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Stories by Susan Murphy

As Cold Nighttime Temperatures Set In, San Diego Homeless Need Blankets, Jackets

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Nearly 5,000 homeless people in San Diego County are sleeping outside on the streets. As cold and windy conditions loom over the weekend, there’s an urgent need for blankets and jackets to help those without shelter.

San Diego Homeless Brace For Wet, Windy Weather

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With cold, wet and blustery weather expected to move into San Diego Saturday, some temporary emergency homeless shelters across the county are expected to open. Still, thousands of homeless will have to endure the harsh conditions on the streets.

Homeless Choir Singers In San Diego Find Healing Through Music

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“I thought, well, what a wonderful way to have a really wonderful, beautiful choir singing and sounding excellent and to be like, ‘Yes, and all of these people happen to not have a home.’”

On Historic Election Day, San Diego World War II Veterans Reflect On Lifetime Of Voting

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For some members of the so-called Greatest Generation, Election Day is more than just the candidates and issues. Casting a ballot is a way to pay tribute to those who have fought courageously to protect America’s freedoms and right to vote.

San Diego Housing Crisis Drives Some To Relocate, Others To Invest

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The county is in the grips of a housing crisis, pushing some people to seek greener pastures and others to search for buying opportunities.

Invasive Insect Threatens San Diego County's Palm Trees

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Researchers in San Diego County are in a race against an invasive creature on a path of destruction.

Red Flag Fire Warning Reminds San Diegans Of Past October Wildfires

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San Diego’s most destructive wildfires have occurred during the month of October — typically the time of year when vegetation reaches its driest point and strong Santa Ana winds blow in.

Rady Children's Hospital Doctors Urge Flu Vaccine

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The peak of San Diego’s flu season is likely still weeks away, but health officials at Rady Children’s Hospital are urging everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated now.

Cameras Keep Watch Over Fire-Prone Regions Across San Diego County

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The high-tech instruments that measure seismic motion and monitor climate hazards are also equipped with cameras that allow fire officials to keep watch over remote fire-prone regions.

San Diego Researcher Discovers New 'Potentially Significant' Earthquake Fault

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The newly discovered Salton Trough Fault could be as long as 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), long enough to produce a large-magnitude quake.

San Diego Leaders Urge Support For Plastic Bag Ban

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San Diego already approved a plastic bag ordinance in July, which is set to take effect next year. A statewide ban would take effect immediately.

Alpha Project Proposes Plan To House 800 San Diego Homeless

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The soaring homeless street population has reached a crisis level, so Bob McElroy of the Alpha Project is proposing a plan to take as many as 800 people off the streets.

ITT Closure Leaves Some Veterans Without A Housing Allowance

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The sudden shutdown this month of ITT Technical Institute has not only left students scrambling to transfer their credits, it has also left some veterans worrying about how they’ll pay their rent.

Restored Churchill Hotel Houses 72 Homeless

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The century-old Hotel Churchill is restored and providing affordable rentals to 72 homeless people, including veterans and at-risk youth.

San Diego County Rents Rise As Vacancies Fall

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The average cost to rent in San Diego County has risen 7.7 percent since March, while vacancy rates for apartments have dropped to 2 percent.

Father Joe's To Expand Permanent Housing Programs

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More than 200 homeless people in San Diego County will soon have a key to their own front door. Father Joe’s Villages is turning some of its transitional units into permanent housing.

9/11 Ceremony In San Diego Marks 15 Years Since Terrorist Attacks

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San Diego leaders and first responders gathered Wednesday at the San Diego Civic Concourse to mark 15 years since 9/11.

Affordability Report Ranks San Diego County Near The Bottom

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San Diegans are making lower salaries and paying higher housing costs compared to nine competing metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Seattle and Denver.

Paper Plates With Hand-Drawn Messages Spotlight Hunger In San Diego

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A display in Point Loma shows drawings and letters from children and adults in the county struggling with hunger. A group plans to send the plates to elected officials to urge them to take action.

Scripps Health Joins MD Anderson Cancer Network

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The partnership will enable San Diego patients to have access to medical, radiation and surgical oncology; pathology; laboratory and diagnostic imaging, as well as other clinical and support services.

San Diego's Homeless Are Struggling To Find Open Public Bathrooms

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East Village has 1,100 homeless people sleeping outside on the street, but fewer than a dozen public toilets.

San Diego Police Reach Out To Children In City Heights

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San Diego police officers spent time with kids in City Heights this week as part of an effort to build relationships and trust in the wake of police and community tensions across the country.

UC Berkeley Student From Del Mar Killed In Bastille Day Attack

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Students at UC Berkeley planned a vigil Monday afternoon on the campus for classmate Nick Leslie, who the FBI confirmed on Sunday was killed in the truck attack in Nice, France.

San Diego VA Reports Progress In Veterans' Care

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Disability benefits now take about three months, compared to 10 months in 2013, and the wait for mental health care has been cut in half compared to last year, according to San Diego's top VA officials.

Social Services Project Launches To Help Southeastern San Diego

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The CARE Center will focus on crime prevention and community intervention.

Mondays Are Moving Day For San Diego's Homeless

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Every Monday morning, police officers and city crews show up in the East Village to move out the hundreds of homeless people living there. By late afternoon, the homeless are back.

Apollo Astronauts Touch Down In San Diego

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Four Apollo astronauts and three flight directors visited the San Diego Air and Space Museum Thursday night to talk about NASA’s moon-walking missions that put them in the history books.

Scientists Gather In San Diego To Talk About Global Warming

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Climate change, heat waves and acid levels in the ocean are some of the major topics at a conference this week at the University of San Diego.

San Diego Food Bank Turns Food Waste Into Compost For Community Gardens

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Some community gardens and farms will soon be nourished by food waste from the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The nonprofit has a new high-tech composting machine, and the city has just given them the green light to go green in a big way.

Candidates Vie For 3 San Diego Unified School Board Seats

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Three contests for the San Diego Unified School District board are on Tuesday's ballot. The district is the second largest in the state, serving 130,000 students at more than 225 campuses.

San Diego Heat Wave Kicks Off Projected Sizzling Summer

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The heat wave will move out by Monday, but looking ahead, forecasters are projecting a warm and dry summer of above average temperatures and periodic heat waves.

San Diego Councilman Alvarez Rallies With Bus Drivers On Strike

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A dozen Metropolitan Transit System bus routes in San Diego continue to be disrupted as striking workers walk the picket line. A San Diego city councilman boosted their cause on Tuesday by rallying with them.

For Memorial Day, World War II Veterans Remember Those Who Made Ultimate Sacrifice

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People across San Diego County this Memorial Day weekend will pay tribute to the men and women who have died defending our country. Among those pausing to reflect will be World War II veterans.

San Diego School Trustee Evans Faces Challenger In Bid For Re-Election

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Trustee John Lee Evans, elected in 2008 after upsetting an incumbent, is running for his third term this year. He faces a challenge from Stephen “Steph” Groce for the seat that includes Clairemont, University City and Mira Mesa.

Two Educators Compete To Represent Southeastern San Diego On School Board

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Two candidates are vying to represent San Diego Unified in District E, which includes southeastern San Diego. The area's former school trustee, Marne Foster, resigned in February following a scandal.

Researchers Trying To Save Endangered Marine Mammal Stop In San Diego

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Researchers estimate there are fewer than 60 vaquita porpoises remaining along the Baja Peninsula. The destruction of the marine mammal is blamed on gill nets that entangle and drown the porpoises.

San Diego Nonprofit Trains Veterans For Manufacturing Jobs

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More than three dozen San Diego military veterans graduated Friday from Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit that for free trains and certifies veterans in jobs such as welding, machining and fabrication.

Women Marines Signing Up For Combat Duty

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The Pentagon decided in December to admit women for the first time to front-line ground combat roles. Two women stationed at Camp Pendleton shared with KPBS why they signed up for war zone jobs.

Navy Secretary Visits Camp Pendleton To Sell Marines On Women In Combat

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The secretary told more than 1,200 Marines and sailors that the decision is final. Marine Corps leaders had sought to keep certain infantry and combat jobs closed to women.

6 Cheetah Cubs Make Public Debut At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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The 4-month-old fur balls and their proud mom have moved into their new exhibit, where visitors to the park can watch them play and explore.

San Diego-Based Troops Practice Amphibious Assault In South Korea

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San Diego-based Marines and sailors have spent the past several weeks storming beaches, testing explosives and practicing amphibious landings. The exercise was carried out amid heightened tensions with North Korea.

Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment Returns To San Diego County

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The historic Battle Color Detachment will perform patriotic songs, traditional marching music and precision rifle drills at events Friday and Saturday.

As Gas Prices Rise, Consumers Find Deals In Alternative Fuel

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Gas prices have been inching up over the past couple of weeks as we enter the most costly driving season of the year. But if you have a flex-fuel vehicle, you can buy gas for under $2 a gallon.

Marines Test Human-Like Robots In Live Firing Training

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The wig-wearing, human-looking robots being used by Camp Pendleton Marines are guided by GPS and move around on two wheels at a speed of 8 mph.

San Diego's February Temperatures Warmest On Record

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The 74.5-degree daytime high average in February surpassed the record set in 1980 by nearly 4 degrees. But forecasters say a major change in the weather pattern is expected to take shape this weekend.

Female Marine Running 161 Miles To Honor 161 Fallen Servicewomen

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A female Marine set off Thursday on a 161-mile run from Los Angeles to San Diego to pay tribute to the 161 women who have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'The Blob' Dissipates With Help From El Niño

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El Niño’s strong winds and a series of winter storms helped cool and break down the 1,000-mile-wide mass of warm sea surface water.

Dry Winter Means Sparse Desert Bloom In Anza-Borrego

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If you're willing to do a some hiking, you'll find wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. But so far, this winter’s high temperatures and lack of rain are keeping most of the flowers at bay.

4,500 Marines, Sailors Deploy With USS Boxer Group From San Diego

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The Marines and sailors will work together on various missions during the seven-month deployment to the Middle East and Asia Pacific region, including disaster relief and embassy and security evacuations.

Military, Civilians Team Up For Security Exercise At Coronado Navy Base

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Exercise Solid Curtain involves hundreds of military and civilian personnel and comes two weeks after a shooting scare at the Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park.

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