SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL IS A MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMP ONCE AGAIN

ROCK CHURCH GIVING AWAY FREE FOOD TO FAMLIES IN NEED N EL CAJON, CITY HEIGHTS AND SAN MARCOS

COUNTY REPORTS 376 NEW VIRUS CASES AS AVAILABLE VACCINE DOSES RISE TO OVER 100,000

AFTER FDA APPROVES JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID-19 VACCINE, BIDEN INVOKES DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TO SPEED UP MANUFACTURING

COUNTY OPENS EMERGENCY RENTAL AND UTILITY AID: TENANTS AND LANDLORDS HAVE THREE WEEKS TO APPLY

SANTEE FIRE DEPARTMENT NEW ISO RATING IS NOW IN EFFECT AND COULD LOWER YOUR INSURANCE RATES

COUNTY RELEASES ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW COVID-19 VACCINATION GROUPS

SANTEE DELAYS RESPONSE ON COUNTY NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM, AMENDS CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BUDGET UPWARDS

HOUSE PASSES COVID RELIEF BILL; MEASURE ADVANCES TO SENATE

BODY OF CHRISTOPHER PAUL PARKHURST, MISSING SINCE DEC. 23, FOUND IN DULZURA

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO START VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON SATURDAY

BIDEN OPENS NEW FUNDING ROUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WITH UNDER 20 EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS: 2-WEEK APPLICATION PERIOD STARTS FEB. 24

BIDEN OPENS NEW FUNDING ROUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WITH UNDER 20 EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS: 2-WEEK APPLICATION PERIOD STARTS FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC-NC-ND

February 24, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden has announced major actions and new funding to help bring pandemic relief to small businesses with less than 20 workers,  sole proprietors,  independent contractors and minority-owned enterprises.

Starting today and for the next 14 days, only businesses with less than 20 employees can apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which don’t have to be repaid provided 60% of the loan is spent on payroll and the rest on other qualified expenses. This opportunity will cover 98% of all small businesses in America.

The White House is also revamping guidelines to make more business owners eligible, including those with student loan debts and business owners who are legal residents but not citizens.

LAW FIRMS SOLICITING FIREFIGHTERS TO JOIN FIREFIGHTING FOAM PFAS/PFOS LAWSUIT

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo: Creative Commons image by SA

Feb. 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Law firms are soliciting former and current firefighters to file suits or share in settlements related to health issues caused by exposure to toxic PFAS/PFOS chemicals in the line of duty. Others impacted by these “forever” chemicals in firefighting foam or other products may also be eligible for compensation.  

This solicitation stems out of a settlement the Dupont Company and its spinoff business, Chemours, et al, that have agreed to cover legal disputes for pollution and environmental liabilities from man-made chemicals related to increased risks of cancer and other health problems, according to ABC News. For more information on the settlement visit https://firefoamsettlement.com/ 

PFAS/PFOS continue to be used in firefighting foams used to fight fires at airports, military bases and industrial sites, though not brush fires.  Some firefighting protective gear has also exposed firefighters to these dangerous chemicals. 

INDEPENDENT REPORT FOUND LA MESA PD LACKED PROPER PREPARATION FOR MAY 2020 RIOTS

By Alexa Oslowski 

Photo by Jake Rose:  suspect exits arson fire at Randall Lamb Building during May 30-31 riot in La Mesa

 

February 23, 2021 (La Mesa) - The long-anticipated independent report on the La Mesa Police and city’s responses to the May 30-31, 2020 riots was released and reviewed at the January 26 City Council meeting. The creation of the report included briefings from the City Council, City officials, the La Mesa Police Department (LMPD) Heartland Fire and Rescue Department, the Citizen Public Safety Oversight Task Force as well as community outreach, as ECM previously reported.

NO CAUSE OF DEATH RELEASED YET FOR WOMAN FOUND IN LAKE MURRAY

By Alexa Oslowski

February 23, 2021 (La Mesa) - On February 7, the woman found floating in the water at Lake Murray was identified as Elena Lisowski, a 44-year-old resident of San Diego. The cause and circumstances of her death remain unresolved.

“Elena Lisowski was not reported as a missing person,” San Diego Police Lieutenant and Public Information Officer Shawn Takeuchi said in  response to an inquiry from East County Magazine. “This death case is not under the purview of the San Diego Police Department. Responsibility over this case was transferred to the Medical Examiner’s Office on the day the body was recovered.”

Lisowski worked in the restaurant business for nearly two decades and previously worked at Antica Trattoria in La Mesa and spent 15 years at Princess Pub in Little Italy. According to an online profile, she graduated from CSU San Marcos in 2006.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

February 23, 2021  (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

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

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

SECURITY BREACH AT ADDRESS VERIFICATION COMPANY MAY COMPROMISE DMV INFORMATION

Potentially impacts vehicle registration records, no driver’s license information; DMV working with law enforcement and assessing additional privacy protections

Source:  California DMV

February 22, 2021 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), out of an abundance of caution, is notifying customers that a company it uses to verify vehicle registration addresses has had a security breach. DMV systems have not been compromised and it is unknown if DMV data shared with the company has been compromised. An investigation is under way.

RAMONA GUN STORE WELCOMES DEDICATED GUNSMITH TO THE TEAM

East County News Service

 

February 21, 2021 (Ramona) -- Ramona Shootists’ Emporium, located at 649 Main St., Ste. C,  announced that the addition of Kaleb Weakley to the team as the new on-site, dedicated gunsmith. 

 

Weakley is a retired U.S. Marine Sergeant who moved with his family to Ramona to focus on his role as program coordinator and outdoor guide for the Special Liberty Project (which helps veterans and Gold Star families connect with nature) and to build his new firearms training company.

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP, BUT LAWSUIT SEEKS TO HOLD HIM AND MILITIA GROUPS ACCOUNTABLE FOR CAPITOL ATTACK UNDER 1871 STATUTE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Capitol under heavy security at nightfall on Jan. 6, after the attack

February 21, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – On February 13, 57 Senators including seven Republicans voted to convict Donald Trump of inciting the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.  But the action fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds margin needed for conviction. 

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS REBUFF GOV. NEWSOM ON PLAN FOR EARLY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL REOPENING

By Ricardo Cano, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  Gavin Newsom briefs the press in late December on his plan for reopening schools. Image from livestream

February 21, 2021 (Sacramento) - Disagreements between California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and its Democratic governor over a plan to reopen schools came to a head this week as lawmakers introduced a bill they say would safely bring students back to campus this spring.

SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS ON “SUSPICIOUS” LIVESTOCK DEATHS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 20, 2021(Alpine) – The Sheriff’s department seeks help from the public to solve a felony animal cruelty case. Deputies responded to a call reporting suspicious circumstances in the 400 block of Peutz Valley Road in Alpine shortly after 8 a.m. on Feb. 19 found ten animals dead in a pen including lambs, goats and a ram.

 

According to Lt. Anthony O’Boyle, the property owners are victims who are out of state when the deaths occurred.  “A relative was coming by to check up on and feed the animals. When the relative arrived yesterday morning, she found the animals deceased,” he said.

GOVERNOR CALLS FOR 10% OF VACCINES TO BE EARMARKED FOR TEACHERS TO OPEN SCHOOLS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as a teacher is vaccinated in Oakland. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

February 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California health officials plan to set aside 10% of new first doses of COVID-19 vaccine for teachers starting March 1 to help schools reopen.

NEWLYWED, 21, KILLED BY DRIVER FLEEING SHERIFF IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 19, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Isabella “Bella” Calhoun-Chipress, 21, had just gotten married last June and was preparing to head off to Marine Corps boot camp when her life was tragically ended by a suspected car thief trying to evade arrest.  Now her grieving family has started a fundraiser to help her husband, Miguel Chipress, pay for his beautiful bride’s funeral.

VACCINE DELIVERY DELAYS PROMPT RESCHEDULING AT SOME VACCINATION SITES, WHILE OTHERS REMAIN OPEN

East County News Service

February 19, 2021 (San Diego) - Some local vaccination sites are postponing appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine due to not receiving vaccine shipments, in part due to shipping delays caused by severe winter storms in several states, and in part due to delays in shipments of Moderna’s vaccine.

The vaccine super-station at Petco Park is pausing all appointments through at least Saturday; the closure may be extended through Monday depending on when more vaccine doses arrive.

The North County Super Station in San Marcos and some other county-run sites are offering only appointments for second doses of the vaccine currently. Cancelled appointments for first doses will be rescheduled over the next week, so be sure to check your email.

However the Grossmont Center and Chula Vista sites run by Sharp are still offering first and second dose appointments with the Pfizer vaccine.

HOMELESS MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED RAPE IN LA MESA

East County News Service
 
February 18, 2021 (La Mesa) - A homeless man is under arrest for allegedly trying to rape a homeless woman in La Mesa on Wednesday afternoon.
 
La Mesa Police responded to a report of a man attacking a partially undressed woman on Amarillo Avenue. They found the victim, whose face was bleeding. She told police the man fled when she screamed, Patch.com reports.

AMAZON AIMS TO BUILD DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

 

February 18, 2021 (El Cajon) - Amazon.com, the world’s largest internet company, has announced plans to build a distribution center in El Cajon.

 

The company is in the permit approval stage to build a new 140,000 square foot distribution center near Gillespie Field, on the west side of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd.

URGENT SEARCH FOR MOTHER OF TWO: KAREN KRISTINA LEE, LAST SEEN IN SAN DIEGO HOMELESS CAMP

 

Update February 18, 2021:  Karen Kristina Lee has been found safe, the KlaasKids Foundation advises.No further details were provided.

East County News Service

View missing persons flyer on Karen Kristina Lee

February 18, 2021 (San Diego) -- An urgent search is underway for 31-year-old Karen Kristina Lee, mother of two teenage children. She went missing January 15 from her home in Greenville, Georgia without her purse or a vehicle.  On January 21, San Diego Police saw her in a homeless encampment near West Laurel Street and Kettner Blvd. in the company of at least two adult men, including Aaron Pruitt.

“She was not in the best condition,” Brad Dennis with the KlaasKids Foundation told ECM. But when police entered her name into their database, she was not yet listed as missing. This interaction was her family’s first notification of Karen being in California. Her family has worked with the San Diego Police Department to update her status as missing and reached out to the foundation for help.

Karen Kristina Lee is 31 years old, 5’ 5" inches tall and weighs approximately 105 lbs. She has dark brown hair, brown eyes and a tattoo with the numerals “143” on the back of her neck and a tattoo of 2 palm trees on the lower part of her leg. She is believed to still have her 4-year-old Maltipoo dog with her.

CHURCHES ADAPT FOR ASH WEDNESDAY DURING THE PANDEMIC

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Feb. 17, 2021 (San Diego's East County) – Some churches adapted their practices during Ash Wednesday during this time of COVID19 and during the whole course of the pandemic.

The Christian period of Lent was ushered in on Ash Wednesday, today, that witnesses the smudging of ashes on the forehead in a symbol of mortality and penance.

Santee United Methodist Church provided a COVID19 safe Ash Wednesday by offering a drive-thru event. Two times, early morning, and late afternoon were offered to the congregation.

Individuals stayed in their cars and were masked. Pastor Jaime Pangman, and his assistant, were socially distanced and masked.

SPLASHDOWN: EL CAJON SEEKS FUNDS TO ADD WATER PLAY FEATURE TO PARK

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Kids frolic in a spray park at Santee Lakes
 
February 16, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Children in El Cajon may soon have a water feature to play in and enjoy. The City has approved asking staff to come back with proposals and possible funding sources to add a water feature, such as a splashpad or other cost-effective water feature, to Wells Park. 

THIS ROCKS: MISSION TRAILS GEOLOGY LECTURE SERIES STARTS FEB. 18

East County News Service

February 16, 2021 (San Diego) --  The Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation continues the OnTopic online lecture series with three upcoming presentations about the geology of the park with Pat Abbott, Ph.D. 

 

The presentations are free, but registration is required.

SHOOTING SUSPECT TAKES OWN LIFE AFTER SWAT STANDOFF IN JAMUL

By Miriam Raftery

 

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson) 

 

February 16, 2021 (Jamul) – A 64-year-old man shot and killed himself after a stand-off with a SWAT team and crisis negotiators in Jamul, according to the Sheriff’s department.  He is suspected of shooting and wounding another man yesterday.

 

The confrontation began after deputies responded to a report of a shooting in the 15700 block of Lyons Valley road in Jamul yesterday shortly before noon. They found a gunshot victim outside the home. Paramedics transported him to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and is in stable condition with injuries considered non-life threatening.

 

“Deputies surrounded the residence, believing the shooting suspect, a 64-year-old male, was still located inside and armed with a gun,” says Lt Joel Stranger with the Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s station.  “Deputies made multiple loudspeaker announcements advising the suspect to exit the residence and surrender to deputies, which he refused to do.”

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DRUG TAKE BACK DAY BECOMES YEAR ROUND

By David R. Shorey, East County Programs Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

David R. Shorey

February 16, 2021 (San Diego) -- San Diego Sheriff’s stations and headquarters have been available for more than a decade for disposal of unused prescription medication. There are 26 such drop-off locations throughout San Diego County and the program has collected over 100,000 pounds of prescriptions so far. For some, going to a law enforcement location to dispose of prescription drugs can be an uncomfortable experience. So the potential of medication being flushed down the drain or falling into the hands of those other than prescribed is heightened. This poses an environmental threat and a deadly threat, especially to youth.

VIEW OUR INTERVIEW WITH CONGRESSWOMAN SARA JACOBS

 

February 15, 2021 (San Diego) -- Last week,we interviewed San Diego's newly elected Congresswoman Sara Jacobs on the momentous events during her first few weeks in office.

She shared her experiences during the Capitol insurrection, as well as an update on efforts to enact COVD-19 relief legislation, her views on impeachment, her assignment to key committees and her plans to help military families.

View video of our interview, an audio version of which aired on KNSJ radio, at this link: https://youtu.be/3wignKaa3mc

BIDEN ALLOWS ASYLUM SEEKERS IN MEXICO TO ENTER U.S. PENDING HEARINGS, BUT MOST WILL STILL FACE WAITS BEFORE ADMISSION

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Asylum seekers encampment; CC by NC
 
February 14, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden has issued an executive order to reverse former President Donald Trump’s “wait in Mexico”  policy, an action that endangered the safety of migrants encamped in unsanitary conditions and in some cases, preyed upon by thieves, traffickers and other criminals. The policy also made it hard for asylum-seekers to find lawyers or even to learn when their asylum hearings in U.S. courts were scheduled. 

SEAWORLD REOPENS: MASKS AND RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo, left of Aria and Rakeem Williams courtesy of Shannan Williams)

Feb. 14, 2021 (San Diego) – After Governor Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home order in late January,  SeaWorld in San Diego opened portions of their site to the public on Feb. 6 including exhibits of aquatic animals, though other attractions remain closed, including rides. Seaworld is a permitted and accredited zoo. 

However, shows such as the orca, dolphin, and seal/otter show are held at various times during the day.

Discounted passes and special promotions are available.

Additionally, teachers in East County and elsewhere can utilize Sea World’s offer of a free 2021 Teacher Fun Card. They are offering a complimentary 2021 Teacher Fun Card to all certified K-12 Southern California and Arizona credentialed schoolteachers. Preschoolers are also offered a special rate.

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