Category Archives: The Weekly News

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. 

The Name of a Road

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

By Pastor Mark Hopper

I love history and biographies. I enjoy learning about the lives of people and their journeys through life. It is fascinating to learn how a road or a street got its name. Recently I was driving down a major road in Scottsdale, Arizona and the saw a sign on a side street named “Joe Foss Way”.  I suspect that very few drivers even notice the street and even fewer know who Joe Foss was.  But I actually saw Joe Foss at Scottsdale Bible Church when I was a teenager.

Joe Foss was the first American Ace in the Pacific in World War Two. He was a cigar smoking, hard drinking fighter pilot who was the first American to shot down five Japanese planes in the war.  After the war his life changed dramatically when he became a Christian.  He was elected Governor of South Dakota and was one of the people featured in Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation.

There is another road that you will see along Interstate Five between Los Angeles and San Diego. If you watch carefully you will see a sign that reads, John Basilone Memorial Highway.  This sign is near the Marine Base at Camp Pendleton.

I did not know anything about John Basilone until I watched the HBO series about World War Two in the Pacific. I learned that John Basilone fought in the bloody battles on Guadalcanal in the south Pacific in 1942. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his courage and bravery in the brutal combat against the Japanese.

He came home to a hero’s welcome but decided to dedicate himself to training other Marines for future combat.  Instead of just training them he decided lead his fellow Marines in the landings on Iwo Jima in 1945.  In the midst of this terrible combat, John Basilone was killed. The nation was stunned that a Medal of Honor recipient would go back into battle with his fellow Marines and give his life to help win the war.

These are just two examples. There are countless streets and highways that bear the names of men and women who have been recognized for their service and sacrifice in the military and in public safety. Let me encourage you to research some of the names that you see along the streets and highways in your community. You will be glad you did!  

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org

Voortman’s Egg Ranch: Farm Fresh Eggs for 60 Years

The Voortman Family circa 1956. Voortman’s Egg Ranch is located at 13960 Grove Avenue in Ontario. You can reach them at (909) 465-1319. They are open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Staff Reports

Ontario – Voortman’s Egg Ranch has been in the business of providing farm fresh eggs to friends and visitors to the local area for over 60 years. Originally from Bellflower, the Voortman family – who has always been in the egg ranching business – moved their operation to Ontario in 1951.

Voortman’s has a small-town farm ambiance, with the latest in technology.  Their happy chickens are enjoying their newly remodeled home; and their egg-processing machine can handle about 36,000 eggs per hour at its peak. If the average bird lays one egg about every 26 hours, that equals a lot of chickens at the Voortman ranch!

Did you know that you can tell how fresh an egg is by how high the yolk stands up in the frying pan after you crack it?  Voortman’s will have your over-easies standing tall.  Their fresh eggs are the highest in quality, with dark, nutrient-dense yolks.  You will immediately notice a difference in your cooking and baking.

Have you ever wondered how long the eggs in the grocery stores have actually been sitting around?  Despite the use-by date, there is really no way to know how long ago they were produced.  With Voortman’s, the eggs are selected daily, on site, and readied for you in their store.

Third-generation egg rancher, Eddie Voortman, says, “We are a local, family-owned business that provides fresh, quality products to the public.”

Customers of Voortman’s rave about their all natural, cage free eggs, touting the freshness, and great pricing.  One customer said, “They make the fluffiest scrambled eggs!”

The eggs come in all sizes and colors, depending on your needs.  Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Voortman’s is centrally located just minutes from Chino at 13960 Grove Avenue in Ontario (just north of Edison).  You can reach Voortman’s at (909) 465-1319; and Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Voortmans-Egg-Ranch.

Stop by any time Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DB Church Volunteer Arrested for Sexual Misconduct

Photo Courtesy: LASD
Church volunteer, Chee Lim Chook, 55, was arrested and charged with seven felonies and one misdemeanor

Staff Reports

Diamond Bar– A volunteer for a church in Diamond Bar was arrested after allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Chee Lim Chook, 55, was arrested and charged with seven felonies and one misdemeanor, including oral copulation with a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, digital penetration of a minor, and oral copulation with a minor.

Chee was also accused of offering the girl pornography to watch during their encounters, which took place at the church, authorities said.

The alleged victim was a family friend of Chook, who worked as a volunteer at River of Life Community Church in Diamond Bar, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

The alledged victim, now 18, reported the alleged relationship to the Sheriffs Department last February and claimed the incidents happened two years ago when she was 16.

Chook is being held in lieu of $140,000 bail. His next court appearance is Monday, March 25, in Pomona. 
Investigators believe there could be more victims connected to Chook. Anybody with information about Chook or the case is asked to contact the LASD Special Victims Bureau tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org

Choose, Connect & See the Difference at Walnut Hills Optometry

Walnut Hills Optometry is conveniently located near the 10, 60 & 57 freeways at 18800 E. Amar Rd., #A5 in Walnut. For more info or to schedule an appointment call (909) 594-1153.

Staff Reports

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 http://www.walnuthillsoptometry.com.

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

Creating Classroom Magic

Collegewood Elementary Students Become Word Surgeons

By Kelli Gile

WALNUTWalnut Valley USD elementary teachers have been on the hunt for buried treasure in classrooms this year.

The vast riches they have been uncovering are not rare gold coins, but the spark in their students’ eyes and a new enthusiasm for learning.

These daring and adventurous educators have been willing to dive into uncharted territories by crafting creative lessons and fearlessly transforming their learning spaces.

At Collegewood Elementary, second grade teacher Stephanie Johnson recently turned her classroom into an operating room hoping to put a spark into a Language arts lesson.

The teacher (and chief surgeon) prescribed the mini makeover by placing powder blue tablecloths over desks, providing doctor’s masks and gloves for her students, and playing a soundtrack of doctor’s office noises.

Johnson said the excitement level hit a new high when the children arrived at school and found the medical gear waiting at each draped operating table.

“I didn’t tell my students ahead of time, so they were extremely excited when I met them at the door in my surgical mask,” she explained.

In her pre-op consultation, Johnson told the rookie MDs that their “patients” (word cards) were prepped and in-need of emergency services.

The second graders eagerly donned the costumes and began “stitching” together dozens of compound words with plastic bandages.

Students practiced building new words with nouns, verbs, and adjectives that took on new meanings when combined, like moonlight, sunflower, toothbrush, seahorse, baseball, rainbow, and watermelon.

“It was super fun and the surgery was a success!” she said.

Johnson was thrilled that her students were highly engaged in the activity from “start to finish.”

“At our end-of-the-week assessment, even my struggling students scored well,” she reported.

Johnson said she was motivated to set sail on the class adventure after a staff reading of Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and hearing about engaging lessons inspired at Get Your Teach On conferences.

The spirited educator has gained a passion to chart a new course and will continue introducing students to learning in uncharted territories.

“This experience inspired me to set a goal of doing a room transformation once a month next year!” she said.

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.

The SGV-IE News Complete Edition: April 2019

The SGV-IE News covers local news for Walnut, Diamond Bar, Chino, Chino Hills and the surrounding areas. Click the following link to access the complete issue in pdf format: https://anaprdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/2019-04-sgvienews.pdf

SGV-IE News: Complete Edition March 2019

The SGV-IE News covers local news for Walnut, Diamond Bar, Chino, Chino Hills and the surrounding areas. Click the following link to access the complete issue in pdf format:
https://anaprdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/2019-03-sgvienews.pdf

WVUSD Joins Great Kindness Challenge

By Kelli Gile

Walnut- Kindness is contagious. It can begin as a warm smile or simple “thank you” and grow to include good deeds that create a culture of kindness.

For the second consecutive year, all 15 Walnut Valley USD schools joined the Great Kindness Challenge, earning the official Kindness Certified School District badge.

Over 24,000 schools across the nation participated in the event, held January 28-February 1, to promote kindness by encouraging students to brighten the days of classmates, family, and community.

Many schools distributed a checklist of 50 challenges that students could complete during the kindness revolution.

Chaparral Middle School seventh grader Troy Pisigan fulfilled over 30 tasks including his favorite, saying “thank you” to the school’s noon aides.

“I could tell by their reaction that the words meant a lot!” he said.

Pisigan said he hoped his actions would motivate others to show kindness too.


“And maybe, it will carry on and they will do something nice for someone else!”

Troy is a genuinely kind young man and shows kindness every day,” praised teacher Sherry Robertson.

“We should all strive to be more like Troy!”

Walnut Elementary students joined a Mix-It-Up at Lunch to have a chance to demonstrate kindness to someone new and sold friendship grams with proceeds benefitting the Los Angeles Mission.

Diamond Bar High’s Wellness Team presented three days of Where’s Kindness? lunchtime activities.

Be Kind to Yourself day, held January 29, focused on self-care and self-compassion, E-cigarette education, stress management, dance clinic, and bungee run.

Wellness consultants staged activities wearing “Where’s Waldo?” inspired striped hats, t-shirts, and round glasses.

When students roll a three on the giant inflatable self-love dice, they complete the sentence, “Three kind words to best describe me,” explained senior Janice Kwon.

Ron Hockwalt Academiesstudents inspired smiles while delivering bountiful bouquets of pink roses and fresh greenery of kale, fennel, and celery produced in the school’s HOPE garden.

Castle Rock Elementary set out friendship chairs were students could relax, mingle, and complete a variety of kindness activities.

C.J. Morris Elementary students designed and decorated cheer-up messages on index cards to brighten up a schoolmate’s day.

Collegewood Elementary hosted We Life Each Other “Up” week (from the animated Pixar movie) with acts of kindness and compliments of gratitude, including writing messages to students at neighboring Westhoff Elementary.

Maple Hill and Vejar Elementary students cheered up schoolmates with chalked playground messages including “It’s going to be a great day” and “Take deep breaths – it’s going to be OK.”

Westhoff Elementary students completed their first kind acts in unison by smiling and offering compliments to each other during a kick-off rally.

“On the count of three, let’s all say, ‘You are smart and you are kind!’” said counselor Ericka Robledo.

Quail Summit Elementary students crafted Valentines cards for local senior citizens and dressed up as hippies during Peace, Love, and Kindness day.

South Pointe Middle School leadership students greeted families during the morning drop-off with “Have a Great Day” signs and collected gently used shoes for area needy.

The SGV-IE News Complete Edition: February 2019

The SGV-IE News covers local news for Walnut, Diamond Bar, Chino, Chino Hills and the surrounding areas. Click the following link to access the complete issue in pdf format: https://anaprdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/2019-02-sgvienews.pdf

Sheriff’s Deputy Killed by DUI Driver

Left: SBSD Deputy, Nicholas O’Loughlin, was off-duty & traveling south on Euclid Ave. in Chino when he was struck & killed by a drunk driver in the early morning hours of February 23rd. Right: Yijie Mao of Alhambra was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury, after police allege that he was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. (Photo courtesy Chino Police Department)

By City of Chino

Chino – Twenty-Eight year old San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas O’Loughlin of Chino Hills was killed in an off-duty traffic collision in the early morning of February 17, 2019.

Officers responded to the intersection of Edison and Euclid Avenues at 12:31 a.m. for a report of a traffic collision. The preliminary investigation indicates that O’Loughlin was traveling south on Euclid Avenue in a 2006 Chevy Silverado when he was struck by 26-year-old Yijie Mao of Alhambra who was traveling west on Edison Avenue in a 2014 BMW compact SUV.

 O’Loughlin was pronounced deceased at the scene. Mao was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. He was booked at the Central Detention Center for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury. The road was closed for approximately nine hours while Traffic Investigators processed the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Bloch at (909) 334- 3018 or mbloch@chinopd.org.

1983 Murder Case is Back in News

Governor Brown Orders Retesting of Evidence

By Izabella Salinas

Chino Hills- In his last days in office, Governor Jerry Brown ordered retesting of four pieces of evidence from a 1983 Chino Hills murder case.

35 years ago, a man named Kevin Cooper was convicted for the murders of Doug and Peggy Ryen, their daughter Jessica, their neighbor Christopher Hughes, and the attempted murder of their son Josh. Cooper was given the death penalty and was scheduled for execution in 2004. However, the execution was blocked due to a federal appellate court in San Francisco ordering a review of the scientific evidence.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos argues that two existing tests have proven that Cooper is the killer. The tests show that Cooper was in the Ryen home, he smoked a cigarette in the Ryen’s stolen vehicle, and Cooper’s blood, along with the blood of one of the victims, was found on an abandoned T-Shirt along the road. The new testing would reevaluate this evidence.

“The purpose of this new testing is to determine whether another suspected person’s DNA, or the DNA of any other identifiable suspect based on a match in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, is present on the items tested,” said Governor Jerry Brown in his executive order.

Cooper and his attorney argue that additional testing with new available technology will show he is in fact innocent.

This quadruple murder changed the perception of the community and instilled fear amongst people near and far.

“I never let my children sleepover at their friends’ houses solely because of this case,” said Eastvale resident Veronica Sahagun, “I heard the story and was mortified.”

Doug and Peggy Ryen’s son was the only survivor of the attack. Josh Ryen’s best friend Christopher Hughes was sleeping over the night of the murders.

“I invited my best friend Chris Hughes to spend the night at my house. If I had not, Chris would still be alive today,” said Josh in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown.

At the time, Josh was only eight years old and was initially unable to identify Kevin Cooper as the killer, but he can now positively say that Kevin Cooper is the murderer of his family and best friend.

“Kevin Cooper is a liar. He lies about everything. When he is caught in his lies, he lies more and more,” said Josh in his letter as he begs for the state of California to stop subsidizing Kevin Cooper.

“I take no position as to Mr. Cooper’s guilt or innocence at this time,” said Governor Jerry Brown.

A date for the retesting has not yet been set.

Left: Kevin Cooper was convicted for the Ryen/Hughes murders and was sentenced to death in 1985. Right: Cooper smiles from his cell on San Quentin’s Death Row in 2017.

SGV-IE News Complete Print Edition: January 2019

I-15/Limonite Avenue Lane & Ramp Closures

By City of Eastvale

Contractor will be closing the freeway ramps and the Limonite Avenue Bridge on Tuesday and Thursday, January 15 and 17, 2019 from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. The closures on Thursday, January 17, 2019 will only be used if the work is not completed on Tuesday.

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Attitude is Everything

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

Do you see a half filled glass as half empty or as half full?  Do you tend to see what’s wrong with your life or do you focus on what is right with your life?  Would you consider yourself a negative person or a positive person?  Do you wake up everyday being happy do be alive and hopeful about a new day or do you dread getting up?

            The way that you have answered the above questions is probably also the way that you live your life and the way you view your life. I believe having a positive attitude is foundational in being a successful human being.  Being positive,is essential to everything good that comes with this life.  I think it all starts by being positive about who you are and about behaving in a manner that makes you proud of whom you are.  Generally, if you like who you areand are a good person, people will like you as well.  Also, if you like who you are, you will wantonly the best for yourself.  This will cause you to go to college; get a good job, find a good mate and believe that you can make your dreams comes true.

            On the other hand, being negative only prevents you from following your dreams.  Being negative also causes a lot of self doubt and really gets in the way of accomplishments.  Learn to look at the good in your life and at what you have done right so far.  Learn from your mistakes but don’t focus on them, otherwise your life will feel like one big mistake.  Look at all that you already have going right for you and learn to build on the positive and if you do, more positive will come to you!!!!!

 This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A.,M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)2290727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

Lost in New York City

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.

By Mark Hopper

     Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to New York City.  I had been there 30 years ago on a trip with my father and my wife had been there about 20 years ago with two girl friends. But, we had never been in New York City together.

     We had a great time seeing the sights and enjoying things together.  We stayed at a small hotel near Times Square.  It was fun to see the huge billboards illuminated at night and amazing to see the large crowds of people filling the area.

     We went to see two Broadway shows while wewere in New York. We were able to walk from our hotel to the theaters.  We saw the Carol King musical “Beautiful” and the Disney musical “Aladdin”. We really enjoyed both of them.

     We rode the “Hop on – Hop off” bus tour around the city.  This enabled us to get off at some specific locations we wanted to see.  The tour also allowed us to hear a lot about the history and highlights of Manhattan.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and we also visited the “9-11 Memorial”.  We actually saw the name of James Hopper listed as one of those who died when the Twin Towers collapsed.  We don’t know who this was but the name caught our attention.

     There is so much more we could have done and seen, but we really enjoyed our short visit to New York City.  However, we did get lost a few times as we walked through different parts of town.  We had to stop and ask for help several times trying to navigate our way around the city.  People were very helpful.

     One night before we went to a Broadway show,we went to a nice restaurant near the theater.  My wife’s cousin lives in Long Island and she was able to drive into the city and join us for dinner and the show.  The restaurant was packed.  Thankfully, we had reservations and were seated right away.  The food was great and we were glad to spend time with her cousin.  After dinner, we walked right across the street to the theater.  

     After the show, we went back to the restaurant to pick up our “left overs” that they kept in their frig for us.  We walked her cousin back to her car and then walked through Times Square back to our hotel.

     The next day after our the tour of Manhattan and decided to try to get last minute tickets to another Broadway show.  We stood in line at the box office and were glad that there were tickets for a show that night.  However, when I went to pay for our purchase, I discovered that my Visa credit card was missing!  Where was my credit card?  It was lost in New York!

 I shared in my last article that my wife and I enjoyed a memorable trip to New York City.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and visited the 9-11 Memorial.  We also enjoyed two Broadway shows.  But, my credit card got lost!  I had all my other cards, but the Visa card was gone.

     We were able to purchase the theater tickets with another credit card, but now the search began.  Where was my credit card?  We had made several purchases during the day but most of those were with cash.  We tried to think back to where we had been during the past 24 hours.  Should we call the credit card company and report the lost card?  What should we do?  Where could it be? It was lost in New York!

     I knew that one place I had used the credit card was at dinner last night before the show.  I called the restaurant to see if I had left it there.  They took my name and information and said they would call back if they found anything.  It was clear that they were very busy.  I decided to walk from our hotel to the restaurant to talk with someone personally.  One of the employees said this happens a lot and she went to check in the office to see if my card was there.

     I held my breath and said a short prayer hoping that had my credit card. After several minutes, the employee came back with my credit card in hand!  She asked for my ID to make sure I really was the owner and then gave the card back to me.  I must have left the card on our table when I was signing for the check and packing up our left over food as we were leaving for the show.

     We were scheduled to leave New York the next morning.  We might have never recovered the card if I had not walked back to the restaurant that night.  What a relief!  I was so thankful to find my lost card.  My wife said that she was thankful that I was the one who lost it and not her!  We celebrated by sharing a slice of New York Cheese Cake!

     There is a parable in the Bible that talks about a woman who lost a valuable coin in Luke chapter 15.  She had nine other coins, but searched her house for the one that was missing.  When she finally found it, she  invited her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her.  She rejoiced when she found it.  The point of this parable is that there is rejoicing in heaven when one “lost” person is “found” and comes to faith in Jesus.  

     I know that all of us have lost something -the car keys, a wallet, a  purse or even a credit card.  It sure feels good when you finally find it, especially in New York City! 


Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.

Sausage recalled due to metal contamination

Jimmy Dean sausage recalled due to metal contamination

9:58 AM EST December 11, 2018

Courtesy CNN

A popular breakfast sausage is taking itself off the menu. CTI Foods LLC, is recalling 29,028 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat poultry and pork sausage links after five people called the US Food Safety and Inspection Service to let them know they had found metal pieces in the sausage, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The Owingsville, Kentucky-based company recalled the product Monday. There are no reports of anyone getting hurt by the metal, but the USDA said there are some concerns that some people may unknowingly still have the package in their freezers.

These packages were originally shipped to Tennessee and then distributed to retail stores.

If you think you have it in your freezer, look on the package for the code A6382168, with a time stamp range of 11:58 through 01:49. This is the 23.4-oz pouch that is called “Jimmy Dean Heat ‘n Serve Original Sausage Links Made with Pork & Turkey” with a “use by” date of January 31, 2019. It will also have “EST. 19085” on the back of the packaging.

The USDA suggests you throw the package away or return it to the store where you bought it.

If you have questions about the recall you can contact the Jimmy Dean customer service line at (855) 382-3101.

Life Insurance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Photo Courtesy: (c) SolisImages/ stock.Adobe.com

By Statepoint

No matter if you’re single or married, in your twenties or your forties, a parent or not, life insurance coverage is important in ways you may not realize, and costs less than you’d expect. And experts now stress that employer-sponsored coverage typically isn’t sufficient to cover most people’s needs.

“Living your best life comes with risks, but don’t let uncertainty deter you from buying a house, traveling or starting a business,” says Sean Scaturro, director of Life and Health Insurance Advice at USAA. “Take the necessary steps to protect loved ones from financial burden in the event of tragedy.”

Whether the money is used to replace your income, pay debts, pay for education or burial expenses, life insurance affords financial safety to loved ones.

Start Young

The 2018 Insurance Barometer Study published by Life Happens and LIMRA indicates that 44 percent of millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance by five times the actual amount and 42 percent believe they wouldn’t qualify. But, in reality, premiums are typically lowest when you’re younger, so it’s a smart decision to get some coverage, and reevaluate as life changes. For many young adults, student loans and housing costs sit atop the list of financial priorities. Without life insurance, the responsibility for these debts could fall to family members.

Mind the Gap

Just because you signed up for life insurance coverage through your employer doesn’t mean you’re adequately covered. Scaturro cites LIMRA data that shows that American households currently have a $200,000 life insurance needs gap. “If 60 percent of people have life insurance and 33 percent of those have group life insurance only, one in five people only have group coverage, which usually doesn’t provide enough,” he says.

Most employer-sponsored coverage provides either a set death benefit, such as $50,000, or a multiple of your base income, and many plans aren’t portable. That means, without a separate individual policy, it could be costly or too late to get coverage if you leave your job.

So, sign up for your employer’s low-cost or free life insurance, but don’t stop there. USAA believes you need enough life insurance to replace five years of your income, plus cover all debts. To determine how much coverage you need, take advantage of a free online calculator, like the one provided by USAA at USAA.com/life.

Protect Your Family

Families are especially vulnerable following the death of a primary wage earner. In fact, 35 percent of households would feel the financial impact within a month, according to research from LIMRA. That figure rises to nearly 50 percent at six months. How will your spouse pay for extra child care? Can they afford to keep the house? Will your children’s needs be covered?

Experts say that it’s important to review your life insurance needs, discuss them with your loved ones, speak to a financial professional and take action.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks Ignites Bus Boycot

Rosa Parks (ca. 1955)
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Photograph of Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (ca. 1955) Mrs. Rosa Parks altered the negro progress in Montgomery, Alabama, 1955, by the bus boycott she began. National Archives Record ID: 306-PSD-65-1882 (Box 93). Source: Ebony Magazine

By History.com

In Montgomery, AlabamaRosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, a violation of the city’s racial segregation laws. The successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., followed Park’s historic act of civil disobedience.

“The mother of the civil rights movement,”as Rosa Parks is known, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913. She worked as a seamstress and in 1943 joined the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

According to a Montgomery city ordinance in 1955, African Americans were required to sit at the back of public buses and were also obligated to give up those seats to white riders if the front of the bus filled up. Parks was in the first row of the black section when the white driver demanded that she give up her seat to a white man. Parks’ refusal was spontaneous but was not merely brought on by her tired feet, as is the popular legend. In fact, local civil rights leaders had been planning a challenge to Montgomery’s racist bus laws for several months, and Parks had been privy to this discussion.

Learning of Parks’ arrest, the NAACP and other African American activists immediately called for a bus boycott to be held by black citizens on Monday, December 5. Word was spread by fliers, and activists formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to organize the protest. The first day of the bus boycott was a great success, and that night the 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., told a large crowd gathered at a church, “The great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.” King emerged as the leader of the bus boycott and received numerous death threats from opponents of integration. At one point, his home was bombed, but he and his family escaped bodily harm.

The boycott stretched on for more than a year, and participants carpooled or walked miles to work and school when no other means were possible. As African Americans previously constituted 70 percent of the Montgomery bus ridership, the municipal transit system suffered gravely during the boycott. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Alabama state and Montgomery city bus segregation laws as being in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On December 20, King issued the following statement: “The year old protest against city buses is officially called off, and the Negro citizens of Montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.” The boycott ended the next day. Rosa Parks was among the first to ride the newly desegregated buses.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his nonviolent civil rights movement had won its first great victory. There would be many more to come.

Rosa Parks died on October 24, 2005. Three days later the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to honor Parks by allowing her body to lie in honor in the U.S.Capitol Rotunda.