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Stories by Maureen Cavanaugh

'Spice' Drug Overdoses Up In San Diego

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San Diego officials urge caution as marijuana enthusiasts turn to a synthetic substitute known as "spice" that reportedly doesn't show up readily on drug tests.

San Bernardino Shooting Leads To Gun Sales, Peace Vigils

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In the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead, San Diegans are taking opposite actions on guns.

San Diego Professor Discusses Radicalization

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As the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting continues, UC San Diego economics professor Eli Berman explains how an individual may become radicalized.

Chef Bernard Guillas Shares Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

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Chef Bernard of the Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla will answer questions about cooking, entertaining and all-around enjoying the holidays.

Thanksgiving Sci-Q: The Science Of Comfort Food

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Any good meal can comfort hunger but when it comes to those meals we call "comfort food," it means something more than just feeling full.

Big Plans for San Diego's Lindbergh Field

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The recently approved $2.2 billion plan to expand the San Diego International Airport will increase its capacity to 61 gates and replace the ancient (in airport terms) Terminal One.

What's Behind Trend That Has Mexicans Leaving U.S.

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A study from Pew Research Center found that in recent years the number of Mexicans leaving the U.S. is larger than the number coming to the U.S.

Author Brings Real Stories Of English Housekeepers To San Diego

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How realistic is Mrs. Hughes in "Downton Abbey"? "The Housekeepers Tale: The Real Women Who Ran The English Country House" by Tessa Boase takes a look.

San Diego County Food Pantries Struggle To Keep Up With Need

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It's the time of year when many charities ask people to open their hearts and their wallets to those less fortunate. Some of the most urgent appeals come from groups providing food.

Jerusalem Documentary Takes San Diego On Eye-Opening Tour

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"Jerusalem" opens Friday at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The IMAX film includes aerial images of the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock in the Old City.

What Charlie Sheen's Revelation Means For HIV Stigma In San Diego

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San Diego County has the third largest number of HIV and AIDS cases in California.

La Jolla Playhouse ‘Indecent’ Explores Legal Battle Over Artistic Expression

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"Indecent" is a play about another play — one that got the cast and producer arrested when it premiered on Broadway in the 1920s.

San Diego Professor Wants To Revive The 'American Dream'

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An ambitious study launched at UC San Diego will look at practical ways to make the "American Dream" a reality.

High Tides, El Niño And 'The Blob' In California

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The weather will be big news in San Diego this winter, as strong El Niño-driven storms encounter already-high tides, and a warm water zone (known as "The Blob") sitting off the Northern California coast causes more trouble.

San Diego Researchers Join Pancreatic Cancer 'Dream Team'

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A $12 million effort aims to find new ways to treat and slow the growth of pancreatic cancer.

Will San Diego Take More Syrian Refugees After Paris Attacks?

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Governors from several U.S. states balk at taking in Syrian refugees after attacks in Paris.

Hearing At San Diego State Examines Student Homelessness

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Members of a state Assembly committee will convene at San Diego State University to hear about how housing and food insecurity are affecting college students.

Chargers Drama Stars San Diego Mayor On New York Stage

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made his case in New York. The Chargers and Raiders hired Disney's CEO. A sports columnist said San Diego could have a pro football team: the Raiders.

San Diego Man's Role In Uncovering Priest Sex Abuse Featured In 'Spotlight'

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A San Diego mental health counselor was instrumental in helping Boston Globe investigative reporters uncover the priest sex abuse scandal in 2002 and cover-up that followed. The investigation is depicted in the new film "Spotlight."

Journalism Changing In 'The Post-Kardashian Era'

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Journalists and public relations experts wrestle with how traditional journalism is contending with "click-bait" news. A forum will be held Thursday night at Point Loma Nazarene University on the topic.

San Diego Nonprofit Launches Online Course About Helping Veterans

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San Diego-based nonprofit PsychArmor launched the "One, Five, Fifteen Campaign" on Veterans Day with a free hour-long online course to educate all Americans about what they can do to help veterans.

Poet and U.S. Veteran Brian Turner On 'Incoming'

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Brian Turner's extraordinary poems convey the adrenaline rush, the boredom, the flash of fear and horror of war. Turner was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. A teacher now with a peaceful life in Florida, he continues to tell the story of war through his words.

Courage Under Water: Swimmer Shares Message Of Perseverance In New Book

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Diana Nyad accomplished something at 64 that she had set out and failed to do at 28: swim from Cuba to Florida. She is the only person to make the 100-plus mile swim without the aid of a shark cage.

War Dog’s Tale: Film Follows Navy SEAL, German Shepherd

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The film "SEAL Dog" tells the story of the unusual relationship between Trevor Maroshek and a German Shepherd known as Chopper, on and off the battlefield.

New Book Explores All Things Pacific

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Author Simon Winchester likes big topics. He has followed up on his 2010 book on the history of the Atlantic Ocean with an even more enormous subject, the Pacific.

How Mexico Court’s Ruling On Marijuana Affects The Drug War

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Amid the violent drug war in Mexico, that has led to the killing and disappearance of tens of thousand of people, justices opened the door to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

San Diego Gets High Marks For Preventing Premature Births

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Midday Edition takes a closer look at the March of Dimes 2015 Report Card on Premature Birth Rates and what San Diego researchers are doing to help preterm babies.

San Diego Asian Film Festival Opens Thursday

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Women directors, masters of cinema, pop culture and a 105-year-old Disney artist. The 16th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, which opens this week, celebrates films from Asia and by Asian-Americans.

San Diego Advocates Offer Advice On Caring For Relatives With Dementia

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An estimated 60,000 people are living with Alzheimer's or some form of dementia in San Diego County.

University Of San Diego Forum Examines Global Refugee Crisis

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The situation in Syria and Europe is considered the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. A public forum asks whether the world should be more prepared for the population upheavals that come with war.

Drought Taking Heavy Toll On San Diego Trees

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California has lost an astounding number of trees to the ongoing drought. Among them, many of San Diego's beloved Torrey pines.

San Diego Writer Shares Her Experience With Depression

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This week in her long-running San Diego Reader column, Diary of a Diva, Barbarella Fokos decided to write about something she never has before. She described what it's like for her to live with depression.

San Diego Groups Debate Stricter Gun Control Laws

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Amid a push to tighten gun laws, a new gun rights group in San Diego and the Brady Campaign discuss proposed gun legislation.

New Book Explores Forces That Shaped California's Coast

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San Diego's coastal environment is always changing and geology professor Keith Heyer Meldahl explains how in his new book, "Surf, Sand, and Stone: How Waves, Earthquakes, and other Forces Shape the Southern California Coast."

Dumanis: Reduce Prison Population But Protect Public

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San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is part of a national group of law enforcement officials that aims to reduce the number of people behind bars.

Author William Joyce Discusses 2015 KPBS One Book Kids Selection

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William Joyce is the author of the KPBS One Book Kids selection for 2015, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." KPBS spoke to him about his book in November.

Jonas Salk's Life, Career Explored In New Biography

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As celebrations wind down marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jonas Salk, a new biography explores the many facets of the man.

Jails, Prisons Less Crowded A Year After Prop. 47

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A Stanford Law School study shows the measure is saving the state about $93 million in prison costs, but critics say Proposition 47 has become a get-out-of-jail-free card for repeat offenders.

Day Of The Dead: San Diego Concert Honors Late Mariachi Musicians

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Mariachi Champaña Nevin and Tijuana-born soprano Mónica Ábrego will celebrate musical legends in the eighth annual Day of the Dead concert to benefit the future of mariachi music.

Study Shows Scope Of Sex Trafficking In San Diego County

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San Diego County law enforcement has long known that human sex trafficking was a significant problem here. Now, for the first time, instead of just anecdotes there are numbers to reveal the scope of the problem.

What Zombies Say About U.S. Culture, Society

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A Cal State San Marcos professor and author examines the horror genre and discusses the deeper meaning of zombies, vampires and ghosts.

Worker Shortage Places Strain On California Farms

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Can California continue to provide the rest of the nation with fruits and vegetables if there aren't enough people to work to produce them?

Sci-Q: San Diego Experts Explore Science Of Fear

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What happens to people when they get frightened? What's the line between exploring their fears and being paralyzed by them? This edition of Sci-Q will explore the science of fear.

Preparing For El Niño: Tips To Protect San Diego Homes

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Tips for homeowners to protect their property both inside and out from the rainstorms that might accompany El Niño.

Transgender In Prison: How California's New Guidelines Will Be Implemented

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California will now pay for transgender inmates who meet certain criteria to have sex-reassignment surgery.

New Law Helps Low-Income Families Stretch Food Dollars

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The California Nutrition Incentives Act will leverage federal grants to provide a dollar-for-dollar match to people who shop at farmers markets.

San Diego Filmmaker Paul Espinosa Looks Back On 30-Year Career

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Paul Espinosa has been making films about issues affecting people on and near the U.S.-Mexico border since the 1980s. He recently donated his entire professional archive, including scripts, research and interviews, to UC San Diego.

Report: San Diego Economy Taking $1B Hit From Low Safety Net Enrollment

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A new report says San Diego County enrollment rates in CalFresh, CalWORKs and Medi-Cal remain among the lowest in the state.

Why Immigrant Spouses Are Uniquely Vulnerable To Domestic Violence

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"He told me, 'If you’re not back in 15 minutes I will call the police and say that you kidnapped my son, because you have no rights.'"

Veteran Science Educator Leads Birch Aquarium Into The Future

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The new executive director at the Birch Aquarium joins Midday Edition for a chat about his work and his plans for the future.