Communities

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT WEDNESDAY TO ALLOW TEMPORARY AGRITOURISM EVENTS

 

Update January 30: Supervisors voted to approve the agritourism items 5-0  as recommended by staff, with no amendments.

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism.  The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.


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PICKUP TRUCK PLUNGES DOWN EMBANKMENT, KILLING DRIVER FROM SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – A Santee man is dead after the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup he was driving crashed down an embankment and struck a boulder last night around 8:46 p.m.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the driver, 46, was traveling east on La Cresta Road in unincorporated El Cajon east of Forester Creek “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and plunged off the side of the roadway.  The vehicle became airborne before overturning down an embankment and striking the boulder.


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COUNTY LAUNCHES EVACUATION PLAN FOCUSED ON VULNERABLE PEOPLE

If you needed to evacuate for an emergency, could you just get in your car and go? For some, the answer may be no because they lack transportation, need additional help with medical equipment or gathering items in their home.

Studies have shown that during a disaster, older adults or people with disabilities, or access and functional needs have added challenges when faced with evacuation. This information inspired the County Office of Emergency Services to come up with the Neighborhood Evacuation Team program in partnership with the Community Emergency Response Teams throughout the region. The teams are made up of disaster-trained volunteers who can help in their neighborhoods.

People who reach out for assistance will be teamed up with a CERT member who can guide them through the process of making a plan that suits their needs, including working out transportation needs with a caregiver, neighbor or family member.


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EL CAJON CITY MANAGER CHALLENGES OTHER EAST COUNTY CITIES AND COUNTY TO SERVE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

Graham Mitchell Provides Year End Status Report of city’s efforts  

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Complete Video: https://youtu.be/LybwvTl7E8Y

Powerpoint presentation: Homeless Program Update (Jan 14, 2020).pdf

January 27, 2020 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell has challenged other East County cities and the County of San Diego to address the current crisis level of homeless individuals, as El Cajon has during the past year.

In an overview of its efforts at the first council session for the year, Mitchell told councilmembers that the city has spent $640,000 on programs directed to people who have made El Cajon streets their home. While the city will be spending that much again this year, Mitchell challenged the smaller cities around El Cajon (Santee, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove) to make similar efforts.

“We are doing far more than what our neighbors have been doing,” Mitchell said.


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UMOJA JAZZ AND JOKES FEB. 21 AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE

Source: Cuyamaca College
 
January 26, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- Enjoy an evening of laughter and live music with the Cuyamaca College Umoja Scholars community as a scholarship fundraiser, "Jazz & Jokes," 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre.
 
A VIP reception for $25 from 6:30-7:30 includes the price of admission, which is $5 for students and $10 for general admission. Tickets are available online.

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ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 


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ECHO CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE OFFERS FEBRUARY CONCERTS TO LOVE

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (Rancho San Diego) -- The ECHO Chamber Music Series offers internationally-acclaimed musicians who have performed across the globe. All performances are at the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College.
 

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HOT TOPICS: EL CAJON REALTORS GROUP DISCUSSING MEASURES A, B AND FIRE INSURANCE JAN. 31

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (East County) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors with an office in El Cajon, will host a presentation on Measures A and B, two March primary ballot measures that address housing development in semi-rural and rural, unincorporated areas of San Diego County, starting at 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at its PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The public is invited to attend.
 
PSAR is recommending a no vote on Measure A and yes vote on Measure B for the March California Primary Election. Speaking on Measures A and B will be Tony Manolatos, a political consultant and principal with Manolatos Nelson Murphy.
 
Voting by mail begins Feb. 3 and Election Day is a month later.

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THREE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN PLANE CRASH BATTLING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: C-130 CONDUCTED CAL-FIRE TRAINING, FOUGHT CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS

Victims were firefighters from Wyoming, Arizona and Florida

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's office:  C-130 that crashed in Australia today is same one shown in photo at McClellan Air Base during an event last August attended by Newsom.

January 23, 2020 (Ramona) – A plane used to fight California wildfires last year and to train Cal-Fire pilots has crashed while fighting brush fires in Australia, killing three U.S. firefighters. A C-130 was in Ramona last August to train future pilots.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft built by Lockheed Martin and repurposed to fight fires was operated by Coulson Aviation of Canada, which has grounded its fleet to re-assess safety conditions and honor the victims.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the crew from Tanker 134 that wre lost during a tragic crash while battling the devastating Australia fires.  Cal Fire stands with you during this difficult time,” Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter said.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced condolences to families of the crew and Cal Fire for the loss of “three heroic American firefighters”  He adds, “This tragic accident reminds us all of the too-high cost of the scourge of wildfires, as well as the sacrifice of first responders from around the world. California and Australia, already united by the deadly threat of wildfires, now grieve this tragic loss together.”


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS, MOVES AHEAD ON GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND HOUSING PLANNING

 

Girl Scouts unveil "Lemon Ups," official new city cookie

By Kathleen Connell

January 23, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On January 21st, Lemon Grove leaders kicked off the new year in a well-attended meeting, with many citizens clearly interested in the medical marijuana dispensary item on the agenda.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS


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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETING THIS THURS. JAN. 23

 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) --Tonight, the La Mesa City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting. This open-forum session provides an opportunity for citizens to share their concerns, ideas, and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City. The meeting will be held  at Maryland Avenue Elementary, 5400 Maryland Avenue, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
 
The Town Hall Meeting is intended as a means for citizens to learn about City services, state what they like about La Mesa, how they envision the future of their city, and to express concerns. Members of the City Council and City staff will be present. Additionally, information will be available about the City’s Climate Action Plan, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, and recreation classes.

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CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Peter Carzis addressing La Mesa City Council i 2016

January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) – The District Attorney’s office has charged Peer Carzis, 76, owner of  Peter’s Mens Apparel in La Mesa, with one count of felony vandalism and three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with members of the media on January 20th.  Videos posted at multiple media sights showed Carzis punching and pushing several photographers, also destroying a $7,000 camera.

An additional misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public on January 18 was also issued against Carzis.A video that went viral on social media appeared to show Carzis reaching under a woman's shirt to fondle her breasts while she was straddling his lap on a sidewalk in front of his store in the La Mesa downtown village.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: AL FRESCO DINING AND HEALTHY CHOICES DURING SAN DIEGO 2020 RESTAURANT WEEK

By Dana Stevens, Executive Director, Community Action Service & Advocacy
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Let’s embrace healthy living in 2020, as we head into San Diego’s 2020 Restaurant Week (January 19-26). Let’s dine at restaurants that offer smoke-free outdoor dining patios as well as healthy, fresh, delicious food.

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JULIAN MAN ARRESTED FOR STRIKING, KILLING CYCLIST ON DEHESA ROAD: CHP SEEKS WITNESS WHO FOLLOWED HIT AND RUN DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A bicyclist, 56, has died of injuries suffered yesterday when a Mitsubishi Mirage struck him from behind on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive. The Mitsubishi’s driver, Craig Wendell Nelson, 56, of Julian fled the scene and was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after a helicopter spotted him hiding in brush along Sloane Canyon Rd. south of Dehesa Rd. in unincorporated El Cajon.

The California Highway Patrol wants to locate the driver of a vehicle that turned around at the scene of the collision and followed the Mitsubishi, or anyone else with information on the fatal accident. If you have any information, please call Officer Wilson or Officer Harris at the CHP at 619-401-2000.

According to Officer Travis Garrow, Nelson was traveling eastbound on Dehesa Rd. east of Willow Glen Drive when for reasons still under investigation, his vehicle veered into the marked bike lane and struck the rider, who was ejected onto the roadway. The bicyclist was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego where he later died of his injuries.  Nelson has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.


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MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”


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CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
January 19, 2020 (Borrego Springs) - The Under The Sun Foundation is organizing a photography exhibition for the 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival and invites you to submit your works for consideration.
 
They are looking for photographic works that visualize your Borrego Springs - images that capture the essence of this unique community and the special sense of place cultivated in this corner of the Sonoran Desert.
 
The works selected for the exhibition will be put on display in the old library space in The Mall during the upcoming Candlewood Arts Festival, from February 29 - March 29, 2020.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER

January 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Robert Gehr shot this photo of the illusive California Gnatcatcher (Polioptilla Californica) at the waterscape in downtown El Cajon as this tiny male bird flitted about, snatching small insects from the air as its food source.
 
“Listed as a threatened species, these uncommon feathered friends are interesting to watch as they forage for a meal,” says Gehr.

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GROSSMONT SUPERINTENDENT SLAMS CAJON VALLEY BOARD OVER PROPOSED CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

"I've heard that it's been communicated that Grossmont High School District was fully aware of this charter petition. I need to say this is simply not true. That communication never took place until yesterday.  In fact, quite the opposite.” --GUHSD Superintendent TIm Glover (photo, left)

January 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Observers of the political hijinks which have become customary at meetings of the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board of trustees were not disappointed at the last regular meeting for the year on December 17th

The meeting started with school board President Tamara Otero advising her fellow board members “to be careful in any contact” with Board Trustee Jill Barto in light of Barto’s recently filed federal civil rights lawsuit.

Then the spotlight shifted to Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Glover. Glover visibly caught the board off guard when he addressed the trustees, raising objections to Cajon Valley’s preliminary plan to expand and start a new charter high school (grades 9 to 12) at the site of the district’s Bostonia Language Academy, which encompasses kindergarten to eighth grade. The new charter school would be called the “Bostonia Global Charter School.”


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SKYLINE RETIREMENT CENTER, AVENTINE CONDOS AND GENERAL PLAN CLEANUP TO BE HEARD BY SUPERVISORS JAN. 29

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 18, 2020 (San Diego) – On January 29, County Supervisors’ agenda will include a proposed general plan amendment that includes a general plan clean-up and amendments to allow two developments proposed in East County: the Skyline Retirement Center proposed on Campo Road on undeveloped land near Skyline Church near Rancho San Diego, and the Aventine condominium project with 92 units proposed at Sweetwater Springs Blvd. near Austin in Spring Valley. 
 
The general plan amendment will be heard in the Board Chambers on January 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the County Administration Center (CAC) located in downtown San Diego at 1600 Pacific Highway on the north end of the third floor. 

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SEXUAL PREDATOR CAUGHT BY BORDER PATROL IN POTRERO

Source: U.S. Border Patrol
 
January 18, 2020 (Potrero) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested five people Wednesday morning who were involved in a human smuggling event which included a man with a prior felony conviction.
 
Around 6:20 a.m., a man driving a black Nissan Sentra approached a temporary immigration checkpoint in Potrero and failed to stop at the designated inspection point. Agents stopped the vehicle several yards past the checkpoint and inspected the vehicle.

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LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.


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GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.


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​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – Authorities yesterday announced a $10,000 reward for information to help find Elijah “Bear” Diaz, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians who vanished under suspicious circumstances in August 2015. 
 
He was 20 years old at the time and ill from diabetes.  “He was about to get his foot amputated. He couldn’t walk. He was in a wheelchair a few days before,” his mother, Lelanie Joe Thompson told ECM in a interview last year, adding that her son weighed only 110 pounds and could not have left on his own. She said Diaz had only two weeks of insulin left when he disappeared.

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CACTUS MICE TEST POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS IN SANTEE AND VALLEY CENTER

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications 
Image Credit: shutterstock
 
January 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two cactus mice collected separately in routine monitoring in Santee and Valley Center have tested positive for hantavirus, marking the first appearance in San Diego County in 2020 of the potentially deadly virus.
 
County officials said people should never sweep up or vacuum, but use “wet cleaning” methods instead, to clean up rodent droppings or signs of rodent infestation if they find them in their living spaces — homes, garages, sheds, cabins and outbuildings.
 
Infected rodents shed hantavirus in their urine, feces and saliva. If people stir that dry matter into the air by sweeping or vacuuming, they can inhale the virus and get sick.

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EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF WATER IN EAST COUNTY ON JANUARY 25

Source: Helix Water District

Photo: Dignitaries rode boats to celebrate opening day of the San Diego Flume in 1889, which brought water from Lake Cuyamaca to meet the needs of East County residents.

 January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At the next Helix Water Talks, on Saturday, January 25, Helix Water District will take customers through 130 years of local history including how the need for a robust water infrastructure played into development of East County and how Helix Water District was formed to meet that need.

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. at Helix’s administration office in La Mesa. The free event includes coffee and bagels, a presentation and an hour-long, 3-floor tour of the district’s collection of historical photos.

“The history of Helix Water District and our role in developing and providing water for East County over the last century is fascinating,” said Helix Water District General Manager Carlos Lugo. “Our customers really enjoy this event.”


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SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

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SANTEE LIBRARY GETS NEW LAPTOP KIOSK

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2020 (Santee) -- Patrons of the Santee Library can now borrow small laptop computers through a new, high tech dispensing machine that was funded by the Friends of the Santee Library.

The kiosk, available to use for free to anyone with a library card, has been operating for about two weeks but got an official ribbon cutting Jan. 13.

Chris Miller, vice president of the Friends of the Santee Library, said her group provided about $38,000 towards the purchase of the kiosk, while the county of San Diego, which operates the library, put up about $24,000 to pay for the laptop computers made by Hewlett Packard and the maintenance cost.

“The Friends of the Santee Library is committed to doing whatever we can to expand the capabilities of the library regardless of the space we have to work with,” Miller said.


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FUNDRAISER JAN. 26 AT BRODY’S BURGERS FOR ELI OLIVEROS, JAMUL BOY IN COMA

 

Update January 17:  Eli is now awake and eating on his own, his aunt has informed ECM, but still faces a long recovery.

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2020 (Jamul) – Brody’s Burgers in Jamul will host a benefit on January 26 rom 11 a.m. to 4 p.m for Eli Oliveros, a 6-year-old Jamul boy who was seriously injured in a car accident. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to help Eli’s family pay his medical bills.

Eli was in a medically-induced coma and on a respirator after the Dec. 27 accident in Los Angeles, as ECM reported.  As of yesterday, he is now breathing on his own. But he also suffered multiple broken bones as well as damages to his lungs and brain. His vision is crossed, but doctors are hoping the condition will self-correct.


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PAIR WANTED FOR ROBBING CITI BANK IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks public help to locate two men responsible for robbing the Citi Bank at 402 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon on December 27th at 1:20 p.m.
 
According to special agent Davene Butler, one of the men approached a teller and made a verbal demand for money.  He was described as white, in his late 40s to 50s, approximately 5'9” tall, slender build, with dark (possibly dyed) hair and a dark handlebar mustache. This robber was wearing reading glasses, a camouflaged colored baseball cap, a long sleeve blue shirt with a short sleeve red shirt over top, and boots. 
 
The second robber stayed in the lobby of the bank.  Witnesses described the second man as a Caucasian male, in his late 30s, approximately 5'10"tall, with a slender build and was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a San Diego Chargers logo, a dark colored zip-up jacket, jeans, and sunglasses.

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