Inland Empire

Corona: Fiery Plane Crash Kills Four On Takeoff

01.22.2020 | 12:11 PM | CORONA – Four people aboard a small plane died after the aircraft crashed and burst into flames during a takeoff attempt, Wednesday afternoon. Authorities responded to reports of a aircraft down with fire at the Corona Municipal Airport around 12:11 PM. Crews arriving on scene located a small aircraft at the end of Runway 7 that had overturned and caught fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames and prevented the fire from spreading to nearby brush. All four occupants aboard the aircraft were pronounced deceased n scene. Witnesses said the plane was attempting to takeoff when it failed to lift and struck a fence causing it to overturn at the end of the runway and catch fire. The cause of the crash is being investigated by aviation and transportation safety officials. The post Corona: Fiery Plane Crash Kills Four On Takeoff appeared first on ONSCENE TV.

Menifee’s first major hotel — a $14 million, four-story project — set to open in late summer

In another first for one of Riverside County’s fastest-growing cities, a $14 million, four-story franchise hotel is taking shape in Menifee. Despite recent rain, the 62,500-square-foot Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, at Newport Road and Town Center Drive, is three months ahead of schedule, said Jared Tomseth, president of Temecula-based Medearis Construction, which is directing the project. There may be scaffolding hugging the building, open walls with bare studs and sparks spraying from power saws now. But Dave Fenton, Medearis Construction’s superintendent, said workers have paved the parking lot and are about to put a roof over the 99-room vacation venue. Construction is 60% complete, Fenton said. Hiral Patel, president and CEO of Sagemont Hotels, which will own and operate the hotel, said he expects to open the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in late summer. “What really makes this hotel special and distinct from our other properties is that we have over 4,000 square feet of meeting space,” Patel said. That large meeting room — with the capability of being partitioned into two rooms — will be part of a 5,500-square-foot conference…

Hundreds of customers without power Thursday night in Hemet

About 880 customers were without power in western portions of Hemet on Thursday evening due to an underground equipment failure, officials said. Crews with Southern California Edison were working to restore power by about 1 a.m., said SCE Spokesman Paul Netter. “We are targeting 1 am, but things could change once we get more involved in the repair,” Netter said. SCE first received reports of outages around 6:30 p.m. The outage mostly affected homes in the Four Seasons gated community along 4 Seasons Boulevard, north toward Parry Drive and south toward Stephenson Lane, Netter said. He said it was still too early to tell how or why the utility equipment failed.

Funeral services Saturday for LA officer killed while helping pedestrian

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Amber Leist, who was struck by a vehicle after helping a woman cross a Valley Village street. Services will be closed to the public. They will be livestreamed on the sheriff’s department Facebook page. The hearse will arrive at 8 a.m. at the Mosaic Church, 7107 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood. There will be a private viewing for Leist’s family and friends until 11 a.m., when services are set to begin. The services are expected to last until 1 p.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Amber Leist was fatally struck by a vehicle after helping a woman cross a street in Valley Village Sunday, Jan. 12. She was a 12-year veteran of the department who “definitely led by example,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department). Leist, 41, was returning to her vehicle when she was struck by a car on Jan. 12. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.…

Woodland Hills artist’s tiny house, made for someone homeless, may end up in the trash

Until a few days ago, Julien was bedding down for the night on concrete near the Ventura Freeway at Winnetka Avenue in Woodland Hills. Now he sleeps with some protection from elements and other danger thanks to artist Alex Gano, who pushed a powder blue micro-house on wheels over to his encampment on Saturday, Jan. 19. Yet the shelter is likely to be thrown in the garbage as quickly as it arrived to the street. The teeny-house “prototype,” as Gano calls the structure, received a city-issued removal notice Thursday, Jan. 23, as sanitation crews cleared out encampments on Corbin Avenue near the Ventura Freeway. The slip of paper threatens removal and discarding if not moved within 24 hours. Alex Gano, 47, built the tiny house out of mostly scavenged and recycled materials in a mid-century modern design to match the surrounding neighborhood’s style. It’s approximately three by six feet, equipped with windows, solar-powered lights, shelves and hooks. The San Fernando Valley area code ‘818’ is painted on the side as a pseudo address. While 28-year-old Julien is grateful for a safe, warm place to sleep,…

SEIU members ratify four-year contract with Riverside County

Members of a union representing more than 7,400 Riverside County employees have ratified a four-year contract, potentially ending years of labor strife that led to a boisterous strike in 2017. Leaders of Service Employees International Union Local 721 announced the ratification Wednesday night, Jan. 22, in a news release. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the contract Tuesday, Jan. 28. “We are very proud of our hard-fought victory, this contract helps protect working families in Riverside as well as the critical public services we provide,” Kenneth Bowling, a union member and a clinical therapist, said in the release. “None of this was easy, but in the end, we stood union strong and ensured that the voices of working people were heard.” One of the county’s largest bargaining units, the union represents nurses and social workers among other employees. Its last contract expired in 2016. Since then, union and county negotiators have met repeatedly, but failed to reach a deal. A key issue was employee raises. The county sought strict limits on pay increases, citing ongoing financial challenges straining the county…

San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe won’t leave office — for now

The state’s highest court says Supervisor Dawn Rowe can remain in office as San Bernardino County continues to appeal an earlier ruling that her appointment was “null and void” and must be revoked. The California Supreme Court issued the order Thursday, Jan. 23, putting San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Janet M. Frangie’s order on hold, county spokesman David Wert said. The Board of Supervisors will not consider rescinding Rowe’s appointment Tuesday, Jan. 28, as had been previously discussed. “She remains a supervisor,” Wert said Thursday. The county filed a petition with the Supreme Court Friday, Jan. 17, to allow Rowe to remain in office while the appeal moves forward. An appellate court had previously denied the same request. The county is appealing Frangie’s finding that the process used in November and December 2018 to fill the 3rd District supervisor’s seat violated the state’s open-meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act. Frangie also ordered that the appointment be rescinded, giving Gov. Gavin Newsom a chance to pick a new supervisor. I.E. United, a political advocacy group, sued over Rowe’s appointment, arguing that supervisors violated the Brown…

San Bernardino County officials, volunteers count homeless living in washes, under trees

Broken furniture, electronics and other items were scattered across the steep and rocky path into the wash from Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. Tucked behind a heap of stuff early Thursday, Jan. 23, were Harry Jackson, 73, and Patricia Garrett, 72. Between the money Jackson gets from handyman work and Garrett’s retirement, the couple said they can’t afford rent. So they’ve been living in the wash area for the past three years. “This is home,” Jackson said while holding their dog, Goldie. Situations like Jackson and Garrett’s are commonly seen by deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement, or H.O.P.E. Team, who headed out early Thursday with Supervisor Josie Gonzales during San Bernardino County’s Point-In-Time-Count, an annual census of the homeless population. Riverside County’s tally is set for Wednesday, Jan. 29; while officials in Los Angeles County conducted theirs Tuesday, Jan. 21. San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, right, checks on Kisha Toole, 32, who’s been living homeless for two years, during San Bernardino County’s Point-In-Time-Count, an annual tally of the region’s homeless. Toole was near Arden and Highland Avenues in…

Ex-employee at Wildomar church pleads not guilty in sex abuse case

A former school principal and bus director at Wildomar’s Faith Baptist Church pleaded not guilty Thursday to three felony counts of sexual abuse involving a former student who also babysat for him 30 years ago. Laverne Paul Fox, 61, of Erie, Pennsylvania, entered his plea before Judge Kenny Hansen at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. He will next appear in court on March 9 for a settlement conference, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Laverne Paul Fox, 61, of Erie, Pennsylvania, speaks with his attorney, Paul Grech, following his arraignment at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on Thursday, January 23, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Foulk, contributing photographer) Fox was arrested in July 2019 in Pennsylvania and extradited to California to face charges. His arrest came less than a year after Malo “Victor” Monteiro, a former youth pastor at the church, was arrested on suspicion of molesting three teenage girls from his youth group. Monteiro was charged with seven felony counts of sexual abuse, which occurred over an 18-year period, from 1999 to 2017. He pleaded guilty in…

Three teens killed in Temescal Valley crash were ‘inseparable’

The three teenagers killed late Sunday night, Jan. 19, when authorities say a driver intentionally rammed their car south of Corona, were “inseparable,” said those who knew them. “Our teachers were all going through our yearbooks and every picture we have of those three boys, they were always together and always being inseparable and always being goofballs,” said Mandy Logan, principal of Olive Branch Community Church and School in Corona. The three 16-year-old friends who died in the Temescal Valley collision attended the school through eighth grade. Daniel Hawkins, of Corona; Jacob Ivascu, of Riverside; and Drake Ruiz, of Corona, along with three other boys, had stopped to pull a prank on their way to a sleepover for Ivascu’s birthday. According to Ruiz’s mother, Debbie Ruiz, they were playing “Ding Dong Ditch,” ringing the doorbell and running away before it was answered. They thought they had stopped at a friend’s house. Craig Hawkins, father of Daniel Hawkins, thanks the community for its support of his family and the families of the two other boys who were killed in a Jan. 19, 2020 crash in Temescal Valley…

LA’s Metro studies ways to make bus free for students countywide

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday, Jan. 23, to study ways to make bus services free for students throughout the county. Initially, the study was planned to first focus on Los Angeles Unified School District, but board members said they want to fan out the program to include all Metro service areas. Board member and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said LAUSD needs to be considered as a priority as it has a massive student enrollment. “This is a monumental step forward, I think, to begin studying this, and it is a step in the right direction, but before we take too many steps, let’s make sure we can make this happen because LAUSD is uniquely situated in the county,” Krekorian said, adding that almost 700,000 students attend the district’s schools. “LAUSD has a … school-choice program. That means some students attend school 20 miles away from their home and there may or may not be district-provided transportation that’s adequate to get those kids to those schools and, if there is, it may not be the most efficient way.” LAUSD reports…

Chino Hills sailor serves aboard USS Harry S. Truman in the Arabian Sea

U.S. Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Paul Villaruz of Chino Hills is assigned to the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81, serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in the Arabian Sea. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the central region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy. Have your own military accomplishment to share? Send items for possible inclusion in the column to IEcommunity@scng.com.

Riverside man once failed art classes, but is now an artist

When Riverside’s Raymond Argumedo was 7 years old, his oldest brother used to sit in his room listening to music and drawing lowrider characters and cars. “I would bug him to let me draw with him,” the 30 year-old Argumedo recalled. “Eventually he did and it became something we would do as brothers.” Argumedo said that his brother Jorge introduced him to such artists as Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh and M.C. Escher. Argumedo’s brother died in 2002, but “ever since, art has been my forever connection to him.” Argumedo took a drawing class in eighth grade, and again during junior and senior years of high school. “I also failed all of my art classes,” he said. “I was really into graffiti in high school. Writing letters and words was all I wanted to do. I started painting a little more seriously after high school, teaching myself about acrylics and watercolor.” Argumedo was delving more and more deeply into different artistic styles and techniques, spending his days reading at Barnes & Noble. By 2008, Argumedo was setting up on the sidewalk of University Avenue in…

Norms is heading for Ontario Mills’ ‘restaurant row’

So long, Chevys; hello, Norms. The 24-hour diner is coming to Ontario Mills. I was driving past the Mills to lunch on Wednesday, Jan. 22, when my eye was caught by a banner reading “Norms Coming Soon” draped over the Fourth Street side of the old Chevys, which closed in November 2018. On my way back, I stopped for photos. There’s a Norms banner on the side that faces the Mills mall as well. “They’re going in there,” John Andrews, Ontario’s economic development director, told me. “That’s our restaurant row. It’ll be a good fit.” Norms wants to tear down Chevys — and good riddance — and construct a new building that orients toward the west rather than turning its back to the street as Chevys did. But, like Chevys, Norms won’t be erecting an apostrophe in its name. The 24-hour Norms will have the 24-hour Krispy Kreme as its neighbor. I’m not sure Ontario is ready for that level of excitement. Chris Darrow Chris Darrow, a country rock musician who performed on early records by James Taylor and Leonard Cohen, had called Claremont home…

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