Top Stories: Dec. 17-21

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Top Stories: Dec. 17-21

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week.

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week.

1. The 2018 Voice of the Year Is …

This year’s Voice of the Year list reflects San Diego’s place at the center of many national conversations, as well as some of the lingering local policy dilemmas that continue to bewilder us all. (The VOSD team)

2. State Investigators Say There’s Evidence of a Financial ‘Cover-Up’ in Sweetwater

Sweetwater Union High School District officials have denied repeatedly they knew anything about the district’s overspending until it suddenly came to light last September. But a new state report suggests some district employees may have committed criminal fraud. (Will Huntsberry)

3. Mickey’s House No Longer: Union Members Oust Kasparian in Landslide

Mickey Kasparian’s fall means UFCW will rejoin the Labor Council and unite labor unions. Richard Barrera, a school board trustee, has also lost his day job. (Scott Lewis)

4. The U.S.’s Handling of the Caravan Could Be a Boon to Criminal Orgs

When U.S. Customs and Border Protection took the extraordinary step of shutting down the San Ysidro Port of Entry last month, it cited security concerns raised by a group of migrants protesting in Tijuana. But several border experts say U.S. officials’ response to the caravan’s arrival has itself created an opportunity for drug organizations in Mexico. (Maya Srikrishnan)

5. The Learning Curve: Unfunded Pension Liabilities, the Gift San Diego Keeps on Giving Itself

An audit that found $400 million worth of pension debt on San Diego Unified’s books. Board members were told about the audit at the same meeting where they also learned they may need to cut $37 million from next year’s budget and an additional $38 million the following year. (Will Huntsberry)

6. Voice of the Year: Ann Smith

Ann Smith does not seek out the spotlight, but she has disrupted City Hall for months to come. (Scott Lewis)

7. Private School Teacher, Superintendent Resign Following VOSD Misconduct Report

A teacher and superintendent have resigned from Coastal Christian Academy following a VOSD investigation detailing the teacher’s history of abuse and harassment allegations. The school is in the midst of seeking accreditation from a group that requires teachers to have credentials. (Kayla Jimenez)

8. Voice of the Year: Bros on Scooters

Having abandoned neck ties and legalized marijuana, Californians always need something new to tsk tsk. This year, we had dockless motorized scooters and the bros who rode them. (Ry Rivard)

9. Politics Report: SANDAG Chief Offers Real Talk on Shortfall

The transportation and planning agency seems to be coming to terms with the fact that it won’t make good on the promises it made to voters in 2004. Plus, big committee assignments at San Diego City Hall and a big union election. (Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts)

10. ‘What Else Are We Gonna Do?’: Sweetwater Grapples With an Unsustainable Financial Future

Despite the frenzy of a mid-year budget crisis, the greatest threat to the Sweetwater Union High School District still lies ahead: its growing structural debt compounded by the lack of a long-term plan to reduce spending. A new audit raises “substantial doubt” about the district’s ability to remain fiscally solvent moving forward. (Will Huntsberry)

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