Month In Review – Snapshots from last month’s most significant news and developments – Feb 2018

by | Jan 23, 2018 | Community

Deputy Attacked at Fast Food Chain

Last Month a Deputy was attacked while in a local fast food chain in Canyon Country. The suspect, 21-year-old Donald Chinchilla allegedly attacked the officer with use of a deadly weapon and inflicted great bodily harm. It was reported that he assaulted the officer while in the parking lot of the restaurant and fled the scene. Chinchilla was later caught and booked with bail set at $1.05 million. He currently awaits trial on February 14th. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of 19 years to life in prison.

Beware of Flu Season!

Over the past month this new strain of Flu Virus has killed 36 people in the Los Angeles County. LA County Department of Public Health is urging everyone to get their flu vaccine aged 6 months and older. As of mid-January there were a confirmed 36 deaths associate with influenza. This season emergency room visits have spiked to 130 percent. The CDC reports that those who are at high risk are:
-Children under 5-years old
-Adults 65 years and older
-Pregnant Women
-People with medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung and heart disease, diabetes and being overweight.

COC’s Deans Symposium

The 2018 California Deans Symposium hosted deans from different California community colleges to learn about the interplay between guided pathways, Career Technical Education (CTE), and transfer into the workforce. COC partnered with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Division of Workforce and Economic Development to sponsor the 2018 Deans Symposium: Providing Social and Economic Mobility for California. The symposium helped participants develop leadership skills to better align workforce needs with statewide Vision for Success goals. Also they benefited from breakout sessions throughout the day which covered a wide range of topics, including: Impact of Noncredit on Skill Builders, Older Adults, and CTE; Mapping Program Outcomes to Industry and Transfer to name a few.

Library Hosts Local Authors for a Meet and Greet

The Old Town Newhall Library celebrated local talented artists last month. Over 40 authors came out to be honored and meet fans. Since 2014, the Celebration of Local Authors event has been spotlighting local writers and providing residents with the opportunity to meet with authors and explore their work. This year’s event highlighted approximately 40 local authors, all skilled storytellers in genres including children’s, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, self-help and poetry/short story.  Attendees got the unique opportunity to participate in moderated panel discussions, as well as a chance to purchase signed books.

A Murder-Suicide in Saugus

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the Birnkrant’s who were found dead in their Saugus home last month. Deputies responded to the call of a concerned family member who had not spoken to the Birnkrants in days. Upon arrival the deputies found four bodies throughout the house. They were identified as Amy Suzanne Birnkrant, 47; Drew Taylor Birnkrant, 20; and Sean Birnkrant, 11, all of Santa Clarita, said Lt. Rudy Molano of the Department of Medical Examiner. The male victim’s identity has not been released until verification from the next of kin. Currently there is an ongoing investigation but the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department believes it was a murder suicide.

The New Taylor Trailhead Bridge

The City of Santa Clarita hosted a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the new Taylor Trailhead at Rivendale Park and Open Space, located on the west side of The Old Road, north of Calgrove Boulevard. The new Taylor Trailhead features parking for 26 vehicles, open space signage, fencing and access control gates.  Additional spacing is available off The Old Road.  The trailhead connects to the Taylor Trail which recently was expanded and now offers three miles of multi-use trails for bicyclists, equestrians and hikers to enjoy. “With the opening of Taylor Trailhead, we’re adding another access point that makes it convenient for visitors to explore the trails,” says Mayor Laurene Weste.

 

Dr. Joan Lucid Retires After 37 Years

After 48 years as an educator, with 37 of them spent in the Saugus Union School District, District Superintendent Joan Lucid, Ed.D. has announced her retirement – effective June 29, 2018. “I have been honored and humbled to have served 37 years in Saugus Union School District…dedicated to elementary education as a teacher, project coordinator, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent,” said Dr. Lucid in a letter to the Governing Board and SUSD Community. “I want to thank each one of you, previous boards, administrators, colleagues and community members, who have encouraged me, supported me and celebrated with me through this absolutely amazing career filled with so many joyous memories.”

Students Rock Out at The Canyon

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of the opening of School of Rock in Santa Clarita, the Rock 101 and Performance students played a special set from their recent “Glam Rock” semester at SCV’s new live music venue, The Canyon. The School of Rock students opened for legendary blues rockers Tommy Castro & The Painkillers who are on the road in support of their new album Stompin’ Ground. To date School of Rock students have played thousands of concerts, to more than 100,000 people, at such legendary Los Angeles venues as The Whiskey and The Roxy.

 

A Wake Up Call for 3 Adults

Adult suspects received a “wake-up call” from SCV Sheriff’s Deputies last month. Three adults in their 40s were found sleeping inside a vehicle while deputies were conducting patrol checks around Sierra Highway neighborhoods. Around 3 a.m. officers noticed a vehicle was parked on a side street with its engine running and windshield wipers on, with no rain in sight! Since the wipers were not cutting off they decided to take a closer look and in the vehicle they found three adults fast asleep two men and one female. In plain sight officers saw drug paraphernalia. All three suspects were taken in and booked for being in possession of methamphetamine and heroin.

Homeless Population Counted

Volunteers came out late January to help count Santa Clarita’s Homeless Population. The homeless count is organized annually by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Volunteers assisted with a point-in-time count, an unduplicated count on a single night of people in the community who are experiencing homelessness that includes both sheltered and unsheltered populations. During the registration process, volunteers were assigned to report to one of two sites for training: The Centre, located at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway or the Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Military Resource Center, located at 24885 Railroad Avenue.  The results of the annual count are utilized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and by the County of Los Angeles to determine the number of funds that will be allocated to local homeless programs.

Saugus Was in The Dark

Saugus was hit with a power outage last month. Over 2300 homes were effected by two underground equipment failures from Edison. The malfunctions took place near Copper Hill Drive and Gold Canyon Drive. Not only residents but businesses and traffic signals were affected as well. The first failure occurred and affected Discovery Ridge Drive on the north, Copper Hill Drive on the south, Paragon Drive on the east and San Francisquito Drive on the west. A few moments later the second outage affected Discovery Ridge Drive on the north, Conway Place on the south, Cedar Canyon Street on the east and Touchstone Place on the west, reported by Mary Ann Milbourn, SCE media spokesperson. After some time, Edison was able to restore power to some homes but about 600 were still left in the dark.

SCV Water Takes Over!

SCV Water board approved the disassembly of Valencia Water Company. They have formally transferred all aspects of the company including assets, liabilities, property and VWC employees into SCV Water. “With tonight’s actions, we deliver on the promise of elected representation for all water customers in Santa Clarita Valley,” said President of the SCV Water board of directors, Bill Cooper. The disassembly was completed on the 31st of last month. This followed an approach where Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) and Newhall County Water District came together as one entity. “An integrated approach to water supply and delivery in the valley means a better use of our resources,” said Cooper, “environmentally and financially.”

 

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