El Cajon

WELCOME, EL CAJON RESIDENTS!

Our El Cajon Living section covers the city of El Cajon and unincorporated El Cajon areas including Fletcher Hlils and Rancho San Diego.

Click here for fascinating facts about El Cajon.  For community and city links, click here.


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STING OPERATION FINDS 24 STORES SELLING TOBACCO TO MINORS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2022 (El Cajon) – A sting operation found 24 retailers in El Cajon sold tobacco to minors without asking for ID, in violation of the city’s Tobacco Retail License Inspection Program. That’s 23% of all outlets inspected.


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ANDERSON ASKS COUNTY TO CLEAR HOMELESS CAMPS ALONG PUBLIC ROADS AFTER COURT UPHOLDS CAL TRANS’ RIGHT TO DO SO WHEN PUBLIC SAFETY IS AT RISK

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- County Supervisor Joel Anderson has sent a formal request to the County’s Chief Administrative Officer and Sheriff, urging them to take action mirroring recent action by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to remove encampments along public roadways that pose critical safety concerns. Caltrans’ clearing of an encampment in the Berkeley area was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on April 27.


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NEIGHBORHOOD EARTH DAY IN EL CAJON MAY 28

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commmons by SA

May 12, 2022 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon families can enjoy free vegan food, crafts for kids and information on local environmental issues, at an Every Day is Earth Day event on Saturday, May 28. The free event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Hillside Center Park at 840 Bueno Terrace, El Cajon. Grilled vegan hamburgers and hot dogs will be available while they last, and kids can paint terracotta pots and plant succulents in them to take home.


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BIG LOVE, SMALL PACKAGE: SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY WAIVES ADOPTION FEES FOR ALL SMALL ANIMALS MAY 13-15

East County News Service

May 12, 2022 (San Diego) - Diego Humane Society is waiving adoption fees for small animals May 13-15, 2022.  The promotion, titled “Big Love, Small Package,” is generously sponsored by Petco Love.  https://petcolove.org/.


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STABBING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN EL CAJON AFTER DISPUTE OVER DEBT

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2022 (El Cajon) – Hakim Wakil Rashid, 52, has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a man in the head and back earlier today in downtown El Cajon.


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A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE

By Matthew Manosh

May 7, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Imagine walking into a building. Instead of being greeted by a person you are greeted by a robot. It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi story but it’s now reality. The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce had an introduction to its new robot assistant, TEMI, last month. This assistant is able to answer questions about East County.

In a demonstration, a presenter asked a question about Santee Lakes, which Temi responded to in detail. TEMI, also mobile, can move around an area or it can be programmed to follow people. This is not meant to replace human jobs, but to help humans do their jobs better by taking on simple tasks that may take away from more important tasks, Todd Brinkman explained to us. You can view the video here.

Brinkman is the founder of Virtual Reality for Main Street LLC, a company dedicated to bringing new emerging technologies to cities.You can look at their website here


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SUSPECTED SERIAL THIEF ARRESTED, TIED TO MAGNOLIA HOMELESS CAMP AS CITIES AND COUNTY WEIGH REGIONAL SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS

East County News Service

May 7, 2022 (El Cajon) – A man accused of stealing a bicycle and a suitcase full of goods from a Target Store was arrested following a pursuit by El Cajon Police officers on Monday, May 2.  According to Lt. Randy Soulard, the suspect, Sterle Floyd Sisco lived at a homeless camp at Magnolia near the Vernon St. overpass in the unincorporated area. Sisco was on probation for assault with a deadly weapon and has an extensive criminal history including prior arrests for assault, burglary, theft, domestic violence and drug possession. He is also a suspect in numerous prior retail thefts.

The recent arrest highlights concerns over the encampment just days after Supervisor Joel Anderson held a press conference calling for a regional solution to homelessness, an action that will require cooperation from the four cities in East County.


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EL CAJON POLICE DEPARTMENT SENDS BODY ARMOR AND HELMETS TO UKRAINE

Source: City of El Cajon

Photo: Children’s hospital in Mariupol bombed by Russians, courtesy of Ukrainian Army

May 6, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Last month, the California Office of Emergency Services reached out to local law enforcement agencies throughout the State with a list of equipment needed in Ukraine. This week, the City of El Cajon Police Department donated 45 ballistic vests and 8 ballistic helmets as aid to Ukraine.


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BODY FOUND IN BURNED HOME AFTER RESIDENT HURLED INCENDIARY DEVICES AT DEPUTIES SERVING EVICTION NOTICE

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of NBC 7, an ECM news partner

 

May 6, 2022 (El Cajon) – One person is dead and a woman in her 60s suffered moderate burns after a man being served with an eviction notice at 1282 Redwood Avenue in El Cajon hurled incendiary devices at deputies.  


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GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES TO EXPLORE BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 29, 2022 (El Cajon) - For the first time, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will explore building affordable housing for students. The new initiative is being funded by a pair of $150,000 state grants received by the colleges, enabling college leaders to take a serious look at ways of providing housing security to students in need.


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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: HELP INSTALL 400 SMOKE ALARMS AS PART OF NATIONAL RED CROSS SOUND THE ALARM EFFORT

Register at SoundTheAlarm.org/SoCal to volunteer on May 14; new volunteers welcome

Source:  American Red Cross

April 13, 2022 (San Diego)  — Volunteers are needed to help install more than 400 free smoke alarms for local families in El Cajon.

The American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties is leading the Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation and home fire safety event on May 14 with Heartland Fire and Rescue, as part of a national Red Cross initiative in May to install 50,000 free smoke alarms with partners in more than 50 at-risk communities across the country.


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O’GRADY’S HOLES FOR HEROES GOLF TOURNAMENT COMING UP ON MAY 6

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

April 25, 2022 (El Cajon) - Local Umbrella Media, in conjunction with numerous other “do-gooders,” is sponsoring O’Grady’s Holes for Heroes Golf Tournament on Friday, May 6th at El Cajon’s Cottonwood Golf Course. The proceeds will benefit active-duty military, veterans, and first responders.

The beneficiary of the proceeds, Saddles in Service, based in Alpine, whose mission is to combat the suicide rates of active-duty military, veterans, and first responders using equine assisted learning and activities, is a non-profit 501(c)(3).


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ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE'S CENTER TO HOST 21ST ANNUAL MORNING GLORY BRUNCH ON APRIL 30TH

Source:  St. Madeleine Sophie's Center

April 24, 2022 (El Cajon) - St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC), a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities, will hold its 21st Morning Glory Brunch on Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The brunch will be hosted at SMSC’s Garden and Aquatics Center, located at 2119 E. Madison Ave, El Cajon, CA 92019.


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THE FLAG OVER FLETCHER HILLS

By Ray Bello

April 21, 2022 (El Cajon) -- If you live in Fletcher Hills, El Cajon, San Carlos, San Diego or near Parkway Middle School, La Mesa, you’ve probably driven by the star-spangled flag atop the flagpole at the intersection of Fletcher Parkway and Navajo Road many times without really seeing it.     


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PROMINENT AUTHORS TO APPEAR AT 26TH ANNUAL LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE APRIL 25

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 20, 2022 (El Cajon) - The 26th annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival returns April 25 for a week of virtual events featuring acclaimed authors and poets from around the nation who will read their work, teach their craft, and discuss sources of their inspiration.


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UPCOMING CLOSURE OF BALLANTYNE STREET FOR CREEK RESTORATION AND BRIDGE WORK

The City of El Cajon has begun a $2.8 million restoration project of Broadway Creek. As part of the project, a portion of Ballantyne Street in El Cajon will be closed while crews widen the bridge over the creek and make needed street improvements.

Source:  City of El Cajon

April 19, 2022 (El Cajon) - The City has begun a $2.8 million restoration project of Broadway Creek. Funded by grants, the project repairs the creek’s existing erosion and prevents future flood and erosion conditions.


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VEHICLE VS. PEDESTRIAN ON INTERSTATE 8 RESULTS IN FATALITY

Source:  CHP

April 19, 2022 (El Cajon) - On April 18, 2022 at approximately 10:30 p.m., a yet to be identified male pedestrian began walking in the traffic lanes of westbound Interstate 8, west of State Route 67. As a result, the pedestrian was struck by a Kia Optima driven by a 36-year-old female from El Cajon, a Dodge Charger driven by a 28-year-old male from Chula Vista and an unidentified vehicle.  Unfortunately, the pedestrian died at the crash scene.  Two of the three drivers who struck the pedestrian remained on scene and are cooperating with the investigation.  The driver of the third vehicle, fled the scene and was last seen on Interstate 8 westbound.  


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EL CAJON STRUGGLES TO ADDRESS HOMELESS CAMP ON NEARBY COUNTY PROPERTY

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2022 (El Cajon) – For weeks, the city of El Cajon has been trying to get help from the County to address a growing homeless encampment on North Magnolia Avenue, just beyond the city limits on unincorporated County property. After fielding numerous calls from residents frustrated by the camp beyond the city’s control, the city posted a sign that reads “Now leaving El Cajon.”


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SHERIFF’S DEPT. HOSTS COFFEE WITH THE COMMUNITY APRIL 27 IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

April 15, 2022 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego Sheriff’s Rancho San Diego station invites you to Coffee with the Community. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the San Diego Youth Services East Campus auditorium 3845 at Spring Drive in Spring Valley.

For more information, contact crime prevention specialize Nancy Ortiz at (619) 660-7009 or nancy.ortiz@sdsheriff.org.


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COLD CASE ARREST FOR 2003 DOUBLE MURDER IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service

April 15, 2022 (El Cajon) -- An arrest has been made in a 2003 shooting that killed two people in the unincorporated area of El Cajon. Michael Romero, 45, has been arrested and charged with the murders of Brandon Vigil and Patrick John Greene.


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'APRIL POOLS DAY' AT FLETCHER HILLS POOL APRIL 22

Source:  City of El Cajon

Photo:  cc via Bing

April 14, 2022 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon is hosting a FREE April Pools Day event to help kick off May as National Drowning Prevention Month on Friday, April 22, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fletcher Hills Pool, located at 2345 Center Place in El Cajon.


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SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER CARJACKING EL CAJON POLICE TRUCK WITH SWAT GEAR INSIDE

By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A suspect accused of carjacking an El Cajon Police vehicle containing SWAT gear and weapons last night led officers on a high-speed chase across East County before being apprehended in Chula Vista.

An off-duty ECPD officer was leaving a 7-Eleven store in Santee when "a man opened the passenger door of the unmarked pickup truck, got into the vehicle and began yelling incoherently at the driver. At some point, both parties got out of the truck and the carjacker was able to get behind the wheel and drive away," says Sergeant Michael Gonzalez with the Sheriff's department.

The vehicle had SWAT gear, an assault rifle and a pistol locked in a storage locker, according to 10 News.


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FREE TREES AND DONUTS APRIL 23 AT THE GARDEN

East County News Service

April 9, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) – In honor of San Diego Tree Week, the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego will be giving away free trees and donuts on a first-come, first-serve basis.


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REGISTRATION OPENS FOR AAUW 20TH ANNUAL AUTHOR’S LUNCHEON MAY 21 AT SYCUAN FEATURING BEST SELLING WRITER SHILPI SOMAYA GOWDA

Source: AAUW

April 7, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Shilpi Somaya Gowda is the featured author for the La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women’s annual Author’s Luncheon fundraiser. The event is open to the public and will be held at Sycuan Casino Resort, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA on May 21 beginning at 11:00 a.m.


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THE BACHELOR LIVE ON STAGE AT THE MAGNOLIA APRIL 25

By Kylie Dees

April 7, 2022 (El Cajon) -- The Bachelor Live is coming to the Magnolia in El Cajon on Monday, April 25th. This event will be an interactive night of laughter, games and fun hosted by Becca Kufrin, who was the winner of the 22nd season of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and the lead of the 14th season of “The Bachelorette."


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DOG PAWTY AT PARKWAY PLAZA

Shopping mall now welcomes dogs on leashes

Story and photos by Karen Pearlman, for East County Magazine

Photo:  Avalanche was one of the dogs at the party.

March 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Hundreds of four-legged visitors mingled nose to nose and nose-to-tail for three pawsome hours on Saturday at Parkway Plaza, as the indoor mall in El Cajon literally went to the dogs. 

The shopping center, which opened with anchor store Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1969 and added more stores to the indoor mall in 1972, held the “Parkway Paws Party” to officially roll out the welcome mat for dogs.


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BAIL BONDSMAN SHOT IN FACE AT VACANT EL CAJON BUILDING WITH HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Screenshot via ECM news partner 10 News

Photos below by Robert Gehr

March 26, 2022 (El Cajon) – Jesse Nunez, a bail bondsman was shot in the face while attempting to find a wanted man yesterday afternoon at an abandoned building at 333 West Lexington Avenue in El Cajon. The shooter was not the person sought by the bail bondsman, says Lieutenant Will Guerin with the El Cajon Police, who added that squatters were occupying the building and two men ultimately surrendered after a brief stand-off.

The wanted fugitive, Jesse D. Tansey, remains at large, 619 news reports. He was being sought for failing to appear in court on charges that included drug dealing and possession of a firearms.

An ECM photographer says he repeatedly called ECPD to report break-ins at the property, as well as apparent drug sales.


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PARKWAY PLAZA BECOMES DOG-FRIENDLY SHOPPING CENTER: DOGS AND OWNERS INVITED TO “PAWS PARTY” MARCH 26

East County News Service 

Photo credit: courtesy of Parkway Plaza

 

March 23, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Calling all pet owners! Parkway Plaza is officially becoming a dog-friendly shopping center, welcoming customers to bring along their furry friends on all their shopping trips. 


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OFFICIALS PUSH FOR NEW SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS IN EAST COUNTY

By Jakob McWhinney, Voice of San Diego 

Photo:  Gerald (Gerry) Kostiha eats a grapefruit while sitting on a chair outside his tent Tuesday, March 8, 2022, near El Cajon, CA. He has been living at the Magnolia encampment with his dog Lumpy for four months. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

March 22, 2022 (San Diego) - For the past four months, Gerry Kostiha has lived with his dog Lumpy off North Magnolia Avenue on a plot of county land only a few feet from the border of El Cajon. The 62-year-old worked as a plumber until a fall down a flight of stairs left him immobile and required a series of major surgeries.  


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