Inland edition, february 12, 2016

Page 1


The Coast News




VOL. 3, N0. 4

FEB. 12, 2016

Borrego Health brings urgent care services to Escondido By Hoa Quach

ESCONDIDO — Escondido residents will soon have access to urgent care services in downtown. Borrego Community Health Foundation recently announced that it will offer urgent care services at its downtown Escondido site, Centro Medico Escondido, beginning March 14. The nonprofit health care provider made the decision to expand its services after Palomar Health announced it will close its downtown standby emergency room that same day. Gary Rotto, senior vice president of government and community affairs for Borrego Health, said the nonprofit has explored the idea of offering urgent care services at its Escondido location for some time. “It’s something we’ve been looking at for awhile and with the closure of (Palomar Health’s) downtown campus it makes perfect Centro Medico Escondido will begin offering urgent care services on March 14. The clinic, sense,” Rotto said. owned by Borrego Health, chose to expand its services after Palomar Health announced To offer urgent care services, the closure of its downtown standby emergency room. Photo courtesy of Borrego Health

Centro Medico Escondido will be open for an additional 32 hours a week. The clinic will also add nine positions, including one physician, to their current staff of 37. Currently, the facility sees about 500 patients per week for services such as family care, pediatric medicine, women’s health, behavioral health, and podiatry. Officials expect to see a patient increase of 25 percent. The change also makes sense, said both health care providers, as 60 to 70 percent of medical situations at Palomar Health’s downtown emergency room could’ve been served at an urgent care clinic. Palomar Health said in the last three years the majority of patients have been “lower level acuity patients who are not crucially ill or injured.” The hospital began the transition plan to close the downtown standby emergency room, TURN TO URGENT CARE ON 10

Embattled EUSD trustee pleads not guilty to charges By Steve Puterski

VISTA — Embattled Escondido Union School District Trustee Jose Fragozo pleaded not guilty to 13 felony counts on Feb. 4 in Superior Court. Fragozo did not speak in court, although his attorney Victor Torres did enter the plea on his client’s behalf. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges earlier this week alleging Fragozo does not reside in his district. He was elected four years ago from District 3, which the DA’s office accuses Fragozo of falsifying his residence in order to be elected. Torres made a brief statement to reporters after the hearing, but did not

Escondido Union School District Trustee Jose Fragozo, left, at the Vista Superior Court last month where a judge upheld a temporary restraining order. This week, Fragozo was charged with nine felonies relating to his residency status. File photo by Steve Puterski

tions,” he said. “It’s unfortake questions. “Mr. Fragozo has plead tunate and he’s very disapnot guilty to these allega- pointed that public money

is being spent on this kind of investigation. We believe this will lead to a full exoneration and he looks forward to his day in court, and that I believe, is where all the evidence will be heard.” Fragozo is scheduled to appear March 9 in Superior Court for a readiness hearing, which is to determine if a deal has been agreed, or if the case will move forward. Fragozo is also scheduled for a two-day preliminary hearing beginning on March 23. Fragozo is subject to a temporary restraining order filed by Superintendent Luis Rankins-Ibarra with supplementing statements from three other EUSD administrators on Dec. 2, 2015, after the four alleged

threatening and harassing behavior from Fragozo. The judge in that case upheld the district’s claims, although another hearing is schedule to determine if the order should be upgraded to a full restraining order. The school district’s attorney, Daniel Shinoff, told the court in December his clients suffered through tirades and threats of physical violence from Fragozo. In addition, Shinoff said Deputy Superintendent Leila Sackfield felt, at one point, she had been falsely imprisoned, while Assisatant Superintendents Kelly Prins and Kevin Rubow were targets of bouts of yelling “as close as possible” with Fragozo pointing his finger in their faces.

San Marcos announce slew of traffic safety improvements By Aaron Burgin

SAN MARCOS — The city of San Marcos has outlined an ambitious agenda of road and traffic safety improvements coming to the city over the next two years, including the widening of state Route 78 in one of the most congested stretches of freeway in the county. Some of the projects are being funded and completed with state and federal dollars, but city officials said it was important to provide residents with a comprehensive list to put all of the upcoming changes into perspective. The biggest short term project is the imminent widening of SR 78 between Woodland Parkway and Twin Oaks Valley Road, which has the dubious distinction of being one of the county’s 10 worst traffic bottlenecks. The most recent traffic data from Caltrans said the traffic costs commuters 209,000 hours of vehicle delay, good for the fifth worst traffic bottleneck in the county. According to the city, the widening will add east and westbound auxiliary lanes, which will make it easier for drivers to enter and exit the freeway. The project is expected to start next spring. Another project that TURN TO TRAFFIC ON 18

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