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Investigation Underway After Valhalla High School Incident

 September 6, 2021 at 4:48 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Monday, September 6th >>>> A high school security official under investigation That’s next, just after the headlines…. ###### The five missing crew members of a US Navy Helicopter crash off the coast San Diego last Tuesday have been declared dead. That’s according to US Navy officials. The US 3rd fleet shifted from search and rescue operations into recovery operations on Saturday. The helicopter had been engaging in routine flight operations from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is homeported in San Diego. The identities of the crew members will be withheld for 24 hours after next of kin have been notified. For now, a military investigation is underway into why the chopper crashed. ######## Caltrans announced a new plan to stop wrong way drivers… It includes installing large wrong way signs, and adding red reflectors to more than 67 freeway on-ramps throughout the county. San Diego councilwoman Marni von Wilpert chairs the city’s active transportation and infrastructure committee. She’s working with caltrans after a wrong-way driver killed two San Diego police officers earlier this summer. “please join me in a moment of silence for their memories and to respect these officers… sadly, they are not the only ones. there have been multiple wrong way driving incidents in the san diego transportation network.” ######## A brush fire sparked up southeast of Rainbow in San Diego county. Mandatory evacuations were issued near Rainbow Crest Road. The so-called Aruba Fire began at about 4:15pm on Sunday, according to Cal Fire. In a series of tweets overnight, Cal Fire San Diego says they’re making good progress with ground and air resources, and that the fire is about 100 acres burned and 15% contained. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. A white man's knee on the neck of a person of color on the ground. We've seen it before, and we are seeing it again in a video from a local high school that went viral. KPBS education reporter MG Perez says It's causing one school district to take action: The video has been shared hundreds of times on social media. In less than a minute you can see two students start to fight violently in the Valhalla High School lunch court last Tuesday. Two campus supervisors are seen attempting to stop the fight. This is what happens next. CG: Ducan Galvez / Valhalla High School Senior “He was trying to separate them. They ended up on the ground and he was on top of one of them. I get that you have to break up a fight, but it was violent more staff should have been called in.” Senior Duncan Galvez and dozens of other students witnessed the fight and a white campus staffer put his knee on the neck of one of the students, who is Black.. So many witnesses have come forward that the NAACP San Diego Branch is investigating. In a statement, Branch President Francine Maxwell says: It is long past time for something to be done. No more insincere statements, no more lip service, no more “training” without follow-through. There need to be CONSEQUENCES for violent racist behavior from people under color of authority." CG: M.G. Perez / Education Reporter “The cell phone video is painfully familiar...only this time a child is allegedly being restrained with a knee on the neck. The School District Superintendent is the only official commenting about what’s happened. She did so with a pre-produced video. CG: Theresa Kemper / Grossmont Union High School District “As the investigation proceeds you have my commitment that our district staff and our Valhalla team lead by principal Brianne Frumis will be as open as we can about the situation and transparent with information that we share with you.” For now, there are no more details from the district. But there is controversy in the community. Tasha Williamson is a community activist. CG: Tasha Williamson / Community Activist “We want you to treat our children as if they were white...because clearly there are disparities in treatment across the county including the education system.” The Campus Supervisor involved has been placed on leave with pay while the investigation is completed. MGP ...KPBS News. ########## When incarcerated people are released from prison, they often don’t have proper identification that they need to start a bank account, rent an apartment, or move on with their life. KPBS Race & Equity Reporter Cristina Kim says a recently passed bill aims to change that. Troy Shaffer was released from prison earlier this month after serving 17 years for burglary and theft. But because he was in prison for more than10 years, he didn’t have a current photo on file, so he couldn’t get a California ID. SHAFFER: Well we need our IDs so we can get started it’s not happening fast enough. Without an ID Shaffer can’t open a bank account, apply for Medical, or apply for work. That could soon change. A new bill makes more people eligible for IDs even without a recent photo. It also requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to help with paperwork and notary services. Robert Forte is helping Shaffer and other former inmates get their IDs. He says the law will help with everything from getting COVID testing to getting health insurance. FORTE: Because clients coming home with their IDs means that they can right to work, or right into getting their medical and getting their CAL fresh. That ID also makes it so I can get them a social security card and get them to work or in school. You know all that verification process is taken care of with that first identification. As for Shaffer, he was able to get an ID with Forte’s help. Cristina Kim, KPBS. And that was KPBS Race and equity reporter Cristina Kim. The bill passed both houses and is waiting for a signature from the governor. ########## Wildlife advocates are making a pitch to help mountain lions by reconnecting Southern California habitat sliced up by highways. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson more. Freeways define so much of Southern California life. They connect people and communities, but they also divide wildlife habitats. In Southern California three rugged mountain lion habitats are isolated from each other by freeways and development. A new report from Environment America calls for major investments in corridors that reconnect habitats, like the fractured mountain lion ranges. Winston Vickers, UC Davis “We not only need connectivity, we need more protected habitat. Just to have secure populations in those mountain ranges across time.” The Liberty Canyon wildlife crossing north of Los Angeles is designed to reconnect mountain habitat that is crucial for the survival of the big cats. Backers say they need six and a half million dollars to fund the nearly 57 million dollar project. Meanwhile, California did budget 61 million dollars for wildlife crossings and there is help on the federal level. Alex Peterson, Environment America “The new infrastructure deal that just passed the senate includes a 350 million dollar grant program for wildlife crossings and projects that reduce wildlife collisions.” Peterson’s report supports legislation aimed at creating and preserving habitat connections at all levels of government. Erik Anderson KPBS News ########## Rape victims rarely see their cases closed. Now, a major hurdle has been cleared that could give victims greater clarity about the status of their cases. CapRadio’s Mike Hagerty has more. Democratic State Senator Connie Leyva of Southern California has been pushing for reforms in the handling of rape kits. Two years ago, a bill she authored requiring their prompt testing was signed into law by Governor Newsom. if signed into law, will take that one step further and really give survivors a sense of control. They will be able to track their rape kit and see exactly where it is in the process. The new bill passed both houses of the Legislature without a single “no’ vote. Victims have largely been kept in the dark about what’s being done to catch their rapists until there’s an arrest and trial. And it can be a long time waiting. A California Department of Justice audit in April of 2020 found a backlog of 14-thousand rape kits waiting to be tested. That number’s believed to be low since only 141 of the state’s 690 law enforcement agencies reported data. In Sacramento, I’m Mike Hagerty. And that was Mike Hagerty reporting from Sacramento. ########## Coming up.... Over 400 thousand veterans and their families have been buried at Arlington Cemetery. Now...many are worried this historic cemetery will no longer have room. “To me it is a fitting way of closing one’s career with honor and dignity” That’s next, just after the break. More than 400-thousand veterans and their families have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. But the historic cemetery is running out of space. The Army - which oversees Arlington - wants to tighten the rules so only the most decorated veterans could be buried there. Desiree Diorio reports for the American Homefront Project. That was Desiree Diorio, reporting from Arlington. This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 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.

A Valhalla High School security staffer broke up a student fight last week by kneeling on a black teen's neck. A video depicting the incident prompted outrage and an investigation is underway. Meanwhile, a new bill aims to make sure imprisoned people have proper identification by the time they are released. Plus, many former troops consider an Arlington burial their final veterans benefit. But space for in-ground burials is getting scarce, so some vets may be steered toward cremation instead.