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Local News October 15th, 2009

Escondido Police Arrest one Suspect after Armed Robbery

On Friday October 9, 2009, at approximately 7:41am, the Escondido Police Department received a call of a robbery that just occurred at Lopez Market, located at 200 W. El Norte Parkway. The suspect entered the market armed with a rifle and demanded money. The clerk wrestled the weapon away from the suspect who then left the store without getting any money. The suspect was last seen driving away from the location in a small compact vehicle. At 9:05am, Escondido Police located the suspect’s unoccupied vehicle on the south side of town. A short time later, 47 year old Escondido resident, Jose Zardon, was identified as the suspect and arrested without incident.

Zardon was charged with Armed Robbery and Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Additionally, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold was placed on Zardon after he was transported to Vista Detention Facility.

26 Vehicles Impounded, 39 Citations Issued at DUI Checkpoint

On October 10, 2009, the Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI Sobriety / Drivers License Checkpoint at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Bevin Road from 6:00 PM until 1:00 AM. The emphasis of this checkpoint was to detect intoxicated and unlicensed drivers as well as to provide a highly visible operation to deter driving under the influence.

The following activity resulted from this checkpoint:

• 3,493 vehicles entered the checkpoint southbound on East Valley Parkway
• 2,089 vehicles were screened in primary
• 75 vehicles sent to secondary (drivers who could not produce a drivers license or who were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
• 1 driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• 3 field sobriety tests were administered
• 26 vehicles were impounded at this checkpoint, 11 drivers did not have auto insurance, 8 drivers had a suspended drivers license and 22 drivers did not have a drivers license
• 39 citations were issued at this checkpoint

This checkpoint operated in conjunction with the San Diego County DUI Probation Team, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the North County Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Council.

Bahai’s to Celebrate Anniversary of the Birth of Messenger, Teacher and Prophet, The Bab

Bahai's throughout the world will celebrate the birth of the Bab, a central figure in their religion, on Monday October 19th. The Baha'i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions and one of the fastest-growing, with more than five million believers worldwide and more than 165,000 followers in the United States.

Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Major Baha'i tenets include the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, universal education, the harmony of science and religion, and the establishment of world peace.

The Bab (pronounced “Bob”) is one of the most revered figures within the Baha’i religion.

Mirza Ali-Muhammad, a merchant from Shiraz, Persia (now Iran), who was born on Oct. 20, 1819. In 1844 he proclaimed that he was the bearer of a Divine Revelation which introduce the Promised One of all religions (Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith). He took the title “the Bab,” which means “Gate” in Arabic. Fearful of the spread of the Bab’s teachings, Persian authorities executed him in 1850.

The public is welcome to attend the celebrations. In Escondido, call Russ Norman, 760.745.0086; in San Marcos, San Marcos - Randall or Cheryl Kizer, 760.432.9941; Vista Judy Maddox, 760.598.7240; Carlsbad, Eileen Norman, 760.942.2440; Oceanside, Dick and/or Patty Yant, 619.985.9977 or 760.433.4447; and in Rancho Bernardo, Chris or Azar Weixelman, 858.759.8075.

The Paper did an in-depth story on the Bahai in February of this year. Interested readers may wish to review that article and learn much more about the faith:

Richard Keech Comes Home

Richard Keech, the Marine who spent a good deal of his military years during WWII as a Japanese POW, who led an exemplary life after his service years, but who killed his abusive son-in-law who threatened Keech and his family, has finally been released from prison for compassionate reasons. He is seriously ill, in the early to middle stages of dementia, and all he wants to do now is to die, amongst his loved ones, especially his devoted wife, Kay.

Keech arrived home at 4pm last Thursday, following his compassionate release from High Desert Prison. His daughter flew in to escort him to a waiting plane, then returned to Long Beach, via privately donated aircraft and wheelchair.

The Paper has followed this story from the beginning. Those readers who would like more detail are invited to go to our website and read the background:

Other inmates and even the correctional guards all supported a petition to release Richard on compassionate grounds. He represented a threat to no one - and he did what he did to protect his daughter.

The Paper spoke with Bob Pendleton, a devoted long time supporter of Keech. Pendleton had called Kay Keech and she reported Dick was eating solid food for the first time in ages. He had refused to eat while in prison during the latter days. He is lucid at times and was able to speak by phone with Pendleton and remembered him. Pendleton plans on visiting Keech after he’s had a chance to unwind and adapt to a private life.

Update on Charger Pursuit for Escondido

The San Diego Chargers continue to say they want to remain in San Diego County; meantime, long time land-use attorney and one of Escondido’s prime ‘movers and shakers,’ David Ferguson, has approached various developers to explore how they might privately be able to finance a new stadium in Escondido.

Escondido is not new ground to the Chargers. They held their training camp in Escondido from 1964 to 1968 just east of what is now Highway 15. Ferguson, who represents a nearby landowner, began informal talks with officials from Escondido and the Chargers several months ago about the prospect of moving the team to a site southeast of where state Route 78 meets Interstate 15.

A specific proposal is at least six months away, Ferguson said. “I'm convinced that there is a legitimate opportunity here,” Ferguson said. “I won't be optimistic until I see a balanced budget.”

Even if the project pencils out, its success hinges on a number of landowners in the area being willing to unload parcels at affordable prices. The project would require up to 60 acres. More than 40 acres might be assembled at market rates via 21 acres of city land, 9 acres where an Albertsons grocery store once operated, and the nearly 12-acre site of the Escondido Swap Meet, whose owners Ferguson represents — but those places aren't all adjacent to each other. While the city could condemn land for public purposes such as parking and streets, the city's redevelopment agency lacks eminent domain power to acquire property for the project.

“Some people may not want to sell at all for their own reasons,” said the Charger’s special counsel, Mark Fabiani. “Some people may see this as an opportunity to inflate the price of their land. All it takes is one key holdout to stop the project.” Mayor Lori Holt-Pfeiler said assembling the land would be difficult but could be done.

“Piece by piece, we may be able to put this puzzle together,” she said. “I believe that we can cobble together enough land to make it worthwhile.”

The Chargers have already ruled out a replacement of Qualcomm Stadium at its 166-acre Mission Valley site, as well as options in National City, Oceanside and Chula Vista. The Chargers are able to break a lease that runs through 2020 by paying a termination fee of $54.6 million in 2010 and $25.8 million in 2011.

Boy Scouts Will Honor George Weir

The Boy Scouts' 2009 Friends of Scouting Dinner will honor George Weir of George W. Weir Asphalt Construction with its Distinguished Citizen Award on Saturday November 14th at The Vineyard at Escondido at 5 pm.

Weir, Escondido Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year for 2008, is an Eagle Scout. Individual tickets are $100. Contacts: Jeff Boswell jeff.boswell@scouting.or David Hodges at

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Send your news tips or press releases to: Questions? Call 760.747.7119. And thanks!





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