Communities

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.

LYONS VALLEY AREA FIRE DESTROYS A HOME

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Jonathan Goetz also contributed to this report

Photo courtesy of Cal Fire

August 11, 2021 (Lawson Valley-East County) - A fire broke out on Tuesday, August 10, around 6 p.m. that destroyed a home on Lyons Creek Lane just east of Jamul.

According to a tweet sent out by Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire they arrived at the scene of a fully involved structure fire that spread to the surrounding vegetation.  The forward rate of spread of the vegetation fire was stopped at one acre. The fire was off Lyons Creek Lane in the community of Lawson Valley.  It was known as the #LyonsFire.

The firefighters stopped the spread by using water and retardant drops using airplanes and helicopters in approximately 40 minutes.

East County Magazine Wildfire & Emergency Alerts broke the story (Twitter: @eastcountyalert) thanks to Nadin Abbott, who issued live updates to our twitter followers. Prompt coverage on fires in Jamul can save lives as many areas have only one way in/out.

No humans or animals were injured. The cause of the fire was not disclosed at this time. 

If you have photos, details, or an eyewitness account on this or any local emergency please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org

Thanks to the Grossmont Healthcare District and San Diego Regional Fire Foundation for their generous sponsorship of our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts!

CHEERS TO THIS: TOAST OF THE COAST INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION WINNERS INCLUDE DEERHORN VALLEY VINEYARDS

Deerhorn Valley Vineyards wins two gold medals

Source:  Deerhorn Valley Vineyards

August 10, 2021 (Jamul) - The results are in in the professionally judged Wine Competition, May 22-23 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the annual Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. Deerhorn Valley Vineyards of Jamul, recently was awarded 2 gold medals as a result. The competition awarded gold and silver medals along with the Double Gold Award, which is reserved for the finest wines deemed worthy by a three-judge panel. In addition, Director’s Awards were given to the top performing wines in each varietal or blended category as merited.

KEEP OUR CREEK CLEAN AND GREEN

San Diego River Park Foundation cleanup opportunity for Santee's Forester Creek

Community service hours can be verified!

East County News Service

August 10, 2021 (Santee) - Each year, San Diego River Park Foundation volunteers remove more than 200,000 pounds of trash from our river. Without their amazing volunteers, this trash would be left to pollute native animal habitats, create unsightly piles in our parks and public spaces, leach contaminants into the water, and could be washed out into our ocean and beaches!

YOU can help with this critical work by cleaning up storm water debris and litter this Saturday, August 17 at Forester Creek in Santee from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

CONGRESSWOMAN SARA JACOBS VISITS MEALS ON WHEELS, HELPS DELIVER FOOD TO SENIORS IN SPRING VALLEY

Volunteers are needed at Meals on Wheels 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 10, 2021 (Spring Valley) – One in 10 seniors in San Diego County  is experiencing hunger and nearly half of local seniors live alone. Today, Congresswoman Sara Jacobs toured the Meals on Wheels facility in San Diego, then joined Meals on Wheels local president Brent Wakefield to delivery food to Spring Valley seniors – Margaret, who is 98 years young, as well as a military veteran, Larry, and his wife, both 90.

COUNTY RECORDER'S OFFICES OFFER WALK-IN SERVICES SATURDAY, AUGUST 14

 

No appointments necessary for birth, death & marriage certificates to meet pent-up pandemic & back-to-school demand, and for customers without internet access and/or credit/debit cards

By: Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Grand Opening of Santee location, March 12, 2020 (Photo Credit: Michael Uyeda)

August 10, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County Recorder's offices will be offering expanded office hours with a Saturday “no appointment necessary” walk-in day on August 14, 2021, to meet pent-up pandemic period demand for birth, death, and marriage certificates (all vital records). Currently, Ernie Dronenburg requires appointments during the week, but this event will not require appointments for what he has dubbed “Vital Records Day.” The special Saturday walk-in services are offered at the County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk's Chula Vista, San Marcos, and Santee locations.

SIX CANDIDATES QUALIFY FOR BALLOT IN LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL ELECTION

By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa voters will have six candidates on their ballot for a Nov. 2 special election to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber’s election to the state Assembly. Some candidates who pulled papers did not qualify or dropped out, and one is a last-minute entry.

Here are the six candidates who have qualified:

MURDER CHARGES FILED OVER DEATH OF BORREGO SPRINGS MAN

By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2021 (Borrego Springs) -- On February 18, Sheriff's deputies responded to Di Giorgio Road and Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs for a report of a battery. Deputies found Martin Baker, 49,  on the side of the road suffering from head trauma.

He was transported to a local area hospital for treatment. Later that day, deputies arrested Eugene Carl Focarelli, 37, for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm. On Feb. 22, Baker’s condition declined and the Borrego Springs resident died at the hospital. 

LA MESA’S NEW POLICE CHIEF AIMS TO BUILD TRUST, HEAR COMMUNITY’S CONCERNS AT FIRST TOWN HALL MEETING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  LMPD Chief Ray Sweeney

August 8, 2021 (La Mesa) – At the first of four town hall meetings held by La Mesa Police billed as community outreach and listening sessions, newly appointed Chief Ray Sweeney promised to work with community members to make changes. The Chief spoke of changes in the work, then fielded questions from the public.

THUNDERSTORMS THIS WEEK: HIGH FIRE DANGER AND POTENTIAL FLASH FLOODING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: National Weather Service

August 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service is warning of elevated fire conditions, with mountain thunderstorms Monday followed by more thunderstorms Tuesday to Saturday in the deserts and mountains.

SPRING VALLEY ACTIVISTS ESCALATE ACTION ON TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY CRISIS WITH PROTEST AT REP. VARGAS’ OFFICE MONDAY MORNING

East County News Service

Photo: Tijuana River Valley; CC by SA via Bing

 

August 8, 2020 (Spring Valley)  – The Spring Valley Cleanup Crew and a coalition of San Diego activists are uniting for a protest in front of Rep. Juan Vargas' (D-CA) office this Monday, Aug. 9 at 8:30 a.m. to demand additional funding be deployed for the Tijuana River Valley crisis.

THE LAST FIVE YEARS: MODERN DAY ROMANCE AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE IN LA MESA

By Kathy Carpenter

August 7, 2021 (La Mesa) - Can A broken romance be romantic? Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa is back. They are presenting Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years" directed by Teri Brown and Johnathan Sturch with Musical Director Christopher T. Miller. The play opened July 23 and runs through August 15.

CEO OF LOCAL UMBRELLA MEDIA GROUP HOLDS FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER FOR NON-PROFIT THE B.A.G. NETWORKING

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photos by Farima Tabbrizi of FT Images.

August 7, 2021 (Lakeside) -- CEO Brad Weber, the force behind Local Umbrella Media Group, held a fashion show fundraiser for the non-profit---The B.A.G. Networking "Business Associates Group" at Lakeside’s Trevi Hills Winery on August 4th.

The fashion show was presented by a local designer, Dawn Sebaugh of WALA – Wear Art Live Art. Food was available from Nori’s Nosh Catering with charcuterie cones just one of their offerings.

“Over 200 guests enjoyed delicious bites paired with Trevi Hill’s fabulous assortments of wines as they were enveloped in the breathtaking 360-degree views. Invitees danced into the sunset at this picturesque hidden gem while helping us support charity guest The B.A.G. Networking 501c3,” said Weber via email.  “The B.A.G. Networking "Business Associates Group"‪ is made up of volunteers that generously give their time and efforts to help make a difference in the community – with 100% of B.A.G. proceeds going to worthy local causes.”

FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES SUIT CHALLENGING APPROVAL OF CAMPO WIND PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

“We have really nothing to give our youth, nothing to pass down. All we have are false promises. These windmills are supposed to bring us some glimmer of hope, but all they’ve brought us are despair.” –Tribal elder Denis Largo

August 7, 2021 (Campo) – U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Backcountry Against Dumps, a local citizens’ group, against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior. The lawsuit sought to challenge the agencies’ approval of Terra Gen’s Campo Wind project on the Campo Indian reservation.

ROBBER FIRES GUN INSIDE EXCALIBUR LIQUOR STORE IN LA MESA

East County News Service

August 6, 2021 (La Mesa) – Shortly after 10 p.m. last night, the La Mesa Police Department received a report of a robbery that had just occurred at the Excalibur Liquor Store at 5575 Baltimore Drive. The clerk reported that the suspect entered the store, walked around the counter, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the clerk. The suspect then fired one round into the wall and pushed the clerk to the ground. 

The clerk was not injured during the incident. The lone suspect stole money from the register and personal property from the clerk, according to police. The suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction. 

LEMON GROVE IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL PRESENTS BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE

East County News Service

August 6, 2021 (Lemon Grove) - The Lemon Grove Improvement Council is hosting a Back to School Supply Drive for this coming school year.  From now until August 13th, you can donate any school supplies, such as backpacks, notebooks, three-ring binders, pencils, pens, markers and erasers.

HELP SOUGHT TO FIND MISSING MAN IN JACUMBA; CELL PHONE FOUND ON TRAIL

East County News Service

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Pine Valley Sheriff’ substation is asking for public help to find Derek Barge, 41, who has been missing since Saturday night, July 31. He was last seen at the DeAnza Springs Resort on Carrizo Gorge Road in Jacumba.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photo:  celebrating the first anniversary of of the Spring Valley Community Alliance are, L to R, SVCA President Braulio Sanabra, Regional Manager Charles Gailband of County Park and Rec., and SVCA Vice President Chris Pierce. Photo courtesy IPS.

August 5, 2021 (Spring Valley) - Braulio Sanabria felt uncomfortable with what was happening in and around Lamar County Park in Spring Valley. There were discarded mini alcohol bottles, drug paraphernalia, graffiti, drug sales and homeless encampments. So he decided to do something about it. What began as one man with a trash bag on a summer day in 2020 has evolved into the Spring Valley Community Alliance (SVCA). The effort grew organically as more and more neighbors began joining Sanabria on Sunday mornings to pick up trash, adopt a highway, report graffiti and take pride in the neighborhood. SVCA recently celebrated its first anniversary with a community cleanup, picnic and celebration at the park on Bancroft Drive.

READER’S EDITORIAL: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS PUTTING OUT SOS: LEARN ABOUT SOLAR PROJECT TRYING TO “SWALLOW THE TOWN” AT ICE CREAM SOCIAL AUG. 7

By Jeffery Osborne

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The Jacumba Hot Springs community is getting together Saturday, August 7th at 11 a.m. for an Ice Cream Social and swim at Jacumba Lake to raise awareness about the mega solar project that is trying to swallow up the community. Nothing like this project has ever been proposed in San Diego County.

SHERIFF’S DEPT. IDENTIFIES SUSPECT IN COLD-CASE MURDER OF SANTEE WOMAN IN 1980 USING GENETIC GENEOLOGY

East County News Service 

August 4, 2021 (Santee) – Today, the San Diego Sheriff’s department announced it has identified a possible suspect, John Patrick “Pat” Hogan, in the 1980 murder of 20-year-old Michelle Louise Wyatt.  Hogan died in 2004, however the Sheriff’s department hopes to speak with anyone who may have information on this case or who knew Hogan in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s.

EAA ARTISTS' RECEPTION AUGUST 14

Source:  Escondido Art Association

Image via Monika Grafik from Pixabay

August 3, 2021 (Escondido) - The public is invited to the monthly Escondido Art Association artists’ reception held at the Artists Gallery at 121 W. Grand Avenue, Escondido, on Saturday, August 14, 2021 from 4pm until 6:30pm. Come on by the gallery, meet the artists, and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

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