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

JONES INTRODUCES MEASURE TO CRACKDOWN ON CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT IN CALIFORNIA

 

Supply chain snags, high cost of precious metal leads to increasing thefts with few arrests or prosecutions.

February 3, 2022 (Sacramento) --  Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) this week introduced a measure to crackdown on the growing crime of catalytic converter theft in California. 

 “The crime of stealing catalytic converters in California has skyrocketed in the last several months,” stated Senator Brian W. Jones. “Unfortunately, unless some changes in the law are made it will only get worse. Thieves often face few risks in getting caught or prosecuted, yet the car or truck owner faces thousands of dollars in repairs and the inability to use their vehicle for days or weeks while it’s being repaired. My bill will help discourage, prevent, and prosecute the growing crime of catalytic converter theft in California.”

Jones’s Senate Bill 919 would attack the crime of catalytic converter theft in distinct three ways: 


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AS MILITARY BEGINS BOOTING OUT SOLDIERS WHO REFUSE COVID VACCINES, REP. ISSA CALLS FOR HALT TO FUNDS FOR MANDATE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army

February 3, 2022 (San Diego) – All branches of the U.S. armed forces have begun discharging military members who have refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In the Army, Air Force and Navy, over 97% of all enlisted members in each service are now fully vaccinated. 

“Unvaccinated soldiers present risk to the force and jeopardize readiness,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said this week, when the Army announced it had begun booting out soldiers who won’t get vaccinated. She added, “Army readiness depends on Soldiers who are prepared to train, deploy, fight and win our nation's wars.”

Navy Vice Admiral William Merz agrees; he has referred to vaccines as “biological body army” at a Pentagon press conference in January.


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LA MESA RESIDENT EVELINE WILSON HAS A FAMILY OF 71

By Ray Bello 

Photo: Eveline’s 80th Birthday Party 2011 (partial family photo)

February 3, 2022 (La Mesa) - Imagine having 71 birthdays to remember. Impossible! Eveline Wilson, age 90, has this impossible mission handled. Her son Chuck prepares a calendar for her with each name and birthday. She addresses the envelopes using her Rolodex, personalizes each card and uses lots of x’s and o’s.

 


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STATE AUDITOR SLAMS SD SHERIFF’S DEPT. ON JAIL DEATHS, URGES LEGISLATURE TO FIX ISSUE

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

Photo:  Sheriff Bill Gore, whose retirement is effective Thursday, has pushed back against jail critics in the past. Photo by Ken Stone

February 3, 2022 (San Diego) - On the day San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore retires, a state auditor released a damning report Thursday that calls on state lawmakers to make “meaningful changes” to reduce his agency’s high rate of jail deaths.


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KAISER PERMANENTE WELCOMES BABY BOY AT 2:22PM ON 2/2/22

February 3, 2022 (San Diego) -- A 31-year-old Carlsbad woman gave birth to an infant boy at 2:22 p.m. at the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, making for a very unique birth date and time of 2:22 on 2/2/22.

The parents are Natalie and Angel Hernandez. Their new son is Ramon who weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and is 19 inches long. Ramon is the first child of Natalie and Angel and the 22nd Great Grandchild of Natalie’s Grandmother Josephine.


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ISIS LEADER DEAD AFTER U.S.SPECIAL FORCES RAID, WHITE HOUSE REPORTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via @WhiteHouse on Twitter: President Biden, Vice President Harris and members of the President’s national security team observe the counterterrorism operation responsible for removing from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS.

February 3, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden announced this morning that the leader of ISIS is dead. The terrorist leader detonated a suicide bomb as troops closed in at his home in Syria, killing his own family members rather than be captured, President Joe Biden and White House officials announced.

There were no U.S. casualties, according to the Pentagon. The raid also reportedly killed an ISIS lieutenant, who barricaded himself in a room and engaged in a firefight with U.S. soldiers.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT RECEIVES $47,117 IN COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDING FROM STATE

Funds will be used to assist in the distribution of free COVID-19 at-home test kits 

Source:  Grossmont Healthcare district

Photo: District employees prepare boxes of at-home COVID-19 test kits for distribution to the community through partners and its Library (Courtesy of Grossmont Healthcare District) 

February 2, 2022 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District announced it has received $47,117 in State funding for COVID-19 relief, which it plans to reinvest into the community by supplementing the nationwide effort to provide the public with free COVID-19 at-home test kits.


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LICENSED SKILLED NURSING HOMES VS ADVOCATERS, WHO WILL WIN?

Both sides of issue have rare agreement: California does a poor job

By J.W. August

Photo: Microsoft clip art

February 1, 2022 (San Diego) -- The approval this past week by the California Assembly of new state legislation has the potential to significantly alter the oversight of skilled nursing facilities statewide that are home to some 400,000 patients.

Assembly Bill 1502 cleared the Assembly on a 55-15 vote, with only Republican legislators casting no votes, including the minority leader Republican Maria Waldron representing part of North County. Whether this far-reaching bill becomes law depends on whether the legislation will survive review by the California Senate. The first stop is at the Senate Health Committee.


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JUNIOR SEAU'S BROTHER KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH WITH HELIX WATER DUMP TRUCK

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Savaii Seau and his wife, Megan, on their wedding day, courtesy of the Seau family

Updated 8:30 with information on Seau's wife, Megan, the passenger in his vehicle.

February 2, 2022 (Lakeside) –  Savaii Seau, the brother of former Chargers' linebaker Junior Seau, has died of injuries sustained when the 2005 Audi A6 he was driving crossed the center line on Los Coches Road in Lakeside yesterday and struck a Helix Water District dump truck head on.

His wife, Megan, was a passenger in Seau's vehicle and remains hospitalized in stable condition, a family member told ECM.


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PASSAGES: HAROLD BROWN, ECTLC LEADER AND HOMELESS ADVOCATE, 1957-2022

By Miriam Raftery and  Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo via El Cajon Citizens of the Year

February 1, 2022 (El Cajon) – Pastor Harold Brown overcame homelessness and other hardships to become a community leader dedicated to helping others. As founder and CEO of the East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC) in El Cajon, he championed programs that have helped thousands of people escape homelessness and find hope instead of despair. Brown was also senior pastor of Christian Fellowship  of El Cajon.

Following a long battle with lung cancer, he was hospitalized last week with pneumonia and passed away yesterday morning.

Community leaders voiced sorrow as well as praise for Rev. Brown’s remarkable achievements.

Audio: 


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BILL ENDING ‘ZOMBIE LICENSES’ FOR NURSING HOMES MOVES FORWARD IN CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

Shot down before, this time advocates have momentum as bill heads to a vote

By J.W. August

Photo:  Isolation of patients in nursing homes during COVID era increases need for state oversight; image CC-by-NC via Bing

Update 5 p.m. --AB 1502  passed the Assembly tthis afternoon by a 47-12 vote and now heads to the State Senate.

January 31, 2022 (San Diego) -- If you want to drive a car in California you need a driver's license. In San Diego County all dogs must be licensed.  But if you own a nursing home, you can buy another home or chain of facilities, and no license is required. 

Unlike a driver who is in multiple accidents or an animal that's attacked someone, there are no rules when it comes to the takeover or sale of nursing homes, no matter how ugly the track record of the firm buying or selling a nursing home.

Even if a chain operator has a history of poorly managed homes, it can add to its portfolio and can do so without first obtaining a license, as long as it submits a license application. The trouble is, such applications can take years to process.

The California Department of Public Health, which is charged with providing oversight of the nursing home industry, says it has no authority to disqualify owners and operators who are already in operation in the state. The agency says this is allowed to happen under what they call a Management Operations Transfer Agreement.

This is what Tony Chicotel, attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), calls “zombie licenses.”. He explains it’s  “the essence of license-evasion.” 


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300 COMMUNITY MEMBERS JOIN COUNTY VIRTUAL MEETING ON PROPOSED COTTONWOOD SAND MINE; VAST MAJORITY VOICED OPPOSITION

By Henri Migala 

Update: The public comment period has been extended to Monday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. Comments can be sent to Robert.Hingtgen@SDcounty.ca.gov

 

January 31, 2022 (Rancho San Diego) -- The County of San Diego held an online meeting January 19 in response to a request for a Major Use Permit for sandmining at the Cottonwood Golf Course along the Sweetwater River. The property owner’s proposal requires an environmental review and public input. Hundreds weighed in, despite major technical issues.

 

The in-person public meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday, January 12, 2022 was cancelled due to health concerns related to COVID19. However the public can still weight in via the comment link or at a February 1 meeting of the Valle de Oro Planning Group.


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CRASH SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAY 78

 

January 31, 2022 -- A septic truck has overturned on Highway 78 at Yaqui Wells.

The injury accident has shut down the highway in both directions this morning.


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COUNTY SUPERVISORS MOVE FORWARD WITH ALTERNATIVE HOUSING PLANNING

By Elijah McKee

January 30, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – In the past, getting zoning approval for shelter space in San Diego County could take up to two years and require costly payments. 

Now, after the Board of Supervisors unanimously amended a zoning ordinance on Wednesday, there will be fewer obstacles for multiple kinds of safe shelter and housing options, which could especially serve East County.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE ANDERSON’S AND DESMOND’S REQUEST TO ADDRESS SHORTAGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sheriff recruits, via San Diego Sheriff’s Department

January 30, 2022 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors on January 25 unanimously approved a request by East County Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond to resolve an anticipated shortage of law enforcement officers as vaccine mandates, retirements, COVID-19, recruitment and retention issues impact staffing levels.


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VOTING RIGHTS BILLS HIT ROADBLOCK IN SENATE, WITH DEMOCRACY ON THE LINE

By Elijah McKee

Photo, left by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson:  Voter casts ballot at San Diego Register of Voters

January 26, 2022 (San Diego) — With year one of the Biden Administration completed and the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, Congress’s pivotal tug-of-war over federal voting rights legislation continues to escalate.

 

In January 19 in the Senate, Republicans blocked the Democrats’ attempt at passing both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The legislation — which was also blocked several times in 2021 — sought to strengthen the protections of voters in light of many recent state laws that suppress voting rights. 

 

Such laws have been levied across the nation in the wake of the 2020 Presidential election and the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently warned, “Our voting rights – and our democracy – are on the line.”


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4.0 QUAKE RATTLES REGION

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2022 (Palomar) -- A 4.0 earthquake at 9:46 this morning struck approximately 5 kilometers west-southwest of Palomar Observatory in north San Diego County, the U.S. Geological Service reports.  That's about 18 miles northeast of Escondido.

The shaking was felt as far away as Mexico to the south, Santa Maria to the north, and Yuma, Arizona to the east.


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MAN SENTENCED FOR PARTICIPATING IN ARSON DURING LA MESA RIOT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jake Rose: Randall Lamb building in flames

January 29, 2022 (La Mesa) – Daniel Louis Sandoval, 44, of Campo has been sentenced for his role in the burning down of the historic Randall Lamb building in La Mesa shortly after midnight on May 31, 2020 during civil unrest.


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WINDS, SNOW FLURRIES FORECAST

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Snow flurries, scattered rainfall and strong winds are forecast this afternoon and tonight in San Diego County’s mountains, creating hazardous travel conditions.  Adverse weather conditions are also forecast later in the week across our region.

Tuesday through Friday, expect moderate west winds for mountains, deserts and coastal waters with potential for yet another Santa Ana winds period Wednesday through Friday.


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FORMER EMPLOYEE AT COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE CHARGED WITH FELONY CONFLICT OF INTEREST

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2022 (San Diego) – The former chief deputy for information systems in the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/ Clerk’s office has been charged with steering county contracts to his wife’s company from 2017-2020.


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EXECUTIVE ORDER MAKES MILITARY SEXUAL HARASSMENT A CRIME

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  teal ribbon is a national symbol of support for victims of sexual assault; staff Sgt. Don Hudson, U.S. Air Force

January 28, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday signing an executive order making sexual harassment a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 


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ARREST MADE FOR MURDER OF WOMAN, 29, IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

Photo: CC-NC-ND via Bing

January 28, 2022 (Spring Valley) – Shortly before midnight last night, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a woman calling for help at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Canyon Drive.  They found the victim unresponsive in the parking lot with traumatic injuries.


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BOOSTERS KEEPING SAN DIEGANS OUT OF HOSPITALS

East County News Service

County News Service contributed to this report

January 26, 2022 (San Diego) - Recently released research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that COVID-19 vaccine boosters are effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations.

New research findings released by the U.S. Centers for Disease control shows that COVID-19 vaccine boosters are effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations.

The boosters reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations by 94%, and reduced the death rate by 90% compared to patients who had not received booster shots.

 


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NITRATE CONTAMINATION FOUND IN DRINKING WATER AT CAMERON CORNERS IN CAMPO

Do not drink tap water in the affected area

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Cameron Corners, via Google Earth

 

January 26, 2022 (Campo) -- The County of San Diego's Department of Environmental Health and Quality today advised the public that a Drinking Water Warning has been issued effective immediately for Cameron Corners Water System at 31484 Highway 94, Campo, CA 91906. The water system supplies water to a convenience store, restaurant, and office retail space.  


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FIRE IN LAKESIDE CLOSES WILDCAT CANYON ROAD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jacqueline Heil

January 24, 2022 (Lakeside) -- The #CanyonFire that began with a vehicle fire at Wildcat Canyon and Muth Valley roads in Lakeside has forced closure of Wildcat Canyon Road in both directions from Willow to Barona. As of 3:30 p.m., Cal Fire spokesman Frank LaCoco told ECM he anticipates closure for at least two more hours due to equipment on both sides of the road, with firefighters remaining on scene into the evening.


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GMIA HEARS DETAILS ON PROPOSED SITE TO HELP HOMELESS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson 

(Photo courtesy of the County of San Diego)

Jan. 24, 2022 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Mt. Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) took a proactive look at where potential homeless sites would be located in La Mesa, while trying to balance compassionate solutions with community safety. 

One proposed site is at the Park and Ride near the Rancho San Diego Village Shopping Center at Avocado Blvd. and State Route 94 in unincorporated La Mesa; GMIA asked the county to host an online webinar, which was held January 18.  

Due to technical difficulties that knocked some participants offline, a second Zoom meeting has been set for Wed., Jan. 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The link for the Jan. 26th session is:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89774215131 . The next session should provide an opportunity for the attendees to further explore potential sites in La Mesa for the homeless. 


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CAN’T AFFORD MEDICATIONS? BILLIONAIRE MARK CUBAN LAUNCHES ONLINE PHARMACY TO MAKE GENERIC DRUGS AFFORDABLE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by ND via Bing

January 23, 2022 (Dallas) – Seeking to make generic prescription drugs affordable for all, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has launched an online pharmacy that sells medications at wholesale prices to consumers at https://costplusdrugs.com/.


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SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE CLEARS BIG HURDLE IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Emily Hoeven, CalMatters

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

Photo:  State Capitol, CC-by-NC via Bing

Update: The author did not bring this bill up on the Assembly floor by this session's legislative deadline, due to lack of enough votes for passage.

January 22, 2022 (Sacramento) - Get ready for a showdown in Sacramento.

On Thursday, a key Assembly committee approved a controversial proposal to create a state-funded single-payer health care system — a move that could put many Democrats, and ultimately Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a tough bind ahead of this year’s elections.


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ANDERSON URGES SUPERVISORS TO PREPARE FOR UPCOMING PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER SHORTAGES

Action is needed to address public safety, Anderson says

East County News Service

January 22, 2022 (San Diego) -- At the January 25 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Joel Anderson will present a letter to the board urging the County to be prepared to face anticipated upcoming public safety personnel shortages throughout the region as vaccine mandates, retirements, recruitment and retention issues impact staffing levels.


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UNIDENTIFIED PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2022 (Spring Valley) – A male pedestrian who has not yet been identified was struck and killed tonight at 7:09 p.m. by a Volvo in Spring Valley.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the victim stepped off the sidewalk into the path of the 2010 Volvo XC90, which was traveling north on Sweetwater Road near Saint George Street.


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