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Stories by Susan Murphy

Scripps Gets $700K To Support Earthquake Detection System

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The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla announced a $700,000 gift from a private firm to support an earthquake detection system in Southern California.

San Diego Researchers Recruit Public To Document El Niño

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During previous strong El Niños, San Diego County suffered major coastal erosion, and waves reached heights never seen before. This time around, researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography are calling on the public to help document the potentially historic event.

October's Hot Temperatures In San Diego Soared Off The Charts

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The month of October was 7.7 degrees above average when combining the daily high and low temperatures. The 31-day stretch averaged 74.4 degrees — the hottest October ever recorded.

Clothing Drive Helps San Diego Women Veterans Suit Up For Civilian Careers

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Operation Dress Code will provide donated suits and other professional attire, including shoes and accessories, to women who are transitioning from the military into civilian careers.

Homeless Along San Diego River Warned Of El Niño

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An estimated 500 homeless people live along the flood-prone 52-mile river. Outreach teams have been scouring the riverbanks to alert the homeless to the dangers that will come with predicted heavy rains.

San Diego County Prepares For Floods Ahead Of El Niño

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The torrential rains and devastating mudflows that struck last week north of Los Angeles could be a harbinger of El Niño’s coming wrath in San Diego County, emergency officials warned.

San Diego County Leaders, Emergency Officials Prepare For Strongest El Niño On Record

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More than 100 San Diego County leaders and emergency officials were briefed Tuesday on the strengthening El Niño and its potential impacts of heavy rainfall, flooding and mudflows.

El Cajon Seniors Flock To 'Cool Zone' In Sweltering Heat Wave

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A dangerous heat wave is bearing down on San Diego County once again, stretching from the coast to the mountains. The extreme weather is taking a toll on seniors.

San Diego County Unveils New Firefighting Helicopter As Hot, Dry Temperatures Set In

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Just in time for the peak wildfire season, San Diego County leaders and fire officials unveiled a new firefighting helicopter on Thursday at Gillespie Field in El Cajon.

Councilman Alvarez Urges San Diego To Declare State Of Emergency Ahead Of El Niño

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“The City must be prepared to protect residents and businesses that are at risk for extreme flooding,” Councilman David Alvarez said. “Acting now to perform channel maintenance in areas that typically flood is critical to ensuring the safety of our communities."

El Niño, Warm Ocean Temperatures Lead To Stronger Santa Ana Winds

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A new study reveals Santa Ana wind events are stronger during El Niño years when they’re also combined with warm sea surface temperatures in the North Pacific Ocean.

First Female Blue Angels Pilot Soars Through San Diego Skies

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When the Navy’s Blue Angels pierce through San Diego’s skies this weekend performing daring aerobatics, Katie Higgins will be in one of the cockpits.

New Online Map Reveals Very High Fire Risk In San Diego County

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Is your home located in a high wildfire risk area? A new online wildfire hazard map of San Diego County allows you to enter your address and assess your fire danger.

Haggen To Close 25 Stores In San Diego County

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The company announced it is pulling out the Southwest market, and will focus its operations instead around 37 stores in the Northwest as part of its bankruptcy realignment.

Julian Apple Harvest, Festivities Come Early Amid Drought

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The season of autumn is officially underway. It’s that time of year when San Diegans flock to Julian for fall foliage, horse carriage rides and everything apples.

San Diego's Tropical Rains Will Soon Give Way To Santa Ana Winds

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The weather pattern that has sent a surge of warm, tropical moisture flowing into San Diego County this summer will soon transition and open the door to hot and dry Santa Ana winds.

'The Blob' Fueling Drastic Changes Under The Sea Ahead Of El Niño

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A large pool of warm ocean water named “the blob" is threatening marine life off of San Diego and along the West Coast.

Coming El Niño Has Emergency Officials Preparing, Researchers Watching Closely

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The last time a strong El Niño pounded San Diego County, nearly two decades ago, rainfall averaged 188 percent of normal, triggering floods, mudflows and coastal erosion.

Another Heat Wave Bears Down On San Diego County

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The second heat wave to hit the region in two weeks could send temperatures in the valleys soaring once again to triple digits.

8,700 Pairs Of Shoes Displayed To Represent San Diego County's Homeless

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Thousands of pairs of shoes, in all styles and sizes, were on display Tuesday in downtown San Diego, representing the number of homeless men, women and children on the streets across the county.

Climate Change Intensifies California's Drought

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California’s catastrophic wildfires, massive tree mortality and water crisis can be partly blamed on human-induced climate change, according to a new report by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

70 Years Later, Veterans Reflect On The End Of World War II

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San Diego was bursting at the seams in celebration at the end of World War II. Seventy years later, the region abounds with memories and honor as those who wore America’s uniform share their stories.

'Strong' El Niño Forecast Has San Diego Emergency Officials Preparing

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Amid the historic drought, concerns are growing over potential floods, coastal erosion and mudflows from the strengthening El Niño.

CHP Recruiting Senior Volunteers In San Diego's North County

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Senior volunteers assist with community events, DUI checkpoints and neighborhood patrols.

San Diego Within Reach Of Yearly Rainfall Average Despite Drought

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California continues to be immersed in a drought, but oddly enough San Diego’s Lindbergh Field is a little more than one inch away from reaching its 10.15-inch annual rainfall average.

Strengthening El Niño May Trigger Wet Winter In San Diego

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The strongest El Niño in nearly 20 years seems to be developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean, according to the latest forecast by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Medal Of Honor Soldier Receives Long-Overdue Military Burial In San Diego

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Hundreds of military and community members paid tribute Thursday at Miramar National Cemetery to the Civil War-era veteran. For decades, the Medal of Honor recipient's cremated remains were forgotten.

Emergency Rule Eases Process To Cut Down Drought-Stricken Trees

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With extreme drought and an infestation of bark beetles decimating California’s forests, the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has adopted an emergency regulation for removing dead trees.

Heal The Bay: Drought Means Good Grades For San Diego County Beaches

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The Santa Monica-based environmental group Heal the Bay gave 93 percent of the region's beaches an A grade for water quality for the dry periods last summer and winter — and there were a lot of dry times.

UC San Diego Cyber Archeologist Salvaging Destroyed Iraqi Artifacts

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A UC San Diego graduate student in archeology is building a virtual museum of Iraqi artifacts that were recently destroyed by terrorists.

Red Crab Invasion At San Diego Beaches May Signal Coming El Niño

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Massive numbers of small red crabs that normally inhabit the warm waters off of Baja California have invaded San Diego’s beaches — from Ocean Beach to La Jolla.

Women Make History At Camp Pendleton, Train For Combat Roles

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The yearlong experiment to determine whether women can serve in ground combat is wrapping up. "I think for the males they kind of expected us to be ... the moms, the sisters — kind of take care of us. But now they’re like, ‘OK, we’re a Marine, you’re a Marine. Let’s just get the job done,’" said Marine Sgt. Zarina Flemming.

West Nile Virus Off To Aggressive Start In San Diego County

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So far, 29 dead birds have tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease in San Diego County compared to one or two cases last year at this time.

Strengthening El Niño Raises Hope For Bone-Dry San Diego

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El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean are gaining strength. The latest forecast signals a moderate to strong event come fall or winter.

Neighbors Help Family Rebuild After Devastating Cocos Fire

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It was a year ago that a dozen wildfires whipped by Santa Ana winds roared through San Diego County. The fires devoured nearly 27,000 acres and destroyed 63 homes. Those who lost homes continue today to work to rebuild them.

Fire Officials Say San Diego Should Brace For 'Unprecedented' Fire Season

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Despite this week’s rain showers and cool temperatures, state and local fire officials are warning, come summer and fall, San Diego County could be poised for one of its worst fire seasons ever.

San Diego POWs Relive History At Greatest Generation Naval Museum

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The Greatest Generation Naval Museum in El Cajon recently hosted a special group of World War II veterans. The sights and sounds of the historic aircraft brought back vivid memories of the war from seven decades ago.

California Drought Killed 12 Million Forest Trees Since Last Year

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In San Diego County, 82,528 trees, mostly Jeffrey pines across Mount Laguna, have succumbed to a lack of rainfall, with many more struggling to survive.

Vietnam War Ended 40 Years Ago But Lives On For MIA Families

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Point Loma's Elaine Zimmer Davis lost her Marine pilot husband in 1969 when his plane was shot down over Vietnam. Capt. Jerry Zimmer is one of 1,600 U.S. service members who is still listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War.

Santa Ana Winds Bring High Fire Danger To San Diego County

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The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from 11 p.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. Thursday for San Diego County's inland and mountain areas, where winds are expected to gust from 30 mph to 70 mph.

San Diego-Based Troops Return From Middle East

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The Marines and sailors were heavily involved in Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition campaign focused on combating the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group.

Special Operations Marine To Receive Navy Cross At Camp Pendleton

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A special operations Marine will receive the Marine Corps' second-highest combat medal during a ceremony Thursday at Camp Pendleton.

San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought

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Despite long-standing calls for cutbacks, San Diego County’s overall water use in February soared 13 percent higher than for the same period in 2013.

San Diego Chaldean Leader Pushes For Iraq, Syria Refugee Bill

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"My message to Congress is clear," said Mark Arabo, advocate for Iraqi Christians. "If they do not pass this bill, then they’re sentencing my people to death."

San Diegans — Get Ready For Another Heat Wave

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Temperatures across San Diego County could reach 20 degrees above average on Thursday and Friday — from 90 degrees in the inland valleys to the upper 80s along the coast.

Another Heat Wave Takes Aim At San Diego County

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Temperatures along the coast could reach 20 to 25 degrees above average, soaring to the 90-degree mark or higher on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

San Diego Veterans Invited To Voice Questions, Concerns At Town Hall

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The forum is one of many the Veterans Affairs is holding around the country to improve services and rebuild community trust.

San Diego-Based Troops Named On ISIS 'Hit List'

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Nearly three dozen U.S. troops, including some based on the USS Carl Vinson from San Diego, were named on a "hit list" by the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group, according to the Marine Corps Times.

Some San Diego Farmers Shut Off Water In Prolonged Drought

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San Diego’s 4,000 farms have been hit hard from drought — not because they have run out of water, but because water is squeezing their budgets.

Drought Deepens But No New Water Restrictions For San Diego County

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California’s new water regulations that put limits on outdoor watering days will have little effect on San Diego County because similar conservation measures are already in place here.