Rural communities

SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER ”DELIBERATELY” RAMMING MOTORISTS AT FOUR EAST COUNTY SITES

East County News Service
 
April 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – David Archer, 56, has been arrested after deliberately ramming multiple vehicles at three locations on Thursday. The suspect then fled, leading deputies in a pursuit from unincorporated La Mesa through Lemon Grove ending in Spring Valley, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

FIREFIGHTERS CONTAIN AUTO WRECKING YARD FIRE

By Miriam Raftery

(Photo courtesy of San Miguel Fire District) 

April 3, 2021 (Spring Valley ) --  Crews from San Miguel Fire Department, Heartland Fire and San Diego Fire & Rescue successfully controlled a fast moving commercial fire on Jamacha Road in Spring Valley on Thursday.

According to Heartland Fire in a post on Instragram, Initial arriving units encountered heavy fire and smoke from behind an auto wrecking and recycling facility. The smoke column was pushed by a strong west wind which produced an immediate threat to exposures including businesses and an apartment complex.

SHERIFF ASKS PUBLIC TO REPORT ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2021 (San Diego) – Unlike licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, illegal marijuana dispensaries have had negative impacts on communities, neighboring businesses and consumers, the Sheriff’s department warns. Recently, several have been involved in shootings and other serious crimes; moreover there is no state oversight to test products being sold and assure they do not contain pesticides, herbicides, or that they are not laced with other drugs.

“Unregulated pot shops attract criminals involved with other illicit drugs and are often the catalyst for violent crime, property crime and financial crime that affect us all.  Products sold at unlicensed cannabis facilities are cultivated and manufactured using processes which may be harmful to consumers and are often marketed toward children,” warns Sgt. Mark Knierim.

SAN DIEGO STILL DOESN'T HAVE EQUITABLE INTERNET ACCESS ONE YEAR INTO PANDEMIC

Community activists have long underscored the impacts of the gaps of access to high speed, reliable internet to non-White and poorer communities and they’ve critiqued public leaders for not taking quicker action to bridge the divide.

By Kayla Jimenez, Voice of San Diego

This post has been updated.

Image via Pixabay

March 23, 2021 (San Diego) - A year after the pandemic made having a reliable internet connection a requisite for countless families, professionals, school children and others, the number of people without it has not changed and cities across the San Diego region have either no plan to address it or no money to fund their plans.

CONGRESSMAN ISSA INTRODUCES BILL TO TRANSFER SACRED LANDS TO PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS RESERVATION

Source: Pala Band of Mission Indians

 

March 23, 2021 (Pala) --  On March 17, 2021, Congressman Darrell Issa introduced the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act (H.R. 1975), a bill that will transfer approximately 721 acres of land adjacent to the Pala Reservation into federal trust status. This land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in 2016 in order to prevent the construction of a landfill on sacred Chokla (Gregory Mountain), a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala’s people.

 

“The Pala Band is grateful to Congressman Issa for his partnership and willingness to introduce this bill. Transferring the Gregory Mountain cultural property into trust ensures that it will be forever protected as a part of the Pala Reservation. The Pala Band also wishes to acknowledge Congressman Juan Vargas, who has worked with the tribe since 2016 to facilitate this land transfer, according to a press release issued by the tribe.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO BUY AND CONSERVE 2,151 ACRE HISTORIC STAR RANCH LAND IN CAMPO

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 20, 2021 (Campo) -- San Diego County supervisors voted Wednesday to buy the 2,151-acre, historic Star Ranch area in Campo, its largest acquisition of sensitive habitat, wetlands, potential passive park land and hiking trails in a decade.

County officials said the land will provide a permanent home for sensitive species and conserve important habitat including 200 acres of wetlands, and it could eventually provide a large park and connections for hikers to nearby trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT TO USE LEGAL SETTLEMENT TO REDUCE FUTURE RATES

District to hold rate hearing on April 28
 
Source: Helix Water District 
 
March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Helix Water District will use $2.8 million received from the San Diego County Water Authority as part of a legal settlement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to reduce future water rates for the district’s customers.

PADRE DAM BOARD VOTES TO RETURN MONEY TO CUSTOMERS

Refund Received from San Diego County Water Authority will help offset future rate

East County News Service

Image: CC by SA-NC

 

March 18, 2021 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved using the recently received $1,157,552 rebate from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA) to offset the District’s next pass-through rate increase from the CWA. This action will result in a direct benefit to customers by the reduction or potential elimination of a water pass through rate hike in 2022. 

CWA’s Board of Directors announced a plan on February 25, 2021 to distribute a $44.4 million rebate received from Metropolitan Water District (MWD), to its 24 member agencies. Padre Dam’s portion of the rebate is $1,157,552. 

DOUBLE SHOOTING AT SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY; SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS

By Miriam Raftery and Rick Nothano

Photos by Rick Nothano

March 12, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Two shooting victims have been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries resulting from gunfire outside of an illegal marijuana dispensary in Spring Valley Wednesday night.

Sheriff’s detectives from the Rancho San Diego station responded to multiple calls of gunshots at 8:33 p.m. near Dolores Street and South Barcelona in the Casa de Oro neighborhood, an area where numerous illegal dispensaries have previously been raided and shut down.

Deputies found a 22-year-old shooting victim along with evidence of a shooting outside a dispensary at 9966 Dolores Street, unit 107, as well as a firearm, says Sergeant Karen Bloch.

NEW MOUNTAIN LION ATTACK ON LIVESTOCK IN CARVEACRE NEAR ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Allen Doran, near Carveacre

March 11, 2021 (Alpine) – Three weeks after a suspected mountain lion attack killed 10 sheep and goats on Peutz Valley Road in Alpine, residents of Carveacre in the Japatul/Alpine area report more livestock killings that they believe were the result of a mountain lion and at least one cub. 

CAR FLIES OFF FREEWAY IN CASA DE ORO

By Henri Migala

March 10, 2021(Casa de Oro) -- A car travelling westbound on State Route 94 in Spring Valley lost control around 8:30 tonight and veered off the highway and into a Casa de Oro neighborhood below.  Described on the CHP incident page as a silver Mitsubishi, the vehicle tumbled down a hill, crashed through a fence and continued across the intersection of South Barcelona Street and Buena Vista Drive, into the grounds of an apartment building at 9938 Buena Vista Dr. The vehicle plowed through a fence and hedges at the apartments but did not damage the building.

No other cars were involved.

The driver of the vehicle, a man in his 50s, was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

MOUNTAIN LION MAY HAVE KILLED LIVESTOCK IN ALPINE, INITIALLY INVESTIGATED AS ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE

East County News Service
 
Photo: CC by SA
 
March 7, 2021 (Alpine) -- A necropsy has determined that 10 farm animals found dead in Alpine last month may have been attacked by a mountain lion or another predatory animal, says Lt Anthony O’Boyle with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HUNDREDS PROTEST AS COUNTY PLANS $28 MILLION SPORTS COMPLEX ON ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LAND IN ALPINE

By Alanna Light, 25-year Alpine resident

 

Photo montage, left to right:  Dianne Jacob, George Barnett and Travis Lyon

 

March 7, 2021 (Alpine) - For decades, Wright’s Field in Alpine has been a target for development.  Because of its rich natural resources and quality and diversity of plant and animal life, the land has long been protected from turning into a housing development, golf course, high school and an active sports park.  But now a controversial proposal would allow a $28 million, 26-acre sports complex to be built adjacent to land preserved by the Back County Land Trust. (BCLT) 

BODY OF CHRISTOPHER PAUL PARKHURST, MISSING SINCE DEC. 23, FOUND IN DULZURA

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Christopher Paul Parkhurst. Photo via @SDSheriff Twitter

February 27, 2021 (Dulzura) - County authorities on Friday said they have found the remains of Christopher Paul Parkhurst, 47, who was reported missing in early January, sparking an intensive search.

SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS ON “SUSPICIOUS” LIVESTOCK DEATHS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 20, 2021(Alpine) – The Sheriff’s department seeks help from the public to solve a felony animal cruelty case. Deputies responded to a call reporting suspicious circumstances in the 400 block of Peutz Valley Road in Alpine shortly after 8 a.m. on Feb. 19 found ten animals dead in a pen including lambs, goats and a ram.

 

According to Lt. Anthony O’Boyle, the property owners are victims who are out of state when the deaths occurred.  “A relative was coming by to check up on and feed the animals. When the relative arrived yesterday morning, she found the animals deceased,” he said.

NEWLYWED, 21, KILLED BY DRIVER FLEEING SHERIFF IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 19, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Isabella “Bella” Calhoun-Chipress, 21, had just gotten married last June and was preparing to head off to Marine Corps boot camp when her life was tragically ended by a suspected car thief trying to evade arrest.  Now her grieving family has started a fundraiser to help her husband, Miguel Chipress, pay for his beautiful bride’s funeral.

SHOOTING SUSPECT TAKES OWN LIFE AFTER SWAT STANDOFF IN JAMUL

By Miriam Raftery

 

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson) 

 

February 16, 2021 (Jamul) – A 64-year-old man shot and killed himself after a stand-off with a SWAT team and crisis negotiators in Jamul, according to the Sheriff’s department.  He is suspected of shooting and wounding another man yesterday.

 

The confrontation began after deputies responded to a report of a shooting in the 15700 block of Lyons Valley road in Jamul yesterday shortly before noon. They found a gunshot victim outside the home. Paramedics transported him to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and is in stable condition with injuries considered non-life threatening.

 

“Deputies surrounded the residence, believing the shooting suspect, a 64-year-old male, was still located inside and armed with a gun,” says Lt Joel Stranger with the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s station.  “Deputies made multiple loudspeaker announcements advising the suspect to exit the residence and surrender to deputies, which he refused to do.”

PURSUIT OF CAR THEFT SUSPECTS ENDS IN MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH: WOMAN, 21 DIES, 3 OTHERS INJURED INCLUDING TODDLER

East County News Service

February 13, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in tragedy last night, when the car ran a red light and collided with two other vehicles, killing a young woman and injuring three others.

Shortly after 10 p.m., deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station saw a car driving in the 700 block of Grand Avenue in Spring Valley.  The car was being driven with its lights off; a records check of its license plate showed it to be a stolen vehicle.

“Deputies turned on their lights and siren to stop the car, but the driver sped off.  Minutes later, the stolen car collided with two vehicles at the intersection of Jamacha Road and Sweetwater Road after driving through a red light at a high rate of speed,” Lt. Joel Stranger with the Sheriff’s department states.

SWAT STAND-OFF IN ALPINE ENDS IN ARREST OF FELON WITH GUNS

East County News Service

February 9, 2021 (Alpine) -- A man is under arrest following a three-hour SWAT standoff in Alpine this morning.

Around 7:30 a.m., deputies from the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Detail (SED)/SWAT tried to serve a search warrant at a home in the 4600 block of Park Lane.  The warrant was issued after deputies received reports of a man firing a gun at that address on January 25.

The Alpine Sheriff's Station's Crime Suppression Team investigated and learned Joshua Havins, 30, lived at that location.  He is a felon currently on probation and is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under California law, according to the Sheriff’s department.

COVID-19 VACCINES FOR SENIORS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Vaccinations for seniors age 65 and over will be provided in Alpine, Pine Valley, and Valley Center this week.  Appointments are available 1-2 days before each date.

Valley Center Elementary, Valley Center:  Feb.9-10

Joan MacQueen School, Alpine: Feb. 11-12

Mt. Empire High School, Pine Valley Feb. 13-14

For direct access to each site, click on the following links:

SUPERVISORS’ VOTE ON MAJOR BACKCOUNTRY ENERGY MEASURE DELAYED UNTIL FEB. 10

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left:  Campo Wind's turbines hae been fire-prone, causing multiple fires in the past. Residents worry that more turbines raise the risk of a catastrophic fire, if a blaze should begin during Santa Ana gusty winds.

February 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – A vote by County Supervisors on a Renewable Energy Overlay plan has been postponed until Wednesday, Feb. 10. If approved, the measure would designate vast swaths of rural East County for industrial-scale wind and solar energy projects.

The aim is to make it easier to get approval of projects that provide clean energy to meet state renewable energy mandates amid a climate crisis.  But the measure has also drawn strong opposition from some rural residents, including Donna Tisdale, who advise East County residents to contact Supervisors to voice opposition so that “Supervisors know how East County really feels about being thrown under the bus as a renewable energy sacrifice zone.”

Click on this link to register your  opinion with Supervisors on the Renewable Energy Overlay before the Feb. 10 hearing, which begins at 9 a.m.  The item is the second item on the agenda.

Tisdale is Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps, a nonprofit that has sued the County over several major energy projects in the region. Residents living near existing wind turbines have complained of noise, sleep disruption and other health problems, flashing lights, visual blight from towers hundreds of feet tall, killing of birds, safety concerns from blades whirling off,loss of rural character and loss of property value for homes nearby. Solar projects have generated concerns over glare, loss of wildlife habitat and potential depletion of scarce groundwater for construction and cleaning of panels.

YET ANOTHER SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY SHUT DOWN

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 4, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Yesterday morning, deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s station served a search warrant at The Green Room, an illegal marijuana dispensary in the 9000 block of Olive Drive in Spring Valley.

LMSV LAUNCHES SCHOOL BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, SEEKS MEMBERS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

 

February 3, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District is establishing a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, as required by state law. The application form is available here and must be submitted by Feb. 19.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT ALPINE’S LIONS TIGERS & BEARS ANIMAL SANCTUARY

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo at left of volunteer measuring animal meals  courtesy of Lions Tigers & Bears 

Feb. 3, 2021 (Alpine) -- Veterinary students, animal lovers, high school students getting their volunteer hours in, young and old volunteers are wanted, and needed, at Alpine’s Lions, Tigers & Bears Animal Sanctuary.

“Making bear food, helping with landscaping, and office work” are just a few of the tasks volunteers can assist with, said founder Bobbi Brink during a phone interview.

“Volunteers receive passes, behind-the-scenes access, t-shirts,” said Brink.  “We also have two volunteer appreciation events each year,” among other tangible rewards, she added.

The intangible rewards include seeing animals such as lions, tigers and bears on-the-job.

MURDER AT A SPRING VALLEY POT SHOP: SHERIFF SEEKS LEADS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Creative Commons by NC
 
February 4, 2021 (Spring Valley) – The Sheriff’s department seeks tips to identify who shot and killed a man on Feb. 2 shortly after 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of an illegal marijuana dispensary in the 9100 block of Olive Drive in Spring Valley.
 
The victim has been identified as Jerome Francois Turley, 37, of San Diego.

EAST COUNTY SCHOOL COUNSELORS HONORED FOR THEIR WORK

Source: San Diego County Office of Education

Photo:  Bonnie Hayman receiving her winner's check

February 2, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- During National School Counseling Week, the San Diego County Office of Education will celebrate three counselors who were recently surprised at their school sites for being chosen as the San Diego County Counselor of the Year for their grade levels. Two of the three winners work at East County schools.

The School Counselors of the Year are: 

 

  • Ann Pierce (below right), of Campo Elementary in Mountain Empire Unified School District, won the elementary award. 
  • Bonnie Hayman, of La Mesa Arts Academy in La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, won the middle school award.  
  • Cherryl Baker, of Mission Hills High School in San Marcos Unified School District, won the high school award.  

ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY SHUT DOWN IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
February 2, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- A search warrant was served at The Green Room in the 9000 Block of Olive Drive in Spring Valley on Sunday, January 31st around 9:00 a.m. as part of the Sheriff’s Department efforts to work with Supervisors to shut down illegal marijuana dispensaries in East County.

DETECTIVES ASK HELP TO FIND POTRERO MAN MISSING SINCE DEC. 23

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2021 (Potrero) – The San Diego Sheriff’s Department seeks public help to find Christopher Paul Parkhurst, who has been missing for over a month.  Parkhurst, 47, was last seen by an acquaintance in the 23000 block of Horizon View Drive in Potrero on December 23. His family has not seen or heard from him since then.  The famliy notified the Sheriff's Dept. January 3, according to the Sheriff's department. 
 
"Deputies have conducted a limited search of the area for Parkhurst, but the terrain in the area is rugged and expansive," says Lt. Thomas Siever. "This morning, about 80 volunteers with Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Homicide detectives, and deputies assigned to the Campo Substation conducted an exhaustive search of a large area around Horizon View Drive. Parkhurst was not located and his whereabouts is still unknown."
 
Parkhurst is 5’5” tall, weighs 120 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes.  He has sleeve tattoos and the word “Campo” tattooed on his stomach.According to a Facebook page, Help Find Christopher Paul Parkhurst, he is at medical risk due to recently having a stroke and being diabetic.

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