This story first appeared in inewsource’s weekend newsletter. Sign up for it here.
Happy Saturday, y’all!
Is it too obvious I had a blast at my digital news conference in Austin, Texas, last week? I’m still reminiscing over the barbecue…
I won’t get into all of the sessions I attended, but I will tell you I learned a lot about how our newsroom can better engage with you, our readers, and the San Diego County community. And I came back to find a busy newsroom, with Nicole Tyau digging into kindergarten vaccinations; Brad Racino reporting new details in the arrest and death of Earl McNeil; Jill Castellano crunching for the week of October 8 (see more below); Megan Wood finishing up an investigation (coming soon); Brandon Quester preparing our data center for the upcoming election; and Alain Stephens working on an upcoming candidate story.
Thanks so much for reading. As always, don’t hesitate to email me directly with questions or thoughts about this newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Shyla Nott
New details emerge in Earl McNeil case
The day before District Attorney Summer Stephan announced no charges would be filed against National City police officers in the death of Earl McNeil, Brad Racino obtained the ambulance report filed on May 26 — the day McNeil was arrested and later taken to a hospital. The report shows McNeil had his “shirt pulled over his face” in addition to a spit mask. The detail about the shirt had not previously disclosed.
Former District Attorney Paul Pfingst told Brad he would expect the county Medical Examiner’s Office to take the report into account in deciding McNeil’s cause of death, including whether he suffocated.
We updated the story on Friday with a link to McNeil’s newly released autopsy.
inewsource video journalist Megan Wood was with KPBS reporters Jade Hindmon and Priya Sridhar Friday to cover the newest development in the case.
Fewer kindergarteners getting vaccinated in state and county
Kindergartners need to get nine vaccinations before they start school. Nicole Tyau reported that in California and San Diego County, the number of students getting those vaccines fell slightly last school year.
Why’s that? One reason: Medical exemptions are up. (This is not the same as personal exemptions, which California banned in 2016.)
In California, the number of students with medical exemptions more than tripled since the 2015-16 school year. In San Diego County, it’s increased sixfold.
For this story, Brandon Quester also built an interactive map that shows the vaccination rates at every school in the county.
Speaking of the election…
inewsource will be on KPBS Morning Edition, Midday Edition and Evening Edition every day the week of Oct. 8 with feature stories produced by reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino that dive into five big and important ballot propositions facing voters in November.
The pair will give a quick summary of what each measure is all about, then explore the money behind each: Who’s funding it? Who’s opposing it? What are the trends and big takeaways?
Mark your calendars.
Doomsday and the Pentagon Papers at San Diego State University
Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame and a featured part of last year’s movie “The Post” is coming to San Diego State University on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. for a discussion about whistleblowing, the Vietnam War and his newest book, “Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”
The event is free and open to the public, but we recommend reserving seats ASAP since it’s filling up quick.
We'll let you know when big things happen.