Santee

WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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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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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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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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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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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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HELP NEEDED TO IDENTIFY WOMAN HIT BY VEHICLE AND KILLED SEPT. 22 IN EL CAJON NEAR TROLLEY STOP ON CUYAMACA

By Chuck Westerheide, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  forensic sketch artist P.J. Puterbaugh created this image of the unidentified accident victim

November 3, 2023 (El Cajon) - San Diego County Medical Examiner’s investigators are asking for the public’s help to identify a woman fatally hit by a car while crossing Cuyamaca Street north of Weld Boulevard in El Cajon late in the evening of September 22.


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BREAKFAST WITH SANTEE FIREFIGHTERS AND SHERIFF STAFF NOV. 11

East County News Service

October 27, 2023 (Santee) – The Santee Fire Department and the San Diego Sheriff’s department invite the public to a pancake breakfast on November 11 from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The event will be held at 8950 Cottonwood Ave, Santee.  Tickets are $5.

For information, call 619-258-3038.


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COUNTY ARCHIVE READING ROOM IN SANTEE DEDICATED TO LEGACY OF ERNEST J. DRONENBURG, JR.

By Shiloh Ireland

Photo, left:  Former San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest J. Dronenberg cuts ribbon to dedicate the Archive Reading Room in Santee

October 25, 2023 (Santee) – A ceremony was held today at the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder’s office in Santee, where Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Jordan Marks dedicated the Archive Reading Room to his predecessor, Ernest J. Dronenberg, Jr.  The event also celebrated Dronenburg’s legacy of public service.

The facility was full of guests, local county politicians and officials including Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon, Santee City Councilmembers Ronn Hall and Vice Mayor Laura Koval,  Andrew Hayes, staffer for  Senator Brian Jones as well as an Assembly candidate and Lakeside Union School Board President,  Padre Dam Director Bill Pommering, Jordan Gascon, Chairman of the San Diego Republican Party, and others.

Bow ties were requested to be worn, since that was Dronenburg’s  signature look during his tenure.  Dronenburg was accompanied by his wife. His colleagues described him as a “numbers guy” and praised his service.


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SANTEE LAKES HOSTS SPOOKTACULAR AND TRUNK OR TREAT OCT. 28

East County News Service

October 17, 2023 (Santee) - Every ghoul is welcome at Santee Lakes’ first-ever Spooktacular and Trunk-or-Treat on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This will be a ghoulish day of games, a giant Halloween maze, face painting, creepy crafts, photo opportunities, and much more.  


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SANTEE GETS ITS OWN APP

By Mike Allen

October 15, 2023 (Santee) -- For everything Santee, there’s an app for that.

Cell phone users or anyone with a digital device linked to the Internet can download the free application, called MySanteeCA, which allows users (with both Android and Apple versions) to access an array of things.  These include the city’s website, a permitting and licensing portal, a space to report city issues such as graffiti removal, and even the city’s own television channel, SanteeTV.


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SANTEE BREWS AND BITES FESTIVAL OCT. 21

East County News Service

October 13, 2023 (Santee) - Cheers!  Santee hosts its Santee Brews and Bites Festival on Saturday, October 21  from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive.


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HAWTHORNE COUNTRY STORE CELEBRATES 20TH ANNUAL FLOCKTOBERFEST

Popular family chicken event hosts ‘Meet the Flockers,' Oct. 7 in Fallbrook, Escondido & Santee

East County News Service

October 2, 2023 (Santee) -- – Flocktober is upon us and Hawthorne Country Store invites San Diegans to ‘Meet the Flockers,’ Saturday, Oct. 7 at all three of its locations in Escondido, Fallbrook, and Santee.  


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MACY’S COMING TO SANTEE’S TROLLEY SQUARE IN TIME FOR HOLIDAYS

By Mike Allen

September 11,2023 (Santee)-- Santee’s Trolley Square will offer a bit of upscale shopping when Macy’s takes over the now vacant Bed Bath & Beyond space starting in November.

“They told us they’re shooting for Black Friday in November,” said Pam White, Santee’s economic development manager.

This Macy’s won’t be the same kind found in most of the regional shopping malls. Instead, it will be a scaled-down format the national chain has been testing for several years and that has garnered some success.


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SANTEE DRIVE-IN THEATER TO CLOSE IN JANUARY

By Mike Allen

September 1, 2023 (Santee) -- The owner of the Santee Drive-In Theater said the outdoor movie complex that opened in 1958 will shut down in January. In a press statement, Susan Boyd, a member of the Forte Family, said the business “is no longer economically viable.”

“We are facing loss of customers, higher costs, equipment obsolescence, competition from streaming services, and the inability to show some of the newly released films.  Like movie theaters across the country, we cant afford to stay open,” she said.

Instead of letting the property sit vacant, the family selected North Palisade Partners of Los Angeles as buyers in a sale that’s expected to occur in 2024, according to the recent press statement.

This news confirms what East County Magazine reported in early May, based on several reliable sources.


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FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS FROM LA MESA TO RAMONA

August 20, 2023 (San Diego's East County) --The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning now through 5 p.m. for El Cajon, La Mesa, Poway, Ramona, Alpine, Tierrasanta, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside and San Diego Country Estates. This is due to heavy rainfall capable of producing life-threatening flash floods.


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ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION CONSTRUCTION ON TARGET, ON BUDGET

By Mike Allen

August 4, 2023 (Santee) -- One year into the construction of the $950 million East County Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP_, the largest infrastructure project in the region’s history is starting to take shape.

Huge concrete and steel structures with names such as digesters, headworks, clarifiers, equalization tanks, and aeration basins are sprouting at the end of Fanita Parkway in Santee where the Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Plant used to exist.

The facility that once produced some 2 million gallons of water used for irrigation is being transformed to a far larger entity that will produce some 11.5 million gallons of drinkable water daily for about 500,000 East County residents.


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X-FEST COMES TO SANTEE AUGUST 26

East County News Service

July 30, 2023 (Santee) -- Summer is almost over and to close out the fun, East County is hosting its first-ever X-Fest full of extreme-sport events, local vendors, superstar athletes, music, guest speakers, testimonies, entertainment and tons of free giveaways.


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SANTEE CITY COUNCIL DUMPS ROUNDABOUT PROJECT, COSTING CITY MORE THAN $800,000

By Mike Allen

Image:  Plan for roundabout by Dokken Engineering. Santee spent about $800,000 on engineering and design work since 2015, funds that will be lost if city doesn’t build it.

July 22, 2023 (Santee) -- Last month, the Santee City Council eliminated a project to build a roundabout at the Highway 67 off ramp at Woodside Avenue, costing the city about $800,000 it had spent on design and engineering plans going back to 2015.

The decision was made June 14, during a discussion of the city’s capital improvement program (CIP), essentially a wish list of projects over the next five years. While no formal vote was taken, at least three Santee councilmembers said the roundabout or traffic circle wasn’t necessary and would likely cause more traffic problems than the current, four-stop configuration.


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SHERIFF HOLDS FREE CATALYTIC CONVERTER ENGRAVING EVENT JULY 29 IN SANTEE

East County News Service

July 22, 2023 (Santee) – Catalytic converter thefts off vehicles have been on the rise regionally. To help protect motorists from losses and increase the chances of being able to return stolen parts to their owners, the San Diego County Sheriff is hosting a free catalytic converter engraving event on Saturday, July 29 from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. at 8891 Railroad Ave. in Santee.Reservations are required.


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ADL SAYS GROUP LEAVING ANTISEMITIC AND ANTI-LGBTQ FLYERS 'KNOWN TO LAW ENFORCEMENT'

By Staff, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

July 10, 2023 (San Diego) - In response to antisemitic and anti-LBGTQ flyers that were distributed this last weekend in the San Carlos and Del Cerro neighborhoods, in the vicinity respectively of Tifereth Israel Synagogue and Temple Emanu-El, the regional office of the Anti-Defamation League announced on Monday that it has “been working diligently with the San Diego Police Department , the San Diego Mayor’s Office and the District Attorney’s office to identify the perpetrators and support the targeted communities.”


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PADRE DAM CUSTOMERS COULD BE FACING EVEN HIGHER BILLS

By Mike Allen

July 10, 2023 (Santee) -- Already paying some of the highest water bills in the nation, customers of Padre Dam Municipal Water District as well as 22 other agencies could see their rates increase even more if two North County water districts secede from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA).

Both the Fallbrook Public Utilities District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District have been trying to leave the CWA because they say the costs for the purchased water is too high, and they can get it cheaper by joining the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County.

An independent government agency, the Local Agency Formation Commission of San Diego County, better known as LAFCO, will determine the outcome of this issue, and scheduled to take a vote today.


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BLOOD DRIVES JULY 12-14 IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2023 (San Diego’s East County)—The San Diego Blood Bank has five blood drives coming up between July 12 and July 14 in the East County communities of El Cajon, Lakeside, and Santee.

Anyone age 17 and older who weighs at least 114 pounds and is in good health may be eligible to donate bloodand help save a life. A good meal and plenty of fluids are recommended prior to donation. Appointments are honored first and walk‑ins are welcome. Photo identification is required..

Below are details on the upcoming blood drives:


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STANDOFF WITH ARMED MAN ENDS IN ARREST AT SANTEE WALMART

East County News  Service

July 3, 2023 (Santee) – A man armed with knives, a hatchet and dumbbell weights threatened to harm people including deputies inside the Walmart Store in Santee yesterday, prompting a seven-hour stand-ff with law enforcement.

The 22-year-old man entered the store on Town Center Parkway shortly after noon and climbed atop shelving in the sporting goods department.  “Store employees called the Sheriff's Department after the man armed himself with workout dumbbells and threatened to use them as weapons. The man also told employees he wanted deputies to shoot him,” says Lieutenant Christopher Galve with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The Walmart store was evacuated and closed down for several hours.The Sheriff's Special Enforcement Detail (SED/SWAT team) and Crisis Negotiations Team were called to assist.

“During negotiations, deputies determined the man was experiencing a mental health crisis,” Lt. Galve says. “The man refused to drop his weapons and refused to come down off the shelving. He told deputies several times to shoot him and walked toward them with the hatchet raised.”


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EMERGENCY GAS REPAIR CLOSES CUYAMACA STREET FOR 6 TO 8 WEEKS

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2023 (Santee) – SDG&E has advised the city of Santee that Cuyamaca Street will be closed for six to eight weeks between Prospect Ave. and Weld. Blvd.to repair a gas leak in a transmission line. 

The street will be closed in both directions,  the city of Santee posted on social media.


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TRAGEDY STRIKES FAMILY OF NASCAR CHAMPION JIMMIE JOHNSON: IN-LAWS AND NEPHEW FOUND DEAD IN SUSPECTED MURDER-SUICIDE

Story and photo Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra Janway,  at a 2009 rally with then-Supervisor Dianne Jacob in Santee, where Johnson and his wife were honored for their charitable foundation’s generous donations to local schools.

June 27, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – The parents of NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson’s wife, Chandra Janway, Johnson, were found dead today at a home in Muskogee, Oklahoma, along with Johnson’s 11-year old nephew.  Raised in El Cajon, Johnson has long been hailed as a hometown hero not only for his NASCAR wins, but also for the generosity of the foundation that he and his wife ran, donating millions of dollars to help children in need and benefit local schools.

Police investigators report that they believe Terry Janway shot and killed her husband, Jack Janway, and their grandson, Dalton, then killed herself.  

NASCAR issued this statement.  “We are saddened by the tragic deaths of members of Chandra Johnson’s family.  The entire NASCAR family extends its deepest support and condolences during this difficult time to Chandra, Jimmie, and the entire Johnson and Janway families.”


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HUNDREDS JOIN PRIDE WALK IN SANTEE

 

By Christianne McCormick

Photos by Christianne McCormick and Monica Silver

June 19, 2023 (Santee) -- The Santee Pride Walk  on June 10th was met with an outpour of support despite the City’s conservative culture. This pride walk, organized by the Santee United Methodist Church, attracted so many people from all parts of San Diego that attendants could barely fit along the sidewalks. Nearly all came to support diversity and the LGBTQ+ community, though several protesters also turned out.

Car after car honked to show support of the walk, which began on Edgemont Drive, then proceeded to Cuyamaca Street along Mission Gorge. Some supporters held their rainbow pride flags out of their car windows and sunroofs to show support for the marchers. An estimated 300 people were present for this event, far more than the 50 that organizers originally estimated would participate.


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