FORMER MANZANITA TRIBAL POLICE CHIEF ADMITS TO STEALING OVER $300,000 FROM LOCAL TRIBE BY SELLING FAKE BADGES

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WINS 11 AWARDS FROM SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB’S 2021 EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HOST WORKSHOP WITH RESIDENTS ON STREET REPAIR PRIORITIES

FAMILY ASKS HELP TO FIND MISSING MAN LAST SEEN IN KENSINGTON OVER TWO WEEKS AGO

SHAKESPEARE CALL AND RESPONSE: GLOBE FOR CALL COMES TO LEMON GROVE NOVEMBER 10

INTERVIEW WITH DR. WILLIAM TSENG, KAISER PERMANENTE’S VACCINE EXPERT, ON NEW COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS AND UPCOMING VACCINES FOR KIDS

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OCT. 28 - NOV. 21

75TH ANNUAL MOTHER GOOSE PARADE WILL BE VIRTUAL NOV. 21

MARINES MAKE FIRST-EVER WATER DROPS IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT TO SAVE BIGHORN SHEEP DURING DROUGHT

COVID-19 BOOSTERS OF ALL THREE VACCINES NOW APPROVED BY THE FDA; CONSUMERS CAN OPT FOR A BOOSTER OF A DIFFERENT VACCINE

LOCAL ARAB GROUP CALLS ON SUPERVISOR ANDERSON TO APOLOGIZE FOR REMARKS LINKING CAIR TO TERRORISM

A SHADY DEAL: LEMON GROVE JOINS TREE CITY USA

News

ELECTRIC VEHICLE HOME CHARGING: TIPS FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

Help keep residents in your community safe from fire and electric shock hazards related to charging electric vehicles by sharing these safety tips

Source:  U.S. Fire Administration

Photo: Chevrolet Bolt parked in garage is believed to have started home fire in Virginia in May that displaced a family and caused an estimated $235,000 in damage. There were no injuries. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue

August 19, 2021 (San Diego) - There are over 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in the United States. President Biden's executive order, calling for the federal government to try to ensure that half of all vehicles sold in the United states be electric by 2030, ensures that number will increase significantly in the coming years.

COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES ANNOUNCES TWO WEBINARS ON HOMELESSNESS AUGUST 25 & 31

Source:  County of San Diego Planning & Development Services

August 18, 2021 (San Diego) - On April 6, 2021, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to continue with the amendments to the Zoning Ordinance related to Shelter and Housing Facilities for persons experiencing homelessness. 

MAN WHO BROUGHT MOLOTOV COCKTAILS TO LA MESA PROTESTS SENTENCED

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

ECM file photo, left, of Karas.

Aug. 16, 2021 (La Mesa) Twenty-nine-year-old Zachary Alexander Karas was sentenced to 33 months in Federal custody on Aug. 13, according to court documents, for possessing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, during the La Mesa riots in May of 2020.

The protests were in response to racial justice and policing issues.

In court documents Karas claimed he made the decision to make Molotov cocktails while he was under the influence of alcohol.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office Karas could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An appeal has already been filed.

DRIVER EXPERIENCES MEDICAL EMERGENCY WHILE DRIVING ON I-8 IN LAKESIDE

Source:  California Highway Patrol

August 13, 2021 (Lakeside) - Today at approximately 11:44 am, a 59-year-old male resident of Mesa, AZ was driving a Buick convertible eastbound on Interstate 8 west of Dunbar Lane. While driving, the driver experienced a medical episode which caused him to become incapacitated and lose positive control of the car. His 58-year-old wife was seated in the right front passenger seat and observed that her husband was in distress. She immediately reached across the center console, grabbed the steering wheel and attempted to maintain control of the car.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT HELPS LOCAL FAMILIES PREPARE FOR SCHOOL

While supplies last, backpacks filled with school supplies are still available for pickup at the Herrick Library

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Grossmont Healthcare District

August 12, 2021 (La Mesa) - The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) supported hundreds of East County San Diego families at their three-day Family End of Summer Palooza event, giving away essentials to prepare for back to school.

GOFUNDME ACCOUNT AND MORE SET-UP FOR LAWSON COMMUNITY FAMILY THAT LOST HOME IN FIRE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo courtesy of Lyons Trading Post.

August 12, 2021 (Lyons Valley) A GoFundMe account has been started for the family that lost their home on August 10 in a fire. Dean Higginbotham and family are left without a home and personal belongings.

According to the GoFundMe account, organized by George Hetzel, an electrical fire was the cause. Higginbotham’s teen daughter escaped --- shoeless.

The family was able to save their pets and livestock.

The teen begins the school year without any clothing, shoes, or school supplies.

PASSAGES: 'NEVER FORGET': DAN WALTERS OF PADRES, SDPD, SANTANA HIGH SCHOOL MOURNED AT A DELAYED FUNERAL

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

Photo:  San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit speaks at the funeral for Dan Walters, a police officer and former San Diego Padres catcher. Image from Facebook

August 11, 2021 (San Diego) - It was important to Dan Walters not to be forgotten.

More than a year after his death, hundreds of police officers and friends assured that wouldn’t happen at a funeral postponed by COVID-19.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE MA TAR AWA RV PARK - AIR & GROUND RESOURCES FIGHTING BAMBI FIRE IN ALPINE

5:20 p.m.: Firefighters have stopped the forward rate of spread at 8 acres. Ground crews will continue to mop up and put out any spot fires.

8:45 p.m.: No news is good news.

By Jonathan Goetz

August 11, 2021 -- The #BambiFire in Alpine, north of I-8 on Viejas tribal lands and within the Cleveland National Forest has burned approximately 7-11 acres.

The Incident Commander was overheard calling for help to save Ma Tar Awa RV Park, according to SD County Fire Scanner. NBC San Diego showed dramatic live video from a helicopter of the fire stopped just yards from structures in the park.

The last word was moderate rate of spread, but it is unclear if some resources were cancelled en route, which may mean firefighters think they have a good handle on the situation.

'CODE RED FOR HUMANITY': IPCC REPORT WARNS WINDOW FOR CLIMATE ACTION IS CLOSING FAST

"The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk."

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, published under a Creative Commons license

Photo: file photo from the 2007 firestorms

August 10, 2021 (San Diego) - A panel of leading scientists convened by the United Nations issued a comprehensive report Monday that contains a stark warning for humanity: The climate crisis is here, some of its most destructive consequences are now inevitable, and only massive and speedy reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit the coming disaster.

MURDER CHARGES FILED OVER DEATH OF BORREGO SPRINGS MAN

By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2021 (Borrego Springs) -- On February 18, Sheriff's deputies responded to Di Giorgio Road and Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs for a report of a battery. Deputies found Martin Baker, 49,  on the side of the road suffering from head trauma.

He was transported to a local area hospital for treatment. Later that day, deputies arrested Eugene Carl Focarelli, 37, for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm. On Feb. 22, Baker’s condition declined and the Borrego Springs resident died at the hospital. 

STATE WAIVES MEDI-CAL PREMIUMS DURING PANDEMIC: MANY RECIPIENTS UNAWARE

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

August 9, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients who experienced financial hardship during the pandemic are paying monthly premiums when they don't have to - presumably unaware that the state is waiving the monthly payments during the pandemic.

LA MESA’S NEW POLICE CHIEF AIMS TO BUILD TRUST, HEAR COMMUNITY’S CONCERNS AT FIRST TOWN HALL MEETING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  LMPD Chief Ray Sweeney

August 8, 2021 (La Mesa) – At the first of four town hall meetings held by La Mesa Police billed as community outreach and listening sessions, newly appointed Chief Ray Sweeney promised to work with community members to make changes. The Chief spoke of changes in the work, then fielded questions from the public.

THUNDERSTORMS THIS WEEK: HIGH FIRE DANGER AND POTENTIAL FLASH FLOODING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: National Weather Service

August 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service is warning of elevated fire conditions, with mountain thunderstorms Monday followed by more thunderstorms Tuesday to Saturday in the deserts and mountains.

SPRING VALLEY ACTIVISTS ESCALATE ACTION ON TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY CRISIS WITH PROTEST AT REP. VARGAS’ OFFICE MONDAY MORNING

East County News Service

Photo: Tijuana River Valley; CC by SA via Bing

 

August 8, 2020 (Spring Valley)  – The Spring Valley Cleanup Crew and a coalition of San Diego activists are uniting for a protest in front of Rep. Juan Vargas' (D-CA) office this Monday, Aug. 9 at 8:30 a.m. to demand additional funding be deployed for the Tijuana River Valley crisis.

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.”

DRAMATIC VIDEO SHOWS DEPUTY SAVED BY FELLOW OFFICER AFTER COLLAPSING FROM FENTANYL EXPOSURE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 7, 2021 (San Diego) – The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has released a video on dangerous of Fentanyl-laced drugs after a deputy was exposed and nearly died of an overdose.  On July 3, 2021, Deputy David Faiivae from the San Marcos Sheriff's Station put on his uniform and badge for his patrol shift.  He had no idea he was about to go through one of the worst days of his life after being exposed to Fentanyl.

“Please take the time to share this video," said Sheriff Gore.  "It might save the life of your son, daughter, friend or loved one." Many overdose victims didn’t even know they had ingested Fentanyl, which is increasingly turning up laced in other drugs across the nation including methamphetamines, heroin, black-market pain killers such as oxycodone and even marijuana sold through illegal channels. A fatal dose is as small as a grain of sand and stronger versions such as carfentanyl are too small to be seen.

“If it wasn't for the quick-thinking of his Field Training Officer, Corporal Scott Crane, in administering Naloxone, Deputy Faiivae would not be alive today,” a press release from the Sheriff’s Department states.

ROBBER FIRES GUN INSIDE EXCALIBUR LIQUOR STORE IN LA MESA

East County News Service

August 6, 2021 (La Mesa) – Shortly after 10 p.m. last night, the La Mesa Police Department received a report of a robbery that had just occurred at the Excalibur Liquor Store at 5575 Baltimore Drive. The clerk reported that the suspect entered the store, walked around the counter, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the clerk. The suspect then fired one round into the wall and pushed the clerk to the ground. 

The clerk was not injured during the incident. The lone suspect stole money from the register and personal property from the clerk, according to police. The suspect fled on foot in an unknown direction. 

SURGE IN BRAZILIAN MIGRANTS AT SAN DIEGO BORDER

By Miriam Raftery

August 6, 2021 (San Diego) – The U.S. Border Patrol reports an unprecedented wave of Brazilian nationals apprehended along the San Diego-Mexico border. Since Oct. 1, 2020, agents have apprehended over 7,300 Brazilian migrants – up from 330 for the entire fiscal year 2020.  Every month since April of 2021, over 1,000 Brazilian nationals entered the U.S. across the Mexican border in the San Diego area – a staggering increase of more than 114,000%  from the same timeframe in FY20, where SDC had just six total apprehensions of Brazilian nationals. 

BORDER PATROL AGENTS AND OFFICERS TO BEGIN WEARING BODY CAMERAS

Source: USCBP

August 6, 2021 (Washington D.C.) --  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun outfitting an initial group of agents and officers with body-worn cameras to better enhance its policing practices and reinforce trust and transparency.

HELP SOUGHT TO FIND MISSING MAN IN JACUMBA; CELL PHONE FOUND ON TRAIL

East County News Service

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Pine Valley Sheriff’ substation is asking for public help to find Derek Barge, 41, who has been missing since Saturday night, July 31. He was last seen at the DeAnza Springs Resort on Carrizo Gorge Road in Jacumba.

PASSAGES: STU HEDLEY DIES AT 99 OF COVID-19; PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR STAYED ALERT, NEVER LOST FAITH

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

Photo:  Pearl Harbor survivor Stu Hedley joked in 2019 that he was turning 89 the next month before telling people to transpose the number to 98. Photo by Chris Stone

August 5, 2021 (San Diego) - Stu Hedley credited a lesson his dad taught him for saving his life at Pearl Harbor in 1941. 

“You know how kids are always leaning back in the chair, even though we tell them not to?” he told a Casa de Oro Library audience in 2011. “Well, I used to do that as a young boy, even though my dad was constantly getting on me about it.”

CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR FATHER JOE CARROLL: AUGUST 10 AT SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTER

East County News Service

Update: For those who missed the celebration of life, you can view it, along with a memorial wall, here:

August 5, 2021 (San Diego) – The community is invited to celebrate Father Joe Carroll’s decades of service and compassion for neighbors in need. The celebration of life will take place August 10 at 10:30 a.m. at San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego in Hall H. 

RSVP: To reserve a free ticket for this event, click here.

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.

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.

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