Most talked about U-T San Diego stories

Christmas week to be warm, windy in San Diego. — Offshore winds will lift daytime highs as much as 10 degrees above normal through Christmas Eve, but aren't likely to stoke a wildfire danger due to the recent rains, says the National Weather Service. "The winds will dry things out a lot, but we don't expect to issue a fire weather advisory," said Cindy Palmer, a weather service forecaster.

Playoff picture: How Chargers make it — Same stakes, different year. Only the Chiefs separate the Chargers from a postseason berth. San Diego clinched a playoff spot last year against Kansas City in the regular-season finale at Qualcomm Stadium. This Sunday, the team can do the same, needing a final-week win at Arrowhead Stadium to earn a wild-card spot for a consecutive year.

New Padres OF Wil Myers mentioned amid reported Cole Hamels discussions — The Padres, believed to have at least some interest in Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, reportedly have discussed trading for the San Diego native. And, if they're serious about pursuing the ace, they might consider flipping a just-acquired player.
Dec 21, 2014

RT @UTPadres: Sounds like the Padres intend on keeping all three of their new outfielders.

Dec 21, 2014

Sounds like the Padres intend on keeping all three of their new outfielders.

Dec 21, 2014

RT @dennistlin: Sources: Talk of a Cole Hamels-Wil Myers swap is premature.

Dec 21, 2014

Sources: Talk of a Cole Hamels-Wil Myers swap is premature.

Aztecs football players connect with Make-A-Wish kids — San Diego State's Nico Siragusa could be forgiven if he chose not to participate in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl's annual event with Make-A-Wish children. Seeing parents tell the stories of their kids' illnesses, well, "it hits so close to home," Siragusa said.

3 thoughts: SDSU 70, Ball State 57 — Three thoughts on San Diego State's 70-57 win against Ball State on Saturday at Viejas Arena: 1. Mounting injuries: Part of scheduling is who you play. And part of scheduling is when you play. Steve Fisher purposely set these games over Christmas - Ball State, UC Riverside and NAIA San Diego Christian - for a reason.
Dec 21, 2014

3 thoughts on SDSU's 70-57 win vs. Ball St: mounting injuries, offensive tweaks, keeping an eye on past opponents.…

Son of murdered NYPD officer mourns father on Facebook — A terrible torrent of words and emotions - disbelief, horror, outrage - are being shared about the execution in broad daylight of New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in their marked patrol car Saturday. But the most heartbreaking sentiment may be what one of the officer's sons posted on Facebook.

Retirement-benefits tsunami bearing down on state government — In state government, a sense of complacency has set in about state finances. But massive unfunded liabilities remain for pensions and health benefits for retired state benefits. The governor needs to work to reduce this problem before 20 percent of the state budget goes to people who no longer work for the state.

Bolts will prepare selves, root for others — Philip Rivers is familiar with all the ifs. "I know everything about them," he said of the scenarios in which the Chargers get into the postseason. "We'll be watching closely." He ticked off the crucial games - Kansas City at Pittsburgh and Baltimore at Houston today, Denver at Cincinnati on Monday night.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers may need back surgery — Philip Rivers did what he did Saturday night with a back injury that may need offseason surgery. The Chargers quarterback reportedly has a bulging disk in his lower back. It is something he's dealt with the past few weeks, the issue emerging Nov. 30 in Baltimore and flaring up the next week versus New England.

No chance for Davis, Inman steps up — The San Diego Chargers allowed unprecedented number of rushing yards in a victory; Mike McCoy went for a block with King Dunlap rather than give Iron Bowl hero Chris Davis a chance at a return; Philip Rivers knows Chargers have to earn momentum. Page 1 of 2
Dec 21, 2014

Mike McCoy explains why he went with the King over Iron Bowl option. Wideouts better. Will momentum build?…

Oceanside sued over hotel subsidy — A new lawsuit against the city of Oceanside claims the City Council violated state open meeting laws this summer when it voted on a $13.6 million subsidy for a luxury beachfront resort. City officials say the suit is without merit and could be part of a ploy to help unionize the resort's future workforce.

Justin Upton won't talk extension with Padres in-season — At worst, Justin Upton is arriving in San Diego as a heckuva one-year rental. The question that will dog the 27-year-old outfielder and the Padres throughout his stay is whether or not rookie General Manager A.J. Preller can make this a long-term marriage.
Dec 21, 2014

Agent: Justin Upton unlikely to talk extension once spring training starts. #Padres.

Chargers at 49ers 12/20/2014 — The San Diego Chargers beat the 49ers 38-35 in a overtime victory at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara fon Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. Photography by K.C. Alfred

Smartphone earthquake alerts inch toward reality. — Scientists are edging closer to being able to warn people that they're about to be shaken by an earthquake. Congress has given California researchers $5 million in seed money for the Earthquake Early Warning System, a network that would detect when faults slip and notify people when to expect seismic energy.

SDSU record-setter George Jones goes from ruin to redemption — D.J. Pumphrey will go into the Poinsettia Bowl on Tuesday, his thoughts focused on a victory over Navy and a prestigious team record, his body nicked but otherwise healthy after a grinding season. The bowl game and sound bones - they were luxuries George Jones did not have in 1995.

Padres still face several needs — Having loaded up on priority No. 1 (power), Padres GM A.J. Preller can devote the bulk of his attention to balancing the roster. The Padres' remaining maneuvers should be easier to forecast -- in theory. Given the outfield glut, figure on at least two more moves. Page 1 of 2
Dec 21, 2014

With an outfield glut and some obvious weaknesses, figure on at least two more moves by the Padres.

VIDEO: Chargers rally for big win over 49ers — U-T sports columnist Kevin Acee and U-T Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken break down the Chargers season-saving win over the 49ers in Santa Clara Postgame reactions from Chargers players after their 38-35 come-from-behind win over the 49ers in Santa Clara.

Kaiser testing 'doc in a box' system in San Diego — In an atrium at the county's operations center in Kearney Mesa sits a blue-and-white pod that looks like some sort of futuristic phone booth. Inside this enclosure are the tools that many predict will change the way health care is delivered.

Scientists seek to create new rhinos with stem cell technology — Scientists plan to use DNA samples preserved in the San Diego Frozen Zoo to create more white rhinos. In their most ambitious vision - something that has never been tried for any creature other than lab mice - the researchers aim to coax skin cells from Angalifu and others of his kind to become stem cells, and then sperm and eggs, and then implant the embryos in surrogate rhinos.