And Easier to Hack)

Sept. 11
By David Wagner
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These days, the Internet seems to be everywhere, connecting everything to everything else. That can make our daily routines a lot easier, but sometimes, it can also make it easier for hackers to invade our privacy.