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Stories by Mike Madriaga

San Diego firebugs ignite late summer blazes

On October 5, someone called the Chula Vista Police Department regarding a burglar alarm on 3rd Avenue and F Street, says 911 Video News on their YouTube video. The police found a fire at the ...

Sierra Hubbard has 60 tattoos

When Sierra Hubbard posts up by the Surfhenge art installation at the IB Pier entrance in her red ‘68 Chevy Nova, folks take notice. The 60 tattoos adorning her 5’10” frame play a large part ...

October 6, 2022
Kayakers lifted out of La Jolla Cove

On September 24, before 2 pm, Erica was eating lunch at Eddie Vs on Prospect Street in La Jolla; she noticed a fire truck crane extended over La Jolla Cove across the street. So she ...

September 27, 2022
Gonzo Report: Tenelle leaves no Pacifica stranded at Island Vibe Fest

For many attendees, the annual Island Vibe Music Festival at Downtown’s Spanish Landing on August 13 radiated a hearty homeland vibe from the get-go. For others, the evocation of the islands was enough, and by ...

San Diego River neighbors worry about homeless fires

On September 3, Patricia Fillét said she and her Old Town neighbors smelled and saw smoke billowing atop the Morena Boulevard and I-8 interchange. They logged onto the NextDoor and Citizen apps to warn each ...

Pechanga fight tickets say San Deigo – guess why?

Just days before UFC Fight Night at the Pechanga Arena last month, Nathaniel Fox, who lives in North Park, had his own bouts — online. "I fell victim to a scam from a Craigslist listing," ...

Imperial Beach sandcastles avoided using ocean water

Local fishermen recently spotted and photographed the red tide near Imperial Beach, according to an August 27 619newsmedia report. Besides the red tide's picturesque neon blue-colored waves at nighttime, the red-orange-tinged water affects beachgoers, boaters, ...

Traffic signal headaches in Peñasquitos, I.B., and Imperial Avenue

In 2022, there were 5417 traffic signal reports made on San Diego's GID (Get It Done) app; over a dozen of those reports were made on August 20-21 about a particular set of Peñasquitos traffic ...

Monarch butterflies in San Diego up against the wall

The monarch butterfly was added to the IUCN Red List as "now endangered" last month — for many reasons. The insect is eaten as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, or bright orange and black colored butterfly. ...

DJ Bassassin thugsteps to Step Brothers

Dubstepping to Step Brothers: Much of the 140 beats-per-minute dubstep and hip-hop-fused stomper “Riddim And Blues,” by Tyler “DJ Bassassin” Williams was created on a computer in his Poway studio. It’s where he pulls beats ...

August 11, 2022
7-11 beer runs and now Blind Lady's fermenter tank

On July 22, the Blind Lady Ale House, referred to as BLAH in the Normal Heights neighborhood, recovered its stolen fermenter tank. It's worth $5,000 and is a large piece of steel equipment used to ...

Comic-Con covid protocols spark debate

Over the weekend of July 21-24, Comic-Con International returned to the San Diego Convention Center for its first full-blown four-day show since 2019. But it did so without at least one long-time attendee and vendor: ...

San Diego's weird pet rescues in 2022

On July 11, Camo, a five-year-old veiled chameleon, escaped from his indoor and outdoor cage in a Mission Hills home. "I live next to a row of Juniper trees, so he will likely climb to ...

Does the crash at Swift and Meade show roundabouts are unsafe?

"About two weeks ago, there was an accident where a person drove up on the rocks in the middle median on the roundabout just down the street from ours on Swift Avenue," Kira Hawkins said ...

PurpleAir fire sensors dotting San Diego's North County

On June 25, Steve Sedio noticed a fire blazing in Carlsbad about 30 miles west of his Valley Center home. "An arsonist started the brush fire in Carlsbad," he told me on July 9. The ...

K-9 dog Jester stabbed in head, but survives

About 4 am on July 4 — the sheriff's department, police department, and the police department's K-9 unit — were called out to a Lemon Grove home where a gun was shot, lodging into the ...

Skateboarders annoy, inspire downtown San Diego

At about 2 pm on June 21, Amanda Vazquez Defran heard a peculiar noise below her Banker's Hill home balcony. "I work from home, so I get a front row seat to a lot of ...

Souped-up cars eyed warily by Vista cops

On June 18 — a $5.8 million vehicle, an SUV carrying $1 million cash, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, Lotuses, Bugattis, Porsches, and a 2012 BWM 135i — were not given special "pedigree privies" in the city ...

June 21, 2022
Golf carts – a San Diego trend but so easy to steal

On May 24, a person snuck into Hotel Del Coronado and stole their "Safety & Security" golf cart. The navy blue electric cart had custom wheels and a unique red-colored old-school pinstripe design on its ...

San Diego graff artists confess

KAHLEE I rock a dark hoodie when I walk these streets. A scribe with streaks, no heat. My steps discrete. Brass knuckles for these suckas with beef. I need graffiti in cities surrounding me to ...

Valencia Park, Golden Hill offer some help to homeless with vacant lots

Many San Diegans living on the street were not accounted for in the May 19 report released by the Regional Task Force on Homelessness. During the count, some of the unaccounted San Diegans lived in ...

The May 18 Sunset Cliffs sink hole rescue

On May 18, a photographer was stuck inside the notorious Sink Hole below Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach. The unidentified man wearing a long sleeve grey shirt, green shorts, and a camera equipment bag entered ...

2022 Summer Fun Issue

The other night at dinner, the Young People asked the Old People, “How do you know when you’re an adult?” Your humble Editor’s answer: “When you realize that life is no longer play that gets ...

Kite flyers okay with new Mission Bay playgrounds

On May 23, David Corning and his wife drove to Mission Bay Park to scope out the new playground the city of San Diego spent part of its $8.3 million budget to build. "It looks ...

Media and public cut off from Calls for Service page

On the evening of May 16, the San Diego County Sheriff's department was called to San Marcos to assess a few incidents. There was a hit and run on the 500 block of Grand Avenue; ...

Some neighbors wary of Adams Avenue Theater

Last month, Normal Heights neighbors posted photos of the Adams Avenue Theater on social media, wondering what would be moving into the near-100-year-old building. Then, on April 15, Devyn Randolph posted a picture of a ...

San Diego city workers clean up homeless bikes

Hundreds of Twitter and NextDoor app users are outraged with city employees after an April 14 video tweet captioned, "Perfectly good bikes being crushed by the @CityofSanDiego" went viral. About 10 am that Thursday, Michael ...

May 3, 2022
Mars highrise opens Normal Heights to SDSU students

Normal Heights inhabitants are throwing shade on The Mars Project development coming into their neighborhood. According to artists' renderings, the art deco-inspired building will have a sheet-metal facade and tower seven stories high on Adams ...

Van lifers find ways to get around San Diego's hostility

On April 16, van lifers from around the U.S. trekked into San Diego County as National Park Week kicked off a weeklong, presidentially proclaimed event. For the following seven days, 400 national parks throughout the ...

San Diego's pro wrestling fueled by marijuana

Perhaps you know that the official beer of the National Football League is Bud Light. The NBA has Michelob ULTRA. Major League Baseball’s official beer is Budweiser, but its official cerveza is Corona. And wrestling? ...

Orbeez shooters invade El Cajon

On the evening of April 3, Brenda B. "heard gunshots" outside of her El Cajon home. "Then I called my mom, who lives on my street," she said. "I told her to don't go out ...

April 11, 2022
When the Tesla jumped the wall in Kearny Mesa last week

A Tesla that recently landed on top of an ambulance in Kearny Mesa stole the thunder from a flying Tesla in Los Angeles days before. Above the Falck Ambulance Service headquarters, before 10 am on ...

Bike vigilantes get back Kona taken from front of Tribute Pizza

"I had a wooden baseball bat, a Louisville Slugger, in my car. And the plan was we both walk up, Patrick grabs the bike, and I watch his back just in case this guy is ...

San Diego tow truck, Uber, semi drivers watch their gas prices

Courtney and Leon Copeland of San Diego Scoop Squad, a pet waste removal company, felt the highest spike in gas prices over the weekend. "We are spending about $60 more per week on gas between ...

Costly fire behind Home Depot off Palm Ave.

As Pamela Sophia exited the Home Depot on Saturn Boulevard in the morning of March 10, she noticed people in the parking lot gazing up at the sky behind the home improvement store. She then ...

Coyotes proliferate from Ramona to Imperial Beach

Throughout San Diego County, there was an increase in coyote sightings in the last month. Ramona Facebookers reported coyotes attacked their ducks and chickens. Rabbits near the Tijuana Estuary in Imperial Beach were mauled. My ...

San Diego truckers in People's Convoy – photos from New Mexico and Oklahoma

Lisa H. from Valley Center wishes she could've joined her fellow semi-truckers when they left for Altadena, California, on February 23, to caravan with The People's Convoy en route to Washington DC. "What an awesome ...

Mission Valley and Valley Center ATMs attacked

On February 7, the San Diego Police Department posted on Facebook about a January 23 break-in at a Chase Bank ATM at 5111 Mission Center Road in Mission Valley. SDPD said one of their police ...

Bait bikes work in Coronado

On January 28, before 10 am, the Coronado Police Department noticed their bait bike moving away from where it was initially locked. So they sent an officer down the Silver Strand near Leyte Road, north ...

Pot-bellied pigs – the new lost animal of San Diego County

On February 1, animal services were called on a black-colored Vietnamese potbelly pig as he roamed by Hacienda Drive, south of the 76 in Oceanside. The San Diego Humane Society in Escondido refers to the ...

Snapped his board in half

I found Chad surfing at the Ocean Beach Pier. “One day last year, Coronado was like Tahiti and Hawaii,” he said. "Anybody who surfs out here knows that Coronado has no surf." But this day ...

February 1, 2022

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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