Rural communities

GOV. NEWSOM DECLARES EMERGENCY FOR WILDFIRE PREVENTION: CREST, GUATAY IN EAST COUNTY AMONG “VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES” TARGETED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office

March 26, 2019 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday proclaimed a state of emergency over wildfire dangers to “protect the state’s most vulnerable communities,” according to a press release issued by his office.  


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THREE DEER MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS

 

Three deer mice collected in routine monitoring in Boulevard have tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, County Vector Control said this week.

County officials said it is not uncommon to find hantavirus in wild mice throughout the county, but it is generally unlikely for people to come into contact with hantavirus if they keep wild rodents out of their homes, sheds, garages and workplaces.


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SAN MIGUEL FIRE BOARD TO HOLD MARCH 27 HEARING ON SHIFT TO DIVISION ELECTIONS AND NOMINATION OF LAFCO MEMBERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) – The San Miguel Fire Protection District board voted Feb. 27 to shift to “by division” elections instead of at-large elections.  On March 27 T 5:30 p.m., the board will hold the second of two hearings to solicit public input, after which maps will be drawn for proposed districts.


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STEELE CANYON PRESENTS LES MISERABLES - LONDON STAR DEAN CHISNALL’S INFLUENCE FELT

By Kathy Carpenter

March 23, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) - Les Miserables is an epic musical. It’s extremely complex to put on. Over 120 students were involved, including the music department and the orchestra, who played the score seamlessly in the background. the show would not happen without them.


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ARREST MADE IN SPRING VALLEY MURDER CASE

 
 
Update March 22, 2019:  A suspect in this case was arrested last night by the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force.  Carlos Davis, 22, of La Mesa has been booked for murder at the San Diego Central Jail and is being held without bail. The victim has been  identified as Carlo Avila, 27, of Santee and his family has been notified. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

 
East County News Service
 
March 21, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a 9-1-1 call of a shooting at 1:21 a.m. searched the area and found a severely injured, unresponsive man on the ground in an alley behind 8914 Delrose Avenue in Spring Valley.

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SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE PREDATOR PLACEMENTS IN RURAL EAST COUNTY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 20, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Today, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced on Facebook that she has sent a letter to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging him to investigate the disproportionate placement of sexually violent predators (SVPs) in rural East County.

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EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL: COUGARS MAUL BRAVES 18-0

 

 

Story and photos by Liz Alper

 

March 20, 2019 (El Cajon) - El Cajon Valley and Steele Canyon baseball are both off to rocky starts as they begin conference play against each other this year.  The Braves are 2-3 while the Cougars teeter at .500 at 5-5. They started Grossmont League play today with a home-at-home series, starting in El Cajon. ECM Sports was there for our first baseball coverage of the season.  Senior Robert Verdugo took the mound for the Braves against senior Jack Schlotman for Steele.


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“RAINBOW DANCE PARTY” PLANNED TO COUNTER WESTBORO, HATE GROUP PICKETING HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 

 

East County News Service

March 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Activists have announced plans for a “Rainbow Dance Party” to counter picketing by the hate group Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, March 25th. The counter-protesters will begin their event at 6:45 a.m. at El Cajon Valley High School, shortly before Westboro’s picketing starts at 7 a.m.  Then the rainbow dancers and marchers will proceed to Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, arriving before Westboro’s picketing at 8:30 and remaining until 9:30 a.m.


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NEIGHBOR FINDS HOMICIDE VICTIM IN POTRERO

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 17, 2019 (Potrero) – A Potrero resident was found dead in his residence in the 25700 block of Potrero Valley Road this morning with signs of trauma to his body.
 
A concerned neighbor who hadn’t seen the man in several days looked through the window shortly after 11 a.m. and saw him lying on the floor, then called 911. Sheriff’s deputies responded to assist fire department personnel.

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INFAMOUS HATE GROUP, WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH TO PICKET EL CAJON VALLEY AND MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOLS MARCH 25

 
 
Westboro has protested funerals of soldiers and slain Sandy Hook elementary students.  Its inflammatory hate speech targets gays and lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics and others.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Westboro Baptist Church has been designated a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The notorious cult-like group has announced on its website plans on March 25 to picket El Cajon Valley High School in El Cajon at 7 a.m. and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley at 8:50 a.m.

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YOUR VOICE HAS POWER: GROUP SEEKS TO STOP RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENCE PREDATORS INTO EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A new citizens’ group, Your Voice Has Power, has been formed to oppose the continuing release of sexually violent predators into East County communities. The group will meet on Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m. at Tio Lio’s, 5302 Napa St. in San Diego. Organizers are calling for a public forum and encourage community leaders, impacted citizens and survivors of sexually violent predators to attend and speak out.  The group also urges the public to attend two hearings next week on the proposed release of two sexually violent predators into Jacumba Hot Springs.


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STEELE CANYON THEATER STUDENTS DREAMS COME TRUE WITH STAR OF THE LONDON PRODUCTION OF LES MISÉRABLES

 

 

By Jennifer Doucet

Photos courtesy of Steele Canyon Players

 

March 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- London stage actor, Dean Chisnall, visited Steele Canyon Charter High School March 7 through March 9 to help prepare the school’s theatre and music departments for their own production of the award-winning hit, Les Misérables, premiering March 20th.  Over two and a half days, Chisnall worked closely with SCHS Theatre Director, Nicole LaBella and Music Director, Heather Luck to coach the cast, crew and orchestra.


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LARGE CROWD SHARES CONCERNS AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF’S COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Area residents packed into Butler’s Coffee Shop in Spring Valley this morning to share concerns over alleged drug houses, homeless camps, traffic concerns and more.  Interim Sheriff’s Station Captain Charles Cinnamo was on hand to answer questions, along with California Highway Patrol Commander Jason Penner and District Attorney community partnership prosecutor Monique Myers, who handles the East County region.


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ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: YAT’S MARY POPPINS RUNS THROUGH MARCH 17

 

 

Review By Kathy Carpenter

March 12, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Anything is possible if you let it happen. That’s the message that Mary Poppins provides to her charges in this whimsical, delightful adaption.  Joe Dionisio and the Young Actors' Theatre team continue to work their magic bringing us top-notch youth productions.


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DAYTIME ONE-WAY TRAFFIC CONTROL ON HIGHWAY 94 IN DULZURA STARTS WEDNESDAY

Source: Caltrans

March 12, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- Caltrans  crews will reduce a quarter-mile section of State Route 94 (SR-94) to one lane just east of Freezer Road in Dulzura (south of Jamul) weekdays, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. beginning Wednesday, according to Caltrans.

The lane reduction is needed for work along the north side of the highway as part of the SR-94 Curve Realignment Project.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: POPPIES NEAR BARRETT RESERVOIR

 

 

East County News Service

March 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - Mark Siegmund sent in these photos of California Golden Poppies, our state flower, taken March 7th near the Lake Barrett reservoir’s exposed aquaduct section.


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GRENADE REMOVED FROM SPRING VALLEY HOME

 

 

East County News Service

 

Photo: Creative Commons image per S.A. of a similar Korean War era device

 

March 8, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies received a call this morning from a resident on Margaret Court, Spring Valley who said his 93-year-old neighbor had given him a grenade.

 

Detectives responded and it was determined that the device was an inert Korean War era grenade. It was removed from the area for proper disposal, says detective John Debus.


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INTRUDERS DAMAGE FENCING, RELEASE ANIMALS AT CHILDREN’S NATURE RETREAT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 7, 2019 (Alpine) –The Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine is temporarily closed due to damage done by unknown intruders. In a letter to supporters, the retreat’s owners sent photos of damage and revealed that on Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m., they discovered that three fences had been cut with a heavy-duty tool, rolled back and laid on the ground, allowing sheep, donkeys and African animals to be released from their enclosures.


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SUSPECTS ARRESTED AFTER CARJACKING TAXI AT DENNY’S IN LA MESA

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 6, 2019 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police have arrested four suspects accused of carjacking a taxicab early this morning at the Denny’s Restaurant on Alvarado Road. GPS tracking on the taxi enabled officers to quickly locate the vehicle and nab the suspects nearby.

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YEAR-LONG CURVE REALIGNMENT PROJECT IN DULZURA BEGINS SOON; WILL REDUCE HIGHWAY 94 TO ONE LANE

 

 

Motorists advised to expect delays through the construction zone

Source: Caltrans

March 6, 2019 (Dulzura) - Crews will begin work on the new State Route 94 (SR-94) Curb Realignment Project in Dulzura (south of Jamul) beginning Monday, March 11, according to Caltrans. The long-awaited  project will soften the curve on a quarter-mile section of SR-94 just west of Freezer Road and will include relocating utility poles and lines.

The work will require reducing SR-94 to one lane within the construction zone with 24/7 one-way traffic control for much of the year-long project. Temporary traffic control will be used at each end of the lane closure to signal drivers when to safely proceed through the single lane.


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OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RESTORATION PROPOSED AT CLOVER FLAT WILDLIFE PRESERVE: PUBLIC REVIEW OPEN

OHV Restoration Project Review Period

East County News Service

 

Restoration work has been proposed by the Back Country Land Trust for OHV impacted areas of their Clover Flat Wildlife Preserve.  The public is invited to review and comment on their application for funding of a habitat restoration grant. These grants are solicited by the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program,

Grant funding would be used to restore 15 acres of OHV impacted critical wildland habitat in Clover Flat Preserve to the east of Campo. Clover Flat is located to the west of La Posta Road and north of Highway 94.  Habitat restoration, fencing, and educational signage will protect endangered species, prevent soil erosion, redirect recreational Off-Highway Vehicle users to nearby legal recreational areas, and will employ local contractors.


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STEELE CANYON PLAYERS PRESENT LES MISERABLES MARCH 20-24

 

 

East County News Service

 

March 3, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- Steele Canyon High School presents the world’s longest running musical, Les Misérables. This modern classic, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, features one of the most memorable scores of all time. The production includes over 130 students in the cast, crew and orchestra. According to Theatre Director, Nicole LaBella and Music Director, Heather Luck, Steele Canyon High School musicals are unique as they are the only school in the area to perform with live orchestral accompaniment.


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ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECTS NABBED IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 2, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Two suspects accused of forcibly robbing a victim at gunpoint yesterday have been taken into custody following a pursuit early this morning in Spring Valley.
 
Deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station responded to a call reporting the robbery at 1:19 p.m. outside of the Giant Pizza King at 1029 Elkelton Blvd. in Spring Valley. The suspects were described as two young black males, one wearing a red sweatshirt and the other wearing a black sweatshirt.

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MASKED ROBBERS SOUGHT IN FLINN SPRINGS

 

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2019 (Flinn Springs) – Sheriff’s investigators are seeking two armed men who reportedly robbed a man at gunpoint late Wednesday night at home on Olde Highway 80, just east of Flinn Springs County Park.

According to Sergeant Kelly Moody, the victim told deputies that the armed men had their faces covered.  During the robbery, a physical scuffle ensued and the victim was struck in the head. The thieves reportedly fled in a white Honda Civic with an undisclosed amount of cash. 

The victim was treated for minor injuries. Detectives from the Alpine station are investigating the incident.


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MAN ARRESTED FOR FATAL SHOOTING OF WOMAN IN ALPINE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: 10 News

 

Update February 27, 2019: The victim has been identified as Melanie Benitez, 27.  Paraschak, 42, has been charged with murder.

 

February 24, 2019 (Alpine) – A man armed with two guns was arrested yesterday for killing a woman in Alpine. Paul Paraschak has been charged with murder, Lt. Rich Williams told 10 News.


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MITSUBISHI DRIVER FROM SPRING VALLEY KILLED ON ICY ROAD IN RAMONA

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 22, 2019 (Ramona) – A Spring Valley man, 43, in a Mitsubishi Montero died at the scene of a crash at 6:00 this morning in Ramona. 
 
According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the motorist was driving north on State Route 67 north of Shady Bend when he lost control entering a curve due to his speed on the wet and partially icy roadway.
 

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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SNOW IN DEERHORN VALLEY

 
 
East County News Service
 
February 22, 2019 (Deerhorn Valley) -- Dan Connors sent us these photos of a rare snowfall in the Deerhorn Valley area of Jamul, taken at 6:30 a.m. when the temperature is a chilly 32 degrees.

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LOW SNOW TONIGHT COULD DIP TO 1,500 FEET

East County News Service

Photo: Rare winter snowfall in Ramona in 2011, by Mike Mulligan

February 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- A storm tonight coupled with a cold front is forecast to drop snow as low as 1,500 to 2,500 feet, the National Weather Service predicts. That could mean rare snowfalls in Ramona, Alpine, or even atop Cowles Mountain.  At higher elevations, 2 to 5 inches are forecast above 3,000 feet in areas such as Julian and Descanso, 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 feet including Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain, and  12 to 16 inches above 6,500 feet including Cuyamaca Peak.

The storm is expected to bring rainfall of .25 to 1 inch to San DIego County's coastal and desert areas. A frost warning has been issued for Thursday and Friday morning.


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CHAIRWOMAN PINTO KICKS OFF GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION AT JAMUL CASINO POKER ROOM WITH STAR STUDDED POKER TOURNAMENT

 

 

East County News Service

Watch video of the grand opening of Jamul Casino’s Poker Room:  https://youtu.be/mNBTA7mep8w

February 19, 2019 (Jamul) -- On Friday, Jamul Casino® united hundreds of local poker players with celebrities and professional players vying for a $50,000 prize pool in the inaugural Golden Cap poker tournament.  Included in the celebrity line-up were Professional Poker Player Tiffany Michelle and legendary ESPN poker commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, as well as numerous others.  The poker tournament was part of the Grand Opening celebration for the casino’s new Poker Room. 


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POTRERO WOMAN, 38, DIES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING; TWO MORE HOSPITALIZED

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 19, 2019 (Potrero) – Alejandra Alejandre, 38, of Potrero died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her home on Hartley Hill Road. Two other family members, including a child, were taken to a hospital on Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

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