EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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May 3, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

Local

 State

 For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

Local

Ruling Slams SDG&E’s Plan for a New Gas Pipeline (Voice of San Diego)

A draft decision released Wednesday shows how utility regulators have begun analyzing major new projects through the lens of climate change. In that context, a California Public Utilities Commission judge said SDG&E’s $640 million plan to build a new natural gas pipeline across the county makes no sense.

LG ready to move along on vision for future of downtown (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lemon Grove is getting serious about a revitalization of its downtown as it looks to bring more people to live and work in its “village” area. The city is pushing pedestrian-oriented travel, especially around the San Diego Trolley area where three new housing complexes have opened in the last few years. It also hopes to attract more businesses while keeping its small-town vibe...Last Tuesday, by a 4-1 vote, the City Council adopted a “Downtown Specific Plan” that chronicles the years of input from the public, businesses, the City Council and city staff.

‘Shocking’ suicide rate at San Diego County Jails: report (Patch)

A report released Wednesday by an advocacy agency for the disabled calls on San Diego-area government officials to take urgent action to address a "shocking" suicide rate at local jails. More than 30 inmates have taken their own lives at area detention centers since 2010, a frequency that "far outpaces other county jail systems in the state" and lays bare a failure of care and support services for the mentally ill, according to the study by Disability Rights California.

Rep. Duncan Hunter attempts to create legal expense fund to cover costs of FBI investigation (San Diego Union-Tribune)

 Rep. Duncan Hunter is attempting to set up a fund to raise money to pay for lawyers and other costs related to an ongoing FBI criminal investigation into allegations of misused campaign cash, according to documents filed in Congress.

Tule Wind project knocked offline (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The recently opened Tule Wind Project, located in part of the rugged terrain in San Diego’s East County, has been knocked offline for the past two weeks due to a faulty underground power cable. A spokesman for the wind farm’s operator, Avangrid Renewables, said the company is still trying to figure out what went wrong and when the facility will get back up and running.

Burrowing owls get new ‘digs’ in East County (Fox 5)

A conservation team made up of city, county, state and federal agencies — with help from other groups, including San Diego Zoo Global — helped transfer the 5 pairs of owls from Otay Mesa to the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve earlier this month.

Settlements reached in 2 sexual-misconduct cases against San Diego County deputy, 13 cases remain (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Lawyers for San Diego County have agreed to pay $412,000 to two women who were alleged victims of Richard Fischer, the veteran sheriff’s deputy who was charged with 14 counts of criminal sexual misconduct earlier this year. The settlements, agreed to by the plaintiffs and their attorneys Tuesday, are the first resolutions to 15 separate lawsuits brought by Fischer’s accusers.

Lemon Grove names members of its new planning commission (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Lemon Grove City Council, which axed its Planning Commission in 2015, has officially brought the advisory group back. The City Council, by a 3-2 vote in March, agreed to resurrect the Planning Commission. Last week, it named five residents to the commission: Robert Bailey, Stephen Browne, Liana LeBaron, Jessica Relucio and Seth Smith.

Outrage as neighborhood becomes dumping ground for dogs (10 News)

Frustrated residents in San Carlos are searching for answers as their neighborhood has turned into a dumping ground for dogs.  The most recent discovery was made at Jackson Drive and Cowles Mountain Blvd. last month: a dog with a leg injury in a cage, a soiled blanket inside.

State regulators launch probe into Dronenberg allegation (San Diego Union-Tribune)

State elections regulators have opened a formal investigation into San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg’s handling of a $5,000 donation to his re-election campaign.

The fastest woman on the planet in 2018 is ... a San Diego State senior.  (San Diego Union-Tribune)

… Under women’s 100 meters, the leader at 10.98 seconds is not one of those Jamaicans you regularly see on the Olympics medals podium or any of the other sprinters on the European pro circuit, but a senior from a U.S. university. Ashley Henderson, San Diego State.

State rejects appeal of SDSU lecturer who felt he wasn't treated fairly in discrimination case (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The California State University system has upheld the findings of a state investigator who says that a San Diego State University lecturer committed discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of color against one of his students in 2017…. “All in all, Monge uses 'white' whenever he wishes to explain someone who has done something wrong, or bad," the report said. "Indeed, in an essay to the investigator, Monge wrote, 'It is quite easy to argue that "whiteness" is synonymous with evil.' "

State

Does this California wildfire bill protect consumers? Or give utilities a blank check? (San Diego Union-Trbiune)

 A bill in Sacramento that would require utilities to submit detailed plans outlining how they would handle disastrous wildfires is moving through the California Legislature — but it’s facing fierce opposition from consumer groups who say it amounts to a giveaway to power companies. And some of the utilities aren’t crazy about it, either.

Here's how to watch the first mission from California to Mars (San Francisco Chronicle)

 After every West Coast rocket launch, Californians jump on social media to figure out what the UFO they just saw could possibly be. This Saturday, the answer will be different than ever before: The state will be witnessing its first ever interplanetary mission launch.

Housing: What would the candidates for governor do? (Cal Matters)

The cost of housing has been on the most talked about issues on the campaign trail this year. Where do the gubernatorial candidates stand on the issue?

Land purchase makes a big cat crossing across I-15 possible (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Mountain lions that roam two Southern California mountain ranges, but are separated by a freeway, are the impetus for a recent land purchase — the first step toward creating a wildlife crossing to enable the pumas to mingle and breed.

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