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Stories by Matt Hoffman

A teacher guides students through a lesson at L...

San Diego Unified Allows Limited In-Person Teaching In Schools

Oct. 13
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman

As part of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, the San Diego Unified School District allowed some students facing severe challenges to return to in-person learning Tuesday, but a timeline for the district to reopen fully remains unclear.

Ammar Campa-Najjar speaks with the media outsid...

Local Democrats Angered By 50th District Candidate Campa-Najjar’s Interview With Far-Right Group

Oct. 11
By Matt Hoffman and David Washburn

In the interview last week with Defend East County, Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrat running for Congress in the 50th District, said he’s not sure if he’ll vote for Biden or Trump.

50th Congressional candidates Ammar Campa-Najja...

50th Congressional Race: Republican Darrell Issa Vs. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar

Oct. 9
By Matt Hoffman

Recent polling from the 50th Congressional District shows Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar are nearly neck and neck.

This undated photo shows food boxes that will h...

San Diego Unified Removes Trump Letter From Federal Food Boxes

Oct. 7
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman

Food baskets heading out to families in the San Diego Unified School District Wednesday will be sent without a letter from President Donald Trump.

53rd Congressional Candidates Georgette Gómez (...

53rd District Will Have A New Congresswoman For First Time In Nearly 20 Years

Oct. 5
By Matt Hoffman

Democrats Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gómez are vying to fill California's 53rd Congressional District seat, replacing outgoing Democratic Rep. Susan Davis.

San Diego City Council members meet in chambers...

Possible Coronavirus Exposure Affects Business In San Diego City Hall

Oct. 2
By Matt Hoffman

At least four San Diego city council members and numerous other city employees may have been exposed. Now city leaders are considering how to proceed with council business.

A screengrab of the Georgette Gomez campaign ad...

Gómez Campaign Ad Falsely Ties Jacobs To 'Trump' Tax Cuts

Sept. 30
By Matt Hoffman

The race in San Diego's 53rd Congressional District sees one candidate making a false claim about another.

Sara Jacobs inside of her campaign office in th...

San Diego Democratic Party — Again — Accuses Sara Jacobs Of 'Misleading' Statements

Sept. 25
By Matt Hoffman

Mail-in ballots are heading to voters soon and the San Diego County Democratic Party is calling out one of its own, whom it didn't endorse, ahead of early voting.

Inside Bubs at The Beach in Pacific Beach, Sept...

COVID-19 Purple Tier Would Clamp Down On Indoor Business Operations

Sept. 19
By Matt Hoffman

Some San Diego business owners are bracing for more restrictions due to increasing COVID-19 cases, while others are considering staying open if they are told to close again.

Grace Chi, co-owner of Grandma Tofu and Korean ...

Relief For Thousands Of San Diego Businesses Could Be Coming Soon

Sept. 14
By Matt Hoffman

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is voting Tuesday on how to allocate millions of dollars for businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions.

A Chula Vista police car is pictured in this un...

Chula Vista Police: All Illegal Pot Dispensaries Now Closed

Sept. 11
By Matt Hoffman

The city of Chula Vista has been trying to permanently shutdown illegal dispensaries for years. On Friday officials said all shops in city limit were closed, at least for now.

The charred remnants of a home near Jamul burne...

Valley Fire At 17,565 Acres And 11% Contained, Firefighting Efforts Continue

Sept. 9
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman

In total, the fire has destroyed 20 "habitable structures" and 17 "minor structures" and resulted in two injuries, though it was not clear if the victims were firefighters or civilians.

Borrego Springs Solar Plant generating power in...

No Rolling Blackouts Expected, For Now, As A New Heat Wave Rips Across The State

Sept. 3
By Matt Hoffman

With another heat wave hitting our state this Labor Day weekend, a Flex Alert is being issued to combat expected high levels of energy use.

The chef of Hunan Chinese Restaurant working in...

Business Owners Question New Mandate Requiring Names, Phone Numbers Of Customers

Sept. 2
By Matt Hoffman

This week across the county restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses are reopening with restrictions following new COVID-19 guidelines — this time businesses are required to take contact information from customers in the event of an outbreak.

A student works on laptop outside on the campus...

Since Fall Semester Began, COVID-19 Cases Rising At San Diego State

Sept. 1
By Matt Hoffman

There have been at least 41 cases of coronavirus among staff and students at San Diego State’s main campus — nearly half of those cases have been reported since school began last week.

Thomas Hall, manager of The Grass Skirt restaur...

Some Local Business Owners Say New Reopening Guidelines Don't Go Far Enough

Aug. 31
By Matt Hoffman

Monday, San Diego County restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses are allowed to reopen for indoor operations — with restrictions — but some business owners said they cannot survive on severely limited capacity.

Inside of a classroom at Blossom Valley Element...

San Diego County Schools Preparing To Welcome Kids Back To Classrooms

Aug. 28
By Matt Hoffman

Parents, teachers and students are getting ready to resume in person classes as early as September 1 in San Diego county.

Health care workers at Tri-City Medical Center ...

North County Health Care Workers Support State Bill To Mandate PPE Stockpiles

Aug. 25
By Matt Hoffman

The Health Care and Essential Workers Protection Act would mandate the state to have a three-month supply of clean personal protective equipment for healthcare and essential workers.

Margaret Hunter, wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter, ex...

Margaret Hunter Sentenced To Eight Months Home Confinement For Misusing Campaign Funds

Aug. 24
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman

Margaret Hunter, who pleaded guilty along with her husband — former Rep. Duncan Hunter — to illegally spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal purposes, was sentenced Monday to eight months of home confinement.

Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires con...

San Diego Fire Resources Sent To Help Northern California

Aug. 21
By Matt Hoffman

Officials say firefighters across the state are stretched thin but with no major fires burning in San Diego County, at least 32 engines have been sent north.

A sign outside a North Park restaurant reading ...

New Bill Would Mandate Agreements Between Delivery Services And Restaurants In California

Aug. 20
By Matt Hoffman

The Fair Food Delivery Act aims to protect small businesses from what some are calling exploitation by delivery app companies.

Temporary fencing blocks off a park in Ocean Be...

New Efforts To Be Unveiled To Deter Large Crowds From Gathering In Ocean Beach

Aug. 11
By John Carroll, Matt Hoffman

Ocean Beach residents have been complaining about big crowds gathering on Wednesday evenings for awhile. Now, the city is moving to do something about it.

Police speak with people in Ocean Beach, August...

Ocean Beach Residents Feel 'Disrespected' By Crowds Flouting COVID-19 Rules

Aug. 6
By Matt Hoffman

People gathering for "drum circles" have not been wearing face coverings or practicing social distancing. Residents say they're fed up.

A drone picture shows the scene of an explosion...

San Diegans React: Beirut Explosion Hits Close To Home

Aug. 6
By Matt Hoffman

Members of San Diego's Lebanese community react to the explosion that has killed at least 135 people and injured thousands more.

A woman sits outside wearing a face-covering ne...

Del Mar Steps Up COVID-19 Enforcement In Pilot Program

Aug. 4
By Matt Hoffman

A new pilot program will have sheriff's deputies patrolling parts of Del Mar to educate and cite those not in compliance with rules meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Kiki Spounias of Kiki's Alterations in La Jolla...

Pandemic Threatens 'Lost Art' Of Tailoring, Alterations

Aug. 4
By Matt Hoffman

Online review service Yelp estimates some 29,000 California businesses on its site have closed since the pandemic started. Kiki's Alterations in La Jolla is one local businesses trying to avoid becoming a statistic.

Comic-Con during 2019 under the Gaslamp sign do...

Gaslamp Businesses Missing Comic-Con, Expanding Outdoor Dining Operations

July 24
By Matt Hoffman

If not for the pandemic, Comic-Con 2020 would be taking over the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego this week. But with COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing down, the convention is going virtual this year.

A a county employee waits for a person to swab ...

Testing Hurdles: County Working To Overcome Equipment Shortage, Hiring More Lab Staff

July 16
By Matt Hoffman

Recently San Diego county officials have been able to increase the daily number of tests performed, but now there is a new roadblock — staff and equipment shortages.

A man watches as an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter f...

Air Quality Concerns Surround USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

July 14
By Matt Hoffman

The ship at Naval Base San Diego has been burning for three days, sending smoke into nearby communities. Advocates are concerned not enough is being done to help people.

San Diego Fire Department trucks and personnel ...

Sailors Injured In Three-Alarm Fire Aboard USS Bonhomme Richard At Naval Base San Diego

July 12
By City News Service, Lara McCaffrey, Matt Hoffman

Seventeen sailors and four civilians were sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a fire broke out aboard the amphibious assault ship Sunday.

Juan Magana of Sierra Madre Cantina in Escondid...

$17 Million Now Available To Help Struggling San Diego County Businesses

July 8
By Matt Hoffman

San Diego County officials are setting aside $17 million in CARES Act dollars to help struggling businesses during the pandemic. It is part of a new small business stimulus program that is now accepting applications.

Restaurant workers in Old Town San Diego wear f...

More Layoffs Expected After Restrictions Targeting Indoor Activities Hit San Diego

July 7
By Matt Hoffman

Thousands of San Diegans were laid off when restaurants closed for dine-in service at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, with dine-in closures reinstated, more people are expected to be out of work.

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

'The Data Is Headed In The Wrong Direction;' San Diego Health Care Systems React To Rising COVID-19 Cases

July 3
By Matt Hoffman

Local health care systems are seeing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations that they say could be stemming from Memorial Day Weekend.

Share Harris of the People's Alliance For Justi...

County Promises To Address Inequalities In Foster System, Especially Among African Americans

July 1
By Matt Hoffman

The County of San Diego is partnering with The People’s Alliance for Justice, promising to address inequalities in the foster care system.

Deft Brewing in Bay Park, June 30, 2020.

Bars, Wineries And Breweries Can Partner With Restaurants, Food Trucks To Stay Open

June 30
By Matt Hoffman

County health officials clarified Tuesday as long as breweries, wineries and bars are serving food, through their own kitchen or through a partnership with a restaurant or food truck, they can stay open.

Cameron Braselton closes the patio to his Ocean...

Oceanside Restaurant Temporarily Closes After Two Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

June 26
By Matt Hoffman

Mission Avenue Bar and Grill closed voluntarily on Tuesday after two staff members tested positive.

Cars lined up for a food pantry at Jewish Famil...

San Diego Food Bank Moves To 'Super Pantries' To Increase Distribution As Pandemic Continues

June 25
By Matt Hoffman

The San Diego Food Bank is launching 35 "super pantries" countywide that will provide for San Diegans in need.

Ramon Chavez Torres watches San Diego Padres pl...

Padres Fans, Staff Excited For News Of 2020 Season

June 24
By Matt Hoffman

The season will begin on July 23 or 24, and spring training "2.0" is being held at Petco Park starting July 1. But for now, fans will not be allowed inside the ballpark.

Two women sit down for a socially distanced lun...

County Promises Enforcement Of COVID-19 Rules, Some Restaurants Applaud Move

June 19
By Matt Hoffman

Restaurants have been allowed to reopen their dining rooms for about a month, but after multiple outbreaks involving eateries and other businesses, the county is promising to go after "bad actors" who don't follow COVID-19 protocols.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher dis...

Fletcher Spearheads Coronavirus Recovery Task Force Focusing On Equity For People Of Color

June 17
By Matt Hoffman

In order to help ensure that the recovery from COVID-19 is equitable for San Diegans of color, county supervisor Nathan Fletcher is spearheading the creation of the COVID-19 Taskforce for Equitable Recovery.

In this Monday, April 29, 2019, file photo, Rab...

Poway Synagogue Shooting Victims Sue Smith & Wesson, Gun Shop And Shooter

June 16
By Matt Hoffman

A complaint filed in San Diego Superior Court said the alleged shooter, his parents, San Diego Guns, Smith & Wesson and others are responsible for the deadly shooting last April.

Christopher Columbus statue at Chula Vista's Di...

Chula Vista Columbus Statue Removed Ahead Of Planned Demonstration

June 12
By Matt Hoffman

The city of Chula Vista said the statue was removed due to public safety concerns. There had been calls on social media for its removal.

Red Cross volunteer Cathy Sang, left, talks to ...

How To Evacuate From Wildfire During Coronavirus Pandemic

June 11
By Mark Sauer, Matt Hoffman, Megan Burke

The threats wildfires pose to life, property and health, and the challenges inherent in emergency evacuations, are compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Small flames still burn at Chase bank location ...

La Mesa Mayor Reflects On Recent Protests And Damage: 'We'll Never Move Past This'

June 9
By Matt Hoffman

Tuesday La Mesa city officials released a recap of what led up to violence and looting after a protest march on May 30th.

La Mesa residents paint murals on boards coveri...

La Mesa Businesses Work To Repair Damage

June 3
By Matt Hoffman

Stores in La Mesa are still repairing the damage after looters broke in following protests over the weekend, and some artists are doing their part to help rebuild.

A San Diego police officer talks to an employee...

Pacific Beach Bar Closed For Violating Health Order Hours After Reopening

May 22
By City News Service, Matt Hoffman

A short video clip played at Friday's news briefing taken at El Prez, a popular Pacific Beach sports bar and restaurant, and showed dozens of people in close physical contact without face coverings standing at the bar.

People eat inside of STP Bar-N-Grill in Clairem...

San Diego Restaurants Back In The Dine-In Business, With Coronavirus Modifications

May 21
By Matt Hoffman

For the first time in two months, some restaurants and retail stores are welcoming customers inside to eat and shop.

The driveway entrance to the emergency room at ...

Scripps, Sharp HealthCare Voice Concerns Over County Reopening Plan

May 20
By Matt Hoffman

San Diego County officials are moving forward with plans to reopen restaurants for dine-in service and retail stores, but two local health care systems wanted more of a say in the final plan.

Meals are prepared inside the Trails Eatery in ...

Senior Meal Program Saves Struggling Restaurants Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

May 18
By Matt Hoffman

A program that gets meals to seniors from local restaurants during the pandemic kicked off over the weekend, helping both the seniors and the restaurants.

Bradrick Cooper (left) owner of Coop's West Tex...

Some Restaurant Owners Hesitate To Reopen Dining Rooms

May 14
By Matt Hoffman

California has provided guidelines to reopen restaurant dining rooms, but some restaurant owners are hesitant. "What we're doing has been working," said one who has been building up his takeout business.

Other stories featuring work by Matt Hoffman

Vino Rosso and jockey John Velazquez, center le...

At Del Mar Meeting, Racing Board Approves Santa Anita License On Conditions

Nov. 21, 2019
By Associated Press

Led by new chairman Gregory Ferraro, the California Horse Racing Board approved Santa Anita’s racing license by a 5-0 vote Thursday, contingent on several restrictions.

Storm clouds over Ocean Beach, November 19, 2019.

Storm Expected To Bring Rain, Snow To San Diego County

Nov. 27, 2019
By City News Service

Gusty winds in the San Diego County mountains this morning will precede significant rain showers throughout Southern California Wednesday, with a cold storm expected to make road conditions challenging for holiday traveler through the end of the week.

Mental health professionals picketing in front ...

Kaiser's Mental Health Professionals Strike In California

Dec. 16, 2019
By City News Service

Thousands of mental health professionals at Kaiser Permanente facilities in San Diego and across the state hit the picket lines Monday, beginning a five-day strike amid a continued labor standoff.

A tunnel entry team agent stands by for securit...

Authorities Find Longest Southwest Border Smuggling Tunnel In San Diego

Jan. 29
Elliot Spagat / Associated Press

U.S. authorities have announced the discovery of the longest smuggling tunnel ever found on the Southwest border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday the tunnel stretches more than three-quarters of a mile from a small warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, into the San Diego area.

Terry Spears leaves his barbershop, Custom Cuts...

San Diego County Says Hair Salons, Barbershops, Can Reopen, Church Services To Resume

May 26
By City News Service

County health officials announced Tuesday the region's houses of worship, hair salons and barbershops could reopen.

Leslie Furcron, a grandmother shot with a proje...

Woman Shot In Head By La Mesa Police With Bean Bag Round Speaks Out

June 10
By Alexander Nguyen

Leslie Furcron was in a medically induced coma in the intensive-care unit while being treated for her injury. She expressed thanks to the nurses and doctors at Sharp Grossmont and Sharp Memorial hospitals but said she is a law-abiding citizen who was expressing her right to protest.

A man walking at the pond in Balboa Park on Jun...

San Diego Sees 8 Coronavirus Outbreaks In 7 Days, Triggering County Action

June 18
By Alexander Nguyen

As a result, the county is stepping up targeted enforcement on entities that are not complying with the public health orders.

Patrons sitting outside in front of El Chingon ...

San Diego County Reports Spike In COVID-19 Cases, Orders Bars Closed

June 30
By City News Service

A spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in San Diego County prompted officials to pause any additional reopenings through at least August 1 and order all bars, breweries and wineries to close Tuesday at midnight.

Smoke rising from the USS Bonhomme Richard fire...

Crews Continue To Fight Raging Fire Aboard Navy Ship On San Diego Bay

July 13
By City News Service

Firefighters spent a second day battling a raging fire Monday aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego, laboring to contain a super-hot, explosive blaze that has injured scores of sailors and civilians and caused extensive damage to the warship.

A sign telling residents to social distance at ...

Rate Of COVID-19 Illness Decreases In San Diego Following 'Roller Coaster' July

Aug. 3
By City News Service

The COVID-19 case total in San Diego County has crossed 30,000, even as other indices appear to be improving.

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