Communities

DEDICATION CEREMONY JAN. 27 FOR “HIKING ON MT. WOODSON” MURAL AT RAMONA FITNESS CENTER

 

Source: Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural project

Photo: Artist Rik Erickson works to complete expansive 12 feet x 70 feet Mt. Woodson mural to be placed at the Ramona Fitness Center on Jan. 27

January 14, 2018 (Ramona) -- A dedication ceremony for the “Hiking on Mount Woodson” mural will be held on Saturday, January 27 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main Street, Ramona. The public is invited to attend. In addition to refreshments, attendees will receive a picture of the mural, autographed by the artist.

“MEAN MARY” IN CONCERT FEB. 2 IN SANTEE

 

East County News Service

January 13, 2018 (Santee) – Mean Mary in concert on February 2 at 7 p.m.  at the Summit Universalist Unitarian Fellowship in Santee. The artist is an Americana, bluegrass, blues, and folk artist based in Nashville, stopping here on her “Blazing Tour” through Southern California.

SANTEE BROTHERS SENTENCED TO 20+ YEARS IN PRISON FOR MURDERING HOMELESS MAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 12, 2018 (Santee) – Santee brothers Austin and Preston Mostrong were sentenced to spend decades in prison for beating George Lowery, 50, a homeless man to death in April,2016 at a Santee encampment. 

Austin Mostrong, 22, pled guilty to second-degree murder of Lowery as well as assaulting another victim.  Preston Mostrong, 21, pled guilty to manslaughter, mayhem, and causing great body injury.  Austin was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Mostrong received a sentence of 20 years to life.

SANTEE BANS SMOKING ON TRAILS, TAKES FIRST STEP TO DISTRICT ELECTIONS

 

By Mike Allen

January 12, 2018 (Santee)--Smoking or vaping on Santee’s city trails such as the Walker Preserve and near Mast Park will no longer be legal following the City Council’s amending its code at its Jan. 10 meeting.

The newly amended law, that also bans smoking electronic cigarettes in the same areas, takes effect after the second reading of the measure Jan.24.

With the vote, Santee joins the rest of the 18 cities and San Diego county in prohibiting smoking on public trails, which is an obvious fire hazard. But the change didn’t go far enough for nearly all the speakers who testified before the council took its vote.

JOIN LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR AN EVENING MIXER AT PROPRIETOR’S RESERVE WINE BAR MARCH 27

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (La Mesa) - On Tuesday, March 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., La Mesa Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them for an evening mixer at one of the newest wine bars in La Mesa and East County, the Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar at the Riviera.

ANOTHER ILLEGAL POT SHOP RAIDED IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A raid at The Bakery, an illegal marijuana dispensary at 9215 Birth Street in Spring Valley, yesterday morning resulted in seizure of large amounts of marijuana, marijuana edibles, cash, marijuana paraphernalia and other items.

COUNTY BOARD APPROVES $2 MILLION TREE PLANTING PROGRAM

 

The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a $2 million expansion of a program to remove and replace weakened trees in County parks. The action authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to advertise and award the contract for its Comprehensive Tree Program.

GRANITE HILLS STUDENT ARRESTED FOR BRINGING BB GUN ON CAMPUS

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (El Cajon) – After a teacher received a tip about a photo on Snapchat showing a student holding a gun in a classroom, administrators placed Granite Hills High School in secure campus mode briefly and notified authorities, NBC 7 reports.

LA MESA HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO HOST SATURDAY MORNING LECTURE ON GROSSMONT HOSPITAL HISTORY BOOK

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2018 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Historical Society will host a lecture on Saturday, Jan. 20 featuring local historian Jim Newland discussing his latest book on the history of Grossmont Hospital. The lecture, which is open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Grossmont Healthcare District Conference Center, 9001 Wakarusa St., La Mesa. Requested admission donation is $5 per person. For more event info, visit www.lamesahistory.com or call (619) 466-0197. To RSVP, visit http://bit.ly/2BQFPzz.

DEPUTY INJURED IN STRUGGLE WITH SUSPECT MISTAKEN FOR BURGLAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (Alpine) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a burglary alarm at the Alpine School District yesterday around 4 p.m.  After security the perimeter of the building, they contacted a person they believed to be a possible suspect.   The individual, Kelly Carpenter, 59, “became uncooperative and assaultive toward deputies,” according to Sergeant James Blanton.  A deputy was injured in the struggle and received treatment for minor injuries.

SUSPECT IN RAMONA MURDER-SUICIDE DIES OF HIS INJURIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Samantha Banegas, via Facebook

January 10, 2018 (Ramona) – Bryan Hinkle, the suspect in the shooting death of Samantha Hayes Banegas, has died of self-inflicted injuries. Banegas, an El Cajon resident, had been honored as 2013-14 Barona Powwow Princess.

REVITALIZATION OF CASA DE ORO: VALLE DE ORO PLANNING GROUP APPROVES PROPOSAL

 

The advisory group recommends a plan to Supervisors for extensive redevelopment of Campo Road, plus a park on Conrad Drive

by Paul Kruze

Hear audio files of Valle de Oro planning group meeting:

Casa De Oro Revitalization

Estrella County Park

View the Casa de Oro options comparison table

January 9, 2018 (Casa de Oro) -- Before the main freeway arteries of State Highway 94 and Interstate Highway 8 were built, Campo Road in the East County community of Casa de Oro was a center of community and commerce. Even earlier, Campo Road served as a wagon road providing access to eastern San Diego County as well as Imperial County; it was added to the state highway system in 1933. But lack of vision and planning in the last 20 years has caused Campo Road to now be home to empty storefronts, liquor stores, smoke shops, medical marijuana dispensaries, dive bars, massage parlors, hookah lounges, and tattoo parlors interspersed with other businesses. Some of these shops turn a blind eye to local and state laws and regulations.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: RAINBOW OVER BORREGO SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

Photo:  © 2018 Peter Tellone – photographer

January 9, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Photographer Peter Tellone sent in this postcard-perfect image of a rainbow after the storm in Borrego Springs.

You can view more of his works at petertellone.com.

COFFEE WITH LA MESA CONVERSATIONS JANUARY 20

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2018 (La Mesa) — You’re invited to come join the La Mesa Conversations leadership and your neighbors at a no-host coffee on Saturday, January 20th from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at Light Bulb Coffee. La Mesa’s newest coffee shop is located at 8138 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa.

HEARINGS ON ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIFICATION

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (Alpine) – Two key hearings that could determine the future of students in Alpine are coming up: a court appeal and a State Board of Education hearing  January 19 at which the Board will consider a recommendation by the Department of Education to deny a unification petition, and a January 11 appeal of a lawsuit over funds to build the long promised Alpine High School.

RESTAURANT WEEK INCLUDES FIVE EAST COUNTY EATERIES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Restaurant Week will be held January 21st through 28th, offering up three-course dinners from $20-$50 and two-courses lunches for $10-$20.

This year, five East County restaurants are participating, including the Final Cut Steakhouse in Jamul and four La Mesa eateries:  Farmer’s Table, Bo-Beau’s Kitchen and Garden, Antica Trattoria and Terra Bistro.

FIREFIGHTERS SET UP FUND TO HELP FAMILY OF 20 WITH MANY ADOPTED, DISABLED CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2018 (El Cajon) – Firefighters from the San Miguel Fire Department have set up a Go Fund Me page to help a family of 20, including many adopted children with disabilities.  A fire outside the Hauer family’s home yesterday damaged two vehicles, including a specialized van used to transport youngsters with medical needs.

CAL FIRE AND COUNTY FIRE DEPLOY SWIFTWATER RESCUE TEAM IN PREPARATION FOR POWERFUL STORM

 

East County News Service

January 8, 2018 (Ramona) -- With the expected arrival of the strongest storm to hit the region since last winter’s record breaking rainfall, County Fire and CAL FIRE San Diego are taking steps to ensure that they are prepared for any weather-related incidents this week.

County officials expect the heaviest rain to arrive early Tuesday and anticipate it impacting the morning commute. As a result, San Diego County Fire will be activating a swift water rescue team which will be prepositioned in the Ramona area that will be available for immediate response to any portion of the county should the need arise. In addition to the swift water rescue team,CAL FIRE San Diego will have hand crews available for flood fighting operations.

LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PREPARES FOR SALUTE TO LOCAL HEROES AND ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

 

Source: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

January 8, 2018 (La Mesa) -  In 2018, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is celebrating their 10th anniversary and this year’s “Salute to Local Heroes” is a special evening that begins this year-long celebration. La Mesa is known as the “Jewel of the Hills” and this evening will be the first “jewel” of this celebratory year that is themed, “One Jewel of a Night.” This evening will honor local heroes, install the Board of Directors and includes a silent auction, raffles and a delicious dinner. This special evening will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort Hotel (Town & Country Ballroom), 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley. 

JOIN EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB JANUARY 25 FOR A RUSSIAN-UKRANIAN FEAST AT VILLAGE HOUSE KALINA

 

 

January 7, 2018 (La Mesa) --You’re invited to a Russian and Ukrainian feast with our East County Dining Club on Thursday, January 25th  at 6:30 p.m. at Village House Kalina (8302 Parkway Drive, La Mesa). As always, we’ll have prizes galore!

 Join us on our culinary adventure to the land of hearty and flavorful fare  – food that nourished the creative powers of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky,  Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Pasternak, Cossack dancers and the Bolshoi Ballet.  Da!

This restaurant seats only 38 people so we expect to sell out; early RSVPs are recommended.

We must receive your RSVP no later Jan. 21, along with pre-payment and choice of entree (see list below) since these special dishes take time to prepare!

FIGURE SKATER FROM RAMONA HEADS TO OLYMPICS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jay Adeff, U.S. Figure Skating Association

View video excerpts of their winning performances at U.S. nationals here:  https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/949798302979100679  and https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/949103279803392001

 

January 7, 2018 (Ramona) – Chris Knierim and his wife, Alexa Scimeca Knierim, have been chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2018 winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in February, after capturing the first place medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

Knierim grew up in Ramona and Escondido, skating at San Diego Ice Arena in middle school, NBC 7 has reported. 

The couple nailed their Olympic spot with their signature thrown quadruple twist, despite missing side-by-side jumps.  They finished first overall after also taking first place in the short program.

SUPERVISOR JACOB CALLS FOR CPUC INVESTIGATION INTO SDG&E POWER SHUT-OFFS; CPUC CONFIRMS IT WILL INVESTIGATE INTENTIONAL OUTAGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated September 6, 2018 with response from SDG&E

September 4, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob has sent a letter to California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Picker requesting a formal investigation and independent review by the agency into  San Diego Gas & Electric’s decision to shut off power to thousands of San Diego County residents during recent Santa Ana winds, ostensibly to prevent power lines from sparking fires. 

In an email to ECM, a CPUC spokesman has confirmed that the regulatory agency will conduct an investigation into the intentional outages.

SANTEE LAKES 2018 EVENTS START OFF WITH TROUT SEASON REOPENER JANUARY 13 AND 14

 

East County News Service

January 6, 2018 (Santee) – From fishing events to movies, concerts, and holiday celebrations, you’ll find lots of activities coming up in the New Year at Santee Lakes—starting with Trout Re-Opener days on January 13 and 14, when the lakes will be stocked with 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout.

Scroll down for details and learn more at www.SanteeLakes.com.

MAN SHOT, KILLED OUTSIDE ALBERTSON’S IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 January 5, 2017 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s detectives are seeking witnesses to a fatal shooting that occurred last night shortly before 9 p.m.

 Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a fight near Albertson’s at 9831 Campo Road in the Casa de Oro neighborhood of Spring Valley. The caller reported hearing a possible gunshot and said multiple males were involved in the fight.

VICTIM IN MURDER-SUICIDE WAS EL CAJON RESIDENT, 21; SHOOTER NOT EXPECTED TO SURVIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2018 (Ramona) – The woman found dead at 24478 Del Amo Road in Ramona yesterday has been identified as Samantha Hayes Benegas, 21, of El Cajon. Deputies responding to a 911 call reporting a murder suicide also found Bryan Kinkle, 35, of Ramona nearby with a serious wound; he was airlifted to a hospital but is not expected to survive according to Lieutenant Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit. 

The County Medical Examiner’s officer has completed an autopsy on Benegas and found cause of death was a gunshot wound. 

SECOND PEDESTRIAN DEATH ON HIGHWAY 79; CHP SEEKS DRIVER OF HYUNDAI WHO FLED SCENE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2018 (Santa Ysabel) – A 29-year-old man walking in the northbound lane of State Route 79 was struck and killed last night around 8 p.m. by a 2003 silver Hyundai., south of Mesa Grande Road in Santa Ysabel. 

DRIVER CHARGED WITH DUI AFTER KILLING PEDESTRIAN ON HIGHWAY 79

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2018 (Aguanga) – Jeffrey Scott Littrell, 48, of Warner Springs has been arrested for felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.  Last night around 7:15 p.m., Littrell was driving his Ford pickup southbound on State Route 79 north of Chihuahua Valley Road when he struck a 5-year-old man walking alongside the highway.

LOCAL AUTHORS EXPO AT THE EL CAJON LIBRARY JANUARY 28

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Library (201 E. Douglas Ave.), will host its third Local Author Expo on Sunday, January 28, at 2:00 p.m. This free event will feature presentations by three local authors followed by a reception where attendees may meet the authors and enjoy refreshments provided by the Friends of the El Cajon Library.

KALASHO SEEKS TO SET ASIDE COURT RULING ON SLAPP SUIT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2018 (El Cajon) – Attorney Stephen J. Liosi has filed a motion on behalf of El Cajon Councilman Ben Kalasho asking the Superior Court to set aside a December ruling that dismissed Kalasho’s countersuit against plaintiffs who are suing him, including two contestants in a beauty pageant he ran and a taco shop owner.

The filing contends that Liosi failed to file documents in Kalasho’s defense, due to Liosi suffering a “traumatic brain injury” after his head struck the windshield in a vehicle accident in 2016.  The motion states that Kalasho has now secured new counsel.

RAMONA WOMAN DEAD, MAN WOUNDED IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE ATTEMPT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

January 3, 2018 (Ramona) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 caller reporting a murder suicide at a home on 24478 Del Amo Road in Ramona shortly after noon today.  Inside, they found a dead woman and a wounded man who was air lifted to a local hospital in serious condition.  The man’s injuries are considered life threatening, says Lieutenant Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail.

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