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Stories by Megan Burks

Free Bus Pass Program To Get Kids To School Funded For One More Year

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The bus passes were billed as a school attendance booster, but the majority of program participants had stellar attendance to begin with. School officials say they see gains elsewhere and want to ride the experiment out for another year.

San Diego City Council Honors Retiring Southeastern Police Captain

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Tuesday was "Captain Tony McElroy Day," in honor of the 32-year San Diego police veteran who spent his last assignment watching over the same streets he walked as a child.

San Diego Refugee Lobbies Congress For More Resettlement Dollars

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Saturday is World Refugee Day. One San Diego refugee is taking the opportunity to lobby Congress for more funds to help refugees rent homes and find jobs.

San Diego, MTS Approve Taxi Contract But Still Idling On Reform

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A new contract leaves the Metropolitan Transit System as the regulator of the taxi industry. Drivers hoping for reform will have to turn to the city.

$96.5M Cut To San Diego County Health Not As Scary As It Sounds

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The agency responsible for everything from food stamps to elderly care is proposing to cut $96.5 million from its budget next year, thanks to a shift in responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act.

San Diego City Council Approves 500 Percent Increase In Fees For Mid-City Parks And Facilities

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City Council has approved a 500 percent development fee increase to help build parks in the mid-city area. But the increase could scare off the very developers needed to pay those fees.

Muslim San Diego Residents Call For Halal School Lunches

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School lunches are back in the spotlight this summer as districts try to comply with new nutrition rules. Meanwhile, Muslim residents in City Heights are calling for school cafeterias to offer foods that fit their religious guidelines.

Racial Data Collected From San Diego Police Traffic Stops Shows Irregularities

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Based on figures from January through March, San Diego police pulled over blacks and Hispanics at a higher rate than their percentage of the population. The police chief says more analysis is needed to draw conclusions from the data.

Carlsbad Residents Return; Some Find Their Homes Burned Down

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Carlsbad residents were let back into their homes Thursday after fire crews snuffed the Poinsettia fire down.

San Diego Anti-Hunger Group Wants Food Stamps Used To Combat Summer Meal Gap

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Hunger groups know parents who can't afford to pack lunches for their children September through May can't do it during the summer either. Now they're looking to EBT cards to make sure kids are eating when school's out.

Not Everyone Is Happy With San Diego's Bike Share Locations

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San Diegans recently got a sneak peek at where they'll be able to rent bikes to explore the city or run errands. Not everyone was happy with what they saw.

A Letter Parents Don't Want To Get From The Cops: Your Kid's In A Gang

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Parents can protest the gang designation, but KPBS found recently that the 10 parents who received the letters from the San Diego police didn't challenge the finding.

Feds To Begin Audit Of San Diego Police Department

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Department of Justice auditors are in town to begin their assessment of the San Diego Police Department.

City Heights Residents Give Their Neighborhood Canyon A Spring Cleaning

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Mid-city residents took part in a countywide watershed cleanup event, scouring the region's canyons, creeks and beaches.

San Diego Gang Notification Letters Are A Win For Transparency — And So Far Not Much Else

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A new law lets parents step in before police add their child's name to a statewide gang database. So far, no one has taken the cops up on the offer.

San Diego Cops To Change Tactics That Upset Minority Communities

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Officers were told to limit when they sit people on the curb for questioning and when they ask them if they're on probation or parole.

City Heights Residents Rally For Free Bus Pass Program Expansion

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A pilot program that provided free transit passes to students in need is coming to an end. Program advocates are looking to fund an expansion.

State Glitch Holds Up 90,000 San Diego Medi-Cal Applications

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A state computer glitch is holding up Medi-Cal applications across California, delaying health coverage for thousands of San Diegans.

San Diego County Responds To Growing Link Between Childhood Trauma And Health

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As statewide conversations on childhood trauma grow, San Diego health, welfare and education leaders push service providers to get "trauma-informed."

Tapped-Out Farmers Applaud Escondido Decision To Recycle Wastewater

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Escondido is moving forward with a wastewater recycling program that could provide relief for farmers struggling with rising water costs.

The Scope Of San Diego's Gang Problem

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For a city whose gang problem pales in comparison to so-called gang capitals Los Angeles and Chicago, we sure have been talking about gangs a lot lately. Here's a primer on San Diego's gang landscape.

What You Need To Know About Today's Obamacare Deadline

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Today is the deadline to sign up for health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act coverage – sort of.

San Diego Police Chief Hears Racial Profiling Complaints Firsthand

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San Diego's police chief goes from being unaware of racial profiling concerns to hearing them firsthand.

Bringing Legitimacy – And Money – to San Diego Street Outreach Workers

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Tasha Williamson, an activist and educator schooled in fighting gangs in Los Angeles, is using her street skills to battle gang violence in San Diego. She's one of dozens of street outreach workers new group License to Serve is working to organize and support.

MTS, City Move Toward Compromise For San Diego Cabdrivers

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The Metropolitan Transit System board of directors took steps Thursday toward renewing its contract with the city to oversee San Diego's taxi industry.

‘At-Risk, Whatever That Means’: Who Actually Needs Gang Intervention

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A street outreach worker in San Diego says the term "at-risk" is too vague and too broadly applied — sometimes to the detriment of those truly in danger of becoming entrenched in gang life.

Iraqi Refugee Doctor In San Diego Learns Whether She'll Practice Medicine Again (Video)

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It's Match Week for soon-to-be doctors and there's a lot at stake. For refugee doctors, it's a career they've already lost once.

San Diego Police Helping End Gang Retaliation With Text Messages

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The San Diego Police Department shares real-time information on gang homicides so former gang members can work to stop retaliation — starting at the hospital.

Mid-City Business Selected To Sell Compass Cards Following Albertsons Closure

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City Heights lost its main grocery store but gained two additional spots to buy monthly transit passes.

In Southeastern San Diego, The Fine Line Between Gang Policing And Gang Behavior

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Some community members community have likened members of the San Diego Police Department's gang suppression unit to Stormtroopers or a gang itself.

City Heights School Opens Recycling Bins To Parents

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The city of San Diego's ordinance mandating recycling has been on the books since 2007. But some residents in the city's dense, older neighborhoods still find it difficult to recycle at home.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne Abruptly Retires

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San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne announced his retirement effective March 3.

California Prison Realignment Complicates Voting Rights For Felons

The state's prison realignment effort has drawn up a complicated matrix of detention options for felons in California, and with it a lot of confusion about which ones can vote.

What It Means When Police Ask: 'Are You on Probation?'

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Residents concerned about racial profiling say they're tired of being asked whether they're on parole when they get pulled over.

Lansdowne Proposes Body Cameras To Help Combat Racial Profiling

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San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne heard from community members who said they've been racially profiled and proposed sweeping changes to address their concerns.

San Diego Mayoral Candidates Field Questions From Mid-City Youth

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Youth groups join San Diego 6 in hosting a debate on neighborhoods and youth.

San Diego Police: 'We Do Our Very Best To Reach Everyone'

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Police Chief William Lansdowne let a key check on racial profiling slide because he hadn't heard it's a concern in the community. Here's what the department does to open lines of communication, and why some voices aren't being heard.

Albertson's Closes Store In San Diego Food Desert

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The Albertson's in City Heights is one of eleven in southern California closing its doors next month.

In Defense Of Investigatory Traffic Stops

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A New York Police Department transplant defends the San Diego traffic stops at the center of racial profiling claims.

San Diego Has Fallen Behind On Combating Police Racial Profiling

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The San Diego Police Department often has failed to follow its own rules regarding the collection of racial data at traffic stops, saying the community isn't concerned about racial profiling.

Second Opinion: What We Learned About Health Care — And Our Readers — in 2013

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Second Opinion answered questions about the Affordable Care Act from 24 San Diegans in 2013. The requirements to participate were simple: You had to have a question about Obamacare and you had to do it on camera.

Mid-City's 'Year of Funding'

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If 2012 was the year of campaign promises in City Heights, 2013 was the year of paying for those promises.

A Food Bank's New Year's Resolution

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An increasing need for long-term help has Feeding America thinking less about filling bellies and more about nutrition.

Second Opinion: How Will Feds Enforce Individual Mandate?

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Americans who want health coverage starting Jan. 1 have one more week to sign up for Obamacare. But how will the government know whether they do or not?

With Filner Out, San Diego Spins Its Wheels On Taxi Reform

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Disgraced former-Mayor Bob Filner set the wheels in motion for San Diego to take over the taxicab industry. A proposal by interim Mayor Todd Gloria could bring that work to a sudden halt.

Second Opinion: Will Obamacare Streamline Care For Disabled People?

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The Affordable Care Act will fund a three-year pilot program aimed at streamlining health care delivery to seniors and people with disabilities.

What's Behind San Diego's Gang Problem?

Local law enforcement say gangs have gotten worse in the last five years. Officers say it's due to prison realignment. Researchers say San Diego is behind the gang deterrence curve.

Second Opinion: Will Obamacare Help If My Company’s Plan Is Too Expensive?

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How much is too much when it comes to health care premiums for employer-based coverage? You and the federal government might disagree.

Why San Diego County Will Lose Half Its State Health Funds (And Why It Might Not Matter)

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The San Diego region is poised to lose at least half its state funding for indigent healthcare and public health programs.

Second Opinion: What Does Obamacare Mean For My Paycheck?

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We've tackled what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act this year. Now for the long view — will it ever reduce payroll taxes?