Cheerleading Injuries a Growing Concern

Update: Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 949 into law, making competitive cheerleading an official sport in California. The California Interscholastic Federation and the state Department of Education would be required to develop guidelines no later than 2017, according to KPBS.

Update: California assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced a bill that would make cheerleading an official high school sport. AB 949, otherwise known as the California High Schools Expanding Equality Respect and Safety Act, was approved by the Senate Education Committee July 1, 2015. If the bill becomes law, the Department of Education and the CIF would be required to develop guidelines for the sport by July 1, 2017, the Visalia-Times Delta reports.

Cheerleading has morphed into routines that resemble Olympic gymnastics. In hundreds of competitions, flyers are thrown 10, 15, even 20 feet in the air. Emergency room visits for cheerleaders have skyrocketed. Reporter Laura Ling tells the story of a 17-year-old cheerleader who is disabled for life after the force from a catch stopped her heart, causing severe brain damage. Ling examines what drives cheerleading teams to take greater risks, asks what parents should know about cheerleading risks, and explores efforts to rein in dangerous stunts.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Say Phommanyvong, Patty's dad
  • Vilay Phommanyvong, Patty's mother
  • Kimberly Archie, founder, National Cheer Safety Foundation
  • Dave Kirschner, president, Spirit Consultants

Upcoming Airdates

Hyperloop, Robotic Parking, Vintage Steam Train

Season 7, Episode 21

Two competing L.A. companies are developing a "hyperloop" to move people at 750 mph in a frictionless tube. Can it really work?

At a high-tech garage in West Hollywood a computerized robotic system 'stacks' cars for efficient use of parking space.

In Fillmore, a 1913 steam powered locomotive is still going strong giving passengers an authentic taste of classic railroad travel. 

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Bugs as Food, Freezing Plants, Eco-Village, Penguins and iPads

Season 7, Episode 28

The popularity of bugs as food is growing. Could insects be our next big food source?

A scientist at the Huntington Botanical Gardens is finding a way to freeze succulents that could go extinct.

The Eco-Village is an “intentional community” of people who live sustainably, affordably and cooperatively in the middle of LA.

Penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific enjoy chasing virtual mice on an IPad.


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Tree Canopies, Endangered White Rhinos, From Food to Fuel

Season 7, Episode 22

How the "canopy" from shade trees can help our environment.

White rhino Nola was the Safari Park's signature animal, but now she's a symbol of extinction.

Food scraps from UC Irvine’s commissary used to be sent to landfills where it  produced destructive greenhouse gases.

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Season 7 Episode 31

Microbeads Micro Pollution -m A tiny source of water pollution is coming from some skin care products. Night Runners - Running through L.A. at night is not scary when you're part of a crowd. Slab City - Is there still a place in America where you can live for free? Banana Museum - One man's obsession becomes a tourist attraction.

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The Wrongly Convicted

Season 7, Episode 18

A special in-depth look at two men who were imprisoned for crimes they did not commit and their efforts to get just compensation after being freed. 

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