Category archives for: Local Spotlight

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

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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.

Marine with Ramona ties suffers severe injuries in IED explosion

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U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Dodson is in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recovering from severe injuries he suffered this month in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Afghanistan.

On Aug. 9, Dodson was on a combat foot patrol as an infantry squad leader with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Helmand Province when an IED detonated, taking off his legs, fracturing his pelvis and causing other injuries including a broken tailbone and broken right hand, former Marine Dave Smith reports in his “Task & Purpose: Unsung Hero” tribute online at taskandpurpose.com/unsung-heroes-tribute-one-toughest-marines-ive-ever-served-wounded-fallen.

Complex receives Crime Free Multi-Housing certification

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Lt. Hank Turner, left, from the sheriff’s Ramona station presents Oscar Correa, manager of Montecito Village Apartments at 1464 Montecito Road, with signage and certificate declaring Montecito Village Apartments a Crime Free Multi-Housing complex. Turner made the presentation during a safety social in the complex’s community room. Montecito Village Apartments is the 11th property in Ramona to be certified in the program.

Shoes & Socks Program helps nearly 100 Ramona schoolchildren

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Ramona Kmart’s shoe section was busy today and will be busy again Aug. 17, as school-age children in need receive a pair of new shoes and a package of socks, thanks to the Shoes and Socks Program sponsored by the Outreach Ministry at St. Mary’s In-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

Ramona Idol 2014 attracts variety of talent

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Music at this year’s Ramona Idol, part of Ramona Country Fair, ran the gamut from rock ‘n roll and country to show tunes and oldies from the ’40s and ’50s with talented singers entertaining a crowd.

About 35 contestants competed in the quarterfinals of Ramona Idol with 22 advancing to the semifinals Saturday night, Aug. 2.

The winners were announced Sunday evening and a tribute to the military was presented. Held in the Ramona Outdoor Community Center, the contest experienced some weather-related issues that caused a one-hour delay Saturday and sound

Miniature books reap big awards

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Eileen Cummings has displayed portions of her miniature book collection at the San Diego County Fair in past years but it was her assortment of teddy bear-themed books that won her Best of Show and Best of Division for Home and Hobby this year.

“This is like winning the gold medal at the Olympics,” the enthusiastic Ramona resident said. “I reached the ultimate goal.”

Where are they now? ‘Country girl’ defends rights and gives second chances

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Christina (Chrissy Kapelczak) Oleson works in a field that she finds rewarding but, she said, it does not attract a lot of women and is often viewed negatively.

“What I do is help people get a second chance,” she said of her profession as a criminal defense attorney.

The 1999 Ramona High School graduate said that at a young age she knew she wanted to be an attorney.

92065 pool team competes at BCA nationals

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A team of Ramona pool players competed at the BCA Pool League National Championships in July after qualifying to represent San Diego at the event.

“Ramona in general has the best pool players in San Diego,” said Henry Preciado, who served as captain of the team, dubbed “92065.”

Competing on the team with Preciado were Ramonans Chad Bennett, Bill Mellecker, Nick Iorio, Eric Whitford and Jess Libsack.

Local flier soars for Team USA

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At the recent World Gliding Championships in Finland, a Ramona resident was one of seven on Team USA.

To qualify for the team, Garret Willat won the 2013 U.S. Club Class Nationals in Mifflin, Penn.

“That got me enough points to make it on the team,” he said.

Former crane operator, cantor who helped establish Etz Chaim congregation turns 100 this fall

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Operating heavy equipment during the week and singing at a Jewish congregation on the weekends proved to be an unusually harmonious combination for Albert Wollner, who will turn 100 this fall.

“He worked outdoors for his job,” said his son, Shaun Wollner, 68. “But he’d come home every night and practice singing.”

Albert and his late wife, Marcia, moved to Ramona in 1976.

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