TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR OUR PARTY IN PARADISE AND COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS AWARDS SEPT. 25

SHERIFF’S DEPT. IDENTIFIES SUSPECT IN COLD-CASE MURDER OF SANTEE WOMAN IN 1980 USING GENETIC GENEOLOGY

BRIANA GOMEZ, MULTI-CULTURAL JOURNALIST FOR ECM, DIES IN ROLLOVER CRASH

SAN DIEGANS NOW PRIMARILY VACCINATED AT PHARMACIES, COMMUNITY CLINICS

MAYOR WELLS HEADLINES CONCERT AUG. 28 IN EL CAJON TO HELP THE HOMELESS

QUEEN FIRE BURNING NEAR JULIAN AND BANNER

BRIDGE FOR MAX: MISSION TRAILS SECURES GRANT TO BUILD BRIDGE OVER SAN DIEGO RIVER WHERE HIKER DIED

FORMER AZTEC XANDER SCHAUFFELE WINS GOLD AT 2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS

BORREGO RESIDENTS ORGANIZE TO OPPOSE PREDATOR PLACEMENT AT DE ANZA GOLF ESTATES

SHERIFF GORE WON’T SEEK REELECTION

'JOYOUS' CELEBRATION FOR LA MESA'S UNION BANK, 14 MONTHS AFTER BURNING NIGHTMARE

PASSAGES: FUND ESTABLISHED TO HELP FAMILY OF ANTHONY CANO, YOUNG LAKESIDE FIREFIGHTER AND FATHER WHO DIED

News

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR OUR PARTY IN PARADISE AND COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS AWARDS SEPT. 25

Early-bird rates available now through Aug. 31 to our rooftop party!

You’re invited to join East County Magazine at our fun and festive “Party in Paradise” on Saturday evening, September 25th where we will also present Community Champions Awards to honor outstanding community members.

The event will be held atop the beautifu new, outdoor rooftop shaded deck atop the Jamul Casino, with panoramic 360-degree views! Enjoy a VIP cocktail reception, tropical dinner, live music, dancing, auction, raffle, and fun galore.

Proceeds benefit East County Media, supporting East County Magazine, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts, and our Community Champions Awards.

To reserve tickets:

SHERIFF’S DEPT. IDENTIFIES SUSPECT IN COLD-CASE MURDER OF SANTEE WOMAN IN 1980 USING GENETIC GENEOLOGY

East County News Service 

August 4, 2021 (Santee) – Today, the San Diego Sheriff’s department announced it has identified a possible suspect, John Patrick “Pat” Hogan, in the 1980 murder of 20-year-old Michelle Louise Wyatt.  Hogan died in 2004, however the Sheriff’s department hopes to speak with anyone who may have information on this case or who knew Hogan in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s.

BRIANA GOMEZ, MULTI-CULTURAL JOURNALIST FOR ECM, DIES IN ROLLOVER CRASH

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

August 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) –East County Magazine’s staff is shocked and saddened to learn that our beloved multicultural journalist Briana Paul Gomez, 31, died in a rollover vehicle crash Sunday morning, August 1, 2021.

“We are all devastated at this tragic loss of a young reporter passionate about diversity issues,” said Miriam Raftery, Editor of East County Magazine. “Briana always strived to tell all sides of the issues she covered and had a promising future as a journalist. She was generous, compassionate, and a cherished friend as well as a talented writer. Our hearts are with her family, especially her young daughter.”

SAN DIEGANS NOW PRIMARILY VACCINATED AT PHARMACIES, COMMUNITY CLINICS

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

San Diegans have largely turned to traditional vaccination clinics to get immunized against COVID-19

August 1, 2021 (San Diego) - Retail pharmacies are now the primary provider of vaccines, administering over 100,000 doses from July 1 through July 28. They were followed, in order, by community clinics (nearly 20,000 doses), private medical providers (almost 17,000 doses), County sites (about 13,000 doses) and hospitals (just under 9,000 doses) during the same time frame.

“I want to thank every San Diegan who has been vaccinated and the many partners working daily with the County to ensure vaccines are readily available in every part of our region,” said Wilma J. Wooten (photo, right), M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Masking and other public health guidance are additional measures to help us safely navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations are our key for getting out of it.”

The County has been working with its vaccination partners to get the word out to San Diegans who are hesitant about getting immunized.

RIGHT LANES AT FANITA DRIVE WB SR-52 CLOSED DUE TO MISSION FIRE, EXPLOSIONS HEARD BEHIND SPROUTS ON MISSION GORGE ROAD IN SANTEE

Update: All lanes open reports Caltrans San Diego, and Fire Scanner reports “[r]esources will be on scene mopping up the fire for the next couple of hours.”

By Jonathan Goetz

August 1, 2021 (Santee) – A vegetation fire nick-named the #MissionFire has closed the two westbound State Route 52 lanes at Fanita Drive, reports Caltrans San Diego.

@SDCountyFires broke the story on twitter and reports that crews have upgraded to a “high wildland response,” firefighter lingo for a serious response and a sign that this fire is being taken very seriously and may pose a great danger to the surrounding community.

The fire burned at least one acre and "multiple explosions" were heard in the area, behind Sprouts at 9361 Mission Gorge Road, they report.

This is a breaking story and updates may be posted above or in a new article.

If you have photos, details, or an eyewitness account on this or any local emergency please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org

Thanks to the Grossmont Healthcare District and San Diego Regional Fire Foundation for their generous sponsorship of our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts!

QUEEN FIRE BURNING NEAR JULIAN AND BANNER

Update: The fire is 75% contained, reports Cal Fire San Diego shortly before 5 p.m.

By Miriam Raftery and Jonathan Goetz

August 1, 2021 (Julian) - The #QueenFire has burned 15 acres near the Desert Queen Mine, approximately 2 miles east of Banner and 5 miles east of Julian near State Route 78.

The fire is burning in difficult terrain for ground crews. Cal Fire reported at approximately 3:18 p.m. that "[f]irefighters continue to make great progress from the air and ground."

BRIDGE FOR MAX: MISSION TRAILS SECURES GRANT TO BUILD BRIDGE OVER SAN DIEGO RIVER WHERE HIKER DIED

By Miriam Raftery

July 30, 2021 (San Diego) – A new pedestrian and bicycle bridge will soon be built across the San Diego River Crossing Trail, thanks to a $1.5 million state grant secured by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) for the Mission Trials Regional Park Foundation.

ARE LOCKING DEVICES TO HOLD YOUR CELLPHONE DURING PERFORMANCES OR CLASS IN YOUR FUTURE?

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

August 1, 2021 (La Jolla) Radio City Music Hall and select Broadway shows, in New York City and now, locally, at a La Jolla Playhouse performance in late July, products to “lock up” cellphones and smart watches were used to physically stop recording or taking pictures of the show.

A product known as Yondr was used in La Jolla which witnessed arts patrons line up, have their silenced devise put into a manufactured pouch, then sealed by the staff. All patrons had possession of their electronic devices but could not use them to record the performance.

The process went smoothly and quickly at the La Jolla Playhouse.

BORREGO RESIDENTS ORGANIZE TO OPPOSE PREDATOR PLACEMENT AT DE ANZA GOLF ESTATES

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is leading efforts to oppose the state’s plan to place a sexually violent predator in the community.  A townhall meeting August 4 at 3 p.m. is planned at Anza Country Club, along with other actions.

MAN KILLED WHEN SUV STRIKES BUILDING IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

July 30, 2021 (La Mesa) – A 41-year-old man believed to be inside his workplace died at the scene after an SUV struck the building on Jul 28 at 5:30 p.m. According to La Mesa Police, drugs or alcohol are suspected of being a factor in the fatal crash.

The SUV was traveling eastbound on University Avenue when it left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck the building at 7373 University Avenue. The Medical Examiner’s Report indicates the victim worked in unit 101.

'JOYOUS' CELEBRATION FOR LA MESA'S UNION BANK, 14 MONTHS AFTER BURNING NIGHTMARE

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

Photo:  taking part were (left to right) Talon Dobesh, Aviana Dobesh, Union Bank president Greg Seibly, Union Bank head of community banking Lisa Roberts, CEO of MUFG Americas Kevin Cronin, branch manager Carlton Hill and Omar Salah, head of small business banking at Union Bank. Photo by Chris Stone

July 30, 2021 (La Mesa) - The night of May 30, 2020, two banks burned to the ground amid La Mesa rioting. The next day, officials of one, Union Bank, were making plans to rebuild at the same location.

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR MERLE WAKEFIELD PROPOSED FOR PLACEMENT IN BORREGO SPRINGS: HEARING SEPT. 13

East County News Service

July 29, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The California Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place Merle Wakefield, a sexually violent predator, under conditional release at 1575 Yaqui Road in Borrego Springs.

Wakefield was convicted of felony rape in 1990 and of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14 in 1981.  He served time in state prison and was found in1998 to be a sexually violent predator. He has repeatedly been confined to a state hospital for treatment as a sex offender but in Dec. 2020, a judge granted his petition for conditional release. 

PASSAGES: FUND ESTABLISHED TO HELP FAMILY OF ANTHONY CANO, YOUNG LAKESIDE FIREFIGHTER AND FATHER WHO DIED

By Miriam Raftery

Memorial service and fund to help family of Anthony Cano announced



July 29, 2021 (Lakeside) – Anthony Cano, 27, dreamed of being a firefighter from an early age.  For the past five years, he was living his dream as a firefighter and paramedic with the Lakeside Fire Protection District, while enjoying family time with his two children, ages 7 and 2.  But on July 8, he passed away unexpectedly at his home in Temecula of undisclosed causes.

POLICE OFFICERS GIVE DRAMATIC TESTIMONY TO CONGRESSIONAL PANEL ON CAPITOL INSURRECTION

 

“This is how I am going to die.” – Capitol Police Officer and Army veteran Aquillino Gonell, on his thoughts after insurrectionists beat him, sprayed him with chemicals, and called for his execution.  

View video of full hearing: https://www.c-span.org/video/?513434-1/capitol-dc-police-testify-january-6-attack

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – Four l police officers gave emotional and at times, tearful testimony yesterday before the House select committee on the January 6 insurrection, revealing how the mob violently assaulted, tortured, and nearly killed law enforcement officers defending the Capitol 

The officers endured beatings, eye gouging, tasering to the head, death threats, and lasting injuries. Much of their testimony was backed up by newly released body cam video footage showing supporters of Donald Trump brutally attacking the officers, who implored Congressional members to assure that everyone responsible is held accountable.

The House committee includes Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, along with Democrats. Senate Republicans filibustered any effort to appoint an independent bipartisan commission as was done to investigate the 9/11 attacks, so Speaker Pelosi appointed members of both parties and invited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to name additional members. But after Pelosi vetoed two of his six picks because of conflicts of interest, since the two could be called as witnesses and possible conspirators, McCarthy withdrew all six of his nominations and refused to name others.

Both McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have said they did not watch yesterday’s hearing, citing other business commitments. But for much of the nation that tuned in to watch, the evidence presented was deeply disturbing.

Below are highlights of the officers’ testimony:

SAN DIEGO COUNTY ADVISES RESIDENTS TO WEAR MASKS INDOORS IN PUBLIC PLACES AS CASES OF NEW VARIANT SURGE

East County News Service

July 27, 2021 (San DIego) --  With cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 surging, San Diego County today announced its recommendations for everyone to wear masks in indoor public places. The recommendation is in line with the latest Centers for Disease Control federal guidelines.

Below is the full County statement:

MEET THE CHIEF: LA MESA POLICE HOST FIRST OF FOUR COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS THURSDAY, JULY 29

By Miriam Raftery

July 27, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Police Department has announced a series of four town halls for residents to meet newly appointed Police Chief Ray Sweeney and police staff. Each two-hour discussion is described as a community conversation and listening session.

The sessions, all on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., are:

July 29           Rolando Elementary School

August 5  Lemon Avenue Elementary School

August 12  Maryland Avenue Elementary School

August 19  Northmont Elementary School

PRO-ISRAEL RALLY HELD IN EL CAJON; PALESTINIANS MARCH IN PROTEST

Arabs, Jews, Black community, Latinos, and Whites divided between both groups

View a special ECM video report: https://youtu.be/YT4tOLvpGYA

Story, video and photos by Briana Gomez

Photos, left: Latinos for Israel, photo by Briana Gomez, pro-Palestinian marchers, photo by Gary Fields

July 27, 2021 (El Cajon) – Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups held large rallies Sunday afternoon in El Cajon that remained peaceful, though outside groups provoked skirmishes nearby. 

Shield of David hosted a “Stand with Israel” rally at 3 p.m. at Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon featuring Mayor Bill Wells and keynote speaker Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under the Trump Administration.The event hosted a variety of other speakers as well as entertainment and Israeli food.  It attracted about 1,000 Jews and supportive community members who wanted to stand united against rising anti-Semitic violence, celebrate Israel, and listen to the speakers.

A counter rally took place at 2 p.m. at El Cajon City Park led by Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) in collaboration with other activist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. Leaders of these groups leveled criticism at organizers of the pro-Israel rally, which they viewed as divisive at a time of intense conflicts between Israel and Palestine, including recent bombings.

SHOWERS AND POSSIBLE FLOODING TONIGHT, WARM WEATHER ON THE WAY

East County News Service

July 26, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) - The National Weather Service forecasts isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms in San Diego County’s mountains and deserts this evening, with flash flooding possible in some areas.  There is a chance of more thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CLARIFIES DISABILITY RIGHTS FOR LONG-HAUL COVID SURVIVORS

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
 
July 26, 2021 (Washington D.C.) -- Today, as we commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are jointly publishing guidance on how “long COVID” can be a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  The guidance is on the HHS website at https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/civil-rights-covid19/index.html and on the DOJ website at https://www.ada.gov/long_covid_joint_guidance.pdf.

LA MESA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUALLY ABUSING WOMEN AT U.S. EMBASSY IN MEXICO

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2021 (La Mesa) – Brian Jeffrey Raymond, 45, of La Mesa has pleaded guilty to "sexual abuse and admitted to the abusive sexual contact of numerous women, as well as photographing and recording dozens of nude and partially nude women without their consent during his career as a U.S. government employee" while working at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, according to a U.S. Justice Department press release.  The release indicated that some of the women who have accused Raymond lost consciousness.

LIBRARY EXPANSION ON AGENDA FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL

Agenda also includes proposal to create a task force to promote arts and culture in La Mesa

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – A proposal to form a task force to look at options for an expanded library will be on the agenda for the La Mesa City Council on Tuesday, July 27.   You can submit comments up to 300 words  to be read aloud at the Council meeting by the City Clerk; comments must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesdy at comments@cityoflamesa.us. Live public comments can also be made via Zoom.

The current La Mesa Library was originally intended as an interim step, after the old library was torn down to make way for a new police station. But the cash-strapped city never raised the anticipated funds for a larger, contempoary library and county matching funding evaporated. But many residents are advocating for the city to live up to its promises to residents.

The issue has sparked lively discussion on the La Mesa Happenings forum on Facebook.

STATE DEPT. OFFERS REWARDS OF UP TO $10 MILLION FOR INFO ON FOREIGN MALICIOUS CYBER ATTACKS ON U.S. CRITICIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021(Washington D.C.) – Following a series of ransomware attacks that have crippled some U.S. companies and disrupted critical supply chains, the  U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of anyone  acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government who participates in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Certain malicious cyber operations targeting U.S. critical infrastructure may violate the CFAA. Violations of the statute may include transmitting extortion threats as part of ransomware attacks; intentional unauthorized access to a computer or exceeding authorized access and thereby obtaining information from any protected computer; and knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer. Protected computers include not only U.S. government and financial institution computer systems, but also those used in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or communication.

CROWDED FIELD OF CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR LA MESA CITY COUNCIL SEAT

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (La Mesa) – Candidates have until August 6 at noon to file papers to run for La Mesa’s City Council in a November special election. The field is growing crowded, with eight candidates who have pulled papers to run so far, though one told ECM he has decided to drop out.

The candidates are vying to fill a vacancy left by Dr. Akilah Weber's election to the state Assembly. The election follows a turbulent year that included civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In alphabetical order, the eight candidates who have thus far filed papers to run  are:

LEAPING LIZARDS: PET MONITOR LIZARD LOOSE IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (Lakeside) – If you see a large spotted lizard lumbering along in the Lakeside area, its owner asks you to call him. 

Joe Bishop posted on Facebook that he owns the monitor lizard, which is a pet that accidentally escaped.  Sightings have been reported on Marilla, Creekford and West Hill, according to Bishop, who lives on Riverview.

PALESTINIAN GROUPS PLAN PROTEST AGAINST PRO-ISRAEL RALLY IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2021 (El Cajon) – A rally and march in El Cajon is being planned today at 2 p.m. by pro-Palestinian groups, in reaction to a “We are Israel” rally slated for 3 p.m. at a separate location that Palestinian leaders locally describe as "Zionist" and "anti-Palestinian."

Organizers of the “We are Israel” rally at 3 p.m. on Prescott Promenade at 201 East Main St. have stated that their event is in response to the record number of violent attacks on Jewish people and synagogues in the U.S. and in San Diego County, not policies in the Mideaast.

Organized by Shield of David, that rally is slated to include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as keynote speaker and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells as one of several other speakers, as ECM reported.  Pompeo, as Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, broke with decades of U..S. foreign policy tradition by declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not violate international law. But Pompeo also helped broker a peace deal between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

U.S. LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES ON SOMALI AL-SHABAAB TERRORISTS, DRAWING CRITICISMS FROM SOME IN CONGRESS

“I have concerns about the legal justification of the recent strikes, particularly as they seem to have been conducted without White House approval.” – Congresswoman Sara Jacobs

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2021 (San Diego) – The Pentagon has launched two airstrikes this week targeting combatants with al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliated terror group in Somalia. The air strikes come after a six-month pause in airstrikes that were halted after Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as U.S. President.

San Diego has the second largest Somali population in the U.S., with approximately 10,000 Somali immigrants, KPBS reported last year.

SAN DIEGO IRAQIS HOLD PROTEST TO END IMPUNITY IN IRAQ: WILL IT GET BIDEN’S ATTENTION BEFORE VISIT WITH AL-KADHIMI?

By Briana Gomez

Photo:  Othman Al-Kusairy (far left) and Sally Bachori (middle left), Ahmed (to the right of Sally) and Sam (far right) stand with other Iraqi organizers and signs in memory of lives lost

July 23, 2021 (San Diego) -- A group of Iraqi organizers held a protest in Balboa Park last Sunday. The group calls itself “End Impunity in Iraq” and is calling for accountability.

BORSTAR AGENTS RESCUE MAN LOST IN REMOTE WILDERNESS NEAR DULZURA

East County News Service

July 22, 2021 (Dulzura) --  Members of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) San Diego Sector’s (SDC) Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team rescued a Mexican citizen yesterday who was lost in East County San Diego and suffering from a heat emergency.

LOCAL IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES SPEAK OUT ON DACA COURT RULING

"Our contributions to this country are innumerable. Yet, there’s no path to citizenship for us. We pay taxes, build the economy, and contribute to our communities during a pandemic. Yet, we are rejected and insulted once more. Every day that we live without a path to citizenship, is a day filled with anxiety and fear.” -- Dulce Garcia, an undocumented immigrant and attorney who chairs the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego immigrant advocates are reacting in shock to a federal judge’s ruling which orders the Biden administration to halt approval of any new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. The judge also issued a stay temporarily protecting those already granted DACA protections from deportation – but warned that Congress must act to make protections permanent, or the stay might be lifted.

DACA was created through an executive order by President Barack Obama, protecting thousands of young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay here, hold jobs and attend school. Known as “Dreamers,” many have been here nearly their entire lives. The ruling creates an uncertain future for 305,000 DACA recipients and another 854,000 eligible for DACA in southern border states, according to the Southern Border Communities Coalition. Some have been in the U.S. for many years, and some are now married or parents of U.S. citizens.

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