JIMMIE JOHNSON AND HIS WIFE TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

WHERE TO FIND FIREWORKS IN EAST COUNTY THIS JULY 4TH

FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL TO OWN OR USE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: HERE ARE SAFE ALTERNATIVES

COUNTY TO BE PLACED ON WATCHLIST DUE TO RISING COVID CASES; IMPACTED BUSINESSES SHOULD PREPARE FOR SHUTDOWNS

LA MESA FARMERS MARKET IS OPEN AGAIN

COUNTY OFFICIALS WARN OF FURTHER RESTRICTIONS AS 474 NEW VIRUS CASES REPORTED

RENEGADES, ROCK HOUSES, AND RESORTS: NEW BOOK CHRONICLES EAST COUNTY HISTORY

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

FIRST ROUND OF RELIEF FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO 27 LA MESA BUSINESSES DAMAGED DURING CIVIL UNREST

COUNTY EASES RULES FOR WINERIES, BUT IMPOSES CURFEW FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS

SUMMER PRICING REDUCED FOR SDG&E RESIDENTIAL RATEPAYERS: 5% REDUCTION ON GAS AND ELECTRIC RATES STARTS JULY 1

KUMEYAAY PROTEST HALTS DYNAMITE BLASTING AT BORDER WALL

STATE AND COUNTY APPROVE SCHOOLS REOPENING: EDUCATORS GRAPPLE WITH NEW LEARNING REALITIES

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After the state of California released a 62-page “Stronger Together” guideline for schools to reopen, the County Office of Education released its own extensive COVID-19 recovery and reopening plan for the nearly 800 public and 230 private schools in our region.

DEPUTY INVOLVED IN LAKESIDE SHOOTING IDENTIFIED; SUSPECT HAD FIRED MULTIPLE SHOTS AT OFFICERS AFTER ALLEGEDLY BATTERING GIRLFRIEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 17, 2020 (Lakeside) – The San Diego Sheriff’s department has identified Andrew Sudbury as the deputy who shot and injured Dustin Banzhof in Lakeside following a domestic violence dispute. Deputy Sudbury has worked for the Sheriff’s department for six years and is stationed at the Lakeside station.

NEW SANDAG REPORT FINDS BLACKS AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES HARDEST HIT BY HEALTH AND ECONOMIC CRISIS

Source: SANDAG

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) -- As the San Diego region’s labor market continues to experience an historic decline, Black and Hispanic communities are most impacted, according to a new SANDAG Data Science and Analytics report, “COVID-19 Impact on the San Diego Regional Economy: Black and Hispanic Communities Hardest Hit.”

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS: SAN DIEGO ZOO AND SAFARI PARK SET TO REOPEN JUNE 20

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) – Roaring back after the COVID-19 shut down of the past three months, the world famous San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Pasqual are set to reopen  to the public on June 20.  However, admissions will be limited and hours are reduced to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

COUPLES CAN NOW HOST WEDDINGS – BUT RECEPTIONS STILL RESTRICTED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by ND via Bing

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) – Couples eager to tie the knot can now hold weddings under newly announced state of California rules, but with limits due to COVID-19. However, receptions are generally not allowed per state health guidelines, due to concerns about dancing and close contact among non-household members potentially spreading the virus.

Outdoor weddings are allowed with no limit on size, provided social distancing is maintained. Indoor weddings of up to 100 people or 25 percent of a facility’s capacity are allowed.  All participants must wear face masks and maintain six feet of social distancing, except the bride and groom do not need to wear masks when they are six feet apart for others, so they can have wedding photos at the altar and share a post-wedding vow kiss.

The new guidelines are part of relaxed guidelines for all religious events, including worship services. 

Dawn D’Aquisto, a San Diego County spokesperson, said the rules for weddings and receptions are being reviewed after the agency has received many phone calls. She added that couples could potentially host a post-wedding dinner with guests at a restaurant, provided the restaurant can meet county guidelines for capacity, social distancing, and seating household members together.

AS COVID-19 CASES SPIKE NATIONALLY AND STATEWIDE, COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS ASK PUBLIC AND BUSINESSES TO HELP PREVENT OUTBREAKS

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County public health officials have voiced concern after four outbreaks of COVID-19 in a week have been traced to community settings including churches, restaurants and home gatherings.  Dr. Wilma Wooten, the County’s public health officer, reminds the public that if seven or more outbreaks occur in a week, the County would need to take protective measures,

SMITH & WESSON, GUN DEALER, OTHERS SUED OVER CHABAD OF POWAY KILLING

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego News Association

Photo:  John Earnest, shown during September 2019 court appearance, is a defendant in suit along with his parents. Pool photo

June 17, 2020 (Poway) - Brady United has opened a new front in the gun-control wars, filing a lawsuit that targets gunmaker Smith & Wesson and the San Diego shop that sold the firearm tied to the Chabad of Poway killing.

HELP SOUGHT TO IDENTIFY THOSE WHO LOOTED PIERRE’S JEWELERS IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Dept. is asking for public help to identify suspects caught on surveillance video breaking into and looting Pierre’s Jewelers on La Mesa Blvd. the night of May 30th, when dozens of businesses were looted and others burned following protests.  

SYCUAN SUPPORTS LA MESA BUSINESS COMMUNITY WITH $5,000 DONATION

East County News Service
 
Photo courtesy of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce
 
June 16, 2020 (La Mesa) — The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation has donated $5,000 to help La Mesa businesses impacted by civil unrest the night of May 30th.  

JUSTICE FOR TREVON HARRIS PROTEST BRINGS LEMON GROVE COMMUNITY MEMBERS TOGETHER

By Briana Gomez

June 16, 2020 (Lemon Grove) - Approximately 50 people gathered at San Miguel Elementary School, Saturday June 13 for the start of a protest in memory of Trevon Harris, a black adolescent killed by a man driving a vehicle on San Miguel Avenue in Lemon Grove last year. 

GROSSMONT COLLEGE HIRES MARSHALL T. FULBRIGHT III AS VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

June 16, 2020 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College announced today that it will hire Marshall T. Fulbright III, Ed.D., as its new vice president of academic affairs. Fulbright will join the college on July 1.

SDSU BASEBALL'S CASEY SCHMITT AND ANTHONY WALTERS SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT

Schmitt goes to Giants with 49th overall pick; Walters to Mets with 91st overall pick

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo:  Anthony Walters.  Video below:  Casey Schmitt courtesy goaztecs.com

June 16, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State third baseman/relief pitcher Casey Schmitt has been chosen by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday with the 49th overall pick.

FERN PLATT HALL LIVES A LIFE OF GOOD DEEDS

By Mimi Pollack, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Jeff and Fern (Platt) Hall with their dog Chico

June 16, 2020 (La Mesa) - Growing up in the last century, it was not always easy being outside of the box.  In most cultures and countries, one followed a certain path:  go to school, work an eight-hour job, get married, have kids, etc. For those of us who didn’t follow all or part of the path, we were mostly accepted, but with questions. For that reason, I have always admired humans–especially women--who lived their lives by their own rules and beliefs.  A good example of someone who has lived both a life of adventure and service is Fern Platt Hall. She is a good example of a kind, but no nonsense, adventurous spirit.

CITY OF LA MESA HIRES NEW ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER CARLO TOMAINO

East County News Service
Photo: Tomaino, Carlo - Assistant City Manager
Source: City of La Mesa, California
 
June 16, 2020 (La Mesa) -- After an extensive, national recruitment process, Carlo Tomaino has been chosen for the Assistant City Manager position for the City of La Mesa,. Mr. Tomaino comes to La Mesa after thirteen years at the City of Lake Forest, California where he was the Economic Development/Housing Manager for the past three years. Mr. Tomaino was responsible for Lake Forest’s economic development programs, including business attraction and retention strategies, marketing outreach, and communication. He coordinated the economic development function with city departments and outside agencies.

LA MESA DISASTER RECOVERY FUND REGISTRATION PROCESS NOW OPEN FOR AFFECTED BUSINESSES

East County News Service

A convenient online registration process is now available for La Mesa businesses damaged during civil unrest overnight on Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31 to receive money from the La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund.

The East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC) is supporting the effort initiated through the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. It will receive and manage the applications on its website.

“We had one single objective at this stage of this process: making registration and documentation as easy and quick as possible,” said Jo-Marie Diamond, President and CEO of the East County Economic Development Council.  

Businesses can register through an online form on the East County Economic Development Council website. Applicants able to complete their registration by Friday, June 26 and have it verified will be part of the Phase I distribution.

'HUGE VICTORY FOR LGBTQ EQUALITY' AS US SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

"The court has caught up to the majority of our country, which already knows that discriminating against LGBTQ people is both unfair and against the law."—James Esseks, ACLU

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams (republished under a Creative Commons license)

June 15, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Labor and LGBTQ rights advocates celebrated Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity is prohibited under long-standing federal law.

DEPUTY SHOOTS, MAN IN LAKESIDE WHO FIRED SHOTS AMID DOMESTIC DISPUTE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM  news partner 10 News

June 15, 2020 (Lakeside) – Dustin Banzhof, 39, was shot by a Sheriff’s deputy and arrested last night after Banzhof reportedly fired multiple shots during a domestic dispute.

Deputies responded at 8:30 p.m. to the 11600 block of Hi Ridge Road in Lakeside, where a woman had locked herself in a bedroom with her two children in an effort to hide from the children’s estranged father, who was inside her home.

PEACEFUL UNITY RALLY ROARS INTO LA MESA

By Henri Migala

Rebecca Jefferis Williamson also contributed to this report.

Photo, left, by Henri Migala: La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez speaks with protesters

June 14, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Before you could see them, you could hear them.  With a rumble that made the air vibrate, over 215 motorcyclists from approximately 15 motorcycle clubs rolled into the parking lot across the street from the police station in La Mesa. The riders joined another 150 protesters who were waiting at the parking lot for what was billed as a “Unity Ride Meets Unity Protest”. 

This was the very site of the now infamous clash between La Mesa police and protesters that happened on Saturday, May 30 during the national protests over police violence prompted by the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer now charged with murder.

LA MESA SETTLED SUIT WITH HELIX HIGH STUDENT IN OFFICER USE OF FORCE INCIDENT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Student walk-out at Helix Charter High School in January 2018 

June 15, 2020 (La Mesa) – The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday that the City of La Mesa quietly signed an agreement back on Sept 5, 2019 to settle a lawsuit filed by a Helix Charter High School student over a use-of-force incident shown on a video that went viral.  

COVID-19 BECOMES KEY ISSUE IN EAST COUNTY ELECTIONS

Candidates for Congress, county supervisor, cite voter concern  

By Emmet Pierce

Photos,  top left to lower right:  Darrell Issa, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Georgette Gomez, Sara Jacobs, Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus

 

June 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As East County residents struggle to recover from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic is becoming a key issue in the November election.

ECM spoke with candidates for our region’s top tier races, where three open seats will mean new leadership for the first time in decades in two of our region’s Congressional districts as well as East County’s county supervisorial district.

EL CAJON FIRE KILLS TWO DOGS; THC EXTRACTION LAB FOUND ON SITE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

June 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – A fire last Wednesday that killed two dogs at 1660 Via Elisa in El Cajon started in the bedroom and back deck. The cause is “most likely accidental,” with “no evidence of a criminal cause” despite a THC butane oil extraction lab found on the premises, says Greg Hampton with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

GROUND BEEF SOLD AT WALMART AND OTHER STORES RECALLED DUE TO E-COLI CONTAMINATION

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2020 (Washington D..C. ) – If you purchased ground beef this month from Walmart or other retailers, it may be contaminated with e-Coli. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has announced a class I recall nationwide, which means there is a “reasonable probability” that the products could cause “serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

The recalled ground beef packages were produced June 1 at the Lakeside Refrigerated Services facility in Jersey and were sold under several brand names, including Thomas Farms and Marketside Butcher. The latter is sold through Walmart stores.  The products have the establishment number “EST. 46841” inside the USDA inspection mark.

According to the recall notice, the problem was found during routine testing. Although no illnesses are reported so far, the USDA urges consumers to throw away or return any recalled ground beef products in your refrigerator or freezer, since E.coli can potentially cause kidney failure in young children and older adults, as well as dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps three to four days after exposure.

If you ate ground beef and experienced these symptoms, contact your medical practitioner immediately.

The recalled products include:

PROTEST AFTERMATH: SANTEE COUNCIL SAYS IT HAS TO DO BETTER JOB

By Mike Allen

June 14, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council looked at itself in the mirror after a fortnight of national protests and rioting following the death of George Floyd, and found the reflection wasn’t all that great.

Stunned by an outbreak on several nights of blatant racist taunts and violence, allegedly by outsiders, the leaders of the predominantly white city said they need to conduct some serious soul-searching about their attitudes regarding race.

“Maybe this city has buried its head in the sand for too long,” said Mayor John Minto. “If the perception that (racism) is here, then it’s here.”

Councilman Rob McNelis, who has often publicly denied allegations of racism in the city, said he took full responsibility for being among those who did indeed ‘bury his head,’ unwilling to look at how many people of color say they are treated.

AS WEATHER HEATS UP, COUNTY OPENS COOL ZONES -- AND OFFERS FREE FANS FOR THOSE HOMEBOUND WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of County News Service

June 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As summer approaches and temperatures heat up, the County will open several “Cool Zones” starting this week.  The Cool Zones will be open from Monday through Friday between 12 noon and 5 p.m.at the following inland locations:

LA MESA GIRDS FOR “UNITY PROTEST AND RIDE” SUNDAY, JUNE 14

By Miriam Raftery

June 13, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police Department has sent an alert out to inform the public of a protest planned tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the La Mesa Police Department.  The LMPD advisory indicates the protest is expected to be peaceful and that protesters free speech rights will be respected, but that mutual aid from law enforcement agencies across the county are prepared to respond to protect La Mesa if that situation changes.

According to a flyer posted on social media sites, the “Unity Protest” will welcome motorcyclists from clubs across the region in a “Unity Ride” starting in San Diego and ending at the LMPD station, where two weeks ago a protest against police violence that began peacefully ended in assaults tageting police and a barrage of nonlethal weapons fired at protesters, followed by a rampage of looting, vandalism, and the burning of buildings and vehicles.

REMAINING RESERVOIRS IN EAST COUNTY REOPEN

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside is now back open to the public
 
June 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After pressure from local elected officials and candidates, the city of San Diego has backed off his plan to keep six reservoirs in our inland region closed for the rest of this year. Three of the reservoirs in question have reopened within the past week and the remaining three will open in early July
 

NONPROFIT MAIN STREET RELIEF REACHES 100 VOLUNTEERS HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES

Source: Main Street Relief

June 13, 2020 ISan Diego) – More than 100 people from across the country have joined nonprofit Main Street Relief’s volunteer network and its mission of helping small businesses respond to and recover from COVID-19. Volunteers have helped small business owners with federal funding programs, rent renegotiations and deferrals, strategic and financial planning, creative new revenue streams, and more. 

FACE COVERINGS, PHYSICAL DISTANCE NEEDED TO PREVENT SURGE OF COVID-19, SAY COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO HEALTH OFFICIALS

Research has shown that when face coverings are used properly, they reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus. Maintaining physical distance from other people does too.

The latest is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of sailors at the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt which showed that sailors who used a face covering and practiced social distancing had a lower infection rate.

“We now have more scientific evidence that face coverings prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “When people are in public the risk of exposure is higher so they should wear a face covering, especially when they’re within six feet from others.”

MOVIE THEATERS AND MORE CAN REOPEN

Image Credit: Shutterstock

June 13, 2020 (San Diego) – The latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions are rolling out. Since yesterday, June 12th, indoor movie theaters can reopen and film production of TVs and movies can resume. Also allowed to reopen, with limitations, are gyms, bars and wineries, swimming pools, hotels and other rental properties for travelers, and major tourist attractions such as zoos, aquariums, galleries and museums.

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