Rural communities

JAMUL CASINO® KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH ANNUAL ALL-STAR BLOCK PARTY

Sports legend Bo Jackson, Emmy Award-winning TV chef “Sam the Cooking Guy,” and local broadcasters join All-Star Block Party 
 
East County News Service
 
June 5, 2021 (Jamul) – On Saturday, June 12, Jamul Casino will ring in summer by hosting its annual All-Star Block Party featuring numerous promotions, live entertainment, free play and food for all guests in the casino, and celebrity guests.  Located at 14145 Campo Road in Jamul, CA, the all-day event will feature:

OWNER OF LIVE OAK SPRINGS RV PARK DISPUTES COUNTY’S ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos courtesy of Anthony Windle
 
Photo:  Legacy electrical hookups
 
June 5, 2021 (Live Oak Springs) – Earlier this month, a county inspector ordered the owner of Live Oak Springs RV Park to halt work and remove upgrades that the county contends are illegal, as ECM reported on May 15. 

ALPINE CRASH KILLS WOMAN, INJURES OTHERS

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2021 (Alpine) – A 63-year-old San Diego woman is dead and several others injured following a collision in Alpine last night.

A GMC Sierra pickup truck and a 2000 Toyota Solara collided on westbound Interstate 8, west of Tavern Road in Alpine at 6 p.m. The impact caused both vehicles to veer toward the center divide, plunge down an embankment and overturn. The GMC came to rest blocking an eastbound lane on I-8, while the Toyota came to rest in the center median.

ECM CHANDELIER LOUNGE CUISINE EVENT IS SELL-OUT SUCCESS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2021 (Jamul) – Thanks to all of you who turned out to celebrate our first East County Dining Club event since before the pandemic lockdowns.  The event sold out, the setting was magical amid the elegance at Chandelier Lounge Cuisine, the wines from Deerhorn Valley Vineyard were divine, and the music was sublime!

In addition to pianist Andy Salmonsen, NRG Music & Productions surprised us by also bringing talented singer Kymm Civetta, her adorable daughter, Lyric, and saxophonist extraordinaire Chris Klich, who all entertained the crowd.  View video from NRG of music at our event.

The music even inspired some impromptu dancing in the aisles as everyone delighted in feeling free at last at our event, where everyone was fully vaccinated or showed proof of a recent COVID test.

Georgina, owner of Chandelier Lounge Cuisine, and her crew cooked up a feast including steak, mahi-mahi, chicken, creamy pasta, vegies and desserts that were both delicious and beautiful.

All proceeds benefit East County Media to support the East County Magazine, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts, and East County Dining Club’s future events.

CAMPO ROAD DISPENSARY SHUT DOWN

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons image by NC-ND
 
May 29, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- Five people are under arrest after an illegal marijuana dispensary was shut down in the unincorporated area of Spring Valley. Felony charges will be filed with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office against four men and one woman arrested at the site.

PADRE DAM SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT JUNE 3 ON FUTURE PLANS

By Miriam Raftery

May 28, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Padre Dam Municipal Water District is currently working on its upcoming Strategic Plan and 5-Year Business Plan. The agency seeks community input during a virtual community workshop on Thursday, June 3rd.

ALPINE SANCTUARY RESCUES TWO CATS FROM TIGER KING PARK AS PART OF LARGE-SCALE RESCUE OPERATION

Jeff Lowe’s Big Cats Dispersed Among Reputable U.S. Sanctuaries
 
Story and photo courtesy of Lions, Tigers and Bears
 
May 23, 2021 (Alpine) – Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary, led by Bobbi Brink, worked with several other accredited sanctuaries and the U.S. Department of Justice this week to carry out a large-scale rescue of endangered big cats at Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma. In total, 69 big cats – lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids and one jaguar – were removed from Jeff and Lauren Lowe’s facility due to “ongoing Endangered Species Act violations.”

LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTE IN JAMUL RESULTS IN MURDER-SUICIDE

By Miriam Raftery 

 

May 22, 2021 (Jamul) – A tenant asked to move out of a residence on Lyons Valley Road in Jamul in February shot his landlord, then killed himself following an argument.  The landlord’s health declined and on May 7th he was readmitted to a

hospital, where he died.

 

The Medical Examiner has determined that the cause of death was homicide due to complications from the gunshot wound to his torso.

DEERHORN VALLEY VINEYARDS OFFERS SPRING BARREL TASTINGS OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala

May 22, 2021 (Deerhorn Valley) – Visitors to Deerhorn Valley Vineyards’ tasting room in Jamul over Memorial Day weekend will have the opportunity to sample a wine directly from the barrel,  complimentary with any winetasting purchased.

 

If you visit, please tell them you learned of their event on East County Magazine. Many of our readers had the delightful opportunity to taste their wines at our recent event. For those who missed our festivities, stop by and enjoy a real treat!



The wines are hand-crafted in small batches, with red wines aged in oak.  The winery offers a full range of whites, reds, rosés and blends. In addition, you can sample a wide variety of flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER SERIOUSLY INJURES PEDESTRIAN IN CASA DE ORO

East County News Service
 
May 19, 2021 (Casa De Oro) – The California Highway Patrol is asking for public help to identify a vehicle that struck a 74-year-old man this morning who was crossing Bancroft Drive in the Casa de Oro community in Spring Valley around 5:53 a.m.
 
The vehicle was driving from Bancroft Drive onto State Route 94 westbound when it struck the pedestrian, who was within the intersection. He sustained major injuries and was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego for treatment of his injuries.

FATAL BORDER PATROL SHOOTING IN CAMPO

By Miriam Raftery
 
May 19, 2021 (Campo) – A San Diego man has died after being shot following a pursuit by U.S. Border Patrol agents. 
 
Silvestre Vargas Estrada, 26, was driving a vehicle with two men as passengers during the pursuit on May 14 shortly before 10 p.m. According to Lt. Thomas Seiver with the Sheriff’s homicide unit, “The pursuit ended in a gas station parking lot at the intersection of State Route 94 and Buckman Springs Road in Campo. A confrontation ensued, resulting in three agents discharging their firearms.”

EAST COUNTY LAGS BEHIND ON VACCINATION RATES, BUT RURAL AREAS ARE UNCOUNTED

Data raises troubling rural/urban equity disparity in vaccine distribution 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – COVID-19 Vaccination rates in East County communities are significantly below the county average – but most rural, mountain and desert communities haven’t even been documented.  

COUNTY ORDERS OWNER TO REMOVE ILLEGAL UPGRADES AT RV CAMPGROUND IN LIVE OAK SPRINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos and video by Thomas Michael Coyne
 
 
May 15, 2021 (Boulevard) – Following an inquiry by East County Magazine in response to concerns raised by a member of the Boulevard Planning Group, the County has sent an inspector out to the Live Oak Springs RV Park and ordered the owner to halt work and remove illegal upgrades.

WESTBOUND HIGHWAY 94 CLOSED SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHTS FROM AVOCADO BLVD. TO KENWOOD DRIVE

Source: Caltrans

May 14, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- Crews will close all lanes of westbound State Route 94 (SR-94) from Avocado Boulevard/Calavo Drive to Kenwood Drive Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to Caltrans. The westbound SR-94 nightime closures include the on-ramp from Avocado Boulevard/Calavo Drive, the off- and on-ramps at Sweetwater Springs Road/Campo Drive, and the Kenwood Drive off-ramp.

FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE TREE TRIMMER TRAPPED ATOP PALM IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo via San Miguel Fire on Instagram

 

May 9, 2021 (Spring Valley) - Crews from San Miguel and Heartland Fire Rescue rescued a tree trimmer Friday.  “Units arrived on scene to find the worker pinned to the tree approximately 75 feet up. His rigging, harness, and legs were compressed by the weight of the heavy skirt of dead fronds which had given way,” San Miguel posted on Instagram.

SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY RAID FINDS COUNTERFEIT CANDY AND CHIPS CONTAINING MARIJUANA

East County News Service
 
May 4, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- Two people are under arrest after an illegal marijuana dispensary was shut down by Sheriff's Deputies in Spring Valley. Among the items seized were candy and chips containing marijuana, with counterfeit labels resembling major brand names.

2 New Fires in Mexico, South of Dulzura, in/near Cottonwood Creek

 
 
By Jonathan Goetz; photos by Henri Migala
 
May 2, 2021 (Dulzura) -- Two new small fires are burning in/near Cottonwood Creek in Mexico, south of Dulzura.
 
Calfire, Border Patrol, and ECM reporter Henri Migala are at the scene on the U.S. side of border monitoring the situation.
 
There are no immediate threat to structures as of 4:30 p.m.
 
Gusty winds are blowing East by Northeast 70 degrees, with the fires heading slowly towards Tecate Peak.
 
 
Update: ECM reporter Henri Migala sent additiional information later via e-mail:

READER’S EDITORIAL: OUT WITH THE OLD--NEW BOARD OF SUPES SHOULD SCRAP ALPINE PLAN

By Duncan McFetridge

 

Photo:  Duncan McFetridge is a climate activist and artist.  He carved this sculpture to honor the mountain lion, a keystone species in the Cleveland National Forest ecosystem.  The Alpine Plan is a threat to the lion, symbol of the forest, under consideration for threatened species status in Southern California.”

 

April 28, 2021 (Alpine) -- With a new and improved Board of Supervisors now at the helm of our county government, San Diegans finally have hope that we may make progress on the housing and environmental crisis gripping our region. San Diego County continues to fall far short of its state-mandated housing production goals, especially when it comes to affordable housing. Rents in the area are some of the most expensive in the country, and it takes eight to ten years for applicants to secure federal housing subsidies due to high demand and long waiting lists. It’s clear that San Diego County’s approach to affordable housing is failing.

 

WOMAN SHOT IN PARKED CAR IN SPRING VALLEY DIES AT HOSPITAL

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons image via Bing

April 27, 2021 (Spring Valley) – San Diego resident Karmen Dionne Anderson, 40, known as Karmen Hicks, has died of a gunshot wound she received Saturday night while seated in a parked car in Spring Valley.

On Saturday, April 24 around 11:30 p.m., Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of the shooting in the 3600 block of Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley. When deputies arrived, they learned a woman had been shot while seated in a parked vehicle, but she was no longer at the scene.

LIONS TIGERS & BEARS TO RESCUE WHITE TIGER, SERVALS

East County News Service

 

April 24, 2021 (Alpine) -- Lions Tigers & Bears in Alpine, San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary, is rescuing three exotic cats –   the last animals left at a facility in Southern California that will shutter at the end of the month. The new residents will be Lily, a female white tiger, Eli, a male African serval and Savannah, a female African serval.

SHOOTING DEATH IN SPRING VALLEY

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo credit: Google & partners

April 18, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a shooting around 5:30pm, Thursday, April 15, in Spring Valley. Upon arrival to the 1500 block of Presioca Street, they found David Martinez, 67, lying in the street, with trauma to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene, says Lt. Thomas Siever.

According to an update by Siever, Martinez' autopsy Friday found the preliminary cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the head, and manner of death, a homicide.

DISTILLERIES HOST COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY APRIL 17 IN SPRING VALLEY

Celebration caps Mike Curphy’s journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits

By Henri Migala

April 16, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- East County is known for many things: beautiful wide-open spaces, nature, horseback riding and hiking, makers of some of the best banjos and guitars in the world, numerous wineries, and more. But many people don’t realize that East County is also home to internationally-recognized, award-winning distilleries.

One such distinguished distillery is Mike Curphy Distillery, located with two other distilleries in the business park off Via Orange Way, near the San Miguel Fire Station, in Spring Valley.

COMMUNITY PARTY SATURDAY, APRIL 17

Mike Curphy and two other East County distilleries (Liberty Call and San Diego Distillery), along with four local eateries and three live bands, will be hosting a community party on Saturday, April 17, from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. at the business park off 2731 Via Orange Way in Spring Valley.

There is no cost to attend the event; tastings, drinks and food will be available for purchase. Bring a chair to relax outdoors and savor tastes from the distillieries and local restaurants. (Also bring a mask, to comply with county health rules when not eating or drinking.)

In an exclusive interview with ECM,Mike Curphy shared secrets of his success and his extraordinary journey from moonshining to making award-winning spirits.

JAMUL CASINO PROMOTES THERESA GRADY TO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Experienced Casino Finance Leader Advances to Executive Position
 
East County News Service
 
April 13, 2021 (Jamul) -- Jamul Casino® has announced that Theresa Grady (photo, left) has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Her advancement comes after nearly four years with the Casino as its former Director of Finance, where she was highly involved in building the Casino’s Finance, Audit, Vendor Payments, Payroll, and Count Operations teams, and in helping spearhead the completion of the Casino’s recent refinance in January 2021. 
 
With several other high-profile promotions in recent years, Ms. Grady’s elevation to CFO demonstrates Jamul Casino’s commitment to the professional growth of its team members, according to a press release.

MUSGROVE’S MOM SERVES GLEEFUL PADRES FANS AT ALPINE COFFEE SHOP AFTER RECORD-SETTING NO-HITTER

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photos courtesy of  Diane Musgrove, Caffé  Adesso’s Twitter and Youtube

April 12, 2021 (Alpine) – The San Diego Padres and their fans are celebrating pitcher Joe Musgrove’s no hitter game against the Texas Rangers on April 9, 2021 – the first no-hitter in Padres’ history. Musgrove is a local who grew up in El Cajon and graduated from Grossmont High School.

His mother, Diane Musgrove, pitches coffee and other items out of their family business, Caffé Adesso Gourmet Coffee drive-through in Alpine.

ON A ROLL: ENJOY OUTDOOR SKATING AT VIEJAS OUTLETS IN ALPINE

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Alpine) – If you’re looking for some fun outdoor exercise, Southern California’s largest outdoor roller rink is open for the 2021 skating season.

The rink is located at the Viejas Outlet Center, 5003 Willows Road in Alpine.

Admission for roller skating is $10, including rental skates.  You can also get a season pass for $99, which provides unlimited roller skating all season long through September 6.

CASH, GUNS AND $6 MILLION WORTH OF MARJUANA SEIZED AT ILLEGAL SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY

East County News Service

 

April 8, 2021 (Spring Valley) - A search warrant was served at an illegal marijuana dispensary located in the 10600 block of Willie Baker Way in Spring Valley on Wednesday, April 7 around 11:20 a.m. 

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