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Stories by Claire Trageser

Candidates for San Diego City Council District ...

One Republican, 2 Dems Vie For San Diego City Council District 5, Once A GOP Stronghold

Jan. 20
By Claire Trageser

Three major candidates, two Democrats and a Republican, are running in the March primary to replace termed-out Councilman Mark Kersey.

San Diego mayoral candidates Todd Gloria, Barba...

Two Establishment Democrats, A Republican And An Outsider Vying For San Diego Mayor

Jan. 17
By Andrew Bowen, Claire Trageser

All of the candidates have long histories in San Diego, and three of them are current or past City Council members: Todd Gloria and Barbara Bry, both Democrats, and Scott Sherman, a Republican. Also in the race is community activist Tasha Williamson, who has never held elected office.

Edible marijuana gummies are displayed in a dis...

Marijuana Tourists Mean More Visits To California Hospitals

Dec. 18, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Emergency room visits are up 35% in San Diego County and 49% statewide since voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, data show. But doctors say many patients are simply inexperienced pot users who aren't in significant danger.

A protest of the anti-Iraqi government over all...

Large Chaldean Iraqi Population Is Thriving In San Diego Suburb

Dec. 3, 2019
By Claire Trageser

In recent decades, the city has been changing — it's now home to one of the largest populations in the country of Chaldeans, a persecuted religious and ethnic minority from Iraq.

Shawn Khalifa, right, an inmate at Donovan Stat...

California Appeals Court Keeps Limitations To Felony Murder Rule In Place

Nov. 20, 2019
By Claire Trageser

California courts have kept in place limitations on the so-called “felony murder rule,” which allowed prosecutors to charge people with murder even if they weren’t directly responsible for the crime.

A cat peeks through the trees in Paradise Hills...

Humane Society Draws Controversy By Sending Cats Back To The Streets

Nov. 18, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Since taking over animal control services for San Diego and several other cities last year, the San Diego Humane Society has allowed more than 1,200 stray cats to be released back to the streets.

Iraqi-Americans in El Cajon call for the intern...

Iraqi-Americans In El Cajon Plead For International Support Of Iraqi Protesters

Nov. 11, 2019
By Claire Trageser, Max Rivlin-Nadler

More than a hundred people gathered in El Cajon on Sunday to support ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq.

Flames from the Witch Creek fire light up the e...

PG&E Blasted For Not Being More Like SDG&E In Managing Power Shutoffs, But Is The Comparison Fair?

Oct. 24, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A few weeks ago, PG&E cut power to more than 700,000 customers. At the time, politicians and pundits pointed to SDG&E, which shut off electricity to about 500 customers, as a better example of wildfire preparedness.

Damaged trash and recycling bins at the Miramar...

Why Are There So Many Broken Trash Bins In San Diego?

Oct. 14, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A KPBS analysis of city records revealed an epidemic of broken bins — residents ordered nearly 17,500 replacement bins in 2018 alone. And over the last decade, the number replaced annually has increased by 42%.

Dennis Carolino, 52, rushing toward officers be...

Police Video Shows One Officer Fatally Shooting El Cerrito Man While Partner Uses Taser

Oct. 9, 2019
By Claire Trageser

In late August, a 52-year-old man holding a shovel charged at officers. One of the officers shot and killed the man, while the other fired only his taser, according to a department spokesman.

Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer is escorted in...

Sheriff's Deputy Assault Victims Say Plea Deal Is Not Justice Served

Sept. 19, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Fischer was initially charged with 20 criminal counts that included assault, burglary, forcing oral sex and sexual battery. But his plea deal with the DA did not include the two sex crime charges he faced.

A boat navigates at night next to large iceberg...

San Diego Teens Share Their Views On Climate Change

Sept. 16, 2019
By Claire Trageser

This week media organizations across the world, including KPBS, are telling stories about people directly impacted by a changing climate. And that is especially true of the younger generation.

Flames consume a residence as the Lilac fire bu...

San Diego's Climate Crisis: The Risks And Costs Of Living In The Backcountry

Sept. 16, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Higher temperatures caused by climate change mean California’s all-important snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is smaller and melts faster than it did in the past. As a result, forests are dryer for longer and more prone to wildfire.

Deputy Richard Fischer in court in this undated...

Ex-Deputy Richard Fischer Pleads Guilty In Sexual Assault Trial

Sept. 9, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Richard Timothy Fischer pleaded guilty to four counts of assault and battery by an officer, two counts of misdemeanor assault by an officer and one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment.

An officer stands at the scene where a man was ...

New Report Details Nearly a Quarter Century of Police Shootings

Aug. 19, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The report by the San Diego District Attorney's Office found that 40% of the shootings involved a white officer and a non-white suspect.

Tease photo for Records: SDPD Officer Accused Of Sexu...

Records: SDPD Officer Accused Of Sexual Assault Resigned And Never Charged

Aug. 15, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The records, which relate to allegations that a San Diego Police officer sexually assaulted a woman in his custody in 2013, raise questions as to why he was never charged with a crime.

Photos spread out on the table at Colleen Khali...

A Mother Rides A Rollercoaster Of Hope While Her Son Sits In Jail

Aug. 9, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Shawn Khalifa was sentenced for murder even though he was outside when his friends broke into a Riverside County home and killed a 77-year-old man. A new law could reduce his sentence — but that law is being challenged.

Shawn Khalifa, right, an inmate at Donovan Stat...

Hundreds In San Diego Hoping For Reduced Sentences For Murders They Didn't Commit

Aug. 8, 2019
By Claire Trageser

This year, California became one of the few states in the country to pass legislation limiting felony murder convictions. But the law change has powerful opponents who are challenging it in court.

A San Diego police officer with a police dog wa...

Details Of Midway Police Shooting Remain Under Wraps Despite Transparency Law

July 15, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A new state law aimed at opening up police investigations is not helping in the case of an officer killing a man armed only with a pen.

A sign points the way to Lambda Archives in Uni...

Lambda Archives Stores San Diego's LGBTQ History

July 11, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Part of the challenge of running an LGBTQ archive is when it comes to older photos and memorabilia, there aren't that many, due to the closeted past.

Wilnisha Sutton sings during the

Lincoln Park Neighborhood Celebrates Changes At '4 Corners Of Life'

July 8, 2019
By Claire Trageser

For the past six years, people have gathered at the intersection of Euclid and Imperial avenues in Lincoln Park to celebrate the reclaiming of the place — instead of "four corners of death," the community now calls it "four corners of life."

Mohammed Tuama leads a community meeting in El ...

District Elections Could Mean A New Crop Of Candidates In November 2020

June 28, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Across San Diego County, there's a push to find and draft local city council candidates, especially candidates that come from minority communities.

Escondido Councilwoman Consuelo Martinez talks ...

District Elections Supposed To Increase Diversity; So Far, San Diego Results Are Mixed

June 27, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Since 2012, all but five cities in San Diego County have switched to district elections for their city councils with the intention of increasing diversity. But so far, that hasn't always happened.

The sign in front of the San Diego County Sheri...

KPBS Lawsuit Reveals Unanswered Citizen Complaints Against Sheriff's Department

June 3, 2019
By Claire Trageser

KPBS filed a lawsuit for the records after multiple women said they reported a Sheriff's deputy for sexual misconduct but never received a response.

A La Mesa police vehicle drives the streets, Ma...

Newly Released Internal Report Details La Mesa Police Deadly Standoff In 2017

May 20, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Records have been released under a new state law requiring law enforcement agencies to make internal reports about officers who shoot someone or commit sexual assaults public.

A woman fills out a ballot in California, June ...

San Diego Cities Are Switching To District Elections To Increase Diversity — But Is It Working?

May 6, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Most cities switched in the last few years to avoid lawsuits brought under the California Voting Rights Act that allege those cities are under-representing minorities.

A San Diego County Sheriff's vehicle parked at ...

How Police Departments Are Disclosing Records Under SB 1421

May 6, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Cities in San Diego County are taking different approaches to their release of past records of police shootings, use of force and sexual assault, and cities aren't necessarily releasing records of recent police shootings first.

Evidence stored in boxes in the basement of San...

The Evidence In The Vaults Below The Courthouse

May 3, 2019
By Claire Trageser

San Diego Superior Court stores about 30,000 exhibits and two-fifths of them are from murder cases. All evidence has to be stored until a case's appeals process is complete.

Books filled with old City Council resolutions ...

The Archives That Lie Below San Diego City Hall

April 19, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Our current cultural moment seems to embrace minimalism. But you won't find that in the archives in the basement of city hall.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is pi...

Congressman Levin Proposes Bill To Tackle San Onofre Nuclear Storage

April 16, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Congressman Mike Levin on Tuesday waded into the ongoing dilemma over what to do about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The National City Police Department is shown in...

National City Releases Records Of Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man

April 5, 2019
By Claire Trageser

National City released an internal report on Thursday about an officer who shot an unarmed man in 2001.

A San Diego police officer with a police dog wa...

San Diego Police Misconduct, Use Of Force Records Can Now Be Released

April 1, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The public should now be allowed to see past records of police shootings, use of force and sexual assault after a lawsuit in San Diego County held up their release.

The Islamic Center of Escondido appears in this...

Police Searching For Arsonist Suspected Of Setting Fire To Escondido Mosque

March 25, 2019
By City News Service, Claire Trageser

Police Monday were searching for an arsonist suspected of starting a fire at an Escondido mosque and leaving graffiti referencing deadly attacks at two mosques in New Zealand.

A car's wheel is cramped toward the curb in Mis...

Where Can You Get A Wheel Cramping Ticket In San Diego? (Hint: Almost Anywhere)

March 25, 2019
By Claire Trageser

More than 1,000 parking tickets a month are written in San Diego for drivers who didn't "cramp their wheels," or turn their wheels toward a curb when parked on a hill.

San Diego Councilwoman Monica Montgomery speaks...

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Updates Constituents After Her First 100 Days

March 21, 2019
By Claire Trageser

San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery acknowledged she has high expectations to fill as she spoke to constituents Wednesday night, following 100 days in office.

San Diego City Council District 4 elect Monica ...

San Diego Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Aims To Be Voice Of Her Community

March 19, 2019
By Claire Trageser

When Monica Montgomery won handily in November, a message rang clear: Don't worry about outside groups or special interests, just listen to the people you represent. Now, a few months into her term, Montgomery is spending a lot of time doing just that.

An apartment building on College Avenue in El C...

San Diego Housing Commission Sued Over Housing Voucher Program

March 18, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Last year, the San Diego Housing Commission decided not to use a federal program aimed at desegregating its neighborhoods. Now, the housing commission is being sued for that decision.

An art installation at the Gathering Place on 5...

Lincoln Park Art Project Uses Old Bike Parts To Make Kaleidoscopes

March 11, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A new piece of art has gone up in the Gathering Place, a community park at 50th Street and Imperial Avenue in Lincoln Park.

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San D...

Judge Rules San Diego Police Misconduct Records Should Be Released

March 1, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The public should be allowed to see past records of police shootings, use of force and sexual assault, a judge ruled Friday, but the records won't immediately be released.

Dr J's Part 6: What's Next For The Community 16 Years After The Shooting

Feb. 27, 2019
By Claire Trageser

More than 15 years after the Dr J's shooting, a lot of people are thinking about what's next. Southeast San Diego residents want the government and police to change, and they want their communities to change for the better.

Dr J's Part 5: The Use Of Informants In The Shooting At Dr J's Liquor

Feb. 26, 2019
By Claire Trageser

After the shooting at Dr J's, police and prosecutors looked for informants who would trade information for reduced sentences and money to move away from San Diego. One informant in particular shows what a difficult decision that can be.

Dr J's Part 4: The Gang Stigma When A Case Goes To Trial

Feb. 25, 2019
By Claire Trageser

In the case against James Carter, the prosecutor used a common tactic when trying people from Southeast San Diego, especially young black men. He established a link between Carter and a gang and then used that link to establish a motive.

Tease photo for Dr J's Part 3: The Families Of The Vi...

Dr J's Part 3: The Families Of The Victims And The Man Convicted

Feb. 22, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The shooting at Dr J's has had ripple effects throughout the community and the rest of the city. But it also impacted the people directly involved — the families of the women who were killed and the family of the man who was eventually convicted of their murder.

Tease photo for Dr J's Part 2: How Policing Changed A...

Dr J's Part 2: How Policing Changed After The Dr J's Liquor Store Shooting

Feb. 21, 2019
By Claire Trageser

A gang shooting in Lincoln Park killed two women on their way home from church. After the shooting, some people said the police department flooded the streets with officers arresting everybody. Others became more willing to work with police.

The sign in front of the San Diego County Sheri...

San Diego Sheriff Releases Reports About Deputies Accused Of Sexual Assault

Feb. 20, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is now publishing records about some of its deputies accused of sexual assault after a new state law went into effect at the beginning of this year.

Tease photo for Dr J's Part 1: What Happened On New Y...

Dr J's Part 1: What Happened On New Year's Eve At Dr J's Liquor

Feb. 20, 2019
By Claire Trageser

The crime was so perfectly horrific — two women on their way home from church, two kids in the back seat — that it made people pay more attention to Southeast San Diego, a lower income and predominantly African-American pocket of the city.

A photo of evidence from the James Carter case ...

DR J'S: How A Gang Shooting Changed Southeast San Diego

Feb. 20, 2019
By Claire Trageser

If you walk the streets in the area today, people still talk about the shooting at Dr J's Liquor in Lincoln Park and the lasting impacts it had.

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San D...

KPBS Requests Law Enforcement Records; Police Unions Sue To Prevent Disclosure

Feb. 11, 2019
By Claire Trageser, Tarryn Mento

KPBS is asking for details about officers who committed sexual assault, killed someone in the line of duty, or were investigated for use of force. Reactions from law enforcement agencies in San Diego County have varied, depending on the department.

The sign in front of the San Diego County Sheri...

KPBS Suing For Public Access To San Diego Sheriff's Department Response Times To Citizen Complaints

Jan. 22, 2019
By Claire Trageser

Lawyers working for KPBS petitioned Tuesday in San Diego County Superior Court to ask a judge to decide whether the San Diego County Sheriff's Department has to provide the records.

Graffiti in an alley in the Lincoln Park neighb...

New Head Of San Diego Gang Commission Looks Forward

Jan. 3, 2019
By Claire Trageser

It's a new year, and there's a new head of the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, the city group that gives advice on how to decrease gang violence.

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