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Stories for February 4, 2014

JPMorgan Pays $614 In Mortgage Lending Fraud Case

Feb. 4
Associated Press / NPR
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The nation's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., will pay $614 million and improve mortgage lending practices under a deal announced Tuesday to settle claims it approved thousands of unqualified home mortgage loans for government insurance and refinancing since 2002, costing the government millions of dollars when the loans defaulted.

Lawmakers Look To Prevent More Target-Sized Data Breaches

Feb. 4
Elise Hu / NPR
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The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.

Prison Fugitive From Mid-1970s Captured In San Diego

Feb. 4
By City News Service
2 Comments
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Acting on information from Michigan corrections officials, San Diego police arrested a woman 37 years after her escape from a Midwestern prison.

Mission Valley Travelodge Motel Cracks Down On Prostitution

Feb. 4
By City News Service
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Legal documents show that San Diego police detectives found numerous females advertising themselves for sex on websites who directed them to the Travelodge motel. One arrested pimp had $20,000 in cash in his car, according to the complaint.

2 San Diego Bridges Receive Poor Sufficiency Ratings

Feb. 4
By City News Service
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The report says two vehicle bridges have poor sufficiency ratings -- the Georgia Street Bridge over University Avenue and the Laurel Street Bridge over state Route 163 -- with repairs underway on both.

San Diego Chargers Commit To Qualcomm Stadium Lease For 2014

Feb. 4
10News.com
2 Comments

The San Diego Chargers will remain in San Diego for another year by not triggering an exit clause in their lease.

Differing Bail Terms In San Diego Campaign Finance Probe Trigger Speculation

Feb. 4
By Amita Sharma
1 Comment
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The three men accused of illegally steering foreign money into San Diego elections are charged with the same crime. But their terms of release are very different.

Southwest Airlines to Add New Routes From San Diego

Feb. 4
Associated Press
2 Comments

With the new long-haul routes, Southwest will compete against similar service from American Airlines Group Inc. at nearby DFW Airport.

More Access To Health Care Means More People Can Work Less

Feb. 4
S.V. Date / NPR
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What might have been a routine update on the state of the federal budget Tuesday instead became the newest front in the ongoing political war over President Obama's signature health care law.

Watch The Creationism Vs. Evolution Debate: Bill Nye And Ken Ham

Feb. 4
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Does it damage children to teach them biblical creationism? What are the costs of denying evolution, one of biology's core tenets?

RNC Highlights Black History Month With Radio Ads

Feb. 4
Don Gonyea / NPR
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Leaders of the Republican Party acknowledge they have a problem attracting minority voters -- especially African-Americans, 93 percent of whom voted for President Obama in 2012, compared with just 6 percent for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads

Feb. 4
Laura Sullivan / NPR
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The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought attention to a grim reality of drug abuse in America -- most notably with the increasing use of heroin.

The View From Down There: FDA Approves Pill Cam For Colon Exams

Feb. 4
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Patients who undergo colon screenings might breathe a little easier now that U.S. regulators have approved a pill containing two cameras. The PillCam Colon is minimally invasive and runs on batteries, its maker says. And as you might imagine, it's disposable.

San Diego Meth-Related Deaths Up 55 Percent Since 2008

Feb. 4
By Jill Replogle
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San Diego might not be the "meth capital of the country," but it's still the top entry point from Mexico for the drug.

When His Pit Burned Down, A Southern BBQ Master Took Hogs On Tour

Feb. 4
Debbie Elliott / NPR
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In the tiny town of Hemingway, S.C., the Scott family has been selling barbecue out of their roadside general store for nearly a half century. The smoky, vinegary pork has reached legendary status around the South.

SDSU 1 Win Shy Of 9th Straight 20-Win Season

Feb. 4
Associated Press
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With their next victory, the No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs will have their ninth straight 20-win season — and 10th overall — under coach Steve Fisher.

RNC's Priebus Insists Minority Outreach Effort Is Built To Last

Feb. 4
Frank James / NPR
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Much of politics is about symbols and gestures. And there were plenty of them at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

CROSSING SOUTH: Kayaks And Kumiai

Feb. 4
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CROSSING SOUTH: Kayaks And Kumiai Tease photo

Go aboard a kayak with host Jorge Meraz as he experiences the La Bufadora ocean gyser south of Ensenada. See the natural beauty of the surrounding Punta Banda penninsula as Jorge hikes around. Finally, meet the true natives of Baja at the San Antonio Necua Kumiai community.

Narcotics Suspect Fatally Shot By Sheriff Deputies

Feb. 4
By City News Service
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When the detectives identified themselves and ordered Napier to show his hands, he instead moved both of them toward his waistband.

Case Sheds Light On The Murky World Of Asbestos Litigation

Feb. 4
Michael Tomsic / NPR
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This is a case about a bankrupt company, legal shenanigans, and a rare type of cancer.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department Getting 8 Percent Raise Over 4 Years

Feb. 4
By City News Service
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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approve an 8 percent raise for sheriff's deputies over the next four years. The agreement is projected to cost the county an extra $13.9 million in the 2014-15 budget.

Lawyer's Local-Market Super Bowl Spot Is An On-Fire Smash

Feb. 4
Bill Chappell / NPR
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It only played in the TV market near Savannah, Ga. - but an attorney's commercial that's being called "epic" and "amazing" has racked up more than 2.7 million hits on YouTube. Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino bought a full two minutes for the ad, which he wrote and directed.

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Feb. 4
Allison Aubrey / NPR
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We've written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

Congress Sends Five-Year Farm Bill To White House

Feb. 4
Bill Chappell / NPR
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With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.

Obama Nominee's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him

Feb. 4
Liz Halloran / NPR
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Boston physician Vivek Murthy was expected to run into political headwinds Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of the nation's top doc -- surgeon general.

Central California Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down Generator

Feb. 4
Associated Press
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A Central California nuclear power plant has shut down one of its two generators after an electrical arc occurred during a storm.

Renowned Fiber Artist And Fantasy Novelist In San Diego To Teach Storytelling

Feb. 4
Midday Edition
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The newest genre in fiction writing is using crafts in storytelling. A renowned fiber artist is using her love of yarns to launch a trilogy of fantasy books based in needlework.

New Calif. Law Adds 3-Foot Protection For Cyclists But Will It Make San Diego Roads Safe Enough?

Feb. 4
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
63 Comments
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Beginning in September, California law will require drivers to be three feet away from a bicyclist handlebars or shoulders while passing on the road. Will the new law make San Diego cyclists feel safer?

California Drought Could Bring Higher Electricity Costs

Feb. 4
Associated Press
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The drought is drying up an important source of energy for California residents.

Carlsbad-Based Hot Dog On A Stick Declares Bankruptcy

Feb. 4
By City News Service
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Hot Dog on a Stick, the Carlsbad-based chain of shopping mall eateries known for staff in brightly colored, striped uniforms and impaled corn dogs, announced Monday it filed a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.

Firms Fined For California Plant Implosion That Hurt 5

Feb. 4
Associated Press
0 Comments

The state has cited and issued fines to two companies that worked as subcontractors on the implosion of a central California power plant whose shrapnel flew into a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators gathered to watch the spectacle.

Montford Point Marines Jackson, Inge & Reavis: The Story Continues

Black History Month 2014 Honorees

Feb. 4
By Monica Medina
1 Comment
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The Montford Point Marines are a little known part of U.S. military history. Born out of necessity, when African American men were first drafted to serve in World War II, the legacy of the Marines who trained at Montford Point in North Carolina is a mirror of the times, back when segregation and discrimination were par for the course.

Accuser's Video Leads To Sexual Assault Charges For Teacher

Feb. 4
Mark Memmott / NPR
1 Comment
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A powerful video of a young woman's phone call to a former teacher and coach she accuses of sexual abuse has led to another alleged victim coming forward and to the arrest of that educator in Riverside County, Calif.

San Diego City Council To Consider Horton Plaza Park Specifics

Feb. 4
By City News Service
4 Comments
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The San Diego City Council is scheduled Tuesday to consider approving plans and specifications for an $11.7 million public park project at Horton Plaza that's about one year behind schedule.

Leno Pushes for Further Minimum Wage Increase

Feb. 4
Katie Orr / Cap Radio News
2 Comments
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California minimum wage workers will start making $9 an hour this year, but one lawmaker thinks they should be getting more.

San Diego Leaders, Environmentalists Gather For Zero Waste Symposium

Feb. 4
Evening Edition
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Zero Waste San Diego is hosting its first symposium Tuesday in Kearny Mesa, bringing together business leaders, nonprofits and local governments for a discussion on reusing or recycling all materials.

Trial In Consulate Worker's Murder Begins This Week

Feb. 4
By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
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A man accused of plotting to kill a United States consulate worker and her husband is set to go to trial this week in El Paso. The murders happened during the height of drug-related violence in neighboring Ciudad Juárez.

Rise In Referendums: A Look At Why Paid Signature Gatherers Have Staked Out Your Supermarket

Feb. 4
By Sandhya Dirks
2 Comments
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Here is a quick pop quiz: What do Walmart, marijuana, Barrio Logan, and a developer fee all have in common? Hint: referendums.

Sick Of Winter? Love It? More Snow And Ice Are On The Way

Feb. 4
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Heavy snow is going to fall "from central Kansas through central Missouri and Illinois, into central Indiana" starting Tuesday, the National Weather Service says. Then, the "same system could bring a foot of snow [from] northern Pennsylvania into central New England on Wednesday."

Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, The FDA Warns Teens

Feb. 4
Rob Stein / NPR
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When it comes to convincing teenagers not to smoke, you gotta think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.

Exonerations On The Rise, And Not Just Because Of DNA

Feb. 4
Laura Sullivan / NPR
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2013 was a record-breaking year for exonerations in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations.

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Feb. 4
Tamara Keith / NPR
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The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

Skater Sonja Henie 'Put A Dollar Sign' Behind The Gold

Feb. 4
Brian Mann / NPR
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When you see those graceful figure skaters perform at the Winter Games in Sochi -- with their athleticism and their big-money endorsement deals -- for better or worse, Sonja Henie paved the way.

A Tiny Town Steeped In Skiing Tradition Has Its First Olympian

Feb. 4
Patty Wight / NPR
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Ask locals to describe the landscape in the tiny town of Stockholm, up near the tip of northern Maine, and more than one will call it a winter wonderland. Woods dot the landscape of rolling white fields, and snow-covered spruce trees nestle roadways.