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Stories by Susan Murphy

San Diego Judicial Candidate Says Rights Violated When Billboards Removed

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A San Diego judicial candidate said her free speech rights are being trampled. Billboards she bought last week calling her opponent a criminal were quickly taken down.

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Extreme Fire Danger Hits San Diego County — Is Your Home Fire-Safe?

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Firefighters and emergency officials are bracing for extreme fire danger across tinder-dry San Diego County this week as another round of Santa Ana winds blows into the region, along with single-digit humidity and triple-digit heat.

Federal Forecasters Raise El Niño Probablity To 65 Percent

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If an El Niño condition develops this fall, it could be good news for a parched California. But forecasters caution that it's still not known when it will develop or how strong it will be.

Judicial Candidate Accuses Judge Of Being A Criminal On Billboards

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A normally little-noticed race for San Diego Superior Court judge has turned nasty. A challenger has placed four billboards around the county, calling the incumbent a criminal.

President Obama Completes San Diego Visit For La Jolla Fundraiser

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President Barack Obama has departed San Diego, where he attended a congressional fundraiser in La Jolla.

Cancer, Old Age Could Signal End Of Breeding For San Diego Zoo's Giant Panda Pair

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Two of the San Diego zoo’s most popular parents might be done making baby pandas. One half of the giant panda pair has cancer, the other is getting too old to have offspring.

NOAA To Commission Newest Research Vessel In San Diego

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The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Friday is set to commission its newest research vessel, the Reuben Lasker, at the Navy Pier in San Diego.

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Santee Brush Fire Flare-Up Fully Contained

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The fire, which started Tuesday afternoon in the dry bed of the San Diego River on the east end of the Carlton Oaks Country Club, reignited Wednesday morning and threatened about a dozen homes.

Hundreds Of Iraqis In San Diego Cast Overseas Vote In Parliamentary Election

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San Diego Iraqis cast their overseas ballot in the first parliamentary election since the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

San Diego's Wet Season Moving Out, Extreme Heat Setting In

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A strong ridge of high pressure is building over San Diego County and expected to bring near-triple digit temperatures by mid-week, along with gusty winds and low humidity.

Proposal For Bachelor's Degrees At Community Colleges Clears Senate Committee

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A proposal to allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees where a local workforce need can be documented was approved Thursday in the California Senate Education Committee in an 8-0 bipartisan vote.

Dozens Vying For San Diego Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits

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Dozens of people showed up at San Diego City Hall on Thursday morning with piles of paperwork and high hopes of opening a medical marijuana dispensary.

More Than 450,000 People Struggle With Hunger In San Diego County

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A new study reveals 451,710 people in San Diego County are impacted by hunger, 22 percent are children.

San Diego's Community Colleges Could Soon Offer Bachelor's Degrees

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San Diego is facing a critical nursing shortage. One issue is more hospitals are requiring nurses to have a bachelor’s degree, but universities lack the capacity to provide them. California legislation is taking aim at community colleges to help meet the demand.

San Diego County's Homeless Population Drops 4 Percent

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A recent point-in-time count of San Diego County’s homeless population found 8,520 people on the streets, in cars or in shelters – a 4 percent decrease from 2013.

San Diego Tea Party Activists Set To Rally On Tax Day

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While some San Diego residents are scrambling to mail their taxes, others will be on street corners rallying for lower taxes and government reform.

Some San Diego Parents Advocating Against Common Core

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As students across San Diego County have begun piloting Common Core-based exams, some of their parents have banded together to advocate against the national education program.

Sweetwater Teachers Avert Strike After Tentative Deal Reached

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After more than six months of contentious negotiations, Sweetwater Union High School District and the teachers union reached a tentative deal late Thursday night.

Anza Borrego Desert Wildflower Bloom A Bust After Dry Winter

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Spring wildflowers typically paint the Anza Borrego Desert floor this time of year in an array of vibrant colors, drawing thousands of visitors from San Diego. But ongoing drought conditions have kept the annual blooms at bay.

San Diego Scientists Offer Free Online Course On Climate Change

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Researchers have warned for years of climate change's potential effects, including higher sea levels and increasing extreme weather events. Now the general public has an opportunity to explore the science and share ideas with participants from around the world.

San Diego County Students Begin Field Testing Common Core Standards

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Students are no longer filling in multiple-choice bubble circles. Instead, they're typing their answers in essay form on a keyboard and using a computer mouse to click and drag, create graphs, match, and fill in boxes.

Sweetwater School District Officials To Give Update On Union Negotiations

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Officials with Sweetwater Union High School District, the second largest school district in San Diego County with 42,000 students enrolled, say progress is being made in union bargaining negotiations with its teachers union but no settlement has been reached.

New Maps Show Tsunami Risk Zones In San Diego County

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San Diego emergency officials and geologists teamed up in La Jolla on Wednesday to unveil new tsunami flood zone and evacuation maps.

All-Electric School Bus Makes San Diego County Debut In Escondido

There's a new school bus transporting students around Escondido this month. It appears yellow, but it's actually green.

School Districts Working To Identify Foster Students Under New Funding Formula

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State and county school districts will soon receive extra funds to improve services for disadvantaged students, including foster children. But the challenge is identifying them.

Greenhouse Gas Levels Surpass Troublesome Milestone

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The heat-trapping gas hit a troublesome milestone last year in May when it reached levels of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. But this year, those levels are already being seen in March.

San Diego Had One Of Its Warmest, Driest Winters On Record

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California as a whole had its warmest December through February since record keeping began in the late 1800s. Individually, San Diego experienced its 7th warmest and 7th driest winter on record.

Sweetwater Union Teachers On Standby To Strike

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The Sweetwater teachers union, that represents nearly 2,000 educators in the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, overwhelmingly voted Friday to authorize a strike if an agreement is not reached.

Syrian Community In San Diego Bears Heavy Toll From Civil War At Home

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This weekend marks the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising. Since March 2011, more than 140,000 people have died and 9 million have been displaced. The continuing crisis is taking a heavy toll on Syrian Americans in San Diego.

San Diego Researchers, Military Join Search For Missing Malaysia Jet

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A team at San Diego State University’s Immersive Vizualization Center, known as the Viz Lab, is scouring social media and satellites to search for clues on where the jetliner went down.

USS Reagan Marks 3rd Anniversary Of Japan Earthquake, Tsunami

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The U.S. Navy held a memorial Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011. The 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami killed 16,000 people, left 2,600 missing and caused a partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

San Diego Diversifies Water Supplies, But Increases Reliance On Colorado River

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The Colorado River provides majority of San Diego County’s water supply. But just like the record-dry Sierra, from where San Diego used to get 20 percent of its supply, the Colorado River is also under sustained pressure from drought and demand.

Large Earthquake Strikes Off Northern California Coast

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A strong magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck off the Northern California coast late Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Climate Researchers Issue El Niño Watch, Raising Hopes For Dry San Diego

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The U.S. Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño watch Thursday, predicting a 50 percent likelihood the weather phenomenon will develop this fall.

Balboa Park Centennial Planning Group Disbands

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Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he will work with Council President Todd Gloria, whose district includes Balboa Park, on a more realistic celebration that recognizes the character and history of the park.

San Diego Soaks Up Water Savings Following Storm

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San Diego's biggest benefit from this past weekend's rainfall will be the water savings from residents turning off their sprinklers.

Enforcement Concerns Raised Over San Diego Medical Marijuana Law

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Medical marijuana will soon be sold legally in the city of San Diego, but the city’s enforcement of the new law is raising concerns with some people.

San Diego Panel Discusses Stormwater Solutions Ahead Of Rains

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After months of dry conditions, San Diego is expected to get four days of rain starting Wednesday night. Ahead of the storms, San Diego leaders and environmentalists gathered to discuss ways to capture and treat stormwater pollution as part of an effort to meet strict new regulations.

San Diego Researcher Reacts To Damning North Korea Report

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"The level of detail in the report is really quite staggering," said Stephan Haggard, professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at UC San Diego.

San Diego Wildlife Advocates Pave Way To Restore Gray Wolves In California

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Efforts in San Diego County to restore Mexican gray wolves in the southwest are paying off. The California Wolf Center is also working to pave the way for the return of gray wolves to California.

Researchers Watch El Niño Prospects As Dry Conditions In Southern California Persist

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El Niño prospects are growing in the Pacific, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Drought Could Take Toll On San Diego Bird Populations

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The lack of rain in San Diego County could cause dozens of bird species to skip breeding and nesting this spring.

USS Midway Museum Hosts Olympic Viewing Party

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San Diegans are invited to gather aboard the USS Midway Museum flight deck starting at 6:30 Friday night to watch the Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony and to cheer on Team USA.

San Diego Leaders To Discuss Water Conservation Efforts

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Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and City Councilmember David Alvarez plan to discuss water conservation efforts and a proposal for a residential sustainable energy and water program at a news briefing on Wednesday.

San Diego Leaders, Environmentalists Gather For Zero Waste Symposium

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Zero Waste San Diego is hosting its first symposium Tuesday in Kearny Mesa, bringing together business leaders, nonprofits and local governments for a discussion on reusing or recycling all materials.

San Diego Sheriff's Hiring Deputies For Women's Detention Facility

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The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is hiring deputies in preparation for the opening this summer of the San Diego County Women's Detention Facility.

How Does California's 'Zero Water Allocation' Affect San Diego?

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Amid California's severe drought, water officials announced Friday the State Water Project might not make any deliveries this year, but this won't have an immediate impact on San Diego County, according to San Diego County Water Authority.

San Diego Leaders Announce New Campaign To Combat Sex Trafficking

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San Diego leaders and law enforcement Thursday unveiled a new campaign to raise awareness and help combat the growing problem of sex trafficking.

Mountain Community In San Diego Finds Abundance Of Water Underground

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As some cities and counties across drought-stricken California scramble to find other water sources, a mountain community in San Diego County is relishing in an abundant supply.

Finally, A Slight Chance For Rain In San Diego

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There’s a slight chance San Diego’s 41-day dry streak will come to an end this weekend as a low pressure system makes its way across California.