DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 12-28

DESSERT & WINE PAIRINGS AT SAN PASQUAL WINERY, LA MESA FEB. 12-14

SANDERS, TRUMP TROUNCE OPPONENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

LA MESA SENDS MERCHANTS’ OKTOBERFEST DEBT TO COLLECTIONS

RESIDENTS VOICE CONCERNS OVER CHECKPOINT DELAYS ON HIGHWAY 94

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS HOLD NEW HAMPSHIRE DEBATES

EAST COUNTY ST. PATRICK’S HALF MARATHON AND FUN RUN MARCH 12 TO BENEFIT LOCAL CHARITIES

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: FOLLYWOOD (HAIL, CAESAR!)

FIRST “FLOWERS IN THE MOUNTAINS” GARDEN TOUR BLOOMS MAY 7

ZIKA VIRUS IN SALIVA, MAY BE SPREAD BY KISSING

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PARADISE IN DESCANSO

CROCS AND KINGS

EL CAJON SCHOOL RECEIVES NATIONAL HONOR

 

East County News Service

 

January 7, 2016 (El Cajon) –  Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon is among six California schools chosen as Exemplars of 21st Century Learning, a prestigious designation given out by the national coalition Partnership for 21st Century Learning (p21.org/exemplar-program).  Montgomery Middle School is an International Baccalaureate school that provides an environment of collaboration, innovative technology use, and inquiry based problem solving, all set in real world situations for a diverse population of students.

 

FLOODING AND MUDSLIDES WREAK HAVOC IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo of Dehesa Elementary School courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

January 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Today’s storm has caused significant damage across East County including closure of Dehesa Elementary School and a mudslide that oozed into homes in Rancho San Diego.

Muddy floodwaters drenched the interior of classrooms at Dehesa Elementary, soaking electrical and computer equipment on floors.  The school will remain closed until Monday for cleanup, 10 News reports.

NOT A TORNADO, BUT “MICROBURSTS” IN YESTERDAY’S STORM CAUSED PLENTY OF DAMAGE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: fallen tree Jan. 7 in La Jolla, courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 7, 2016 (San Diego ) – The tornado forecast to hit north-central San Diego County yesterday didn’t materialize. But “wet microbursts” did cause major wind damage. 

Among the hardest hit communities was the Poway-Sabre Springs area, where damage was “consistent with 60 to 70 mile per hour straight-line winds,” says Alex Tardy, warning coordination meteorologist manager for the National Weather Service in San Diego. Thunderstorm microbursts can be as strong as 100 mph, he added.  Surveys conducted thus far found:

JAMUL AREA FLOODING AND ROAD CLOSURE

 

 

East County News Service

Jaunary 7, 2016 (Jamul) --Honey Springs Road will be shut down all night due to power lines downed by vehicle that struck a power pole this evening, while awaiting SDG&E repairs, the CHP website indicates. A SIG Alert has been issued.

Highway 94 had substantial flooding this afternoon, reaching 30 feet wide in places and up to two feet deep, by some estimates..

Ronnie Durfee sent in video including this still shot of the dip between Rancho Jamul and Melody Lane.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

January 7, 2016 (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/REGIONAL

STATE

Emergency rooms are reaching capacity more frequently and beds for new patients are unavailable.

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

SEARCH FOR WOMEN ESCAPED FROM DETENTION

Update January 12, 2016:  These suspects have been appehended. Read more here:http://cdcrtoday.blogspot.com/2016/01/women-who-walked-away-from-san-die...

January 7, 2016 (San Diego) — The California Department of Corrections is looking for two violent criminals who removed their ankle monitors in San Diego and walked away from the “Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program (CCTRP) on January 4th.

 

CHIEF’S CORNER: EL NIÑO SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

El Niño has arrived and it looks even more powerful than expected, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Don’t get caught in flooded waters and debris flow!  You need to be aware of the potential flood and debris flow dangers associated with rainy days.  Here’s what to do.

 

JULIAN GETS NEW PARAMEDIC SERVICE FROM COUNTY AND CAL FIRE

 

Source: County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Julian) -- Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

 

A NIGHT TO SHINE: EAST COUNTY CHAMBER AWARDS GALA FEB. 11

 

East County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Lakeside) – The San Diego East County Chamber will host its East County Honors  Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, February 11th at the Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and includes cocktails, dinner reception, silent and live auction, opportunity drawing. Balloon pop, and live entertainment by Guy Gonzalez and the Gypsy Swng Cats.

MAJOR ROAD CLOSURES AND HAZARDS DUE TO SNOW, FLOODING, AND DEBRIS

January 7, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Snow, debris flows and flloding from heavy rainfall are making the morning commute tough. Here are the latest updates on closures and hazards impacting Highway 94, Interstate 8 and other highways as well as major surface streeets across East County.

  • Snow on I-8 just east of Kitchen Creek – snow ploughs are working (CHP)  Numerous accidents reported east of Pine Valley.
  • SR-94 closed both directions from Lyons Valley Rd. to Honey Springs due to flooding (Caltrans); CHP site indicates a “river” flowing 30-40 feet wide this a.m.
  • Sunrise Highway is open but you are required to carry chains. CHP is en route to check conditions on Highway 79 from I-8 to Julian.
  • Dehesa road from the school to willow glen has multiple mudslides and is a total mess.    Willow glen is completely closed by the quarry, a reader reports
  • State Route 94 at Buckman Springs Rd., vehicle overturned (CHP)
  • I-8 east west of Fuerte, off-ramp sign fell down and is in slow lane, per CHP
  • Ramona: B St. closed from 10th and at 11th due to flooding (DPW).  Also Magnolia dip is now closed at highway 78 and 500 feet north of Magnolia dip due to flooding in Ramona.
  • Spring Valley: Quarry Road from SR125 to Lakeview is closed due to flooding(DPW)

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 7, 2016 (San Diego's East County)-- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

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

SAN DIEGO RIVER EXPECTED TO REACH FLOOD STAGE TONIGHT

 

Flooding and boulders also block roadways in East County; snow impedes travel in mountains

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ward Road in Mission Valley, courtesy of San Diego Lifeguards

January 6, 2016 (San Diego) – With yet another storm set to hit tonight, the San Diego River is expected to reach flood stage (11.5 feet) tonight, cresting in the pre-dawn hours.  The National Weather Service reports the river level has risen five feet in the past 24 hours to nearly 8 feet..  Major roads crossing the river in Mission Valley are closed and underwater including Fashion Valley Road, Avenida del Rio, Camino del Este, Camino de la Reina and Mission Center Road.  The San Diego Mission del Alcala church has flooded, as has the parking lot at Fashion Valley mall.

In East County, snow levels could dip down to 4,000 feet tonight, including the Julian area.  Chains are currently required on Mount Laguna/Sunrise Highway from State Route 79 to Highway 8.  There are also numerous closed or obstructed roadways:

PRESIDENT OBAMA TIGHTENS GUN RESTRICTIONS

 

By Tasha Matthews 

Photo courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov

January 5, 2016 (Washington D.C.) --President Barack Obama has taken executive action to tighten gun control, revealing some restrictions and heightened enforcement of firearms sales on Tuesday.  This is in response to the recent array of violent shootings taking place in the United States and Congress failing to pass any legislation to stem gun violence.

RENOVATION OF MAIN PATIENT TOWER COMPLETED AT SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

 

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

 

January 6, 2016 (La Mesa) -- Patients are now being treated in state-of-the-art, upgraded rooms on all five floors of the East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) reports.

 

HERO RISKS LIFE TO SAVE NEIGHBORS AND HOMES AMID RISING FLOODWATERS IN CITY HEIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special report by Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego and Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 6, 2016 (San Diego)--With floodwaters rising to the ceiling in several apartments and homes built below-grade on 48th Street in City Heights, residents scrambled frantically to evacuate their children, elderly family members and pets last night.  A dog perished—but it could have been a far worse tragedy, if not for the astonishing courage of Gabriel Duarte.

Duarte, a construction worker, surely knew the hazards of jumping into floodwaters that had submerged lamps and live electrical wiring – waters choked with debris, dirt, and potentially disease.  Yet he risked his life to save others, entering several feet of water to unclog two submerged storm drains. Many of his neighbors credit him, for preventing further damage. He dove into the murky waters to clear two of the three storm drains that had backed up.

READER’S EDITORIAL: OPEN LETTER TO BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: DO YOUR JOB TO PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS FROM PRIVATE INTERESTS

 

After a takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon by armed militia members, local wildlife biologist Renée Owens has sent an open letter to Bureau of Land Management directors and staff in Burns, Oregon.

"Your inaction to stop them only emboldens such criminal activity, and makes you vulnerable to a lawsuit by others such as myself whose public land rights and interests have been violated," she writes. 

Below is the full text of her letter:

APARTMENTS UNDERWATER IN CITY HEIGHTS; DOG DIES IN FLOOD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2016 (City Heights) – Floodwaters from tonight’s deluge have left four apartments underwater, also submerging vehicles at 48th and El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights.

Resident Jonathan Goetz says that “at least six feet of water”  have inundated downstairs units. “Dude, my car is underwater!” he posted on his Facebook page. 

His photos document the drama in real life as a woman rescues her dog, Cha-Cha, cradling her pet in her arms. Another man searched frantically for his missing chihuahua  Nacho, hip-high in the swiftly rising floodwaters. Goetz reports that Nacho was found dead in a bedroom.

MAN’S DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND IN STORM CHANNEL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The naked, partially decomposed body of a man was swept downstream in a storm drainage channel from El Cajon to Santee. 

“His death was definitely not related to today’s rains,” Lee Swanson, public information officer at San Diego Fire and Rescue told East County Magazine.  Swanson said it was evident that the man had died days or more before to the current storm. His identity is unknown.

FLOODING IN EAST COUNTY: AVOID THESE ROADWAYS

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) 6:15 p.m.– A flood watch has been upgraded to a flood warning, meaning flooding is occurring in our region. Here are updates on roadways reported flooded within the past hour in El Cajon, La Mesa, Crest,  and San Diego.  If you know of other hazards spots please post in our comments section.

Here are flodoed conditions reported in the last hour or so:

SHOT BORER BEETLE: NEW PEST ATTACKS 200 SPECIES OF TREES IN REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Damage from polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), courtesy of the University of California, Riverside

January 4, 2016 (San Diego)—A destructive new pest, the tiny polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, has attacked over 200 different species of trees in  Southern California.  Infestations range from avocado groves to ornamental trees in residential yards, entomologists at the University of Riverside report. 

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, that includes thousands of trees in the Tijuana River Valley that have been destroyed suddenly in recent months.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN JANUARY 2016

Have an event or destination? Sponsor Destination East County! Our site has 150,000 visits each month.  Contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org. We thank the County of San Diego for a Community  Enhancement Grant to help support Destination East County.

 

January 4, 2016 (San Diego's East County)--This week’s Destination East County includes Hawk Watch in Ramona, a Family Fun Fest at Kroc Center, an art show at Mission Trails, a hike into the Jacumba wilderness and a desert oasis, and a bluegrass open mike night in La Mesa. All month long, you can get free health and fitness classes and services as part of Santee’s Health Awareness Month.

Plus we’ll have previews of coming attractions, including the opening of trout season at Santee Lakes,  a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast, civil rights speaker and film showing, plus a hike to a garnet mine near Jacumba Hot Springs. So scroll down for all of these events and more.

CHARGERS KEEP MIKE MCCOY AS HEAD COACH

 
By Liz Alper
 
January 4, 2016 (San Diego) - Happy New Year, San Diego.
 
Forget the efforts by Dean Spanos to move the team to Los Angeles for a minute.  In a span of two weeks, the Chargers have made more bad decisions than most of us have made in our entire lives.  As if the decision to prevent safety Eric Weddle from traveling with the team to Denver to take on the Broncos on Sunday wasn't bad enough, KUSI is now reporting that Mike McCoy will stay on as head coach, despite his pitiful 4-12 record in 2015 and finishing last in the AFC West by three games.

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