Communities

LA MESA POLICE SEEK CARJACKING SUSPECT WHO ASSAULTED 82-YEAR-OLD MAN

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Police seek public help to find a suspect who assaulted an elderly, disoriented man and stole his 2016 silver Jeep Cherokee (CA license 7REG835) this morning. The vehicle is also still missing.

MICE COLLECTED IN MOUNT LAGUNA TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

August 26, 2021 (Mount Laguna) - Five deer mice and one brush mouse collected in routine monitoring in the Mount Laguna area have tested positive for hantavirus, County environmental health officials said this week.

SUSPECT CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR SHOOTING DEATH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2021 (El Cajon) – Chantell Tompkins, 36, of San Diego has been arrested and charged with the murder of Andre Carrol, 30.  The victim was found by El Cajon police officers near Sandalwood and Mollison around 12:18 a.m. on August 25. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and later died in a hospital of his injuries.

BOYS AND GIRLS INVITED TO CUB SCOUT PACK 355 “JOIN NIGHT” SEPT. 7 IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

August 25, 2021 (Spring Valley) –  Boys and girls in grades K-5 and their families are invited to attend Cub Scouts Pack 355 “Join Night” on September 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Santa Sophia Academy, 9806 Juan Street, Spring Valley.

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK SUSPECT WHO STABBED, KILLED OCEANSIDE MAN IN PARKED CAR

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police seek public help to identify an unknown male in dark clothing who fatally stabbed a man in the throat. The victim was in a parked car in the 400 block of Graves Avenue when the attack occurred around 11:21 p.m. Sunday night, August 22. 

MEET THE NEW OWNER OF KEYS CREEK LAVENDER FARM AT HIGH TEA CLASS ON SEPT. 4

East County News Service

August 24, 2021 (Valley Center) – You’re invited to meet the new owner of Keys Creek Lavender Farm, Heidi Blanton and bid farewell to outgoing owner Alicia Wolff at an English High Tea class.  Dress up, don a hat and bring flat shoes to celebrate the joy of lavender at the high tea class on Saturday, September 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. outdoors under shady pepper trees.

SUPERVISOR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS ANNOUNCED: AUG. 26 IN EL CAJON AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2021 (San Diego) – How should redistricting lines be drawn for San Diego County’s supervisorial district?  The County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission is hosting pre-mapping public hearings to hear from residents.  The hearings will be held both in-personal and virtually online. 

For East County residents in District 2, currently represented by Joel Anderson, a hearing is set for Thursday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave. in El Cajon. Meeting link for Aug. 26 El Cajon hearing.

Other hearings are slated for other districts, as well as a general hearing on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. in Spring Valley

Below is the full schedule of upcoming events and locations:

FIRE WEATHER THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2021 (San Diego) – A rapid warming trend is forecast to bring elevated fire weather conditions Wednesday through Saturday. The National Weather Service warns, “Wildfires could spread rapidly with high heat and low humidity. Diurnal winds in the afternoon present the highest threat.” Dry fuels add to the danger.

COVID-19 VACCINATION EVENT AUG. 24 IN EL CAJON INCLUDES GIVAWAYS OF FOOD, DIAPERS AND GIFT CARDS

East County News Service

August 23, 2021 (El Cajon) – The Ihsan Health Initiative will be hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination event this Tuesday, August 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 299 North Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon.

THE SAPS AT SEA PROUDLY PRESENT "BACK TO SKOOL DAZE" SEPT. 18

East County News Service

August 22, 2021 (Spring Valley) - The Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy appreciation society, has resumed their meetings, with their next being September 18 at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church, 3902 Kenwood Dr. in Spring Valley.

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS PROTEST AT “POLLUTING” SDG&E POWER PLANT IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

Photos by Roger Coppock

August 21, 2021 (El Cajon) – SD350, an environmental and climate change action group, held a march with dozens of activists today to protest SDG&E’s Cuyamaca Peak gas-fired power plant at 200 N. Johnson Avenue in El Cajon.

PADRE DAM TERMINATES SANTEE LAKES CONTRACTOR

By Mike Allen

Photo:  David Clarke, owner, Team C Construction

August 21, 2021 (Santee) -- At a June celebration marking the 60th anniversary of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, top officials and directors of the agency heaped glowing praise for the new administrative offices, event center and general store at Santee Lakes that was completed in April.

GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT KILLED IN FLETCHER HILLS CRASH, PASSENGERS SERIOUSLY INJURED

 

TEEN DRIVER HAD HISTORY OF STREET RACING

 

Update August 23, 2021:  The student killed in a high-speed crash has been identified by his father as Gady Cruz, NBC 7 reports.  One of the passengers, Jiovanni Solorio Roman, is in a coma, according to his mother. Identities of the other two injured passengers have not been disclosed. According to the Medical Examiner, Cruz was 16 years old and was not wearing a seatbelt when the vehicle crashed and overturned. CBS 8 reports that Cruz  previously posted videos on social media of himself racing at speeds over 100 miles per hour on local freeways.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 21, 2021 (El Cajon) – A black 2018 Honda Civic crashed into a traffic light pole at the intersection of Fletcher Parkway and Navajo Road in Fletcher Hills around 2:11 a.m. The driver, a senior at Grossmont High School, died and three passengers were seriously injured, including two 11th grade Grossmont students.

 

In a press release, the Grossmont Union High School District stated, “Our district is working closely with the El Cajon Police Department as their investigation of the incident continues. Due to privacy,our district is unable to release further information regarding the students’ names or health conditions. We will release more information as we are able to do so. As our school community begins to deal with this tragedy, our district will be providing additional grief support on campus at GrossmontHigh School and will also make it available to students throughout our close-knit GUHSD community.”

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUNRISE AFTER A DESERT STORM

East County News Service

August 20, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher snapped this photo on August 11, the morning after a storm dumped three quarters of an inch of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning – all preceded by a Haboob, or dust storm that left particles to intensify the sunrise hues.

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION INVESTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

East County News Service

August 20, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- The Biden Administration has announced actions to improve the health of rural communities by making billions of dollars in American Rescue Plan funding available expand telehealth in rural and other under-served communities, help rural hospitals and medical providers meet COVID-19 needs, expand Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing benefits, and expand Veterans’ Administration (VA) training for rural providers, among other key goals.

LA MESA COMMISSION TO HOST CONVERSATION ON HATE CRIMES AUGUST 25

 

August 20, 2021 (La Mesa) --  As part of the Livable La Mesa Age Friendly project, the City of La Mesa Community Relations and Veterans Commission will host a virtual and in-person forum on Wednesday, August 25 at 6:00 p.m.  to share information and discuss hate crimes in California. In partnership with the La Mesa Police Department,

La Mesa Conversations and the San Diego District Attorney Office, the event will cover what is considered a hate crime in California, how hate crimes differ from hate incidents and the current trends in San Diego County. Presenter Leonard Trinh is the Lead Hate Crime Prosecutor and a San Diego Deputy District Attorney. Questions, comments and suggestions are encouraged from residents as the City looks to increase awareness of hate crimes.

The event is being held in person at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center, 8450 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA, 91942 and will be streamed live on Facebook at “City of La Mesa – City Hall.”

RALLY SATURDAY AT SDG&E'S PEAKER PLANT

East County residents and environmentalists will  rally at SDG&E’s polluting peaker plant in El Cajon  on August 21 @ 10:15 am

By East County News Service

Photo courtesy of DreamTime 

Aug. 19, 2021 (East County) Activists say this plant and SDG&E pollute surrounding environmental justice communities, harm health, and contribute to the climate crisis with fracked gas

What: Dozens of San Diego County residents will gather outside Cuyamaca Peak Power on Saturday, August 21, to demand SDG&E stop polluting East County Communities and switch to renewable alternatives.

Why: SDG&E and Sempra are polluting El Cajon and other communities of concern in San Diego County by operating dirty gas-fired “Peaker plants,” including Cuyamaca Peak Power located at 200 N Johnson Ave.  The polluting nitrogen oxides from this plant expose residents to asthma and other health impacts in a disadvantaged community. This plant also relies on dirty energy contributing to devastating climate change effects like drought and wildfires, fracking our future. El Cajon and San Diego residents call on Sempra to not renew the permit of this plant and replace peaker plants with safe, renewable local solar energy and battery storage.  

When: Saturday, August 21, 10:15 am

Where: 104 N Johnson Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020

'HOLY SMOKE BBQ' AT OUR LADY OF LIGHT PARISH SEPT. 5

East County News Service

August 19, 2021 (Descanso) - On Sunday, September 5, Our Lady of Light Catholic Parish is back and is excited to invite all to their 84nd Deep Pit BBQ. Dubbed Holy Smoke this year because the beef is slowly smoked in a deep pit while sending up heavenly holy smoke! Located in the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County, visitors will have a day full of fun and beautiful surroundings of Descanso.

TWO MORE ILLEGAL DISPENSARIES IN SPRING VALLEY

Source:  San Diego Sheriff

August 17, 2021 (Spring Valley) - On Friday around 7 a.m., detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), with the assistance of San Diego Sheriff Deputies from the Santee Patrol Station's Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (C.O.P.P.S.) Unit, San Diego Sheriff Deputies from the Lakeside Patrol Station's Crime Suppression Team (CST) and San Diego Sheriff's deputies from the Special Enforcement Detail (SED) served search warrants at two illegal marijuana dispensaries. One dispensary was located on the 600 block of Grand Avenue in Spring Valley and the other dispensary was located on the 700 block of Grand Avenue in Spring Valley. 

MAN WHO BROUGHT MOLOTOV COCKTAILS TO LA MESA PROTESTS SENTENCED

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

ECM file photo, left, of Karas.

Aug. 16, 2021 (La Mesa) Twenty-nine-year-old Zachary Alexander Karas was sentenced to 33 months in Federal custody on Aug. 13, according to court documents, for possessing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, during the La Mesa riots in May of 2020.

The protests were in response to racial justice and policing issues.

In court documents Karas claimed he made the decision to make Molotov cocktails while he was under the influence of alcohol.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office Karas could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An appeal has already been filed.

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN MURDER OF SHANNON BETZ

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff

August 15, 2021 (Vista) - Sheriff's Homicide detectives continued their investigation and identified 22-year-old Jheran Beverson as the suspect in the murder of Shannon Betz, who was found by his roommate murdered in the 1100 block of Delpy View Point in Vista on August 8. Beverson was arrested yesterday and booked into Vista Detention Facility for one count of murder. 

JULIAN'S 'MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN' SERIES CONTINUES WITH FRED BENEDETTI SEPT. 3

East County News Service

August 15, 2021 (Julian) - The Friends of the Julian Library continues their "Music on the Mountain" concert series with guitarist Fred Benedetti.  

Born in Japan, Benedetti began playing guitar at age nine and is now Chair of Guitar Studies and an associate professor of music at Grossmont College.  

The event will be Friday, September 3 at 3 p.m. at the Julian library.  Admission is free. For more information, please email Jonna Waite at jakwaite@gmail.com.

57TH ANNUAL LAKESIDE RODEO AUGUST 27-29

East County News Service

August 14, 2021 (Lakeside) - Get your bucking broncos ready--the 57th annual Lakeside Rodeo returnss August 27-29 at the Lakeside Rodeo Arena and Facility.  The fun gets started on August 27 at 7:30 p.m. and features bull fighting, barrel racing, a rodeo clown and more.

DRIVER EXPERIENCES MEDICAL EMERGENCY WHILE DRIVING ON I-8 IN LAKESIDE

Source:  California Highway Patrol

August 13, 2021 (Lakeside) - Today at approximately 11:44 am, a 59-year-old male resident of Mesa, AZ was driving a Buick convertible eastbound on Interstate 8 west of Dunbar Lane. While driving, the driver experienced a medical episode which caused him to become incapacitated and lose positive control of the car. His 58-year-old wife was seated in the right front passenger seat and observed that her husband was in distress. She immediately reached across the center console, grabbed the steering wheel and attempted to maintain control of the car.

GOFUNDME ACCOUNT AND MORE SET-UP FOR LAWSON COMMUNITY FAMILY THAT LOST HOME IN FIRE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo courtesy of Lyons Trading Post.

August 12, 2021 (Lyons Valley) A GoFundMe account has been started for the family that lost their home on August 10 in a fire. Dean Higginbotham and family are left without a home and personal belongings.

According to the GoFundMe account, organized by George Hetzel, an electrical fire was the cause. Higginbotham’s teen daughter escaped --- shoeless.

The family was able to save their pets and livestock.

The teen begins the school year without any clothing, shoes, or school supplies.

PASSAGES: 'NEVER FORGET': DAN WALTERS OF PADRES, SDPD, SANTANA HIGH SCHOOL MOURNED AT A DELAYED FUNERAL

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

Photo:  San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit speaks at the funeral for Dan Walters, a police officer and former San Diego Padres catcher. Image from Facebook

August 11, 2021 (San Diego) - It was important to Dan Walters not to be forgotten.

More than a year after his death, hundreds of police officers and friends assured that wouldn’t happen at a funeral postponed by COVID-19.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE MA TAR AWA RV PARK - AIR & GROUND RESOURCES FIGHTING BAMBI FIRE IN ALPINE

5:20 p.m.: Firefighters have stopped the forward rate of spread at 8 acres. Ground crews will continue to mop up and put out any spot fires.

8:45 p.m.: No news is good news.

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2021 -- The #BambiFire in Alpine, north of I-8 on Viejas tribal lands and within the Cleveland National Forest has burned approximately 7-11 acres.

The Incident Commander was overheard calling for help to save Ma Tar Awa RV Park, according to SD County Fire Scanner. NBC San Diego showed dramatic live video from a helicopter of the fire stopped just yards from structures in the park.

The last word was moderate rate of spread, but it is unclear if some resources were cancelled en route, which may mean firefighters think they have a good handle on the situation.

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