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Morning Lookout: Tragic updates in Aptos High stabbing; largest college financial aid scam attempt uncovered?

Good Morning. It’s September 1 and it will be a partly sunny day with a high of 66.

Two Aptos High students are in custody and are facing murder charges after a stabbing at the school resulted in a lockdown and left a fellow student dead.

At the statewide level, officials have uncovered what is believed to be one of the state’s largest college financial aid scam attempts. Meanwhile, some Californians are seeing another stimulus payment in their bank accounts, on the cusp of Gov. Newsom’s recall election — and some of his challengers are crying foul.

Here are your headlines for the day:

‘Heartbreaking’: Student dead after stabbing at Aptos High, two other students to be charged with murder

Sheriff Jim Hart during a news conference on Aug. 31
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

It was a tragic day at Aptos High School yesterday after a stabbing resulted in a 17-year-old student’s death and murder charges for two other students — ages 14 and 17. The school will remain closed today and tomorrow. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart held a late evening press conference yesterday to provide updates. You can read the latest developments and watch his press conference here.

‘As cathartic as possible’: Santa Cruz Symphony set to return with robust new season

The Santa Cruz Symphony
(Via Santa Cruz Symphony)

In late October, the Santa Cruz Symphony will take the stage at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and make music for a live audience for the first time in more than a year and a half. "... it was very important to me that the Barber ‘Adagio’ be the first sounds that come from the stage to really honor the traumatic side of what so many people have been going through,” said conductor and music director Daniel Stweart. Read more from our Wallace Baine here.

It’s time to hang at The Hangar: Penny Ice Creamery first to open its doors at Skypark development

Penny Ice Creamery is Scotts Valley is now open. The ice creamery opened on Monday, August 30 inside The Hangar at Skypark.
(Photo courtesy of Penny Ice Creamery)

The Hangar in Scotts Valley has its first active tenant. Penny Ice Creamery opened its doors on Monday. It’s the ice cream shop’s fourth location, joining other Penny destinations in downtown Santa Cruz, Pleasure Point and Aptos Village. Read more from our Neil Strebig here.

Be A Hero! Help Lookout and Second Harvest Food Bank fight childhood hunger

Lookout Santa Cruz staff in capes and masks

Our Civic Partner Second Harvest Food Bank has risen to the tough challenge of combatting childhood hunger in Santa Cruz County. And for a limited time, when you join Lookout as an annual member, $54 will go directly to Food for Children, the food bank’s fresh-produce-to-kids fall initiative. That’s a $27 donation from Lookout, matched by a Second Harvest donor. Read the details and sign up here.

ANOTHER INITIATIVE TO DONATE TO: I told y’all yesterday about UC Santa Cruz’s goal of raising $100,000 to help support some of the tens of thousands of Afghani scholars and at-risk families who were evacuated to the United States last month. As of this morning, donors have raised more than $85,000 and you have two more days to contribute to the cause.

Around the state...

Adult students in the English as a second language class make their way on The Los Angeles Community College campus

More than 65,000 fake students applied for financial aid in wide community college scam: California officials and community college staff have uncovered what is believed to be one of the state’s largest college financial aid scam attempts. “We were kind of scratching our heads going, ‘Did or didn’t 60,000 extra older adult students really attempt to apply to community colleges here in the last few months?’” an official said. Read more here.

RN Priscilla V., left, gives a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shot to Dean Iida, 17, a senior at Eagle Rock High School

‘Momentous occasion’ as 80% statewide have gotten at least one vaccine dose: More than 80% of eligible Californians have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone Gov. Gavin Newsom characterized as a “momentous occasion” that nevertheless underscored that more needed to be done. California ranks ninth in the country for vaccination rates. Read more here.

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Recall Newsom updates

Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press conference at Universal Studios

Inside the social media war that could turn the California recall: Social media advertising has taken on outsized proportions during the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, largely because of the compressed schedule of the campaign and the challenges in quickly raising money to pay for TV ads. In their social media campaigns, recall supporters are blaming him for a wide variety of ills, each ad targeted to specific voters based on their demographics and interests. Read more here.

Stacks of money
(via Pixabay)

State stimulus checks arrive in Californians’ bank accounts ahead of recall election: As California continues the slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down many businesses last year, new $600 state stimulus checks have begun arriving in some Californians’ bank accounts. Some candidates to replace Newsom say the timing of the payments appears intended to boost Newsom’s popularity with voters who are deciding whether he gets to keep his job. Read more here.

READ ALSO: Recall fact and fiction: What you need to know about the election fraud rumors you’re seeing (CalMatters)

Around the county...

Convicted Graham Hill Road murderers sentenced to life in prison (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

2 arrested for street racing in Watsonville Monday night (KSBW-TV)

Three Watsonville men arrested in connection with Santa Cruz shooting (The Pajaronian)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

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