Rural communities

CAMPO MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR DOUBLE FATALITY CRASH IN BUCKMAN SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

January 26, 2017 (San Diego) – Campo resident Ryan Gary Renz, 24, has been arrested for murder and suspicion of driving under the influence after the Jetta vehicle he was driving flipped over last night at 6:55 p.m., killing two passengers.

BOYS BASKETBALL: MATADORS PULVERIZE BRAVES 70-32

 

Do you have a son or daughter that plays a sport at a level other than varsity?  Drop a line on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

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Story and photos by Liz Alper

January 24, 2017 (El Cajon) - Deep in the heart of conference play, the El Cajon Valley High School Braves varsity boys basketball team looked to improve their 0-2 record in conference play against the Matadors of Mount Miguel.

GOT SANDBAGS? WATCH FOR WEEDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2017 (Boulevard) – A reader alerted us that after picking up free sandbags recently at the Boulevard Fire Station,  he noticed “hoary mustard weed growing out of the sand they used…The hoary mustard is a terrible weed that is spreading in Boulevard on equipment or anything that gets dirty and now is in sand bags spreading into even more areas. Once on someones property they will be fighting it forever as it invades gardens and any disturbed soil.”

AGREEMENT PROTECTS SAN DIEGO’S VANISHING BURROWING OWLS, INCREASES SOLAR ENERGY

 

Agreement includes pilot project to repopulate burrowing owls across San Diego County; comes in response to lawsuit filed over destruction of burrowing owls near airport

January 23, 2017 (San Diego) -- An agreement announced today between conservation and environmental justice groups and private developers will protect imperiled burrowing owls, increase renewable solar energy and conserve wildlife habitat to offset impacts from the redevelopment of San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport. The airport — located near the Mexico border in Otay Mesa — will be redeveloped with new commercial and aviation facilities and include on-site solar energy to reduce energy consumption.

The agreement follows a lawsuit filed against the City of San Diego in 2013 by environmental groups to protect burrowing owls at the airport and protect their habitat.  Coalition for a Safe Environment's executive director Jesse Marquez stated at the time, "On one of our visits we discovered that the owl burrows had been poisoned to eliminate the owls in order to avoid having to relocate them. We must do everything possible to protect these owls from becoming extinct in San Diego."

TREE FALLS ON VFW HALL IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Don Lumb

January 22, 2017 (Alpine) – A towering eucalyptus tree has toppled onto a patio roof at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Alpine.  The VRW center is located at 944 Tavern Road.  Don Lumb sent these photos; no other details are  immediately available.

COUNTY SUED OVER CHANGES TO FOREST CONSERVATION PLAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Cleveland National Forest Foundation (CNF) and Save Our Forest and Ranchlands (SOFAR) filed a lawsuit against San Diego County last week in San Diego Superior Court.  The suit argues that Supervisors adopted an amendment to the Forest Conservation Initiative (FCI) based on a faulty environmental analysis and failed to identity ways to minimize impacts of the new plan. 

DEER MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 19, 2017 (Jamul) - Three wild deer mice caught in routine trapping in a rural area in Jamul have tested positive this week for hantavirus — the first to test positive for the potentially deadly virus in San Diego County in 2017.

BOYS BASKETBALL: FOOTHILLERS TRAMPLE MONARCHS 69-53

 

Do you have a son or daughter that plays a sport at a level other than varsity?  Drop a line on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!

Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section!

Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live sports coverage and stories!

Story and photos by Liz Alper

January 17, 2017 (Spring Valley) - The struggling Monte Vista Monarchs varsity boys basketball team looked to gain some momentum back against the Foothillers of Grossmont tonight.

CAMPO LAKE MORENA PLANNING GROUP MEETING JAN. 23 INCLUDES DISCUSSION OF SEWER RATE HIKES, LOW-FLYING HELICOPTERS AND FILLING VACANCY ON BOARD

 

January 17, 2017 (Campo) -- Proposed sewer rate hikes and low-flying Navy helicopters are among the items slated for discussion at the Campo Lake Morena Planning Group's meeting on Monday, January 23 at 7 p.m.  The meeting will be in the Mountain Epire Community Center at 976 Sheridan Rd. in Campo.

The planning group will also elect officers and review applicants to fill a vacancy for Seat 7.  If you're interested in applying,  contact Chairman Billie Jo Jannen at (619)415-6298.

The public is encouraged to attend and speak on any agenda item, or on other area land use issues during public discussion.

View full preliminary agenda

LAUREL AND HARDY SAPS AT SEA MEETING JAN. 28

 

East County News Service

January 17, 2017 (Spring Valley) - What better way to kick off 2017 than with Laurel & Hardy?  The Saps at Sea, the local Laurel & Hardy fan club, begins its 39th year with a meeting on Saturday, January 28 at Williams Halls at Trinity Church in Spring Valley.

DESPITE RAINS, THREE EAST COUNTY RESERVOIRS REMAIN AT VERY LOW LEVELS

 

Dam upgrades slated to begin at Lake Morena in 2018, but there’s no guarantee water levels will ever be restored

By Miriam Raftery

January 12, 2017 (Lake Morena) --  Even after heavy rainfalls doused our region,  three East County Reservoirs remain at very low levels.  As of January 9th, Lake Morena is at  just 2.1 percent of capacity, Barrett Lake is att 5.5 percent, and Sutherland 7.3 percent of capacity, according to the City of San Diego.

These are the only local reservoirs not connected to the State Water Project system of canals and aqueducts, thus they are solely dependent on rainfall  which has not been enough to replenish large quantities pumped out by the City of San Diego to meet its thirst for water.

HUNTER, ISSA VOTE TO ALLOW GIVEAWAYS OF FEDERAL LANDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cedar Creek Falls in Cleveland National Forest, located in San Diego’s East County

January 8, 2017 (San Diego) – San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa joined with the House Majority in voting for a rules change would allow giveaway of federal lands to states, local governments, or tribes.  Potentially, such giveaways could include national parks such as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. It also encompasses all other public lands; here in San Diego these include Cleveland National Forest, federal recreation areas and national wildlife preserves.

HUSBAND OF DEAD JAMUL WOMAN WAS ACQUITTED OF DOUBLE-MURDER IN PAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2017 (Jamul) – Winnie Perry Whitby, the husband of Melissa Whitby, whose dead body was found with upper body trauma on a trail near their Jamul home on Saturday, has previously been charged with murdering two men in Maryland over two decades ago, but was acquitted by a jury.

DEAD GOATS FOUND; 52 MORE RESCUED IN JAMUL

 

 

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 9, 2017 (Jamul) - More than four dozen goats are now in the care of County Animal Services after being rescued Monday from a property in Jamul.

Animal control officers went to the property after receiving reports of several dead goats. When the officers arrived, they found nine dead goats. The investigation is still underway, but officers suspect the animals starved to death. The officers found dozens more goats that were thin or severely underweight.

BODY FOUND IN JAMUL IDENTIFIED AS MELISSA WHITBY: DEATH WAS HOMICIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2017 (Jamul) — The County Medical Examiner has identified a body found in Jamul on Saturday as Melissa Whitby, a Jamul resident.  She was reported missing December 31st by her husband, Winnie Whitby.   There was upper body trauma and cause of death has been determined to be a homicide.

SPRING VALLEY FIRE INJURES FOUR PEOPLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Terri Steele

January 8, 2017 (Spring Valley) –Three people suffered minor burns and a fourth was treated for smoke inhalation from a fire at a home in the 10000 block of Don Pico Road in Spring Valley this afternoon, NBC TV reports.

“At about 12:10 today we heard a chorus of sirens immediately south of us, across the 94,” neighbor Terri Steele informed ECM, who shot these dramatic images from her back deck.

AUTHORITIES SEEK OWNERS OF CREDIT CARDS, MAIL, GIFT CARDS AND OTHER SUSPECTED STOLEN ITEMS FOUND IN RECOVERED U-HAUL TRUCK IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

January 8, 2017 (Alpine) – Authorities recovered a stolen U-Haul truck on Friday, filled with other stolen property.

An Alpine Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the lot of a local casino and spotted the stolen U-Haul truck.  With help from casino security, the deputy located the truck’s two occupants, Kimberly White, 47, and Salomon Saenz, 60. 

WOMAN’S BODY FOUND BY HIKER IN JAMUL

 

East County News Service

January 8, 2017 (Jamul) — A $1,000 reward is offered for help to solve the case of an unidentified woman found dead yesterday in the 15800 block of Skyline Truck Trail in Jamul.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail and Rancho San Diego station are investigating the death as a possible homicide due to apparent trauma to the victim’s upper body.  She is estimated to be in her 40s or 50s.

FIRE DESTROYS TRAILERFUL OF TRIPE ON I-8 IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Alpine) – Overheated brakes caused a fire that engulfed a big-rig trailer laden with 10 tons of tripe on Interstate 8 west in Alpine yesterday shortly after 1:30 a.m.

The driver disconnected the refrigerated trailer and escaped safely with his dog, but flames scorched most of the beef tripe bound for a San Diego distribution center, California Highway Patrol has indicated.

HIT AND RUN DRIVER SOUGHT IN PEDESTRIAN FATALITY IN SPRING VALLEY IN EARLY HOURS OF NEW YEAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- California Highway Patrol seeks public help to identify motorist who struck and killed a pedestrian on eastbound  State Route 94 just east of Kenwood Drive  in Spring Valley around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 1st, then fled the scene.

ROAD WIDENING BEGINS FOR TULE WIND PROJECT IN MCCAIN VALLEY: CLOSURES AND TRAFFIC DELAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2017 (McCain Valley) – Road widening in anticipation of construction of the Tule Wind energy project in McCain Valley begins Tuesday, January 3rd.  A public notice  has been issued cautioning users of McCain Valley Road, Lake Canyon Campground, Cottonwood Campground and the Off Highway Vehicle Area about temporary closures and traffic delays.

ARBORIST OFFERS ADVICE ON SAVING OAK TREES

 

December 30, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Oak boring beetles and other insect pests have decimated vast swaths of oak forests across San Diego's East County.  Recently, we interviewed arborist Bret Hutchinson, an expert on oak tree infestations and owner of Green Tree Forest Service, on the latest efforts to preserve oaks in our region.

Drought leaves trees more vulnerable to infestation.  Learn how to prevent problems, spot infestations, and what to do if your oak trees are stricken by clicking the audio link to hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. (sound files may take a few moments to load.)

Audio: 

ALPINE FIRE SWEARS IN TWO BOARD MEMBERS

 

Source: Alpine Fire Dept.

Photos:  District Legal Counsel Steve Fitch administers oath of office to incumbent Alpine Fire Board member Thomas “Jim”  Mann (left) and new member Steve Taylor (right).


December 27, 2016 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District swore-in two Board members at the December 20, 2016 Board meeting.  Incumbent Thomas “Jim” Mann took the oath for his second 4-year term on the Fire Board.  New Board member Steve Taylor was sworn in for a 4-year term as well. Both Board members were the top two vote getters in a 5 person race for two seats on the Fire Board.  Both Board members were sworn in by District Legal counsel Steve Fitch.  Outgoing Board member Mary Fritz did not seek re-election.  Board member Fritz was thanked by staff, the firefighters and her fellow Board members for her many years serving on the Fire Board. 

WOMAN KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH AT DULZURA, TWO OTHERS INJURED

 

East County News Service

December 26, 2016 (Dulzura) — A 44-year-old El Cajon woman has died of injuries in a head-on collision in Dulzura.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein, the victim was driving a 2011 Ford Fusion westbound on State Route 94 near Barrett School Road around 5:10 p.m. on December 23rd when a 2003 Ford Explorer driven by a Dulzura woman, 28, crossed the double yellow lines, striking the Fusion head-on.

WOMAN, 23, FOUND DEAD AFTER LEXUS CRASH OFF I-8 IN DESCANSO

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2016 (Descanso) — This morning, the body of a 23-year-old woman was found near a Lexus vehicle that had plummeted off I-8 east of State Route 79 in Descanso.  The woman had been ejected from the vehicle and died of her injuries at the scene.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE CHANGES TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF LANDS FORMERLY PROTECTED BY FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Next up: Alpine General Plan amendments to be considered in 2017

December 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—By a  4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Dave Roberts opposed,  San Diego Supervisors on Wednesday voted to approve a Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment, along with community plan amendments, rezoning and  certification of a supplemental environmental review. The action paves the way for development of parcels  in the Alpine and Descanso areas that were formerly protected under the Forest Conservation Initiative passed by voters, but that has since expired due to a sunset provision in 2010.

Travis Lyon, chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, reports that the Supervisors “took all the recommendations ACPG made at the last meeting.” 

Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation,  said after the hearing, “The bottom line is that the County has moved to do away with what the voters – two thirds of them—wanted in 1993 to protect our local Forest."

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