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Back in 2005, a 21-year-old man endured a series of unfortunate events on an early Sunday morning. They culminated with his getting hit with an electric shock from a Coronado cop’s Taser device.

Four years and four broken teeth later, a federal appeals court is standing up for the tasered man: it says the police officer used excessive force and is allowing a civil trial against the cop to go forward.

This is making the news because there’s little in the law, until now, to guide cops in the use of tasers. They’ve been in a gray area: they aren’t exactly lethal force but they pack much more punch than, say, pepper spray.

In other news:

  • Earlier this year, Carol Baker’s family learned that she was one in a million, and the odds were not in her favor. Just 13 days later, the El Cajon resident died in her husband’s arms.
  • She’d been struck by sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain disorder. Between two and five county residents die of it each year and some, like Baker, struggle to find doctors who can tell them what’s wrong. “It is so rare, and so misunderstood, that various doctors initially told Carol — whose first symptom was feeling off balance — that she had an inner ear problem, or that she just needed to relax, that stress was causing her symptoms,” we report in a moving story that tells of Baker’s final struggle.
  • Our education reporter Emily Alpert is looking ahead to 2010 and the issues that will occupy San Diego schools. She also includes a list of some of her favorite stories from the year, including those about now-ex Superintendent Terry Grier: “You loved him. You hated him. You wanted him gone. You hoped he wouldn’t go. He left.”
  • Over the weekend, we highlighted a story in the NYT about how deals to build new stadiums are coming back to haunt cities like Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Milwaukee. It’s a hot-button topic here, and now our commenters are weighing in.
  • Readers also sent their thoughts to our reporter and he published them. He also referred to the Morning Report’s observation that the story couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Chargers “obvious.” Obvious observation? Must have been a typo. Surely he meant “extremely perceptive and thoughtful observation.”
  • Our Photo of the Day captures a family preserving a moment on film at the beach. It’s a two-fer Tuesday: today’s photo soundtrack offers two songs about photographs, both suggested via Twitter, by The Cure and A Flock of Seagulls.
  • Also on the photo front, you can now vote for your favorite voiceofsandiego.org photo from 2009.

Elsewhere:

  • The NCT reports: “Eleven people have been released from the Vista jail and hundreds of North County criminal cases are under review after faulty toxicology tests were reported at a forensics lab, officials said Monday.”
  • A businessman is suing San Diego in a class-action suit, “seeking an estimated $13.5 million in refunds of fees the city charged to cover the cost of collecting business taxes.” (U-T)
  • If you’re flying out of Lindbergh Field, you’re under increased surveillance in the wake of the Christmas incident in Detroit. But airport officials that shouldn’t delay your travel. (U-T)
  • Finally, that Oceanside woman who runs a boudoir photo studio for military wives might want to take note: the NYT has a story about how Army wives are learning striptease to entertain their soldier husbands. It’s part of something called Operation Bombshell, and business is va-va-vooming.

— 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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