Communities

POWAY SHOOTER CHARGED WITH MURDER, PARENTS DISAVOW SON

 

 

Thousands turn out at vigil to commemorate victims of Chabad synagogue 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2019 (Poway) – District Attorney Summer Stephan has said she may pursue the death penalty against John T. Earnest, 19, who is accused of one count of murder with special circumstances for a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday during a Passover celebration. He is also charged with arson at a house of worship for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido.

SUPERVISOR JIM DESMOND TO HOLD REVITALIZATION MEETING IN BORREGO SPRINGS MAY 7

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Newly elected County Supervisor Jim Desmond has been holding a series of community revitalization meetings in his district. Now he is starting a Borrego Springs Community Revitalization Committee to bring public resources to Borrego Springs.  This is a community meeting and the public is welcome to attend.  On Tuesday, May 7, the meeting will be held in the community room at the Borrego Springs Library.

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT OTERO FAILS TO DISCLOSE SON OWNS COMPANY THAT GOT $665,000 CONTRACT

Outbid contractor claims irregularities with bid process

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 30, 2019 (El Cajon) - A $655,000 construction contract for a new modular building at Los Coches Creek Middle School on Mar. 26 was awarded to Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees President Tamara Otero’s son, Dryw Otero, owner of Otero Construction, Inc.   In total, 37 contractors “pulled plans” for the project and eight actually submitted bids.

Prior to the vote Tamara Otero was asked by fellow board member Jill Barto, “It looks like….is this your husband’s company?” Otero replied, “No,” and immediately brushed off the question, saying the internet connection to her computer on the dais is disconnected. (Barto says she asked about the family connections but her phrase, “and your family” was masked by Otero’s response.)

Tamara Otero is the mother to Dryw Ortero, the owner of Otero Construction, Inc., State Contractors License #1025227, according to the State of California, with offices located on the 8400 block of Magnolia Street in Santee. The young company has been in business less than two years, founded in April 2017.

Audio: 

Cajon Valley 3-26-2019

DRIVER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS FOR INJURING BOY ON BIKE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery 

April 29, 2019 (El Cajon) - Courtney Webber has been sentenced to three years in prison for hitting a 9-year-old bicyclist in El Cajon on October 5, 2018, then fleeing the scene, Times of San Diego reports.  Webber pled guilty to the crime.

FIGHTING HATE FOR GOOD: A COMMUNITY VIGIL FOR POWAY TONIGHT AT 6:30 P.M.

East County News Service

April 29, 2019 (Poway)  -- In the wake of Saturday’s tragedy at Chabad of Poway, the San Diego Jewish community and its allies will gather at Poway High School (1550 Espola Rd., Poway) tonight at 6:30 p.m. to honor the victims and to stand together against anti-Semitism – and hate of all kinds.

In partnership with Poway Unified School District, the vigil is being convened by the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego County, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Family Service of San Diego and Jewish Federation of San Diego County. The  Mayors of Poway and San Diego will speak, along with religious, law enforcement, civil rights and education leaders.

FAMILY OF CHABAD SUSPECT EXPRESSES ‘SHOCK, SHAME AND ANGUISH’

 

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  John T. Earnest via 10 News

April 29, 2019 (Poway) - The family of John T. Earnestthe suspect in the fatal attack on a Poway synagogue, issued a statement Monday expressing “shock,” “grief” and “anguish” while lamenting  their son “is now part of the history of evil.”

POWAY SYNAGOGUE VICTIMS SHOWED COURAGE AND HEROISM IN FACE OF COWARDLY ATTACK

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Lori Kaye, the sole fatality, and injured survivors Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, Almog Perez, and Noya Dahan

Updated April 29 with information on Iraq War veteran Oscar Stewart, who chased the gunman out of the synagogue

April 28, 2019 (Poway) – When a gunman opened fire on unarmed worshippers and a rabbi inside the Chabad Congregation synagogue on Saturday, his victims displayed remarkable courage—saving many lives.  About 100 people were in the synagogue, but only four were struck, according to Sheriff Bill Gore.

 Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, a founding member of the synagogue, jumped between the gunman and Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, sacrificing her own life to save the spiritual leader, CNN reports. She had come to say a Kaddish prayer for the dead for her late mother, but now the prayer will be recited in her memory.

Rabbi Goldstein raised his hands and bullets tore through his fingers.  ““I saw a group of children in the banquet hall, including my granddaughter,” he told NBC TV after surgery, “not even knowing that my fingers were blown off, I got the kids and everyone out of the sanctuary safely.”  Outside the sanctuary, despite his bloody wounds, the Rabbi continued to deliver his Passover message and told his congregation, “We are united.”

PASSOVER SHOOTINGS AT POWAY SYNAGOGUE: 1 DEAD, 3 INJURED

 

Updated 3:45 p.m. with information from the Sheriff's press conference and comments from Poway Mayor Steve Vaus

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2019 (Poway, CA)--An older woman has died and three others were injured in a shooting  today at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sheriff Gore confirmed in a news conference this afternoon.  The attack occurred during a Passover celebration.

ECM news partner 10 News reports that  Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, suffered a hand injury. Two men and a 10-year-old girl were also injured with shrapnel wounds; all are in stable condition and expected to recover. 

A white male, 19, from San Diego is in custody after he called authorities to surrender. He used an AR-type assault weapon, according to Sheriff Gore. He was arrested in nearby Rancho San Diego.  No motive has yet been disclosed.

NBC 7 reports that multiple sources confirm the suspect is John T. Earnest, who published a manifesto at 10 a.m. on Reddit threatening to live-stream the shooting in Poway. In a rant filled with racist remarks and Bible quotes, he also claimed credit for arson at an Escondido mosque a month ago. The killer stated that he was inspired by the recent deadly attack on a New Zeland mosque and by shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING BROTHER IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with names of victims

April 27, 2019 (Lakeside) – Felix Joseph Hernandez, 50, is under arrest for killing his brother. George Hernandez, as well as shooting and injuring Elwin Ray Downs, 65. He is charged with murder and assault.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting the shooting yesterday at 4:31 p.m. in a mobile home park at 13460 Highway 8 Business in Lakeside.  Deputies found a 65-year-old man in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his torso. The victim reported another man had been shot inside a residence.

REALTORS TRADE GROUP HONORED FOR HELPING EAST COUNTY HOMELESS POPULATION

 

 

East County News Service

Photo:  (from left to right) Tracy Morgan Hollingworth, Joe Mackey, Robert Calloway, Kay LeMenager, Carol Lewis, Anna Marie Piconi Snyder.

April 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors, recently presented a $5,000 check to the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help pay for a website featuring resources to assist homeless people in the East County.

TWO MAYORS TO MISS THEIR OWN EAST COUNTY MAYORS PRAYER LUNCHEON, THURSDAY, MAY 2 IN EL CAJON; BOTH WILL BE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AT SEPARATE EVENTS

 

 

East County News Service

April 26, 2019 (El Cajon) – The East County Mayors Prayer Luncheon will be held on the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 2, at Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon. The public is invited to attend.

COUNTY AGREES TO COMPROMISE AFTER FILING FOR COURT ORDER TO FORCE VOLUNTEERS OUT OF JULIAN FIRE STATION

Despite dissolution put in force by LAFCO and County authorities, volunteers and supporters can stay in station at least 30 days, Judge Trapp rules

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 26, 2019 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego and Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) went into Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp’s courtroom Thursday seeking an order to evict supporters of the dissolved Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD).

Instead, the Judge pushed both sides to hammer out a compromise agreement that  allows former volunteer firefighters and their supporters to remain in station 57 for at least 30 days while the legal issues work their way through the court system. 

Calls will be responded to by the County Fire Authority/Cal Fire and the County will have a right to inspect the station daily, with specifications.

RISE UP HELPS FORMER INMATES MAKE TRANSITION TO NEW LIFE

 
 
By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  Dustin Greeves and Ernie Garcia
 
April 25, 2019 (Santee) -- A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses.

MEET MOUNTAIN MEN AND MORE AT MANZANITA HIGH RENDEZVOUS MAY 10-18

 

 

East County News Service

April 25, 2019 (Lake Morena) – You’re invited to step back in time and visit an authentic mountain man rendezvous on May 10-18 at the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous. The event will be held at the Northcote Ranch near Lake Morena.

HISTORY ALIVE MAY 2 IN LEMON GROVE: LOWDOWN ON THE FORGOTTEN “GARDEN OF THE DEAD”

 

 

By Helen Ofield

April 25, 2019 (Lemon Grove) - The Lemon Grove Historical Society continues its free "History Alive" series with award-winning historian Alexander Bevil on May 2 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.

JAMUL MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING WIFE

 
 
East County News Service
 
April 25, 2019 (Jamul) – A jury has convicted Winnie Perry Whitby, 49, from Jamul of second degree murder. He was found guilty of stabbing his wife, Melissa Whitby. Her body was found January 7, 2017 on a path along Skyline Truck Trail about a mile from the couple’s home.

NIECE REPRISES SHELLEY WINTERS' ROLE OF 'ANNE FRANK'

 

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published by San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  At left, actress Shelley Winters with daughter Vittoria Glassman, and Lolly Boroff (dark hair) with her mother Blanche Boroff.

April 25, 2019 (Spring Valley) - In the American History Theater’s current production of The Diary of Anne Frank, some American theater history is being reprised.  Back in 1959, Shelley Winters won an Oscar as best supporting actress for her performance as Mrs. Van Daan in the movie version of that play, which dramatized the experiences of the Frank and Van Daan families as they hid in a secret annex from the Nazis, who then were sending Jewish families from Amsterdam to concentration camps.

NINE THE MUSICAL: A DREAM COMES TRUE ONSTAGE AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE IN LA MESA APRIL 19 - MAY 19

 

 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

April 25, (La Mesa) - Everyone has a dream. Most of us do not get the opportunity to realize the dream. For George Bailey, director of Nine, at least one of his dreams came true. Many years ago he would go to the downtown library and check out albums from different musicals. One day he checked out the album for Nine and went home to listen on his parents’ stereo. He loved the score and identified with the story. A fleeting thought crossed his mind. If he was a director he would direct Nine. The thought was forgotten until Lamplighters brought his dream to life.

JUDGE IS ASKED TO EVICT PEOPLE IN JULIAN FIRE STATION AS COUNTY FEARS SABOTAGE

 

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Judge Randa Trapp will hear arguments Thursday and Friday in cases involving the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Photo by Ken Stone

April 25, 2019 (Julian) - Lawyers for San Diego County will ask a judge Thursday to evict volunteer firefighters and others who have locked themselves in the Julian fire station, saying they’re worried about equipment and property worth $3 million being stolen or damaged.

LAKESIDE MAN’S SON, 11, KILLED IN SRI LANKA EASTER CHURCH BOMBINGS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 24, 2019 (Lakeside) – An 11-year-old boy whose father lives in Lakeside was among over 350 victims killed on Easter Sunday in bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Another 500 were injured in the terrorist attacks.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR EL CAJON COUNCIL VACANCY IS APRIL 26

 

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2019 (El Cajon) -- El Cajon’s City Council will be choosing a new Councilmember to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Ben Kalasho.

 

The Council will make its decision at its regularly scheduled May 14th meeting.

READER'S EDITORIAL: FORMER JULIAN FIRE & MEDICAL SERVICES CHIEF SPEAKS OUT

 

 

By Mike Van Bibber

April 14, 2019 (Julian) -- A message to our family, friends, and neighbors in the Julian-Cuyamaca community, throughout California, and across the United States:

The men and women of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District are facing an illegal government takeover of our volunteer fire department — San Diego County’s last volunteer department — and that’s putting the public at risk. 

Throughout our history, JCFPD has been responding to emergency calls in our community: heart attacks, car crashes, wildfires, you name it. More than 60 members strong, we proudly serve everyone in the community — whether local or visitor, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of culture or creed. We are woven into the community’s fabric and remain in the station ready to serve in the event of an emergency. 

Legal documents and bureaucrats call this place a “special district.” We call it “home.”

Normally we’d be waiting here in the station until someone calls in need of help. Our history has always been responding to calls for help. But today is different. 

Today we are asking you for help. Today we are the ones who desperately need your help.

MISSING SENIOR IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
East County News Service
 
April 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) – The Sheriff seeks public help to locate 73-year-old Viodelda Fleming, who was reported missing yesterday from her care facility, New Brighton Place, at 9009 Campo Road in Spring Valley.
 
She was last seen by the charge nurse at 6:30 p.m. last night.  She suffers from several medical conditions, needs medication, and may be disoriented.

ECPAC TO BE RENAMED MAGNOLIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – When the East County Performing Arts Center reopens later this year under management of Live Nation, it will have a new name:  Magnolia Performing Arts Center. Magnolia is the city of El Cajon’ official flower and its image appears in the city’s logo. The center, located on Main Street, is accessed off the Magnolia Avenue exit from Interstate 8.

VINTAGE ALPINE: WINE AND FOOD EXPERIENCE IN THE COUNTRY MAY 5

 

 

East County News Service

April 23, 2019 (Flinn Springs) — The Alpine Kiwanis Club invites the public to attend the 29th Annual Vintage Alpine fundraiser to be held on May 5. This amazing “Wine & Food Experience in the Country” will take place within the lovely gardens of Summers Past Farms at 15602 Olde Highway 80.

HELIX WATER DISTRICT BEGINS BUDGET PROCESS FOR NEXT YEAR AND DENIES FEE WAIVER TO NEW PROPERTY OWNER

 

 

By Allan Acevedo

 

April 23, 2019 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District’s Board of Directors held a sparsely attended meeting last Wednesday that covered major topics including establishing guidelines to develop next year’s budget—including possible rate hikes.  Other issues covered included reconciling current policies with unfunded state mandates and reviewing specific actions on parcels.

 

The District provides drinking water for over 273,000 people in the communities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Spring Valley and portions of Santee, Lakeside and San Diego County.

 

SKETCH RELEASED OF MAN WHO TRIED TO LURE GIRL INTO CAR IN SANTEE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 23, 2019 (Santee) -- Detectives from the Santee Sheriff's Station now have a sketch of a man suspected of trying to lure a young girl into his car on March 28th around 6 p.m. on Poplin Drive in Santee.  
 
A nine-year-old girl told detectives she was riding her bicycle when the suspect pulled up beside her and asked her if she would like a ride to a "game." The girl became scared and rode away in her bike all the way home. She was not hurt. 

EL CAJON HONORED FOR PROJECTS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon has received projects awards from  the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Public Works Association (APWA).   The new animal shelter was honored by all three organizations.  Other projects honored including Stony’s Neighborhood Park improvements, sewer and traffic light projects. City Manager Graham Mitchell advised the City Council and Mayor that the city has received the following awards:

GOATS ARE BAAAA-CK TO CLEAR BRUSH, PREVENT WILDFIRES IN LEMON GROVE

        
 
By Sonny Saghera
 
April 23, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, will once again be taking steps to clear brush from eight and one-half acres of land near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas in Lemon Grove. Goats are being used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush to minimize fire danger and help create defensible space for homes in this area. 

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