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

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

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

HEAT WAVE FORECAST: COOL ZONES AVAILABLE

News

SHERIFF TRANSFERS 200 MALE PRISONERS TO LAS COLINAS AMID COVID OUTBREAK

350 new COVID cases in county jails heightens concerns over lack of vaccination requirements for detention

personnel

 

East County News Service

 

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

 

January 21, 2022 (Santee)  -- With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the nation, San Diego County jails are also seeing a spike in the number of positive cases among incarcerated individuals. Over the past few days, more than 350 people in custody have tested positive for COVID-19 at local detention facilities.

 

“To ensure the health and well-being of those in our care, as well as deputies and jail staff, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will be temporarily transferring about 200 male inmates to the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee,” a press release from the Sheriff’s office today states.


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COMMISSIONER LARA APPROVES NEW COVERAGE OPTIONS FOR FARMS AND AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES UNDER FAIR PLAN

Insurance coverage will be available starting February 1st for farm owners, wineries, and other outdoor businesses previously ineligible  

East County News Service

January 21, 2022 (Sacramento) -- Acting to address the growing needs for a competitive insurance market for farm owners, wineries, ranchers and other outdoor agricultural businesses, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today approved the FAIR Plan to offer new commercial coverage for farm structure risks starting February 1, 2022. The FAIR Plan is an association made up of all admitted insurance companies to be the state’s property “insurer of last resort.”


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LEMON GROVE APPROVES MTS CONTRACT, SEWER REPAIRS AND SEAT DESIGNATIONS

By Elijah McKee

January 21, 2022 (Lemon Grove) — The Lemon Grove City Council moved forward with several key agenda items on Tuesday at their first meeting of the new year.


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DRIVER DIES AFTER STRIKING TREE AND ROCK

East County News Service

January 21, 2022 (El Cajon) – A Chula Vista man, 42, driving a 2020 Dodge Challenger eastbound on Willow Glen Drive in unincorporated El Cajon yesterday at 9:21 a.m. missed a curve and went off the edge of the roadway. His vehicle struck a rock and a tree, ejecting the driver.

California Highway Patrol units and fire personnel arrived on scene shortly after the crash.


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EL CAJON MAYOR AND TWO COUNCILMEMBERS DEFY MASK MANDATE AS COUNCIL HEARS REPORTS ON RELIEF FUNDS, DOWNTOWN UPGRADES, NEW VETERANS MEMORIAL AND MORE

By Henri Migala

January 19, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Despite a statewide mask mandate that was declared on December 15 and extended until February 15, Mayor Bill Wells as well as Councilmembers Michelle Metschel and Phil Ortiz, did not wear their masks at the January 11, City Council meeting. Councilmember Steve Goble removed his mask when he made comments.


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OUTGOING SAN DIEGO POLICE OVERSIGHT PANEL SEEING UPSURGE IN CASES

By J.W. August

Originally published in Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  San Diego police headquarters; @sandiegopolicedepartment via Facebook

January 19, 2022 (San Diego) - While the city wrestles with creating a new police review board, the current board, tasked with “holding the fort,” is having a “difficult and stressful” time managing the workload of incoming police cases they need to review.


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SHERIFF GORE TO STEP DOWN FEBRUARY 3

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2022 (San Diego) – Sheriff Bill Gore today announced that he will retire effective February 3 after 51 years in law enforcement, nearly a year before his term of office would have ended in January 2023. Gore was appointed Sheriff in 2009 to fill a vacancy left by the retirement of Bill Kolender, later winning elections three times.


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AMID LOW COVID VACCINE RATES, MORE CALIFORNIA CHILDREN HOSPITALIZED IN OMICRON SURGE

By Elizabeth Aguilera, CalMatters

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

Photo:  CC-by NC-ND via Bing

January 18, 2022 (San Diego) - COVID-19 hospitalizations among California’s children — especially those too young to go to school — are the highest they have been since the pandemic began.


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STARTING TODAY, YOU CAN ORDER FOUR FREE COVID TESTS PER HOUSEHOLD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit:  USPS

January 18, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Every household in American can receive four free COVID-19 tests from the federal government. 

Orders are being taken online starting today at https://special.usps.com/testkits.

The rapid antigen COVID-19 tests will be shipped free by the U.S. Postal Service starting in late January.


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LOST A LOVED ONE TO COVID? FEMA WILL PAY FUNERAL EXPENSES

By Miriam Raftery

Image via Pixabay

January 17, 2022 (Washington D.C.) – Over 850,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.  But many families don’t know about a federal program that can pay for funeral expenses such as burial or cremation. 

The program will pay up to $9,000 per death, or a maximum of $35,000 per application if an applicant paid for funerals for multiple people.


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BEHIND ON YOUR MORTGAGE DUE TO COVID? NOW THERE’S HELP FOR CALIFORNIANS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by SA via Bing 

January 16, 2022 (San Diego) – California homeowners who have fallen behind on housing payments due to pandemic-related hardships can now apply for help to pay back payments through the California Mortgage Relief program, which is funded by the 2021 federal American Rescue plan Act’s Homeowners Assistance Fund.  Qualified applicants do not have to repay any funds awarded.


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SAN DIEGO RABBI WAS CLASSMATE OF TEXAS RABBI TAKEN HOSTAGE

By Donald H. Harrison, San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Rabbi Jason Nevarez (Photo: Beth Israel Quarterly)

January 16. 2022 (San Diego) - Rabbi Jason Nevarez of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego attended college with the rabbi who was taken hostage in Colleyville, Texas.  After college, they were classmates at the Hebrew Union College seminary in Jerusalem in 2001 during the height of the Intifada.


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TODAY’S TSUNAMI WARNING TRIGGERS CONCERN OVER SAN ONOFRE BY NUCLEAR SAFETY ADVOCATES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot by Savvy Millennial of tsunami wave in Pacifica, CA today

Updated January 16, 2022 with response from Southern California Edison's public information officer, who says the San Onofre site is protected against tsunamis.

January 15, 2022(San Diego) – Public Watchdogs, a nonprofit advocacy group, is expressing deep concern for the public’s safety regarding the 3.6 Million pounds of deadly radioactive nuclear waste stored on the beach at San Onofre just north of San Diego, 108 feet from the Pacific Ocean, in a USGS designated tsunami inundation zone. 

A tsunami advisory was issued earlier today for the entire West Coast including San Diego after an underwater volcano erupted near Tonga in the South Pacific. Although San Diego fortunately did not have flooding, the eruption did trigger a tsunami and flooding that hit parts of northern California including Santa Clara and other coastal communities, submerging cars and ripping boats loose from moorings.


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COUNTY HEARING JANUARY 26 TO EXEMPT HOMELESS FACILITIES FROM ZONING ORDINANCE

East County News Service

Photo by Henri Migala:  Homeless youths and community members gathered in El Cajon recently to call for help to aid young homeless people.

January 15, 2022 (San Diego) – On January 26 at 9 a.m., County Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a proposal to exempt county-owned, run or leased emergency shelters, transitional and supportive services form zoning ordinance provisions.


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TSUNAMI ADVISORY EXTENDED FOR WEST COAST INCLUDING SAN DIEGO

 

Update 6 p.m.:  The National Weather Service now advises that tsunami waves could continue through this evening. This is a fluid situation due to continuing volcanic activity near Tonga.  Dangerous surf conditions will be present through the weekend, due to both the tsunami concerns and rain/storm conditions.  Avoid coastal areas.

Update 2 p.m. - The tsunami alert has been cancelled for San Diego's coast.

Update 12:09 p.m. -- The tsunami alert is still in effect, despite an earlier warning of waves due earlier this a.m., CNN reports, due to continuing volcanic activity at T onga. Here is a video in northern California of a tsunami wave that hit there today:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GanA_Kqx4bQ

 

January 15, 2022 (San Diego) -- A Tsunami Advisory has been issued for Southern California including the San Diego coast this morning. A volcanic eruption near Tongain the South Pacific has generated a Tsunami.

The coastal areas of SD County and the rest of the U.S. West Coast could experience strong currents that may be hazardous to swimmers, boats and coastal structures. Move off beach and out of harbors, and do not go to the coast to watch due to tsunami danger.View vi


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USGS PLANE TO MAKE LOW-LEVEL FLIGHTS OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERTS NEXT 15 MONTHS

East County News Service

January 14, 2022 (San Diego) – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today announced that residents and visitors may notice a low-flying aircraft over the Imperial Valley, Salton Sea and surrounding areas in southern California starting as early as mid-January 2022 and continuing into Spring 2023.


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LA MESA REPLACES ITS SANDAG REPRESENTATIVE AND EXTENDS VIRTUAL MEETINGS; LOTHIAN DEFIES MASK MANDATE

Updated January 17 with comments from Councilmember Lothian and clarification that the Council has been meeting virtually since the pandemic began and voted to extend virtual meetings.

By Eugenie Budnik

January 14, 2022 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa City Council held its first meeting of the new year on Tuesday. Mayor Mark Arapostathis opened with his State of the City speech, calling the city “strong.” 

Later the Council addressed some contentious issues, including replacing its SANDAG representative and extending virtual meetings amid the latest COVID surge.  With Council and staff in chambers, newly elected Councilmember Laura Lothian openly defied the state’s mask mandate.


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THE REAL HUSKIES OF BONITA NEED FOREVER HOMES

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 14, 2021 (San Diego) - In this County, if you don’t know the canine breed with the most camera appeal, then stay and we’ll introduce you to some fetching aspiring housedogs who are all currently residing in Bonita, a hidden gem of an animal shelter.


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DA ISSUES COVID TEST AND PRICE GOUGING WARNING AMID OMICRON SURGE

Source: San Diego District Attorney

Photo: COVID testing; CC by NC-ND

January 13, 2022 (San Diego) – San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan warned the public today to steer clear of unapproved at-home COVID-19 tests as people become increasingly desperate to get tested for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Consumers should only buy tests approved by the U.S Food and Drug Association (FDA).

Scammers are always waiting for their next opportunity to take financial advantage of unsuspecting consumers and the shortage of COVID-19 tests is no different. 


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COUNTY PROPOSES HOMELESS SHELTER LOCATIONS IN EAST COUNTY: VIRTUAL MEETINGS ON SPRING VALLEY SITES JAN. 14 AND 18

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors recently directed staff to find potential locations for homeless shelters in East County.  Now staff has proposed several sites in Spring Valley and Lakeside.


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FUNDRAISER LAUNCHED TO HELP HAMLETT COFFEE HOUSE IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

January 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Hamlett, Lemon Grove’s happening new gathering spot and coffeehouse. Opened six months ago, the start-up venture has weathered a pandemic, vandalisms, equipment failures and other financial set-backs. So now owner Shacole Hamlett is asking the public for help – and he has a detailed plan for long-term sustainability--with a little help from the community.

“Despite it all we have continued to serve our community, making amazing new connections and trying to bring joy, laughter, and love to each person who walks through our doors,” he says. “Our mission has never been about us, it's been about the community, creating space, and supporting local entrepreneurs!”

The Hamlett isn’t just a coffee shop serving up delicious fresh-brewed beverages.  It’s a showplace for community events such as open mic and comedy nights, workshops and more. It’s also an outlet for local businesses to sell wares ranging from teapots to soaps and launch their own new enterprises.


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TEEN SHELTER IN LA MESA IS FOCUS OF JANUARY 14 ZOOM MEETING

East County News Service

January 12, 2022 (La Mesa) – The East County Homeless Task Force has announced a Zoom meeting this Friday, January 14 at 1 p.m. regarding Home Start’s work on The Lodge, a former motel on University Avenue in La Mesa repurposed to provide housing and services for transition-age youths.


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770 NEW LAWS IN CALIFORNIA: THESE MAY IMPACT YOU

 

By Henri Migala

January 12, 2022 (Sacramento) -- With the new year comes not only resolutions to be made (and probably broken), but also new laws enacted (that can’t be broken, lest you incur penalties).  Last year, 770 bills were signed into law. Some went into effect on January 1st, and some will go into effect later.

Among the changes are a hike in minimum wage, increased accountability for police officers, and laws to ease the housing crunch. Some new laws are quirky: you can now legally eat roadkill and obtain restraining orders online, but you can be prosecuted for stealthily removing a condom. Students can sleep later in non-rural areas. All Californians are required to recycle organic waste and abide by new gun laws; registered voters will receive ballots by mail.

Here is an overview of these and other significant new laws that may impact you. Click the bill number to read the full legislation.


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STRONG GAS ODOR ACROSS EL CAJON

 
East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts
 
Update:  The El Cajon odor is the result of a chemical spill of mercaptan, an odor additive used to make natural gas detectable.  There is no gas leaks, but residents are advised to stay indoors for a few hours until it dissipates. More on this chemical:  https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MHMI/mmg139.pdf
 
January 12, 2022 (El Cajon) -- A strong smell of natural gas is evident across El Cajon including the valley floor and the Fletcher Hills area late this morning. The City of El Cajon has tweeted that the odor is orignating from 1001 West Bradley Avenue.
 
"Heartland Fire & Rescue has advised that the strong odor is occurring due to Waste Management charging their ventilation tanks. The odor should dissipate over the next few hours," the city Tweet states. 

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FIRE DAMAGES HOME OF NATHAN FLETCHER AND LORENA GONZALEZ

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

January 12, 2022 (San Diego) – An early morning fire at 4 a.m. damaged the City Heights residence of Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, and his wife, former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez.

Gonzalez tweeted, “Our entire family is safe. No one is injured. That’s all that matters.”

Fletcher tweeted gratitude for the swift response by San Diego Fire and Police Department. He indicated the family was awakened by smoke alarms to find the front of their home engulfed in flames. They were able to evacuate safely out a separate door.


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SUPERVISORS VOTE 3-2 TO RESTRICT “GHOST GUNS” AND REQUIRE SAFE STORAGE OF FIREARMS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via County of San Diego

January 11, 2022 (San Diego) -- San Diego County Supervisors today voted 3-2 to enact a new ordinance to set standards for safe storage of firearms and to put restrictions on “ghost guns” in unincorporated areas.

Do-it-yourself ghost guns are homemade and untraceable, due to a lack of serial numbers. Thus they can evade federal and state requirements, such as background checks required to purchase firearms.

Sheriff’s deputies confiscated 212 ghost guns last year – nearly six times more than the 36 ghost guns seized in 2019, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.


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NTSB: LEARJET HIT POWERLINES, OVERSHOT RUNWAY BEFORE CRASH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2022 (El Cajon) – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on the LearJet that crashed on December 27th into El Cajon’s Bostonia neighborhood, killing all four people aboard.

The report does not identify the cause of the crash, but does reveal that the plane struck powerlines before the crash in overcast, misty weather conditions. The report also indicates that the pilot had overflown the runway at Gillespie Field at a low altitude, was granted permission to land on a different runway, switched from automatic to visual controls and asked that the runway lights be turned up moments before the deadly crash.


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LA MESA AWARDS ANIMAL SERVICES CONTRACT TO HUMANE SOCIETY

Source: San Diego Humane Society

January 11, 2022 (La Mesa) — Tonight, members of the La Mesa City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract with San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) to become the City’s animal services provider. San Diego Humane Society has been providing sheltering and medical care for La Mesa’s animals at its El Cajon Campus since October 2020. With this new contract, which goes into effect immediately, SDHS will provide Humane Law Enforcement (animal control) and licensing services as well.

In addition to all the specialized programs San Diego Humane Society offers, such as the Kitten Nursery, Behavior Center, Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine, Bahde Wildlife Center, Community Support Services and community education, residents in La Mesa will see an added benefit with extended animal control and dispatch hours. Residents can call 619-299-7012 (press 1 for Humane Law Enforcement Dispatch) or visit http://www.sdhumane.org  for more information about San Diego Humane Society’s services.


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MARTIN LUTHER KING JR HOLIDAY EVENTS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo: Creative Commons by ND via Bing

Jan. 11, 2022 (San Diego) -- While some Martin Luther King Jr. holiday events, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, have been cancelled---such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at the Recreation Center--there are other options, such as the virtual  “I Have a Dream” run including 1 mile(M), 5 kilometers(K), 10K, 13.1M, and 26.2M options.

 To participate from home will save you $2. Visit:  https://www.virtualrunevents.com/product/2022-i-have-a-dream-mlk/  for complete information.

Other choices include:


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SENATORS JONES INTRODUCES SAFE ACT TO BLOCK SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS FROM BEING DUMPED IN UNSUSPECTING COMMUNITIES

East County News Service 

“The SAFE Act will bring transparency to the secretive ‘Hide the Predator’ game the Department of State Hospitals has played when releasing SVPs into communities” –Senator Brian Jones

January 11, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- State Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee), Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) and Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) have introduced the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act).  The measure aims to prevent the state from continuing to try to secretly dump Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) in East and North San Diego County, as well as other unsuspecting communities throughout the state.


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