Sue Carpenter’s artificial knee doesn’t just help keep her upright. It also gives local researchers insight into the aches and pains of one of the body’s most trouble-prone parts.

Carpenter, 67, has an “e-knee,” one of only four in the world.

But e-knees can only take researchers so far as they seek a cure for osteoarthritis. Scientists at the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education think stem cells may be the best hope, and they’ve got $3.1 million to prove it.

KPBS’s budget is about six times that much, and it hasn’t dipped by a huge percentage even as local media outlets suffer from a collective financial breakdown. The public broadcaster sees an opening and is trying to boost its reputation as a source of news not just on the radio but online and on television too.

These days, you don’t need to turn on the TV to see news in video form. Case in point: Our ongoing look at life inside downtown’s nocturnal tent cities.

In the latest installment, videographer Michael Gonzales profiles “The Waterman,” who distributes hundreds of bottles of water each day to the homeless.

And, in another video on the site today, Kelly Bennett chats with NBC 7/39’s Catherine Garcia about the latest news in the housing market.

Bennett’s getting good at that.

In letters, an Escondido resident appreciates newly diverse city leadership but says “irresponsible stewardship” led to blight after homeowners flew the coop.

We also have comments from readers about bilingual education. The San Diego school board tackled the issue this week.

San Diego school administrators have something new to worry about: a lawsuit. Contractors are suing,, alleging “the project labor agreement that the school district adopted on its $2.1 billion facilities bond violates the law by favoring apprentices from union programs.”

There are non-union apprentices too, and contractors want the right to hire them first.

Hiring? These days? It still happens here and there … and right here.

Three new reporters — Liam Dillon, Dagny Salas and Keegan Kyle — are heading this way from Florida, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin, respectively, and will start within the next few weeks.

The work of these three young reporters set them apart from hundreds of applicants. They’ve made a difference in their communities, and they remind us that tough times can’t — and won’t — stop good journalism.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the foundations that have invested in us for a social return, and the corporations and organizations who sponsor us, we’re very fortunate to be growing.

In news from other outlets, San Diego CityBeat columnist John R. Lamb takes a lively look at a colorful character — car dealer Steve Cushman. He’s co-chair of a advisory convention-center-expansion task force, and Lamb finds his room-working skills “a repulsive and yet fascinating spectacle to observe.”

And the AP profiles an Oceanside woman who has “almost single-handedly taken on the foreign exchange industry, intervening in abuse cases, questioning placement agencies’ marketing practices, and bashing the U.S. State Department for what she says is lax regulation.”

It seems the companies she targets would really like to send her overseas — forever.

RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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