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February 13, 2018 (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:



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


From homeless to hopeful in record time (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A 64-year-old woman who had been living on the streets of El Cajon since last fall is starting a new life in Riverside County. The plight of Carol DeLaurentis, featured in a Feb. 5 story in The San Diego Union-Tribune, captured the heart of a Temecula-based developer.

From Fallujah to FBI investigation: the undoing of Duncan Hunter (Politico)

…Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Hunter’s parents, as well as a female lobbyist with whom many people close to the congressman believe he had a romantic relationship, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation. The Justice Department is trying to determine whether hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hunter’s campaign account were spent improperly on his family and friends. Hunter already sold his home to pay back what even he now acknowledges were improper charges, moving his wife and kids in with his parents while he mostly lives in his Capitol Hill office.

San Diego Democrats stood by labor leader amid sexual misconduct allegation, got $10K the next day (San Diego Union Tribune)

It’s either a scandal in the making or the worst possible timing imaginable…. embattled labor leader Micky Kasparian’s union donated $10,000 to the Democratic Party only one day after party leaders decided he could keep his position on the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee, despite constant absenteeism from meetings that amounted to an assumed resignation under the committee’s own rules. 

The County’s outrageous targeting of reporter who exposed jail deaths (Voice of San Diego)

A headline like “60 Dead Inmates” has a way of focusing the mind, at least in theory. Alarm bells should have been going off across the county government when San Diego CityBeat exposed the shocking death toll at local jails. But prisoners kept dying, including a man who killed himself behind bars in yet another suicide. His widow is suing. On the defensive, the county’s attorneys have found a target to harass: One of the reporters behind the award-winning coverage.

Tijuana landslide destroys a neighborhood (San Diego Un ion-Tribune)

At last report 89 structures were damaged and 51 families lost their houses

Two federal prosecutors appointed to target opioid crisis in San Diego, Imperial counties (San Diego Union-Tribune)

he U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego has named two prosecutors who will use criminal and civil law to help coordinate the fight against the opioid epidemic. The appointments follow U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ directive for each U.S. attorney to assign an opioid coordinator role. In San Diego, Interim U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman assigned two.

Sons of Charity bank statements leave more questions than answers (East County Californian)

In November 2017, the The East County Californian’s reported of the disintegration of a beloved and respected charity, Sons of Charity (SOC), after the entire board resigned...board members alleged that SOC CEO Sam “Diego” Mejia misused charity funds for personal expenses and emptied the charity’s bank accounts. After a series of “he says, they said,” we now have a portion of SOC’s bank account statements for 2017 with California Bank Trust and are able to verify some of the facts. 

Report: Duncan Hunter’s wife is target of campaign finance probe (NBC 7)

A story published Thursday by Politico cites multiple sources as saying GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr.’s wife is at the center of the FBI’s investigation. Margaret Hunter served as her husband's campaign manager and allegedly used the campaign's credit card for non-campaign expenses. 

San Diego judge who Trump called `Mexican’ reviewing plans for border wall (Times of San Diego)

A lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to bypass environmental laws to erect a security wall along the U.S.- Mexico border was taken under submission Friday by a federal judge in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the same Indiana-born judge that then-candidate Donald Trump accused of being biased and a “Mexican” during the Trump University lawsuit, heard more than two hours of argument from three separate parties — including the state of California — and a Trump Administration lawyer…


California launches investigation after stunning admission by Aetna medical director (CNN)

California's insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients' records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.

California Officials Set Up Invasive Swamp Rodent Hotline (NPR)

Nutria can grow up to 2.5 feet, weigh 20 pounds and wreak destruction wherever they go. State authorities believed they were extinct but recent sightings have led to a call for the public to help.

California’s race for Governor tightens in latest polls (Sacramento Bee)

Antonio Villaraigosa is closing the gap with fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom in the California governor’s race, according to the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll.

Ballot breakdown: These initiatives are headed your way (Cal Matters)

Direct democracy can be an exhausting business. This year civically engaged Californians will be expected to have informed opinions about affordable housing and park funding, how best to divvy up cap-and-trade money, how to spend the state’s new gas tax money, and when new voter-approved laws ought to be enacted. And those are just the measures on the ballot so far.

Cal-State University students struggling with lack of housing, food (KQED)

… Of CSU’s 480,000 students, an estimated 11 percent lacked a stable home at least once in the last 12 months. An estimated 200,000 students — close to 42 percent of CSU’s enrollment — have difficulty affording enough quality food. That’s more than three times the national rate for the general U.S. population, and half those students are believed to have very low food security.

California bill would ban tackle football before high school (KQED)

Two state lawmakers want to outlaw tackle football leagues until teenagers reach high school, saying delaying the start of high-contact elements of football would protect young people from long-term brain damage.


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