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A Leader For Race And Equity (San Diego News Now)

Kim Desmond, the City of San Diego’s first Chief Race and Equity Officer, began her new role this week. Meanwhile, twenty-three Cajon Valley School District students are stranded in Afghanistan and haven’t been able to make it back to school. Plus, the recall campaign now aimed at Governor Gavin Newsom was fueled in part by parents who were angry with how he handled public school closures during the worst months of the pandemic.

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday August 25th.

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San Diego’s first Chief Race and Equity Officer

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

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A light, single-engine plane landed on Interstate 5 near the Del Mar Fairgrounds on tuesday. It struck several vehicles and injured two people before it stopped. The incident forced the highway to close for four hours. Two people in the damaged cars were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, the pilot and passenger in the plane were unharmed. It’s still unclear what mechanical issue with the plane caused the incident.

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A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday for the mid-coast extension of San Diego’s blue line trolley. Here’s Mayor Todd gloria.

“this is a jobs train for people in the south bay who want access to the good paying jobs up in the university town center area. this is an education train. this is an opportunity to get a one seat ride to the incredible international institution that is uc san diego. this is a healthcare train that gives our veterans a chance to go to our va hospital.”

The MTS expansion will provide a ride from the border to the UTC area. The official opening of the extension is november 21st.

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A heat warning is in effect for the coachella valley and the san diego desserts – from 10am today through friday evening. Dangerous temperatures of up to 114 are expected. That heat warning has also been extended to San Gorgonio Pass near Banning. In addition, a heat advisory has been issued for San Bernardino and Riverside counties starting tomorrow morning through Friday evening. Temperatures there are expected upwards of 104.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

San Diego’s first Chief Race and Equity Officer – Kim Desmond – started the job this week. The Office of Race and Equity was established by a unanimous vote by the city council last year, after the murder of George Floyd. KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim caught up with Desmond on her second day on the job.

That was KPBS’s Race And Equity Reporter talking with San Diego City’s Chief Race and Equity Officer, Kim Desmond.

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As we draw nearer to an August 31st deadline, the US military is still working to evacuate thousands from Afghanistan. KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more from a local school district that says some of their Afghan students are stuck in Afghanistan.

The Cajon Valley School District started the school year with a piece of their family missing.
Twenty-three of their students are stranded in Afghanistan and haven’t been able to make it back to school.
District officials say the families traveled to visit family for summer break and were left without a flight back home following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.
Michael Serban, Family and Community Engagement Director
“They were trying to get back here. They had flights to get back here. They were going to the airport and this situation occurred.”
Michael Serban is the Director of Family and Community Engagement at Cajon Valley.
His team works with immigrant and refugee families in the district.
They’ve made contact with families and are working with the federal government to help bring them home.
He says all they have is hope.
Michael Serban, Family and Community Engagement Director
“We’re doing everything we can and pouring out our hopes and desires that they are able to come back, but right now all we have is hope.”
Meanwhile time is running out as the U-S deadline to evacuate American citizens and Afghans from Kabul is only a week away.
President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. is on pace to pull out by the deadline.
However, lawmakers are asking national security officials to extend that date.
U-S Rep Andy Kim says the current situation calls for an extension.
“I for one think we should have them reconsider even for our Afghan partners. I think that’s a tall enough responsibility for us to be able to do so.”
According to the white house more than 4-thousand u-s citizens plus their families remain to be evacuated. Alexandra Rangel KPBS News.

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THE DEL MAR CITY COUNCIL HAS TAKEN ACTION THAT COULD SHUTDOWN THE WINSTON SCHOOL NEXT YEAR. IT’S USED BY STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES FROM ACROSS SAN DIEGO COUNTY. KPBS EDUCATION REPORTER, M.G. PEREZ more.

The Winston School in Del Mar is a safe haven for children with special needs. Since 1988, this school has supported students who struggle in their neighborhood public schools. Many of them are living with physical and emotional disabilities. Dr. Dena Harris is Winston’s Director…
“We really do change the trajectory…for over 30 years
But Winston is in danger of being closed because of a complicated joint land purchase and lease agreement with the City of Del Mar. The lease required the Winston School to provide the city with a redevelopment plan for the property, something the city said it has failed to do. . Last week, the City Council terminated the lease for non-compliance. As things stand,, the lease

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Coming up…. Anger over public school closures during the pandemic helped push the upcoming recall election. We’ll have more on that next just after the break.

The recall campaign aimed at Governor Gavin Newsom was fueled in part by parents who were angry with how he handled public school closures during the worst months of the pandemic. KQED politics reporter, Katie Orr takes a look at the controversy and the criticisms of Newsom.

That was KQED’s politics reporter, Katie Orr

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.