January 2020 Articles

January 2020 Articles

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE POWWOW RETURNS FEB. 1 WITH BIRD SINGERS, GOURD DANCING AND MORE

Source: Cuyamaca College
 
January 23, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Native American history and culture will be celebrated when tribes from throughout the West congregate at Cuyamaca College’s 6th Annual Powwow on Saturday, Feb. 1. Up to 2,500 people from throughout the region are expected to attend the free event that is open to the public.
 
The powwow begins at 9:30 a.m. with a traditional blessing, followed by the Ashaa Takook Bird Singers at 10 a.m., gourd dancing at 11 a.m. and Grand Entry at noon. The celebration continues until 8 p.m. and vendors will be selling Native American arts and crafts, fry bread and Indian tacos. Admission is free.


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MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: SHOCK AND PAUSE

By Jake Zawlacki
File photo: Peter Carzis, speaking at a 2015 La Mesa City Council meeting
 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The night I heard of Peter Carzis’ arrest, I was shocked. I was shocked because I had often gone to Peter’s Men’s Apparel, his eponymous men’s clothing store in La Mesa, and had always known him to be a kind man. He had reminded me of the old Hollywood-type black and white movies with their pressed suits and greased hair and salesman type of smile. He was cool in the old sense of the word.

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LA MESA CITY COUNCIL HOLDS TOWN HALL MEETING THIS THURS. JAN. 23

 
January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) --Tonight, the La Mesa City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting. This open-forum session provides an opportunity for citizens to share their concerns, ideas, and opinions on issues in their neighborhood and throughout the City. The meeting will be held  at Maryland Avenue Elementary, 5400 Maryland Avenue, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
 
The Town Hall Meeting is intended as a means for citizens to learn about City services, state what they like about La Mesa, how they envision the future of their city, and to express concerns. Members of the City Council and City staff will be present. Additionally, information will be available about the City’s Climate Action Plan, crime prevention, emergency preparedness, and recreation classes.

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SENATOR BRIAN JONES BILL SUPPORTING LEGAL GUN OWNERSHIP RIGHTS APPROVED BY SENATE

East County News Service
 
January 23, 2020 (Sacramento) - Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced yesterday that his Senate Bill 723 passed the Senate unanimously. This bill corrects a hastily written state law that could cause an otherwise legal gun owner to become a felon if a warrant was issued in their name, whether or not they have knowledge of the existence of the warrant.
 
"Simply owning a legal firearm should never put an individual in danger of becoming a felon," said Senator Jones. "California's current law could cause a gun owner to lose their due process rights that should be guaranteed to all Californians."
 
SB 723 corrects a policy that was improperly added through the budget process and never received a policy committee hearing. This bill clarifies that any person for whom a warrant has been issued must have knowledge of the warrant before they can be arrested for a specific firearm related charge.

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CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Peter Carzis addressing La Mesa City Council i 2016

January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) – The District Attorney’s office has charged Peer Carzis, 76, owner of  Peter’s Mens Apparel in La Mesa, with one count of felony vandalism and three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with members of the media on January 20th.  Videos posted at multiple media sights showed Carzis punching and pushing several photographers, also destroying a $7,000 camera.

An additional misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public on January 18 was also issued against Carzis.A video that went viral on social media appeared to show Carzis reaching under a woman's shirt to fondle her breasts while she was straddling his lap on a sidewalk in front of his store in the La Mesa downtown village.


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STUDENTS IN MOUNTAIN EMPIRE DISTRICT LEARN KUMEYAAY “HISTORY ON THE GO” IN PARTNERSHIP WITH IMPERIAL VALLEY DESERT MUSEUM

East County News Service

January 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The Mountain Empire Unified School District in San Diego’s rural East County has forged a partnership with the Imperial Valley Desert Museum to offer Kumeyaay history classes in all of the district’s schools.

Below is information provided by Bob Bordelon, American Indian Education/Title VII facilitator at Mountain Empire, in conjunction with the museum:

The greatest challenge in education today is most often that of inclusion – engaging students with lessons and content that are both exciting and relevant to their own experiences and backgrounds.  The benefits of this are obvious, encouraging better behavior and performance academically and socially, and providing a better path forward for self improvement. The consequences otherwise are just as dramatic, with noninclusive and non-representative lessons leaving students feeling isolated, overlooked, and unimportant with little to no voice within their community.  Nowhere is this more true than among indigenous students enrolled in our public schools. Far too often, these students experience a higher level of misbehavior, lower scholastic performance, lower graduation rates, and even a loss of identity. These are students with the same energy and potential as their peers, but from such a situation that their future is tragically far-too-often altogether different.  As a traditionally overlooked and underdeveloped group, it is vitally important to work together in the 21st century to provide these students every opportunity for self-growth, self-esteem, and self-determination.


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YEAR OF THE RAT: 40 RATS UP FOR ADOPTION THROUGH HUMANE SOCIETY

Source: County News Service

January 23, 2020 ((San Diego)-- As we enter the Chinese Year of the Rat, San Diego Humane Society still has more than 40 rats available for adoption across its three campuses in Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego.

On Oct. 8, 2019, a woman contacted SDHS for help. Her pet rat population had gotten out of control and she wished to relinquish all of her animals so they could find good homes. SDHS took in more than 300 rats. Many of the rats were pregnant, so the number of rats quickly rose to more than 600. The majority of those rats have been adopted, but there are still dozens waiting to find homes.


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS JAN. 25-FEB. 29

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s Destination East County features East County Dining Club’s Flamenco music and Spanish tapas night at the Spacebar Café and Winebar in La Mesa– benefitting our own East County Magazine. 

Other events coming up include a powwow at Cuyamaca College, Hawk Watch in Ramona, well known performers at the Magnolia Center in El Cajon, Restaurant Month in Julian, birdwatching in Lakeside, a Chapman Stick concert at Mission Trails Church, Trivia Nights at Wine Works in La Mesa, and Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Hollow” onstage at Lamplighters in La Mesa.

So scroll down for all of these events and many more!


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WYOMING 81-67

Taylor Kalmer reached 20 points for the third time in the last four games

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 22, 2020 (Laramie, Wyo.) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (8-13, 3-6) stumbled at Wyoming 81-67 (9-9, 5-4) at the Arena-Auditorium Wednesday evening.

After trailing for the entire first quarter, a hot second quarter saw SDSU go up by five points, but Wyoming went on run to close the first half and never looked back.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: MEASURE A WILL REDUCE FIRE RISK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nona T. Barker and Richard W. Halsey

Photo: 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, courtesy of La Mesa Fire Dept.

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As we watch Australia burn, many Californians remember the fear they felt as fires raged near their homes in recent years. Fires are a fact of life in much of California, but there are steps we can take to reduce the damage to people, property and our regional economy. One important commonsense step is to avoid building new houses in areas at the highest risk of burning.

Unfortunately, the urge to maximize profits seems to outweigh common sense for many big developers. Time and again, developers have requested amendments to the county’s General Plan to build massive sprawl housing projects in fire-prone areas of San Diego County. Our General Plan is a guide to sustainable growth in San Diego County. Despite the 13 years, millions of dollars, and widespread public input and support that went into developing the plan, our Board of Supervisors has shown time and again that it is inclined to support sprawl developments in our backcountry.

Measure A would put a stop to this short-sighted behavior. Under Measure A, voters get a direct voice in deciding whether large proposed housing developments that would increase zoned residential density in fire-prone rural and semi-rural areas can be built.


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SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL TOPS WYOMING 72-55 TO MATCH '10-11 20-0 START

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 22, 2020 (San Diego) -  Malachi Flynn scored 18 points and Yanni Wetzell dominated inside with 14 points for No. 4 San Diego State, which used a suffocating defense to beat Wyoming 72-55 Tuesday night and match the best start in school history at 20-0.


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RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES

Source:  San Diego County Dept. of Environmental Health
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health has issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, however, additional warning signs are not posted for General Rain Advisories. Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.
 
A Beach Closure will remain in place for the Tijuana Slough and Imperial Beach shorelines due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States. The water contact closure area includes all beaches from the International Border to Carnation Avenue. Beach closure signs will remain in place until ocean water sampling results meet State health standards. Please be advised that some access roads and trails within the Tijuana River valley may also be affected by sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided if flooded.

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READER’S EDITORIAL: AL FRESCO DINING AND HEALTHY CHOICES DURING SAN DIEGO 2020 RESTAURANT WEEK

By Dana Stevens, Executive Director, Community Action Service & Advocacy
 
January 21, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Let’s embrace healthy living in 2020, as we head into San Diego’s 2020 Restaurant Week (January 19-26). Let’s dine at restaurants that offer smoke-free outdoor dining patios as well as healthy, fresh, delicious food.

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RYAN HOPKINS NAMED SDSU MEN'S SOCCER HEAD COACH

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 21, 2020 (San Diego) - Ryan Hopkins has been named the head coach of the San Diego State men’s soccer program, Aztec director of athletics John David Wicker announced Tuesday afternoon following a national search


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JULIAN MAN ARRESTED FOR STRIKING, KILLING CYCLIST ON DEHESA ROAD: CHP SEEKS WITNESS WHO FOLLOWED HIT AND RUN DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A bicyclist, 56, has died of injuries suffered yesterday when a Mitsubishi Mirage struck him from behind on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive. The Mitsubishi’s driver, Craig Wendell Nelson, 56, of Julian fled the scene and was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after a helicopter spotted him hiding in brush along Sloane Canyon Rd. south of Dehesa Rd. in unincorporated El Cajon.

The California Highway Patrol wants to locate the driver of a vehicle that turned around at the scene of the collision and followed the Mitsubishi, or anyone else with information on the fatal accident. If you have any information, please call Officer Wilson or Officer Harris at the CHP at 619-401-2000.

According to Officer Travis Garrow, Nelson was traveling eastbound on Dehesa Rd. east of Willow Glen Drive when for reasons still under investigation, his vehicle veered into the marked bike lane and struck the rider, who was ejected onto the roadway. The bicyclist was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego where he later died of his injuries.  Nelson has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.


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MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”


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GET "FIRED UP" THE SAFE WAY!

CHIEF'S CORNER : FIREPLACE SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

 

January 20, 2020 (San Diego) -- It’s been pretty chilly lately and nothing beats a nice fire in the fireplace during winter months. Though fires may keep us warm, there are hazards that need to be addressed.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning says DiGiovanna. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility as fire prevention starts with you!

Here are some fireplace safety tips to help keep you safe:


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REV. SHANE HARRIS LEADS SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO DOCUMENT FOSTER YOUTHS IN HOMELESS COUNT AND CHAMPION REFORMS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Rev. Shane Harris, courtesy of the People's Alliance for Justice

January 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Rev. Shane Harris, a former foster care youth, is emerging as a powerful voice for documenting and improving conditions for foster youths and those who have aged out of the foster care system.

He recalls turning 18 and being instantly homeless. “They dropped me off at B Street in downtown San Diego with an emancipation letter and one bag of clothes,” he has stated.” It wasn’t his first bout of homelessness. Harris had entered foster care at age 8, lost both parents, and ran away from one foster home earlier, winding up sleeping on the streets and couches of friends for six months. Now he wants to spare other young people from suffering similar ordeals.


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CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
January 19, 2020 (Borrego Springs) - The Under The Sun Foundation is organizing a photography exhibition for the 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival and invites you to submit your works for consideration.
 
They are looking for photographic works that visualize your Borrego Springs - images that capture the essence of this unique community and the special sense of place cultivated in this corner of the Sonoran Desert.
 
The works selected for the exhibition will be put on display in the old library space in The Mall during the upcoming Candlewood Arts Festival, from February 29 - March 29, 2020.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CALIFORNIA GNATCATCHER

January 19, 2019 (San Diego) – Robert Gehr shot this photo of the illusive California Gnatcatcher (Polioptilla Californica) at the waterscape in downtown El Cajon as this tiny male bird flitted about, snatching small insects from the air as its food source.
 
“Listed as a threatened species, these uncommon feathered friends are interesting to watch as they forage for a meal,” says Gehr.

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GROSSMONT SUPERINTENDENT SLAMS CAJON VALLEY BOARD OVER PROPOSED CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

"I've heard that it's been communicated that Grossmont High School District was fully aware of this charter petition. I need to say this is simply not true. That communication never took place until yesterday.  In fact, quite the opposite.” --GUHSD Superintendent TIm Glover (photo, left)

January 18, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Observers of the political hijinks which have become customary at meetings of the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) board of trustees were not disappointed at the last regular meeting for the year on December 17th

The meeting started with school board President Tamara Otero advising her fellow board members “to be careful in any contact” with Board Trustee Jill Barto in light of Barto’s recently filed federal lawsuit against the district, which alleges violations of her civil rights and First Amendment freedoms.

Then the spotlight shifted to Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Glover. Glover visibly caught the board off guard when he addressed the trustees, raising objections to Cajon Valley’s preliminary plan to expand and start a new charter high school (grades 9 to 12) at the site of the district’s Bostonia Language Academy, which encompasses kindergarten to eighth grade. The new charter school would be called the “Bostonia Global Charter School.”


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SKYLINE RETIREMENT CENTER, AVENTINE CONDOS AND GENERAL PLAN CLEANUP TO BE HEARD BY SUPERVISORS JAN. 29

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 18, 2020 (San Diego) – On January 29, County Supervisors’ agenda will include a proposed general plan amendment that includes a general plan clean-up and amendments to allow two developments proposed in East County: the Skyline Retirement Center proposed on Campo Road on undeveloped land near Skyline Church near Rancho San Diego, and the Aventine condominium project with 92 units proposed at Sweetwater Springs Blvd. near Austin in Spring Valley. 
 
The general plan amendment will be heard in the Board Chambers on January 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at the County Administration Center (CAC) located in downtown San Diego at 1600 Pacific Highway on the north end of the third floor. 

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SEXUAL PREDATOR CAUGHT BY BORDER PATROL IN POTRERO

Source: U.S. Border Patrol
 
January 18, 2020 (Potrero) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested five people Wednesday morning who were involved in a human smuggling event which included a man with a prior felony conviction.
 
Around 6:20 a.m., a man driving a black Nissan Sentra approached a temporary immigration checkpoint in Potrero and failed to stop at the designated inspection point. Agents stopped the vehicle several yards past the checkpoint and inspected the vehicle.

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SDSU MEN'S TENNIS DEFEATS UCSD 6-1

Aztecs claim five of six singles matches in straight sets

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 18, 2020 (San Diego) - The San Diego State men’s tennis team recorded its first victory of the 2020 campaign in convincing fashion Saturday, stepping off campus to defeat UC San Diego, 6-1, in a non-conference dual match at The Santaluz Club.


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SDSU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOSES TIGHT ONE AT NEVADA 70-69

The Wolf Pack scored the game-winning bucket with three seconds left

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

January 18, 2020 (Reno) - The Aztec women’s basketball team (8-12, 3-5) lost a tight battle at Nevada 70-69 (8-10, 2-5) Saturday afternoon inside the Lawlor Events Center. After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Aztecs roared back to take the lead in the fourth quarter only to see the Wolf Pack’s Da’Ja Hamilton’s score the game-winning bucket with three seconds left.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LA MESA MAYOR LAYS OUT PROGRESS ON CLIMATE ACTION; COUNCIL BANS SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WELCOMES DOMESTIC POULTRY

Story and photos by Kathleen Connell

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) -- At its first meeting of 2020, the La Mesa City Council and Mayor Araapostathis considered legislation on the city docket ranging from expanding chicken ownership opportunities to snuffing out smoking in public places.

The Mayor presented his State of The City Address at the January 14th meeting at City Hall. He pointed out that “the City continued to work towards its Climate Action Plan goals by embracing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), and becoming a founding member of The San Diego Community Power Joint Powers Authority.” He stated the CCA will eventually account for 32% of the City’s anticipated Green House Gas reduction, on a path to 100% renewable energy.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

GOD OF CARNAGE REVIEW: A MORALITY COIN TOSS

By Kathy Carpenter

January 17, 2020 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents "God of Carnage." Written by Yasmina Reza and Directed  by Tyler Richard Hewes, “God of Carnage” is full of moral dilemmas. What is okay for one person outrages another. The result is hilarious--the kind of humor that we should not find funny but do.


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

January 16, 2019 (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.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS


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