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SDSU rape investigation warrants released

 February 27, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, February 27th.

Search warrants in the S-D-S-U rape investigation show conflicting accounts of the incident and timelines.

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


State and local COVID emergency orders will be lifted tomorrow, after being in place for nearly three years.

Health officials say the emergency orders helped save many lives.

Once the orders are lifted, *some* testing and vaccination sites will close, and the county won’t give weekly updates on COVID cases and deaths in the county.

But, county health officials say the county response to the ongoing pandemic, such as testing, treatments and vaccinations will continue.

The national COVID public health emergencies are set to end on May 11th.


An off-duty San Diego Police officer was arrested in Mira Mesa last week, for alleged domestic violence.

According to San Diego police, after the department received a 9-1-1 call reporting the incident, on-duty officers arrived at the scene and arrested Officer James Walker.

He was taken to the San Diego County Jail.

Walker has been suspended, and his peace officer powers were removed, while the outcome of the criminal and internal investigations are underway.


Good news from the I-R-S… the deadline to file your tax returns and pay any remaining federal income taxes owed for last year has been extended to October 16th.

You heard that right, you now have until October 16th to file your taxes.

The I-R-S is offering the relief to any area declared a disaster area by FEMA [fee-ma].

And San Diego County qualifies.

Previously, the deadline had been postponed to May 15th.


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


The investigation into the alleged rape of a young woman by former S-D-S-U football players.. has led to a child pornography charge.

Reporter Alexander Nguyen has more on what was revealed in search warrants.. and what it means for the ongoing civil case.

Shortly after the court unsealed the warrants … San Diego police announced they arrested Nowlin Pa’a Ewaliko on one felony count of possession of child pornography. He’s one of the former San Diego State University football players investigated. Authorities discovered the child pornography during their investigation. The affidavits attached to the warrants also offered differing accounts of what happened the night of the alleged rape. Attorney Gretchen von Helms said ultimately … that’s what led prosecutors to decline to press charges in this case … but she also said the information will help the young woman’s civil case against the men involved. The warrants reveal that the young lady was hurt, was injured, and was wronged in some fashion. And so what the affidavits show supports the civil lawyer, because the civil lawyer only needs probable cause, more likely than not for him to win the civil case.” The burden of proof is much lower in a civil case than in a criminal case. S-D-S-U has yet to conclude its student conduct investigation into the matter. AN/KPBS.


Last week 48 people were arrested for sex crimes in a sting operation, run by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force.

Reporter Thomas Fudge has the story and some reaction to it.

Among those arrested, 39 faced misdemeanor charges, mainly trying to buy sex. Nine faced more serious charges like trafficking of a minor. Kim Berry Jones, director of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, spoke with KPBS Midday Edition. She said sex trafficking involves force, fraud or coercion used to turn women and girls into sex workers. She says her Center, which studies human trafficking, recently visited 20 high schools in San Diego County. “And in every single high school we found evidence of grooming or trafficking and in 90 percent of those schools there were active cases.” Berry praised the sting operation, especially the arrest of traffickers. The center she directs is based at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. SOQ. 


CalFresh emergency allotments are ending tomorrow.

Reporter Melissa Mae visited a food distribution that’s ready to help those on a fixed income, keep putting food on the table.

MM: About 2,000 seniors attended the San Diego Food Bank’s Senior Food Program food distribution in Chula Vista. MM: Shelly Parks is with the Food Bank and says seniors received $281 dollars a month for two years as part of the CalFresh emergency allotments. But that’s ending… and the food bank is already preparing for it. SP  “We expect to see the real surge in need in April because people are getting that money in their EBT card, able to spend it at the grocery store through March, but come April we know that money’s not going to be there.”  MM: The Food Bank hosts 74 food distributions for seniors every month. You can find information about them at san-diego-food-bank dot org. Melissa Mae KPBS News.


A San Diego nonprofit that helps support young people who’ve aged out of the foster care system, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Reporter Claire Strong went to meet some of the people whose lives it’s changed.

It’s a warm, sunny February afternoon and light floods the downtown apartment where Don Wells, who’s the Chief Empowerment Officer at Just in Time for Foster Youth, and his wife and Co-Founder, Diane Cox, live. I’ve been invited to meet them and their adopted daughter, Belen Gomez, who’re playing a game of cards around the dining room table when I arrive. It's a little competitive at times, but the bond and ease between the three of them is unmistakable. Belen is secure, stable and loved, but that wasn’t always the case. At the age of one, Belen’s biological mother gave her to relatives to raise, and Belen spent the rest of her childhood in and out of foster care. In 20-11, when Belen was struggling to adjust to university life, she reached out to Just In Time for some much needed support. “I didn’t have anyone to rely on that would be able to help me if I made a wrong choice and someone would be like it’s ok. It’s ok to make mistakes.” The San Diego non-profit launched in 2003 and helps 18 to 26 year olds transition from foster care into adulthood. Each state is different, but California allows young people to remain in foster care up to age 21. After that, they’re on their own - a daunting prospect for someone starting out in life. Diane Cox helped start Just In Time back in 2003. She wanted to help Belen take charge of her life, so she taught her how to drive. After years of supporting Belen through Just In Time, Don and Diane decided to take things a step further, by adopting her in her 30’s. Don says he wanted to give Belen stability, something she’d never had growing up in foster care. “When you’re in foster care, no matter where you’re staying you can’t make a mistake, otherwise everything changes. And so having the burden of that is really difficult, so my whale thing was to make her feel I was going to be around no matter what. While Belen’s story is somewhat unique, Just In Time prides itself on being like a family for the young people it supports. It does practical things that parents would usually help out with, such as furnishing a client’s first home, stepping in when they’re short on rent payments and even helping them apply for bus passes. At the Just In Time H-Q, I met Nathaniel Martinez - who spent his childhood being raised by family friends in an equally chaotic and toxic environment. He remembers the night he went into foster care. Despite his challenging background, Nathaniel went to graduate school and now works at Just In Time teaching young foster care adults how to manage their personal finances. Nathaniel says it’s so important to help his clients become financially literate. Just In Time overwhelmingly employs people who’ve aged out of the foster care system themselves, like Samantha Harner. The non-profit gave her a laptop, notebooks and most importantly mentorship while getting her undergrad at UCSD. As the first person in her family to go university, Samatha says emotional support was crucial. She credits Just In Time with providing her with support while she access to crucial mental health support, after years in foster care left her self esteem in tatters. says her confidence was so low, that she felt she wasn’t good enough to be in college. told me she feels guilty that her siblings - who live in different states - don’t have something like Just In Time where they live. As a result, things haven’t worked out so well for some of them. says mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing foster care youth. Another Just In Time success story is Brenda Harvey. Her story is tragically similar to others I spoke with … a child being separated from their parents and thrown into a world of chaos. Chatting with me in the office’s relaxation room - which is full of  inspirational books and a comfy beanbag - Brenda says she can still remember the moment her world fell apart aged just 14. She’d been sent from San Diego to Michigan to live with her dad, but instead she and her sister were met by police when they landed at the airport and taken to a homeless shelter. She reached out to Just In Time after graduating college and isn’t sure where she'd be without them. They bought her clothes for work and are coaching her on interview techniques. The non-profit has helped thousands of young foster care adults since its launch 20 years ago. It now hopes to help other states set-up something similar, so all 18-26 year-olds have emotional and practical support after aging out of the system.Don says Back at the apartment, the game of cards has wrapped up. Belen proudly announces she’s won. She says she’s forever grateful for how her life has turned around, thanks to the love, support and dedication of Don, Diane and the Just in Time team. Claire Strong, KPBS News.


Coming up.... A San Diego artist turns things she finds at the swap meet into unique sculptures. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.


If you’re planning a visit to seaworld… don’t take cash!

Reporter Kitty Alvarado explains why.

SeaWorld is the latest amusement park to go cashless  … They’re really looking to streamline their guest experience SDSU Marketing professor Miro Copic says this is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon … this is a trend that's going on across both theme parks and a lot of retail organizations because in many ways, in a lot of ways it’s simpler. On its website, SeaWorld states that going cashless will be faster, letting people spend less time in line and have more time having fun. This is a pilot program that will also be used at Sesame Place in Chula Vista. Kiosks will be available to convert cash to cards for free but Copic says the system doesn't always benefit consumers when you go cashless, there tends to be an increase in impulse spending Kitty Alvarado KPBS News. 


Andrea Overturf is a symphony musician.

But that didn’t satisfy her creativity, so she started making sculptures from things she found at the swap meet.

Now her hobby has become a second career and she is one of the official Represented Artists whose work is on display at the Studio Door in Hillcrest.

Arts reporter Beth Accomando has this profile.

Andrea Overturf’s work is currently on display at the Studio Door gallery in Hillcrest.


And an update to a story we brought you late last month…

The Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park was voted “Best Pop Culture Museum” in the country!

The designation is part of U-S-A Today’s 20-23 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards.

Voters chose the Comic Con Museum over 19 others across the country.

If you want to visit the winning museum, it’s open from 10 to 5 p-m everyday, except Mondays.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Monday.

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The investigation into the alleged rape of a young woman by former San Diego State University football players has led to a child pornography charge. In other news, a San Diego nonprofit that helps support young people who’ve aged out of the foster care system, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Plus, a San Diego artist turns things she finds at the swap meet into unique sculptures.