Communities

ACCUSED RAMONA CARJACKER/KIDNAPPER ARRESTED AFTER BIZARRE STRING OF CRIMES

Suspect Ira Stringer, courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

Slideshow image credit: courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

 

Victims fought back, escaped kidnapper

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2015 (Ramona) -- A man who kidnapped a baseball coach and teen player, then later carjacked a second vehicle with a Ramona grandmother inside has been arrested.  Ira Stringer was taken into custody in Riverside on Sunday after a 45-mile police chase and a two-hour SWAT stand-off, the Ramona Sentinel reports.

MISSING MAN : LAST KNOWN TO BE IN DULZURA-CAMPO-JAMUL AREA

 

East County News Service

Update:  John "Arias" Harrington has been found in Tecate, Mexico and is now back in the U.S. in a hospital receiving medical treatment, a family friend informed ECM today.

View or print missing flyer

December 29, 2015 (Dulzura)—John Sebastian “Arias” Harrington, 25, has been missing since Christmas Eve.   His family is very concerned for his safety.  He was last seen driving a friend’s red F-150 truck with CA license 7U32923. He was last seen wearing a red windbreaker jacket, jeans and a black watch.

Harrington dropped off friends  at the San Diego Airport on on Dec. 24.  He is from Oceanside, but GPS indicates his last known location was in the Campo-Dulzura area at 10 p.m. that night.  A caretaker for disabled individuals, most recently he was working for a person in Jamul. His mother, Deb Meacham, told ECM that police  said his employer received a text message from him a day or so later. He has not been heard from since then.  There are indications he may be confused due to missing medication, his mother said.

JANUARY 2016 IS SANTEE HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Free & discounted services at over 30 Santee health, fitness & wellness organizations in January

By Steve Lauria

 December 29, 2015 (Santee)--The City of Santee is a growing community in East County, and a great place to live and raise a family. Along with the rest of the country, it has a growing problem with obesity, chronic disease, and other health related problems.

 California Health Network is a nonprofit organization that was founded in Santee in 2012. Some of its efforts include East County’s first health and fitness expo, the East County Live Well Expo, and obesity prevention presentations to more than 60 local high school classes.

To help increase community awareness, California Health Network is promoting “Santee Health Awareness Month” in January of 2016, with the help of local officials and health related organizations.

SNOW, ICY ROADWAYS IN MOUNTAINS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Snow in Cuyamacas by Grace Schleiser

December 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm is bringing snow, ice and fog to our mountain regions.

Chains are required due to icy/snowy conditions on the Julian-Sunrise Highway from State Route 79 to Old Highway 80, according to the County Department of Public Works. Caltrans reports icy conditions on I-8 at Mountain Pass as well as on State Route 76 at Palomar Mountain.

The Laguna Mountain Lodge reports on its Facebook page that snow is falling on Mt.Laguna.  Residents across East County report snow in the Lake Cuyamaca area, an iced over pond in Descanso and cold conditions across our inland region.

ALPINE HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR TO APPEAR IN ROSE PARADE ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

 

East County News Service

December 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Heart attack survivor Randy Truax of Alpine has been selected to appear in the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1st. He will be riding on the “Union of Hearts” float for the American Heart Association and Union Bank. 

 

“12 YEARS A SLAVE” FILM SHOWING IN LA MESA JANUARY 16

By Miriam Raftery

December 27, 2015 (La Mesa) - As part of a week of  Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration, the Table United Church of Christ of La Mesa (5940 Kelton Ave., La Mesa) will present a showing of the film “12 Years a Slave” on Sunday, January 16th  from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GOES TO THE SLAMMER: PRISON FOOD CHIEF AND AUTHOR SPEAKS JAN. 7

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 26, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- The History Alive" lecture series continues on Jan. 7th at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center (3205 Olive, Lemon Grove), when the Lemon Grove Historical Society presents chef Louise Mathews, former Food Chief in the San Diego County prison system speaking on her true-life adventures on both sides of the bars.

 

HOSTAGE SITUATION ENDS SAFELY AFTER SUSPECT FIRED SHOT AT POLICE IN EL CAJON

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police negotiators have successfully ended a stand-off with a man who was holding a woman hostage and fired at police through the door.  10 News reports that after a breakup with his girlfriend, he brought flowers and a gun, pleading with his ex-girlfriend's mother to allow him to see his son. 

 

After negotiations lasting nearly three hours, the suspect surrendered to police. No one was injured during the incident.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED CHRISTMAS EVE IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

Update December 28, 2015: The deceased has been identifed as Corey Akren, 47, a transient, according to the Medical Examiner.

December 25, 2015 (El Cajon) — A pedestrian and a friend pushing a bicycle were struck by a red Toyota Tundra pickup truck while crossing Naranca Avenue at Second Street in El Cajon last night at 5:45 p.m.  The pedestrian was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later despite aggressive rescusciation efforts. The bicyclist, a woman, was also taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

EL CAJON POLICE TO HOLD DUI AND DRIVER’S LICENSE CHECKPOINT DEC. 28

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2015 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on December 28th in the 300 block of W. Chase between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. 

SUSPECT WANTED FOR STEALING IDENTITIES FROM ATM IN SANTEE

December 24, 2015 (Santee) — A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest of a man wanted for allegedly trying to steal credit card information at an ATM machine in Santee back on November 27th.  The photo was captured by a surveillance camera.

GROSSMONT HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION MONITORING CITIZENS GROUP ADDS COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER, SEEKS MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL TO FILL A SEAT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 24, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The volunteer citizens group overseeing the spending of millions of dollars in taxpayer-approved bonds for new and improved patient care facilities at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has a new member. Sandy Pugliese, the hospital’s community relations manager, has joined the citizens group, called the Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC).

SERENITY SHOP PROVIDES HEALING ENVIRONMENT FOR RECOVERY

 

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2015 (Santee)--Kellie and Dallas Coates-Legare had fleeting but frequent thoughts of opening a "serenity shop" sometime in their lives. They wanted to create a place focused on all of the anonymous recovery programs that would enhance the recovery journey of individuals while creating a supportive and compassionate environment for all seeking serenity in their lives; a place to buy tokens, books, cards and gifts of inspiration, celebration and healing.

This desire came from a long history of addiction and alcoholism in family members and friends which created a unique awareness of the disease of addiction in Kellie, both as a registered nurse and personally.

ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE HEADS TO TRIAL: CASE HINGES ON WHETHER OR NOT ENROLLMENT TRIGGER WAS MET

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2015 (Alpine) – Just in time for Christmas,  Judge Joel Pressman issued a decision in the Alpine high school case that gives neither side what it wanted. 

The Judge denied the Grossmont Union High School District’s motions to dismiss the case but also denied a request from Alpine Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers to issue a summary judgment in their favor.

Judge Pressman did determine that the Appeals Court found Grossmont made a promise to build a high school that is binding. However, that promise hinges on whether or not the enrollment trigger was met or not.

RAMONA CARJACKING SUSPECT WANTED

 

East County News Service

December 23, 2015 (Ramona) –Authorities are searching for a man in a silver Mercury SUV who reportedly kidnapped two men, crashed the car, and then carjacked an elderly woman, heading south on Highway 67.  He is driving a silver Mercury SUV with California license plate 6KLF075. 

The SUV has a sunroof, roof rack and Kansas Jayhawks license plate. The suspect is desecribed as a white man, 50-60 years old, , 5'8" to 5'9" tall,  unshaven, with a thin build.  He was last seen wearing black sunglasses, a zippered hoody, faded blue jeans and light colored shoes. He might have been injured in the crash.

Deputies from the Ramona Sheriff's Substation responded to a report of a car crash on San Vicente and Wildcat Canyon Roads just after 10:00 a.m. today. Upon arrival, two men inside the car told deputies they had been kidnapped from a sports complex in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. After the crash, the alleged suspect carjacked an elderly woman in the SUV now sought.

EL CAPITAN THEATRE BROUGHT US THE ABSURD THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

Associate /Youth Reviewer www.sdtheatrereviews.com

 

December 7, 2015 - (Lakeside) - For a breather from all the holiday cheer I took in El Capitan High School's Acting Can Be Murder. Was this the show perfect? Of course not. These were high school students, works in progress. But the show was light-hearted fun, totally entertaining, and Lindsay Gampel-Qualin, teacher and director, has some talented actors emerging in Lakeside.

 

COVERT CANYON OPPONENTS APPEAL TO SUPERVISORS

 

"Arguably, the County will now be required to allow any such property owner to conduct commercial firearms training on an interim basis so long as a permit application is eventually submitted." -- Marco Gonzalez

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2015 (Alpine) –Attorney Marco Gonzalez has filed an appeal with County Supervisors on behalf of environmental groups and neighbors of Covert Canyon in Alpine. If the Planning Director's decision stands, he argues, it would set a precendent that could subject residents across vast areas of the County  to neighbors opening up similar commercial shooting ranges.

The appeal contends that it was illegal for the Planning Director to issue an order reclassifying the zoning ordinance defintion of “law enforcement” to include military and law enforcement firearms training at Covert Canyon, a mountain meadow surrounded by Cleveland National Forest, without reveiw under the California Environmental Quality (CEQA) Act. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NATURE'S CAMOUFLAGE

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

December 18, 2015 (Descanso) – Can you spot the California Tree Frog  (Pseudacris cadaverina) in this photo?

It blends in quite well with the granite background in this image taken in Descanso by Duncan McFetridge. 

"Mr. McFetridge’s photo of the treefrog is a very classic example of their habitat and behavior and it is great to see a photo of a local amphibian as the photo of the week," says Chris Brown with the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, who identified the well-hidden amphibian for us. 

20TH ANNUAL TOYS FOR JOY GETS BIGGEST TURNOUT AT EL CAJON SITE

By Janis Russell 

 

December 14, 2015 (El Cajon) – Over 5,000 people attended Toys for Joy at El Cajon Valley High School on December 12th, according to Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church.  For many of the children in need present, these may be the only toys they receive this Christmas season. 

 

GERMAN AMERICAN SOCIETIES TO HOST NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA

East County News Service

December 18, 2015 (El Cajon) — The German American Societies of San Diego invite you to ring in the New Year during a gala at their headquarters in El Cajon (1017 S. Mollison Ave.) on Wednesday, December 31st.   Come dressed up and enjoy dinner and dessert, the Blue Birds show band to put you in a dancing mood, party favors, a midnight snack and champagne.

WRONG-WAY DRIVER SUFFERS FATAL INJURIES ON I-8

East County News Service

December 18, 2015 (Lakeside) --  A woman driving a silver 2002 Infinity on Los Coches Road drove onto an exit ramp and entered Interstate 8 east, heading in the wrong direction at 10:08 p.m. last night.  She collided with a black 2015 Jeep Patriot, which rolled onto its right side.

PLANNING COMMISSION GUNS DOWN APPEAL, ALLOWS COVERT CANYON TO CONDUCT MILITARY FIREARMS TRAINING AMID FEDERAL FOREST LANDS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Covert Canyon owner Marc Halcon (left); neighbors Clark and Robin Williams (right)

December 17, 2015 (Alpine) – Testimony at the County Planning Commission hearing on Covert Canyon   on December 11th was heated, as concerned citizens and planners fired off concerns which project backers sought to deflect.  At stake was an appeal filed by neighbors and environmentalists opposed to the Planning Director’s decision allowing commercial firearms training of military and police at the Alpine site, which is surrounded by Cleveland National Forest lands.  Animal rights activists also protested live shooting of pigs for military medic training at the property in the past. 

Here are some of the impassioned statements made:

“What the Planning Director has done is sign a death warrant for the national forest.” – Duncan McFetridge, co-chair, Cleveland National Forest Foundation

“I live in constant fear…it is extremely dangerous.” – Robin Williams, neighbor closest to Covert Canyon

 “Military ranges are overloaded right now. Post-911, demand is up…We live in a different world now; our law enforcement and first responders have to have training to respond.” – Marc Halcon, Covert Canyon owner

“You’re allowing an unlimited decibel ordinance for 14 minutes every hour. That’s no ordinance at all…How can a firing range not have substantial impact? It’s beyond my comprehension.” – Planning Commissioner Michael Beck

“This is the most tortured interpretation of the zoning ordinance I have ever seen…You’re going to get sued, and you’re going to lose.” – Attorney Marco Gonzalez, addressing County Planning Commission

“We all know about the global war on terror…Range time equals one of our biggest challenges in San Diego…this is paramount for the success of war fighters.” – Tommy Marquez, on behalf of Congressman Duncan Hunter

LOCAL WINERIES WIN BIG WITH SAN DIEGO COUNTY WINES

 

Source: Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

December 17,  2015 (Ramona) – Vineyard & Winery Management’s 25th Annual Grand Harvest Awards revealed the results of this year’s competition, naming top honors for three local wineries: Ramona Ranch Winery, Altipiano Vineyard and Winery, and Lenora Winery. From a pool of nearly 1500 entries submitted from throughout the United States and as far away as New Zealand, the total number of awards included 48 Best of Class, 44 Double Gold, 183 Gold and 574 Silver medals.

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