North County Inland

North County Inland

MAN FOUND DEAD IN VALLEY CENTER DIED OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Valley Center) – Yesterday, Sheriff’s deputies responded to conduct a welfare check on a resident in Valley Center found a man’s body inside with trauma to his upper body.  The Medical Examiner has concluded an autopsy and determined that the victim, Andrew Billeci, died of gunshot wounds inflicted in a homicide.

ALS ASSOCIATION TO BENEFIT FROM `CHALLENGE ME SLOT TOURNAMENT,’ SUNDAY, AUG. 25

East County News Service

August 21, 2019 (La Mesa) – The inaugural “ALS Challenge Me Slot Tournament,” a charity fundraiser benefiting the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Valley View Casino & Hotel, 16300 Nyemii Pass Road, Valley Center.

POWAY MAN KILLED BY GUN SHOT FROM NEIGHBOR’S APARTMENT

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

 

August 17, 2019 (Poway) -- A suspect is in custody for the murder of a Poway man.

 

The Sheriff’s department received a call from Pomerado Hospital at 2:50 a.m. reporting a man with a gunshot wound in his abdomen.  The victim, Michael Walker, died at the hospital a short time after his wife drove him there, ECM news partner 10 News reports.

COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO BUY LAND TO EXPAND IRON MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

By Gig ConaughtonCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  a view of Iron Mountain along the trail in Poway

August 8, 2019 (Poway) - County supervisors Wednesday approved buying 160 acres near Iron Mountain in Poway to give threatened animals like deer and the California gnatcatcher more room to roam, and potentially, people more trails and connections to hike.

TIERRASANTA TODDLER FOUND DEAD IN CAR, TWO PEOPLE LATER OVERDOSE AT SAME HOME

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 7, 2019 (Tierrasanta) – A mother called 911 Monday to report she had fallen asleep and upon awakening, could not find her 2-year-old daughter.  The woman later called back and told the dispatcher she had found the toddler in her vehicle, not breathing. Medics arrived at the Tierrasanta residence in a military housing complex, but could not revive the girl, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

PALOMAR STATE PARKS ENTRY STATION BURGLARIZED, FIREARMS AND RADIOS STOLEN

East County News Service

August 2, 2019 (Palomar Mountain) – A ranger arriving for her morning shift on July 31st at the Palomar State Parks entry station/information kiosk discovered the site had been burglarized overnight, according to the California Highway Patrol.

NIGHT OUT TO FIGHT CRIME: AUGUST 6 AT THESE SHERIFF STATIONS

East County News Service

August 1, 2019 (San Diego) -- National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August—including a dozen locations in San Diego County.

You can come meet deputies who patrol your neighborhoods, learn about services the Sheriff’s department provides, and get crime prevention safety tips. You can also explore Sheriff’s programs such as senior volunteers, home vacation checks, the You Are Not Alone program for homebound seniors and the disabled, and Jr. Explorers. Visitors may also meet McGruff “The Crime Dog” and view a Sheriff’s K-9 demo. The events also offer free food and drinks, giveaways and a bicycle raffle at some locations.

Click on one of the communities below for an event flyer at each of these Sheriff's stations and substations including several  East County locations:

A SUMMER’S EVE TEA AT THE LAVENDER FARM

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 31, 2019 (Valley Center) – My daughter and I savored a soothing summer’s eve at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, partaking of an outdoor high tea on a shaded patio--an idyllic way to relax and indulge in some scrumptious treats.

After rambling down winding country roads, we arrived to be greeted with a hand-washing station complete with a lavender sugar scrub that left our hands not only clean, but soft and smooth.  I recommend arriving early to take a stroll past lavender fields, albeit past the peak spring bloom season.  

ANNUAL AUGUST CLOSURES COMING TO SEVERAL COUNTY PARKS

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 30, 2019 (San Diego) - Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August, a safety measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures.  El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala will be closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park in Anza Borrego and Vallecito County Park near Julian are closed all summer; they reopen Labor Day weekend.

LOCAL CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTER DIES AFTER TRAINING HIKE

By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2019 (San Diego) – A Cal Fire firefighter on a training hike with his engine crew suffered a medical emergency this morning. He was airlifted by a San Diego County Sheriff’s helicopter and an air ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital in critical condition, where he died despite the diligent efforts of medical staff. 

Governor Gavin Newsom order the flag at the state capitol flown at half mast.  “On behalf of all Californians, Jennifer and I extend our sincere condolences to CAL FIRE Firefighter Yaroslav Katkov’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time," the Governor states. "It’s the work of brave firefighters like Yaroslav that keep our communities safe, and we are deeply grateful for his service.”

ALPACA OWNERS BATTLE ESCONDIDO OVER ZONING CODE, LAUNCH FUNDRAISER FOR FIGHT TO KEEP BUBBA AND EINSTEIN

By Miriam Raftery 

July 12, 2019 (Escondido) – The city of Escondido wants to evict Bubba and Einstein, a pair of alpacas owned by Kelly Thor and Ryan Jimenez. The couple fulfilled their dream of buying a home where they could raise animals in 2017 and were surprised to learn that the city regulates alpacas as cattle for purposes of zoning.

PARK CIRCLE COMMUNITY BREAKS GROUND IN VALLEY CENTER

East County News Service

View video

July 2, 2019 (Valley Center) – Park Circle, a master-planned community with 632 homes, parks, retail and recreational space has broken ground in Valley Center.
 
Built by Touchstone Communities with landscape design by InSite Landscape Architecture, the 186-acre site is slated to include eight neighborhoods with a variety of architectural styles and home sizes. Park Circle will also include a 2.6 acre County park open to the public, four linear parks, three private recreation complexes, 8 miles of trails, native riparian habitat, a dog play area, community gardening, restaurants and a shopping center.

PUFFS REVIEW: HARRY POTTER PARODY

By Kathy Carpenter

Eastern Presents Puffs Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School Of Magic And Magic, written by Matt Cox and directed by Justin Allen Slage, special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc, a Concord Theatrical Company

June 19, 2019 (Poway) - Do we need another theatre group in San Diego?  I personally can never get enough theatre.  Eastern is a new Semi-professional company which plans to have a home in East County, thus Eastern. The founders are from East County and were raised there. For this show, the venue fell through and Poway Performing Arts Center (POWPAC)  welcomed them with open arms.

BOMB THREAT AT POWAY HIGH SCHOOL A HOAX

East County News Service
 
June 11, 2019 (Poway) -- After a Poway High School staff member received an email claiming one or more explosive devices had been concealed on campus, Sheriff’s deputies today responded and secured the campus with cooperation of the school’s staff.  A search was conducted with help from Harbor Police K-9 units.

VINTAGES TO SAVOR AT SAN DIEGO WINE FESTIVAL



By Miriam Raftery

June 9, 2019 (Escondido) – The historic Sikes Adobe farmstead site on San Diego River Park land in Escondido provided a colorful garden setting for this year’s San Diego Wine Festival, where guests sipped, savored and chatted with local winemakers from across our region.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY AND CITY OF SAN DIEGO ARE VIOLATING LAWS BY PUMPING DOWN LAKE HODGES, LEAVING GREBE NESTS “HIGH AND DRY”

Updated with City of San Diego response and a wildlife biologist's reaction

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Grebe and chicks; grebe nest at risk

June 4, 2019 (Escondido) – A coalition of environmental groups has sent an urgent request to the San Diego County Water Authority asking for an emergency directive to halt pumping of water from Lake Hodges which has left grebe nests with eggs “high and dry” for the third time this season. The lake is in the city of San Diego, which has advised ECM today that it is taking steps to address the problem.

Grebes are famed for “dancing” across the water during mating system, drawing visitors for the spectacle. (View video of dancing grebes and a new video titled “Save the Grebe Chicks of Lake Hodges.”) 

The letter, signed by the Sierra Club, San Diego Audubon Society and four other environmental organizations, states that an estimated 300 eggs have been lost recently at Lake Hodges, from Western and Clark’s Grebes nests, some just days from hatching. 

PEÑASQUITOS PRESERVE REOPENS AFTER DNA TEST PROVES LION KILLED IS SAME ONE THAT ATTACKED BOY

By Miriam Raftery


June 1, 2019 (Rancho Peñasquitos) – The Rancho Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve has reopened to the public after DNA testing proved that a mountain lion killed by state wildlife officers is the same one that attacked a 4-year-old boy.

WILDLIFE OFFICERS KILL MOUNTAIN LION SUSPECTED OF ATTACKING BOY IN PEÑASQUITOS PRESERVE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Mountain lion tracks, CC by SA-NC
 
May 28, 2019 (Rancho Peñasquitos) – After yesterday’s attack on a 4-year-old boy at the Rancho Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve run by the city of San Diego, wildlife officers investigating at the scene spotted mountain lion tracks and were approached by a lion that appeared to have little fear of humans. This is abnormal behavior for normally reclusive mountain lions, so the officers shot and killed the lion to protect public safety, according to the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
 
It is not yet confirmed that this is the same lion that attacked the child, who suffered non-life threatening head injuries. DNA samples from the boy have been shipped to a CDFW Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Sacramento along with the lion carcass for a necropsy and DNA analysis to confirm whether this was the animal responsible for the attack. The lion will also be tested for rabies.
 
Kirsten MacIntyire at CDFW confirms the lion was a female but that there were no signs of cubs.

CHILD ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LION ON TRAIL AT PEÑASQUITOS PRESERVE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery

 
Photos: Waterfall in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, City of San Diego, Mountain lion, California Fish & Game Department



May 27, 2019 (Los Peñasquitos) – A young child has been transported to a hospital with head injuries after being attacked by a mountain lion, or possibly a bobcat, according to the San Diego Fire & Rescue Department.
 
The attack occurred aound 2:30 p.m. today at the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, just east of the waterfall on a popular hiking trail
 
Witnesses told 10 News that the boy’s father threw rocks to scare off the big cat.

MUSICA EN LA PLAZA SERIES OPENS UP IN ESCONDIDO

 

 

East County News Service

May 10, 2019 (Escondido) - Música En La Plaza is a free community series that will take place from 7- 10 p.m. the last Friday of each month. The series will bring live music, dancing, tacos and tequila to the California Center for the Arts.

WENDY’S ON CRAFTSMAN IN SAN DIEGO HOSTS FUNDRAISER MAY 16 FOR VICTIMS OF POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING

 

 

East County News Service

May 10, 2019 (Poway) – On April 27th a gunman opened fire inside Chabad of Poway Synagogue, leaving one dead and several injured. Now, Wendy’s restaurant has announced a generous benefit to help those affected. 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CHARGES POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER WITH 109 HATE CRIMES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Department of Justice today filed 109 hate crime charges against John T. Earnest,19. The Rancho Penasquitos teen is charged with murder and 53 counts of attempted murder for shootings at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on April 27. Prosecutors may seek the death penalty for crimes believed to be motivated by hatred toward the Jewish community.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY VINTNERS HOSTS WINE FESTIVAL MAY 18 AT HISTORIC ADOBE FARMSTEAD IN ESCONDIDO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2019 (Escondido) – Over 25 San Diego County wineries including national and international award-winners will participate in the 2019 Wine Festival.  Hosted by the San Diego County Vintner’s Association, this year’s event will be at Sikes Adobe, a historic farmstead in Escondido (12655 Sunset Dr.) on Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The festival also includes live music, a silent auction and opportunities to buy wines. Food wil be available from the Quick Stop Grill food truck.  Attendees will discover the array of varietals produced county wide and connect with the wine makers, learn more about their craft and San Diego County’s thriving wine community.

“Our annual wine festival is the perfect environment to showcase the unique and varied varietals produced throughout the region,” said San Diego County Vintners Association President Ed Embly, owner of Hungry Hawk Vineyards in Escondido.  “The festival gives our wineries the opportunity to showcase their best wines to fellow wine enthusiasts who are eager to learn more about our growing wine region.”

Festival wineries and exhibitors will include:

JONES HONORS SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING VICTIMS

 

 

East County News Service

May 6, 2019 (Sacramento) -- In the wake of Saturday’s shooting in Poway, Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) adjourned the Senate floor session on April 28th in memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a Chabad of Poway synagogue congregator who died during the synagogue shooting on Passover. The occasion was also the State Capitol’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

POWAY RABBI MAYOR GOLDSTEIN AND EL CAJON MAYOR BILL WELLS JOIN PRESIDENT TRUMP AT NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

President forcefully denounces violent attacks at churches, synagogues and mosques

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 4, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The National Day of Prayer service hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House rose garden on May 2nd included two local VIPs: Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein of Poway and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.

POWAY SHOOTER CHARGED WITH MURDER, PARENTS DISAVOW SON

 

 

Thousands turn out at vigil to commemorate victims of Chabad synagogue 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2019 (Poway) – District Attorney Summer Stephan has said she may pursue the death penalty against John T. Earnest, 19, who is accused of one count of murder with special circumstances for a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday during a Passover celebration. He is also charged with arson at a house of worship for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido.

FIGHTING HATE FOR GOOD: A COMMUNITY VIGIL FOR POWAY TONIGHT AT 6:30 P.M.

East County News Service

April 29, 2019 (Poway)  -- In the wake of Saturday’s tragedy at Chabad of Poway, the San Diego Jewish community and its allies will gather at Poway High School (1550 Espola Rd., Poway) tonight at 6:30 p.m. to honor the victims and to stand together against anti-Semitism – and hate of all kinds.

In partnership with Poway Unified School District, the vigil is being convened by the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego County, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Family Service of San Diego and Jewish Federation of San Diego County. The  Mayors of Poway and San Diego will speak, along with religious, law enforcement, civil rights and education leaders.

FAMILY OF CHABAD SUSPECT EXPRESSES ‘SHOCK, SHAME AND ANGUISH’

 

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  John T. Earnest via 10 News

April 29, 2019 (Poway) - The family of John T. Earnestthe suspect in the fatal attack on a Poway synagogue, issued a statement Monday expressing “shock,” “grief” and “anguish” while lamenting  their son “is now part of the history of evil.”

POWAY SYNAGOGUE VICTIMS SHOWED COURAGE AND HEROISM IN FACE OF COWARDLY ATTACK

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Lori Kaye, the sole fatality, and injured survivors Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, Almog Perez, and Noya Dahan

Updated April 29 with information on Iraq War veteran Oscar Stewart, who chased the gunman out of the synagogue

April 28, 2019 (Poway) – When a gunman opened fire on unarmed worshippers and a rabbi inside the Chabad Congregation synagogue on Saturday, his victims displayed remarkable courage—saving many lives.  About 100 people were in the synagogue, but only four were struck, according to Sheriff Bill Gore.

 Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, a founding member of the synagogue, jumped between the gunman and Rabbi Ysroel Goldstein, sacrificing her own life to save the spiritual leader, CNN reports. She had come to say a Kaddish prayer for the dead for her late mother, but now the prayer will be recited in her memory.

Rabbi Goldstein raised his hands and bullets tore through his fingers.  ““I saw a group of children in the banquet hall, including my granddaughter,” he told NBC TV after surgery, “not even knowing that my fingers were blown off, I got the kids and everyone out of the sanctuary safely.”  Outside the sanctuary, despite his bloody wounds, the Rabbi continued to deliver his Passover message and told his congregation, “We are united.”

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