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Newsom Faces Challenges In Imperial County

 August 31, 2021 at 6:13 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, August 31st. >>>> Imperial county voters may surprise Governor Newsom More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines… ###### San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says misinformation about COVID-19 is a public health crisis… And today he plans to introduce a resolution to make that official. Fletcher says the First Amendment gives people the right to say things, even if they’re untrue… but he says false information about the virus and the vaccines… is killing people. People are dying because they are believing things that are untrue. And so as a county we feel an obligation to lean into this fight. We’ve got to try and equip every resident with the facts and the truth. Fletcher’s proposal includes more resources for combating and countering misinformation. ######## Federal prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against a 22 year old man accused of the deadly shooting at a poway synagogue in 20-19. John Earnest pleaded guilty last month to murder and other state charges in connection with shooting. The shooting left one woman dead and three others injured at the Chabad of Poway. Earnest is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison without parole next month. ######## The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood WATCH for the mountains and deserts in San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. It also includes Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass Near Banning. The flash flood watch is from thunderstorms passing through the area. It’ll be in effect from 11am this morning through this evening. The NWS says residents should monitor forecasts and be prepared to leave if a flash flood warning is issued. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. More than 8 in 10 residents of Imperial County are Latino - the highest percentage in the state. The county just east of San Diego also saw the state’s largest voter swing between the 2016 and 2020 elections in favor of Donald Trump. KQED politics reporter Guy Marzorati traveled there to see what the region's shifting politics could mean for the September 14th recall election against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. ########## San Diego city employees will soon be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, some city departments have a long way to go. AB: Just 49% of San Diego's sworn police officers are vaccinated-- the lowest vaccination rate of any city employee union. Meanwhile, 65% Of all the city's more than 11,000 employees have been fully vaccinated. That's supposed to be 100% by November 2, when those who still refuse to get vaccinated could lose their jobs. UCSD public health professor Rebecca Fielding-Miller says interacting with the public is part of a city employee’s job. RFM: And the public also has a right to feel safe in those interactions. And in a pandemic, that means that the person you're interacting with has a lower probability of giving you an airborne infectious disease. AB: In particular, Fielding-Miller says the low vaccination rate among police officers is concerning, because people who are face to face with law enforcement usually can't just walk away if they feel unsafe. RFM: It's actually extra important that police be vaccinated because it's their job to keep people safe and because that interaction is often not voluntary for the other person. AB: Employee unions are still negotiating with city management over the details of the vaccination requirement, like how to vet religious and medical exemptions. Mayor Todd Gloria says COVID outbreaks are interfering with essential city operations, and the vaccine requirement will keep city staffers and the public safe. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. ########## San Diego is mourning the loss of the 10 service members from Camp Pendleton who died in a suicide bombing attack outside the airport in Kabul last Thursday. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh has more. Now that the last US flight has left Kabul, the 13 US troops who died last Thursday were the final Americans killed in a war that lasted nearly 20 years. A makeshift memorial is growing at the gates of Camp Pendleton, where nine of the Marines and one sailor who died, were each based. Charlene Beard is a military spouse of a Navy corpsman. “They’re babies. To have their life be taken from them. It’s just unbearable. I might have not known them but it’s a piece of me.” Three of the Marines were from Riverside County and the Inland Valley. The rest of the unit is not scheduled to return to San Diego until sometime in the fall. In the meantime, Pendleton has dispatched chaplains to conduct crisis counseling. Steve Walsh KPBS News. ########## Coming up.... School is back in session for the San Diego Unified school district. But for the 2nd year in a row, going to school is far from normal. What can parents do to help their kids cope? “...By being able to offer them a space to express what their concerns are. We may be surprised to find out how their concerns are valid for them, but different than what we are focusing on.” More on that next, just after the break. San Diego Unified had their first day back at school yesterday. And for the 2nd school year in a row, we are looking at an experience defined by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. If dealing with the illness itself weren’t enough - debates over masking and vaccines have elevated the level of political discord and division to sometimes concerning levels. So, as kids return to school, how can parents best support them during this time- and what are some strategies they can employ to connect with their kids about coronavirus, amidst the uncertainty and disruption it brings. Dr. Ian Schere is a clinical child psychologist. He spoke to Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon. Here’s that interview... That was clinical child psychologist Dr. Ian Schere. He was speaking with KPBS midday Edition host Jade Hindmon. 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.

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In Imperial County, voters demonstrate the hurdles Governor Gavin Newsom will have to overcome to survive this recall election. Meanwhile, San Diego's police officers have the lowest vaccination rate of any group of city employees -- less than half have reported being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Plus, a clinical child therapist talks about how to help young students as they return to classrooms amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.