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A federal appeals court on Tuesday brought good news for one former San Diego councilman once accused of corruption but grim tidings for another.

Ex-Councilman Michael Zucchet was the fortunate one. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his stunning acquittal on charges of accepting money from a strip club owner in exchange for loosening restrictions on how strippers could interact with their audiences.

But the judges upheld guilty verdicts against former Councilman Ralph Inzunza.

While a former U.S. attorney tells us the case is effectively over, Inzunza is not headed to prison yet. Kelly Thornton explains why.

In other news:

  • A proposed $1.2 billion project to link downtown to University City via the trolley is ready for its close-up after spending years on the backburner.

    The 11-mile route would target residents from Little Italy and Old Town to Pacific Beach, Clairemont and La Jolla. But a debate is erupting over whether the trolley is the best way to move people around.

  • Remember Jim McConville? He’s the man behind the “staggering swindle” we uncovered earlier this year, a giant real-estate scam that ensnared local residents who rented their identities.

    We’ve just heard from a reader who alleges he lost $200,000 to McConville in the early 1990s.

    But the reader doesn’t seem entirely worse for wear: He’s put lessons he learned from McConville to work to make himself some money.

  • A Convention Center official called him a “whack job” but the mayor’s task force on expanding the center worried enough about criticisms from a professor in Texas that it dedicated a lot of time to refuting his points.

    In its final version of the report, however, the task force acknowledge it wrongly attributed a statement to him.

  • We’re looking for perspectives from local scientists about whether elementary-school science education is inspiring kids.
  • SDG&E is looking to raise its rates to pay for higher insurance rates and wants to ding customers if its coverage isn’t enough to cover damages from wildfires caused by power lines, the U-T reports.
  • The LA Times runs a piece by man who took his young sons to Tijuana to learn a lesson about the border fence but ended up getting educated himself.
  • The U-T and NCT visit a Starbucks in Escondido as six men and two women order drinks while legally carrying unloaded firearms. (A grande non-fat chai soy latte, please. Hold the ammo!)
  • Also: the NCT checks in on a North County area code change, the LAT Times profiles SoCal’s “Deep-Fry King,” who got his start at the county fair in our neck of the woods, and MTV.com reports that San Diego will “stay classy” on the big screen once more.

    There will be a sequel to 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and it will again be set in our fair city, only this time possibly in the 1980s instead of the 1970s.

Oh boy. More bad hair.

RANDY DOTINGA

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