August 19, 2017 (Santa Ysabel) -- Things were not supposed to end this way.
Santa Ysabel resident Angela June (Sortore) Christman has traveled a long road of frustration that ended in heartbreak on August 10th, when Detective George Chrysler of the San Diego Sheriff Department gave her the bad news that her long lost son, Shawn “Lone Wolf” Christman (known to his friends as “Coyote”), had drowned in Lake Michigan in 1993. His body was laid to rest as an unidentified John Doe in a pauper’s grave outside of Chicago, Illinois in 1994.
Photo: Iesha Booker and Mayor Bill Wells (Credit: Mary Ann Prall)
East County News Service
August 10, 2017 (El Cajon) -- On Tuesday, Iesha Booker, an MTS worker who aided a fallen police officer, was given a commendation at the El Cajon City Council meeting in front of a packed Council chamber and half a dozen news crews. After a suspect beat the officer unconscious at a KFC restaurant, Booker used the officer’s radio to summon help, as ECM reported.
August 5, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Fundraising sites have been established at GoFundMe for two families devastated by last week’s crash of a big rig truck that lost control and struck multiple vehicles.
August 1, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - There are over 100 kids living at East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC) with their parents who are working on transforming their lives from homelessness into becoming self sufficient, employed, tax paying citizens. These children attend public schools while their family is living at ECTLC.
July 31, 2017 (El Cajon) -- When Juan Martin Sajche left his small village in Guatemala in 1997 and arrived in El Cajon at the age of 15, he never dreamed he would one day be a respected Spanish teacher at Morse High School in San Diego. The past 20 years have been quite a journey!
Funds raised will support an orphanage in Tecate, college scholarships for high school seniors, help for homeless teens in San Diego find safe housing, and assist Home of Guiding Hands plus other worthy causes
East County News Service
July 25, 2017 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa Rotary (http://www.lamesarotary.org) is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser on August 1st to October1st to raise funds for our numerous charitable projects. The collected shoes will go to those most desperate in Haiti and Africa. La Mesa Rotary will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Those dollars will benefit local and international charities, one of which is the total eradication of polio. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes at 6804 Murray Park Dr. San Diego, CA 92119
July 20, 2017 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Police Officers Association has set up a Go fund me page (https://www.gofundme.com/ieshafund ) for Iesha Booker, a homeless mother of seven who came to the aid of Officer Sioson after he was knocked unconscious by a suspect who continued to assault him, causing serious injuries.
The 34-year-old MTS bus driver, was at the KFC in El Cajon when the assault occurred. “When everyone else at the KFC stood around shocked, Lesha quickly stepped in, using Officer Sioson’s police radio to transmit `Officer Down at the KFC!’ It was that transmission which allowed us to expedite help to Officer Sioson, quickly arrest the suspect,” says Travis Howard, president of the El Cajon Police Officers Association.
July 15, 2017 (La Mesa) -- In a joyous, humor infused ground-breaking ceremony, NBA basketball star Bill Walton, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, La Mesa Mayor Dr. Mark Arapostanthis, guests of honor Ronald and Mary Alice Brady and more dug the ceremonial shovels into the dirt. The ceremony, held on the future Boys & Girls Club site on the La Mesa Arts Academy campus on July 12, was a welcome event culminating from great organizational skills, huge and small money donations, and hard work.
July 7, 2017 (La Mesa) –The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County (BGCEC) has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction for its new Brady Family Clubhouse that will house the Gagon Academy and Bill Walton Gymnasium. The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., Wednesday, July 12, on the west end of La Mesa Arts Academy, previously known as La Mesa Middle School, 4200 Parks Ave., La Mesa.
Photo, left: Sergeant Parker with his daughter, Sarah, sons Jonathan and Daniel, and wife, Missy.
July 5, 2017 (San Diego) – Countless families have been reunited with missing loved ones, or learned their fate, thanks to the tireless efforts of Sheriff Search and Rescue Coordinator Don Parker. Sergeant Parker, who retired in 2015, made a career out of helping others – and now the community is pulling together to bring financial help to Sergeant Parker, who was diagnosed in May with brain cancer.
July 1, 2017 (San Diego) — Local nonprofits United Through Reading (UTR) and the Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) hosted a first-ever joint golf tournament on June 23rd to support military and their families through the challenges of deployment. The tournament raised over $64,000 while celebrating the courage and strength of local San Diego military and their families, also highlighting key roles these organizations play in their lives.
Hunting down the wildest jobs in San Diego’s East County
By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
June 26, 2017 (La Mesa) -- “I saw Jurassic Park, I know how this ends!” said MAX 105.7 FM DJ Rob Zilla of his fellow DJ, Karen “ChaCha” Harlow. ChaCha was sitting in a self-styled snake pit with a red-tailed boa, among other reptiles, at La Mesa’s Grossmont Center’s courtyard on Saturday, June 24th. It was all part of the job—for a good cause of bringing in food donations for The Jacob & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Thankfully, Jurassic Park’s grisly endings went unrealized.
Video: interview with homeless woman Lorraine Leighton
June 23, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Lorraine Leighton was among hundreds of homeless people who connected at Rock Church in El Cajon on June 2nd. More than 30 organizations offered health care and legal services for rebuilding a healthy, safe life.
June 22, 2017 (El Cajon) -- This morning, volunteers were out and about all over San Diego County excitedly shouting out and collecting monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House, which helps families in need with housing, meals and so much more at no cost when their children are hospitalized due to illness or injury.
June 22, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Radio personality Cha Cha from106.7 FM will scale new heights –and slither in new depths—all to help the hungry. She’ll be broadcasting from inside an exotic jungle snake pit at Grossmont Center’s courtyard on Saturday, June 24 starting at noon – and she won’t come out until at least 1,057 canned goods or dry food items are donated to help the Jacob and Cushman San Diego Food Bank.
You’re invited to face your fears and help fight hunger in our community. Bring canned or dry food items and hold a snake from the San Diego Reptile Association. Post a picture of you overcoming your fears on Twitter or Instagram, and challenge others to do it too! Use the hashtag #SnakePitChallenge and tag 105.7 MAX FM. (Or skip the snake and just donate.)
June 21, 2017 (San Diego) - Out of the Boat Swim, a nonprofit, provides free water-safety and beach programs to refugee and underprivileged children living in San Diego. Out of the Boat Swim offers free beach and water-safety programs to help refugee and inner city kids integrate during a challenging time of transition. Some of the children will go on to become Junior Guards in the San Diego Junior Lifeguard program by design of the partnership between Out of the Boat Swim and San Diego Junior Lifeguards.
Three additional members named to nonprofit’s Board of Directors
East County News Service
June 20, 2017 San Diego) --Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has named businesswoman and renowned philanthropist Marie Raftery, a La Mesa resident, as chair of the 99-year-old nonprofit’s board of directors. The appointment was officially announced at JFS’s Annual Meeting Luncheon on June 13. Raftery previously served as chair elect.
June 14, 2017 (La Mesa) – Zentangle ®, or as some call it “doodle art,” a fluffy seal named PARO-a therapeutic robot, and a guitar teacher who also sings in Uto-Aztecan Luiseño--- these are all part of the offerings at San Diego Oasis -Lifelong Adventure. Oasis held its grand opening at its new location in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center, where these adventures and more are now available to local residents ages 50 and up.
June 17, 2017 (El Cajon) - Jerry Navarro, owner of Jerome’s Furniture, personally delivered 60 mattresses to the East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC), where he was joyfully greeted by dozens of homeless children.
June 13, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) — Family members of Santana High School teacher Janelle Pasquale Garrison are asking help to cover medical bills as she battles an acute form of leukemia that rarely occurs in adults.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and District Attorney Valerie Tanney to speak
East County News Service
June 12, 2017 (San Diego) - The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) is launching a local initiative to help combat the heartbreaking and devastating instances of financial elder abuse, specifically through fraudulent real estate transactions.
June 10, 2017 (Mt. Helix) – “This is a little field of dreams,” Cajon de Oro Little League President Josh Bailey declared at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the new facility on Russell Road in the Mount Helix community.
The new field at 10400 Russell Road, L a Mesa serves the League’s youngest athletes: T-ball players ages 4-6 and Rookies ages 6-7. The new T-ball and Rookies field is adjacent to the existing Mosher field for older Little League players—a field where several major and minor league baseball players got their start.
June 1, 2017 (La Mesa) -- “It helps with fall prevention” said fitness instructor Eduardo Gracia of the exercises he designs for seniors at La Mesa’s The Montera-Westliving Senior Living Community. Gracia led seniors through indoor (balloon) volleyball, basketball, darts, and other activities on the 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 31.
May 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Amie Brenner knew she needed to do more to help animals in need. After volunteering at the Helen Woodward Animal Center for over a year, and having two rescue animals of her own, she decided to start a company designing and selling rescue themed phone cases. Her company, PhoneCasesToTheRescue, donates 15% back to the rescues and shelters and has already seen the positive impact the proceeds have made, which is her entire goal.
Volunteers needed to assist at event to help the homeless
By Paul Kruze
May 26, 2017 (El Cajon) --As the sun sets in the west behind surrounding mountains, some 700 people get ready to bed down every night on the asphalt streets of El Cajon. The roof over their heads is the night sky glowing with pillars of street lights and neon signs. They end up living on the streets for a dozen of reasons, including, bad life decisions, abusive relationships, drugs and alcohol, mental illness, and unemployment.
But for four hours on Friday, June 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. things might look a little brighter.
May 12, 2017 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation will hold its annual “La Mesa Rocks!” event to benefit local La Mesa parks on May 19. The proceeds from this event provide FREE family activities such as summer concerts, movies in the park, science days and recreational events for kids. The Foundation is currently raising funds to renovate playgrounds at Vista La Mesa, Collier and La Mesita parks.
April 13, 2017 (Fletcher Hills) - Steve and Deborah Loeffler of El Cajon have built and donated an intricate dollhouse to auction at the upcoming silent auction at USO San Diego’s 76th Annual Stars and Stripes Gala on May 20th. The dollhouse was a true labor of love, built and furnished with over 1,000 hours of work by the Fletcher Hills couple.
This video, produced in 2011, gives an overview of the Spirit Medical Trust Fund and how it helps animals in need. https://youtu.be/d2g8-qhMLKU
April 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- An anonymous donor has given County Animal Services’ Spirit Fund more than $101,000, an amount that will help dozens more sick and injured animals get the specialized medical care they need to lead healthy lives in new adoptive homes.