(PLEASE forgive the disconnected pictures. Still rebuilding from the great crash of 2017)
OCTOBER 16, 2015 – It’s been an interesting week in the news biz. Fortunately, no crime scenes for me. Instead, we had a bit of looking back, a bit of civil disobedience done right, some heat and some wild coyotes, along with some long-overdue justice. Take a look. The Story Links will take you to the actual news clips on NBCLA.
Four years ago, my reporter and I were in Seal Beach covering a “Hot Weather in October” story, when the air filled with sirens and helicopters. By the sheer number of responders, we knew it was something big. And it was. A man went into a hair salon and opened fire, killing eight people, including his ex-wife.
On the anniversary, we spoke with family members about how they are coping four years later. The Story Link.
My favorite story of the week by far. Students at an Aliso Viejo high school won a contest through a text book rental company, a contest mostly entered by college campuses. The prize? A $10,000 grant to the school’s music department, and a live performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. BUT…
The new principal pulled the brakes, saying the music wasn’t appropriate for a public school environment. A handful of parents didn’t approve either. The kids got together a petition, protested outside the school, wrote letters to the media, and by noon, a compromise was made.
The performance would go on, after school and with parental permission. GO KIDS!! The Story Link.
Staying in the school vein, we ended up at a Fountain Valley elementary school in response to a parent’s email about the lack of air conditioning. This summer has been brutally hot and humid, and it’s not letting up yet. Kids even lined the breezeways in order to do their work comfortably.
The classrooms have fans, but they don’t quite cool things down enough, making concentration hard for the kids.
The problem? Adding AC opens a can of worms in these 40 to 50 year old buildings. Need of new roofs, new windows, and of course, the fear of asbestos. So where will the 17 million needed to upgrade all the schools in the district come from? The Story Link.
Coyotes. They’re all over Southern California. It’s something we have to adapt to, but in one Irvine community, the coyotes have become far too aggressive, attacking dogs and children, and even some residents. On this day, we followed up after a three-year-old and his father were bitten.
The challenge covering stories like this is the lack of picture opportunities when it comes to the main subject: the coyotes. They don’t exactly pose for our cameras. Fortunately, residents have been pulling out their phones and snapping shots. The Story Link.
In 1994, Cal State Fullerton student Cathy Torrez went missing and was found a week later in the trunk of her car, stabbed over 70 times.
It took until 2007 for her on-and-off again boyfriend Sam Lopez and his cousin Xavier Lopez to be arrested. In March 2015, Sam was convicted on circumstantial evidence, sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Today, his accomplice, the man who closed the trunk on a still-breathing Cathy, plead guilty and was given the maximum sentence, 5 years. He apologized in court, and looked the family in the eye as they made their victim impact statements. The family can at last put the court cases behind them, BUT… because of his time served, Xavier is done with jail time, and will be released Friday night. The Story Link.
Time to put the news biz behind me, refresh my brain, and have some fun. Have a stellar weekend everyone!
Until next time…