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El Cajon plane crash

 December 29, 2021 at 9:13 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday, December 29th.


What we know about the el cajon plane crash

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

San Diego county public health officials reported a surge of more than 2300 new covid-19 cases on Tuesday and five additional deaths. On Tuesday the The county health and human services agency followed the CDC’s changed guidance on quarantining – they now recommend that people who test positive for the virus but who are also asymptomatic isolate for just five days, rather than the previous 10, and they should continue wearing a mask for another 5 days when around other people.


The man who opened fire at the Chabad of Poway received a second life sentence in federal court Tuesday. John Earnest admitted to killing Lori Gilbert Kaye and injuring three others in the April 27, 2019 shooting.

Kaye’s older sister Ellen Edwards spoke at the sentencing.

“You killed because she was Jewish, why? I cannot even imagine what someone could have done to you to turn you into such a monster. Lori is no longer here, but her spirit lives on in the memory of those who loved her dearly.”

In September, Earnest was sentenced to life in prison in state court. He then pleaded guilty to 113 counts in federal court, including an arson fire at a mosque in Escondido. The federal judge sentenced him to life plus 30 years.


Light rains fell in parts of San Diego county on Tuesday, but heavier rain is expected today through thursday. A flood watch is in effect in several mountain and valley areas across the county and will remain through Thursday afternoon.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating Monday night’s plane crash near Gillespie Field in El Cajon.

KPBS Reporter M.G. Perez has more on what’s known so far.

Residents of the East County neighborhood heard a terrifying noise before the corporate jet crashed just short of the runway at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Randy Begin lives in a house perched on the side of a small mountain on the airport’s approach. He was home with his daughter and grandchildren.

“I knew it was a plane…we knew it was a plane by the sound of it. There’s not a lot of things that can make a fireball that size.”

The corporate plane is registered to Med Jet LLC of El Cajon. Four people onboard were killed. No one on the ground was injured. MGP KPBS News

Stay tuned to kpbs online throughout the day for more updates on this developing story.


Tuesday night was supposed to be a big night for college football in San Diego. But the holiday bowl between UCLA and North Carolina state was canceled. A statement from UCLA said it was due to COVID-19 protocols among their own players. News of the cancellation came just hours before the game was set to kickoff. Dave and Mary Dehaas (Da-HAHSS) came from Orange County to see UCLA play.

“I see all the work San Diego did. We looked in at the stadium last night it’s beautiful. It’s so sad they did all that work and there isnt going to be a game. Sad for San Diego. 1aIt’s for the players health and safety and so that’s all that matters right now.”

This was going to be the first time the holiday bowl was played at Petco Park.. The game was also canceled last year due to the pandemic.

meanwhile, before the game was cancelled, there was still a Holiday Bowl parade! .

KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more.

The parade was canceled last year due to COVID. This year the event continued as planned.

Chairman of the parade Marvin Heinze says the parade balloons are the highlight of the show.

Every year they make sure to have more balloons than the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Marvin Heinze, Holiday Bowl Parade Chairman

“The largest balloon parade in the country. We have 25 balloons scheduled, we have 11 bands, we have 30 specialty units, baton twirlers and things like that.”

North Carolina State and U-C-L-A’s marching band also performed at the parade.

This was before the news that the game had been canceled.

Despite the wet and cold temperatures, the parade brought crowds of locals and tourists.

Alexandra Rangel, KPBS News.


With coronavirus case numbers soaring, Rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are in high demand .pharmacies can’t keep them stocked. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne headed out to see what stores are experiencing.

Last week, Palomar Medical Supplies in Oceanside started getting daily calls asking for rapid COVID tests.

Chris Valverde, who works at the store, tried to place an order to get some tests in stock.

Problem is… tests are on backorder.

“We don’t know when theyre going to be available.”

“We can't get them right now, they're in short supply because they’re in high demand. They have estimated availabilities of January and December but those are just estimated dates; they're not available dates as far as getting them right now if we were to order them.”

Can cut for time if needed:

Large pharmacies are experiencing the same problems.

Signs on doors inform customers that rapid COVID tests are out of stock.

This has some people turning to their community and Facebook groups hoping to locate a rapid COVID test. KPBS heard from a few people who used social media to find neighbors willing to lend COVID tests—but those people were too sick to do interviews.


Coming up.... Holiday blues are a thing for a lot of people this time of year. KPBS spoke with a family therapist about why the holidays can be hard for many. We have more on that next, after the break.

Mental health has been a major issue for many people since the start of the pandemic. And the Christmas season can also be a stressful and difficult time – sometimes called The “holiday blues”

Shanette Smith is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a senior specialist at Sharp Mesa Vista Outpatient and Sharp McDonald Center. She spoke with KPBS’ Cristina Kim on Midday Edition about why the holiday season can be hard on a lot of people.

Why exactly do so many people feel a sense of sadness during this time of year? What is it about the holidays?

Speaker 3: (01:12)

Yeah, that's a great question. The holidays can be really bittersweet from people's overwhelming schedules to work deadlines, to loss. And we have seen a lot of that in the last year. Gloomy days. We don't have many of those in San Diego, but definitely as of most recently, we've seen several gloomy days. Uh, people also suffer from a lack of time or in the case of the pandemic sometimes too much time. Um, financial pressures gift giving, losing the spirit of the holiday season, family gatherings. We know family gatherings can be really stressful because of family dynamics. But now you add in COVID and people are stressed about family gatherings because we don't know where people have been. So we're just really overwhelmed with those things recently.

Speaker 2: (02:01)

What are signs that you might it be experiencing these so-called holiday blues? How does it actually manifest in our bodies and the way we're thinking and the way that we're interacting with our family and friends,

Speaker 3: (02:11)

It really shows up a little differently for everyone. I wanna give that disclaimer, first and foremost, we all feel things in the way they manifest in our, uh, emotional space and physical can look a little different. So I want people to be aware of that, but generally speaking, uh, these symptoms manifest with fatigue. We are a lot more tired than normal, or we can feel a little snacky or irritable. We can withdraw, you know, the way we withdraw looks different for everyone, uh, frustration and sadness, anxiety, just the general overwhelm. And then sometimes we can really lean too far in because we're trying to combat that overwhelm and that stress,

Speaker 2: (02:56)

Right? I think in past years when there was less restrictions, people kind of did that more often, right? It was easy to keep busy, to just keep going from party to party, you know, shopping trip to shopping trip. That's less possible during the pandemic. You mentioned that we all maybe have a little more time on our hands. So how can people check in with themselves, address their feelings if they do bubble up, what's kind of a process they can do to do these type of personal check-ins know

Speaker 3: (03:21)

That self I'm gonna say that. That is one of the biggest things that I tell people is really know and understand yourself and what you're feeling, what you're experiencing and lean into that. Don't be afraid to feel the feelings of sadness. Don't be afraid to acknowledge it. And I think that's one of the biggest concerns for many of us is that we know what's happening, but we don't want to feel it. We wanna stuff and push those feelings away. So lean in because the further you try to lean out those feelings will really sort of chase you. If you are withdraw from family or friends or, you know, whether that's on zoom or an actual, maybe weekly dinner that you have with your circle, your cohort, if you will, under this pandemic, notice that and check in with yourself and try to combat all of the anxieties that you're having, not to necess necessarily make them go away or quote unquote better, but really just checking in with, is there truth to this? Is there fact in this, or is this my emotion getting the best of me? You

Speaker 2: (04:33)

Know, it can feel so isolating to not feel cheery. We all kind of wanna perform for one another. So, you know, you're bringing something, let's not run away from feelings as they bubble up, but rather kind of embrace and manage them. So how can people communicate what's going on with them to their loved ones, to their friends, to their coworkers and on the flip, how can people show up for their loved ones if they are going through a hard time, what are some tips to help people

Speaker 3: (04:59)

Hacking in with each other? I see think is, is the, the best tip, checking in with yourself, checking in with each other, not being afraid of that. I think if I can say something good that has come from this pandemic is the recognition of mental health and the need for good mental health sound, mental health over the last 12 months, 18 months, really, uh, we have seen an influx in people reaching out for supports for themselves as well as other people. So if you are feeling down, don't be afraid to say that, tell your friends, your family, your loved ones, Hey, I'm just really not in the mood today. I need a mental timeout and it's okay to that to yourself. You don't wanna live in that space for too long for the person wanting to check in on someone, really taking a stance of not being afraid to ask the question, how are you? And when that person says, okay, dig a little deeper and say, well, what does that mean today? What do you need today? How can I support you today?

Speaker 2: (06:02)

The past two years have been marked by so much loss, the loss of loved ones, as well as the loss of any sense of what a normal life was. The holidays can really bring up our sense of grief. It really brings it to the surface. What can people do to a process this kind of grieving that might be kind of bubbling up as well?

Speaker 3: (06:21)

The process of grief looks different for everyone. Um, and studies show that the more you talk about the loss, that is how you best grieve it because you're really talking yourself through the emotions, through, through the ups and downs of any loss, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, the loss of your identity. Uh, and we have all seen a little bit of that loss in identity under COVID. We have also found some great things in this time. And so really having a balanced outlook on this, that yes, while something or someone is missing from the equation, there are lots of great and positive memories. So really taking a balanced approach to your thought process and really letting yourself just feel,

Speaker 2: (07:15)

You're making me think of this kind of great line from Disney's w division, which is what is grief, but love persevering. And what I'm hearing from you is kind of embrace that, reframe it, what is grief, but if not the, the sign that there was loved ones,

Speaker 3: (07:30)

Memories can never be taken from us. And I encourage everyone to rely on that, to sit in that space and remember the good and remembering comes with some not so great. Um, we are going to have memories that make us sad or memories that anchor us or frustrate us. And that's okay, because that is the sign that there was something there like you,

Speaker 2: (07:59)

Do you have any recommendations, activities or rituals, especially for folks who haven't been able to gather together or are maybe spending a very different type of holiday this year to help us create, you know, a new type of holiday experience and holiday expectation.

Speaker 3: (08:14)

Yeah, I do. we rely really heavily, I think on sure. Ions and we can absolutely make new traditions. And under this pandemic, maybe it's worth creating some new traditions, exploring new opportunities, options for us. I I'm gonna share a little bit of a personal story in that. I had an exposure, um, over this Chris Smith break and I was not able to engage with my family the way that I wanted to. And so I had a moment of sadness in that I sat and I wallowed a bit and I felt sorry for myself. And then after, you know, probably like two hours of me giving myself the space to just feel the frustration that I was feeling I decided to get up. And I went out for a walk by myself with my mask on, and then I did some self care and I did a facial and a hair mask. And I did my neck and my toes, and I listened to a whole book and I was really able to move myself out of that space. And the reason I share that is because we are going to have many of these moments over the next couple of weeks, especially as we tread into this new year and rates have increased. So a balanced dynamic for yourself, create new traditions, create various ways that you can engage yourself as well as your family. Different doesn't mean bad.

That was Shanette Smith, a licensed marriage and family therapist and a senior specialist Sharp Mesa Vista Outpatient and Sharp McDonald Center. She was speaking with KPBS’ Cristina Kim on Midday Edition.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

The small airplane that crashed in a neighborhood near El Cajon was carrying four people and all were killed in the crash. Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s Holiday Bowl at Petco Park was canceled hours before the game kicked off due to covid-19 protocols. Plus, marriage and family therapist Shanette Smith speaks to KPBS about the holiday blues.