Santee

WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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LANTERN CREST HONORS SENIORS DURING VETERANS DAY CEREMONY

East County News Service

November 15, 2021 (Santee) - Residents of Lantern Crest Senior Living gathered to honor retired men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. During the ceremony, veterans who live in the Santee community were invited to bring personal military memorabilia to display and share. The retirees, who call themselves The Lantern Crest Veterans, also wore hats emblazoned with the group’s name.


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SANTEE DEDICATES NEW VETERANS MEMORIAL

Story and photos by Scott Lagace

November 14, 2021 (Santee) -- On November 11, 2021, on the 11th hour at the 11th minute, Santee Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Dare began a Veterans Day ceremony which attracted many veterans and East County patrons to celebrate the unveiling of a new Veteran’s Memorial and dedication of the Veterans Memorial Bridge over Santee Lakes on Mast Blvd.   


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SANTEE SHOOTS DOWN BIRD BEFORE SCOOTER COMPANY TAKES FLIGHT

By Mike Allen

November 9, 2021 (Santee) -- A few years ago, Santee and other cities in San Diego County were flooded by electric-bike businesses whose products were strewn about, creating sidewalk congestion and possible liability problems.  In response, Santee and other cities enacted restrictions to the new bikes and scooters, requiring the businesses to enter into clearly defined contracts.


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SURVEY FINDS MOST SANTEE RESIDENTS GIVE HIGH MARKS TO CITY’S QUALITY OF LIFE, BUT NOT ALL ARE HAPPY

Traffic, homeless and racism are top concerns

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Josh Williams, president of BW Research, answers question about the Santee survey on Nov. 2 in front of City Council members Rob McNelis, Dustin Trotter and Mayor John Minto. All five members were present.

November 8, 2021 (Santee) -- A survey commissioned by the city of Santee found that while the great majority of residents, 80 percent, feel the city’s quality of life is excellent or good, about a third said that quality is declining.


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NURSE CHARGED IN SANTEE INMATE’S DEATH

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elisa Serna, 24, died after hitting her head in a fall at Las Colinas in Santee, where she was denied drug withdrawal treatment

November 4, 2021 (Santee) – A nurse has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the 2019 death of a 24-year-old inmate at the Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee. District Attorney Summer Stephan announced the charges against the nurse, Danalee Pascua, who could face up to four years in prison.


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SANTEE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON WITH TREE LIGHTING NOV. 19: EVENT INCLUDES CARRIAGE RIDES, SNOW SLEDDING AND SANTA

East County News Service

November 2, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee’s annual Holiday Lighting Celebration returns this year, and will provide the community with the traditional elements they have come to expect when celebrating the holiday season. The event will take place Friday, November 19 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Santee Trolley Square.


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GRAND OPENING OF "THE PLAZA" AT LANTERN CREST SENIOR LIVING IN SANTEE SETS NATIONAL MODEL FOR ELDER CARE

By Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2021 (Santee) -- With the recent grand opening of "The Plaza," Lantern Crest Senior Living in Santee might have created a national model for how we provide care for our aging population. The senior living facility is complete with a theater, a '50s-style diner with soda fountain, bowling lanes custom-designed for seniors, on-site medical center and doctor, pharmacy, gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, dog park, community garden, an award-winning chef serving three restaurants and two bars, an elaborately appointed tea room, live music and entertainment venues and much more.


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EAST COUNTY ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM USES VIRTUAL REALITY VIDEO FOR OUTREACH

 

By Mike Allen

October 15, 2021 (Santee) -- The joint powers agency creating the East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) Program is using a new virtual reality video to inform local citizens about the project as it moves toward construction.


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SANTEE COUNCILMEMBERS WEIGH WHETHER TO LEGALIZE AND STRICTLY REGULATE MARIJUANA BUSINESSES

Prospect of a pro-pot industry ballot measure leaves some members fuming

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Kathleen Lippett

October 14, 2021 (Santee) -- The Santee City Council held a third workshop Oct. 13 examining whether to allow cannabis businesses in their city, while making it clear they aren’t fond of the prospect


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FUNDRAISERS LAUNCHED FOR SANTEE COUPLES WHO LOST HOMES IN FIRE CAUSED BY PLANE CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2021 (Santee) – The Cessna plane that crashed into a Santee neighborhood yesterday, killing the pilot and a UPS driver, also ignited fires that destroyed two homes and left one couple hospitalized with serious burn injuries.

Two GoFundMe sites have been set up to help the injured couple, Phil and Maria Morris, and their neighbors, Cody and Courtney Campbell.


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CITY OF SANTEE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PLANE CRASH

East County News Service

Photo by Tom Abbott:  remnants of the Cessna that crashed into homes, killing the pilot and a UPS driver

October 12, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee today issued a statement voicing sympathy for those impacted by yesterday’s plane crash, praising residents who helped save lives of neighbors, and providing updates on the situation.

Below is the statement in full:


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SANTEE PLANE CRASH VICTIMS IDENTIFIED AS PILOT AND UPS DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Dr. Sugata Das, via Yuma Regional Medical Center, and Steve Krueger, UPS driver, via Facebook.

October 12, 2021 (Santee) – The pilot in yesterday’s deadly plane crash in Santee has been identified as Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist from Yuma Regional Medical Center.  The hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bharat Magu, described Das as an “outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man” who “leaves a lasting legacy.”


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TWO DEAD, OTHERS INJURED AFTER PLANE CRASHES INTO SANTEE NEIGHBORHOOD

By Tom and Nadin Abbott

October 11, 2021 (Santee) The call came in at approximately 12:15 p.m. to the Heartland Dispatch center. A small plane had gone down in a residential neighborhood of Santee, initally reported at 9915 N. Magnolia Ave . The plane, later identified as a Cessna 340 twin engine six-seater by the Federal Aviation Administration, crashed into at least one house that was destroyed by the impact, which was actually on the corner of Green Castle and Jeremy. Neighboring homes also suffered damage from the flames.

Two people were confirmed killed on scene and two transported to the hospital, according to Santee Assistant Chief Justin Matsushita. The injured were in the first house hit. Their condition is unknown, but they were conscious when transported.


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PLANE CRASHES NEAR SANTANA HIGH FOOTBALL FIELD, IGNITES HOMES IN SANTEE

 

Bystander recounts efforts to help rescue survivors from burning home

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

Nadin and Tom Abbott also contributed to this report.

Photo, left: Screenshot off video by ECM news partner 10 News

October 11, 2021 (Santee) – A plane has crashed near Santana High School close to the intersection of Greencastle and Jeremy, setting homes nearby on fire.

Two fatalities are confirmed and two others have been transported to a hospital with injuries. 

A temporary evacuation point has been set up at the Cameron Family YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Drive, Santee, for families displaced by the crash.

Santana High tweeted that all students are safe and a secure campus order has been lifted.Students are being allowed to leave if they have no afternoon classes.

An ECM reporter witnessed body parts on roofs and scattered across the neighborhood, adding to the trauma facing residents.

Stephanie Diaz, another neighbor, says the crash occurred at 12:12. "It was just like in the movies," she said of the sound, adding that the whole house shook. 

David Witthoft said he used to work on military jets as a mechanic. He said he was in the house when "I heard the pilot go full throttle, and then I heard it hit the ground" with a loud boom. His house filled with smoke and the stench of burning debris, he added.

Numerous homes in the area suffered damage ranging from blown-out windows to cracked solar panels, in addition to two homes destroyed by fire.

Hillcreek Elementary also alerted parents/ guardians that they were "safe and sound."

San Diego Sheriff asks that the public avoid the area. A Hazmat team has been dispatched.

There are reports of a box truck also damaged by the crash.


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SANTEE CHAMBER HOSTS VETERANS APPRECIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT NOV. 12

East County News Service

October 9, 2021 (Santee) – You’re invited to join the Santee Chamber of Commerce at its third annual Veterans Appreciation Golf Tournament on November 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.at Carlton Oaks.


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LADIES AT THE LAKE: FALL MARKET OCT. 16 AT SANTEE LAKES

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

October 4, 2021 (Santee) -- \ Ladies at the Lake Fall Market will be held on Saturday, October 16 at Santee Lakes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Shoppers and craft fair goers throughout San Diego have been anticipating this upcoming event that celebrates women owned businesses. 


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SANTEE APPROVES 80 CONDOS ON PURE FLO SITE

By Mike Allen

Photo:  the old Pure Flo site. Seven of the 10 acres will be developed to 80 condos and called Laurel Heights.  The part fronting Mission Gorge, 3.3 acres, will likely be developed for housing, but owners haven’t signed any deal yet.

September 9, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee is doing its part to create much-needed, new housing.

Last month, the Santee City Council approved an 80-unit condominium project on a seven-acre parcel that makes up most of what’s called the Pure Flo Water site at 7739 Mission Gorge Road.


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PADRE DAM TERMINATES SANTEE LAKES CONTRACTOR

By Mike Allen

Photo:  David Clarke, owner, Team C Construction

August 21, 2021 (Santee) -- At a June celebration marking the 60th anniversary of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, top officials and directors of the agency heaped glowing praise for the new administrative offices, event center and general store at Santee Lakes that was completed in April.


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KEEP OUR CREEK CLEAN AND GREEN

San Diego River Park Foundation cleanup opportunity for Santee's Forester Creek

Community service hours can be verified!

East County News Service

August 10, 2021 (Santee) - Each year, San Diego River Park Foundation volunteers remove more than 200,000 pounds of trash from our river. Without their amazing volunteers, this trash would be left to pollute native animal habitats, create unsightly piles in our parks and public spaces, leach contaminants into the water, and could be washed out into our ocean and beaches!

YOU can help with this critical work by cleaning up storm water debris and litter this Saturday, August 17 at Forester Creek in Santee from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.


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PADRE DAM REINSTATES FINES, WATER SHUT OFFS

By Mike Allen

August 9, 2021 (Santee) -- Starting this week, customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District who pay their bills late will incur late fees and if nonpayment goes for more than 60 days, customers could have their water shut off.


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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.


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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!


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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

Fireworks are back—along with many traditional Fourth of July festivities in San Diego’s inland region, from parades to picnics to patriotic music, rides, games, and more. Find Indepedence Day events and/or fireworks in El Cajon, Julian,Poway, Ramona, Santee and Valley Center.


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HIGHWAY 67 TO CLOSE AT I-8 IN EAST COUNTY JUNE 29 AND JULY 1

Source: Caltrans
 
June 28, 2021 (El Cajon) -- Construction crews will fully close a segment of State Route 67/Magnolia Avenue at Interstate 8 (I-8) Tuesday, June 29 and Thursday, July 1 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for bridge repairs.

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SANTEE SALUTES RETURNS WITH PATRIOTIC CELEBRATION JULY 4

Source: City of Santee
 
File photo of Santee Salutes
 
June 25, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee’s annual July 4 celebration is back in person this year and will provide the community with many of the traditional elements they expect when celebrating our nation’s birthday.

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SANTEE COUNCIL GIVES ITSELF RAISES AS PART OF $50M OPERATING BUDGET

By Mike Allen 

June 24, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee City Council has approved a $50 million operating budget for its 2021-22 fiscal year, including 1.5 percent raises for city staff and the five Council members.


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CELEBRATING ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY, SANTEE LAKES GETS EVEN NICER WITH NEW LAKEVIEW DECK AT TIN FISH RESTAURANT

By Mike Allen
 
Photos by Mike Allen and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
June 19, 2021 (Santee) - Santee’s best known tourist attraction, Santee Lakes, just got a whole lot more attractive with the opening of a new observation deck at Lake 4.

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EAST COUNTY WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM GETS $388M FEDERAL LOAN

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  members of AWP board with Radhika Fox of the EPA
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County’s largest infrastructure project, the Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP), got a big boost towards its completion this month when it was awarded a $388 million low-rate federal loan.

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SANTEE ASKS ISSA TO OPPOSE GUN CONTROL BILL

By Mike Allen

 

June 2, 2021 (Santee) -- On the same day that a San Jose rail yard employee fatally shot nine of his co-workers before killing himself, the Santee City Council unanimously voted to send a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa opposing a bill in Congress that would place more controls on gun ownership, including more stringent background checks.


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