Category archives for: Local Spotlight

Ramona/Julian Academy dance students reap awards at Nationals


Ramona/Julian Academy of Dance students brought home many awards from the Thunderstruck Nationals in Las Vegas July 7 through 10.

The dance competition was held at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nev.

Those who received awards are:

Parade, fireworks on tap for July 4 in Ramona


Independence Day in Ramona will start with a morning parade in San Diego Country Estates and end with evening fireworks in town. In between are free hot dogs and hamburgers at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3783.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. at the Casey Tibbs Western Center at Pappas Road and Avenel Lane and continue along Pappas Road to Ramona Oaks Park. While the parade is open to the public and features entries from throughout Ramona and the region, festivities in the park after the parade are open only to Estates residents and their guests.

St. Louis Cardinals draft former RHS baseball player

securedownload (1),WEB

After three stellar seasons on Concordia University’s baseball team in Portland, Ore., Blake Drake decided to forgo his senior season and turned pro.

The 2011 Ramona High graduate was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and assigned to their farm team in Johnson City, Tenn. Drake started playing baseball in Ramona at age 6 and signing with the Cardinals fulfills a lifelong ambition.

Ramona man wins Firefighters Destruction Derby at county fair

Ehren Kahle.100_0877.FEATURE

Ramona resident Ehren Kahle won the Firefighters Destruction Derby at the San Diego County Fair on Saturday.

“It feels great,” said Kahle. “When you can raise money to send kids to camp, burn-injured children, and have a blast doing it, there’s nothing more rewarding than that.”

In 1995, the Cajon Speedway, the Burn Institute and local fire departments collaborated for an annual night that included fundraising and promotions for the Burn Institute, a pre-race parade of fire trucks, a U.S. flag raised from a fire engine ladder for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and a Firefighters Destruction Derby.

Ramona deputies step up underage drinking patrols

Ramona substation.FEATURE

With Ramona high school graduations this week, the last article anyone wants to read is about graduates being severely injured or killed as a result of alcohol-related incidents.

For that reason, the Ramona Sheriff’s Substation has been doubling its enforcement level to focus on the Social Host Ordinance, underage drinking and minors in possession of alcohol during the two weeks surrounding high school graduations.

Bulldog auto team places second in nation

Auto Dawgs.006(1).FEATURE

Dylan Ballantyne and Brandon Arthur had never been to New York City, so they worked to get there. Their work as the two-man automotive team from Ramona High School resulted in a second-place finish in the nation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the National Automotive Technology Competition.
Ramona High’s retired automotive teacher, Mike Jordan, had to pinch-hit for automotives instructor Mike Saavedra as coach and chaperone, because Saavedra is recuperating from heart surgery.
Saavedra got Ballantyne and Arthur started and, when he went on sick leave, Jordan took over.
The trip was a four-day event. Day one was travel. Day two was a tour of New York City.
“It is an amazing city. It was fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there,” said Ballantyne.
Day three was competition day. The team had to rotate among 10 stations. Among them were engine diagnosis, electrical diagnosis, brake diagnosis, a safety test and a job interview.
The Ramona team aced the 10 stations and earned a trip to the finals.
At finals, they were given a car that did not run and had multiple problems. They had three hours to get it running.
They got the job done in two and a half hours, earning them second in the nation.
Arthur’s favorite part of the trip was the competition and finishing second in the nation. In addition to the competition, Ballantyne liked the experience of going to New York.
For their efforts, Arthur and Ballantyne each received $64,000 in scholarships, shirts, jackets, hats, a travel bag and a drill.
“We had trouble with TSA when we tried to take the drill on the plane,” joked Ballantyne.
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) didn’t think it was funny.
The San Diego New Car Dealership Association sponsored their trip.
“Dean Mansfield, the president and czar of the association, took great care of us,” said Jordan.
While the auto team was in New York City, Ramona High’s SkillsUSA adviser, Robert Grace, took a group of RHS students and graduates to the SkillsUSA competition in Mission Valley. There was no team format, but Ramona’s students did well as individuals:
•Kyle Rash earned the gold in collision repair,
•Mike Jones won the motor cycle technology competition,
•Ryan Hall took third place in the auto refinishing competition,
•Erick Leyva took third in automotive service technology,
•Ricky Jauregui came in third in collision repair, and
•Ramona High grad Adam Scull won the post secondary collision repair competition.

Seniors laud lifesaving pharmacist as ‘hometown hero’


John Robertson had a hunch something was wrong when an elderly customer didn’t return to pick up his prescriptions last week.

He was right.

The 30-year-old Ramona pharmacist was hailed last Thursday as a “Hometown Hero” for tracking down 88-year-old Murray Frankel with the help of sheriff’s deputies, who found the widower lying on his bathroom floor after a fall one or two days before. Frankel is now recuperating at a hospital. His family could not be reached for comment.

2014 Boston Marathon, a time for closure and healing

Boston Marathon.IMG_20140421_134709.WEBfeature

Dr. Steven “Steve” Tally and his wife Kris witnessed the tragedy that was the 2013 Boston Marathon and returned this year, hoping for some closure and healing.

“Of all the races I’ve run — well over 100 triathlons and over 25 to 30 marathons, this is the most inspiring and memorable race of my life,” said Steve, who participated as a runner.

Steve and Kris are athletes who find Ramona’s San Diego Country Estates the perfect place to live, enjoy nature and train for the marathons and triathlons that they enjoy. Last April, the Sentinel told their story about

Main Street Parade entries due Monday

IMG_8366 copy.FEATURE

Time is running out to sign up for Ramona’s Main Street Parade. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 5, at 5 p.m.

Everyone’s welcome: nonprofits, businesses, equestrians, bands, the military, public safety vehicles and organizations, dance troupes, political candidates and groups, families, individuals, youth groups — everyone.

Tollers to demonstrate dog agility when San Vicente Valley Club meets

10.Valley Club.dogs.FEATURE

At their next luncheon meeting, San Vicente Valley Club members will learn about dog agility, a sport in which the handler directs the dog through an obstacle course in a race for time and accuracy.

The meeting on Wednesday, April 30, is open to the public.

Ramona resident Donna Murdoch will bring her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Blaze and Koty, who compete in dog agility, a fast-growing sport that demonstrates a dog’s willingness to work with handlers in a variety of situations. Blaze and her younger brother Koty will demonstrate the sport and Murdoch will show a video of recent competitions.