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Stories written by maureenrobertson

Time to hold school district accountable

The mood at the last school board meeting was light—almost giddy for a few. The county had accepted the district lawyers’ less than candid 75-word sales pitch for the bond measure, and they were seeing big dollar signs. They were assuming their money problems would be over soon because, this time, they are going to work extra hard at conning you into accepting their $40 million escape from responsibility by transferring their debt burden on to your homes.

Kia treats couple to all-expense paid trip to Seoul, South Korea


A Ramona couple will soon be traveling on an all-expense paid trip to Seoul, South Korea, courtesy of Kia Motors.

Don and Nancy Failla were chosen by Kia as one of six couples to tour its headquarters in Seoul.

“Don and I are excited,” said an exuberant Nancy.

To send them off with fanfare, Team Kia in El Cajon is hosting a catered bon voyage party for them on Sept. 4.

The Faillas will fly on Sept. 13 from San Diego to Los Angeles, where they will stay overnight at a hotel and meet the other couples selected for the trip.

Ramona school district provides free and reduced-price meals

Ramona Unified School District provides free and reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.

Copies of the policy are at each school and in the district office, 720 Ninth St. Household size and income determine if children qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. Foster children and children who receive food stamps, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP) or Food

Pierce Brosnan stars in ‘The November Man’


New in Theater — August 29

The November Man R An ex-CIA agent returns to the field to protect a witness and becomes a target for death by a former associate. Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Luke Bracey

As Above/So Below R A horrifying journey awaits a group of eager explorers as they search the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. Stars: Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Perdita Weeks

Karaoke, car show, Ramona Ag Boosters, AWANA signups among upcoming events

ALATEEN, 6 p.m. Arriba Teen Center, 1710 Montecito Road. To help teens ages 13 to 19 deal with relatives and friends who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. More:

Scrimmages give Bulldogs taste of things to come


After weeks in the weight room, hot summer days on the gridiron, and even weekly yoga classes, the Ramona High School football program was ready for battle in what has become an annual tradition in late August: The San Pasqual 4-Way Scrimmage.

This event serves as the last tune-up before it counts, with the 2014 season beginning Friday night, Aug. 29, at El Cajon Valley High School.

Deputies, CHP nab erratic driver brandishing weapon; armed robbery suspect threatens to kill self


Deputies from the sheriff’s Ramona station assisted California Highway Patrol Sunday, Aug. 24, when calls came in of a man brandishing a rifle and driving erratically, said Lt. Hank Turner.
Jesus “Jesse” Fernandez, 39, of Ramona, was arrested by CHP, on suspicion of felony charges that included armed robbery, evading peace officer, assault with firearm, and threaten crime that could cause death/great bodily injury, according to authorities.
The calls began around 3:30 p.m. when a man was seen walking down the street with a rifle and getting into a car around 12th Street, said CHP Public Information Officer Kevin Pearlstein.
At Dye Road and state Route 67 a woman and her daughter were in their vehicle at the stoplight when a man in a car next to them pointed a rifle at them, according to the report. The woman put her car into reverse, crashed into a fence, ran into nearby Fire Station 82 and called 911, the report stated.
According to Pearlstein, the suspect drove into a driveway on San Vicente Road where he pointed a rifle at a couple and stole their laptop and iPods. The female called 911, he said.
As CHP pursued the suspect down San Vicente Road toward San Diego Country Estates, he crashed his vehicle in a field near Chuck Wagon and San Vicente roads and fled on foot, said Pearlstein.

One person dies in motorcycle crash in Julian

One person died and another was injured when a motorcycle crashed into a tree in Julian today, authorities said.

The motorcycle crashed into the tree about 4 p.m. today on State Route 79 in front of Pinezanita RV Park and Campgrounds, Cal Fire spokesman Kendal Bortisser said.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene while another was flown to a hospital via Mercy Air, Bortisser said.

Winegrape harvest under way in Ramona Valley AVA


The 2014 winegrape harvest is under way throughout Ramona and should continue into late September, reports the Ramona Valley Winery Association (RVWA).

“This is the earliest harvest in Ramona Valley’s young history,” said RVWA President Victor Edwards, of Edwards Vineyard & Cellars, who farms on the east side of the AVA (American Viticultural Area). “Drought conditions are continuing, but wine grapes are a very low water-use crop. The much-needed March rains came at the right time for many varietals, but those in early bloom suffered losses in crop set as a result of the timing, or from the unusual Santa Ana winds during spring. The earlier harvest dates should help us get our crops in prior to fall rains.”

Ramona AWANA schedules signups, adult and teen meetings

Signups for the 2014-2015 Ramona AWANA club will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Grace Community Church and at Mountain Valley Community Church.
This international program geared for ages 3 through 18 helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ, states the signup announcement.
Programs are designed for various age groups. They meet weekly and offer a proven approach for evangelizing and disciplining youngsters in the church and community, the statement continued.
Upcoming meetings:
•Adult Volunteer Information Meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 6:30 p.m., Mountain Valley Community Church Main Sanctuary, 1191 Meadowlark. Adults invited to come and find out how they can serve.
•Teen Glimpse Information Meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 5:30 p.m., Mountain Valley Community Church. Free dinner, testimonies. Get two hours of community service credits each week while serving others.
•Leaders Meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 6:30 p.m., Mountain Valley Community Church.
•Signups: Wednesday, Sept. 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Mountain Valley Community Church and Grace Community Church, 1234 Barger Place.
•First Club night, Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 6:20 to 8:20 p.m. at Mountain Valley Community Church and Grace Community Church.
The program runs each week from September through May with breaks for Christmas and Easter.
For more information, see online or call club commanders Kevin and Veronica Springfield at 760-788-7751.