Communities

FIRE DESTROYS SPRING VALLEY HOME AFTER LIKELY LIGHTNING STRIKE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: San Miguel Fire on Instagram
 
March 28, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A Spring Valley couple has been treated for smoke inhalation after escaping their Spring Valley home during a fire around 3:45 a.m. on Friday. The couple reported hearing a loud noise believed to be a lightning strike, followed by smelling smoke. 

FREE DOG FOOD FOR BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS

East County News Service
 
March 27, 2020 (Alpine) – Residents of Alpine, Descanso, Pine Valley and backcountry communities in East County can receive free dog food at Natural Instincts Healthy Pet Center in Alpine. 
 
The shop on Alpine Boulevard e-mailed area residents that it has teamed up with PAWS, a San Diego rescue group, to buy discounted dog food to give out for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LEMON GROVE GETS GRANT OF NEARLY $1.5 MILLION FOR CONNECT MAIN STREET PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – Amid a wave of fiscal bad news for Lemon Grove, from its sales tax measure failing to the Covid-19 crisis dropping sales tax revenues even further due to business shutdowns, one slice of good news has emerged.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: MAGIC HORSES

Photo: Left to right Ka Lio, Indy, Reina, Billy, and Pearl
 
March 26, 2020 (Lakeside)  -- Robin Pawl, owner of The Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center, sent us these photos with the following message: “I hope you are all well and coping patiently with all the changes the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing. The Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding Center has been closed to comply with the restrictions mandated by the federal and local governments, the CDC, etc.  With their time off, the horses have shifted their work to weed abatement. As you can see, they are very focused and committed to their new responsibility!

HOMELESS WOMAN CHARGED WITH ARSON IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
March 26, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A 76-year-old transient woman who previously started two fires ruled accidental has been arrested and charged with arson after starting a fire which scorched the exterior of a strip mall building in Spring Valley.
 
Last night shortly before 8 p.m., deputies from the Rancho San Diego Patrol Station responded to assist the San Miguel Fire Department in the 500 Block of Grand Avenue, Spring Valley. 
 
Upon arrival, it was determined that Leona Head, a local transient, had set fire to an electrical box, says Sergeant Curt Cartie with the Sheriff’s Department. “She admitted to starting the fire by attempting to extinguish a lit cigar with a bottle of liquid from a bottle labeled `Clorox,’” he adds. 

WRONG-WAY DRIVER, SUSPECTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, CAUSES HEAD-ON CRASH ON I-8 IN LA MESA

By: Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Head On Collision - Wikipedia Commons (generic stock photo)
 
March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – An SUV traveling the wrong-way on Interstate 8 just east of 70th Street in La Mesa struck a red BMW head-one shortly before midnight last night. Both motorists sustained major life-threatening injuries and were transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.
 
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow, the CHP began getting calls at 11:56 p.m. reporting the SUV traveling west in the eastbound lanes of I-8.  Two minutes later, witnesses reported a head-on collision.

SANTEE HALTS EVICTIONS OF RESIDENTS, BUT NOT BUSINESSES, DUE TO CORONAVIRUS IN FIRST VIRTUAL MEETING

By Mike Allen

March 26, 2020 (Santee) -- Responding to a still-evolving global pandemic crisis, the Santee City Council has approved a 60-day temporary suspension on evictions of tenants in the city who prove their financial situation has been damaged by the coronavirus.

The Council approved a temporary moratorium on evictions at its March 25 meeting by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Rob McNelis opposed. It was the first ever gathering that was done using teleconferencing technology allowing the five elected members and other staffers to “meet” from remote locations.

SHARP REES-STEALY TEMPORARILY CLOSING SOME FACILITIES IN LA MESA AND CHULA VISTA

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – Sharp Rees-Stealy has announced that due to the COVID-19 emergency, starting March 26 it will temporarily close its La Mesa West facility on El Cajon Blvd. (though the Grossmont facilities will remain open).  The medical group will also temporarily shut down most services at its Chula Vista facility, except for occupational medicine, pharmacy and urgent care, starting March 27.

THESE RESTAURANTS IN EAST COUNTY ARE OFFERING TAKE-OUT AND/OR DELIVERY

Note: This story is being updated as we learn of more restaurants with takeout or delivery options.  If you own a restaurant in East County, email your info to editor@eastcountymagazine.org. All readers and restaurants are also welcome to post comments in our comments section below. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Hacienda Casa Blanca in El Cajon posted  these images of some take-out and delivery options

March 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Since yesterday’s county order for restaurants to stop dine-in service through March 31 due to the COVID-19 emergency, many owners are adapting by switching to curbside take-out service and a few are also offering home delivery through services such as GrubHub, UberEats, or through their own delivery service.

While this is by no means a complete list, here are many restaurants confirmed as offering take-out and/or delivery services.

Call or check the restaurant's website for details on hours and how to place orders, which vary at each location and may change.

If you know of any we missed, please post in the comments section below!

COUNTY NOW HAS 242 CASES OF COVID-19, INCLUDING TWO INFANTS

Cases expand countywide including more East County communities

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – The number of COVID-19 cases in our region continues to grow at a steep pace.  San Diego County now has 242 confirmed cases, of whom 226 are county residents. Two of the new cases are in infants. Heath experts warn the actual number of cases could be ten times higher, since not enough tests are available and thus testing is being done primarily on those hospitalized with respiratory distress.

MAN KILLED, ANOTHER INJURED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 24, 2020 (El Cajon) – Two young men, both 20-year-old El Cajon residents, were shot during a confrontation March 20 shortly before 8 p.m., near the intersection of Applewood Drive and Cedar Street. One man was shot in the torso and died at a hospital. The other was shot in the leg and is expected to survive, according to Lieutenant Jeremiah Larson with El Cajon Police department.
 
Police responded to calls reporting gunshots heard with several people fleeing the area at 7:55 p.m. Witnesses described the confrontation. The names of the victims are not being released at this time pending notification of the families.

EL CAJON RELEASE BODY CAM VIDEOS OF SHOOTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjF2UYCYNcw&feature=youtu.be . Warning: video contains graphic images and language, viewer discretion advised.  

March 23, 2020 (El Cajon)—El Cajon Police have released body camera footage from multiple officers of the non-  lethal shooting of a car theft suspect, Keith Crenshaw, 21, on February 12th. The videos confirm that after waking up the suspect sleeping in the vehicle, officers repeatedly warned him to put his hands up, even after the suspect repeatedly said, “Shoot me!”

The incident began after Phoenix Police called to request that ECPD recover a stolen car identified via an auto-license reader.  Officer Stanley and his trainee, Officer Jabrael, arrived at 544 South Johnson and Officer Sandoval along with a civilian approached from the rear.

After verifying the license, Officer Jabrael approached the driver’s side but the door handle was missing. When the suspect awoke, Officer Stanley repeatedly ordered him to put his hands up and not to reach into his shirt. At one point he asked for a less-lethal weapon. But before he could obtain one, the suspect repeatedly stated, “Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me!”

Officer Stanley and another officer can be hear continuing to try and convince the suspect to put up his hands.  Officer Stanley stated, “No, I do not want to kill you. Let me see your hands.”

STORMS TO BRING RAIN, COLD AND SNOW DOWN TO 4,000 FEET

East County News Service

March 23, 2020 (San Diego)--A storm system will bring light showers today through Wednesday, with a new storm system forecast for Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.  This will be a colder storm, with snow levels possibly falling to 4000’ or lower.

There will be less moisture, but nevertheless, some accumulating snowfall is likely in the mountains. Roads may be slippery due to rain and snow, with chains potentially required at higher elevations.

HUNGRY OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS? EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED COUNTYWIDE

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) -- In addition to emergency food distributions, Feeding San Diego offers food assistance at many sites throughout San Diego County including rural, mountain, desert and urban communities. Click here to find a location near you.

 Feeding San Diego is working on adding additional distributions based on community input and the needs of specific populations. Listings of available emergency distributions will be updated daily and published at feedingsandiego.org/coronavirus.

NOTE: There are NO REQUIREMENTS to accessing any of Feeding San Diego’s food distributions.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE CEO ASKS FOR DONATIONS OF MASKS, INCLUDING HAND-SEWN; ALSO PROVIDES RESOURCE LINKS ON COVID-19

 

Update: Grossmont has secured a supply of masks and no longer asks for public help to sew masks, though donations of N95 masks are still appreciated.

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Healthcare District CEO Barry Jantz announced today on Facebook that while Sharp Grossmont Hospital currently has an adequate supply of masks, those supplies are expected to dwindle as ability to replace them becomes difficult nationwide. 

“Therefore, the district will be accepting donations of regular paper and hand-sewn masks,” he states. “On Monday a central donation site will be established for the various hospitals in the Sharp system, including Grossmont. A phone number may also be established for coordination of donations. Instructions on hand sewn masks will be included.”

The announcement follows inquiries from community members.  “Thanks so much for the community stepping up on this in such a significant way! You are all so much appreciated!,” Jantz concludes.

In an email sent to ECM, Jantz also provided links to information he’s been reading about on COVID-19, along with this note:

7-ELEVEN CLERK KILLED IN EL CAJON ROBBERY

7-Eleven announces stores will temporarily close daily from midnight to 5am to deep clean the stores and keep shelves stocked. 7-Eleven expects needing 20,000 more clerks
 
By Miriam Raftery
Jonathan Goetz also contributed to this report
 
March 21, 2020 (El Cajon) – Three teenagers, all minors, have been arrested for shooting and killing a 7-Eleven clerk early Friday during a robbery.
 
According to El Cajon Police Lt.. Kevin MacArthur, the three masked youths robbed the store in the 300 block of Jamacha Rd. shortly after 2:30 a.m., shooting and gravely wounding clerk Ronald Bailey, 31, of El Cajon.
 

JULIAN ASKS VISITORS TO STAY AWAY DUE TO VIRUS

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 21, 2020 (Julian) – Julian, San Diego’s historic gold rush town, thrives on tourism. But yesterday, a press release sent by the  Julian Chamber of Commerce board of directors asks visitors to stay away in order to protect the health of residents during the coronavirus emergency.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: A SNOWY SPRING SUNRISE

East County News Service

March 20, 2020 (Laguna Mountain) – Amid the fears and uncertainties we are facing right now, there is a healing power in nature.  This inspirational sunrise photo was taken this morning by UCSD’s HP Wren camera atop Laguna Mountain in San Diego’s East County, which is covered in snow on this official first day of springtime.

DEATH IN EL CAJON MAY HAVE BEEN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 17, 2020 (El Cajon)—A man in his 40s was fatally shot last night shortly before 10 p.m. at East Main and First Street in El Cajon.
 
“Witnesses said the suspect/suspects were possibly in a vehicle when they fire at the victim who had been standing on the sidewalk,” says Lt. K. MacArthur in a press statement. 
 

LA MESA FREEZES EVICTIONS ON RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL RENTERS, AS WELL AS MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES RELATED TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS THROUGH MAY 31

City offices also shut down for non-essential services

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa today announced it will halt eviction of residential and commercial renters, as well as foreclosures on mortgages, related to the COVID-19 crisis untl May 31st.  The action does not eliminate responsibility for payment of these debts, but provides additional time for those impacted by COVID-19 such as through loss of income, closure of businesses, medical expenses or family leave.

The City's action enforces the Governor's  Executive Order N-28-20 to limit rent evictions. See see City of La Mesa’s Executive Order 1-2020.

La Mesa also took action to halt enforcement of parking limits during sweep sweeping, after residents sheltering in place received tickets or notices that vehicles parked in front of their homes would be towed.

CAL FIRE/SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY RESTRICTS ACCESS TO FIRE STATIONS, HALTS ISSUING NEW BURN PERMITS

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – To help contain spread of the COVID-19 virus and assure uninterrupted emergency response services, effective immediately, nonemergency access by the public is halted at all Cal Fire/County Fire Authority fire stations in the unincorporated region of San Diego County.

STABBING IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspect in a full-face motorcycle helmet reportedly followed a man into an apartment complex at 325 E. Bradley Ave. in unincorporated El Cajon on Sunday morning, then stabbed the victim in the chest. The suspect fled in a gold sedan, traveling east on Bradley.
 
Deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff’s substation responded to a radio call reporting the assault with a deadly weapon at 11:30 a.m.  

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