Communities

WELCOME, RURAL RESIDENTS!

Our Rural section covers most San Diego County's inland communities south of I-8  to the border including Alpine, Barrett Junction, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Dulzura,  Jamul,  Japatul, Lake Morena, Otay,  Potrero, and Spring Valley. 


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WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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CEMETERY PROPOSED FOR PINE VALLEY OPPOSED OVER GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION CONCERNS

By Kirsten Andelman

Photos courtesy: SD Crescentwood Services

Photo: Newly dozed driveway, with Ben Good's home/barn in background

April 17, 2024 (Pine Valley, CA) -- Neighbors have secured nearly 1,800 signatures on a petition opposing plans to build a cemetery on 38 acres of land about 2.5 miles east of La Posta Ranch, just south of Interstate 8 and Old Highway 80. The cemetery proposed by SD Crescentwood Services would provide burial space for Muslims in San Diego County, which currently has no Muslim cemetery. 

Residents’ primary concern is over potential groundwater contamination, since the graveyard would be over the EPA-designated sole-source aquifer that residents in several backcountry communities rely upon for well water. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported on cemeteries’ potential impacts on public health, when close to aquifers or other water sources.


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A GRAVE MISTAKE

By Kirsten Andelman
 
April 17, 2024 (La Posta) -- There was a glaring error on the Major Use Permit application filed with the County of San Diego on April 6, 2023 for the proposed Crescentwood Cemetery: the address listed for the project, at 35252 Old Highway 80 in La Posta. 
 
But 35252 is also the location of Ben and Trina Good’s green clapboard home, which sits across Old Highway 80 from the 38 acres where Crescentwood wants to build a new cemetery. The proposed cemetery land has a “parcel number” -- but no assigned street address. So the applicants, SD Crescentwood Services, used the Good’s address on their application.

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HOMICIDE IN SPRING VALLEY: WOMAN KILLED, SUSPECT LATER FOUND DEAD

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2024 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego Station responded to a call yesterday morning reporting that someone was trying to break into a residence in the 800 block of La Presa in Spring Valley. Deputies entered and found a female victim with head trauma.

“Deputies immediately began life saving measures until relieved by paramedics. Unfortunately, the victim passed away on scene” says Lieutenant Michael Krugh.  She has been identified as Ashley Bird, 35.

The suspect,Christopher Bird,39,  was later found deceased in a vehicle.His body was found by law enforcement in Orange County.


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EL CAJON HOMICIDE SUSPECT ARRESTED CROSSING BORDER INTO U.S.

East County News Service
 
April 16, 2024 (El Cajon) -- John Paul Campbell, 37, a suspect in the April 9 death of a homeless man in El Cajon was apprehended on April 12 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents.
 
The victim, Robert Mansi, 41, was found by El Cajon Police officers responding to an assault near 100 West Main Street at 3 a.m. on April 9. He died at the scene with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma. His death has been classified as a homicide.

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PINE VALLEY WOMAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY PICKUP TRUCK

East County News Service
 
April 15, 2024 (Pine Valley) – A Pine Valley woman, 61, was struck and killed Saturday morning while walking on the shoulder along Pine Boulevard south of Rocky Pass. The victim was Mary Lombard Stewart, according to her husband, Brian Stewart.
 
“The sirens were for my wife Mary, who was struck from behind while walking to our house on Valley View Trail,” he posted on Facebook. “My wife did not survive the impact.”

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PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED ON I-8 IN EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
April 15, 2024 (El Cajon) – An El Cajon man, 38, was struck and killed on April 13 while walking in the #2 lane on westbound Interstate 8, near East Main Street in El Cajon.

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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL GRAPPLES WITH FREE SPEECH, HATE AND INTIMIDATION

Council supports state bill making distribution of hate flyers on private property a civil rights violation, retains controversial ban on remote public comments
 
By Michael Howard
 
Photo: Vice Mayor Laura Lothian discusses State Assembly Bill 3024 during April 9 La Mesa City Council Meeting. 
 
April 14, 2024 (La Mesa, CA) – The La Mesa City Council continues to grapple with a balance between free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution and hate speech that just doesn’t seem to go away.
 
In its latest action, the Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to adopt a resolution to support state bill AB 3024, the Stop Hate Littering Act, introduced by Assemblymember Chris Ward.
 
That bill adds language to section 51.7 of the current California State Civil Code to further define “intimidation by threat of violence” to include “distribution of hateful materials on private property of another without authorization for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property or in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing the owner or occupant of that private property.”


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LILAC FESTIVAL APRIL 20-MAY 12 AT FORT CROSS IN JULIAN OFFERS FRAGRANT BLOOMS AND PLENTY OF FUN

East County News Service
 
April 12, 2024 (Julian) -- Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, invites you to their 9th annual Lilac Festival event on Saturdays and Sundays starting April 20 and will go on through Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
The outdoor educational farm that specializes in living history field trips, is also home to five acres of beautifully fragrant lilacs near the town of Julian.
 
Fort Cross is the largest lilac farm in Southern California that sells fresh-cut bouquets directly to the public, and will have different lilac varieties available for purchase 7 days a week as soon as the flowers are in bloom.

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SPRING FESTIVAL AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE MAY 4

East County News Service
 
April 12, 2024 (Rancho San Diego, CA) — Cuyamaca College invites you to celebrate the season at its Spring Festival on Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event is hosted by the Ornamental Horticultural Dept. and Heritage of the Americas Museum.

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BOARD EXPANDS OPEN SPACE NEAR EL CAPITAN COUNTY PRESERVE

By Shauni Lyles, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
April 11, 2024 (Lakeside) -- The County took steps Wednesday to add more space and species protection to land at El Monte Road in Lakeside. The Board of Supervisors approved the donation of 75 acres of land next to El Capitan County Preserve.
 
County Parks Department officials said the land fits into the County’s Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) area. The additional acreage expands the County’s MSCP preserve to nearly 46,300 acres.

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RANCHO BERNARDO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR RANCHO BERNARDO TO BOOST COMMUNITY PRIDE, REVITALIZATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE

RBCF, an affiliate of San Diego Foundation, will also support music programs for RB Symphony on the Green.
 
April 11, 2024 (Rancho Bernardo) -- Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation (RBCF), an affiliate of San Diego Foundation, announced the availability of grant funding to enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Rancho Bernardo.
 
“In our 36th year, RBCF looks forward to supporting projects demonstrating the power to build a more vibrant community,” shared Daniel Wilson, RBCF Grants Chair. “Organizations that serve the Rancho Bernardo community can submit applications for programs involving music for awards between $1,500 and $5,000 from the RB Symphony on the Green Fund. Awards up to $10,000 will also be granted to programs that inspire community pride, revitalization and increase the quality of life of the broader community.”

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CELEBRATING 6 YEARS OF QUICK, ACCESSIBLE, HIGH-QUALITY CARE

By Sharp HealthCare
 
Photo: (L to R) Denise Ricci, Misty Skeen and Beatriz Chapman, who have all been with the Sharp Grossmont Care Clinic since it opened in 2018
 
April 11, 2024 (La Mesa) -- Misty Skeen was so sure she wanted a career in health care that she started volunteering in her local hospital’s emergency department when she was just 14 years old. Now, as a longtime Sharp employee and a lead nurse of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Care Clinic, she says she wouldn’t change a thing.
 
“I was very passionate about nursing as a profession and health care in general,” says Skeen, who continued volunteering throughout her time in nursing school. “I thought nursing would really suit me because I like interacting with patients and families and having the time to help educate them while we form that personal connection.”
 
The Care Clinic, which serves patients with urgent, non-life-threatening medical needs, opened its doors at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in April 2018. Skeen, who has been with the clinic from the beginning, says her favorite thing about their work is that they make a positive impact on the community every day.

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SPRING VALLEY ARSON SUSPECT SOUGHT

East County News Service
 
April 10, 2024 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is seeking Sean Arkward, 54, for suspicion of setting fire to an occupied home in Spring Valley.
 
After receiving a call on April 9 around 7:35 p.m. from a resident reporting that their house was on fire in the 900 block of Sacramento Avenue in Spring Valley, Deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station along with the San Miguel Fire Department responded to the location. Units arrived within minutes and found several small fires throughout several rooms in the home.

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KIDZ DANZ KOMPANY PRESENTS 30TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW "COLORS"

East County News Service
 
April 10, 2024 (La Mesa) -- The critically-acclaimed and award-winning Kidz Danz Kompany, San Diego’s premier children’s dance company, presents “Colors”, KDK’s 30th Anniversary show, at the MP Dance Performance Space (8674 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942) on April 19-27, 2024 @ 7pm.

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AN INTERSTELLAR SUCCESS: MAKING COUNTY GOVERNMENT WORK FOR JULIAN

By Supervisor Joel Anderson
 
April 10, 2024 (Julian) – For Julian residents, preserving the dark sky is a way of life. Designated as an International Dark Sky Community in 2021, Julian is part of the mere 1% of the U.S. where the Milky Way remains visible. 
 
The mountain town’s mission recently faced a challenge when the brightness of fourteen newly installed streetlights exceeded dark sky community standards — prompting the Julian Dark Sky Network to seek assistance from my office.

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FATAL COLLISION IN CREST

East County News Service
 
April 9, 2024 (Crest, CA) – A 53-year-old El Cajon man has died of injuries sustained in a collision yesterday on Crest.
 
The victim was driving a 2014 Yamaha YZF R1 motorcycle at around 50 miles per hour eastbound on La Cresta Road, west of Coyote Ridge, around 5:10 p.m. when a Kia Forte pulled out of a driveway to make a left turn, causing the motorcycle to hit her vehicle.

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LA MESA ACTIVATES FIRST HAWK SIGNAL IN CITY TO PROTECT PEDESTRIANS

Source: City of La Mesa
 
April 9, 2024 (La Mesa) – The City of La Mesa installed its first High-Intensity Activated CrossWalk (HAWK) signal at the intersection of Jessie Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard in an effort to enhance pedestrian safety.

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SHERIFF SEEKS HELP TO ID BORREGO SPRINGS HOMICIDE VICTIM FOUND IN 1985

East County News Service
 
Victim had a coyote tattoo and the word “life or wife” on his left forearm, as well as “Linda” and “Gypsy” on his right forearm.
 
April 9, 2024 (Borrego Springs)—The San Diego Sheriff is seeking public help to identify the victim in a cold-case homicide. The man’s body was found Saturday, October 26, 1985 on State Highway 22, between mile post markers 37 and 38 in the Borrego Springs area. The body was located down a steep embankment on the north side of the road. 

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HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

East County News Service

Photos by Robert Gehr

April 9,2024 (El Cajon) --El Cajon Police Department is investigation the death of a man who died following an assault early this morning. 

Officers responded to reports of an assault around 3 a.m.and provided medical aid to the victim, who died at the scene in the 100 block of Main Street between Orange Avenue and Magnolia. His injuries are consistent with blunt force trauma,a ccording to Lt. K.MacArthur with ECPD.

ECM photographer Robert Gehr reports streets are open to traffic while the investigation continues.


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LA MESA POLICE INVESTIGATE SHOOTING DEATH OF MAN IN PARKED CAR

Update April 11, 2024 --The victim has been identified as Roderick Stroman, 42, of San Diego.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 8, 2024 (La Mesa) – Responding to a call reporting a gunshot yesterday morning around 12:35 a.m., La Mesa Police officers found a black sedan parked in the 7100 block of Waite Drive with a shattered driver’s side window. They found an unresponsive man in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

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JEWELRY STORE SMASH-AND-GRAB SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
April 8, 2024 (La Mesa) — Surveillance video helped La Mesa Police identify and arrest a suspect accused of a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Grossmont Center.
 
The robbery occurred on April 5 around 10:50 a.m. A witness inside the store called 911 to report that a man used a hammer to smash a glass display case and snatch up several expensive watches, as an employee fled to the back of the store in fear for her safety.

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BORREGO SPRINGS SET TO HOST PRESTIGIOUS 6-12-24 HOUR WORLD TIME TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Source: GoToBorregoSprings.com
 
Registration opens April 15 for event Nov. 1-3
 
April 7, 2024 (Borrego Springs) – Borrego Springs, a tranquil desert oasis, is set to host the prestigious 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships (WTTC) November 1-3. Esteemed in the endurance cycling world, this event draws top time trial racers globally to this Southern California gem.

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EL CAJON HOSTS AMERICA ON MAIN STREET FESTIVAL MAY 18

East County News Service
 
April 4, 2024 (El Cajon) — The city of El Cajon hosts “America on Main Street” on Saturday, May 18. This event  is a celebration of the American spirit through appreciation and respect of the many diverse ethnic and historical groups in the community. 
 
Highlights include multiple stages of live entertainment, American and ethnic food booths, rides, arts, crafts and display booths, a petting zoo, bounce houses and more!

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OPEN RANCH AT HAZARD ALPACAS

East County News Service
 
April 4, 2024 (Jamul) -- Celebrate Springtime by visiting the alpacas. Open Ranch at Hazard Alpacas is Saturday and Sunday April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 20781 Deerhorn Valley Road in Jamul, CA 91935.
 
Alpacas resemble llamas, but they are smaller in size. Alpacas were domesticated by the Andean people around 6,000 years ago. These animals served various purposes for their human companions, including providing wool, food, and fuel. Alpacas are part of a group called ungulates, which includes other hooved mammals like sheep and giraffes.

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EL CAJON POLICE ARREST PAROLED SEX OFFENDER IN POSSESSION OF CHILD PORN AND DRUGS

East County News Service
 
April 4, 2024 (El Cajon) — El Cajon Police have arrested a registered sex offender for possession of child pornography and drugs.
 
Alexander Ingles was homeless and living in his vehicle when officers contacted him on March 20 regarding a vehicle code violation. 

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