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Stories by Megan Burks

San Diego Unified High School Graduation Rates Higher Than Expected

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Two months ago, researchers predicted a low graduation rate for San Diego Unified's class of 2016. Now the district says it's on track to set a record for the highest rate among the state's five largest districts.

Activist Behind Controversial Fliers Visits San Diego State

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A day after conservative activist David Horowitz and his body guard arrived on the San Diego State University free of protestors, fliers bearing a hate message were found in Love Library.

Assemblywoman Atkins Tries Again To Get Medical Interpretation Covered

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San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins and other lawmakers have tried and failed three times to pass bills that would increase access to language interpretation at doctors' offices and hospitals.

A San Diego Refugee And Real Estate Professional Talk Politics

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We recently revisited two of our voters from the neighboring San Diego communities of Kensington and Teralta. Their neighborhoods and backgrounds are drastically different. Their political views? Not so much.

Who's The Establishment Candidate In San Diego Council District 9?

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The neighborhoods that make up San Diego's City Council District 9 have stark differences, but the four Democrats running in June to represent the area aren't as distinctive.

Program Streamlined To Get Food Stamps To Needy Faster

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It can take San Diego County applicants three days to get food stamps under the CalFresh program. The goal now is to sign up in the morning and have an EBT card loaded with the CalFresh dollars by dinner time.

Vacant Lot In City Heights May Soon Be Vacant No More

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It's home to a flock of pigeons now, but an empty lot in City Heights could soon be home to a community circus and other events.

Deal That Averted CSU Strike Calls For 10.5% Raises

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The tentative deal announced Friday represents a compromise between the 26,000 member California Faculty Association and the nation's largest public university system.

UC Boosts In-State Enrollment By 15% Following Critical Audit

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The university system released its latest admission figures Monday, after a state audit found that it has been admitting more students from out of state as its in-state admissions dropped.

San Diego Storefront Getting Facelift To Become Innovative School

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The County Office of Education plans to have students from its alternative schools run businesses out of the renovated site. The development will replace an old car dealership and church goods store on El Cajon Boulevard near Interstate 15.

Many Latino, African-American Students Opting Out Of AP Classes

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A survey by the San Diego Unified School district shows many students who are qualified for the college-level courses didn't know much about them or were afraid they'd fail.

After Lobbying By San Diego Chaldeans, Kerry Accuses ISIS Of Genocide

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Kerry's announcement came after his representatives met with Iraqi Christians in San Diego and other cities to hear testimony gathered from family and associates back home.

Fossils Unearthed Along State Route 15 in San Diego

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Caltrans began work this month on a bikeway that will take cyclists from Kensington to Mission Valley by 2018. Discoveries at the job site reveal something very different passed through the route 3.5 million years ago.

California Bill Would Let Rideshare Drivers, Others Organize

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San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced the bill and said it goes beyond the "gig economy." San Diego's taxi industry and others could also be affected.

San Diego's 'Latino Empowerment District' Could Get Its First Latino Rep

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The city added a ninth council district in the Mid-City area, where Latino residents make up the majority. A year later, it elected City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who is white.

California Counts: Mobilizing The State’s Refugee Voters

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Voter turnout in San Diego's refugee community is low, but those refugees who do vote never miss an election. Now a nonprofit is working to get out the vote among refugees — betting they'll become super voters.

San Diego Students Re-Enact The March On Washington

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More than 100 students marched outside of Gompers Preparatory Academy for a lesson on the Civil Rights Era.

Much-Wanted Senior Programs Coming To City Heights

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The city of San Diego's infrastructure committee has signed off on money for a recreation building at Park de la Cruz in City Heights, where city and county senior programs could find a home if the City Council approves.

California Law Gives Tenants New Recourse For Moldy Apartments

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Until 2016, the state didn't consider mold a condition of substandard housing.

ACLU Calls For Federal Investigation Into SDPD's Handling Of Mentally Ill

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The request from the local ACLU office and 26 other San Diego groups comes after District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis decided not to bring charges against an officer who fatally shot a mentally ill man last year.

Bike Lane Coming To San Diego Street Where Skateboarder Died

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Four months after a teen was killed in a hit-and-run on 54th Street in the mid-city area, the city of San Diego is taking steps to improve safety there.

San Diego Neighborhoods Close In Distance, Miles Apart In Voter Turnout

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Kensington and the Teralta neighborhood in City Heights butt up against each other geographically, but they have stark differences. One example: In Kensington, 62 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2014 general election compared to 27 percent in Teralta.

President's Budget Could Close Summer Meal Gap For 68K Children In San Diego County

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Many children in the county who qualify for free school lunches aren't getting assistance during summer break.

California Secretary Of State Urges San Diego Students To Vote

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Secretary of State Alex Padilla dropped by a student council meeting at San Diego State University. The topic: low voter turnout among college students.

More Cabbies — And New Apps — Enter San Diego Market

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Yellow Cab has launched a mobile app to help the new cabbies compete with rideshare services. Another is expected in February.

In Adult Ed Class, Immigrant Parents Pick Up Where They Left Off

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Educators say parent involvement is key to a student's success. But what if a student's parents never went to school themselves? A program in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego is trying to help.

California Bill Would Restore Mental Health Funding In Elementary Schools

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The conversation about childhood trauma is in vogue among U.S. educators. But increased awareness comes at a time when state funding for children's mental health care is flat.

Targeting Homeless Vets, Faulconer Launches 'Housing Our Heroes'

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Groups working to house homeless veterans say funding isn't the main problem — it's the lack of landlords willing to rent to tenants with Section 8 vouchers and other rental support.

In Mission Trails, San Diego River 'Looks Like A River For Once'

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Visitors watched a swollen San Diego River flow through Mission Trails Regional Park Thursday as crews cleared rock and mud.

Cold Snap Tests San Diego's 'Tentless' Winter Homeless Strategy

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The city replaced its homeless tents in Barrio Logan and the Midway District this year with a year-round program and extra emergency beds at St. Vincent De Paul. The plan got a slow start Monday as rain moved into the region.

City Heights Embraces Its Small Markets

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The City Heights neighborhood of San Diego has long been considered a food desert with its sparse supermarkets. But residents are working to make it an oasis of well-stocked corner markets.

On Human Rights Day, San Diegans Rally For Refugee Rights

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Refugees and refugee advocates plan to gather downtown Thursday "to stand up against hateful rhetoric" and ask elected leaders to welcome those seeking asylum.

City Heights Program Works To Get Kids To School On Time

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The program places social work interns on school campuses so they can intervene when absences start to pile up.

San Diego Arts Nonprofit To Confront Migrant Debate With Airport Mural

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Travelers at Lindbergh Field will soon come face-to-face with 50 refugees and immigrants living in San Diego through a mural by The AjA Project.

How A San Diego Charter School Beat The Odds

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America's Finest Charter School was the top performing underprivileged school in California on standardized tests last year. We wanted to know why and found out ex-Superintendent Alan Bersin's methods get the credit.

UCLA: As Suspensions Dropped, California Students Performed Better

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A new study begins to debunk fears that school discipline reform would result in rowdy classrooms and poor learning environments. Plus, we lay out the suspension trend district-by-district for San Diego County.

On The Syllabus For San Diego Students, Police: How To Communicate

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County and school officials hope to expand a pilot program that brought together students and police for conflict resolution training.

San Diego Coalition Wants 100% Enrollment In Safety Net Programs By 2020

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Community groups and public employees are calling on San Diego County to get more eligible residents enrolled in CalFresh and CalWORKS.

San Diego Unified Expands Halal School Lunch Program

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The district has also increased interpretation services to help refugee and immigrant parents in meetings with teachers and administrators.

Cornel West To Discuss Race, Policing In Southeastern San Diego

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The event continues the discussion around a controversial gang conspiracy law used to jail several men from the neighborhood.

City Heights Residents Create Roving Senior Center

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Federal funding for senior services hasn't kept up with inflation thanks to stalled legislation. As their Baby Boomer neighbors age, a group of City Heights residents aren't waiting for lawmakers to catch up.

Prop. 47 A Year Later: 12K Petitions Processed, 24K Pending In San Diego

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Wednesday marks one year since California voters approved Proposition 47. The measure made some low-level felonies misdemeanors in an effort to reform the criminal justice system.

San Diego Responds To Calls For Safety Fixes At Fatal Hit-And-Run Site

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City engineers may extend an existing resurfacing project on 54th Street to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Release Of San Diego Police Racial Profiling Analysis Delayed

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Councilwoman Marti Emerald wants to release the three-stage study in full despite an existing plan to release information as it becomes available.

San Diego School Scores Highest Among Low-Income Schools On State Test

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A charter school in San Diego's Mid-City area is getting top honors for its performance on California's new Common Core-aligned standardized test.

Report: Early Intervention Key To Keeping San Diego County Kids Out Of Gangs

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Ramped up preventative efforts and early interventions are needed to bring down the number of San Diego County youths joining gangs because parental disapproval alone may not be enough, according to a report released Monday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

Audit Details Little Accountability For Dangerous Housing Conditions In San Diego

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Residents dealing with unsafe housing conditions were likely to receive the same treatment as those complaining about messy yards, according to an audit of San Diego's Code Enforcement Division released Thursday.

Mid-City Residents Want Safety Fixes At Fatal Hit-And-Run Site

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The San Diego street where investigators believe multiple drivers struck a Mid-City teen lacks sidewalks and a bike lane.

City Heights Park Nears Completion

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Charles Lewis III Memorial Park has been in the works for about a decade.

San Diego Launches Mobile Breast Exam Unit

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Bringing mammograms to the people who need them – that's the goal of a mobile mammography coach launched Monday in City Heights.