North County Inland

North County Inland

VALLEY CENTER TEACHER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED SEX CRIMES WITH MINORS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Image via Valley Center Elementary School website
 
May 6, 2021 (Valley Center) – Kyle Puette, 37, a third and fifth grade teacher at Valley Center Elementary School, has been arrested on charges of sending harmful matter to seduce minors and communicating with minors to commit a sexual offense.
 
The alleged criminal offenses offered in Bakersfield, where Puette was formerly employed as a fifth grade teacher at Louse Sandrini Elementary School from 2013 to 2017. Two juvenile teenage victims have been identified thus far, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. 

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ISSA ADVOCATES FOR CALIFORNIA ROADWAY IMPROVEMENTS IN 2021 SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE

Congressman seeks funds for highways 52 in Santee, 78 at I-5, and 11 at Otay crossing

East County News Service

April 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.). — Yesterday, Congressman Darrell Issa announced CA-50’s Member Designated Projects submissions to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for deliberation in the 2021 surface transportation reauthorization legislation.


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SADDLE UP, KIDS: PONY RIDES RETURN AT BATES NUT FARM

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

 

April 2, 2021 (Valley Center) – Pony rides are back at Bates Nut Farm,located at 15954 Woods Valley Road in Valley Center.  The rides are available on the first Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.:  April 3, May 1, June 5 and July 3.  


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CONGRESSMAN ISSA INTRODUCES BILL TO TRANSFER SACRED LANDS TO PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS RESERVATION

Source: Pala Band of Mission Indians

 

March 23, 2021 (Pala) --  On March 17, 2021, Congressman Darrell Issa introduced the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act (H.R. 1975), a bill that will transfer approximately 721 acres of land adjacent to the Pala Reservation into federal trust status. This land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in 2016 in order to prevent the construction of a landfill on sacred Chokla (Gregory Mountain), a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala’s people.

 

“The Pala Band is grateful to Congressman Issa for his partnership and willingness to introduce this bill. Transferring the Gregory Mountain cultural property into trust ensures that it will be forever protected as a part of the Pala Reservation. The Pala Band also wishes to acknowledge Congressman Juan Vargas, who has worked with the tribe since 2016 to facilitate this land transfer, according to a press release issued by the tribe.


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FBI INVESTIGATES ST. PATRICK'S DAY ROBBERY IN POWAY

East County News Service

March 18, 2021 (Poway) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force and San Diego Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a suspect believed to be responsible for a bank robbery in Poway.

On March 17 at approximately 4:15 p.m., a Black man believed to be in his mid-20s entered the Wells Fargo Bank  at 10675 Scripps Poway Parkway. He was wearing a green sweatshirt and a black “beanie type” hat on his head, with the hood of the sweatshirt pulled up.  He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The robber presented a message to the teller demanding money from the bank.  After receiving a sum of cash, he fled on foot.  

The robber’s lower face was covered by a light blue paper COVID-19 face mask.


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SUPERVISORS VOTE TO ASK STATE TO KEEP SAN PASQUAL ACADEMY FOR FOSTER YOUTHS OPEN

By Briana Gomez

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

Photo, left: Rev Shane Harris held a press conference last week at the San Pasqual Academy

 

March 16, 2021 (Escondido) – In a win for foster youths, San Diego County Supervisors today voted unanimously to approve a motion asking state officials to grant a reprieve to the San Pasqual Academy, a boarding school for foster youths slated to close later this year.

 

The school has been a safe haven for foster youths, who found a home at the academy when they were unable to be placed with families as they aged out of the system.

 

Rev. Shane Harris, president of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, has led efforts to keep the school open. After today's vote, he stated, “I thank the Board of Supervisors for their unanimous support of this motion. Today we have taken a step toward reimagining what foster care can look like in San Diego County and beyond, starting with the nation's first residential educational campus for foster youth, San Pasqual Academy. The fight for a carve out to keep San Pasqual in existence in our nation begins now. Let's reimagine foster care together." 

 

Harris is an alumni of San Pasqual Academy, which he credits with helping him develop leadership skills after years in foster care.

 


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ACTIVIST REV. HARRIS RALLIES LOCAL LEADERS TO DELAY CLOSURE OF SAN PASQUAL ACADEMY, BOARDING SCHOOL HAILED AS MODEL FOR FOSTER YOUTHS

By Briana Gomez

Photos via Rev. Shane Harris

March 7, 2021 (Escondido) -- Local activist and national civil rights leader Rev. Shane Harris is calling on the state to keep the San Pasqual Academy open, at least until the Dec. 2021 original projected closure date for the foster youth boarding school, and preferably longer. 

San Diego County child welfare officials were alerted by California regulators that the school would be closing by October of this year. 

San Pasqual Academy is a county-run boarding school in Escondido for foster youth, uniquely positioned between supervisorial District 5 and District 2. It is the first of its kind in the nation – the first residential academic home for youth who are dependents of the state. 


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WOMAN DRAGGED TO DEATH BY SEMI OUTSIDE RETAIL MALL IN POWAY

East County News Service

 

March 4, 2021 (Poway) – The Sheriff’s department is investigating the dragging death of a pedestrian that occurred yesterday morning in Poway.

 

Deputies responding to a radio call of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle around 9:38 a.m. behind a strip mall in the 133300 block of Poway Road found a dead woman who had been run over by a semi-tractor trailer. 

 

According to Sergeant D. Toner, “It appears the semi-tractor trailer was traveling northbound on the delivery access road behind the businesses…The female was dragged approximately 50 feet before being run over.” 


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COVID-19 VACCINES FOR SENIORS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Vaccinations for seniors age 65 and over will be provided in Alpine, Pine Valley, and Valley Center this week.  Appointments are available 1-2 days before each date.

Valley Center Elementary, Valley Center:  Feb.9-10

Joan MacQueen School, Alpine: Feb. 11-12

Mt. Empire High School, Pine Valley Feb. 13-14

For direct access to each site, click on the following links:


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VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP: CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH JAZZY ASH

Source: Poway OnStage

In Poway OnStage’s Virtual Field Trip celebrating Black History Month, Jazzy Ash will introduce students to the musical stylings of zydeco, jazz, blues and swing in her energetic and engaging concert. The free virtual concert is ongoing from now until February 26, 2021[days & times]

Ash draws out the roots of West African song traditions, rhythms and games. Extension activities include interactive Instrument Match game, a storybook reading and a visual art lesson.


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STATE PARKS REOPEN FOR CAMPING

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Jonny Victorino, via Anza-Borrego Foundation

 

February 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- As of February 1, camping is now officially open again at California State Parks, including Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and Palomar Mountain State Park in San Diego’s inland region. State health rules and social distancing guidelines will apply.

 

Here is what’s open in our local state parks:


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BODY OF MAN MISSING FROM ESCONDIDO CAMPGROUND FOUND IN LAKE

East County News Service
 
February 2, 2021 (Escondido) – Sheriff’s reserve deputy divers found the body of a missing man today in the muddy waters of a lake in the All Seasons RV Park.  Steve Mesa Turrey of Temecula was last seen January 26th walking away from the park in Escondido.

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MISSING TEEN, 13, LAST SEEN ON SCOOTER IN VISTA

 

UPDATE:  THE VISTA TEEN HAS BEEN REUNITED WITH HER FAMILY AS OF TODAY, JAN. 28, 2021.

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff

January 27, 2021 (Vista) -- The Vista Sheriff's Station wants your help in locating a missing teenager who ran away from home. Natalie Munoz, 13, was last seen just after 2:00 p.m January 26th in the 1900 block of Yettford Road in Vista.  Her family told deputies she ran away from home after she got into an argument with her father.  Munoz does not have a history of running away and did not take a cell phone with her.  It is not known where she may be headed.


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CARVANA TO BUILD A VENDING MACHINE SALES ROOM TOWER IN ESCONDIDO

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photo courtesy of Carvana, Inc.) 

Jan. 24, 2021 (Escondido) -- Carvana, Inc., a used car online dealership, will be expanding with a vending machine style car tower in Escondido. Last fall zoning was approved for the unique car “sales room” by city officials. 

Most associate vending machines with candy and chips but the proposed tower, at Hale Avenue and Tulip Street in Escondido, will feature cars and to some, it is the new school way of car shopping. The vending machine used car “lot” will be a 75-foot-tower and hold 32 cars, on eight levels, according to Carvana officials. 

The company already has vending machines in other locations in the country. This will be the their third location in California. Currently, Carvana has towers in Ontario and Westminster.  

The estimated opening date is late 2021 or early 2022. The Escondido City Council approved zoning changes last fall that facilitated the project.


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SEARCH UNDERWAY IN NORTH COUNTY FOR MISSING MAN AT RISK IN ESCONDIDO

Source: San Diego Sheriff
 
 
January 27, 201 (Escondido) - Be on the lookout for a missing person at-risk in the North County.   Steve Mesa Turrey was reported missing to the San Marcos Sheriff's Station on Wednesday, January 27th.  He was last seen walking away from the All Seasons RV Park in Escondido on Tuesday, January 26th around 11:00 p.m. 

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STATE AND COUNTY INVESTIGATE CITRUS DISEASE IN FALLBROOK

By Donna Durckel, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo: Asian citrus psyllids (credit: County News Center)

January 1, 2021 (Fallbrook) -- State agricultural inspectors have detected bacteria on an insect that can cause a plant disease that is not harmful to people or animals, but is deadly to citrus trees and is a dangerous agricultural threat in routine pest trapping in Fallbrook.


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BRUSH FIRE PROMPTS THOUSANDS TO EVACUATE IN FALLBROOK AND CAMP PENDLETON AREAS

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

Photo via Cal-Fire on Twitter

 

December 24, 2020 (Fallbrook) – The #CreekFire which erupted in Fallbrook overnight has burned over 3,000 acres, prompting evacuation of thousands of residents. The blaze, which began shortly before midnight in the 37000 block of De Luz Road two miles west of Sandia Creek Drive. The blaze is 35% contained as of 8 a.m., San Diego Cunty Fire authority reports.

The fire has been burning west, into Camp Pendleton.

A temporary evacuation point has been established at Fallbrook High School, 2400 Stage Coach Lane, the sheriff’s department said.


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30,000 AT RISK OF POWER SHUTOFFS DEC. 23-24 DUE TO RED FLAG WARNING

By Miriam Raftery

December 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has notified around 30,000 customers that their power could be shut off due to high fire danger.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for parts of Southern California due to possible strong winds from 8 a.m. Wednesday through 12 p.m. Thursday, Christmas Eve. The communities at risk range from El Cajon east to Campo, north to Escondido and mountain areas such as Julian, and as far south as Potrero near the border.

The threat of losing electricity in mid-winter during Christmas week is disheartening for backcountry residents, many of whom have stocked up refrigerators and freezers for holiday feasts. ECM has received complaints from residents who report SDG&E refused to reimburse them for food spoiled during other recent outages. Coming at a time when many are without jobs or have businesses with little income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of financial losses due to power outages or worse, a wildfire are particularly troubling.


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SDSU WOMEN'S SOCCER ANNOUNCES RECRUITING CLASS INCLUDING POWAY AND GROSSMONT HIGH SENIORS

The Aztecs add eight newcomers for the 2021 season

Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo:  Sarah Funk via everipedia.org

November 14, 2020 (San Diego) - Mike Friesen, San Diego State head women’s soccer coach, announced the signing of National Letters of Intent from eight high school seniors--including one from Grossmont High and Poway High--who will begin competing for Aztecs in the 2021-22 school year. The announcement was made Friday.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY DO OUTSIDERS CARE SO MUCH ABOUT MEASURE AA?

By David Ross

Reprinted with permission from the Valley Roadrunner

October 18, 2020 (San Diego) - The campaign surrounding Measure AA is a bitter, deeply divisive battle. Fortunately, almost none of the people publicly or even secretly opposing it are from around here. Isn’t that funny? 


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AHEAD OF HURRICANE DELTA, DOGS EVACUATED TO GILLESPIE FIELD IN EL CAJON

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

Oct. 10, 2020 (El Cajon-Gillespie Field) Over one hundred dogs were flown from Louisiana to Gillespie Field in El Cajon by an emergency animal rescue organization, Wings of Rescue, on October 10  in anticipation of Hurricane Delta’s hit on the Gulf Coast state.  The San Diego Humane Society will provide medical care until the rescued dogs are ready for adoption locally.

This is the second time in less than a month that local animal welfare organizations have offered help to evacuate animals from Louisiana. The transport aimed to create space in shelters there for pets anticipated to be displaced from the hurricane. Wings of Rescue is a 501(c)(3) charity, founded in 2012, that flies endangered pets from where they are, to other shelters/homes. Circle Air Group, LLC’s plane, at Gillespie Field, used their equipment, an Embraer EMB-120, to fly the dogs in.

Hurricane Delta fluctuated from a category 2 to 3 and the outer rings hit southeast Louisiana and southeast Missouri on Friday and into the weekend as well.  Visit: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ for current information. Here is a summary of the situation as of October 10:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/10/hurricane-delta-update-damage-weakens-tropical-storm-power-outages/5952093002/

How did the dogs do on take-off?


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SENATOR JONES JOINS RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES OCT. 12 AND 15 IN ESCONDIDO AND VALLEY CENTER

East County News Service
 
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in Escondido and Valley Center for local residents to donate blood along with Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee), Escondido Chamber of Commerce, Valley Business Association, and representatives of the American Red Cross of San Diego.
 
PLEASE USE THIS LINK TO RSVP.
SPONSOR CODE: SenatorJones
 
Donors are must to make an appointment before showing up to donate in order to manage the flow of donors appropriately in alignment with social distancing practices. 
 
If you are unable to attend these blood drives but would still like to donate blood, please use this link to find other events.

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POWAY ONSTAGE PRESENTS STEVE POLTZ “QUARANTINE BLUES” LIVE IN YOUR HOME OCT. 14-28

East County News Service

 

October 5, 2020 (Poway) – Alternative folk singer Steve Poltz will present “Quarantine Blues" presented by Poway OnStage and taped live at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.  “Quarantine Blues” includes many new, unrecorded songs and quirky wit.


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HEALTH OFFICIALS SEEK SAFARI PARK VISITORS EXPOSED TO RABID BAT ON SEPT. 6

By Jonathan Goetz
 
Photo Source: U.S. Geological Survey (dead bat)
 
“Park visitors who had no physical contact with the bat are not at risk for rabies.” – County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Escondido (September 9, 2020) - A woman visiting the Safari Park in Escondido on Sunday, September 6, feared to have been exposed to rabies by a wild bat, has been located, according to County News Center.  But park officials warn any other visitors who may have had contact with the bat to come forward.

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PALA CASINO SPA RESORT ANNOUNCES NEW OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES: UP & COMING COUNTRY ARTISTS

East County News Service

August 24, 2020 (Pala, CA) – Pala Casino Spa Resort in northeast San Diego County is launching an outdoor concert series in the Starlight Theater. The series is titled “Up & Coming Country Artistsopening Aug. 29 and running through Oct. 2.

 

The Pala tribe is able to host these events because sovereign tribal lands are not required to follow state or county restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19.  However, Pala will follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to protect health and safety of guests. According to Pala’s press release, guests will be asked to wear facial coverings and practice safe social distancing at events. Seats will be sanitized and pre-set to enforce proper social distancing. All guests will have temperatures screened. For a full list of the property updates and safety protocols, see https://www.palacasino.com/.


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CITY OF SAN DIEGO ENACTS RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

East County News Service

 

August 4, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council has enacted a new program with payments of up to $4,000 per qualifying household to help with past-due or upcoming rental payments.  If you need help, the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program can assist low-income families in the City of San Diego who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19. 


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CHABAD OF POWAY'S WOUNDED RABBI PLEADS GUILTY TO YEARS OF TAX, WIRE FRAUD

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

Photo:  As Poway Mayor Steve Vaus looks on, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein chats with President Trump in September. Photo by Ken Stone

July 15, 2020 (Poway) - Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the Chabad of Poway leader wounded during an attack last year on his synagogue, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to federal tax and wire fraud charges and could face a maximum five-year prison term.


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POWAY MAYOR VAUS PROPOSES PLAN TO LET FITNESS ACTIVITIES AND WORSHIP SERVICES USE PARKS DURING COVID-SHUTDOWN

 

Update July 15, 2020: The Poway City Council today unanimously approved this plan.

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2020 (Poway) –  Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has proposed a “Sharing Outdoor Spaces” plan to “allow local fitness biz & houses of worship to use areas in our parks until indoor restrictions lifted.” Vaus announced the plan on Twitter, which the Poway City Council will vote on tomorrow during an 11:15 a.m. meeting. View agenda.

The action comes after the state on Monday issued a order required all houses of worship, gyms, yoga, dance and other fitness organizations to cease all indoor activities until further notice in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.

“Similar to how we recently assisted Poway restaurants by providing picnic tables, I propose we help houses of worship and fitness-oriented businesses (yoga, Pilates, dance class, gyms, etc.) by providing space for their activities in our parks,” the Mayor’s proposal states, noting that the state has not banned such activities from taking place outdoors. Outdoor activities are considered less risky by health officials since the virus dissipates more quickly in sunshine and since people are not breathing recirculated air.


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FATAL RABBIT VIRUS FOUND IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: VACCINE IS AVAILABLE FOR PET RABBITS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Jackrabbit, cc by SA via Bing
 
July 8, 2020 (San Diego) – For the first time, deadly rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV2) has been found in San Diego County. A wild jackrabbit found dead in Poway tested positive for the disease, Patch.com reports, citing the House Rabbit Society.

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WHERE TO FIND FIREWORKS IN EAST COUNTY THIS JULY 4TH

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Due to COVID-19, several of East County’s most popular 4th of July celebrations have been cancelled. But several others have revamped to provide fireworks displays with social distancing and/or virtual celebrations.

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