A star football player for Dos Pueblos High School was in critical but stable condition after a freak injury in a game last Friday night. Brad Ebner, a senior, took a hit on the 16-yard line and smashed his head on the ground, severing veins on the side of his neck. He was immediately transported to Cottage Hospital, where he underwent surgery to relieve brain swelling. As of press time Tuesday, Ebner had not regained consciousness. Roger Ebner, Brad’s uncle, said the community has been extremely supportive, and he expressed his heartfelt appreciation on behalf of Brad’s family. Anyone seeking to help can contact Roger Ebner at 729-4863.

Southern California’s other favorite basketball team – the Los Angeles Clippers – will be kicking off their pre-season next week with a training camp session at Santa Barbara City College. The October 10 start-up date is the first return to action for the Clippers, who ended last season as the best hoops team in L.A. with a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

County administrators kicked a reporter and photographer from The Independent out of a high-level meeting to discuss ways county government could help reduce the number of children without health insurance within the county borders. Currently Santa Barbara County has the highest per capita rate of uninsured minors in the state. According to Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who convened the meeting along with Supervisor Joe Centeno, there are roughly 18,000 uninsured minors living in Santa Barbara County. Carbajal said he was hoping to target the 3,000 most vulnerable of those with some county help. With county coffers relatively flush this year, Carbajal said he was hoping to spend a few million dollars to reduce that number. He also said the county could do a much better job identifying the kids most in need and connecting them with state and federal funds that are already available.

The trouble continued for the much-maligned Devereux School in Goleta last week as a report from the California State Community Care Licensing Board declared recent allegations against the school “substantial.” Violations such as inadequate staffing and a generally unsafe environment prompted quick action by county welfare workers to remove nine children from the facility during an impromptu visit in mid-August. Devereux still hopes to reopen the foster facility pending the state’s approval of their plan for recovery.

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