Communities

WELCOME, RURAL RESIDENTS!

Our Rural section covers most San Diego County's inland communities south of I-8  to the border including Alpine, Barrett Junction, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Dulzura,  Jamul,  Japatul, Lake Morena, Otay,  Potrero, and Spring Valley. 


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WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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THREE FINALISTS SELECTED FOR GROSSMONT COLLEGE PRESIDENCY

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
 
Photos: Grossmont Community College finalists for president, alphabetically (L-R): Dr. Marsha Gable, Dr. Mary Gutierrez, Denise Whisenhunt, J.D.
 
April 18, 2021 (El Cajon) – Three educators with extensive experience working at community colleges have been chosen as finalists to be the next Grossmont College president.

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SHOOTING DEATH IN SPRING VALLEY

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo credit: Google & partners

April 18, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a shooting around 5:30pm, Thursday, April 15, in Spring Valley. Upon arrival to the 1500 block of Presioca Street, they found David Martinez, 67, lying in the street, with trauma to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene, says Lt. Thomas Siever.

According to an update by Siever, Martinez' autopsy Friday found the preliminary cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the head, and manner of death, a homicide.


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25TH ANNUAL GROSSMONT COLLEGE LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL APRIL 26-29

Source: Grossmont College

April 18, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival has special reasons to celebrate its April 26-29 run: its 25th anniversary and its return after a one-year COVID hiatus.


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HUSBAND ARRESTED FOR STABBING DEATH OF WIFE IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service
 
Update April 18, 2021: The victim has been identified as Rhona Barcelon, 30. Her husband, Jay Barcelon, has been charged with murder. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition.
 
April 17, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of an argument last night at 7:30 p.m. heard screaming inside a residence at 2200 Dain Court. The deputies forcibly entered, after nobody answered the door. Inside, they found a man and woman who had both been stabbed.

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DISTILLERIES HOST COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY APRIL 17 IN SPRING VALLEY

Celebration caps Mike Curphy’s journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits

By Henri Migala

April 16, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- East County is known for many things: beautiful wide-open spaces, nature, horseback riding and hiking, makers of some of the best banjos and guitars in the world, numerous wineries, and more. But many people don’t realize that East County is also home to internationally-recognized, award-winning distilleries.

One such distinguished distillery is Mike Curphy Distillery, located with two other distilleries in the business park off Via Orange Way, near the San Miguel Fire Station, in Spring Valley.

COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY, APRIL 17

Mike Curphy and two other East County distilleries (Liberty Call and San Diego Distillery), along with four local eateries and three live bands, will be hosting a community party on Saturday, April 17, from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. at the business park off 2731 Via Orange Way in Spring Valley.

There is no cost to attend the event; tastings, drinks and food will be available for purchase. Bring a chair to relax outdoors and savor tastes from the distillieries and local restaurants. (Also bring a mask, to comply with county health rules when not eating or drinking.)

In an exclusive interview with ECM,Mike Curphy shared secrets of his success and his extraordinary journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits.


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FIREBALLS IN THE SKY: METEOR SHOWERS START TONIGHT, PEAKING ON EARTH DAY

East County News Service

Image via NASA: Lyrid meteor showers in 2012

April 16, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Look up during the early morning hours April 16-30 and you may be treated to a view of the Lyrids meteor shower. Called the "Old Faithful of meteor showers" by Space.com because their peak usually lasts for several hours, the Lyrids are known for producing fireballs, or meteors with trails of glowing, ionized gas in their wake. 


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JAMUL CASINO PROMOTES THERESA GRADY TO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Experienced Casino Finance Leader Advances to Executive Position
 
East County News Service
 
April 13, 2021 (Jamul) -- Jamul Casino® has announced that Theresa Grady (photo, left) has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Her advancement comes after nearly four years with the Casino as its former Director of Finance, where she was highly involved in building the Casino’s Finance, Audit, Vendor Payments, Payroll, and Count Operations teams, and in helping spearhead the completion of the Casino’s recent refinance in January 2021. 
 
With several other high-profile promotions in recent years, Ms. Grady’s elevation to CFO demonstrates Jamul Casino’s commitment to the professional growth of its team members, according to a press release.

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THE MAD ONES: MUSICAL MEMORIES THROUGH APRIL 17

By Kathy Carpenter

April 13, 2021 (El Cajon) - Do you miss the live musicals? I do. I miss the music. We can never have too much music in our lives. It brings us joy and makes us happy. Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre is serving up a dose of joy.


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AIRCRAFT DISPATCHED AFTER CONTROLLED BURN AT CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK REPORTEDLY JUMPS CONTAINMENT LINE

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photo via SDG&E webcam

April 12, 2021 (Cuyamaca) – A controlled burn has reportedly jumped a containment line  near Pasa Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, scanner traffic and multiple sources indicate. The blaze, now dubbed the #PasoFire, has burned 15-20 acres outside the ontrol line and is fueled by a westerly wind.

Multiple air tankers and helicopters have been requested and at least two aircraft are on scene as of 4:50 p.m.


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LEMON GROVE PROPOSES LIMITING COUNCILMEMBERS’ SPEECH

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 11, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – On April 20, the Lemon Grove City Council will hear a proposal that would limit councilmembers’ speaking time to five minutes per agenda item, plus three additional minutes later on.  The proposed action targets new member Liana LeBaron, who has been criticized by colleagues for lengthy comments up to 45 minutes and questions to staff that some say are rude or reflect a lack of preparation.

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ON A ROLL: ENJOY OUTDOOR SKATING AT VIEJAS OUTLETS IN ALPINE

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Alpine) – If you’re looking for some fun outdoor exercise, Southern California’s largest outdoor roller rink is open for the 2021 skating season.

The rink is located at the Viejas Outlet Center, 5003 Willows Road in Alpine.

Admission for roller skating is $10, including rental skates.  You can also get a season pass for $99, which provides unlimited roller skating all season long through September 6.


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HUNGRY IN LEMON GROVE? FOOD DISTRIBUTION APRIL 17

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – A drive-through food distribution for Lemon Grove residents will be held April 17 from 9 a.m. until supplies run out. The event is at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove.


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COME CATCH A WHOPPER: CATFISH SEASON OPENS APRIL 17 AT SANTEE LAKES

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2021 (Santee) – Get your rods and reels ready.  Santee Lakes invites you to drop a line at its Catfish Season Opener, when the lakes will be stocked with 2,000 pounds of catfish.


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BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL TO HOLD DRIVE-INS APRIL 15-19

 

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Borrego Springs) - The 8th annual Borrego Springs Film Festival April 15-19 will be a free outdoor drive-in event.

The special event will take place at the shopping mall in the center of Borrego Springs. Guests will see a collection of films from all around the world.


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ALPINE NONPROFIT SEEKS WAREHOUSE SPACE TO STORE ITEMS FOR FAMILIES IN NEED

East County News Service

 

April 11, 2021 (Alpine) – Serving Good, a nonprofit organization that provides food and basic necessities to families in need, needs additional warehouse space for inventory.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

EARTH DAY IN THE HIGH DESERT APRIL 24

East County News Service

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

April 10, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs will host an Earth Day celebration on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You’re invited to come experience Earth in the high desert including an Earth blessing ceremony and Sacred black Star Eyed Eagle Dancer, an array of live music, healthy natural foods including vegan options, and a wildflower and plant walk. There will also be alternative healers, local arts and crafts, nature art, native plants for sale, herbal products and essential oils, EMF awareness, nutritional counseling, natural beauty, country collectibles and more.


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LA MESA COMMISSION HOSTS FORUM APRIL 28 ON CITYWIDE COMMUNICATION

Source: City of La Mesa

April 10, 2021 (La Mesa) --  As part of the Livable La Mesa Age Friendly project, the City of La Mesa Community Relations and Veterans Commission will host a virtual forum on Wednesday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. to solicit feedback on the City’s information distribution methods. The event will foster dialogue on the current methods of communication being used by the City of La Mesa and solicit input for improvement.

Questions, comments and suggestions are encouraged from residents as the City looks to improve distribution of critical information to further involve and inform the community.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR FATAL HIT AND RUN IN LA MESA

East County News Service

April 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Scott Satterfield of Spring Valley, 61, was arrested April 7 by the La Mesa Police Department on charges of felony hit and run.  An investigation found that Satterfield struck and killed 18-year-old Jok Joseph Jok on February 27, then fleeing the scene of the accident on Bancroft Drive.

Detectives from the La Mesa Police Department’s Investigations and Traffic Divisions, working with San Diego County Crime Stoppers, the media, and our community, were able to identify Satterfield as the suspected operator of the vehicle that struck Jok. The white pickup truck depicted in the previously released photographs has been located and is in police custody for evidence processing, according to a press release issued by LMPD.


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CASH, GUNS AND $6 MILLION WORTH OF MARJUANA SEIZED AT ILLEGAL SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY

East County News Service

 

April 8, 2021 (Spring Valley) - A search warrant was served at an illegal marijuana dispensary located in the 10600 block of Willie Baker Way in Spring Valley on Wednesday, April 7 around 11:20 a.m. 


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RAMONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO MEET EMERGING COMMUNITY NEEDS

East County News Service

April 7, 2021 (Ramona) --Ramona Community Foundation (RCF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, has announced the availability of grant funding through the Vibrant Community program to enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Ramona.  

“We want to help organizations that have a strategic impact in Ramona to ensure the community thrives,” shared Kristin Zook, RCF Board Chair. “After a year of pandemic woes, we recognize the needs of the community might be different now and these grants aim to address those emerging needs.” 


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LA MESA POLICE SEEK ROBBERY SUSPECT IN RED DODGE CHARGER

East County News Service
 
April 7, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek public help to locate a suspect who robbed the Denny’s on Alvarado Road shortly after 1 p.m. today, then fled in a red Dodge Charger (license 5YVT249).

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZES TO PREVENT PLACEMENT OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS IN HORIZON HILLS NEAR MT. HELIX

 April 9 is deadline for comments to block Badger's release just outside El Cajon city limits

By Henri Migala

April 6, 2021 (Horizon Hills/Mt. Helix) -- The Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 5:30, to protest the proposed placement of two sexually violent predators (SVP), Merle Wade Wakefield and Douglass Badger, at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive in their community.

Well over 200 local community members of all ages attended the neighborhood meeting.


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DR. AKILAH WEBER TAKES BIG LEAD, COULD AVOID RUNOFF IN SPECIAL ELECTION FOR 79TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT

Update April 11: Dr. Akilah Weber has won the election outright, avoiding a runoff with 52% of the votes. Only 300 ballots remain to be counted, not enough to change the outcome.

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

April 7, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa City Councilmember Dr. Akilah Weber took a big lead Tuesday night and could avoid a runoff in the special election to succeed her mother in the 79th Assembly District.

The seat is open because five-term Assemblymember Shirley Weber was appointed to succeed Alex Padilla as Secretary of State in a series of changes prompted by Sen. Kamala Harris’ election as Vice President. Padilla was appointed to succeed Harris in the Senate.

The younger Weber, a Democrat, received 52% of the vote, according to final unofficial election-night results from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

The projected number of outstanding ballots is 9,500, according to the Registrar of Voters. If Weber’s total remains above 50%, she will be elected without a runoff. If it falls below 50%, she will face Marco Contreras, the lone Republican in the field of five candidates, in a runoff June 8.


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BORDER PATROL AGENT AND FIREFIGHTER PREVENT SUICIDE AT PINE VALLEY BRIDGE

By Miriam Raftery 

April 7, 2021 (Pine Valley) -- A San Diego Sector Border Patrol agent and off-duty firefighter prevented a woman from jumping off the Pine Valley Bridge along Interstate 8 early Tuesday morning.

At approximately 7 a.m., while driving eastbound on I-8, a Border Patrol agent observed a woman standing on the rails of the Pine Valley Bridge near the westbound traffic lanes. The agent quickly turned around and was joined by an off-duty firefighter. The agent and firefighter physically removed the woman from the edge of the bridge and secured her for her safety, according to a press release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.


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SUCCESSFUL SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING A CLICK AWAY FOR HELIX, PADRE DAM CUSTOMERS

Source: San Diego County Water Authority

Photos, before and after, courtesy of La Mesa resident Laurie Haeger: Haeger was inspired to replace her grassy front yard with sustainable, water-efficient landscaping thanks to landscape makeover classes and resources offered by the San Diego County Water Authority. 

April 6, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- No matter whether their landscaping is just a few square feet alongside a front porch or estate acreage, thousands of San Diego County residents have learned to embrace sustainability as a central principle for creating and renovating their landscapes. 


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