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Stories by Brad Racino

The Corcoran State Prison is shown in this unda...

UCSD Squashes Attempts To Tell State Prisoners About Privacy Breach

Oct. 27
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Our partners at inewsource say a UCSD review board wanted to tell the prisoners their privacy had been breached, but University of California lawyers said no.

Navy veteran Larry McMinn is pictured at the Ka...

Veterans Voices: Navy Vet’s ‘Unbearable’ Situation With The San Diego VA

Sept. 10
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Zoë Meyers / inewsource

Navy veteran Larry McMinn shares how ketamine treatments affect his depression and what it’s like to fight for health care under the VA.

Army veteran AJ Williams does her hair before l...

Veterans Voices: Army Veteran AJ Williams Tells Of Struggle With Depression

Aug. 18
By Brad Racino / inewsource

inewsource’s Veterans Voices series features first-person accounts from veterans suffering from depression who are being taken off an effective drug treatment by the San Diego VA. This post was written by Army veteran AJ Williams and lightly edited by inewsource.

Dr. Kevin Murphy, an oncologist and founder of ...

Investigation Of Prominent UCSD Doctor Finds Multiple Violations Of University Rules

Aug. 17
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

A UC San Diego doctor — who was the centerpiece of an inewsource investigation this year — violated a litany of university policies while developing and researching his experimental brain treatment, according to a recently concluded UCSD and UC Office of the President inquiry.

Army veteran Joel Andrews is shown outside of h...

Veterans Voices: Army Vet Joel Andrews' Fight With Depression

Aug. 10
By Brad Racino / inewsource

inewsource’s Veterans Voices series features first-person accounts from veterans suffering from depression who are being taken off an effective drug treatment by the San Diego VA. This post was written by Army veteran Joel Andrews and lightly edited by inewsource:

Marine veteran Kiaya Bender is shown at his hom...

Veterans Voices: San Diego County Veterans Share Their Healthcare Struggles

Aug. 5
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Zoë Meyers / inewsource

The San Diego VA has for years referred veterans suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts for ketamine treatment. Despite the treatment's success, the VA is ending the program and switching patients to a different drug treatment.

The Shiley Eye Institute, which houses the UC S...

Audits Find Repeat Problems At UC San Diego’s Shiley Eye Institute

July 13
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

Two internal audits found fault with the Shiley Eye Institute’s spending, research awards, clinical operations, inventory maintenance and policies about staff activities outside of the office.

Air Force veteran Tom Johan is shown at his hom...

San Diego VA Offers Conflicting, Untrue Statements About Drug Treatment For Suicidal Vets

June 26
By Brad Racino / inewsource

More suicidal and depressed veterans are coming forward to share their anger and desperation over the San Diego VA’s decision to take them off a drug treatment they say helped them.

Army veteran AJ Williams of El Cajon becomes em...

House Panel Investigates San Diego VA Decision To Stop Treatment That Helps Suicidal Vets

June 17
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Following an inewsource report that the VA San Diego Healthcare System has stopped paying for a drug treatment that helps suicidal veterans, a panel of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has begun investigating the decision.

Navy veteran Larry McMinn relaxes before receiv...

'A Train Wreck In Slow Motion': San Diego VA Takes Suicidal Vets Off Treatment

June 4
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Ketamine has shown promise in derailing suicidal thoughts among patients resistant to other treatments. The San Diego VA has started pulling veterans off the drug to treat them instead with a controversial nasal spray promoted by President Trump.

Respiratory therapist Gus Naranjo, left, adjust...

Health Experts, Residents Worry South Bay Not Ready To Reopen As COVID-19 Worsens

May 11
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is the epicenter of the COVID-19 fight in San Diego County. The hospital is caring for more coronavirus patients than anywhere else in the county.

Walter Egger reads a newspaper in the common ar...

Where Are The Region’s Population Clusters With Highest Risk Of COVID-19 Complications?

April 2
By Brad Racino / inewsource

As novel coronavirus cases rise in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that certain populations are at higher risk of developing severe illness if they contract the respiratory virus.

David Haworth looks into the supply hold of one...

Economics Of Coronavirus Slam California’s Commercial Fishermen, Including In San Diego

March 25
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Zoë Meyers / inewsource

Coronavirus isn’t the first thing to test the fortitude of San Diego’s commercial fishermen.

A photo illustration shows UCSD Dr. Kevin Murph...

The Navy SEAL And His Doctor: An Experimental Brain Treatment Blows Up Two Lives

Feb. 12
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

inewsource spent more than 13 hours interviewing Dr. Kevin Murphy over several days to understand his history with Navy SEAL Johnathan Surmont and the basis behind his sweeping statements regarding PrTMS. In the end, much of what he said crumbled when confronted by facts.

This photograph from Oct. 15, 2007, shows a Maa...

Controversial UCSD Genital Mutilation Study Keeps Getting Rejected

Sept. 11, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

For years, a distinguished UC San Diego economist has wanted to stop young girls in Kenya from undergoing genital mutilation by offering them and their families money toward education.

The UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translatio...

A UCSD Whistleblower Alleges Problems With University’s Human Research Protections Program

Aug. 14, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

A UCSD whistleblower claims the research university is putting thousands of research subjects at risk each year because it’s not following basic rules and values money over safety.

This undated illustration shows an eye and a pe...

Eye Experts Around The World Question Experiment On Babies In China Involving UCSD Researchers

July 25, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

Twenty-one researchers from the University of California San Diego were involved in a study performed on babies in China that has been called unethical, risky and misleading. Experts say the experiment likely would not have passed an ethics review in the United States.

A Biomedical Research facility on the UCSD Scho...

UCSD Doctor Resigns After inewsource Raised Questions About His China Business Ties

July 8, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

A renowned UCSD eye doctor who is part of a Chinese recruitment program under FBI scrutiny has resigned amid inewsource's questions about his foreign government affiliations and businesses.

A sign at the San Diego VA is shown in this Nov...

Blood Samples From San Diego Veterans Used In Research Article, Despite Investigation Into Unethical Study

May 30, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal.

A black light illuminates a man’s eye after he ...

Human Research Violations By UCSD Eye Doctor Showcase A National Problem

April 18, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

Tens of millions of people have volunteered their time and bodies to help create breakthroughs in medicine. You see the results with the pain relievers in your medicine cabinet, the vaccines that protect you from disease, the pacemakers that keep your heart beating and the innovations happening now with stem cells.

Students pass the College of Professional Studi...

SDSU President Addresses Complaints Over Noxious Fumes, Promises Better Communication

April 4, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource

More than 75 faculty members, staff and students at San Diego State University packed an open forum Wednesday to demand answers of campus leadership about noxious odors that have sickened many since January.

The PSFA building was closed on March 13 – six ...

County Sends Violation Notices To SDSU, Contractors Over Noxious Odors

April 3, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource

San Diego County issued violation notices Friday to San Diego State University and its contractors for releasing volatile chemicals that students and faculty said caused nausea, headaches and nosebleeds.

The outside of the VA Medical Center in La Joll...

Report: San Diego VA Took Liver Samples From Veterans Without Their Consent

Feb. 26, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

An internal report from the San Diego VA obtained by inewsource reveals liver samples were taken from sick veterans without their permission for a study that provided no benefit to the patients.

The outside of the VA Medical Center in La Joll...

Congress To Hold Hearing On Allegations Of Dangerous Human Research At San Diego VA

Feb. 1, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

A federal report describes one San Diego VA patient returning from a procedure “oozing with blood” and in need of an emergency transfusion.

The USS Chosin and USS O'Kane sat unguarded at ...

Navy Warships At Risk As Security Gaps At One San Diego Bay Shipyard Persist

Jan. 28, 2019
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Despite an inewsource investigation and calls for action from a local congressman, one San Diego shipyard continues to ignore federal rules designed to protect billion-dollar Navy warships.

Travis Fox, who with his wife Brenda Markstein ...

Property Owners, Volunteers Start Cleaning Up Destruction Left By HiCaliber Horse Rescue

Dec. 31, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Travis Fox walked his 15 acres in Valley Center little more than a week before Christmas, half in anger, half in disbelief. Trees, bushes and flowers were dead, thousands of feet of fencing was destroyed, and rat droppings lined the cupboard inside one of his homes.

The HII San Diego Shipyard was repairing and up...

Security Lapses Found At San Diego Shipyards Despite Navy Rules

Dec. 12, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The private shipyards in San Diego responsible for protecting Navy warships have not been following security protocols meant to protect those billion-dollar assets, and the Navy was alerted to the lapses more than two years ago, an inewsource investigation has found.

The HiCaliber Horse Rescue stable is shown on M...

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Faces Eviction And Lawsuit

Dec. 6, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, which has faced animal cruelty and fraud allegations for months, is being evicted from its Valley Center ranch and sued for more than $4 million.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System in La Jolla ...

Congressional Hearings Sought Into San Diego VA Human Research

Nov. 27, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Rep. Scott Peters on Monday requested a congressional hearing into allegations of dangerous human research at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

The outside of the San Diego VA Medical Center ...

Whistleblowers Allege Human Research Violations At San Diego VA

Nov. 20, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Federal investigators looking into the whistleblowers’ allegations sent a strongly worded letter to President Trump and to Congress urging a “truly critical look” into the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

A voter walks into the San Ysidro Library to ca...

San Diego Voters Overwhelmingly Favored Measure J — Here’s What It Took To Get There

Nov. 9, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

San Diego voters demanded greater transparency from their government more than 25 years ago. That law never was enforced. Now, they’ve changed the city charter to make sure it happens.

Commercial fishermen David Haworth (left) and P...

Plan To Revive San Diego Fishing Industry Agreed Upon By Fishermen, Developer

Oct. 24, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

For two years inewsource has followed negotiations to develop Seaport San Diego and possibly revive the city’s fishing trade.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks in front of the Sa...

Follow The Money: The Measure For San Diego Government Transparency

Oct. 12, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

This is the fifth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this final installment, they look at Measure J, which would change the city of San Diego’s charter and require companies doing business with the city to disclose all the people associated with the transaction.

Students walk across the basketball courts at G...

Follow The Money: The Campaign For San Diego Unified’s $3.5 Billion Bond

Oct. 11, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

This is the fourth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, they look at Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District’s $3.5 billion proposed bond measure.

A poll worker at the North Park Library is show...

Follow The Money: Deciding County Elections In November

Oct. 10, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

This is the third of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, they look at Measure D, a ballot measure that would require elections for county offices to be decided in November. This would be a significant change in county politics.

A car is shown at a gas station near the San Di...

Follow The Money: The Campaigns For And Against The Gas Tax Repeal

Oct. 8, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource, Jill Castellano / inewsource

This is the first of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, the two reporters look at the money on both sides of Proposition 6, which would repeal a state gas tax increase.

Earl McNeil, who died after an encounter with t...

Report Offers New Details In Earl McNeil’s Death Following National City Police Arrest

Sept. 21, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Ambulance report says Earl McNeil had a spit mask over his head and a “shirt pulled over his face.”

The San Diego International Airport is shown at...

San Diego Airport Authority Possibly Violated Open Meeting Law In Suing Port

Aug. 6, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

When the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority decided in July to join an ongoing lawsuit against the San Diego Unified Port District, it may have violated the state’s open meeting law.

San Diego's seal is shown at the downtown City ...

San Diego Business Transparency Measure To Go On November Ballot

Aug. 1, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to put an amendment before voters on Section 225 of the City Charter – a vaguely worded and long-ignored transparency law requiring anyone doing business with the city to disclose their identities.

Tease photo for San Diego County District Attorney’s ...

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Sued For Sexual Harassment Records

July 27, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

An open-government advocacy group sued the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office on Friday for records of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations within the department.

HiCaliber Horse Rescue’s Valley Center property...

Critics Accuse HiCaliber Of Questionable Fundraising Campaign Built Around A Dead Horse

July 13, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Despite statements from the founder of HiCaliber Horse Rescue that the Valley Center nonprofit is closing, it continues to take in animals and was accused by critics this week of misleading fundraising campaigns, including one built around a dead horse.

HiCaliber Horse Rescue's founder, Michelle Knut...

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Set To Close Saturday As Investigations Of Nonprofit Continue

June 26, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

State and local agencies are continuing to investigate allegations of fraud and improper veterinary practices at HiCaliber Horse Rescue as the Valley Center nonprofit approaches its voluntary closing date Saturday.

Geologist and SDSU Professor Emeritus Pat Abbot...

Earthquake Safety: Touring A Few Of San Diego’s Most Iconic Buildings

June 11, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

It doesn’t take much to draw Pat Abbott out of semi-retirement. The San Diego geologist has a flair for explaining complicated seismic topics and an overwhelming interest in earthquake safety.

The Long Beach earthquake on March 10, 1933, le...

San Diego’s Downtown Earthquake Fault, Kept Quiet For Years, Now Surfaces

May 2, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

San Diego government agencies discovered an active earthquake fault nearly 10 years ago on the downtown waterfront, yet they didn’t alert the public.

A HiCaliber horse lays in its stall during a vi...

Investigations Continue Into HiCaliber Horse Rescue Despite Closing Announcement

April 24, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Local and state agencies are continuing their investigations into HiCaliber Horse Rescue, despite an announcement over the weekend that the Valley Center nonprofit is closing.

Michelle Knuttila, founder of HiCaliber Horse R...

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Shutting Down Amid Investigations

April 23, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource and Nicole Tyau / inewsource

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit at the center of an inewsource investigation and multiple government investigations over allegations of fraud, animal abuse and improper veterinary practices, is closing, according to a Facebook post on Saturday.

HiCaliber Horse Rescue board member Robyn Armst...

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Back To Fundraising After Filing Financial Paperwork

April 18, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The action comes about a month after the Attorney General’s Office prohibited HiCaliber from soliciting donations because it hadn’t submitted 2016 paperwork.

One of the houses on the HiCaliber Horse Rescue...

Fourth HiCaliber Horse Rescue Board Member Never Saw Financials

March 28, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Another former board member of HiCaliber Horse Rescue has come forward to tell inewsource she never saw financial paperwork or detailed receipts while helping to oversee the Valley Center nonprofit. The horse rescue is at the center of multiple local and state investigations involving fraud, animal abuse and improper veterinary practices.

Attorney Cory Briggs outside the San Diego Supe...

Briggs Law Corp. Loses Supreme Court Appeal Over Wal-Mart Opinion

March 27, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The state Supreme Court has denied a request by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs and his nonprofit client, CREED-21, to unpublish a precedent-setting opinion involving the California Environmental Quality Act and a Wal-Mart project in Riverside County.

A horse on HiCaliber Horse Rescue's ranch in Va...

Eyeballs, Del Mar And Manure: More On HiCaliber Horse Rescue

March 22, 2018
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The investigation inewsource began last month into HiCaliber Horse Rescue involved dozens of interviews and hundreds of pages of public records. Some of the material uncovered provides additional insights into how the Valley Center nonprofit operates.

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