Communities

RED SUV DRIVER WANTED FOR BACKING OVER AND KILLING WOMAN ON HIGHWAY 94 NEAR STEELE CANYON, THEN FLEEING SCENE

 

By Miraim Raftery

July 27, 2018 (Jamul) – California Highway Patrol seeks public help to find the driver of a red or burgundy small SUV who reportedly backed up and killed a woman in her 30s who had gotten out of the vehicle. She was walking west on the shoulder of highway 94 near Steel Canyon Road in Spring Valley early Friday morning when the driver struck and seriously injured her. He reportedly remained at the scene for several minutes, and then fled.

The driver is described as an African-American man in his mid-30s, 5 ft. 7 to 5 ft. 8 inches tall, weighing 275-300 pounds with short hair and no visible tattoos. He was wearing light-colored clothes and a sweatband around his head.

CITIZENS HELP POLICE NAB SUSPECT AFTER STABBING OF 75-YEAR-OLD MAN IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—A 75-year-old man suffered multiple non-life threatening stab wounds tonight in an attack at Second Street and East Madison Avenue in El Cajon. Witnesses called police at 7:55 p.m. to report the victim was on the ground near the intersection.

The suspect fled west on Madison, says Lieutenant Jason Taub, adding, “Witnesses were able to keep the suspect under observation and advise the police department of his current location.”

BOULEVARD PLANNERS OPPOSE TORREY WIND PROPOSAL FOR TURBINES TALLER THAN DOWNTOWN SKYSCRAPERS PROPOSED IN RURAL COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Brush fire sparked by exploding wind turbine in Campo  in 2013.  Proposed new turbines would dwarf these older, smaller models.

July 26, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Community Planning Group has sent a 26-page letter to the County opposing Terra-Gen’s proposed Torrey Wind project.  If approved, the project would erect 30 wind turbines each 586 feet tall—that’s 90 feet higher than the tallest skyscraper in downtown San Diego—on 2,,000 acres of absentee-owned ranchland formerly known as Big Country Ranch property at the north end of Ribbonwood Road.

The proposed major use permit for Torrey Wind (formerly known as San Diego Wind) will be on the Boulevard Planning Group’s agenda at its August 2nd meeting at 7 p.m.  (View agenda)

FREE WATER WISE LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP AUG. 25 AT RAMONA RANCH VINEYARD AND WINERY

 

East County News Service

July 26, 2018 (Ramona) - Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery will host a free water-wise landscaping workshop August 25th from 5 to 7 p.m. The winery is located at 23578 Highway 67 in Ramona, CA 920650.

Learn how to create a less thirsty and environmentally friendly landscape! Join Solana Center for this presentation where you will learn the basics of water wise gardening. Using trial-tested advice and interactive demonstrations, our expert educator will teach you all you need to know to get started with a garden that fits San Diego's semi-arid climate.

WORKER FOUND DEAD IN SANTEE SWIMMING POOL

 

East County News Service

 

July 26, 2018 (Santee) – A pool maintenance worker was found dead in a swimming pool at a home off Chaparral Drive in Santee today.

 

Deputies called to assist Santee Fire Department with a report of a possible drowning helped remove the victim’s body from the shallow end of the pool. The victim, 40, had no signs of trauma or foul play.

VOLUNTEERS BRAVED HEAT TO COUNT BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Anza Borrego Foundation

July 26, 2018 (Borrego Springs) — With temperatures over 100 degrees, 79 volunteered fanned out for the annual Peninsular Bighorn Sheep count at 19 sites in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from June 29 to July 1st.   A total of 225 sheep were counted, up from 207 in 2017, but last year had the lowest in five years, down from 296 in 2014.

VOLCAN MOUNTAIN PLANE CRASH VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo of crash site, courtesy ECM news patner 10 news

July 25, 2018 (Julian) – Three people who died in a May 10th crash of a flight school-owned plane at Volcan Mountain in Julian which sparked a brush fire have been identified by the County Medical Examiner’s office.

 The victims were Rongwei Zhang, 23, Qinyang Zuo, 28, and Zehe Zhang, 24.  All died of blunt force injuries and multiple thermal injuries; all deaths were ruled accidental and toxicology reports found no contributing factors.

POWER OUTAGE IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

Update 7:20 p.m. -- Power is restored at the Smart and Final, but SDG&E's website indicates power is still out to over 1,200 customers.

July 24, 2018 (Santee) -- A power outage has occurred in the  Santee/Carlton Oaks area, affecting 2,359 customers. SDG&E is assesesing the cause but estimates restoration at 9:30 p.m.

ECM reporter Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson was shopping at the Santee Smart and Final when the lights went out.  "The big lottery Mega-millions is tonight and I can't buy my ticket," she quipped.

She was also unable to  buy groceries for dinner, since the store is accepting only cash during the blackout fur customers already inside the store.  Customers outside are being turned away.

LA MESANS LOVE UNPLUGGED DINING

 

The next Unplugged Dining event is slated for August 21 at 5 p.m. at these four restaurants:  Fourpenny House Pub, Centifonti's, Trattoria Tiramisu, and San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room, all in La Mesa

East County News Service

July 24, 2018 (La Mesa) -- This past Tuesday, the La Mesa Village had quite a buzz emanating from Fourpenny House Pub.   People came to try out a new concept – unplugged dining.  As there are no TV’s, this cozy Scottish Brew Pub already has less emphasis on screens than many restaurants.  Taking it a step further on Tuesday, Fourpenny offered table games and displayed signs encouraging people to take a tech break while enjoying their meal.

MOSQUITOES INFECTED WITH WEST NILE VIRUS FOUND IN SANTEE

 

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 23, 2018 (Santee) -West Nile virus made its first appearance of the summer in San Diego County this week when a batch of mosquitoes caught in routine trapping in Santee tested positive for the virus.

County officials reminded people they should follow the County’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines to protect themselves from all mosquitoes and the various diseases they can transmit, from West Nile virus to tropical diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika.

LAW ENFORCEMENT CONDUCTS OUTREACH ON HATE CRIMES GEARED TOWARD EL CAJON’S MIDDLE EASTERN AND MUSLIM COMMUNITY

 

By Briana Ghaffery

July 18, 2018 (El Cajon)— Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo became the victim of a hate crime at a young age, along with his father, who was savagely beaten over a mistaken ethnic identity during a robbery at the Garmo family’s convenience store in El Cajon.

At a hate crimes forum in El Cajon on July 17th, sponsored by the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition and El Cajon Police Department, Captain Garmo told East County Magazine that he hopes to encourage the public to report hate crimes.

“The reason why we’re having this out here in the city of El Cajon is that it has the largest influx of refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, and we feel like they need to be educated as to hate crimes,” he said, adding that law enforcement believes hate crimes are under-reported by those who are victimized.

EAST COUNTY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL NONPROFIT LAUNCHES FROM EL CAJON DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

 

By Jonathan Goetz

July 23, 2018 (El Cajon) – George Gastil, a former Lemon Grove Councilman and history professor at Grossmont College and San Diego State Univesrity, opened the inaugural meeting of the East County Leadership Council (ECLC).  The newly formed 501c(3) nonprofit organization has a mission statement to promote “quality discussion of politics and public policy in the East County region of San Diego County.”

SANTEE-BASED M2 DIGITAL POST INC. WIINS THREE EMMY AWARDS

 

East County News Service

Photo:  Michael Brueggemeyer of M2 Digital post Inc., director of Emmy award-winning campaign, accepts award wearing a dinosaur suit.

July 22, 2018 (Santee) – M2 Digital Post Inc. of Santee was awarded three Emmys at the 44th Annual National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Pacific Southwest Chapter Emmy awards show in Palm Springs last month.  The awards were in the category of Commercial Campaign and Photographer Short Form.

FIRE DESTROYS HISTORIC HOME, A FORMER STAGECOACH STOP, IN RAMONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM News partner 10 News

July 21, 2018 (Ramona) – The Cinnamon Fire that scorched 13 acres in the Witch Creek area yesterday destroyed Ramona’s original stagecoach stop built in 1870, also resulting in efforts that saved the family's dogs. Other dogs in a boarding kennel on the property are also safe.

“We lived there for 12 years until we built a new house,” the owner of Kritter Camp Boarding Kennel, located on Creek Hollow Drive in Ramona, told East County Magazine regarding the historic structure. At the time of the fire, she added, “My daughter and her boyfriend lived there.”

MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

 

East County News Service

July 20, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A 48-year-old man from National City died of injuries sustained today in a motorcycle crash on Jamacha Road, just east of Osage Lane.

The motorcyclist was driving a blue 2018 Harley Davidson Sportster westbound on Jamacha at a high speed and failed to slow down into a curve, causing the vehicle to strike a concrete curb, says California Highway Patrol’s Public Information Officer Travis Garrow. The out-of-control vehicle then went up an embankment, ejecting the rider.

DRIVER ARRESTED FOR FILING FALSE REPORT OF CARJACKING AFTER RAMONA CRASH

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 19, 2018 (Ramona) – A driver who reported his vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint has been arrested for filing a false report to conceal his involvement in a crash in Ramona.

 

According to Sgt. Jeremy Sheppard with the Sheriff’s department, Luis Solis, 19 and with a juvenile passenger have been charged with filing the false report after the Toyota Forerunner that Solis was driving rolled over at 630 Gem Lane in Ramona.

PINE VALLEY DAYS: PARADE AND FESTIVITIES JULY 27-28

 

East County News Service

July 19, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- Pine Valley Days will take place on July 27th and 28th.  Sponsored by the Mountain Empire Men’s Club in the mountain town of Pine Valley, Pine Valley Days will include a parade on Saturday at 9 a.m., live music by Barb Wire, craft fair, deep pit barbecue, kids zone, horseshoe tournament and other activities throughout the weekend.

For a full schedule of events, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/185443142839/photos/gm.253729028534281/10156350830237840/?type=3&theater.

IN EMERGENCY APPEAL, JULIAN FIREFIGHTERS ASK STATE COURT TO HALT COUNTY TAKEOVER

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, amember of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Suspended Battalion Chief Mike Van Bibber of Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Image via Julian Fire Plugs

July 19, 2018 (Julian) - Julian’s volunteer firefighters have filed an emergency appeal with a state appellate court in hopes of making an August 10 deadline to place a measure on the November ballot.

Their aim is to have the 2,246 voters in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District decide whether to repeal a fire board action to dissolve the district.

ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: SAN DIEGO’S SOUTHEAST REGION, WILDERNESS GATEWAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Carrizo Gorge federal wilderness area

June 29, 2018 (Alpine) – Most visitors to San Diego County head to the beaches or the well-known mountain town of Julian. But the County’s lesser traveled southeast region, known as the Alpine Mountain Empire, includes vast tracts of wilderness, quaint mountain towns, a historic train, museums, Native America reservations, resorts, parks and lakes.

RAMONA HOMEOWNERS TRACK DOWN BURGLAR

 

East County News Service

 

July 18, 2018 (Ramona) – After a burglar stole jewelry, tools, electric bicycles and other items valued at $95,000 to $125,000 out of their motorhome and a storage shed in Ramona, Michael and Veronica Mahaffey obtained an anonymous tip.  That led them to 929 East Old Julian Highway, where they confronted Christopher Payne, 24, who admitted to the theft.

DR. AKILAH WEBER ANNOUNCES RUN FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2018 (La Mesa) – Dr. Akilah Weber, a physician who is the daughter of Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, has announced she is running for the La Mesa City Council.

If elected, she says her three top issue priorities will be public safety, health and wellness, and housing affordability.

WEST FIRE BENEFIT AND AUCTION AUG. 18

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2018 (Alpine) - A dinner and auction to benefit survivors of the West Fire in Alpine will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center.

The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Community Center are organizing the fundraiser. All funds raised will be donated to the Alpine Community Foundation to help and support those affected by the West Fire, which destroyed 34 homes and also destroyed many outbuildings, damaging other properties.

For tickets, visit http://www.AlpineChamber.com.

See details below:

HISTORIC HIGHWAY 94: TRAVELING THROUGH TIME

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A trip along Highway 94, a state-designated historic highway, is like traveling through time—a place where you’ll find elements ot the region’s colorful past juxtaposed against new elements such as the region’s emerging wine industry, an Indian casino and golf courses.

UNPLUGGED DINING COMES TO LA MESA VILLAGE JULY 17

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2018 (La Mesa) -- You won’t find noisy TVs and blaring music at Fourpenny House in the heart of the La Mesa Village.

This coming Tuesday, July 17, what you will find are signs encouraging you to take a tech break while you enjoy your meal at the cozy Scottish Brew Pub.  

SHOULD EL CAJON CENSURE COUNCILMAN KALASHO?

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2018 (El Cajon) – As the scandals involving Councilman Ben Kalasho mount, with 11 citizens calling for his resignation at the last City Council meeting, some community members are now asking why the City Council has not censured Kalasho, who has announced his intent to run for Mayor. 

ALPINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NOW ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Drone video of West Fire devastation in Alpine: "Aftermath from above" by Joseph A. Acevedo, N6SIX

July 15, 2018 (Alpine) – People who want to help Alpine residents rebuild homes lost after the West Fire, and fill gaps that insurance companies and other agencies aren’t filling, can now make a tax deductible donation to the Alpine Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A community recovery team will help the Foundation verify needs and resources. Money will pay bills directly, and will not be paid directly to individuals. Those in greatest need will receive help first.  The Foundation is run by volunteers in the community, so no fees will be charged and 100% of donations will benefit fire survivors.

TWITTER DROPS FAKE FOLLOWERS; KALASHO’S FOLLOWERS SHRINK BY OVER HALF

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) – Yesterday, El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho posted on Twitter, “Just blocked over 3,000 `reporters and so-called journalists’ from my twitter. Only accepting real people. No snooping snakes. Honest reporters welcome.”

Fact check:  Kalasho’s announcement comes the same day that Twitter dropped tens of millions of fake followers in an effort to halt fraud on social media, the Atlantic Journal Constitution reports:  https://www.ajc.com/news/national/twitter-removes-fake-accounts-users-may-see-drop-followers/Qk4eCHLsFaiiMJBfwocZCN/.

EL CAJON SEEKS VETERAN OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS

East County News Service 

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon Veterans Commission presents a “Veteran of the Year” Award, recognizing those who go above and beyond in serving their community through their leadership abilities and/or community service in El Cajon, making a big impact on those they serve.  Final selections will be based on dedication, commitment, and demonstrated the impact of those served.  If you see, hear, or know of a veteran who has gone the extra mile to improve the quality of life in the community, please take this opportunity to acknowledge and reward that effort. 

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