Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 26)—What to do with nuclear waste, how to end homelessness and who let the new iPads off school grounds

1. Can this LA initiative end chronic homelessness by 2016? (NPR)

A new initiative is trying to help the L.A. homeless by first connecting them with a place to live. The "housing first" model — which research has shown can save money by keeping the chronically homeless out of hospitals, jails and shelters — has been used in cities across the country.

Aiming to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2016, the 'Home For Good' project focuses on those who are most at risk. Officials are gathering information about the population and ranking individuals' vulnerability. The goal is to quickly move the most in need into permanent housing.

2. Storage questions at San Onofre: 'Nuclear waste is still out there' (KPCC)

The public gets a chance Thursday to hear what's next for the closed San Onofre nuclear power station. The NRC has scheduled a meeting at 6 p.m. in Carlsbad to describe the decades-long process of decommissioning.

A group that pushed for closure said, "All of the nuclear waste is still out there, so we still have a high potential for an accident...people should not be thinking that we are safe because the plant is closed. We are safer, but we are not safe."

3. Creator of anti-Muslim film being released from custody (NPR)

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose Innocence of Muslims film sparked deadly protests in Muslim nations in the summer of 2012, is being released from federal custody on Thursday.

He'll have served slightly less than the 1-year sentence he was given for violating the conditions of his probation on an earlier bank-fraud conviction. The 56-year-old has most recently been living in a Southern California halfway house. The online federal prison locator says he's been in San Pedro.

4. Man stabbed to death near San Francisco ballpark following Dodgers-Giants game (KPCC)

A man was stabbed to death after a fight broke out near San Francisco's AT&T Park, where the Giants were playing the L.A. Dodgers, authorities said.

Police were releasing few details about the stabbing other than to say it occurred shortly after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at Third and Harrison streets during a confrontation between two groups of men. Police have detained three people in the area and are interviewing witnesses, but have not made any arrests.

5. Californians support legalizing marijuana; many are leery of Obamacare (KPCC)

Support for legalizing marijuana use is growing, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

For the first time, a majority of all Golden State residents (52%) – not just likely voters – say people should be free to ingest pot recreationally. Among likely voters, 60 percent favor full legalization.

6. Buttons pushed: Board wants answers about LA students bypassing iPad security (KPCC)

School board members on Wednesday questioned Ronald Chandler, L.A. Unified’s top technology officer, asking how 180 students at three campuses managed to bypass security measures on new iPads within a few days of getting the devices.

“They figured out if they delete this one file, that it allows them to circumvent our filter," Chandler said. The district swiftly put a moratorium on taking the tablets out of schools this week.

7. Syrian rebels: US distracted by focus on chemical weapons (NPR)

Syrian rebel groups say the pipeline of weapons, ammunition and nonlethal aid pledged by the U.S. has slowed in recent weeks, as the Obama administration has shifted focus to destroying President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons. The rebels have a broader goal: destroying the Assad regime.

A rebel offensive is squeezing the Syrian army around the city of Dera'a. Military analysts say the fight is one of the most strategically important battles in Syria's civil war, because Dera'a, close to Damascus, is President Bashar Assad's stronghold in the southwest.

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