(SPRING VALLEY) The San Miguel Fire District voted 4-2 Wednesday evening to approve a series of cuts to firefighters' pay and benefits, as well as to fire services in the Dehesa community.
Dozens of passionate residents and firefighters packed a district board meeting, criticizing the board members and fire chief for not assuming some of the burden for these budget cuts, and charging that these cuts will come at a cost to public safety.
According to San Miguel Fire Chief Augie Ghio, the cuts are necessary because of a $2.5 million reduction in property tax revenue to the General Fund over the past three years.
The cuts to service include removing two engines from Station 23, servicing the Dehesa community, as well as replacing a three-person fire engine company with a two-person paramedics squad, primarily responsible for responding to medical emergencies. Medical emergencies make up roughly 70 percent of the service calls to Station 23, according to Ghio.
The board also approved a $1.2 million reduction in salary and benefits for the district's firefighters and paramedics, ending an impasse in negotiation with the firefighter's unions. This additional reduction comes after reducing the firefighters' pay by 14 percent over the past two years.
The approved cuts in fire service will take effect on November 1.
Del Mar racing fans had a different reason to cheer on Saturday. This time it was for Martine Bellocq.
Deserts will dry out over the weekend, monsoonal moisture returning by Tuesday. Weekend temperatures slightly warmer as the high moves over the region, bringing in drier air. Beach conditions to improve Saturday. Water temperature slightly cooler than last week.
A man who fired a gun and threatened customers at a Fallbrook bar early Saturday morning was thwarted by patrons who tackled him and held him until law enforcement could arrive, a San Diego County sheriff's deputy said.
A man is suspected of crashing his car into a Skyline home and fleeing before being apprehended by police early Saturday morning.
The San Diego team in the Alliance of American football announced the signing of former San Diego State offensive tackle Terry Poole, a fourth-round choice by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFL draft, and nine other players.
A San Diego man with a prior conviction for the same offense was sentenced in federal court to more than 3 1/2 years in prison for his admitted role in a human-smuggling attempt that seriously injured a U.S. Border Patrol officer.
San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer is free Friday night after posting $2 million bail. He is accused of groping and assaulting more than a dozen women while on duty.