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Stories by KPBS News

Fire Destroys San Diego Rescue Mission

A warehouse belonging to the San Diego Rescue Mission went up in flames last night. The fire engulfed the University Avenue building, destroying donated furniture, clothing and household appliances. Nothing was salvageable. The estimated replacement value is over a million dollars.

Foley Settles Lawsuit with Coronado for $5.5 Million

Former San Diego Chargers football player Steve Foley is getting $5.5 million from the city of Coronado to settle his lawsuit against the city. Foley was shot by off-duty police officer Aaron Mansker nearly two years ago. The injuries ended his professional football career. Coronado City Attorney Steven Boehmer says the city did not admit any liability in the case.

S.D. Beach Ban Brings Fewer Crowds, Less Trash on July 4th

People who celebrated fourth of July in San Diego say the beaches were much quieter compared to past years. About a million people showed up compared to 1.8 million a year ago.

Report Shows San Diego Traffic has Dropped Significantly

Californians are driving less and travel times on freeways are dropping in San Diego County. Berkeley Transportation Systems measures traffic data collected by California Department of Transportation road sensors. They record how many cars are on the road and how fast the vehicles are moving.

Local H.S. Students Learn to Produce Broadcast News at Journalism Workshop

For the past two weeks, students interested in radio, television and print news immersed themselves in a two-week journalism program in San Diego.

Report: San Diego Housing Market Among Worst in the Nation

A new report shows that home sales are still dropping in San Diego and the rest of the country. The Standard and Poor Case-Shiller report finds housing prices here were down over 20 percent from a year ago.

Early Results Show Jan Goldsmith Leading Race for S.D. City Attorney

Early absentee returns show Superior Court Judge Jan Goldsmith is leading tonight over incumbent City Attorney Michael Aguirre.

Jerry Sanders Takes Early Lead in Race for S.D. Mayor

Mayor Jerry Sanders has an early lead tonight in his bid for reelection against challenger Steve Francis in the race for San Diego mayor.

Mayor Sanders' Campaign Manager Resigns

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will have to find a new campaign manager. Michael McSweeney resigned today. He submitted a letter of resignation after his efforts to get mayoral candidate Eric Bidwell to attack Steve Francis were made public.

Local Gas Prices Set Another Record: $4.07 per Gallon

San Diego gasoline prices set another record today climbing to $4.07 a gallon. The Utility Consumer’s Action Network says record high oil prices are pushing the surge at the pump.

New Record For Average Gas Prices in San Diego

San Diego's average gasoline price reached another record today. The Utility Consumer's Action Network says it costs three dollars 86 cents for a gallon of regular. That's ten cents more than a week ago and 22 cents a gallon higher than the price just two weeks ago.

Local Lawyer Announces Bid to Unseat Aguirre as City Attorney

San Diego lawyer Amy Lepine announced her bid today to unseat incumbent City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

San Diego Gas Prices Jumped Eight Cents Since Yesterday

San Diego's gas prices jumped significantly overnight. The Utility Consumers Action Network tracks the price of fuel at hundreds of local gas stations. U-CAN's Charles Langley says the average price jumped almost 8 cents a gallon from yesterday afternoon.

Fiscal Watchdog Says State Can't Afford Raises For Prison Guards

The State Legislature's fiscal watchdog says prison guards already earn enough money and don't need a five percent pay raise proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

San Diego Voters Motivated by Primary's Significance

Election officials in San Diego and around California have been predicting record voter turnout on this Super Tuesday. In San Diego county, there were few early rushes to vote. KPBS reporters sampled voters in three different areas, and came away with very similar voter opinions.

Clinton to Speak at SDSU Event This Afternoon

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will speak this afternoon at San Diego State's Cox Arena. The junior senator from New York will address a town hall meeting at 1:30 p.m. to promote her plans "to strengthen the middle class."

CHP Out in Full Force Through New Year's

The New Year's Holiday is typically a deadly one on the state's roads. And the California Highway Patrol will be out in full force to crack down on drunk drivers. Eighty percent of CHP officers will be on the roads statewide. CHP Commissioner Mike Brown says there will be a clear presence.

175 Ballot Machine Computer Chips Go Missing

San Diego County election officials say about 175 computer chips meant to power machines that will tally ballots in February's presidential primary disappeared after they were shipped from state offices in Sacramento.

Gasoline Was 50 Cents Per Gallon Cheaper at This Time Last Year

The price of a gallon of regular gas in San Diego is down four cents a gallon in the last week. The Utility Consumer's Action Network tracks the local gas market. U-CAN's Charles Langley says consumers can find gas selling at around three dollars and six cents a gallon. The average price is $3.23.

Insurers Huddle With State Commissioner to Determine Fire Response

California's insurance commissioner huddled with major insurance companies in San Diego today. Steve Poizner says he got them to agree on a set of minimum standards that they'll use when responding to a major tragedy like October's wildfires.

Marine Reservist Found Guilty in Death of Iraqi Soldier

A Marine reservist was found guilty today of killing an Iraqi soldier while they stood watch together at a guard post in Fallujah, Iraq. Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry was in the court room when the verdict came down.

Gas Prices Down Seven Cents Per Gallon, But Still at Record High

San Diego gas prices are down nearly seven cents a gallon in the last week. The Utility Consumer's Action Network tracks prices at local gas stations. UCAN's Charles Langley says the average price is now $3.30 a gallon. He says that's cheaper than last week, but nearly 75 cents a gallon higher than last year.

Average Gasoline Prices Still in Record-Breaking Territory

San Diego's average gasoline price is lower than last week, but still in record breaking territory. The Utility Consumer Action Network tracks retail prices at hundreds of local gas stations.

Southern California on Flood Watch as Storm Approaches

California officials are bracing for the worst as a major storm moves into the southern California region. Office of Emergency Services officials have opened and emergency operations center in Orange County.

California DMV Uses YouTube to Spread Training Videos

The DMV is using a popular website to connect with teenagers. The agency has posted videos on YouTube showing how to pass the California driver's test. More than 50 short videos cover subjects like unsafe lane changes, how to avoid being hit by a light rail train, and being overly cautious during a driving exam.

Researchers Say Ash From Wildfires Dangerous to Humans and Environment

Federal researchers say the ash left behind by the Southern California wildfires is bad for both people and the environment. The U.S. Geological Survey collected samples from of ash left over from the Harris Fire in San Diego County and the Grass Fire in San Bernardino County.

Big Waves Expected to Pound San Diego's Coastline

Surf's up in San Diego. The biggest waves in at least a year are expected to pound the county's coastline this afternoon. Forecasters say by tomorrow morning some areas could see waves of 15 feet or higher.

San Diego's Economy Continues to Worsen

The Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County fell 1.2 percent in October, the third significant decline in a row. University of San Diego economist Alan Gin compiles the forecast. The forecast for the San Diego County economy has been in negative territory for 18 of the past 19 months.

Subtropical System Could Bring Much Needed Rain to Parts of the County

If you've noticed a balmy feeling in the air around San Diego County this afternoon, it's because of a subtropical system moving into our region from Baja. The low pressure system is forecast to bring a chance of showers, along with some gusty winds, tonight through Saturday. National Weather Service forecaster Stan Wasowski says we could see a few drops of wet stuff in some areas of the county.

Ramona Brushfire Contained

A brush fire near Ramona was contained by noon today. Cal Fire reported that it started around 9:50 a.m. near Highway 78 and Haverford Road, and scorched about 25 to 30 acres. Cal Fire had earlier estimated that it burned 50 acres, but downgraded that number. One firefighter suffered minor injuries. No property was damaged.

Holiday Closures in San Diego City and County

San Diego courts and all city, county and federal government offices will be closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving. County, state and federal offices and courts will also be closed Friday.

Another Strong Santa Ana Headed for San Diego

Another Santa Ana wind condition is headed for San Diego County. Forecasters says the winds could be as strong as those that pushed last month's fire storms.

Five Killed in Quiet Temecula Neighborhood

Five people were shot to death last night at a house in Temecula. Authorities say it could have been a murder-suicide. KPBS News spoke with Sergeant Dennis Gutierrez from the Riverside County Sheriff's department.

Calmer Winds, Cooler Temps Helping to Aid Firefighting Efforts

Firefighters battling blazes throughout San Diego County are getting a break from the weather this afternoon. Calmer winds and cooler temperatures are helping, but there's still a long way to go.

Update: Del Mar and Solana Beach Evacuations

A mandatory evacuation is ordered for the following areas within the City of Del Mar:

Current Highway Closures Update

Caltrans reports these highway closures due to fires:

San Diego Wildfire Update 9 p.m.

Winds are pushing flames and smoke from two wildfires in San Diego County. The Harris Fire is 14,000 acres and 5 percent contained, there have been multiple structures destroyed. There were four firefighters injured earlier in the day when the fire burned over their engines. At least thirteen civilians have been burned on this fire. The communities of Potrero, Tecate, Dulzura and parts of Deerhorn Valley have been evacuated. The fire is burning to the northwest and being driven by Santa Ana winds.

Breaking News: County Officials Hold Press Conference (Raw Audio)

Listen to the San Diego County press conference for an update on this emergency situation.

Santa Ana Winds Blowing S.D. Wildfires Out of Control

(Updated 6:20 p.m. October 21) Erratic Santa Ana winds continue to push two wildfires out of control in rural eastern San Diego County. One civilian is reported dead at least 8 are injured, and four firefighters are in hospital with burn injuries.

Breaking News: Wildfires Blaze Across San Diego County

(Updated 4:50 p.m. October 22) There are two fires burning out of control in the rural areas of eastern San Diego County. We have reports of one fatality related to the fire.The fires and thick smoke are being pushed westward by dry Santa Ana Winds.

Source Says San Diego Labor Leader Butkiewicz to Step Down

The head of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council is leaving his post, an official with the organization confirmed today.

Tech Talk: Open Access Wireless Services

On Mondays we talk about news in the tech world with Brian Cooley, Editor-at-Large at

San Diego Gasoline Prices Resurge After Months of Decline

The price of gasoline surged back up this week, ending a stretch of 15 weeks of falling prices. The Utility Consumer's Action Network says the average price of a gallon of gas is $2.85.

California Lawmakers End Budget Standoff, Pass $145 Billion Plan

California lawmakers ended the nation's longest budget impasse Tuesday, agreeing to a $145 billion spending plan that eliminates the state's persistent deficit and addresses the myriad concerns of holdout Republicans.

ACLU Report: Growing Concern on Government Surveillance

The American Civil Liberties Union has a new report out that raises concerns about the government's ability to watch and record what citizens are doing.

San Diego Hospitals Sue County Over Prisoners' Medical Bills

A group of San Diego area hospitals are suing the county again. The dispute centers on medical bills run up last year by prisoners of the sheriff's department. The hospitals say the sheriff's department has to pay the bills of detainees who get treatment before they're booked in jail.

Suit Forces Walmart to Remit $4 Million in Unpaid Overtime Wages

Walmart will pay nearly $4 million in overtime wages to 50,000 workers throughout California. It's part of a settlement reached between Walmart and the California Labor Commission. The mega retailer says the underpayment was due to payroll processing errors.

UC President Announces Resignation Effective Next Summer

The president of the University of California system announced today he'll be stepping down next summer. Robert Dynes says he'll be leaving because of changes in his personal life.

Calif. Insurance Commissioner Gives Praise For Rate Amendments

California's Insurance Commissioner is praising car insurance companies that have changed rate structures nearly a year ahead of a state-imposed deadline. About 10 percent of the state's car insurance companies have changed their policies to base rates on drivers' records rather than their zip codes.