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Stories by Amita Sharma

Mexican Businessman Blames Sempra For Federal Campaign Finance Probe

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Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, a Mexican billionaire, is accused of illegally contributing more than $600,000 to San Diego campaigns using straw donors. Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to U.S. political campaigns.

California Ranks As World's 8th Largest Economy, Overtaking Russia And Italy

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Economist says the Golden State’s standing is more evidence of its continued recovery. Tourism and the tech industry helped fuel California's comeback, an economist says.

Californians Concerned About Income Inequality

The state's residents disagree on raising the minimum wage beyond what is planned.

From Linkage Fee To Mt. Soledad, San Diego Mayor Provides Update

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined KPBS Midday Edition for his monthly update on the business of the city and it's been a busy four weeks since his last visit.

Weekend Festival Celebrates American Roots In Bluegrass

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Banjo, fiddle and guitar jamming is set to get underway this weekend at the Huck Finn Bluegrass Music Festival in Ontario, California. We have a preview from the band Lonesome Otis.

Young Undocumented Immigrants Begin Renewing Deferred Action Permits

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Young undocumented immigrants who received temporary legal status under the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival program in 2012 can now apply to renew their permits.

San Diego Aging Summit Provides Resources, Support For Caregivers

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As baby boomers reach their '"golden years" families are finding themselves caregivers. A summit this week in San Diego focuses on personal safety for our seniors, elder abuse and challenges for local families dealing with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

California Teacher Tenure Law Ruled Unconstitutional

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Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday ruled in favor of nine students who sued the state saying tenure and seniority policies have made it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.

Business Owners Weigh In On Proposal To Raise San Diego's Minimum Wage

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As a San Diego City Council committee gets ready to discuss raising San Diego's minimum wage to $13.09 an hour, we hear from San Diego's small-business community.

San Diego Researcher Helps Draft New Dietary Guidelines For Cancer Prevention

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A UC San Diego researcher helped draft new dietary guidelines for cancer prevention, they encourage people to limit alcohol, dairy products and red and processed meats.

California Chrome's Next Race May Be At Del Mar

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Though California Chrome's Triple Crown hopes were dashed this weekend when the horse tied for fourth place in the Belmont Stakes, the 3-year-old's career is far from over.

Are Charter Cities Good Or Bad For Taxpayers?

California’s charter cities have come under scrutiny in recent years because of three high-profile municipal bankruptcies. Locally, San Diego is the largest of eight charter cities in the county. Escondido is also flirting with the idea of becoming a charter city. But there is disagreement over whether charter cities are good for taxpayers.

Arts-In-Corrections Program Returns To California Prisons

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The California Arts Council and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation team up to fund art programs in state prisons including painting and playwriting courses Donovan State Prison in San Diego County.

Can San Diego Meet New EPA Carbon Emissions Standards?

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The Environmental Protection Agency released major new rules to reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants on Monday. How will California — and San Diego — measure up?

Obama: Child Migrants 'Urgent Humanitarian' Issue

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San Diego has a great deal of experience in the handling of illegal border crossers, the arrests, detention and legal proceedings of deportation. But that all takes on a different perspective when the illegal border crossers are children.

Dumanis Wrote Letter For Mexican Donor's Relative

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A lawyer for a wealthy Mexican businessman accused of making illegal campaign donations sought Monday in federal court to release a recommendation letter that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis wrote for a relative of the foreign national.

San Diego Homeless Program 'Project 25' Is Running Out Of Money

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A pilot housing program that supports San Diego's most at-risk homeless population — those who are frequent users of emergency services — is running out of money.

San Diego Musician AJ Croce Performs Songs From New Album

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Singer and songwriter A.J. Croce, who calls San Diego home, visits KPBS to discuss his latest album "Twelve Tales." Croce worked with six legendary producers on that album that took a year to complete.

What's Your Impression Of Chula Vista?

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A public discussion this week to debunk the myths and celebrate the reality that is San Diego County’s second largest city.

From Wildfires To Budget, An Update From San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joins us for his monthly update on the business of the city.

San Diego Judicial Candidate's Campaign Signs Called Misleading

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A San Diego retired judge says campaign signs erroneously imply judicial candidate Ken Gosselin is an incumbent.

Judge Seals District Attorney Office Records In Chula Vista Investigation

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A judge has sealed records wanted by a former Chula Vista city official who is trying to have his misdemeanor guilty plea dismissed. Attorneys for the official argue District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not disclose that she had a conflict of interest in his case.

Former Chula Vista Aide Seeks To Undo Plea Deal Over Dumanis Call

Former Chula Vista Mayor states in a sworn declaration that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis asked him in phone call to appoint her aide to a vacant City Council seat.

Lessons Learned In Past Wildfires Paying Off

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State and county officials say lessons learned in battling past wildfires are paying off now.

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With Suspicious Eyes, Investigators Seek Cause Of Fires

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Arson investigators are probing the origins of nine major fires across San Diego County.

FBI Hunts San Diego Man Suspected Of Helping Al Qaeda-Tied Group In Somalia

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It's been more than a year since a former UC San Diego engineering student — once described as sweet and friendly — made it to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. There's a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Dumanis Challenged To Release Records In Chula Vista Political Probe

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District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' decision to delay releasing the records sought by KPBS was questioned Tuesday by her opponent in the DA's race and one of his supporters.

Prosecutor Confirms Records Sought By KPBS Exist In DA's Office

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The office said it will decide by Monday whether to release records.

News Of Dumanis Call Prompts Request To Strike Plea Deal

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Jason Moore's defense attorney says his client should have been told about District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' call when he was charged.

City Heights Nonprofit Struggles To Connect With San Diego Businesses

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Since the City Heights Partnership for Children launched in 2011 it has struggled to team up with San Diego businesses. A recent case study offers some answers behind the trend.

California Voter Registration Website Now Available In 10 Languages

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The state's voter registration website is now available in 10 languages. The question is, will those improvements to the website actually increase voter turnout in our increasingly multi-cultural state?

Ex-Chula Vista Councilman Wants DA To Release Emails

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Former Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda called on District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to release emails connected to his 2008 prosecution.

UC San Diego Researcher Traces American History Of Democracy And Racist Immigration Laws

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The U.S. has barred people based on race longer than any other country in the western hemisphere. A new book co-authored by a UC San Diego researcher looks at the history of democracy and racist immigration policy in the Americas.

Phone Call Raises Questions About DA Dumanis' Chula Vista Investigations

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The chief prosecutor in the investigations says a phone call by Bonnie Dumanis to the then mayor of Chula Vista should have been disclosed and the District Attorney's Office should have recused itself from the probes.

San Diego Judicial Candidate Accused Of Embellishing Credentials

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A court hearing on whether San Diego Superior Court judicial candidate Ken Gosselin misrepresented his qualifications and should correct ballot language is scheduled for Thursday.

Cesar Chavez's Legacy Continues To Inspire San Diego Labor Movement

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On Cesar Chavez Day, San Diego labor leaders remember the labor leader's legacy and discuss the state of the labor movement in the region.

Judicial Candidate Faces Possible Discipline For Professional Misconduct

Douglas J. Crawford, who is running against incumbent Judge Ronald Prager, faces a 90-day suspension for threatening to report an opponent in a civil suit to the Internal Revenue Service.

Gov. Brown Has OK'd Releasing More 'Lifers' From Prison Than Predecessors

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Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the release of more prisoners who were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole than previous governors. We're going to be looking at the legal considerations and the reaction from victims.

Program Assists San Diego Veterans Entering Civilian Workforce

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From the battlefield to the job site — an Easter Seals program is helping San Diego's new veterans make the transition from military life to a job in the civilian world.

Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty In San Diego Foreign Campaign Fund Scandal

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Ernesto Encinas, who was accused of conspiring to direct $500,000 in illegal foreign money into San Diego municipal and federal campaigns, changed his plea to guilty on two counts.

Divorcing In San Diego — At What Cost?

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The end of a marriage is usually sad, painful and often traumatic. But does a divorce have to be? A new documentary describes divorce in America as big business, where determining what's right for the former couple and their children often gets lost in a sea of attorney's fees and endless court arguments. We look at where the money is going, reform and what options are available for families in San Diego County.

Conference Aims To Restore Respect in San Diego Civic Dialogue

After two mayoral elections in the city of San Diego in just as many years, a group of civic-minded individuals are coming together to restore civility to civic dialogue.

LGBT Activist Calls On Dumanis To Withdraw Support Of County Clerk's Re-Election Bid

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A prominent LGBT activist calls the San Diego District Attorney's endorsement puzzling in light of her own struggles with efforts to outlaw gay marriages.

Dumanis Endorsed County Clerk Who Challenged Gay Marriage Ruling

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The district attorney says the clerk assured her his filing with the state Supreme Court seeking to stop gay weddings was an attempt to clarify the law.

Mexican National Accused In San Diego Campaign Finance Scheme Free On Bail

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Jose Susumo Azano Matsura is charged with using a straw donor to funnel $120,000 to the campaign of a 2012 mayoral candidate.

Questions Dog Bonnie Dumanis On San Diego Campaign Finance Probe

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Campaign finance experts say there were key warning signs that the funds accepted by the San Diego district attorney when she was running for mayor might not be legal.

Dealing With Life-Threatening Illness From Both A Doctor And Patient's Perspective

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When a terminal illness is diagnosed, people ask their doctors one question: How long do I have to live?

Drought Prompts Call For Voluntary Water Restrictions In San Diego County

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In light of the recently declared drought in California, local and county officials are calling for residents to conserve.

Differing Bail Terms In San Diego Campaign Finance Probe Trigger Speculation

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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.

Southern California Edison Outlines Values for San Onofre Nuclear Plant's Decommissioning

Southern California Edison says it will follow a set of core principles.

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