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Stories by Susan Murphy

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.

Drought Impacts Air Quality Across California

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Warm and dry weather is being blamed for worsening air pollution in some areas of California, but overall air quality in San Diego County remains in the good to moderate range.

Record Dry Conditions Continue To Grip San Diego

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There’s a high chance San Diego County will have a completely dry January, which has happened just twice before in -- in 1948 and 1976.

San Diego River Restoration Involves Clearing Homeless, And Their Trash

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A San Diego group is hoping to restore the 52-mile San Diego River to its once-scenic splendor, with trails, parks and open space. But first it has to clear a path through an endless cycle of trash.

Congress Secures Funding For San Ysidro Border Project

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Three San Diego congressional representatives announced Tuesday remaining funds for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry infrastructure project have been secured.

Camp Pendleton Marines, Sailors Head To Afghanistan For War's Final Chapter

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Hundreds of Marines from Camp Pendleton are deploying to Afghanistan to close out the final chapter of America’s longest war.

Gov. Brown Visits San Diego To Propose Billions In New Spending

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Gov. Jerry Brown will visit San Diego on Thursday to discuss his 2014-15 budget proposal, which includes an increase in spend­ing on schools, health­care and wel­fare for poor Cali­for­ni­ans.

Health Officials Urge Flu Shot As H1N1 Rises In San Diego County

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Influenza is on the rise across San Diego County and health officials are urging people, especially young adults, to get vaccinated.

Ski Resorts Race To Produce Artificial Snow During California Dry Spell

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December usually delivers Southern California a few good winter storms, but a persistent ridge of high pressure has kept the region warm and dry.

Dry Year Takes Toll On San Diego River

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Many parts of the 52-mile-long waterway resemble a swampy pond: The water is perfectly still and there’s no flow to wash away overgrown plants that have created floating canopies.

Mystery Disease Causes Sea Star Die-Off Along West Coast

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Sea stars along the West Coast are being wiped out by a mysterious disease. There’s no evidence of the die-off in San Diego yet, but researchers say it seems inevitable.

San Diego Avocado Growers Brace For New Invasive Beetle

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A tiny Asian insect has arrived in San Diego County with the potential to cause widespread destruction to more than 100 of species of trees, including oaks and avocados.

18,000 San Diegans Stand To Lose Federal Unemployment Benefits By Year's End

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Federal extended unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month for more than 18,000 people in San Diego who have been jobless for six months or more.

California Lawmakers Call For Drought Emergency Declaration

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With reservoirs depleting and forecasters predicting another dry winter, California lawmakers are calling on President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency and federal disaster in the state.

U.S., Mexico Officials Break Ground On San Diego Border Infrastructure Project

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U.S. and Mexico officials joined together in Otay Mesa on Tuesday to break ground on a $700 million border infrastructure project.

Dry Conditions Return To Thirsty San Diego

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Thirsty San Diego got a little bit of rain last weekend, but mild and dry conditions are setting in once again.

San Diego Wind Farms Get Extended Legal Protection On Eagle Deaths

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Wind energy farms in San Diego can now get a 30-year permit to kill eagles accidentally without penalty. A San Diego conservationist says the ruling puts the region’s declining eagle population at risk.

San Diego Mountains Under Winter Storm Watch

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A cold, blustery storm from the north is expected to move into San Diego County early Saturday morning, bringing heavy rain to coastal and inland areas and snow to the mountains.