BORDER PATROL AGENT DIES IN CAMPO CRASH WHILE ON DUTY

INTERNET CRIMES TASK FORCE PROTECTING CHILDREN RECEIVES FUNDING

THREE KINGS BARBERSHOP IN LEMON GROVE ANNOUNCES FREE HAIRCUTS FOR FOSTER YOUTHS IN MAY

YAT IN SPRING VALLEY PRESENTS DISNEY’S “DESCENDANTS”

ELEGANT JAMUL HAVEN BED AND BREAKFAST IS UP FOR SALE, ALONG WITH ADJACENT DREAM HOME

STING OPERATION FINDS 24 STORES SELLING TOBACCO TO MINORS IN EL CAJON

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR CALFRESH BENEFITS?

ECM PADRES REPORT: BREAKING: PADRES SIGN ROBINSON CANO

UKRAINIANS RECEIVE FREE LEGAL HELP TO APPLY FOR U.S. IMMIGRATION STATUS

ANDERSON ASKS COUNTY TO CLEAR HOMELESS CAMPS ALONG PUBLIC ROADS AFTER COURT UPHOLDS CAL TRANS’ RIGHT TO DO SO WHEN PUBLIC SAFETY IS AT RISK

SENATE VOTES TO EXTEND POLICE PROTECTION TO FAMILIES OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

HEAT WAVE FORECAST: COOL ZONES AVAILABLE

News

SECOND ARSONIST SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BURNING DOWN CHASE BANK IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jake Rose: Chase Bank in flames during May 30, 2020 riot in downtown La Mesa

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – One of several people alleged to have set fires which burned down the Chase Bank in La Mesa following a May 30, 2020 riot has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.  Alexander King, 20, pleaded guilty in February to a felony count of recklessly causing fire of a structure.


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PRISONER ARRESTED AFTER ESCAPING FROM SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – A prisoner who had a medical emergency during an appearance at the El Cajon Courthouse  yesterday was taken by ambulance to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. He escaped from the hospital at 6:30 p.m., prompting a helicopter search, and was found in a creek near the trolley tracks a half hour later.


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AS EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN ATROCITIES IN UKRAINE MOUNT, BIDEN CALLS FOR PUTIN TO BE TRIED AS WAR CRIMINAL

Warning: Graphic and disturbing content

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Bucha civilians reportedly massacred by Russians, Ukraine Ministry of Digital Development Mikhail Fedorov post on Twitter

April 4, 2022 (Ukraine) – After Russian troops withdrew from several besieged Ukrainian cities, horrifying evidence of war crimes have emerged. International media, human rights groups, and Ukrainian officials have all provided documentation of atrocities including mass graves, executions of civilians – some with hands bound behind their backs, rapes, murders including children, bodies boobytrapped with bombs, and efforts to cover up war crimes by burning bodies. 


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PROPERTY TAXES ARE DUE APRIL 11; PAY NOW TO AVOID PENALTIES

Source:  Treasurer-Tax Collector of San Diego County

April 4, 2022 (San Diego) - San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reminded property owners today that they have seven days left to pay the second installment of their 2021-2022 property taxes before they are charged a late penalty.  


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COUNTY ASKS PUBLIC TO TAKE SURVEY ON EMERGENCY SERVICES

Source: San Diego County Office of Emergency Services

April 4, 2022 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services is asking County residents to provide feedback for two emergency plans.

 

The goal is to further protect residents, their property, and the environment. The survey feedback will be incorporated into the Operational Area Emergency Operations Plan and the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.


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FEC FINES EX-REP HUNTER AND COMMITTEE $16,000, REVEALS PREVIOUSLY SECRET DOCS

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

Photo:  outside a federal courthouse in 2019, Rep. Duncan Hunter discusses another case. Photo by Ken Stone

April 2, 2022 (San Diego) - Nearly six years after it received a complaint about then-Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s suspicious spending, the Federal Election Commission this week took the wraps off its investigation.


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BODY FOUND IN WALMART PARKING LOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson, who contributed to this report.

April 2, 2022 (Santee) -- A body was found in the parking lot of the Santee Walmart yesterday afternoon.  A spokesperson for the Sheriff's media communications told ECM that the death appears to be a suicide, though an investigation continues.

No other details were provided by law enforcement.


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FLETCHER ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR COUNTY TO AID LOCAL CITIES IN HELPING HOMELESS PEOPLE, EXPAND ACCESS TO COUNTY PARKS

Full text of speech

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By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2022 (San Diego) – In his State of the County address, Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors cited homelessness as the top challenge to be addressed as the region moves forward out of the pandemic, unveiling a new plan to help local cities help homeless people. 

He also unveiled a plan to help families afford activities in county parks, as well as addressing pandemic, the economy, housing needs, childcare, the opioid crisis, wildfire safety and more.


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ONE MILLION SAN DIEGANS MISSING FIRST BOOSTER; FOURTH DOSE NOW AVAILABLE FOR 50 AND UP

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

April 1, 2022 (San Diego) - Close to 1 million San Diegans qualify now for the COVID-19 vaccine booster, yet have still not received their dose, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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LATE-NIGHT FIRE BEHIND SANTEE WALMART POINTS UP IMPORTANCE OF NIGHT-FLYING HELICOPTERS, WHICH COUNTY WILL SOON ACQUIRE

Supervisor Fletcher pledged in his State of the County speech Tuesday to finally acquire a night-flying helicopter for San Diego County

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot off Malik Earnest’s Twitter post

 

March 31, 2022 (Santee) – A brush fire reported shortly before midnight behind the Santee Walmart at 170 Town Center Parkway took over three hours to fully extinguish.


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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAULT THAT LEFT PARTNER SEVERELY INJURED IN SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson: Las Colinas Detention facility, Santee

March 31, 2022 (Santee) – Brandi McCrystal, 26, has been arrested for felony domestic violence after allegedly severely injuring her partner, a 24-year-old woman.

Deputies responded to a medical aid call on March 29 shortly after 9:30 p.m. in the 8700 block of Graves Ave., Santee. Fire department personnel provided medical aid to the victim, who was transported to a hospital for treatment.


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CLOSED OVER A DECADE, LEMON GROVE RECREATION CENTER MAY SOON REOPEN AS COMMUNITY AND MEMBERS OF COUNCIL JOIN FORCES

By Elijah McKee

 

March 30, 2022 (Lemon Grove) — “I’m only helping 120 kids on the weekends — this could help thousands. Everyday,” said Mark Horton, standing in front of the Lemon Grove Recreation Center’s large red gates. “When I lock it up, it’s done.”


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CALIFORNIA TASK FORCE: REPARATIONS FOR DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF ENSLAVED PEOPLE ONLY

By Lil Kalish, CalMatters

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

Photo by Robert Gehr in El Cajon

March 30, 2022 (Sacramento) - After more than six hours of debate Tuesday, California’s reparations task force voted that only Black Californians who can prove a direct lineage to enslaved ancestors will be eligible for the statewide — and first-in-the nation — initiative to address the harms and enduring legacy of slavery. 


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REGION READIES TO WELCOME UKRAINIAN REFUGEES AND SEEK FEDERAL AID

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ukrainian refugees crossing into Poland; Creative Commons image via Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs

March 29, 2022 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors have issued statements preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees, following President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will admit up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine displaced by the Russian invasion. 

Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, issued a statement which reads in part, “Our county has time and again stepped up to help refugees and this time is no different. Together with Los Angeles and Sacramento, we are the largest metropolitan regions in California expected to accept these refugees.”

Fletcher added that the County has also begun helping Ukrainian refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border.


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BRIGGS FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST LEMON GROVE OVER RECORDS OBSTRUCTION

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Matt Manosh: Lemon Grove City Clerk Audrey Malone denied attorney Cory Briggs' request to inspect public records the day before a proposed censure motion of Councilmember Liana LeBaron.

March 28, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – Attorney Cory Briggs has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the nonprofit Project for Open Government against the city of Lemon Grove. The suit alleges that the city acted illegally in failing to respond to multiple public records requests related to the city’s proposed censure and discplinary actions toward Councilmember Liana LeBaron. The City also denied Briggs access to inspect public records when he came to city hall in person the day before the censure hearing, and has still failed to respond weeks later.

The suit seeks a court order requiring the city to full comply with the California Public Records Act, California Constitution, common law and other applicable laws by disclosing all records requested. Briggs also seeks injunctive relief to inspect and copy public records (or portions allowed by law), as well as attorney fees and legal expenses.


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SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY PRESIDENT DEPLOYS TO POLAND TO HELP UKRAINIAN PETS

Source: San Diego Humane Society

March 28, 2022 (San Diego) -- San Diego Humane Society President Gary Weitzman, DVM, has deployed to Przemyśl, Poland on a 10-day mission to provide veterinary care, help set up a border crossing veterinary clinic and make arrangements for additional San Diego Humane Society veterinarians and animal care staff to support pets impacted by the war in Ukraine. Dr. Weitzman left San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus on Sunday, March 27, 2022 after loading veterinary supplies to bring to the ADA Foundation in Poland. Supplies included antibiotics, paid medication, syringes and gloves.

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SUPERVISORS APPROVE INTERIM SHERIFF

Source: County News Service

Mar. 28, 2022 (County of San Diego) The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Anthony Ray as interim sheriff on Tuesday. He will step into the top leadership role through January 2023 when the winner of this year’s election for sheriff takes office.

Ray will be sworn in on April 5. He is currently an assistant sheriff and has served more than 30 years in the department. He will oversee one of the largest sheriff’s departments in the nation, managing nearly 4,700 employees and providing primary law enforcement to nearly one million people.


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DOG PAWTY AT PARKWAY PLAZA

Shopping mall now welcomes dogs on leashes

Story and photos by Karen Pearlman, for East County Magazine

Photo:  Avalanche was one of the dogs at the party.

March 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Hundreds of four-legged visitors mingled nose to nose and nose-to-tail for three pawsome hours on Saturday at Parkway Plaza, as the indoor mall in El Cajon literally went to the dogs. 

The shopping center, which opened with anchor store Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1969 and added more stores to the indoor mall in 1972, held the “Parkway Paws Party” to officially roll out the welcome mat for dogs.


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GROCERY WORKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO AUTHORIZE STRIKES AT RALPHS, ALBERTSONS, VONS AND PAVILIONS

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2022 (San Diego) -- United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals throughout California, together representing over 47,000 frontline food workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions, have announced an overwhelming membership vote to authorize union leadership to call for Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strikes should that become necessary. But it’s not yet inevitable that a strike will occur.


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SDG&E CUSTOMERS TO GET BILL CREDITS IN APRIL, AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER

California Climate Credit to offset natural gas bills by as much as $171.40, hopes to encourage residents to invest in clean energy options

Source:  SDG&E

March 27, 2022 (San Diego) - In the coming months, San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) residential customers will receive a break on their utility bills – up to $171.40 in bill credits, thanks to the California Climate Credit program. Administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the program is part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change.


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SANTEE INVOKES EMINENT DOMAIN FOR TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

By Mike Allen 

March 27, 2022 (Santee) -- One of the more controversial powers government agencies wield is eminent domain, the ability to acquire private property even without the owner’s consent for a project determined to be the public’s best interest.


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BAIL BONDSMAN SHOT IN FACE AT VACANT EL CAJON BUILDING WITH HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Screenshot via ECM news partner 10 News

Photos below by Robert Gehr

March 26, 2022 (El Cajon) – Jesse Nunez, a bail bondsman was shot in the face while attempting to find a wanted man yesterday afternoon at an abandoned building at 333 West Lexington Avenue in El Cajon. The shooter was not the person sought by the bail bondsman, says Lieutenant Will Guerin with the El Cajon Police, who added that squatters were occupying the building and two men ultimately surrendered after a brief stand-off.

The wanted fugitive, Jesse D. Tansey, remains at large, 619 news reports. He was being sought for failing to appear in court on charges that included drug dealing and possession of a firearms.

An ECM photographer says he repeatedly called ECPD to report break-ins at the property, as well as apparent drug sales.


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MEDICAL EXAMINER FINDS DOCTOR’S DEATH IN SANTEE PLANE CRASH WAS ACCIDENTAL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Sugata Das, courtesy of Yuma Regional Medical Center

March 23, 2022 (San Diego) – An autopsy of Dr. Sugata Das, the pilot killed October 11 when his Cessna plane crashed into a Santee neighborhood, found no evidence of drugs, alcohol, or medications. The Medical Examiner’s office also indicates Dr. Das had no history of medical conditions and found no evidence of suicide.


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OFFICIALS PUSH FOR NEW SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS IN EAST COUNTY

By Jakob McWhinney, Voice of San Diego 

Photo:  Gerald (Gerry) Kostiha eats a grapefruit while sitting on a chair outside his tent Tuesday, March 8, 2022, near El Cajon, CA. He has been living at the Magnolia encampment with his dog Lumpy for four months. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

March 22, 2022 (San Diego) - For the past four months, Gerry Kostiha has lived with his dog Lumpy off North Magnolia Avenue on a plot of county land only a few feet from the border of El Cajon. The 62-year-old worked as a plumber until a fall down a flight of stairs left him immobile and required a series of major surgeries.  


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JOSEPH ROCHA, 40TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT CANDIDATE, SPEAKS OUT ON THE ISSUES

 

View video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Shc-5Og5pc

Note: This interview was recorded in early February.

March 22, 2022 (San Diego) – Joseph Rocha, the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate in the newly redrawn 40th State Senate district currently represented by Republican Brian Jones, recently sat down for an in-depth interview with East County Magazine that originally aired on KNSJ radio.  He’s running to focus on jobs, housing, infrastructure, veterans and climate change among other important issues. The interview addressed these topics and more.

Rocha is a veteran of both the Navy and Marine Corps. He served as a bomb dog handler in the Persian Gulf and later, after obtaining his law degree, as a Marine Corps captain and prosecutor. He’s also a former intern at East County Magazine, where in 2008 he gained interest in politics while interview candidates for Congress and City Council. 

“I think the adversity in my life has given me the passion for service,” he says.  “I’m second generation Mexican-American,” he says. His mother was a grocery store worker who struggled with addiction; his father worked as a truck driver, raising five children. “These bread and butter, working class issues of the middle class have been a core passion of mine since I can remember," Rocha says.

Audio: 


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SUPERVISORS JIM DESMOND & JOEL ANDERSON'S 'GAS TAX SUSPENSION' BOARD LETTER PASSES UNANIMOUSLY

East County News Service

March 21, 2022 (San Diego) - On March 15, 2022, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a Board Letter introduced by Supervisors Jim Desmond (District 5) and Joel Anderson (District 2). The purpose of this Board Letter was to direct the Chief Administrative Officer to urge the Governor and State Legislature to suspend the State gas tax for one year.


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LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE “SAVING LIVES IN CUSTODY” ACT AFTER TWO MORE INMATES DIE IN COUNTY JAILS

208 inmates have died in county custody since 2006

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Akilah Weber, M.D.

March 19, 2022 (San Diego) – A bipartisan group of San Diego state legislators have introduced AB 2345, the Saving Lives in Custody Act. The bill follows a scathing state auditor’s report which found conditions in San Diego County Jails to be so dangerous that the auditor urged legislative intervention.


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SDSU RUSSIAN LANGUAGE PROFESSOR SHARES VIEWS ON UKRAINIAN CONFLICT

 

By Kylie Dees

 

March 18, 2022 (San Diego) -- "The war between Russia and Ukraine is absolutely barbaric...and unthinkable on its scale. We are all deeply devasted," Russian language instructor Dana Shembel at San Diego State University said in an interview with East County Magazine.


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SPRING VALLEY FREEWAY SHOOTING VICTIM DIES; ARREST MADE

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2022 (San Diego) – Today the California Highway Patrol announced the arrest of Thomas Evans III, 47 of La Mesa. He is charged with the murder of Saundralina Williams, 27, who was shot while driving her white SUV on State Route 94 in Spring Valley on March 5 near the Kenwood Drive exit. 

Williams was the mother of three young children and a resident of National City. 


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THREE PEOPLE INJURED IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Gehr

March 17, 2022 (El Cajon) – A driver who ran a red light caused a collision around 7:25 a.m. on Feb. 26 at the intersection of Douglas and Magnolia in downtown El Cajon, according to Lieutenant Randy Soulard with the El Cajon Police department. 


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