EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

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 April 18, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

LOCAL

Trump’s border wall prototypes to be built at Otay Mesa (San Diego Union-Tribune)

President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico will kick off in the San Diego border community of Otay Mesa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Monday.  The community is home to one of two border crossings in San Diego and will be the site where 20 chosen bidders will erect prototypes of the envisioned wall. [View images of several proposed designs)

Hunter campaign pays new lawyers amid federal investigation (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign paid about $69,000 for legal services from three firms in the first quarter of this year, amid a federal criminal investigation into his campaign spending, according to a new report on file with the Federal Election Commission.

Students discuss changing Aztec mascot (Daily Aztec)

The Student Diversity Commission voted on the Aztec mascot resolution put forward by the Native American Student alliance on April 10. A meeting was held Monday afternoon to discuss and vote on a resolution regarding the change of the name and moniker of the SDSU mascot, the Aztec. The resolution passed with a unanimous vote…. The A.S. University Council will meet at 3:30 p.m. April 12 to further discuss the resolution. There will be an official vote on the resolution on April 19.

Anza-Borrego community mourns well-known ranger (San Diego Union-Tribune)

California parks employees and the Borrego Springs community are mourning the death of park ranger Steve Bier, who for the past 12 years had essentially been the face of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and a beloved figure in the tiny resort town.

Racist flyers posted around San Diego State campus (10 News)

Students at San Diego State University are stunned over a controversial flyer that has been posted in bathrooms across the campus.

For El Cajon's Chaldeans, an Easter blessing: freedom to worship without fear (San Diego Union-Tribune)

There are now 60,000-plus local Chaldeans, double what this population was in 2010. Yet there are only two Chaldean churches, each with room for 700 worshippers. “The churches are always full, always full,” said Besma Coda, chief operation officer at Chaldean & Middle Eastern Social Services in El Cajon. “We need a new church in El Cajon. There are seven different Masses a day and they are all full.”  

 San Diego Unified’s Jaw-Dropping Grad Rate Is Now Official. Here’s How it Got Here. (Voice of San Diego)

The state confirmed Tuesday that 91 percent of San Diego Unified’s class of 2016 graduated. But that number doesn’t show all the factors that came together to make the rate possible – whether it was allowing certain students to test out of requirements or losing low-performing students to charter schools.

Low-Income San Diegans Are Getting Pushed to Riverside (Voice of San Diego)

Housing costs have repelled many prospective migrants, and at the same time encouraged residents to relocate to Riverside County. Disproportionately, those leaving San Diego for Riverside are low-income people, not well-off homeowners chasing a bigger house.

The Latest FieldTurf Issue Is Nothing 1,000 Gallons of Glue Won’t Fix (Voice of San Diego)

San Diego County schools shelled out millions in taxpayer money for new FieldTurf fields, only to have them quickly fall apart. The company then demanded more money to upgrade schools to a better product, called Revolution. Now some of those fields are having issues too. One solution: dumping gallons of glue onto the fields to make them stronger.

Report: 43,000 Young People Not Working Or Going To School In San Diego County (KPBS)

The report by the San Diego Workforce Partnership says nearly 10 percent of young people ages 16-24 are “disconnected” from school or work…. / Nationwide, 12 percent of young people were disconnected in 2015, that's down from 15 percent in 2010, according to the nonprofit, Measure of America.

With springtime comes more baby animals (Ramona Sentinel)

Springtime is the time of year that many wildlife species are having babies. At The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Director Ali Crumpacker said their population swells about 400 percent in the spring...She offered tips on how to determine whether baby wildlife has been abandoned. Anyone who has found baby animals they believe are abandoned after following the steps below may call the wildlife center at 760-789-2324.

City Approves Permit For Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (KPBS)

The city's $3 billion plan to recycle wastewater into drinking water took another step forward Wednesday when the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a modified permit for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Murderer gets 50 years for gunning down bus driver at El Cajon Taco Shop (Patch.com)

Santiago Covarrubias, 42, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 death of 38-year-old Damon Green, who had two young sons.

STATE

The Prop. B Ruling Could Reverberate Throughout California (Voice of San Diego)

San Diego’s 5-year-old pension reform measure is legal, a California appellate court ruled this week.

Proposed law would let Johns, pimps be sued in civil court (NBC 7)

Lawmakers and survivors are urging the California legislature to do more to combat child prostitution. If passed, AB 1495 would allow prosecutors to go after sex traffickers and their clients through civil court. San Diego is one of the FBI's top 13 cities in the U.S. for human trafficking.

Water Releases To Resume At Damaged California Dam Spillway (KPBS)

With stormy weather approaching, the state plans to resume releasing water down a damaged spillway at the nation's tallest dam.

SDG&E's Affiliate Approved To Lobby On Community Choice Amid Ongoing Investigation (KPBS)

The California Public Utilities Commission approved plans for the marketing district called Sempra Services, in a letter sent last week.