Vista Stories

Vista Assembly of God

Pastor Steven Myatt intended to become a businessman. But he thought there had to be more to life.

Convicted Killer Dontaye Henderson Gets 80 Years to Life

The mother of murdered 25-year-old Tamara Henderson told the killer, “I forgive you for killing my daughter and I pray for you.... I know that hating you would only eat me up inside.” When convicted ...

Vista Woman Admits Stealing Books From County Libraries

A Vista woman accused of stealing thousands of books from libraries around San Diego County pleaded guilty to one count of “commercial burglary” in the Vista courthouse on February 20. An investigation reportedly started last ...

Suburban Standards

While drilling holes into records, Colin Tappe talks about Standards, a record store he is preparing to open in Vista. “I just wanna do something for North County. That’s where I am, and I like ...

Women Describe Rape and Kidnap in Vista

Two women, 19 and 20 years old, gave testimony in the Vista courthouse on October 19, describing an ordeal during which they said they were kidnapped and raped last May. The women said the 33-year-old ...

Vista Man Taking Out Garbage Reports Graffiti

At a preliminary hearing at the Vista courthouse on August 29, Christian Padilla faced charges for an incident that occurred August 14. On that night, a man taking out the garbage after 10 p.m. saw ...

Highway Shooting in Vista?

On Tuesday, August 30, at approximately 7:10 a.m., a man driving a Dodge minivan summoned police to a Vista gas station because he believed his front passenger side window had been destroyed in a random ...

Vista and Marine Base Post Offices May Shut Down

Last month, the United States Postal Service published a list 3653 post offices to be studied for closure. In San Diego County, two offices are on the list: zip code 92140, located at the Marine ...

It's a Tough Crowd at Vista Boxing Ring

It's a tough crowd. It’s such a tough crowd th at no one believed the repeated messages that the killer left on the victim’s cell phone threatening to “bust a cap” into him. Until Hector ...

Alleged Rapist Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge, Is Released From Custody in Vista

Giovanni Abarca, 18, pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor, in exchange for dropped felony charges — including rape of an intoxicated person — according to prosecutor Kate Flaherty. Abarca ...

Michael Pines Defends Himself at Arraignment in Vista

Tempers flared in the Vista courthouse on May 17 when 59-year-old Michael Theodore Pines, acting as his own attorney, was brought before a superior-court judge. Prosecutor James Romo said that Pines has filed suits against ...

Vista Skaters Beg for a New Park

A room full of young skaters, their parents, and other supporters of building a skate park in Vista appeared at the city council meeting on May 10. “It is not just a skate park,” said ...

Vista Eases Up on Signage Regulations

The Vista Planning Commission approved an amendment to the city’s sign ordinance on April 19 that would regulate sign-spinners and commercial signs on city sports fields. In October, the city council approved a version that ...

The Yellow Deli's Own People

"Mama, you never yell at us except when you drink coffee.” “That’s why we drink tea,” says Jennifer, “except sometimes.” But Jennifer likes to be called by her religious name, Bathsheba. “It means ‘daughter of ...

Who Is the Dreamer in Vista?

On a Tuesday morning in late September, two 16-year-old girls snuck away from their North County high school. Chica wanted to go home, Nina later said. “I understood that she was going to go home ...

Debbie Sumi Faces DUI Manslaughter Charges in Vista

A woman 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 104 pounds was said to be driving with a lethal blood alcohol content when she crashed a car into people on the side of the road ...

San Marcos Man Charged with Possession of Kid Porn

A 37-year-old man videotaped a 12-year-old girl taking off her clothes and then showering in his San Marcos home in 2007, according to prosecutor Keith Watanabe at the Vista Courthouse on Friday, February 18. Marc ...

Nancy Lee Ellis Charged with Encinitas Arson

On February 15, a judge ordered 64-year-old Nancy Lee Ellis held for trial on five different arson charges, four of which are felonies. Ellis is pleading not guilty. Testimony at the preliminary hearing suggested that ...

Former Border Patrol Agent Gamalier Rivera Found Guilty

On Wednesday, February 2, for his hatchet attack on two sleeping persons more than a year ago, former Border Patrol agent Gamalier Rivera was found guilty of assault, causing great bodily injury, and aggravated mayhem. ...

Hatchet Victim Chris Anguiano Testifies Against Attacker

“When I got to the hospital, I coded, I died,” Chris Anguiano testified at the Vista Courthouse on Wednesday, January 26. Before he lost his vision and motor skills, he had worked at Palomar Hospital ...

Marine Michael Wells Returns to Camp Pendleton

There was a tense moment in the Vista Courthouse on January 21 when a superior court judge ordered two Marines to release their 20-year-old prisoner into the custody of San Diego sheriff’s deputies. Michael Wells ...

Accused Gunman Brendan O’Rourke at Vista Courthouse

The man accused of shooting two children at a Carlsbad elementary school three months ago was at the Vista Courthouse today, January 18. Lysette Cox testified that she “was working on the blacktop at Kelly ...

Did Jaws (Joaquin Martinez) Find a New Victim?

Joaquin Martinez was arraigned in the Vista courthouse on Friday, January 6, charged with attempted murder using a home-made weapon to attack another prisoner in the Vista jail. Prosecutor Geoff Allard alleged that Martinez inflicted ...

Vista Permits a Second Tattoo Shop

The Vista Planning Commission granted a special-use permit on January 4, allowing a tattoo shop to open near Thibodo Road and Watson Way. The establishment will be one of two tattoo parlors allowed in Vista...until ...

Friday Night Rant

I'll start with the thing I can't get out of my head. A co-worker had apparently, partly witnessed that poor kid commit suicide on the 78 this week in Vista. We had all started work ...

Angry Customer Breaks Door in Vista

On November 7 at about 9:30 p.m., a customer broke the glass on the front door of the Circle K store on the corner of Shadowridge Drive and Watson Way in Vista. According to a ...

Vista Residents Want North County Transit Trains to Lay Off the Horns

Mark Martin's alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. The alarm is an air horn on the Sprinter rail line one mile from his Vista home. That sound has been the wake-up call ...

Carlsbad Teen Staggers into Traffic, Then Rescued

At around 9:00 p.m. on September 6, a delivery driver for the Pizza Hut on Cannon Road stopped for a girl who stepped off the curb against a red light. She was in her late ...

Tag, You're It

The City of Vista has worked hard to abate graffiti. In 2008, the city hired artists to paint murals along the Sprinter light rail corridor as a way to deter taggers from leaving their marks ...

Begged for His Life

A Vista man who befriended a fellow marijuana user reported being robbed by his new acquaintance in Vista on Thursday, San Diego County sheriff's investigators said. Officers were called to the 1200 block of Buena ...

Can't Drink Gas

During a public hearing on March 9, the Vista City Council reviewed an appeal of the planning commission’s approval for a proposed ARCO AM/PM at the North Santa Fe Village shopping center located on the ...

Bowling and Brawling

Located off the 78 Freeway in Vista, at 435 West Vista Way, is the Vista Entertainment Center, a megaplex of adult fun and games. Inside are 40 bowling lanes, an arcade room, a Karaoke machine, ...

Tag — You're It

According to a sheriff's press release, deputies arrested a prolific graffiti tagger at his Vista home on December 28. The 16-year-old suspect was booked into the San Diego Juvenile Detention Facility on 232 counts of ...

No Sell Motel

The Vista City Council decided on December 8 to follow through on a plan to increase sales-tax revenue by purchasing four properties, including the site of North County Ford, then leasing the land back to ...

Computer Creeper

“Hubert Dymitr Haraszewski Jr. molested me while were in a cave at San Onofre State Beach in October 2007,” the teenage victim testified on December 3 in a Vista courtroom. “We went in the cave ...

The Anti-Sonic Burger

On Monday, November 2, the second Sonic Drive-In in San Diego County opened for business on the corner of Broadway and South Santa Fe Avenue in Vista. Like the Santee location, this time North County ...

411 on the 442

On October 24, the new 442 area-code overlay plan was implemented by the Public Utilities Commission. As a result, all local and long distance calls in the 760 area code will require the use of ...

At Home at Vista Ranch...

"One minute, a ruler is seated on their throne...the next minute, they are thrown out on their seat!" --Redd Foxx The part of Vista I call home is a former motel called Vista Ranch. Located ...

Possible Prostitution

A handful of Vista acupuncturist’s offices and day spas identified by authorities as possible locations for prostitution prompted an undercover sting operation on Wednesday, June 3, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said in a press ...

Bicyclists' Blessing

The two-lane stretch of Buena Creek Road that connects Santa Fe Avenue and Twin Oaks Valley Road will be undergoing extensive construction during the next two weeks. Construction crews continue to widen the bike lanes ...

End of an Error

The North County Forum held their 12th annual Letters to the Editor Awards Night on January 31 at the Brengle Terrace Recreation Center in Vista. In tribute to the “End of an Error,” the ceremony ...

Murder Arraignment in Vista

A Vista Superior Court judge has found enough evidence for an Oceanside man who allegedly murdered his roommate to face trail. The judge, Joel Pressmen, bound over Jesus Borja, age 28, on one count of ...

Nine Sinking Cities

This month and in early February, city managers and finance directors in cities across San Diego County are appearing before their respective city councils to report significant budget deficits. Of the county’s 18 municipalities, 14 ...

On the Road

At a December 17 Oceanside City Council meeting, councilmembers Jerry Kern, Rocky Chavez, and Jack Feller voted in favor of awarding La Mesa's Helix Environmental Planning, Inc. an extra $247,000 for an environmental impact report ...

No Butts About It

Every Saturday for the past year and a half, a group of Escondido teenagers have been meeting at 8:00 in the morning to pick up cigarette butts strewn about 11 of Escondido’s city parks. So ...

Oceanside Councilmember Suggests Carlsbad Boycott

At the November 19th Oceanside City Council meeting, Caltrans along with shopping mall giant, Westfield Group, appealed the Planning Commission’s decision to support Jefferson Enterprises proposal to build a 92-acre shopping plaza in Oceanside, near ...

Pastor Dave and Los Peligrosos

A few months back, I went to an event in Oceanside that I was told was a divorce party for a guy, but it ended up being more of a car show, as most of ...

That '70s Party

Having covered ‘50s and ‘60s theme parties the past two weeks, it seemed appropriate to jump to a ‘70s bash at the VFW hall in Pacific Beach. Coincidentally, I went to a going-away party at ...

Vista Panthers

Vista Panthers Football Schedule 2008: 9/5, 7 p.m. MIRA MESA 14-16 (L)9/12, 7:30 p.m. FALLBROOK 31-6 (W)9/19, 7:30 p.m. ALISO NIGUEL 35-7 (L)9/26, 7:30 p.m. at Mission Viejo 20-42 (L)10/10, 7:30 p.m. ESCONDIDO 28-14 (W)10/17, ...

Less Dense, Fewer Homeless, More Sky

Having lived in San Diego since 1980, one would think that I would have long ago gravitated to residence in the northern portion of the county. It seems, by consensus, to be more generally livable ...

Train Water

In August 2003, the North County Transit District, preparing to build a train line linking Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido, applied to state authorities for a storm water discharge permit. The train, called the ...

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