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Stories for January 8, 2014

Loehmann's To Liquidate, Macy's Cuts Jobs In Reorganization

Jan. 8
Doreen McCallister / NPR

Discount retailer Loehmann's, which has been in business for more than 90 years, will begin liquidating its inventory on Thursday.

San Diego State men's basketball beats Boise State, 69-66

Jan. 8
Associated Press

No. 13-ranked SDSU's Winston Shepard and Xavier Thames score 16 points each for the Aztecs (13-1, 2-0), who win their 12th straight game.

Ease Up On 'No Tolerance' Policies, U.S. Agencies Tell Schools

Jan. 8
Bill Chappell / NPR

Saying that "zero tolerance" discipline policies at U.S. schools are unfairly applied "all too often," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is urging officials to rethink that approach. The Obama administration issued voluntary guidelines today that call for more training for teachers and more clarity in defining security problems.

California Prisoners Could Be Moved Out Of State Due To Overcrowding

Jan. 8
Associated Press

California won't have a choice in moving more than 4,000 inmates to private prisons outside the state due to overcrowding unless a prison population cap is postponed.

Baja's International Crime Hotline Produces Some Results

Jan. 8
By Jill Replogle
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Authorities in Baja California have received more than 300 calls from the U.S. since the crime hotline was launched in 2009.

California Transgender Law Takes First Step Towards Referendum

Jan. 8
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

The first hurdle, albeit barely, has been cleared in order to launch a referendum on California's new transgender law.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Construction On Track To Meet 2016 Goal

Jan. 8
By City News Service
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The Carlsbad Desalination Plant, now more than 25 percent complete, is on track to begin operation in 2016. It is the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.

San Diego Sidewalk Assessment Prepares to hit the streets

Jan. 8
By City News Service
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Employees and college students are training and testing equipment for the study now, and will hit the streets by the end of the month to assessment the condition of sidewalks around San Diego.

San Diego Flu Season records First Death

Jan. 8
By City News Service

The unidentified man, who died last Thursday, tested positive for Influenza. Sixty-five people died in San Diego County during last year's flu season.

24 Indicted In Massive San Diego Sex-Trafficking Case

Jan. 8
By KPBS
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Federal indictments unsealed Wednesday charge 24 alleged gang members from North Park in a sex-trafficking conspiracy.

University of San Diego women basketball enjoy first national ranking ever

Jan. 8
Associated Press

The University of San Diego Toreros (15-0) entered the poll Monday at No. 24. They are one of five unbeaten teams left in the country, joining UConn, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Indiana.

San Diego Housing Prices Increased 19 Percent in 2013

Jan. 8
By City News Service
San Diego Housing Prices Increased 19 Percent in 2013 Tease photo

The median home price for a single-family residence in the San Diego region last year was $457,000, representing a 19 percent jump from 2012.

Conjoined Grey Whales Discovered in Baja California Lagoon

Jan. 8
By Jill Replogle
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It was reported that the twins were smaller than normal — about 7-feet long compared to 12- to 16-feet for healthy calves — and might have been miscarried.

Sunshine By The Stars: Celebrating Louisiana Music

Jan. 8
Sunshine By The Stars: Celebrating Louisiana Music Tease photo

Harry Connick, Jr. hosts a musical journey that features major music stars performing Louisiana’s state song “You Are My Sunshine,” originally recorded by country star and former Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis. Connick and his band second-line through the French Quarter, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews performs with his band on a New Orleans streetcar and country music star Tim McGraw leads fans in a spirited rendition. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Lee Lewis performs at his house in Memphis, blues legend Buddy Guy plays at his club in Chicago and Grammy winners Wynton and Branford Marsalis join their dad, Ellis, and brother Jason for a unique jazz version of the state song.

Solar Flare Will Hit Earth Thursday; Northern Lights May Expand South

Jan. 8
Bill Chappell / NPR
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Tired of reading about intensely cold temperatures? Here's some news that might help take your mind off this week's deep freeze. It could even give you an excuse to hang around outside Thursday.

News Or Ad? Online Advertisers Hope You'll Click To Find Out

Jan. 8
David Folkenflik / NPR
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The New York Times unveiled a major redesign of its digital offerings Wednesday. With a new scroll feature, readers will never again have to click to read the second half of a story, and the site is crafted to appeal to a mobile audience.

As Temps Drop, Gas Prices Rise, Along With Demand for Fuel

Jan. 8
Jeff Brady / NPR
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Cold weather this week has boosted demand for heating fuels across the country. Natural gas prices are up, especially in the Northeast. At one point prices for natural gas into New York City jumped nearly ten-fold from an average winter price of $5.68 per million BTU to $55.49, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics company.

Whales, Dolphins Are Collateral Damage In Our Taste For Seafood

Jan. 8
Richard Harris / NPR
Tease photo

Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals are injured or killed every year by fishermen around the world. And because most seafood in the U.S. is imported, that means our fish isn't as dolphin-friendly as you might expect.

Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds'

Jan. 8
Pam Fessler / NPR
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Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education and tax cuts to help create jobs.

White House Defends War Policy Against Memoir's Harsh Critique

Jan. 8
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The White House rebuffed a largely critical assessment of administration policymaking presented in a new memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, saying disagreements over the course of action in the Afghan war were part of a "robust" internal process.

Reversals In Hard-Won Iraqi City Of Fallujah Vex Marine Veterans

Jan. 8
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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The brutal house-to-house combat to tame the Iraqi insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad cemented its place in U.S. military history and many veterans of the battle are disheartened at Fallujah's recent fall to Islamist forces.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus To Visit Camp Pendleton On Friday

Jan. 8
By Beth Ford Roth
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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is scheduled to visit Camp Pendleton on Friday, Jan. 10.

UC San Diego Professor Slams TED Talks — During His TED Talk

Jan. 8
Midday Edition
By David Wagner
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One San Diego academic recently took the anti-TED gospel to those least likely to want to hear it: TED devotees.

Same-Sex Marriages No Longer Recognized, Utah Tells Agencies

Jan. 8
Bill Chappell / NPR

Utah is instructing state officials to put services and paperwork for same-sex couples on hold, reflecting a recent U.S. Supreme Court order that halted gay marriages in the state. Utah is appealing a district court's ruling last month that its ban on same-sex marriage is not constitutional. The state was granted a stay as it pursues the matter.

So Are 2 Drinks A Day Really Too Many?

Jan. 8
Nancy Shute / NPR

A lot of us are drinking too much, and on Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called us on it.

Four Airmen Killed In UK Helicopter Crash Id'ed

Jan. 8
By Beth Ford Roth
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The U.S. Air Force has identified the four U.S. airmen killed Tuesday night when their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crashed on the northeast coast of England during a training mission. The fallen airmen were Capt. Christopher Stover, Capt. Sean Ruane, Tech Sgt. Dale Mathews, and SSgt. Afton Ponce.

Permanent Memorial Will Honor Tucson Shooting Victims

Jan. 8
Michel Marizco / Fronteras Desk
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Nearly three years after a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store, killing six people and wounding 13 more, the city is preparing to build a memorial marking that day.

The Connection Between Dry Weather In San Diego And The Polar Vortex

Jan. 8
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Extreme weather is freezing the midwest and leaving San Diego high and dry. Is there a connection between the weather patterns that are bringing extreme cold to the nation's midsection and causing dry, mild weather here?

San Diego Filmmakers Document Our Ties To The Ocean

Jan. 8
Midday Edition
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A documentary produced by San Diego filmmakers looks at what the ocean means to people from all walks of life. "What The Sea Gives Me" is comprised of candid interviews of some of the ocean's ambassadors who thrive under the most extreme water conditions.

Imperial Beach Hopes New Hotel Draws Tourists, Spurs Redevelopment

Jan. 8
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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After 10 years of planning and an economic downturn, a new beachfront resort opens its doors next week in Imperial Beach and city leaders are pinning a lot of hope on the success of the hotel.

Texas Attempts To Lure Sriracha Factory To Lone Star State

Jan. 8
Joey Palacios / Fronteras Desk
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As shipments of the popular spicy Asian condiment Sriracha remain on hold following a partial shutdown of its factory in California, a state representative from Texas is trying to lure the maker of the sauce away from the West Cost and into the Lone Star State.

One Crew Member Killed, One Missing After Navy Helicopter Goes Down Off Virginia Coast

Jan. 8
By Beth Ford Roth
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The U.S. Navy reported on its Twitter account that one crew member died and one is still missing after their MH-53E helicopter made an emergency water landing Wednesday off the coast of Virginia.

Giffords Skydives To Mark Anniversary of Shooting

Jan. 8
By Jill Replogle
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Three years after taking a bullet to the head, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords marks the anniversary by skydiving and outlines her resolutions for stronger gun laws.

Four Rescued From Navy Helicopter Crash Off Virginia Coast

Jan. 8
Scott Neuman / NPR
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At least four people of the five people aboard a U.S. Navy helicopter that went down in the Atlantic Ocean about 18 miles east of Cape Henry have been rescued, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Brown To Tout Budget Proposal In San Diego

Jan. 8
City News Service
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Gov. Jerry Brown will begin the day in Sacramento and speak at San Diego City Hall around 12:30 p.m.

The Case For Clemency: Expert Says Snowden Deserves A Pass

Jan. 8
Scott Neuman / NPR
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As the courts consider whether the National Security Agency's surveillance practices are constitutional, NPR's Morning Edition is speaking to individuals making the case for and against granting clemency for the man whose leaks cast a spotlight on U.S. spying.

Video - 4 US Airmen Killed In Helicopter Crash In England

Jan. 8
By Beth Ford Roth
Tease photo

Four members of the U.S. Air Force were killed Tuesday night when their Pave Hawk helicopter crashed on the northeast coast of England during training.

San Diego-Based Destroyers To Be Transferred To Hawaii This Summer

Jan. 8
By City News Service
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The San Diego-based guided-missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones and USS Preble are scheduled to be transferred to Hawaii this summer, the Navy announced Tuesday.

Thousands Of Whales, Dolphins Killed To Satisfy Our Seafood Appetite

Jan. 8
Richard Harris / NPR
Tease photo

Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals are injured or killed every year by fishermen around the world. And because most seafood in the U.S. is imported, that means our fish isn't as dolphin-friendly as you might expect.

Obama To Announce Los Angeles As 1 Of 5 'Promise Zones'

Jan. 8
Associated Press

President Barack Obama will announce five "Promise Zones" this week as part of his effort to focus on income inequality in the lead-up to his State of the Union address.

San Diego Supervisors To Consider Community, Special Event Signs In Unincorporated Areas

Jan. 8
City News Service

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is scheduled Wednesday to consider whether to allow community and special event signs and banners along county right-of-ways in unincorporated areas.

Who's Got Your Vote For Baseball's Hall Of Fame?

Jan. 8
Mark Memmott / NPR
Tease photo

OK, seamheads and others who enjoy baseball, this one's for you.

What Happens When A Language's Last Monolingual Speaker Dies?

Jan. 8
Kat Chow / NPR
Tease photo

Emily Johnson Dickerson died at her home in Ada, Okla., last week. She was the last person alive who spoke only the Chickasaw language.

NASA Reportedly Gets OK To Keep Space Station Going Until 2024

Jan. 8
Scott Neuman / NPR
Tease photo

The White House has approved NASA's call for four more years for the International Space Station, ensuring that the orbiting science laboratory will keep going for another decade, according to documents obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.

Hell Has Frozen Over, Headline Writers Rejoice

Jan. 8
Mark Memmott / NPR

When it gets super-cold in Hell, Mich., guess what headline writers and radio hosts have to say about it:

New Healthcare Ratings Available To California Consumers

Jan. 8
By Kenny Goldberg

Consumer Reports is releasing new ratings of medical groups in California that are based on patients’ experiences.

Cities Weigh In On How To Replace San Onofre Power

Jan. 8
By Alison St John
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The city of Solana Beach votes Wednesday night on whether to formally oppose building new fossil fuel power plants in San Diego to make up for the loss of San Onofre’s nuclear power.

La Jolla Biotech's Blood Test Could Help Doctors Diagnose Depression

Jan. 8
By Kenny Goldberg
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A San Diego-based neurodiagnostic company has developed what it calls the first reliable blood test for depression.

Death Toll From Deep Freeze Tops 20; Warm-Up Is Coming

Jan. 8
Mark Memmott / NPR
Tease photo

The deaths of at least 21 people are now being blamed on the winter storms and severe cold weather that have gripped much of the nation since late last week, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

31-Year-Old Hopes To Ski Past Her (Younger) Competitors

Jan. 8
Annie Feidt / NPR
Tease photo

On a frigid day at Hatcher Pass, north of Anchorage, Alaska, cross-country skier Holly Brooks glides up to a start line.

For LBJ, The War On Poverty Was Personal

Jan. 8
NPR Staff / NPR
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President Lyndon Johnson stood in the Capitol on Jan. 8, 1964, and, in his first State of the Union address, committed the nation to a war on poverty.

Even In Snowden-Friendly Brazil, Asylum May Be 'Bridge Too Far'

Jan. 8
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro / NPR
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Should they or shouldn't they? That's the question Brazilians are asking themselves after Edward Snowden's "open letter" lauding Brazil's role in protecting privacy rights and alluding to his hand in uncovering spying on their president.

Kentucky County That Gave War On Poverty A Face Still Struggles

Jan. 8
Pam Fessler / NPR
Tease photo

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education, and tax cuts to help create jobs.