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Navy Finds Vehicle, Human Remains, After Deadly Training Accident

 August 5, 2020 at 4:36 AM PDT

The city of Del mar is starting a pilot program to beef up enforcement of COVID-19 rules. For the next few months, deputies will be patrolling part of the city focusing violations of rules meant to stop the spread of the virus. Breaking the rules could mean up to a thousand dollar fine or 90 days in jail. Beach-goer Renee Farrell told KPBS she thinks that's excessive. DELMAR 2A Citing and fining is a little much you know if the fine was maybe 50 bucks then fine a little ticket won't hurt. :10 The sheriff's department says deputies will strive for voluntary compliance first, and most people will put on a face covering when asked. Beach-goer Allan Sawyer says it's simple. DELMAR 2B The more people can get away from treating this like it's a political issue the better it needs to be thought of a scientific issue and not as a political one (:10) The pilot program will cost Del Mar around 22-thousand dollars. ######## San Diego County health officials reported 290 new COVID-19 cases tuesday, and three additional deaths. Those are the lowest numbers we’ve had in the past month. The county also had the fewest tests recorded at around four thousand. Of those, 7% were positive, which is above the county’s 14-day average of 5.4%. The number of people hospitalized with the virus is still dropping, with 381 in regional hospitals, including 120 in intensive care units -- all of which is the fewest reported in more than a month. ######### The U.S. census bureau will end its counting efforts on September 30th, a month earlier than was previously planned. That has Local organizations worried. They were already struggling to get an accurate count during a pandemic. Brenda Diaz is the Civic Engagement Coordinator at Mid-City CAN. She says the stakes of an undercount couldn't be higher for immigrant communities who could miss out on vital federal funding. CENSUS 2A (0:15) : We're talking about trillions of dollars, if our communities are not counted, trillions of dollars over the next ten years, which we won't have for healthcare, emergency services, education, even school meals for future generations. The Census Bureau says it moved the date up to make sure all data collection is completed by the end of the year. ######## Health care for San Diego County jail inmates could be outsourced to a private contractor in the future. County supervisors voted 4-to-1 Tuesday to open a bidding process. But they also agreed to study a proposal by Supervisor Nathan Fletcher for the county health and human services agency to take over inmate health care instead. Sheriff Bill Gore has been criticized over inmate care in the past. An investigation by the San Diego Union Tribune last year found the death rate in county jails is among the highest in the state. ###### I’m Anica Colbert, filling in for Kinsee Morlan. It’s Wednesday, August 5th. This is San Diego News Matters from KPBS News. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. The Navy has located the Marine landing craft which sank off the coast of Southern California Thursday. KPBS Military reporter Steve Walsh says they have also located the bodies of the Marines killed in the accident. ------------------------------------------------ CRAFT :42 The Amphibious Assault Vehicle was located roughly 1,600 yards off the coast of San Clemente Island. The Navy used a remotely piloted vehicle to identify the bodies of 7 Marines and a Navy corpsman who had been missing but presumed dead. A total of nine died in the accident, when their 26 ton craft sank quickly Thursday during a landing exercise. The search for the missing officially became a recovery mission early Sunday. The AAV was eventually found Tuesday in 385 feet of water. The Navy expects to have equipment in place by the end of the week, which will allow the craft to be hoisted from the sea floor along with the remains inside. Steve Walsh KPBS News. ####### San Diego clean air advocates are urging state senator Ben Hueso to support legislation that could minimize the environmental impact of fracking in California. The assembly bill would create a buffer zone between oil drilling sites, and residential areas. Hueso is on the senate Natural Resources and Water Committee that’ll consider the bill today (wed). Vi [Vee] Nguyen [Wynn] is a San Diego pediatrician who treats children suffering from severe asthma attacks. She says local communities of color deserve protections. FRACKING 2A :15 00:02:45 – 00:03:00 “At our clinic we have a code room where we kind of stabilize asthmatics and we take care of a lot of asthma kids and do run nebulizers. And the 14 of us who work at night, we know, its busy during asthma season and we’re stabilizing those kids all the time.” Nguyen says Hueso’s vote is considered crucial for the measure to pass out of committee. She says he has not taken a public position on the issue yet. ###### Southern California Fire officials say they are looking for a vehicle that sparked the huge blaze in the San Bernardino National Forest this week. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson says thousands of people were forced to evacuate. He brings us more on this story…. APPLEFIRE 1 (sea) soq :43 The wildfire burning through the San Bernardino National Forest was started by sparks coming from a vehicle tailpipe. CalFire’s Thomas Shoots says San Diego firefighters are among those battling the flames which have scorched more than 42 square miles. CalFire’s Thomas Shoots says the flames are burning away from urban areas. APPLEFIRE 1A :14 00:03:54 – 00:04:08 “One fortunate part about that is that its moving away from the residences. We have some communities out in front of it which we are concerned about but we’ve stacked those areas with resources to make sure that they’re protected.” 15 San Diego firetrucks were called into duty. Local hand crews, bulldozers and aircraft are also part of the effort. Erik Anderson KPBS News ########### ANCHOR INTRO: KPBS reporting partner inewsource is launching a series today called Veterans Voices. It will follow veterans as the San Diego VA removes them from a drug treatment that’s been effective in relieving their depression and suicidal thoughts. inewsource investigative reporter Brad Racino starts with a local Marine’s story….. BENDER 13:56: “This is Henry. Henry was the beginning of my plant obsession.” RACINO: Kiaya Bender is a 29-year-old Marine veteran with a history of major depression and suicidal thoughts. BENDER 13:05: “... Parsley, basil, mint, oregano ...” RACINO: He recently gave us a tour of the garden outside his Vista apartment. BENDER 49:52: "I have these crazy dreams of like what it would look like, this big old food forest. It was just like a bunch of fruit trees and like other food plants." RACINO: The assumption that he’ll be alive to see that happen is proof to Bender that his ketamine drug treatments are working. BENDER 47:02: “The suicidal thoughts are just like kind of gone … it's really like freeing." RACINO: Ketamine began in the 1960s as a veterinary anesthetic. But in the early 2000s, scientists began to notice its tremendous effect on patients with treatment-resistant depression. They also recognized ketamine’s ability to rapidly reduce suicidal impulses, as it did with Bender. BENDER (48:10):“I couldn't have imagined being able, being capable of doing the things that I'm doing now every single day.” RACINO: For years, the San Diego VA has referred patients like Bender for ketamine treatment at the Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute in La Jolla, to great success. RACINO: Kadima is run by Dr. David Feifel, a former UC San Diego and VA psychiatrist. Feifel is an expert in ketamine, having administered it for over a decade. FEIFEL 8:53: "I recognized that this was really something like I've never seen in my years of psychiatry and .. it had limitations for sure but it also had characteristics that we had not seen in terms of the ability to improve people's major depression when nothing else did. And also many times to do it very very rapidly." RACINO: Despite San Diego VA psychiatrists lauding Feifel’s success with their vets, in May the agency began telling patients that their time at Kadima would soon end. BENDER (59:21): “I was terrified. I was absolutely terrified.” RACINO: The agency planned to bring vets back in-house for an alternative treatment called Spravato. BENDER: “I'm scared that what they're doing won't be enough and that I'll end up feeling like I did before ketamine. That's terrifying to me because I don't know if I would make it through it again.” RACINO: Now Kadima’s vets are pleading with VA leadership not to stop a treatment that for the first time gave them hope. Some are reaching out to politicians, including San Diego Congressman Scott Peters, whose office is working directly with some of the vets affected. PETERS: “So our job now is to make sure the mental health professionals at the VA are looking at each case individually and giving each individual what works for them, because it works, not because it’s what’s convenient for the VA. RACINO: There are a few dozen vets caught up in this ongoing situation. That’s why inewsource created this series, Veterans Voices, to let them share their stories. It will provide a first-hand look at how local veterans are grappling with mental illness and fighting for their own healthcare within the VA system. RACINO: For KPBS, I’m inewsource investigative reporter Brad Racino. ANCHOR OUTRO: That was Inewsource investigative reporter, Brad Racino. Inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS. To learn more about the Veteran Voices series, go to INEWSOURCE DOT ORG SLASH VETERANS VOICES. And if you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. ######### Coming up…...Election day is just three months away. With the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic....Providing safety and security to voters will be a challenge… whether they fill out their ballots by mail or in-person. TZ REGISTRAR (:05) "So with the whole pandemic, things are happening, dramatic changes are occurring." We hear from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, who is planning out our "new normal” for voting. Election day is now three months out, but voting will start much earlier. Already questions are swirling about how safe and secure voting will be. Because of the pandemic, California will be providing mail-in ballots to all voters for the first time ever. San Diego County registrar Michael Vu faces the challenge of not only making mail-in voting safe and secure, but also creating safe places for in-person voting. Vu told KPBS Midday Edition host Alison St. John the voting process for San Diegans will look a lot different this year. Here’s that interview…. REGISTRAR (3:58) "So with the whole pandemic, things are happening, dramatic changes are occurring… ...Well Michael thanks so much, we've got lots more questions, but no more time at this point. Thank you." That was Michael Vu, San Diego County's Registrar of Voters, Speaking to KPBS Midday Edition Host, Alison St John. To learn more about voting in the 2020 election in San Diego County, visit www.sdvote.com. San Diego News Matters is a daily morning news podcast powered by all of the reporters, editors and producers in the KPBS Newsroom. Tune in to KPBS Midday Edition at noon on KPBS radio or KPBS Evening Edition at 5pm on KPBS television to keep up with the news throughout your day. You can also find us on Twitter @ Kpbs news, or to find our podcast producer, Kinsee Morlan, she’s @ Kinsee. I’m @AnicaColbert. And as always you can find more KPBS podcasts, like Only Here or Cinema Junkie, on our website at KPBS dot org slash podcasts, or wherever it is you get your podcasts.

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The U.S. military announced Tuesday it located an amphibious assault vehicle that sank last week off the coast of San Diego County. The Navy confirmed the presence of human remains where the vessel came to rest on the sea floor. And, the county reports its lowest daily COVID-19 case count compared to the last month. Also, a new pilot program will have sheriff's deputies patrolling parts of Del Mar to educate and cite those not in compliance with rules meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. And, election day is three months away, but voting will start much earlier. San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Michael Vu, answers your voting questions.