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Local News February 25th, 2010

Escondido Police Serve Search Warrant, Arrest Four

The Escondido Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit, Special Enforcement Team, and Crimes of Property Unit served a search warrant at a home in the 100 block of N. Hayden St. During the search, detectives located methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a stolen vehicle, and numerous pieces of stolen property that were later determined to have been stolen from vehicles and businesses in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. As a result, detectives arrested the following people:

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Deron Lee Markum, 37, of Escondido
Marcum was charged with violation of Auto Theft, Possession of a controlled substance, Possession of a dangerous weapon, and five other charges related to fraud and forgery.
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Cheryl Renee Smith, 39, of Escondido, was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, Possession of stolen property, and Possession of a controlled substance.
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Shawna Marie Barton, 28, (above, right) of Escondido, was charged with Possession of stolen property.
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Paul William Lloyd, (above) 36, of Escondido, was arrested and charged with Possession of stolen property.

All four person arrested in this case were booked into the Vista Detention Facility.

Art Center to Remain Open

Escondido city officials have announced that they are committed to keeping the California Center for the Arts, Escondido open and that there are no plans to close the downtown Escondido facility as part of an effort to address a $10 million budget shortfall. The City made this announcement to reassure the community that the center is open and will continue to operate.

“The first step in addressing our shortfall was to lay out all possible cost-cutting options on the table, no matter their logic or impacts, to help us identify our budget priorities,” said Council Member Dick Daniels who chairs the council’s Budget Subcommittee. “It became immediately apparent that closing the arts center was neither a viable or desirable option and we are exploring other options to help us align our expenses with the revenue shortfalls we’re experiencing as a result of the continuing economic downturn. Meanwhile, we’re encouraging patrons, users, and donors to continue to support this unique cultural resource in our region.”

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The Budget subcommittee will make its recommendations to reduce expenses in the remaining 2009-10 city budget at the council’s March 3 meeting.

Nationally Touring Beatles Tribute Band Performs at Welk Resort Theatre

Internationally renowned Beatles tribute band, Abbey Road, will be performing concert shows at the Welk Resort Theatre on Sundays from March 14 – April 18 at 7:00 pm. The Welk Resort Theatre is located at 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr. in Escondido. Tickets may be purchased online at www.welktheatresandiego.com or calling (760) 749 – 3448 for $25 for adults and $10 for children.

 

Smothers Brothers Cancels National Tour

The Smothers Brothers, who had been scheduled to perform at the Welk Resort Theatre this year, have canceled their 2010 National Touring Schedule after May 2010. As a result, the Welk Resort Theatre has announced they will not be appearing as scheduled.

As a replacement, Mitzi Gaynor will appear in “Razzle Dazzle - My Life Behind the Sequins.” Her show will play September 2 – 5 – five performances only.

Look for more information in The Paper as we get closer to showtime.

Vista to Borrow $36 Million?

Lots of Vista folks are watching Vista's redevelopment agency as they crunch the numbers to determine whether to borrow $36 million in bonds this year to fund more property purchases.

Presently, the redevelopment agency has only acquired about 25% of what they intend to acquire in the Paseo Santa Fe Corridor. The city has already spent about $29 million for acquisition of nine properties along West Vista Way as well as the former Circuit City warehouse.

The agency has the capacity and the authority to issue $103.25 million in bonds over the next five years, but if done, they would only draw down funds against the total, as needed. The city has ambitious plans for its downtown redevelopment which involves buying property, then re-selling to developers who would then construct mixed-use buildings with ground floor rental and offices or condos on the upper floor(s).

Money generated by tax increment in the redevelopment area is used to pay down bonds or loans in addition to facilitating projects that will help the increment grow, according to Vista officials.

Escondido PD Nails Four Drivers for DU

The Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI saturation patrol Saturday, February 20, 2010, from 6:00 PM until 2:00 AM. The emphasis of this saturation patrol was to detect drunk drivers and those with suspended, revoked, or no driver license and to continue our education / awareness campaign on the dangers of driving impaired.

The following activity resulted from this saturation patrol:

• 4 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol / drugs
• 17 field sobriety tests were administered
• 47 traffic citations were issued
• 9 vehicles were impounded for drivers who were arrested, did not have a driver license, or had their driving privilege suspended
• 1 felony warrant arrest

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Two San Diego Men Plead No Contest in Worker’s Compensation Fraud Cases

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that David Wayne Fish, 47, of San Diego and Birger Greg Bacino, 50, of Rancho Santa Fe, have plead no contest to felony charges of compensation or inducement for referring clients for profit in a workers’ compensation scheme and agreed to release $60 million in medical liens and bills prior to entering their plea. They will serve three years of probation.

Fish and Bacino are the principal owners of Premier Medical Management Systems Inc. The business was charged with making false and fraudulent workers’ compensation claims and filing false tax returns. At its peak, Premier Medical owned and operated five clinics in the greater Los Angeles area and contracted with more than 100 medical providers. More than $60 million in liens and bills created by Premier Medical Management Systems Inc. were pending before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) and as part of the negotiated disposition, Fish and Bacino agreed to drop those claims.

“Getting kickbacks for referring medical payments is illegal and drives up the costs in the system,” Commissioner Poizner said. “Because of our work and that of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, we were able to prevent $60 million in fraudulent and unnecessary claims in being made. We will continue to work hard to eliminate these unneeded costs to keep workers’ compensation insurance affordable.”

CDI investigators reviewed more than 100,000 financial records in tracing the flow of money.

The investigation found that when a referral was received for a prospective workers’ compensation case, the client was sent to doctors and other health care providers that had a business relationship with Premier. Premier would do the billing and collection work in return for a 50 percent or more fee of what they collected. More than 16,000 patient referrals were purchased through the attorney advertising service.

As part of the negotiated plea, CDI received $900,000 as reimbursement for investigative costs.

• • • • •

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

 

 

 

 


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