El Cajon

BRUSH FIRE THREATENS HOMES IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

Update 3:40 p.m.:  Forward spread of the fire has been stopped at 15 acres, per Cal Fire.

January 20, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- The #CampoFire in Rancho San Diego poses an immediate structure threat along Avenida Roberta x Calle Los Arboles in the Rancho San Diego neighborhood in unincorporated El Cajon, Cal Fire reports. Campo Fire was reported just before 12:45 p.m. in an area near Jamacha Road and Campo Road

Evacuate if in the area or if you feel threatened. A temporary evacuation point for the #CampoFire is at the Edwards Cinema parking lot at 2951 Jamacha Rd.

The fire has charred about five acres as of 1:15 p.m.

Viewl life feed courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News: https://www.pscp.tv/10News/1lDxLpQynmyxm


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MARKETINK: EL CAJON COUNCILMAN RETIRES FROM MARKETING CAREER TO PURSUE FORENSIC GENEALOGY

By Rick Griffin

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - As a young man in his 20s, Steve Goble set a goal to retire from work on his 60th birthday and devote the rest of his life to public service.


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EL CAJON SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CITY’S PERSONNEL COMMISSION AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY FINANCING

Source: City of El Cajon

January 14, 2021 (El Cajon) -- The City of El Cajon is currently accepting applications for one position on the Personnel Commission and three on the Public Safety Facility Financing Oversight Committee. The filing period is open though Monday, February 1, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

City Council interviews via Zoom will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.

Applications are available in the City Clerk's Office and on the City's website. For additional information, please call the City Clerk's Office at (619) 441-1763.

Personnel Commission

Vacancy: One (1) Commissioner

Duration: Four-year term to expire on January 31, 2025


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NEW RANCHO HELIX DE ORO FIRE SAFE COUNCIL OFFERS FIRE-SAFE TIPS

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) --Under the authority of the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, the Rancho Helix De Oro is a newly formed fire safe council dedicated to educating and preparing our community in order to avoid devastating fires. The group has created an educational fire-safe flyer  (click link to view flyer) with information including tips for fire safety, an evacuation map, who to call during an emergency, and how to get emergency notification for the communities of Rancho San Diego, Mt. Helix and Casa de Oro.

The new group was formed with support from then-County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, Valle de Oro Planning Group, Casa De Oro Alliance, and community members in collaboration with San Miguel Fire and Rescue, Cal Fire, San Diego County Sheriff, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County.


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PRO-TRUMP DEMONSTRATORS CLASH WITH ANTI-FASCIST COUNTERPROTESTERS IN SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left: Counterprotester sprays a pro-Trump demonstrator; screenshot via ECM news partner 10 News

January 12, 2021 (San Diego) --  A clash between self-described pro-Trump “patriots” and counter-protesters who claimed to be part of the antifascist “Antifa” movement on Saturday in Pacific Beach turned violent, 10 News, the Los Angeles Times and Fox 5 report.

The demonstration occurred days after pro-Trump demonstrators seeking to block election certification stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent rampage that left a police officer and four insurrectionists dead, the Capitol ransacked and legislators terrorized.

But this time, multiple media outlets on scene report that the violence was instigated by anti-fascist counter-protesters. On social media, some counter-protesters have claimed the protesters included white supremacists and fascists.


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DRIVER WHO DRAGGED AND INJURED EL CAJON POLICEMAN IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of the driver who allegedly dragged and seriously injured Officer Nick Cirello on December 14th. The suspect, David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, was found and apprehended by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail. He is charged with attempted homicide.

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DOG SAVES FAMILY FROM A FIRE IN EL CAJON, BUT MANY PET SNAKES PERISH

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

(Left photo of Samson courtesy of the San Diego Humane Society.)

(El Cajon) Jan. 9, 2021 Dog—man’s best friend.  The best friend this time was a 16-month-old mastiff named Samson.  

According to Cindy Peterson, who owns the affected home with her husband, Richard, Samson saved them from the fire. Samson heard a boom and started barking. The fire initially started in the garage where numerous snakes, rats, and other pets were kept.  The home, located in El Cajon, has been their home for eight years. 

El Cajon Councilmember Gary Kendrick sympathized with the loss of some of the family’s pets and wished the best for the surviving animals. “Good reason to have a dog,” he said of the hero mastiff. 

According to a statement released from Heartland Fire & Rescue, a crew from El Cajon, assisted by crews from Lakeside Fire and San Miguel Fire, were dispatched at 5:46 a.m. on Jan. 8 to the 1600 block of Pepper Hill Drive.  

(Photo at right taken by Rebeca Jefferis Williamson)

“Fire crews arrived within six minutes to discover a one-story-single family dwelling with the garage on fire,” states Heartland Fire & Rescue’s public information officer Sonny Saghera.  “Crews were able to control the fire within 20 minutes. The fire was confined to the garage and back wall with smoke and heat damage to the house and attic.”


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FREEDOM RALLY DRAWS DIVERSE CROWD

By Briana Gomez
 
Photo:  Minister Vereta Wilson (@compton_conservative) addresses the crowd
 
December 29, 2020 (El Cajon) – A myriad of diverse, yet mostly unmasked attendees crowded around vendors and made their way toward a makeshift stage decorated with Christmas décor and a podium in front of the El Cajon City Council chambers, where a “Freedom Rally” was held on Dec. 27 in response to Governor Newsom’s recent shutdown of businesses.

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EL CAJON RALLY SHOWS WHY WE ARE LOSING THE BATTLE AGAINST THE PANDEMIC

 

Story and photos by Henri Migala

Photo, left:  Maskless rally participants called for all businesses to open now, despite pandemic shutdown orders from the county and state.

December 23, 2020 (El Cajon) – A rally titled “All I Want for Christmas is Freedom” was held on Monday, Dec. 21 at El Cajon Centennial Plaza calling for a lifting of pandemic shutdowns.  The timing of the rally coincides with hospital ICU units filled to capacity across Southern California, after 18 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19 and 323,000 Americans have died.

There are legitimate equity questions, such as why big-box retailers have been allowed to stay open while many small businesses have been ordered shut down, particularly after data obtained from San Diego County reveals that many outbreaks have been tied to large stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Target. Although the event was promoted as an opportunity to support local small businesses adversely affected by restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, any rational discussion of those issues was largely overshadowed at the protest by speakers, including prominent elected officials, who urged attendees to openly and actively defy local and state restrictions. Some used such inflammatory words such as devil, battle, war, evil, Marxist, tyranny, socialism, 2nd Amendment, and even a reference to “killing babies like Planned Parenthood" that seemed largely out of context to a discussion of economic vs. public health concerns.

Eighteen “vendors” were set up, of which about half were small businesses selling products. The others were related to a political cause or agenda, such as recalling Governor Newsom, or opening San Diego. Approximately 150 people attended the event.


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EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL KILLS IDEA FOR AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS IN APARTMENTS TO COMBAT COVID-19

City still has $200,000 in rental, mortgage and utility assistance funds for residents in need
 
By Kendra Sitton
 
December 23, 2020 (El Cajon) — A proposal to give air filtration systems to low-income households put forward by El Cajon City Councilman Steve Goble failed to move forward in a special City Council meeting, where no one seconded the motion. 

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30,000 AT RISK OF POWER SHUTOFFS DEC. 23-24 DUE TO RED FLAG WARNING

By Miriam Raftery

December 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has notified around 30,000 customers that their power could be shut off due to high fire danger.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for parts of Southern California due to possible strong winds from 8 a.m. Wednesday through 12 p.m. Thursday, Christmas Eve. The communities at risk range from El Cajon east to Campo, north to Escondido and mountain areas such as Julian, and as far south as Potrero near the border.

The threat of losing electricity in mid-winter during Christmas week is disheartening for backcountry residents, many of whom have stocked up refrigerators and freezers for holiday feasts. ECM has received complaints from residents who report SDG&E refused to reimburse them for food spoiled during other recent outages. Coming at a time when many are without jobs or have businesses with little income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of financial losses due to power outages or worse, a wildfire are particularly troubling.


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CHILD FOUND SAFE AFTER AUTO THEFT AND KIDNAPPING IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 21, 2020 (El Cajon) – A woman who left the motor running on her vehicle parked in an alley while she unloaded groceries into her apartment at 300 W. Madison Street saw a man steal the vehicle with her 3-year-old child inside.

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SANTEE WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL AFTER CRASH KILLS MOTORCYCLIST IN EL CAJON

Update: The victim has been identified by the County Medical Examiner as Ivan Joseph Kreft, 32, of El Cajon.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Creative Commons image, CC by NC-ND 
 
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – Pamela Gilmore, 59, of Santee has been arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence (DUI) following a fatal collision this morning in El Cajon.
 
According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, Gilmore was driving her 2011 Kia Sportage northbound on Plumeria Drive to westbound Pepper drive this morning at 7:05 a.m. when a 32-year-old El Cajon man riding his 2005 Suzuki GSXR 100 motorcycle eastbound on Pepper Drive approached Plumeria. 
 

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EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER DRAGGED, STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND SERIOUSLY INJURED: SUSPECTS REMAIN AT LARGE

Update Jan. 11: El Cajon police announced the arrest of suspect David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail.
 
Update Dec. 18:  The officer has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
 
Update Dec. 14, 2020 10 p.m.:  The investigation by El Cajon Police has identified a suspect who is being sought for questioning:  David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, from Guam is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. 

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – An El Cajon Police officer is hospitalized in a trauma center in critical but stable condition due to serious injuries sustained at 8:30 a.m. during a traffic stop of a rented black Volkswagen SUV, CA license plate 8LC117.

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HUNDREDS OF SAN DIEGO FAMILIES TO RECEIVE MUCH NEEDED GROCERIES AT ROCK CHURCH EL CAJON AND CITY HEIGHTS FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Partnering with local businesses to connect resources with those in need

East County News Service

December 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- On Thursday, December 10 the Rock Church City Heights campus will also host a food distribution and on Tuesday, December 15th, the Rock Church East County campus will also host their food distribution. All events are free and open to the community.


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FUND STARTED TO HELP RANCHO SAN DIEGO COUPLE THAT LOST HOME IN WILLOW FIRE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala

December 8, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) – GoFundMe has notified East County Magazine that a fundraising page has been set up to assist Doug and Michele Howarth, retired local educators whose home was destroyed in the Willow Fire on December 2.

The GoFundMe page for the Howarths states, “The Howarth’s lost everything in the Willow fires last night as they watched their home go up in flames. Doug barely got out in his PJs as his wife, Michele, watched on TV in Carlsbad while she was visiting her daughter Gwendolyn P.”  The fundraising page was set up by Josie Kasyouhannon on behalf of Gwendolyn Pavlick.

”Please help this kind and generous couple who have resided in our community for decades. Michele Howarth was a first grade teacher at Vista Grande Elementary School and is now retired. Doug Howarth worked as a guidance counselor at Cuyamaca Community College,” the site states.”Please help donate to help rebuild their lives. Every donation helps.” To date, around $12,000 has been donated.


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TEEN SHOT IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND
 
December 5, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff's Substation responded to a call of a shooting last night at 7:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of N. 2nd Street, in unincorporated El Cajon. 
 
“A 16 year-old victim was located by officers from El Cajon Police Department several blocks away on 2nd Street in the city of El Cajon,” says Sgt. Phillip Beaumont with the Sheriff’s department.  “The victim suffered from several apparent gunshot wounds and was transported to the hospital by paramedics. The victim was last known to be in critical condition.”

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A LONG NIGHT FOR FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING WILLOW FIRE

 

 

By Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

Photos and videos by Henri Migala

December 3, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) – Thanks to the valiant response of firefighters from multiple districts across the region, the #WillowFire in Rancho San Diego was held to 30 acres overnight.  One home was destroyed and six others damaged, according to Cal Fire. 

But the damage could have been far worse, given that the fire started after dark amid howling Santa Ana wind conditions. (Video of high winds)

The fire started around 10:30 p.m. on Willow Glen Drive near Hillsdale Rd., swiftly racing through a canyon. Flames soon engulfed a home atop the ridge and scorched others, prompting late-night evacuations and a long night for both firefighters and residents.


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BRUSH FIRE ENGULFS HOMES IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

Update 3:50 a.m.Dec. 3 - Forward spread of the fire has been stopped. The fire has held at 25 acres per Cal Fire. Firefighters remain on scene and some road closures remain in effect.

Update 12:40 a.m. Dec. 3:  Cal Fire has issued a map of the fire(right). San Diego Sheriff's Office issuing evacuation orders for following locations: Brabham St. at Jamacha, Wind River Rd. at Sonnett. Dr., Sea Pines R. and Congressional Dr., Sawgrass St. and Medinah Dr. Residents on Hilton Head Rd. east of Jamacha have also been advised to prepare for evacuation.

Update 11:50 p.m.:  A temporary evacuation center is being set up at the Edwards Cinemas at 2951 Jamacha Rd.

The Sheriff reports that the following road closures are in effect: Brabham St/Wind River Rd, Brabham St/Jamacha Wind River Rd/Sonnett St Sea Pines Rd/Congressional Dr Sawgrass St/Medinah Dr

By Miriam Raftery, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

Photo: Screenshot, ECM news partner 10 News

December 2, 2020 (11:25 p.m.) – A wind-whipped brush fire has engulfed at least three homes in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon tonight. At least 15 acres have burned and the incident commander has reportedly indicated that the fire has the potential to reach 200 acres.

Night-flying helicopters have been dispatched by San Diego Fire & Rescue, joining ground crews from Heartland Fire, Cal Fire, and San Miguel Fire Departments.

The #WillowFire started around 10:30 p.m. in the 2800 block of Willow Glen Drive near Hillsdale Road. Evacuations are in place from Wind River Road to Lim Rock Road.

The SDG&E outage map indicates power has been shut off to portions of Rancho San Diego and nearby communities of Spring Valley, Jamul and Dulzura.


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AUTOPSY CONFIRMS PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY VEHICLE IN EL CAJON INCIDENT DISPUTED BY FAMILY

East County News Service 
 
December 2, 2020 (El Cajon) – An autopsy conducted by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office confirms that Stephan Anthony Harris, 29, of El Cajon died of multiple blunt force injuries caused by being struck by a vehicle on November 25.  The finding refutes claims made by Harris’ family.

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EL CAJON STABBING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On October 23, a family member found Victor Saul Garcia Jr., 33, dead inside his home in the 1100 block of Marlene Avenue in EL Cajon.  El Cajon Police homicide detectives and the forensic lab determined that the victim had been stabbed several times after a struggle.

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EL CAJON POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO ACCIDENT THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN

By Miriam Raftery 
 
November 26, 2020 (El Cajon) – A man in his 20s suffered a fatal head injury yesterday when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle Wednesday evening around 8:40 p.m. in the 300 block of West Chase Avenue. El Cajon Police Department is asking anyone with information to call (619)579-3311.
 
Police and paramedics responded, but were unable to save the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
An initial indication indicates the vehicle was traveling westbound on West Chase Avenue near Estes Street, when it struck the pedestrian, who was crossing the roadway.

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A LIFE OF GIVING BACK: AARP CALIFORNIA AWARDS STATE’S HIGHEST HONOR TO FOUNDER OF VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE CLINIC IN EL CAJON

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

November 24, 2020 (El Cajon) -- A San Diego man has won AARP California's Andrus Award - the organization's highest honor. At age 85, Stuart Harvey is a retired civil engineer and a founding board member of the Volunteers in Medicine free clinic in El Cajon.


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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: HIKING EL CAJON MOUNTAIN

 

November 24, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- What’s it like to scale El Cajon Mountain, often called El Capitan, one of the most impressive peaks in East County?


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MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN DEHESA SHOOTING DEATH

East County News Service

Update: The victim has been identified as James Owens, 31, of unincorporated El Cajon.

November 21, 2020 (Dehesa) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting a shooting Thursday night at 10:30 p.m.in the 6000 block of Stallion Oaks Road in unincorporated El Cajon.

According to Lt. Thomas Seiver, deputies learned that a person acquainted with the man who was shot had driven him away from the scene. Deputies stopped the vehicle on Stallion Oaks Road near Dehesa Road about a mile and a half away.

They found the victim inside and attempted lifesaving measures. Sycuan Fire Department arrived and relieved deputies, but unfortunately they could not revive the man and he was pronounced dead at the scene.


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74TH ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE GOES VIRTUAL ON SUNDAY, NOV. 22

 

If you missed the parade you can watch the virtual video here with highlights of the best parades through the years:  https://www.facebook.com/ABC10News/videos/365702947867513

Source: Mother Goose Parade

 

November 16, 2020 (El Cajon) -- East County's holiday favorite Mother Goose Parade, traditionally held the Sunday before Thanksgiving, is going to look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic when it takes place.

Virtually on Sunday, November 22nd, on San Diego's KGTV-TV Channel 10News.com, starting at 1 p.m.  It will be an exciting video montage of past parades so everyone can still enjoy the parade, but safely.

The parade, the largest holiday season parade west of the Mississippi, has been a community tradition for 74 years. Despite having to cancel the celebration, which traditionally winds down the main streets of downtown El Cajon, parade organizers anticipate the broadcast will still be a festive experience marking the beginning of the holiday season.


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MARSHA GABLE APPOINTED INTERIM GROSSMONT COLLEGE PRESIDENT

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 20, 2020 (El Cajon) -Marsha Gable, Grossmont College’s vice president of Student Services, has been selected to serve as the college’s interim president beginning Jan. 1 following the retirement of Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh.


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EL CAJON TECHNOLOGY SURVEY

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing; CC by SA-NC
 
November 19, 2020 (El Cajon) - The City of El Cajon is currently developing a strategic plan to invest in advanced technologies over the next 10 years. These investments will enhance the relationship between the City and its residents, businesses, and visitors.
 
The city invites residents, business owners and visitors to El Cajon to be a part of this process by taking a brief 5-minute survey. Your feedback will help staff explore ideas and concepts that will help transform the future of El Cajon.
 
To begin the survey, click HERE.

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STATE ORDERS CURFEW NOV. 21-DEC. 21 AS COVID SURGES; COUNTY SHERIFF CRACKS DOWN ON VIOLATIONS INCLUDING IN EL CAJON, DESPITE MAYOR'S HANDS-OFF STANCE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Chart via San Diego County: Surging COVID cases increase stress on healthcare system

November 19, 2020 (San Diego) – California’s Department of Public Health today issued a curfew Nov. 21-Dec. 21 aimed at reducing spread of COVID-19 as cases surge statewide. The County also announced beefed up enforcement efforts, with many cease and desist orders issued in East County, including El Cajon despite the Mayor's pledge not to enforce health rules.

What the curfew impacts

The limited stay home order applies in Purple Tier counties including San Diego. Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., the order prohibits gatherings with people not in your household either on your property or elsewhere. 

Non-essential businesses must cease operations during the curfew; only activities defined as “critical infrastructure” (COVID19.ca.gov Essential Workforce) may continue.

The curfew does not prohibit individuals or people in the same household from leaving their residence, as long as they don’t interact with people from other households. You can walk your dog, exercise alone or with those in your household, ride your horse, and travel for essential purposes such as medical visits, picking up food or going to the pharmacy. The curfew also does not apply to people who are homeless.


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EL CAJON MOTORCYCLIST ARRAIGNED ON INSURANCE FRAUD; ACCOMPLICE ALSO CHARGED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

November 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Omar Yousif, 22, of El Cajon, was arraigned on multiple felony counts of insurance fraud Monday after allegedly misrepresenting the timing of a motorcycle collision in order to receive an undeserved insurance payout. 
 
Shanice Davis, 21, was also charged as a co-conspirator for her involvement in the alleged fraud. 
 
An investigation by the San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force comprised of the Department of Insurance, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol, working with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, revealed that on October 2, 2019, Yousif purchased a new insurance policy for his 2019 Harley Davidson FXFB Motorcycle. Two days later, Yousif and Davis reported that they were in an accident where Yousif’s motorcycle collided into Davis’ vehicle. 

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