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Surprise! Escondido city manager resigns

ESCONDIDO, CA. — Stop if you’ve heard this one before: Escondido city manager suddenly, and without warning, resigns. Clay Phillips, the last city manager, pulled that act almost exactly one year ago. He left office on Dec. 18, 2015. His successor, his former assistant, and city manager this year, Graham Mitchell pulled the same plug on Friday afternoon. “After serious reflection and for personal reasons,…


Court leaves most of Lilac Hills Ranch opposition ballot statement standing

San Diego Superior Court Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon Wednesday told Lilac Hills Ranch supporters to forget about changing opposition ballot statements. Sturgeon denied the request of Lilac Hills Ranch advocates that opponents alter language in their ballot statement, in effect legitimizing the right of opponents to frame their arguments as they chose fit. “The court supported our concerns about Measure B,” James Gordon of the No on B…


Krispy Kreme Tuesdays bites off more than it can chew at North County mall

 Krispy Kreme Tuesdays Burbank apparently bit off more than it could chew at Escondido’s Westfield North County regional mall last night. When the police and fumes cleared the vast parking lot and its environs, namely freeway feeder lanes and nearby exit/entrances, an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 Southern California vehicular flash mob enthusiasts were gone, if not forgotten. Not so coincidentally, the car show flash mob…


Brush fire along I-15 at Hidden Meadows (UPDATED 6 p.m Wednesday)

[Update: Cal Fire at 6 p.m. Wednesday said the Gopher Fire was 85 percent contained on what became 35 acres of torched earth. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Cal Fire had said “With better mapping the IC (Incident Commander) reports the fire at 35 acres and 40 percent contained. Next update will be 6 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).” Cal Fire said 10 engine companies and six crews…


Crashed cars, shootings and stolen art

Del Dios vehicle plunge A woman was seriously injured after her SUV plunged nearly 300 feet down a canyon along Del Dios Highway near the Lake Hodges dam Wednesday night, authorities said. Del Dios Highway was closed in both directions between Camino de Estrellas and the dam for several hours while a tow truck retrieved the vehicle and CHP officers investigated the crash. Witnesses told…


Interfaith Vigil for Orlando shooting victims

A candlelight vigil in remembrance of victims of the shooting in Orlando is set for 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 16 at the Maple Street Plaza on Valley Parkway across from City Hall. The names of the departed will be read and prayers will be offered from various faith traditions including Christian and Muslim. The vigil is sponsored by Escondido Together, a project…


I-15 turns into highway to commuter hell

How did the brand spanking-new, 10-day-old, $10 million I-15 “Integrated Corridor Management System” work Tuesday in its first true test dealing with massive freeway traffic due to an unforeseen traffic event? Failed. Miserably. Escondido and North County commuters encountered a traffic jam-up of Biblical proportions following a series of collisions near Lake Hodges shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday. Most of the congestion didn’t clear until…


Truck-trailer fire closes much of Highway 78 near Nordahl Road early Tuesday

Highway 78 wasn’t a fun place to be during the early Tuesday morning commute. That’s when a tractor-trailer rig containing building supplies burst into flames sending up a big old smoke column on the eastbound right shoulder just past Nordahl Road on the Escondido side. The incident took place shortly before 6:30 a.m., just as commuter traffic was snarling, according to the California Highway Patrol….


EUSD denied restraining order against Trustee Jose Fragozo (Updated)

Escondido Union School District (EUSD) administrators were rebuffed Friday in their attempt to get a permanent workplace violence restraining order against EUSD Trustee Jose Fragozo. Delivering a one-hour verdict, Vista Superior Court judge Richard Whitney said it was a tough call, but, in the end, he decided that granting a restraining order would effectively end Fragozo’s term as a school board member. While urging Fragozo…


Kindergartener aims pellet gun at teacher (UPDATED — Boy suspended by school)

Thursday nearly ended with a bang at Oak Hill Elementary School when a kindergarten student reportedly showed up with a pellet gun and threatened his teacher and possibly other students. The unidentified 5-year-old boy brought the pellet gun in his backpack, according to Escondido police. He became upset during class, took the gun out of his backpack and aimed it at the teacher, police said….