Santee/Lakeside

WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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WOMAN FOUND DEAD NEAR CREEK IN SANTEE IDENTIFIED AS FAITH ANGLE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Forensic artist PJ Puterbaugh created this sketch that helped to identify the deceased woman. 

 

February 25, 2024 (Santee) -- A citizen’s tip helped the County Medical Examiner’s Office identify a woman who died in the Jan. 22 storm. The body of Faith Angle, 46, was found in brush along Forester Creek in Santee.


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PROTECT SANTEE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO IMPROVE FIRE PROTECTION

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2024 (Santee) – The Santee Firefighters Association (SFA) is sponsoring the “Protect Santee” ballot initiative aimed at improving fire protection. The city’s fire department resources have not kept pace with growth in the community, a problem so severe that firefighters and emergency medical first responders are not able to meet national safety response time standards, multiple reports confirm.

“With just 17 on-call firefighters and two outdated fire stations, the fire department’s response times are often DOUBLE the crucial 4-minute National Fire Safety Response Standard, as AP Triton reported in its 2023 Santee Community Risk Assessment,” a press release from  the SFA states.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) was hired by the SFA to provide a report on the fire department’s capabilities. It found that most fire engines are staffed by  three firefighters, not the minimum of four required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Moreover, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that two firefighters cannot enter a burning building or other dangerous situation unless at least two more fighters are outside. So Santee’s three-person crews must wait until another crew arrives before they can enter a burning home, for example.

 

The study also found most area roads are not currently served  within the safe time frames outlined in the report.  “As such, it results in an increased risk of death or injury to firefighters and the citizens of Santee, as well as increased risk for considerable property loss of housing units and businesses throughout the City,” the report concludes.


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EASTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY JUNIOR FAIR AND BBQ MARCH 17 IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

February 19, 2024 (Lakeside) — Here’s an event to squeal about! A tradition since 1947, the Eastern San Diego County Junior Fair will be held on Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds (12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside). 


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RURAL RESIDENTS OPPOSE AT&T PROPOSAL TO PULL PLUG ON LAND LINES, SAY ACTION COULD COST LIVES: HEARING MARCH 19

By Miriam Raftery

Image: CC via Bing

February 8, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – AT&T has filed an application asking the California Public Utilities Commission to end AT&T’s obligation to serve as a carrier of last resort (COLR) and cease maintaining land line telephone service. A map indicates this would include the entire San Diego region. If the CPUC approves the request,  land line service could end as early as six months later.

There are no in-person hearings in San Diego County, but you can voice your opinion in a virtual hearing March 19 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. or post online comments here.  

"If approved by the CPUC, over 580,000 affected AT&T customers would be left with fewer options in terms of choice, quality, and affordability," warns the Rural County Representatives of California. "Alternative services, such as VoIP and wireless, have no obligation to serve a customer or to provide equivalent services to AT&T landline customers, including no obligation to provide reliable access to 911 or Lifeline program discounts."

The proposal has drawn strong opposition from rural residents in East County and elsewhere in California, as well as consumer advocates who warn that ending land lines would leave many in rural or remote locations with no reliable phone service at all, since Internet VOIP phone service is not widely available in many places and some areas also lack cell phone connectivity. Even for those with cell service, land lines have proven life-saving options when cell towers have burned down during wildfires in places such as rural Potrero.


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MAN, 26, DIES AFTER BEING SHOT IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

February 7, 2024 (Lakeside)—San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting gunshots and a man lying in the street in the 9700 block of Cactus Street in Lakeside yesterday at 3:10 p.m. 

Deputies found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. Deputies provided medical aid until they were relieved by Fire Department personnel and paramedics. Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at 3:25 p.m., says Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

The victim has been identified as 26-year-old Michael Anthony Johnson.


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LAKESIDE ARTIST WINS FIRST PLACE

East County News Service

 

February 4, 2024 (Lakeside) -- Susan Hewitt, an artist and resident of Lakeside, California, has won the first-place award in the highly competitive February 2024 San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS) Member’s exhibition “Treasures”, an in-gallery show of the SDWS at 2825 Dewey Road in Liberty Station, San Diego, CA.

 

Hewitt’s painting titled “A Thinking Woman” was selected by prominent Escondido artist Suzanne Nicolaisen for this honor, out of over 250 entries. Nicolaisen said of the painting: “A picture of elegance and grace, kindness and wisdom clearly displayed in this beautifully executed work. The attention to detail is flawless. The limited palette, excellent color choice, composition and design depicts the artist’s ability to share an emotional connection. There is warmth and compassion throughout the creation.”


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FIDO FEST: A PUP-ULAR SANTEE EVENT

East County News Service

February 4, 2024 (Santee) -- The City of Santee’s eighth annual Fido Fest will take place Saturday, February 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, located at 550 Park Center Drive, Santee 92071. Join the City of Santee for tail-wagging fun at one of San Diego County’s most popular dog events.

This family and dog-friendly event is an opportunity for attendees to view adoptable dogs from about 20 local rescues, shop from various vendors, watch amazing demonstrations, and enjoy giveaways. If walking or shopping through the excitement works up your appetite, 5 food vendors will be serving delectable eats for all to enjoy. There will be a variety of arts and crafts to paw-take in, including: yappy hour, treat finder, doggy tattoos, an off-leash area, fly ball demonstration, an agility course, and a sniff station.

Show off your four-legged friend in costume, size, and trick contests for a chance to win a giveaway item! In addition to the showcase of contest entries, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Santee Fire Department will demonstrate their canines’ capabilities.


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PUBLIC’S HELP NEEDED TO IDENTIFY WOMAN FOUND DEAD NEAR CREEK IN SANTEE AFTER FLOOD

East County News Service

 

Photo, left: Forensic artist PJ Puterbaugh created this sketch of the unidentified woman found in Santee and a tattoo of a winged dolphin and hearts on her leg.

February 3, 2023 (Santee) -- The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office needs assistance identifying a woman found unresponsive in the brush on the southern border of Forester Creek in Santee. Paramedics responded to help on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 22, but she could not be resuscitated.

A forensic sketch artist created this drawing of the woman. Photographs of the tattoo and jewelry are also provided.


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RED WORMS AS COMPOSTING SUPERSTARS: LEARN MORE AT VERMICOMPOSTING WORKSHOP IN LAKESIDE FEB. 19

East County News Service

 

January 28, 2024 (Lakeside) -- Solana Center for Environmental Innovation will host a Vermicomposting Basic workshop on Feb. 19 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Olde Community Church, 9906 Maine Ave. in Lakeside. Join Solana Center for this one-hour workshop to discover why red wiggler worms are composting superstars! Vermicomposting has a benefit for everyone, whether you want to divert kitchen scraps from the landfill, compost in small spaces, or create a natural fertilizer for your plants. This workshop will teach you how to get started and maintain a happy home for red wiggler worms.


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STORM WREAKS HAVOC ACROSS REGION

By Miriam Raftery

Updated January 23, 2024 to include city and county of San Diego declaring an emergency

January 22, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy rains during today’s storm caused widespread flooding, road closures, power outages, and inundation of vehicles and structures including an East County school. Flooding also prompted numerous rescues including motorists trapped in vehicles in Spring Valley and Lemon Grove, as well as homeless people stranded by rising waters along the San Diego River in Santee.

Richard Attaway took dramatic  photos  (left) of Mission Gorge Road in Santee just east of  Carlton Hills Boulevard, where he said “there are homeless clinging on trees for their lives in the river bed.” One video showed a woman stranded on an island surrounded by swift-flowing currents. Numerous emergency crews were on hand and at least one person was rescued from the floodwaters.


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SANTEE DISCOVERY DAY: JANUARY 27 AT WALKER PRESERVE

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos courtesy: City of Santee

January 20, 2024 (Santee) -- You're invited to Walker Preserve Saturday, January 27th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Santee Discovery Day, part of Santee Discovery Month, encouraging people to visit Santee's beautiful and plentiful family friendly trails (click for Citywide trail map). In addition to food available for purchase, there will be a rock wall, nature exploration booths, opportunity drawing and more, making this the signature event of January's public awareness campaign.


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KARL STRAUSS AND TRADER JOE’S ARE COMING TO SANTEE

 

By Mike Allen

January 12, 2024 (Santee)-- Both Karl Strauss and Trader Joe’s have  announced plans to open retail outlets in Santee, although the latter company isn’t saying much other than its intention to come.


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EAST COUNTY AND SANTEE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE JOINT MIXER JANUARY 31

By Jonathan Goetz

January 9, 2024 (Santee) -- Santee Chamber of Commerce and the East County Chamber of Commerce invite you to a joint mixer hosted by Sportsplex USA Santee 9951 Riverwalk Dr, Santee, CA 92071. Make new and strengthen current connections with other local business representatives. 


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COUNTY HOLDS GRAND OPENING FOR DIANNE JACOB EQUESTRIAN PARK IN LAKESIDE

 Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland

View video from County News Service

December 31 2023 (Lakeside) – County Parks and Recreation held a grand opening of the $16.9 million Dianne Jacob Equestrian Park on December 12 in Lakeside. Several hundred people attended, with Jacob as the guest of honor.

Jacob served 28 years as District 2 County Supervisor and is an avid equestrian. Her dream of a premier facility was unveiled to an enthusiastic crowd and local officials. Jacob was an advocate for many park projects during her tenure of 28 years in public office.

The excitement was obvious in Jacob’s demeanor as she cut the long red ribbon to open the beautiful facility. “This is awesome...It’s one-of-a-kind and it’s going to bring in events from all over the state of California,” said Jacob. “This is going to put Lakeside on the map.”


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BLOOD DRIVES IN SANTEE AND LEMON GROVE

 

December 27,2023 (East County) -- The San Diego Blood Bank will hold blood drives in January in Lemon Grove and Santee:


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THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR LAKESIDE’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ON MAINE

By Shiloh Ireland

December 12, 2023 (Lakeside)-- Thousands of merrymakers attended Lakeside’s Spirit of Christmas on Maine event December 2.  

The event along Maine Avenue featured vendors, local merchant displays, food trucks, dance and vocals from local middle schools, community information booths, animals, local dignitaries, a band, classic car show, Lakeside Rodeo And Bulls Only Queens, Lakeside pre-teen and teen queens, Lakeside Fire Department, Lieutenant Katra of San Diego Sheriff Lakeside office and much more.


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COUNTY SUED BY LAKESIDE MAN SHOT 16 TIMES BY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Erik Talavera at rally; screenshot from video by ECM media partner 10 News

View deputies’ body camera footage of the shooting (warning, disturbing content):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErLDy2sSzc 

November 30, 2023 (Lakeside) – A Lakeside man who suffered permanent injuries from being shot 16 times has filed a lawsuit against San Diego County and two Sheriff’s deputies who opened fire. 

The civil lawsuit filed by Erik Talavera alleges that deputies David Lovejoy and Jonathan Young gave conflicting commands and used excessive force and negligence during the incident in El Cajon on Feb.16, 2022. The deputies were cleared of criminal wrongdoing following an investigation by the District Attorney.


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FIGHT RESULTS IN SHOOTING,STABBING IN LAKESIDE

 

East County News Service

Photos provided by:Shiloh Ireland 

 

November 30, 2023 (Lakeside)  --Two people were injured after a fight ended in a shooting and stabbing in Lakeside on Saturday, November 25. 

 

Shortly before 7:30 p.m., deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff's substation responded to reports of a shooting in the 12000 block of Woodside Avenue.


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SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS DEC. 2 BRINGS HOLIDAY CHEER TO LAKESIDE

East County News Service

November 23, 2023 (Lakeside) -- Santa and his elves are hard at work, getting ready for Christmas and working together with the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce on their Spirit of Christmas event. The festivities will be held on Saturday, December 2 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. along Maine Ave. in the heart of historic Lakeside.


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WOMAN, 21, ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF INFANT IN SANTEE

November 21, 2023 (Santee) -- A woman has been arrested in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a child in Santee.

On Monday, November 20 just before 6 p.m., a woman tried to remove a one-year-old child from a shopping cart in the 100 block of Town Center Parkway. The suspect was not successful, since the child was secured in the cart with a lap belt. She then took off on foot heading south toward Mission Gorge Road. Despite a thorough search of the area by Sheriff's Deputies and a Sheriff's ASTREA helicopter, the suspect was not located.

Detectives from the Santee Sheriff's Station immediately began investigating the incident. On Tuesday, November 21 around 7:30 p.m., detectives arrested Isela Ortega, 21,  in the 400 block of Orsett Street in Chula Vista.


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ATTEMPTED INFANT KIDNAPPING IN SANTEE: SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS TO FIND FEMALE SUSPECT

 
East County News Service
 
November 21, 2023 (Santee) -- The Santee Sheriff's Station is investigating the attempted kidnapping of a child  on Monday, November 20 shortly before 6:00 p.m. in the 100 block of Town Center Parkwayin Santee. The parents of a one-year-old called 9-1-1 to report that a woman tried to remove their child from their shopping cart as they were walking to their car. The suspect attempted to take the child from the cart several times, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department.
 
However, the child was safely secured with a lap belt. The suspect fled the scene on foot when the parents called 9-1-1. The child was not hurt. Deputies from the Santee Sheriff's Station and a Sheriff's ASTREA helicopter immediately responded to the scene. They searched the area for the suspect, but she was not located.

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LAKESIDE CAFE & BAKERY: LOCAL LANDMARK PAYS IT FORWARD WITH THANKSGIVING MEALS TO THE NEEDY

By Shiloh Ireland

November 20, 2023 (Lakeside) -- In 2017, husband and wife Jose Ortiz and Claudia Ortiz purchased the Lakeside Cafe in Lakeside, offering home-cooked breakfasts and lunches. Since 2018, they have generously given complete Thanksgiving meals to people in need each year. But this season, they have received more requests than they can accommodate. So, they are asking help from the community for donations.


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HO,HO! SANTEE HOLIDAY LIGHTING CELEBRATION WITH SANTA NOV. 17

November 16, 2023 (Santee) -- The city of Santee will host its holiday lighting celebration on Friday, November 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Santee Trolley Square (9884 Mission Gorge Rd., Santee).

Visitors can enjoy sledding, live music by the Bayou Brothers, holiday photo opportunities with Santa, face painting, and a tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.


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SANTEE COUNCIL GIVES OK TO UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

By Mike Allen

November 15, 2023 (Santee) -- A small congregation of Ukrainian American Catholics will make Santee their new home, once the church they have long planned is built in about a year.

The parish, St. John the Baptizer, which now holds its services in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, purchased a lot at Carlton Oaks Drive and Pike Street in 2018.

On Nov. 8 the Santee City Council unanimously approved an application for a conditional use permit for the gold-domed church and connecting meeting hall to the applicants, technically a part of the Ukrainian Church of Chicago.


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TRADES APPRENTICESHIPS AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES IN LAKESIDE

By Shiloh Ireland

Photo,left:  Barry Jantz, Debbie Barnum, and Chula Vista Mayor Jim McCann

November 15, 2023 (Lakeside) -- Sixty Chula Vista Learning Community Charter high school students took part in real-world, hands-on experience in construction and drone technology on October 25 at AGC Apprenticeship & Training in Lakeside. The event was hosted by Barry Jantz and attended by Chula Vista Mayor John McCann who took part in Career Exploration Day.

There is an ongoing national discussion taking place about the high cost of a college education and resulting student debt, as well as alternative career pathways to college. So this local community is stepping up, providing students and under-served communities the knowledge of great paying alternatives and paid training right here in our backyard, bringing young people in for hands-on career exploration.

The students participated in a series of 30-minute hands-on workshops in a state-of-the-art training facility, showcasing a variety of excellent careers available in construction and related industries. Experiences included drone technology, heavy equipment simulation, framing, plumbing, and electrical.


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LAKESIDE'S BULLS ONLY RODEO: THE SOUND OF THUNDER

             

By Shiloh Ireland

November 15, 2023 (Lakeside) --  The Bulls Only Rodeo in Lakeside on Oct. 13-14 featured the most exhilarating and crowd engaging sport challenging the performers to the perfect eight second ride. The Bulls Only is presented by the Lakeside  Optimist Club; proceeds are used to provide for the needs of youths in Lakeside.

This was the 24th Annual Bulls Only Rodeo There are many rodeo events, but the Sports Writers of America voted bull riding as the most dangerous sporting event in the country.

ECM attended the October 14th performance. The excitement was felt in the air upon arrival with families and a large crowd anticipating an explosive performance of bull riding, junior bull riding and the always-favorite mutton busting by youngsters. There were many vendors and a wide variety of snacks and beverages to keep the guests fueled. The jumbo screen held up by a crane was a spectacular addition to the performances as instant replays were seen up close and in seconds following a performer’s ride.


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SANTEE GETTING DUAL CAR DEALERSHIP

By Mike Allen

Image,left: Rendering of planned auto dealership project

November 4, 2023 (Santee) -- A long-vacant, rock strewn lot on Mission Gorge Road just west of Magnolia Avenue is slated to become the Santee Auto Center, following approval of the project by the City Council last week.

The 13.1 acre site at 10335 Mission Gorge Road once housed Santee Elementary School, which opened in 1891 and closed in 2003 due to declining enrollment. Santee-based Cameron Brothers Construction Co. plans to convert the site into two dealerships, one of which is Chevrolet.

The center includes two warehouse buildings of more than 33,000 square feet, an auto body shop, and car wash. It will have six entrances and 688 parking spaces, mostly for inventory and customer service.


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ACCLAIMED MUSICIANS MEAN MARY AND FRANK JAMES TO PERFORM NOV. 25 IN SANTEE

East County News Service

November 4, 2023 (Santee) – International touring musician Mean Mary, with her brother, Frank James, will appear at Summit UU Fellowship, 8778 Cottonwood Ave. in Santee on Saturday,  November 25 at 7 p.m. Her special performance will include some crowd favorites such as her original songs, "Iron Horse" and "Blazing," new songs and holiday music from her brand-new Christmas CD.


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