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

News

WOMAN DRAGGED TO DEATH BY SEMI OUTSIDE RETAIL MALL IN POWAY

East County News Service

 

March 4, 2021 (Poway) – The Sheriff’s department is investigating the dragging death of a pedestrian that occurred yesterday morning in Poway.

 

Deputies responding to a radio call of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle around 9:38 a.m. behind a strip mall in the 133300 block of Poway Road found a dead woman who had been run over by a semi-tractor trailer. 

 

According to Sergeant D. Toner, “It appears the semi-tractor trailer was traveling northbound on the delivery access road behind the businesses…The female was dragged approximately 50 feet before being run over.” 


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CITIZENS' LAW ENFORCEMENT REVIEW BOARD FORMALLY RELEASES ANNUAL REPORT

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 4, 2021 (San Diego) -The County Board of Supervisors received the 2020 Annual Report from the Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board after a presentation from its executive officer Tuesday.

CLERB was established in 1990 to investigate citizen complaints against San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies and probation officers. CLERB also has the authority to review all deaths that occur in custody or in connection with the two departments without a complaint.


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

Source: County News Service
 
March 2, 2021 (San Diego) -- Low-income residents in San Diego County who have experienced a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for rental and utility assistance grants from the County.

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

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
 
March 2, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved a COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). To expedite getting Americans vaccinated as quickly as possible, President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act.

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

Source:  City of Santee

March 2, 2021 (Santee) - The City of Santee announced that after a thorough Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluation, the Santee Fire Department has achieved a Class 1 Public Protection Classification rating, which is the highest level of recognition available from the Insurance Services Office.

The top rating places Santee amongst the ranks of only 38 fire departments in California and 393 departments nationwide that have earned the distinction. The new rating officially went into effect March 1, 2021.

Home and business owners are encouraged to contact their insurance providers after March 1st to see how the Class 1 rating affects their respective insurance rates.


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

By Mike Allen

 

Photo: needle exchange; CC by SA-NC

 

February 28, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee wants San Diego County to conduct comprehensive research about its recently resumed needle exchange program before the Santee City Council weighs in on supporting or opposing the formerly banned program.


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HOUSE PASSES COVID RELIEF BILL; MEASURE ADVANCES TO SENATE

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2021(Washington D.C.) – By a 219-212 margin without a single Republican vote, the House of Representative today passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill called the “American Rescue Plan.”    

The bill aims to get money immediately into the hands of those  most in need. It includes stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per individual or $2,800 per married couple, as well as an extra $400 a week in unemployment benefits that Democrats aim to pass before unemployment extensions run out March 14.  Funds are also provided for vaccine distribution, rental assistance, reopening schools, and aid to local governments hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure contains many other forms of relief, ranging from food bank funding to aid for struggling farmers. View full text of the bill.


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

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

Photo:  Christopher Paul Parkhurst. Photo via @SDSheriff Twitter

February 27, 2021 (Dulzura) - County authorities on Friday said they have found the remains of Christopher Paul Parkhurst, 47, who was reported missing in early January, sparking an intensive search.


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

Photo:  The Sharp vaccination super station at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials announced Wednesday that vaccinations of teachers and other essential workers will begin Saturday because most seniors have received a dose and appointments are opening up.


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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.


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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. 


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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.


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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.


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COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS COMING TO LEMON GROVE, OTAY MESA

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

February 22, 2021 (Lemon Grove/Otay Mesa) - New COVID-19 vaccinations sites are opening in Lemon Grove and Otay Mesa, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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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.


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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. 


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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.


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SANTEE SENIORS GET HELP MAKING APPOINTMENTS FOR COVID VACCINATIONS

By Mike Allen
February 20, 2021 (Santee) - The city of Santee is helping seniors who are having difficulty scheduling appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations, creating a program aimed at bridging the digital divide.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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. 

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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. 

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COVID-19 VACCINES FOR PEOPLE AGE 16 AND UP WITH SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITIONS OR DISABILITIES STARTING MARCH 15

East County News Service
 
February 13, 2021 (San Diego) – Starting Monday, March 15, new California guidelines allow COVID-19 vaccines to be given to people age 16 and up with the following serious underlying health conditions or disabilities that would put them at high risk of hospitalization or death from the novel coronavirus:

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BROTHER AND SISTER FACE CHARGES FOR LEMON GROVE SHOOTING

By Miriam Raftery

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

February 12, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Jacob and Jaysena Reyes, a brother and sister, are under arrest as suspects in the shooting of a man on Feb. 3.

Deputies responded to the shooting in the 6900 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove around 6 p.m. The victim had been shot multiple times and was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive.

Over the next several days, detectives from the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Substation and Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station followed up on numerous leads and were able to identify Jacob Reyes, 24, and Jaysena Reyes, 25, as suspects.


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TROUBLE GETTING A COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENT? SENIORS CAN CALL THESE GOODWILL CENTERS FOR HELP

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

February 12, 2021 (San Diego) – Seniors age 65 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, but many local seniors have found it difficult to get appointments due to lack of access to technology, or limited technical skills. Now, seniors can call Goodwill Employment Centers and speak with a career advisor, who will help set up a vaccine appointment with local health centers.

Seniors can contact any of these Goodwill centers Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for help to get a vaccine appointment:


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HELIX WATER DISTRICT TO VOTE WED. ON MOVING MEETINGS TO 2 P.M.

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2021 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District Board President Joel Scalzitti wants to move public board meetings to 2 p.m.. The issue will be on the agenda on Wednesday, Feb. 17.


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