PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 11: SHIBUTANIS, SIGOURNEY WIN BRONZE; DONATO SCORES TWO GOALS TO LEAD MEN'S HOCKEY TO QUARTERFINALS

STUDENTS LEAD CALL FOR GUN REFORMS, ANNOUNCE NATIONAL “MARCH FOR OUR LIVES” MARCH 24

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY 10: WOMEN'S HOCKEY ADVANCES TO GOLD MEDAL GAME; SEVERAL OTHER AMERICAN EVENTS ADVANCE TO FINALS AND SEMIFINALS

PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

PYEONCHANG RECAP DAY NINE: GEOPPER GETS TO SILVER, BOWE FINISHES IN THE TOP FIVE

PADRES SIGN FREE AGENT ERIC HOSMER

PYEONCHANG RECAP: LILLIS WINS AERIALS QUALIFIER; JHK STEALS SILVER; WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SKIING PLACES BEST-EVER FIFTH

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR MARDI GRAS DINNER PARTY FEB. 28!

PYEONCHANG RECAP: NATHAN CHEN CATAPULTS TO FIFTH; HOCKEY BOUNCES BACK

13 RUSSIANS INDICTED BY SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MUELLER FOR INTERFERING IN 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

RETIRED FIREFIGHTER BECOMES HIGHWAY “HERO” IN EAST COUNTY

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FEB. 17-APRIL 24

News

ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE JAMES ELIA SUPPORTS INVESTIGATION OF OUTAGES PLANNED BY SDG&E

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – 71st Assembly candidate James Elia is speaking to support an investigation into the SDG&E planned power outages in December that left many thousands of residents across the county without electricity, in some cases for a full week.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HELP COUNT AND INTERVIEW HOMELESS PEOPLE JANUARY 26 IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual “We All Count” Point in Time count of homeless people in our region will be held the morning of January 26th, organized by the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless. 

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.

FLOODING, CRASHES AND DEBRIS ON ROADWAYS

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

January 9, 2018 (9:45 a.m.) There are multiple hazards to report this morning per the CHP on East County roadways, including:

  • Lemoncrest in Lakeside is closed  from Wintergarden Blvd. to Riverview due to flooding in the 12028 block.
  • A high-wind advisory is in effect for I-8 east of Alpine and high-profile vehicles are not advised to travel here.
  • Mapleview at Pine in Lakeside is also flooded.
  • Debris is reported on I-8 west of the Sweetwater bridge in spring Valley.
  • In Ramona, there is roadway flooding at Hanson Lane and Wilson
  • A rockslide has been reported on Japatul Road with large boulders the size of deer; CHP is working to determine exact location of this slide called in.
  • A boulder half the size of a tire is reported in the left lane of Arnold Way at Tavern Road in Alpine.
  • A multi-car accident has occurred on I-8 west at Fletcher Parkway.

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.

STORIES OF THE YEAR IN 2017

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – 2017 was a tumultuous year by any standard – from storms and wildfires that impacted our region to political turmoil at the national, state and local levels.

There have also been positive and inspiring stories, lawmakers embroiled in controversies, and important community actions.

Here are the top stories, arranged alphabetically by category, that impacted people in our region.

PIT BULLS WHO ATTACKED ELDERLY MAN REMAIN ON LOOSE IN COLLEGE AREA

 

 

Update January 9, 2018:  The dogs have been found and taken into custody by County Animal Control. No further details have been released pending investigation.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

January 8, 2018 (San Diego) – A man in his 70s was attacked by two pit bulls last night around 6 p.m. in the 6200 block of El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University.

The man suffered non-life threatening bites to his arms and legs and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Patrons of a barber shop assisted the victim. The bites were deep enough to expose bone,  10 News reports.

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! Proceeds benefit East County Magazine and our wildfire/emergency alerts.

 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. 24, along with choice of entree (see list below) since these special dishes take time to prepare!

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.

WILDFIRES BREAK RECORDS STATEWIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2018 (San Diego) -- The number of wildfires last year in California was unprecedented, as was the total number of acres burned, Cal Fire Public Information Officer Isaac Sanchez reports.

As we move into the new year, Sanchez says 2017 will become “the history that we measure all future years against,” but he adds, “We must recognize that despite the reset, the fire danger in San Diego remains elevated.”

RAIN. HAIL AND SNOW FORECAST FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – The first significant Pacific storm of the season is forecast to hit our region Monday night through Wednesday morning, bringing up to four inches of rain to mountain areas along with snow above 4,500 feet.  Thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds are also predicted.

RAIN FINALLY COMING; GOT SANDBAGS?

 

It’s been a dry winter so far around San Diego County, but National Weather Service officials say we may be in for some rain early next week.

So this weekend would be a good time to pick up some free sandbags to help protect your home, property and neighborhood from the weather.

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.

FEDS TAKE ACTION TOWARD SNUFFING OUT LEGAL POT

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday announced he is rescinding the Cole memorandum, an Obama administration policy that prevented the federal government from interfering with states that voted to legalize marijuana sales and use, though prosecutors could still target drug smugglers or criminals targeting minors. 

 Under Sessions’ new policy, federal prosecutors in states where pot is legal can now choose how aggressively they wish to enforce federal marijuana law. The action causes confusion in California, where sales of recreational marijuana began January 1st in accordance with a voter-approved ballot initiative, and could have a chilling effect nationally.  Around 40 states have legalized medical marijuana and eight states plus the District of Columbia also allow recreational marijuana use.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES OPENING COASTLINES FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING, INCLUDING SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Santa Barbara oil spill, 1969, dumped up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off California's coast, killing 3,500 sea birds as well as marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. (Dick Smith Collection, University of Santa Barbara)

January 5, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke yesterday issued a sweeping proposal to open up 98% of all outer continental shelf areas for offshore oil drilling -- including off San Diego’s coastline.  By contrast, drilling is currently allowed in only 6% of those areas.

The proposal, which also includes plans to drill in the Arctic, elsewhere along the west coast, the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast, has drawn strong opposition from environmental groups and from California’s Attorney General.  View map of proposed drilling sites. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in however in public comments and public meetings to be held around the country.  A schedule of those meetings will be posted here.  Online comments at regulations.gov will be accepted starting January 8th.

CHILDREN'S GROUPS PRESS LAWMAKERS TO PASS DREAM ACT

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo: Avid Creative

January 4, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Almost 250 California businesses and children's groups have sent a joint letter to the state's members of Congress, urging them to pass the Dream Act, which would give certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children a work permit and a path to citizenship.

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.

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.

DUI DOESN’T JUST MEAN BOOZE

 

Source: California Office of Traffic Safety

January 3, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Just like drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs is a crime – even if your impairment is due to prescribed medications, illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications or marijuana – medical or recreational. The legal and monetary consequences are the same – up to $10,000 in fines, fees and insurance costs, restricted licensing, days off work to go to court, a criminal record and more.

WINTER FIRE SAFETY TIPS

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - The weather is getting colder. Each year, more people die in home fires during the winter months than any other time of the year.

To help you to spread the word about fire safety, the U.S. Fire Administration offers these safety tips:  https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/media/social.html

TRUMP APPROVES DISATER AID FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved a request by California Governor Jerry Brown for a federal disaster declaration due to wildfires in southern California that began December 4th, including the Lilac Fire in San Diego as well as devastating fires in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

TRUMP TAUNTS KOREAN LEADER ON NUCLEAR BUTTON SIZE

 

By Miraim Raftery

January 3, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump starting the New Year off with a Tweet mocking North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s power and the sizes of his nuclear button. The action came in response to Kim’s New Year’s announcement in which the North Korean strongman stated that “The whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike,” though adding that he would not attack first unless threatened, and he voiced support for talks.

BRUSH FIRE DOUSED IN LA MESA

 

By Miriam Raftery

Video by Wayne Zarling taking from Shadow Hill Drive

Photo by Jake Christie

January 2, 2018 (La Mesa) – A female seen running from the scene of a small brush fire on a hill in the Eastridge area of La Mesa today has been detained for questioning by the Sheriff’s department.

Heartland Fire and Rescue, along with San Miguel Fire and San Diego Fire Departments responded to the blaze that began around 1:25 p.m.  Crews arrived within four minutes to find a 20 by 40 foot spot fire on a slope along High Street near State Routes 125 and 94 that grew to approximately an acre before crews halted the forward spread a half hour later.

HERE’S THE BUZZ: LEGAL POT DRAWS CROWDS IN SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

January 2, 2018 (San Diego)—Customers lined up before dawn at several of San Diego’s eight legal recreational marijuana shops that opened their doors January 1st.  The city was among the first places in California to permit recreational cannabis sales under Prop 64, which voters approved in 2016 and which is now in effect.

ECM reporter Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson visited the Apothekare in Mission Valley on New Year’s Day.  “No, I do not smoke, but I am a writer and always curious,” she posted on Facebook. 

She found a line wrapped around the building outside and snaking through the dispensary’s interior as well.  To gain access, customers had to be “buzzed” in through two areas with security guards.

REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS GIVE BACK, SERVING MEALS TO HOMELESS IN EL CAJON

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: License to Freedom's Executive Director Dilkhwaz Ahmed and Pacific Consulting Group's Pavel Consuegra serve up a meal for the homeless and El Cajon’s Mayor

December 30, 2017 (El Cajon) – Local immigrants and refugees are giving back to the community, serving up dinner to the homeless with License to Freedom at Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon.

License to Freedom members have been helping the homeless for two years, including an event held on December 27th, two days after Christmas. The events will continue in 2018.  Meridian Baptist feeds the homeless every Wednesday night and License to Freedom hosts the 4th Wednesday of each month.

COUNTY APPROVES DICTIONARY HILL PRESERVE IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) – After 15 years of efforts by Spring Valley residents to protect Dictionary Hill from development and blasting the top off the 1,059 feet tall peak, County Supervisors in November voted to acquire and preserve 175 acres of coastal sage scrub and habitat including Dictionary Hill (also known as Lookout Mountain) as well as adjacent canyons and ridgelines. 

JULIAN AND CUYAMACA TO LOSE PARAMEDIC ENGINE STARTING JAUNARY 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated 12 p.m. to include comments from Pat Landis.

December 30, 2017 (Julian/Cuyamaca)—On January1st,  the full-time staffed San Diego County Paramedic Fire Engine serving the Julian and Cuyamaca areas will be permanently closed. The action leaves the communities to rely solely on volunteer firefighters and one ambulance for fire and life safety services, which could lead to long delays in medical services if that unit is transportation a patient to a hospital, critics contend.

The paramedic engine had been providing fire and emergency medical response services 24 hours a day, seven days a week under a temporary agreement between the County of San Diego and the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. The CAL FIRE Firefighters that were assigned to the engine have been reassigned to other facilities within San Diego County.

The action comes after the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District voted to reject consolidation with the County Fire Department and remain independent—the last remaining volunteer fire department in the County.  Cal Fire firefighters blame the board for the current problems, but a former board member faults the district's fire chief.

SECOND ARREST MADE IN SHOOTING OF 21-YEAR-OLD FATHER IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2017 (Spring Valley) – A second arrest has been made in the fatal Spring Valley shooting of Candido M. Arragon Jr., 21.  Arragon, father of a toddler son, was shot Wednesday in the back of his head in a vehicle at Conception Avenue and San Francisco Street in Spring Valley. 

Alejandro Pearce, 19, of Spring Valley was arrested by the Fugitive Task Force and Sheriff’s Homicide Detail last night shortly before 9:30 p.m. on US Elevator Road after a search of his residence. He is charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held without bail. 

On Thursday, a juvenile suspect was also arrested and charged with murder.

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