El Cajon

EL CAJON HALTS FUNDING FOR EAST COUNTY HOMELESS TASK FORCE, BUT LEAVES DOOR OPEN FOR FUTURE FUNDING

 

By Jacob Pamus

 

Photo:  Pastor Rolland Slade speaks out on Council's decision to defund the task force.

 

 

Updated August 21 with statements from Bonnie Baranoff, Coordinatorof the East County Homeless  Task Force, disputing the city's assertions and media statements.

 

August 16, 2023  (El Cajon) – El Cajon’s City Council majority voted to drop its funding for the East County Homeless Task Force.  Ironically El Cajon has the most homeless among East County communities and 16% of the homeless in San Diego County. 


City Manager, Graham Mitchell said during a Council meeting in late July that even though El Cajon’s interests do align with the task force, “Over time, that alignment has been shifting.” Mitchell  noted that initially he was in support of the task force because of how many different perspectives were involved, including law enforcement and business oriented individuals, but now he does not see that.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL LOOKS AT A NEW LARGE SCALE FARMERS MARKET AND WAYS TO USE $4 MILLION IN ARPA FUNDS

By: Jessyka Heredia

Photos from City of El Cajon meeting and presentation

 

August 14, 2023 (El Cajon) – The  El Cajon City Council on Tuesday was given a presentation by the city’s marketing and engagement manager, Chris Berg, about a new farmers market idea that includes a beer garden, farmers, artisan foods and goods plus three concert stages and more. The proposal is much larger in scope than other farmers markets around the county.

The City Manager, Graham Mitchell, also introduced three different proposals to the Council on possible projects to use their remaining ARPA funds on.


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ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: SECOND HALF SENDS SWARM OF HORNETS PAST EAGLES IN EXHIBITION

Story and photos by Liz Alper 
 
August 11, 2023 (El Cajon) - Football.  Is.  Back.  And ECM Sports is right here for a fun opening weekend of exhibition games at Granite Hills High School.  First off, tonight, we have the host school taking on Lincoln High School.

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MAN FOUND DEAD IN EL CAJON MOTEL AMID DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

East County News Service

 

August 8, 2023 (El Cajon) --  A 58-year-old man was found dead in his room at the El Cajon Inn & Suites motel this morning by an employee who called 911.  The worker entered the room to check on the welfare of the guest, who had not been seen for several days.


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FUNDRAISER FOR CREST SENIOR INJURED BY TRASH TRUCK

 

Cedar Fire survivor and widow of famed pilot adventurer needs community’s help

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2023  (Crest) – Leysl  Muñoz, 87, was well-known to residents in rural Crest, where she regularly drove around in her golf cart with her Burmese Mountain Dog, Rebby.  But on Friday, July 28, she was “critically injured when an EDCO trash truck backed over her while she was sitting in her golf cart,” according to a GoFundMe post set up by her neighbor, Rich Robinson.

“Leysl is confronting a long and difficult road to get back on her feet,” he states. “This GoFundMe effort is being established by her East County friends who want to help her get back on her feet and in a new golf car with Rebby.


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COMIC PAULA POUNDSTONE PERFORMS IN EL CAJON SEPT. 29

July 22, 2023 (El Cajon) -- Paula Poundstone will be performing at The Magnolia in El Cajon on Friday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. The iconic comedian has starred in several HBO specials,  hosts a weekly comedy podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, and is a panelist on NPR’s comedy news quizshow, Wait Wat…Don’t Tell Me!

Shew as the first female comic to perform standup comedy at the  White House Correspondents Dinner.  Her HBO special, Cats, Cops and Stuff, marked the first time a female comedian won Best Comedy Special in the Cable Ace Awards. Paula’s awards.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: COUNCILMAN GETS A SCARE AT COMICON

 

July 21, 2023 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick sent in this photo of his reaction to a monster he encountered at Comicon.  A childhood fan of comic books, Councilman Kendrick credits reading Superman comics with teaching him the important of being respectful to everyone, a value he strives to follow in his civic duties as an elected official.


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VEHICLE THEFT SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER BARRICADING SELF IN EL CAJON MOTEL ROOM

East County News Service

July 22, 2023 (El Cajon) – A stolen vehicle suspect barricaded himself in an El Cajon motel Thursday evening and threatened to set the building on fire, prompting evacuation of nearby rooms, says Lieutenant Darrin Forster with El Cajon Police Department. 

The incident began at 6:38 p.m., when  El Cajon Police received information that the GPS system on a vehicle reported stolen showed it was parked at the Best Inn & Suites at 1274 Oakdale Avenue. Officers found the vehicle in the parking lot unoccupied. The driver of the stolen car was observed on surveillance video entering a motel room, which paid for by the San Diego County Homeless Voucher Program administered through EQUUS.


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HUMANE SOCIETY REUNITES MISSING LAS VEGAS DOG FOUND IN EL CAJON

Photo/video credit: San Diego Humane Society

View video of reunion

 

July 20, 2023 (El Cajon) -- A dog who went missing from his home in Las Vegas on July 3 was reunited with his family at noon today at San Diego Humane Society’s El Cajon Campus.


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PARKWAY PLAZA ANNOUNCES NEW FOOD COURT TENANT, CHEF CHAR’S SEAFOOD N SOUL

 

Black woman-owned business won 3 months free rent and  $20,000 business investment in mall’s Taste for the Space Competition

Source: Parkway Plaza

July 20, 2023 (El Cajon)--   Parkway Plaza held its first-ever Taste for the Space competition in June, offering one local food business the opportunity to win three months of free rent at Parkway Plaza’s food court, plus a $20,000 business investment.  Chef Char’s Seafood N Soul is the lucky recipient of the prize package and will be moving into the shopping center’s food court latet this month.

Over 600 people came out to taste food from 12 selected local businesses to vote on whose cuisine was the best. The winner was chosen by a combination of votes from the community and a panel of tastemaker judges that included El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Chef Phillip Esteban (Open Gym, White Rice and Weapon Ramen), Christina Ng (local culinary personality and Foundation Cultivator for Berry Good Food Food), and Sabrina Medora (freelance writer and novelist). The judges helped decide the winner based on taste as well as overall fit for the center.

Winner Charlene Plummer launched Chef Char Seafood N Soul (formerly known as ChefChar2020) amidst the Covid-19 pandemic when her then 16 year-old was unable to find employment. Creating the business not only helped provide her child with work, but also an opportunity to play a large role in the company which she could help cultivate and design.


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EL CAJON POLICE CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL NIGHT OUT WITH BIGGEST EVENT YET: AUGUST 1 AT PARKWAY PLAZA

Fitness competition, live band, dancing, sports stars, kids activities, auto show and opportunities to meet police and firefighters are all slated 

East County News Service

 

July 17, 2023 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon is gearing up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its National Night Out event, a milestone for a community event that has been fostering positive interactions between law enforcement and the local community. This year’s event, set to be the largest ever hosted, will take place on Tuesday, August 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot at Parkway Plaza Mall in El Cajon.  


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COLLISION IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO KILLS 84-YEAR-OLD MAN

East County News Service

July 17, 2023 (Rancho San Diego) – Zohair Azez Potros Sinawi, 84, of El Cajon has been identified by the Medical Examiner’s office as the man who died in a collision that occurred on July 7 in Rancho San Diego.


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ELDERLY BROTHERS FOUND DEAD IN EL CAJON HOME

East Count News Service

July 11, 2023 (El Cajon) – The bodies of two brothers, Wilburn Burchette, 84, and Kenneth Burchette, 76, were found in their home on July 9.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting a death that evening and found the two bodies. “Both men appeared to have been deceased for some time,” says Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura with the San Diego County Sheriff’s department.


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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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CRASH IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO KNOCKS OUT POWER

By Miriam Raftery; Henri Migala contributed to this report

Photos by Henri Migala

July 9, 2023 (Rancho San Diego) -- A blue vehicle crashed into a power pole on  Steele Canyon Rd. near State Route 94 this morning. The power pole fell across the roadway and the vehicle caught fire, causing closure of Steele Canyon Rd. in both directions.

The crash caused a power outage affecting portions of Spring Valley,  Rancho San Diego and La Presa.


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BODY FOUND IN BURNED HOME

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2023 (Rancho San Diego) – Firefighters found the body of a woman inside a home in the 9100 block of Lavell Street in Rancho San Diego this afternoon, the San Diego Sheriff’s watch commander reports.

Road closures are at San Juan Place /Lavell Street, and Bancroft Drive /Edgewood Drive. The intersections will be closed for the next several hours.


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FIRE HYDRANT DAMAGED BY CRASH IN ELCAJON

East County News Service

Photo and video by Robert Gehr

July 8, 2023 (El Cajon) – A two-vehicle crash knocked over a fire hydrant at the corner of Van Houton and Douglas in El Cajon this morning, spewing water across the roadways.  The vehicles involved were a white pickup truck and a dark Nissan car, according to ECM photographer Robert Gehr.


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MAN PINNED UNDER FALLEN TREE IN EL CAJON DIES

East County News Service

Update July 10, 2023: The Medical Examiner has identified the deceased as Gary Zing, 59.

July 5, 2023 (El Cajon) – Heartland Fire & Rescue responded to a 9-1-1 call at 11:10 a.m. requesting help for a man who fell while cutting down a large tree at his property at 1962 Altozano Way in El Cajon.  Fire crews found that the tree had fallen onto the victim.

“Paramedics attempted to render aid but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” says Andy McKellar, emergency preparedness coordinator at Heartland Fire & Rescue.


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LA MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS SUMMER BASH” BUSINESS EXPO AUGUST 17

July 5, 2023 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday, August 17, the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will produce its 8th Annual “Summer Bash” Business Expo. This special evening will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott  (141 N. Magnolia Ave. El Cajon) from 5-7:30 p.m.

“To encourage you to come out and see us again, tickets are being offered at the low price of $15 apiece and include food from many local restaurants,” says Mary England,  the Chamber’s president. “There will be raffles and business vendors will offer numerous FREE door prizes that evening. You may win free prizes/gifts to use the rest of your summer!”


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COTTONWOOD SAND MINE REVISED DRAFT EIR IS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT; MEETING SET ON JULY 25

By Miriam Raftery

Photo; Left, Cottonwood Golf Course pond, before it was drained; right, a sand mining operation

July 5, 2023 (Rancho San Diego) – The County of San Diego has issued a revised draft environmental impact report (EIR) on the proposed Cottonwood sand mine. View documents and details

The public has until August 14 at 4 p..m. to submit comments on the revised EIR.

Comments can be sent via email to Christopher.Jacobs@sdcounty.ca.gov.  The County will also hold an in-person public meeting regarding the Recirculated Draft EIR on July 25, 2023, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Hillsdale Middle School (1301 Brabham Street, El Cajon).


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EL CAJON MAN DEAD OF HANGING IN COUNTY JAIL

By Miriam Raftery

July 1, 2023 (San Diego) – A man found unresponsive in his cell at San Diego County Central Jail on June 26 died two days later at UCSD Hospital. The Medical Examiner has found the cause of death was suicide by hanging.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS BUDGET AND REVIEWS BAN ON ENCAMPMENTS

Story and photos by Christianne McCormick

Photo, left: Director of Finance Clay Schoen presents budget breakdown

June 25, 2023 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s City Council on June 13 received a presentation on the Preliminary Annual Budget for fiscal year of 2023-2024.  Council also moved forward on a ban on homeless camping on public property that would be similar to the City of San Diego’s new ordinance.


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COUPLE FOUND DEAD IN EL CAJON DIED OF MURDER-SUICIDE

East County News Service

June 23, 2022 (El Cajon)—The couple found dead yesterday morning by their daughter in the family’s home have been identified as Eric and Denise Helen Orpinela. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Eric Orpinela shot and killed his wife, then committed suicide.

The couple had three young children. The oldest, who found the couple in their residence on East Bradley Ave. in ElCajon, is 14.


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COUPLE FOUND DEAD IN EL CAJON HOME

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of 10  News, an ECM news partner

June 23, 2022 (El Cajon) – The San Diego Sheriff’s homicide unit is investigating the deaths of a man and woman found dead in their home in the 200 block of East Bradley Ave. in El Cajon yesterday morning.

According to Lieutenant Joseph Jarjura, “Both victims appeared to have head trauma.”

ECM news partner 10 News reports that the couple was found by their daughter, a minor, around 9:47 a.m.


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETING GETS HEATED OVER YMCA CAMP CONTRACT

By Jessyka Heredia

Watch full video

June 22, 2023 (El Cajon) – Last Tuesday, staff and parents with opposing views came to the Cajon Valley School Board meeting to be heard. With well over 200 people in attendance the Cajon Valley boardroom was overflowing with outrage and passion. LGBTQ  rights were at the forefront of the debate.


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SWORD-WIELDING MAN PROMPTS SWAT TEAM STANDOFF IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2023 (El Cajon )  -- A man who swung a sword at neighbors and threatened violence prompted a SWAT team to respond today ending in his arrest 

Around 8 a.m., El Cajon Police began receiving calls reporting a man swinging a large sword at people in the parking lot of 1018 East Lexington.

“The man with the sword went back inside an apartment, and then returned to the parking lot making threats to shoot people, while simulating a gun in his waistband,” says Lieutenant Jeremiah Larson, adding that no gun was seen by any of the victims or witnesses.


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EL CAJON MAY MIRROR SAN DIEGO’S BAN ON HOMELESS CAMPING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  former homeless camp in unincorporated El Cajon later cleared by the County, which opened a safe parking lot on the site

June 22, 2023 (San Diego) – El Cajon’s City Council voted unanimously on June 13 to direct staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting camping on any public property, such as sidewalks and parks.  The ordinance would mirror a similar, controversial ordinance adopted by the San Diego City Council 5-4 on the same date.


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I-8 REOPENS AFTER MURRAY FIRE HALTED

Story and photos by Josh Stotler

Photo, left: Crews battle the heat and smoke of the Murray fire Tuesday afternoon.

 

June 20, 2023 (El Cajon)-- A small vegetation fire was sparked off Interstate 8 near Murray Drive and Dennstedt Place in El Cajon this afternoon. While East County crews were battling two other wildland fires, calls came into Heartland Fire & Rescue’s dispatch just after 2:20 p.m. reporting a fire on the hill adjacent to Grossmont High School.

Engines were sent to the scene and Interstate 8 was closed to westbound traffic as crews battled the flames.


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MURRAY FIRE HALTS TROLLEY, BLOCKS LANES ON I-8 IN EAST COUNTY

June 20, 2023 (El Cajon) -- A brush fire burning between Interstate 8 and Murray Drive has charred several acres, threatening homes.  The fire began near Murray Drive and Dennstedt Place, El Cajon.

It is reportedly burning at a slow rate of spread, however some homes are threatened, based on scanner traffic.

CalTrans reports that three lanes of westbound I-8 are closed in the vicinity.

MTS announced that the Green Line trolley cannot travel between Amaya Drive and the El Cajon Transit Center, so a bus bridge will be implemented for riders.


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LAMAR ODOM OPENS ODOM WELLNESS TREATMENT CENTERS IN EL CAJON AND LEMON GROVE

By Jessyka Heredia

View interview on Youtube

June 12, 2023 (El Cajon) -- On Thursday, ECM sat down with former Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball star Lamar Odom and Dontae Ralston, Executive Director / Founder of West Urban Outreach in El Cajon, to talk about their new substance abuse treatment centers called Odom Wellness Treatment Centers set in a residential recovery environment.

There are three treatment centers expected to open in San Diego County at this time. El Cajon and Lemon Grove as well as one in the city of San Diego. 

When asked about the type of clients they will be servicing, Odom said, “I’m sure we will have a high-profile celebrity clientele, but of course anybody is welcome with a substance abuse problem. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, so we’ll be ready to help them.”

Odom said his inspiration to open these treatment centers was due to his own very public battle with addiction. Odom told ECM that when he overdosed, he had “12 strokes and six heart attacks,” adding that his purpose is “to help people.” At the time of his near-fatal overdose in 2015, Odom had just retired from the NBA and was going through a divorce with Khloe Kardashian.


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