Category Archives: Weekly News Top Stories

Centro Basco: Menu and Temporary Hours of Operation

WVUSD Closes Due to COVID-19

Staff Reports

Walnut – On March 13, Superintendent Robert P. Taylor announced that all Walnut Valley USD schools will be closed for five weeks, effective Monday, March 16. The schools will re-open on April 20.

“I appreciate your support during this challenging time,” said Taylor in a statement he sent to all parents and guardians. “As the parent of three children, I certainly empathize with the stress, fear, and inquiry that this time period has caused for many parents/guardians.”

Taylor said that the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) recommended that all schools in Los Angeles County close and/or be dismissed for a minimum of two weeks due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). After this announcement, the WVUSD Board of Trustees held an Emergency Meeting to discuss their plan of action. According to Taylor, the Board “approved a resolution through an emergency measure” that granted the Superintendent the authority to “take all appropriate action to respond to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

“I have decided to dismiss (‘pupil free’) schools effective immediately, followed by all schools being closed through Spring Break (5 weeks),” stated Taylor.

From March 16 to 18, students will be dismissed, and it will be considered a “Pupil Free” day. However, the entire school will be closed from March 19 to April 17. Additionally, all extra-curricular activities and athletics have been postponed.

“We continue to prioritize the health and wellness of students and staff as our highest concern,” said Taylor. “Given the advisement of Public Health, medical experts, and other state and county entities, we have decided to allow an appropriate amount of time for students, staff, and families to follow advice of medical practitioners and experts, practice healthy habits, and lessen opportunities for the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

“I recognize that my decision will impact everyone differently,” continued the Superintedent. “Our District will be working with staff to lessen the academic gap that typically occurs over extended recesses from school. Next week, parents and students will be notified of curricular resources that can be utilized during the school closure.”

In addition, he said that additional information will be provided next week, and all schools will answer questions and discuss next steps. “While this is an extremely difficult decision, I also am confident that it was made with the best interest of our staff and students in mind,” stated Taylor.

COVID-19 Patient Visits Walnut, Dies in Pomona

Staff Reports

Walnut – On March 11, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PCHMC) announced that a patient who passed away at their hospital confirmed positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This was the first reported COVID-19 death in Los Angeles County.

On March 9, the patient went to the hospital by ambulance and was in full cardiac arrest. Staff provided lifesaving care to stabilize her condition. Based on her travel history and symptoms, the patient was placed in isolation and infection control protocols were implemented according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). LACDPH authorized to obtain samples for COVID-19 testing, but the patient died shortly after “due to complications from their illness,” according to a PCHMC statement. On March 11, LACDPH confirmed the patient tested positive for COVID-19.

A family member disclosed the patient’s travel status, which included a residence in the City of Walnut. However, the County confirmed that the individual “did NOT circulate around the City of Walnut and stayed primarily at the residence,” according to Walnut Public Information Officer, Melanie Tep. She stated that the City is communicating with LA County’s Department of Public Health for more information regarding the patients’ travel details. “We will communicate more information as it becomes available from the County.”

In addition, the LA County Department of Public Health confirmed that the patient’s family members are currently in quarantine.  PCHMC is also following LACDPH guidelines for the staff that came into contact with the patient.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the patient and family,” said Daniel Gluckstein, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at PVHMC. “At this time, our top priority remains protecting public health and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians, volunteers and community.”

“We understand people are feeling anxious about potential exposure to coronavirus, but we want to reassure our patients and their families that the risk of exposure from this case is low,” stated a PVHMC statement. “PVHMC remains a safe, high-quality facility to seek medical care.”

The City of Walnut issued a reminder stating that Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control).
• Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

COVID-19 Patient Visits Walnut, Dies in Pomona

Staff Reports

Walnut/Pomona – On March 11, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PCHMC) announced that a patient who passed away at their hospital confirmed positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This was the first reported COVID-19 death in Los Angeles County.

On March 9, the patient went to the hospital by ambulance and was in full cardiac arrest. Staff provided lifesaving care to stabilize her condition. Based on her travel history and symptoms, the patient was placed in isolation and infection control protocols were implemented according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). LACDPH authorized to obtain samples for COVID-19 testing, but the patient died shortly after “due to complications from their illness,” according to a PCHMC statement. On March 11, LACDPH confirmed the patient tested positive for COVID-19.

A family member disclosed the patient’s travel status, which included a residence in the City of Walnut. However, the County confirmed that the individual “did NOT circulate around the City of Walnut and stayed primarily at the residence,” according to Walnut Public Information Officer, Melanie Tep. She stated that the City is communicating with LA County’s Department of Public Health for more information regarding the patients’ travel details. “We will communicate more information as it becomes available from the County.”

In addition, the LA County Department of Public Health confirmed that the patient’s family members are currently in quarantine.  PCHMC is also following LACDPH guidelines for the staff that came into contact with the patient.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the patient and family,” said Daniel Gluckstein, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at PVHMC. “At this time, our top priority remains protecting public health and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors, Associates, physicians, volunteers and community.”

“We understand people are feeling anxious about potential exposure to coronavirus, but we want to reassure our patients and their families that the risk of exposure from this case is low,” stated a PVHMC statement. “PVHMC remains a safe, high-quality facility to seek medical care.”

The City of Walnut issued a reminder stating that Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control).
• Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

Intro to Composting: Free Smart Gardening Workshop

Teacher Arrested On Suspicion Of Cruelty To Student

Staff Reports

Chino Hills – A teacher in Chino Hills has been arrested for allegedly attacking a student at school according to a news release issued by the Chino Hills Police Department.
On January 24, officers investigated a report about a 6-year-old- boy who was allegedly attacked by his teacher the day before at Butterfield Ranch Elementary School in Chino Hills.
Police identified the teacher as Tina Bozikis-Coccia, 62. The alleged incident happened on Jan. 23 at 2:20 p.m. at the elementary school. The specifics of what happened were not provided by officials.
Following an investigation, Bozikis-Coccia was arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, according to the news release.

Walnut Valley USD Trustees Laud Star Parents, Students

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey honored with Partner in Education Awards. Shown with Principal Dr. Amy Smith and Board President Larry Redinger. Also shown with staff and family members.

By Kelli Gile

WALNUT, CA–During the January 15 meeting, the Board of Trustees paid tribute to stellar students and parents from Maple Hill Elementary, Walnut Elementary, and Suzanne Middle School.

Maple Hill Elementary 4th grader Irene Park honored as winner of 2019 holiday greeting card contest. (Shown with Principal Kelly Morris and Board President Larry Redinger.

Maple Hill Elementary 4th grader Irene Park received a certificate of special recognition as the winner of the 2019 holiday greeting card contest. Irene’s creative submission depicted a friendly snowman in a winter wonderland scene. The contest was open to third and fourth grade students throughout the District. Irene also received a gift card courtesy of Yogurtland in Walnut.

WVUSD Board of Trustees honors Walnut Elementary fifth grader Alicia Clark with Super Star Student Award on Jan. 15. Shown with Principal Robert Chang and Board President Larry Redinger.

Walnut Elementary fifth grader Alicia Clark was spotlighted with the Super Star Student Award. Alicia is an outstanding student who always has a positive attitude in everything that she tackles. She displays great enthusiasm toward learning and academics, and gives 100% effort in class projects, assignments, and tests. She is involved in singing, dancing, and acting, and her creative talents have earned an award for a short film in China. She also displays exemplary leadership qualities while guiding and teaching her peers how to sing and dance. Additionally, Alicia is one of the few students on campus who is helping choreograph the upcoming Lunar New Year Celebration.

Parent volunteer Stella Hess receives the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Robert Chang, Board President Larry Redinger, staff, and family members.

Parent Stella Hess received the Partner in Education Award for her dedicated work as Community Club vice president and schoolwide volunteer. Six years ago, Stella started out as a classroom helper and quickly found herself “addicted” to volunteering, according to Principal Robert Chang. “She soon was in the Library, carting around our STAR prize store, revamping the whole STAR Store system, heading the library volunteers, cheering at the track meet, reading aloud to our Genius Hour Story Time and Sketch class, chaperoning field trips, and organizing book fairs,” he said. Stella thinks with her heart and makes sure everyone on campus feels welcomes, loved, appreciated, and noticed. She is truly a cheerleader for educating the whole child by making the school a better, happier, safer, and more fun place to learn and grow.

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey honored with Partner in Education Awards. Shown with Principal Dr. Amy Smith and Board President Larry Redinger.

Suzanne Middle School parents Betsy Castellanos and Sonal Choksey were honored with Partner in Education Awards. “They are not only phenomenal volunteers, but also help build stronger school and family relationships,” said Principal Dr. Amy Smith. They have helped raise over $175K as Community Club Booster Fundraiser co-chairs for the past two years. During summer registration, they helped advertise the impact of the parent volunteer group, highlighting technology, field trips, grade level summits, assemblies, and much more. They have a true passion and dedication for students!

Suzanne Middle School 8th grader Calvin Chen presented with Super Star Student Award. Shown with Board President Larry Redinger.

Suzanne Middle School 8th grader Calvin Chen was lauded with the Super Star Student Award for academic achievement, displaying outstanding character, school activities, numerous volunteer efforts, and striving to make those around him successful. Teachers describe Calvin as being “hardworking, a good citizen, respectful, and caring.” Most recently, the talented pianist and violinist was recognized during the Challenger Breakfast while volunteering at the event. Calvin also strives to make the world a better place through his efforts for disaster relief organizations, Breast Cancer Week, Toys for Boys, and tutoring, he is amazing!

Walnut Valley USD Pays Tribute to Top Classified Employees

A Class Act! Maintenance Worker Louie Del Real is named the 2019 Classified Employee of the Year.

WALNUT, CA–The Walnut Valley Unified School District honored to a dozen standout employees during the 22nd Annual Cornerstone Awards held January 23 at the Pomona Valley Mining Company.

Congratulations to the following 2019 honorees: Mary Weir, School Administrative Assistant – South Pointe Middle School; Lydia Garcia, Instructional Aide II-Special Education – Collegewood Elementary; Louie Del Real, Maintenance Worker III – Maintenance; Debbie Brown, Secretary II – Transportation; Susan Tran, Instructional Aide II-Bilingual/Bicultural – Castle Rock Elementary; Lena Tran, Instructional Aide II-Special Education – Maple Hill Elementary; Gary Reyes, Custodian II – Collegewood Elementary; Ron Honore, Custodian II – Walnut High School; Pete Rodriguez, Custodian II – C.J. Morris Elementary; John Archer, Custodian II – Suzanne Middle School; Francisco Espinosa, Custodian I – Diamond Bar High School; and Anita Guerrero, Nutrition Services Worker I – Evergreen Elementary.

Classified (non-teaching) employees work with dedication and commitment to improve the lives of students every day. They feed and transport students, nurture their minds, support teachers and administrators, and create a positive learning environment.

“I truly appreciate all that our classified employees do for kids on a daily basis,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

“They are the backbone and heart of our organization!”

The monthly Cornerstone Award recognizes exemplary classified staff members who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in providing outstanding customer service to the District and community.

Louie Del Real was named the 2019 Classified Employee of the Year at the culmination of the program.

“I work with an awesome team and Walnut Valley is the best!” he commented after accepting the award from Personnel Commissioners Ray McMullen, Michael Cobarrubias, and Gayle Pacheco.

Louie has been a valued Walnut Valley team member for 19 years and consistently rises above all expectations.

He is a talented “Jack of All Trades” craftsman that can tackle everything from carpentry, to painting, HVAC, and electrical work – and he even drives a truck.

“Louie truly cares about the wellbeing of Walnut Valley students and staff and that dedication is reflected in his quality workmanship,” said retired manager and nominator Ron Clouser.

The employee recognition ceremony was hosted by Dr. Matthew Witmer, deputy superintendent of Educational Resources and Dr. Danny Kim, administrative director of Human Resources.

A special thanks to the following sponsors who provided generous support for the Cornerstone Awards: Massage Envy, Benihana Restaurant, Chaffey Federal Credit Union, Schools First Federal Credit Union, California Pizza Kitchen, In-N-Out Burger, Sandy Best-McGriff Insurance, Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, and Lifetouch Photography.

Congratulations to the 2019 Cornerstone Award honorees. Front row: Mary Weir, Susan Tran, Louie Del Real, Gary Reyes, Ron Honore, Lena Tran. Back row: Lydia Garcia, Debbie Brown, Pete Rodriguez, John Archer, Francisco Espinosa, Anita Guerrero.

Centro Basco: French Cuisine in Chino

By Michael Armijo

Chino – If you’re tired of the traditional restaurants in your area you have to try a classy and delicious place locally here in Chino since 1940.

Centro Basco French Restaurant, located at 13432 S. Central Avenue, just south of Chino Avenue, has been the best kept secret and the oldest Basque restaurant in the Valley. Featuring delicious and tasty menu items brought here for the Basque lands stretch along the Pyrennes Mountains in the southern region of France and north region of Spain. The hometown of the owner Monique Berterretche can be found just outside of St. Jean Pied Port, France.

Featuring lunch menu items, served from 11 am to 2:30 pm, such as breaded shrimp, fettuccini Alfred, calamari state, rib eye and flat iron steak, lamb chops and their infamous meatloaf meals, among many other menu items.

Centro Basco also serves burgers and sandwiches: Angus beef, steak, French dip, tuna salad, tuna melt, Lukinka sausage and their infamous meatloaf on sandwich bread, among other items.

For dinner, a four course meal will be impressive among you spouse or your clients. Serving French onion soup, salad, and bread, entrees include Roasted chicken, chicken cordon blue, breast of chicken parmesan, fettucinni alfredo, Lukinka sausage and noodles, fresh baked salmn, trout, breaded shrimp, rack of lamb, angus prime rig (14 oz), rib eye and flat iron steak, veal cutlet or pork loin chops just to name a few!

 During lunch and before dinner you can always relax in their full service bar, open to those who want to have a relaxing drink prior to eating. Always greeted with a smile and a handshake, always feel free to enjoy the Basque family atmosphere.

Their freshly made entrees for lunch or dinner are always made from scratch and always available the four course meal option, with soup of the day, salad, sourdough break, and main course. The freshness of the food is always obvious along with the feeling of the Basqu Country: friendliness and sense of family that is experienced amongst the Basque people. An atmosphere that makes coming to Centro Basco in Chino a unique, memorable and cherished experience.

Centro Basco Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday and can be reached at 909.628.9014, http://www.centrobasco.com, or just stop by at 13432 S. Central Avenue, just a block south of Chino avenue in chino.

Eastvale Girl Graces New Girl Scout Packaging

            Sunday marks the official start of Girl Scout cookie sale season, and a familiar face will be featured on the newly redesigned packaging.

            Girl Scout Anneliese Brasher, of Eastvale, will be featured on the newly redesigned 2020 packaging for the Caramel Chocolate Chip variety, which debuted as a new gluten-free flavor last year.

          Now a fifth grader, Brasher, 10, has been involved with the Girl Scouts since kindergarten.  She says that her six years of Girl Scouts has helped her to become more confident, outgoing, and fearless. “My Girl Scout sisters always encourage me if I am scared to try something new,” she said.  

          Her chance to appear on the group’s famous cookie boxes came in 2018, when the Girl Scouts ran a contest for the honor. Brasher submitted an application with the simple goal of earning a limited edition patch, answering essay questions about her cookie-selling techniques, goals, and accomplishments within the organization.

            Her primary technique, Brasher said, was to anticipate all the ways a customer could say no, and have a response ready.  Short on cash? “I take credit cards, debit cards, and Venmo,” she said.  Still sticking to your New Year’s diet resolutions?  “It you can’t eat them, treat them!” Brasher said, “we accept donations,” noting that she personally delivers her cookie donations to the local fire department.

In May of 2018, Brasher was notified that she had won the cookie-box contest, selected as the sole Brownie Girl Scout “Cookie Pro” in an organization of 2.5 million – she was sworn to secrecy until the nation-wide debut of the new packaging this year. 

            Her victory included a trip to New York City, where she was able to meet with female business leaders, designers of the new cookie packaging, and Girl Scout CEO, Sylvia Acevedo.

            During the trip, Brasher also participated in a photo shoot for the contest, the results of which are now featured on this season’s boxes of Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies as a part of the packaging redesign that was eight years in the making.

            The refreshed Girl Scout cookie packaging continues to emphasize what the cookie program is all about.  The updated images feature actual Girl Scouts like Brasher, and every package showcases girls participating in a diverse range of leadership experiences from exploring science, designing robots, to adventure-packed camping and canoeing.

            The Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies and other varieties of Girl Scout cookies are on sale beginning January 26, and as always, will only be available for a limited time with sales ending in mid-March. 

            Brasher hopes that her appearance on the box will inspire more girls to join the scouting organization.  “Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to do things that I never thought I’d get to do – like archery, surfing, indoor skydiving, and or being on a cookie package!  I hope other girls see that they can do anything they dream of too!”

New Young Walnut Mayor

Photo courtesy: Andrew Rodriguez

Staff Reports

Walnut – Andrew Rodriguez was announced as the City of Walnut’s 31st Mayor on July 10, 2019.  He is expected to be sworn in at the next Walnut City Council Meeting.  Rodriguez was first elected to the Walnut City Council on April 12, 2016.  He is the youngest City Councilmember ever elected in Walnut’s 57-year history and is one of the youngest City Councilmembers currently serving among Los Angeles County’s 88 communities.  

Rodriguez calls Walnut his hometown since he was born and raised in the city and attended Walnut Valley Unified schools.  He graduated from Walnut High School with honors and was even a commencement speaker.  “Having been raised in Walnut, I have a vested interest in the city’s future and will make sure that our community continues to be one of the best places to live in both California and the United States,” said Rodriguez on his Facebook page.  

As a graduate from Rutgers University, Rodriguez studied political science, urban planning, and public policy.  He has a diverse political background, including his work on the Los Angeles Mayor campaign in 2013 and his work as a Campaign Fellow for Cory Booker’s U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey, also in 2013.  His experience in urban planning and development include his time at New Brunswick Development Corporation, where he “researched grants and tax abatements related to a proposed collegiate housing project and was actively engaged with stakeholders to ensure that all aspects of projects remained on track,” according to his website.  He also worked with Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz, where Rodriguez gained experience with permit and license applications, committee meetings, and documents for council deputies.  

In addition, Rodriguez currently works for a Los Angeles non-profit organization helping at-risk youth and is a parishioner at St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church.  Rodriguez is also running for California State Assembly, District 55 in 2020.  

As Walnut Councilman, Rodriguez did a great job updating the community about what was happening in the city.  He made an effort to post development updates, new business openings, and local events that were happening in the city.  He also made an effort to promote small businesses currently in Walnut, in addition to helping new entrepreneurs with the process of starting a new business in the City. 

As Mayor, Rodriguez said he is excited and looking forward to the work again.  “I will continue to be actively involved in our community and look forward to seeing you around our beautiful city!” said Rodriguez. 

Mt. SAC Employee Contract Not Resolved

Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Staff Reports

Walnut– Mt. Sac faculty and administrators have been negotiating for over a year now over a divisive issue: a proposed change to their health insurance plan.

What’s proposed is a move for Mt. Sac Faculty Association members form the State Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) to Self-Insured Schools of California.

The concern for faculty members is that because of the flexibility of Self-Insured Schools of California, the benefits could be reduced down the line and eventually open the door to ending lifetime post-retirement benefits, according to faculty association President Eric Kaljumagi.

A year ago, Faculty Association representatives approved almost all of a new contract with the campus except for the health care component. The snag was that Mt. SAC offered to give the faculty a 1.29 percent raise to help offset the rising costs of health care only if the faculty switched insurance providers, Kaljumagi said

Teachers protested at last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, arguing that while the coverage options may not be very different between the two options, any change could lead to a disruption in care, not to mention changes in coverage in the future.

Because the Faculty Association’s contract was not on last week’s board agenda, board members did not comment on the negotiations.

There was no indication or projection on when the negotiations would be resolved.

Lt. Ronald McDonald

Local News: Lt. McDonald Retires After 53 Years of Dedicated Service to Pomona PD

Photo Courtesy: Pomona PD

By Pomona PD

Lieutenant Ronald McDonald retires today after more than 53 years of service to the Pomona Police Department and the residents of Pomona. 

Ronald began his policing career in 1965. At the time, the Pomona Police Department had its own police academy where Ronald was a graduate of the Pomona Police Academy Class #8. 

Prior to coming to Pomona, Ronald was hired as a Dispatcher and Reserve Officer by the West Covina Police Department.

At the Pomona Police Department, his assignments have included Patrol, Detective Sergeant, Administrative Staff Services, Internal Affairs, Major Narcotics Sergeant, Helicopter Observer, Field Sergeant, Community Programs, Special Operations Lieutenant, and most recently, Lieutenant Watch Commander in the Operations Division.

There is no doubt, Ronald’s 53 years of expertise will be missed by Pomona PD. On behalf of the Pomona Police Department, we wish Ronald a happy and well deserved retirement! 

Walnut Hills Optometry, Stop In and SEE the Difference

By Anthony Saude

Walnut – For decades, Walnut Hills Optometry has taken excellent care of the vision needs of the communities of Walnut, West Covina, Diamond Bar, and Chino Hills and La Puente, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights and Whittier. The quality of service and care provided by the doctor have patients gladly traveling from all over the Los Angeles county and the Inland Empire as well.

The staff knows what a precious gift vision is and it is abundantly apparent as soon as you walk in and see the pride that is taken in providing exceptional service from the comprehensive eye exams all the way to shopping for frames from their extensive selection.

Quality eye care involves consistent care by a professional.  Dr. Carmela Larino, O.D. and her loyal staff are always intentional about giving your eyes the personalized care and attention they deserve.

Dr. Larino takes great pride in giving back to the community she grew up in. She attended Rowland Unified schools from elementary all the way through high school.  She received her first degree at U.C. Irvine before receiving her doctorate from the Southern California College of Optometry.  In 2003, Nogales High School, Dr. Larino’s Alma mater bestowed the honor of being placed on their Wall of Fame.  She is a member of the American Optometric Association, the California Optometric Association, and the Rio Hondo Optometric Society. She takes great pride in continuing her education in the most current techniques and technology in eye care.  As a local resident, you might find Dr. Larino eating at your favorite restaurant, shopping in a local store, or attending a community event.

Personalized eye examinations, diabetic and eye health exams, and the management and care of a multitude of eye and vision concerns are but a small piece of what you will find on your next visit to Walnut Hills Optometry.  A wide variety of eyewear is also available, from progressive and polarized lenses to silicone high-oxygen contacts, and even designer frames. They also offer Lasik Surgery co-management. If you have used eyeglass frames scattered around the house, bring them with you on your next visit and they will donate them to those in need of frames.

Walnut Hills Optometry is conveniently located near the 10, 60 and 57 freeways, on the border of Walnut and West Covina, at 18800 E. Amar Road # A5, inside the Walnut West Plaza (across Louis Doors, between Francesca Dr. & Amber Valley Dr.). Their hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  You can reach them at (626) 965-3878 or (909) 594-1153.  For more information visit their website at www.walnuthillsoptometry.com.

Walnut Hills Optometry thanks you for twenty years of support and look forward to serving the communities for another 20 years!

 

 

Man Pistol Tied Up By 3 Suspects During Home Invasion

By SBSD

On Monday, October 1, 2018, at approximately 2:09 am, deputies from the Fontana Sheriff’s Station responded to a 9-1-1 call involving a robbery and an assault at a truck yard. When deputies arrived, they located a victim with a head wound sitting in the front of the driveway. The victim told deputies, he had been pistol whipped and tied up by four subjects while he was sleeping in his bed. The victim gave deputies detailed suspect descriptions that were captured on video surveillance.

During the course of the investigation, information was obtained involving a pallet yard in the County of Riverside with suspicious subjects unloading pallets from two tractor trailers in the darkness. Deputies drove to the County of Riverside and located five subjects at the Riverside location attempting to flee. After a thorough search of the area, they were all captured and taken into custody without further incident.

1,400 stolen pallets, and one stolen tractor trailer were recovered and returned to the owner of the business. The victim was taken to a local area hospital for medical treatment and is expected to recover. The five subjects, Dolores Garcia, age 44 a resident of Bloomington, Nicolas Mora, age 37 a resident of Fontana, Anthony Lopez, age 24 a resident of Fontana, Jesse Jimenez, age 51 a resident of Fontana, Carlos Ocampo, age 37 a resident of Fontana, were arrested and transported to the West Valley Detention Center, where they were booked for the above charges. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call the Fontana Sheriff’s Station.

Shooting in La Puente

LAPD

La Puente -Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives continue to investigate the shooting of a male adult that occurred on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at approximately 7:13 p.m., on the 200 block of N. 2nd Street, La Puente.

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Industry Station, responded to the 200 block of N. 2nd Street, in the city of La Puente regarding an assault with a deadly weapon/gunshot victim call.

The victim was standing in front of a residence when the suspect(s), driving a sedan of unknown color, shot him and drove off in an unknown direction.

There is no suspect description at this time and the weapon has not been recovered.

The victim in this incident succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

 

Santa Ana Youth Pastor Arrested for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor

By Santa Ana PD

 

SAPD Dets. Arrest Youth Pastor for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor, Believe There May Be Additional Victims

On October 2, 2018, Santa Ana Police Detectives arrested Jonathan Lamont Jenkins (57-years-old), a resident of Riverside, for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Jenkins has been a youth pastor at the Starlight Baptist Church located at 1201 West Second Street in Santa Ana for the past two years. Jenkins has been a member of the church since 2012.

The 13-year-old female victim reported Jenkins had been making sexual advances towards her since January 2018 when she was only 12-years-old. Sometime in March 2018, the victim was attending service when she went to, what she believed to be, an empty restroom. Jenkins was inside the restroom waiting for the victim. The victim attempted to escape, but Jenkins held her against her will. Jenkins threatened the victim with physical violence before strangling and sexually assaulting the victim.

The victim did not immediately report this incident and continued attending church. On August 5, 2018, Jenkins contacted the victim at church and mocked her about the sexual assault. Jenkins told the victim if she reported this to the police, he would say she allowed the sexual assault to occur.

Detectives launched an investigation and obtained evidence against Jenkins. On October 2, 2018, Detectives arrested Jenkins as he entered a liquor store in Santa Ana. Jenkins was booked at the Orange County Jail on multiple child abuse charges and his bail has been set at $1,000,000.

Santa Ana Police Department Detectives believe there may be additional victims and ask anyone with information to contact Detective Nick Vega at 714-245-8368, nvega@santa-ana.org or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

Annual “GREAT SHAKEOUT” Set for October 18th

All citizens, businesses, and communities in the Inland Empire encouraged participate

 

California — Following FEMA’s “National Preparedness Month” in September, individuals and communities throughout the Inland Empire and California will participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the International ShakeOut Day is set for Thursday, October 18, 2018.  During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”.  Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until shaking stops

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

The April 2015 M7.8 Nepal earthquake and M8.3 September 16, 2015 earthquake near Illapel, Chile serve as reminders that large earthquakes can occur with little to no warning.  Citizens in the central U.S. are not immune to earthquakes—the region is home to several active seismic zones capable of producing damaging earthquakes, including the New Madrid and Wabash Valley Seismic Zones.

According to a FEMA Spokesperson, “While damaging earthquakes here may be fewer in number when compared to other areas, they can occur at any time wherever we work, live, or travel within the region and beyond.  Everyone, everywhere should know how to protect themselves from an earthquake.”

The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups.  To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate http://www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

To date, 2.4 million people are registered to participate in this regional event, however Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills will also occur throughout the nation and in several countries worldwide.  More than 35 million people around the globe are expected to participate; and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.

City of Walnut to Host 42nd Annual Walnut Family Festival

This year’s highlight will feature FREE attractions for children at the Festival’s Fun Zone

City of Walnut

WALNUT The 42nd Annual Walnut Family Festival will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Suzanne Park (625 Suzanne Road, Walnut). The Family Festival Opening Procession steps off at 9:00 am from the Walnut Gymnasium and will walk up Gartel Road to Marcon Raod and then into the Festival Grounds at Suzanne Park.

There will be plenty of fun for children at the Festival’s Fun Zone, which will feature FREE attractions including: a rock climbing wall, an inflatable giant maze, a petting zoo, kiddy train ride, games, hands-on art demonstrations, face painting, and other fun inflatables.

The food court will feature booths run by local non-profit groups cooking up delicious food items, while earning money for their worthy causes. In addition, the Walnut Lions Club will be hosting a pancake breakfast from 8:00 am to 10:00 am for early risers.

There will be over 100 booths to visit featuring local businesses, community groups, arts and crafts vendors, City services, environmental information and more.

Parking

  • Walnut High School (400 N. Pierre Rd.)
  • Suzanne Middle School (525 Suzanne Rd.)
  • Walnut Senior Center (21215 La Puente Rd.)
  • LA County Library (21155 La Puente Rd.) – Open to the Public after 11:00 am
  • Walnut Gymnasium (21003 La Puente Rd.) – Open to the Public after 11:00 am
  • Walnut Parking Lot A (20983 La Puente Rd.)

Local Road Closures

  • On Saturday, October 13, due to the Opening Procession, Gartel Road will be closed from La Puente Road to Marcon Road from approximately 8:30 am to 10:30 am.
  • In addition, due to the Festival, Suzanne Rd. will be closed from Macron Road. to Fuerte Dr. from approximately 3:00 pm on Friday, October 12 through 11:00 pm Saturday, October 13.

There’s plenty to see and do at this year’s Festival. For more information, please call Walnut Community Services at (909) 598-5605

 

Walnut High Teacher Goes Above And Beyond To Support Special Needs Student

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile
Walnut High School junior Bradley Conrad gives his teacher Kirsten Thibeault a thumbs up for a special Lego birthday gift.

Teachers are long known for dipping into their own pockets to provide classroom supplies. This Walnut High educator went a step further for one of her students.

By Kelli Gile

Walnut–Walnut High School teacher, Kirsten Thibeault, usually spends time in the evenings correcting homework and creating lesson plans for her six English courses. On Tuesday night, however, she put aside the schoolwork to sort through boxes and boxes of Lego building blocks, platforms, and characters. Thibeault was motivated to comb through her son’s long outgrown collection to offer a personalized birthday gift to one of her students. “I have this amazing special-needs student named Bradley Conrad who is in my general education College Prep English class,” she said. This is his first time in his high school career the senior has been in this type of English class. “Bradley makes everyone smile, he volunteers for everything, and his optimism is contagious,” she described.

The teen had recently written an essay about how the Thomas the Tank television show along with Lego “guys” help him, and other kids with autism, learn to navigate the world. Conrad also shared with his teacher that his 17th birthday was coming up and he wanted to start a YouTube channel about the railway series. Thibeault mentioned that her son had a ton of unused toys and would he want them? “That would be the greatest birthday present ever!” he replied. After two hours of sorting, the giving educator ended up with a huge plastic box of pirates and knights and dragons and boats along with about 200 additional tiny Lego figurines.

Thibeault made true on her promise and presented the wrapped gift on September 21. She even created a huge birthday card with Lego stickers that all his classmates signed. “I was very surprised!” Conrad said after receiving the thoughtful present. “No other teacher has ever remembered my birthday,” he commented. Conrad came up with the idea to use Lego figurines to create custom characters because they are small enough to fit inside Thomas’ cab and on the wooden train track. “One of the first customs I did was Mr. Fergus Duncan, the railway controller, and his arch nemesias, Mr. Peregrine Percival,” he proudly recalled. “I have a lot of ideas for these new pieces,” he offered.

Conrad is excited because the first period class is already helping him stay on course for plans after graduation. “It’s not just English, Ms. Thibeault is giving life lessons and helping me prep for college!” he said.