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Stories by Claire Trageser

Christa Jones, a nurse in the Sharp Grossmont H...

COVID-19 Deaths In San Diego County Have Doubled Since Thanksgiving

Jan. 15
By Claire Trageser

Between just before Thanksgiving and now, COVID-19 deaths in San Diego County have spiked to more than 2,000. Experts expect the number to continue to rise rapidly for at least another month, if not two.

San Diego police officers pose for a photo on N...

San Diego Police Practice Their People Skills On Social Media With Help From Consultant

Dec. 28, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The San Diego Police Department is paying an outside consultant $4,000 a month to help it seem more human and relatable on its social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, according to the department.

The bars of a jail cell are pictured in this un...

COVID-19 Cases Spike At San Diego County Jails And Detention Centers

Dec. 22, 2020
By Claire Trageser, Katy Stegall

More than 1,800 cases have been reported at these facilities from March through mid-December, with hundreds reported in just the past few weeks, according to San Diego County community outbreak records obtained by KPBS.

A map of San Diego showing COVID-19 outbreak lo...

Here's Where COVID-19 Outbreaks Have Happened In San Diego County

Dec. 21, 2020
By Claire Trageser, Katy Stegall

If you’ve gone out at all since the pandemic first struck, you quite likely walked into a place where an outbreak occurred, according to the KPBS analysis of 1,006 outbreak records dating from March through the end of November.

A line of police officers in front of the San D...

Public Invited To Weigh In On San Diego's New Police Oversight Commission

Nov. 30, 2020
By Claire Trageser

It will be the first chance for public comment on the new Commission on Police Practices, which city voters approved in the Nov. 3 election.

The Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego is pi...

Judge Rules San Diego County Can Keep COVID-19 Outbreak Locations Secret

Nov. 20, 2020
By Claire Trageser

In his ruling against local news organizations, Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil said he had to balance the public interest in keeping the information secret with the public interest in releasing it.

A pedestrian wearing a mask walks in front of a...

Why Bay Area Counties Are Beating Coronavirus While San Diego Struggles

Nov. 13, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Different demographics, a different attitude toward reopening and a different public health infrastructure have helped the Bay Area region dramatically improve its case rate.

Maribel Estrada, the owner of El Toro Grill Taq...

San Diego Has Sunk Back To Purple Tier. What Does That Mean?

Nov. 12, 2020
By Claire Trageser

San Diego County is now in the dreaded purple tier, the worst possible ranking in the state's system meant to control COVID-19 spread. Could it have been prevented?

San Diego police officers monitor protesters du...

San Diego's Police Reform Measure Passed, What Happens Next?

Nov. 11, 2020
By Claire Trageser

San Diegans overwhelmingly passed Measure B, which will establish an independent commission to oversee the San Diego Police Department. But there are still many details to be worked out regarding how the commission will operate.

A contact tracing app is seen on a cell phone s...

UC San Diego Using Virus Tracing App To Help Prevent Campus Outbreaks

Nov. 9, 2020
By Claire Trageser

UC San Diego students, faculty and staff can install the app on their phones to let them know if they've been near someone who tested positive for COVID-19. University officials hope all UC campuses will be using it soon.

The San Diego Police Department headquarters is...

Measure B To Form Independent Police Review Commission Passes

Nov. 3, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Measure B is asking San Diego voters to create more robust community oversight on the actions of police officers.

Miren Algorri plays with a girl at her home-bas...

A New Business Venture Aims To Be A Lifeline For A Child Care Industry In Crisis

Nov. 5, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Mission Driven Finance, a San Diego based investment company, is piloting a program that would reduce rents or mortgages for child care providers.

Yard signs for City Council candidates Marni Vo...

Von Wilpert Leading Levanthal In Race For San Diego City Council District 5 Seat

Nov. 3, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Democrat Marni Von Wilpert, a San Diego deputy city attorney, is running against Joe Leventhal, a Republican lawyer. Both are political newcomers, and if Von Wilpert wins it would further strengthen the Democrats' hold on City Council.

City Council candidates Noli Zosa (left) and Ra...

Democrat Raul Campillo Leading Over GOP Noli Zosa For San Diego City Council District 7

Nov. 3, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The race for San Diego City Council District 7 is one of just two council races with a Democrat and Republican facing off. The winner could impact the power dynamic on the City Council.

Campaign mailers sent about former state Assemb...

East County Supervisor Race Has Become A Battle Royale Of Attack Mailers

Oct. 28, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The attacks between Republicans Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson run the gamut from claims of unpaid taxes and campaign finance shenanigans to barroom expletives and accusations of stealing money meant for sick children.

Campaign mailers attacking San Diego City Counc...

Candidates Trade Attack Mailers, Texts In San Diego City Council District 7 Race

Oct. 22, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Republican Noli Zosa and Democrat Raul Campillo have hit each other with attack mailers, text messages and social media posts. Some are fair game, others are misleading.

A line of police officers observe protesters du...

Measure B: Asking San Diego Voters To Beef Up Police Oversight

Oct. 21, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Measure B asks for a Commission on Police Practices that would have the power to subpoena and conduct investigations into police officer misconduct.

In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby use...

The Origins Of Misleading Texts, Social Media Posts In San Diego Mayoral Race

Oct. 20, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The ads sent by radio host Carl DeMaio promote the baseless claim that Todd Gloria supports sex offenders.

Maya Ramos and Kaia Cagasan attend Kindergarten...

Experiences With Remote Kindergarten Show Equity Divide

Oct. 19, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Some parents are able to form learning pods and hire tutors to help their kindergarteners with online learning, while others are having to cope with far fewer resources.

A woman is shown voting at the Registrar of Vot...

What Elections Have The 2020 Local Candidates Missed?

Oct. 16, 2020
By Claire Trageser

KPBS pulled records from the San Diego and Orange County registrars of voters to show when candidates registered to vote, what party (or parties) they registered with and whether they neglected to vote in past elections.

San Diego City Council District 5 Candidates Jo...

Lawyers With Different Stances On City Issues Battle For San Diego District 5 Council Seat

Oct. 15, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Running for the seat are Joe Leventhal, a Republican, who is an attorney in private practice and Democrat Marni Von Wilpert, a San Diego deputy city attorney.

City Council candidates Noli Zosa (left) and Ra...

Different Backgrounds, Different Politics Separate San Diego City Council District 7 Candidates

Oct. 14, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Noli Zosa, a Republican, is a co-founder of the restaurant chain Dirty Birds, while Raul Campillo, a Democrat, is a deputy city attorney for the city of San Diego. Both also have different positions on many local issues.

Lynn James, a childcare provider in San Diego, ...

Childcare Providers Say More State Funding Needed To Stave Off Crisis

Sept. 30, 2020
By Claire Trageser

State rules put in place at the onset of the pandemic have forced childcare providers to cut class sizes while costs for additional staffing and cleaning supplies have gone up. As many as 5,000 have already closed statewide.

A playground is unused and closed due to the CO...

Outdoor Playgrounds In California Can Now Open

Sept. 29, 2020
By Claire Trageser

After being blocked from slides and swings for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kids can now use any outdoor playground regardless of what tier their county falls in, according to new state guidelines.

A contact tracer checks-in via phone with a pat...

San Diego County's Contact Tracing Struggles Explained

Sept. 29, 2020
By Claire Trageser

COVID continues to spread through our region, and contact tracers are only contacting on average 2.2 people for each person who tests positive. An epidemiologist talks about why it's so hard.

Activist Tasha Williamson speaks at a press con...

Activists Sue California Attorney General To Block Use Of Gang Database

Sept. 24, 2020
By Claire Trageser

San Diego activists argue the database, known as CalGang, includes many people who are not actually gang members and unfairly targets people of color who live in lower-income communities.

Tease photo for Midday Edition Special: COVID-19 And ...

Midday Edition Special: COVID-19 And The Childcare Crisis

Sept. 21, 2020
By Claire Trageser

In a special program, we’ll examine how the burden of this crisis has fallen largely on women and how childcare providers and educators are disproportionately feeling the effects of COVID-19.

Voter registration forms marked with Common Sen...

New Political Party That Enlisted Voters Without Their Consent Is Now Suing State To Get On Ballot

Sept. 14, 2020
By Claire Trageser

California’s Common Sense Party, which KPBS found was signing up voters without their knowledge or consent, is now suing the state to get on the ballot, even though it hasn't collected enough signatures.

A roadblock sign chained to a slide at a playgr...

San Diego Beaches, Parks And Restaurants Are Open, But Playgrounds Remain Closed

Sept. 11, 2020
By Claire Trageser

While much else in San Diego has been allowed to gradually reopen amid the pandemic, playgrounds appear to be closed indefinitely. They’re not part of any phased reopening plans at the local or state level.

Denzel Draughn at his arraignment in San Diego ...

Judge Lowers Bail For Protester Accused Of Pepper-Spraying Police

Sept. 9, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Denzel Draughn had been in jail for two weeks on $750,000 bail for pepper-spraying police officers at a protest. It will now be lowered to $150,000, which means his supporters can bail him out.

Protesters clash with police in downtown San Di...

San Diego Activist Still In Jail, Under $750,000 Bail, A Week After Protest

Sept. 4, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Police charged Denzel Draughn with 19 felony counts after he allegedly sprayed officers with pepper spray during a protest on Aug. 28. Police say Draughn is a flight risk, but his lawyer and fellow protesters say the high bail is meant as a form of retaliation.

A still from an officer's body-worn camera at a...

San Diego Police Have Released All Videos Of Officers Shooting People This Year, Except For One

Sept. 2, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The department has followed state law and released videos of seven out of the eight police shootings since July 2019, sometimes within 72 hours of the incident. But one video hasn't been released and it's not clear why.

Protesters gather in downtown San Diego June 27...

Police Are Now Required To Release The Video When An Officer Shoots, But Not All Of It

Sept. 1, 2020
By Claire Trageser

A California law that went into effect a year ago mandates, with some exceptions, that police departments release videos when officers fire their weapons or use force that causes great bodily injury. But the videos are edited and don't contain all of the footage.

The San Diego County Administration Building do...

KPBS Joining Voice Of San Diego In Suit Against County For COVID Outbreak Information

Aug. 26, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The news outlet sued San Diego County after the county denied its request for epidemiological reports sent to the state that include specific locations of outbreaks along with the dates they occurred.

Maya Ramos and Kaia Cagasan and their older bro...

For Kindergarteners, First Day Of School Won't Be What They (Or Their Parents) Dreamed About

Aug. 25, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Parents and teachers are staring down the challenge of introducing kids to school for the very first time without actually having them in a physical classroom. Some will have it a lot easier than others.

Holly Weber talks to a student at Magic Hours P...

San Diego County Launches Grant Program For Day Cares Impacted By Pandemic

Aug. 19, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Starting Monday, child care providers can apply for small grants that come from federal CARES Act funding and are distributed by the county and local nonprofits.

People board an MTS bus in National City, Aug. ...

San Diego’s Black And Latino Neighborhoods Hit With COVID-19 Triple Whammy

Aug. 11, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Two recent reports show that predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods in San Diego County not only have the highest COVID-19 infection rates and are hardest hit by unemployment, but also experience a significant gap in access to testing.

Children play at Magic Hours Preschool in Mira ...

San Diego County Creates Grant Program For Day Care Providers Hurt By Pandemic

Aug. 5, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $25 million in federal CARES Act funding on grants to providers that are struggling to stay afloat because of class-size restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

Asma Al Sabag, a contact tracer for San Diego C...

Why Is San Diego Struggling To Keep Up With COVID Contact Tracing?

July 30, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The county set a goal that 70% of new case investigations would begin within 24 hours—currently, just 11% of case investigations meet that goal.

Holly Weber talks to a student at Magic Hours P...

State Study Confirms Child Care Centers Could Close Due To COVID-Related Costs

July 29, 2020
By Claire Trageser

A study from UC Berkeley found that in Southern California 62% of child care programs experienced loss of income, due to low attendance or families not making payments. It also found 81% of day cares made staffing changes including laying off employees or cutting benefits.

The driveway entrance to the emergency room at ...

Look At San Diego County COVID Deaths By ZIP Code Reveals Huge Disparity

July 27, 2020
By Claire Trageser

More than half of the people who died lived in either the South Bay, City Heights, or Southeast San Diego — the most ethnically diverse areas in the county.

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

Some Want Police Out Of Mental Health Calls, But How Would That Work?

July 24, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Support is growing for mental health crisis teams that will respond to situations now handled by police. But experts say mindsets need to change in the community, not just in law enforcement.

Miles and Emilia Lum play in the backyard at ho...

San Diego Facing A Child Care Crisis As Pandemic Decimates Finances Of Providers

July 20, 2020
By Claire Trageser

KPBS surveyed 10 owners of preschools throughout the county and all said they are losing money each month they stay open. This is dire news for the economy in a county that already had a shortage of daycares.

A line of police officers observe protesters du...

San Diego Leaders Discuss The Future Of Policing

July 14, 2020
By Claire Trageser, Marissa Cabrera

After the police killing of George Floyd demonstrators in San Diego took to the streets to call for change. But can community members and law enforcement in San Diego agree on what reform measures and policy changes are necessary?

People walk on the Mission Beach boardwalk, Jul...

San Diego Law Enforcement Still Reluctant To Issue Mask Citations, Even As Virus Cases Surge

July 13, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Police agencies throughout San Diego County issued a total of four citations in June to people who violated the county health order requiring face coverings and limiting gatherings. Police say the wording of the order makes it hard to enforce.

People on the beach on June 21, 2020, Pacific B...

Pacific Beach Emerging As Coronavirus Hot Spot

July 7, 2020
By Claire Trageser

The COVID-19 case count in the Pacific Beach zip code has tripled since the middle of June, according to a KPBS analysis of county data. Cases have more than doubled in Fallbrook and Point Loma during the same period.

Asma Al Sabag, a contact tracer for San Diego C...

San Diego's Contact Tracing Program Not Keeping Up With Virus Surge

July 7, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Contact tracing is meant to be one of the big strategies that will allow San Diego County to finally slow the spread of the coronavirus. But it has some big limitations.

Rocio Zamora speaks at a news conference about ...

Three Years Later, Family Of Man Shot By San Diego Sheriff's Deputy Still Asking For Justice

July 3, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Amidst new scrutiny of police use of force, especially on people of color, the family of a young Latino man shot to death by a San Diego Sheriff's Deputy three years ago is again asking for justice.

Protesters gathered on Sunday afternoon in the ...

Man Shot By San Diego Police Officers On Saturday Dies

June 30, 2020
By Claire Trageser

Leonardo Hurtado Ibarra, 25, of San Diego had been in intensive care since being shot by two officers just before 6 p.m. Saturday. The police department also named the two officers who shot Ibarra: Jonathon Lucas and Tevar Zaki, both of whom are assigned to the Central Division and have been police officers for four years.

San Diego police officers stand guard on Broadw...

Experts, Activists Say San Diego's New Police De-escalation Policy May Not Change Much

June 26, 2020
By Claire Trageser

An expert said the policy is favorable to police officers because it includes the caveat that de-escalation be used "when safe and reasonable to do so."

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