The San Diego Police Department headquarters / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

There’s a new sheriff, er, police captain in town at SDPD’s crime lab.

SDPD confirmed to Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts that Capt. Stephanie Rose has been transferred to oversee the crime lab, marking the first time since “sometime in the late 1990s,” that a sworn officer has led the crime lab, an SDPD spokesman said.

The move follows Keatts’ reporting showing the lab lowered testing standards for certain rape kits as it followed orders to clear out its rape kit backlog. The department, for years, had resisted testing all of its rape kits.

The department has already made other changes following VOSD’s reporting on its handling of backlogged rape kits. It changed its policies so that all kits will undergo the same testing procedures, and it agreed to join an effort led by District Attorney Summer Stephan to send untested kits to a third-party lab for testing.

In Sweetwater Financial Mess, State Sides With County Ed Office

Dueling letters between government agencies … It is not exactly the high drama of Alexander Hamilton’s day, but it’s what we have, San Diego.  

Sweetwater Union High School District and the San Diego County Office of Education have been engaged in a bitter back-and-forth for months over the state of the South Bay district’s troubled finances. 

The County Office of Education says it wants Sweetwater to get its books in order. Sweetwater says the County Office of Education is making onerous demands. 

This week — in yet another portentous epistle — the state weighed in. And it sided with the County Office of Education. 

At issue, a $3.8 million placeholder in savings which Sweetwater has been banking on, but unable to deliver, and another $3 million in wishful thinking, according to the County Office of Education, about its spending for the year. 

The County Office of Education, ultimately, demanded that Sweetwater fix these perceived errors. Sweetwater appealed to the state Department of Education … and lost. 

Sweetwater found itself in the middle of a fiscal crisis at the beginning of last school year, caused by $30 million in overspending. The district’s books, during the previous year, had not reflected the actual spending that was taking place. 

Sweetwater is currently being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to that overspending and has been accused of a financial “cover-up” by state investigators

New Twists on an Old Staple: the Open Mic Night

A new twice-monthly open mic night has many familiar features the forum has long relied on: voluntary sign-ups, a broad range of performers.

But “Check, Please!” created by activist and performer Kelsey Daniels, has plenty of modern updates, too, writes Julia Dixon Evans in the latest Culture Report. For one, show organizers sometimes step in to offer a moment of reflection or transition between performances, and performers have the option of including their preferred pronouns when they sign up.

“People are coming into the space as artists, but also as whole humans. We’re really being intentional in trying to craft a brave space,” Davis said.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and Will Huntsberry, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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