Do you believe in angels?


Do you believe in angels? Mary Ting of Hacienda Heights does.

In fact, the kindergarten teacher has written two books about the heavenly creatures. The Los Molinos Elementary instructor has become something of a celebrity among her young students.

Her first book “Crossroads” is the story about a forbidden love between a young woman and her guardian angel, who is half mortal. They meet at a place between heaven and Earth called the crossroads.

Her teen novel was ranked as a top seller on The romance can also be downloaded in Kindle and Nook formats.

Last weekend, the budding author held a book signing at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Fullerton. The former PTA president donated a portion of her sales to Los Molinos school.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Angels.

Hsi Lai Temple celebrates Chinese New Year in Hacienda Heights

The Lunar New Year celebration was somber at the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights on Monday. The monks paid homage to the Buddhas with a Thousand Buddhas Ceremony.

Special Dharma functions were held to pray for world peace, blessings and good luck in the new year.

The largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere was decorated with peace lanterns sponsored by many families. Families also lit candles and incense to honor their ancestors.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Dragon.

Rowland Heights woman sentenced to death

A judge sentenced Manling Tsang Williams to death Thursday for smothering her two young children with a pillow and slashing her husband to death with a sword in the family’s Rowland Heights home in 2007.

The 32-year-old woman sobbed and shook as Pomona Superior


Court Judge Robert Martinez handed down the sentence for the Aug. 7, 2007 murders of her husband, Neal Williams, 27, and their sons Devon, 7, and Ian, 3, at the family’s condominium in the 18200 block of Camino Bello.

A jury convicted Manling Williams of three counts of first-degree murder in 2010, along with the special allegations of using weapons and lying in wait. After one jury was unable to agree on whether to sentence her to death or life imprisonment, a second penalty phase jury recommended last year that she be put to death.

Judge Martinez followed that recommendation.

Read more in Brian Day’s story Death

Hacienda Heights musician looking for another Grammy


Mariachi Divas founder Cindy Shea with her sons Alex Carballo, 10, and Anthony Jimenez, 2 months, in their Hacienda Heights backyard.

Cindy Shea is looking forward to a great year. The Hacienda Heights resident recently had her second son and she’s planning her wedding.

The local musician also has been nominated for another Grammy. Cindy is the founder of the popular Mariachi Divas. The all-woman band won a Grammy in 2009 for best regional Mexican album. And they had been nominated for another one.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Cindy’s group received another nomination this year. But Cindy is still excited by great news. “It’s like the Oscars,” the enthusiastic trumpet player explained. “It’s such an honor to be selected by your peers.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Grammy.

Check out video of police chase in Hacienda Heights

A high-speed police pursuit of a motorcycle carrying a man and woman ended in a crash on the 60 Freeway late Tuesday, officials said.

Check out the KCAL video of last night’s police chase in Hacienda Heights. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Northeast Station began chasing the motorcycle, which had been reported stolen, about 9:45 p.m., LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.

The high-speed pursuit continued for about half an hour until it reached the eastbound 60 Freeway at 7th Avenue, officials said. The motorcycle rear-ended a car and tumbled end-over-end, throwing both riders into the roadway.

The riders, a man and woman, were reportedly in police custody as they were being treated at a hospital for serious injuries.

Watch: KCAL video of crash.

Bubbologist visits Hacienda Heights Library


A bubblologist will visit the Hacienda Heights Library on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. They will demonstrate the science behind bubbles.

There will be shimmering waves of soap films, rainbow bubbles, big bubbles, small bubbles, square bubbles, triangle bubbles, bubbles within bubbles and giant bubbles.

The library is at 1850 Nogales St., Rowland Heights. For information, call 626-912-5348.

Stretch bandit robs banks in Rowland and Hacienda Heights

A bank robbery in Rowland Heights was the work of a serial robber connected to two other crimes dating back to July of last year, authorities said. The “Stretch Bandit” paid a visit to the Bank of the West, 19005 E. Colima Road, about 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 11, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

It was his second robbery at the same bank, which he also robbed on July 12 of last year, officials said. The same man is also suspected in a July 6, 2011 robbery at a U.S. Bank Branch on Hacienda Boulevard in Hacienda Heights, Eimiller said.

57807-STRETCH BANDIT 1-thumb-300x546-57754-thumb-300x546-57806.jpg

The FBI calls him the “Stretch Bandit” because of his physical description, FBI officials said. He stands about 6 feet 3 inches tall and is of thin build — about 190 pounds. The bandit is 35 to 42 years old, and a white, 4-door Honda Accord with a tinted rear window and the first two license plate numbers of “3Z” has been spotted in connection with the crimes.

Sheriff’s officials further described him as having blonde hair and blue eyes. The robbers passes tellers notes demanding cash and claiming that he has a gun, FBI officials said, though no weapons have been seen during the robberies.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s 24-hour line in Los Angeles at 310-477-6565.

PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI

Redevelopment will end in Walnut and Diamond Bar

I could barely make out the words uttered from the man seated several rows behind me at Walnut City Hall.

“Corporate welfare,” I finally heard him say.

The two words were spoken just as Walnut City Councilman Tony Cartagena discussed a recent meeting with the Contract Cities Association on the topic of redevelopment.

The governor and the Legislature approved a measure wiping out all redevelopment agencies in the state. That means all 88 cities in Los Angeles County must end their redevelopment practices by Feb. 1 unless a bill by local state Sen. Ed Hernandez that gives cities until April gets approved.

Either way, the outcome is the same. Redevelopment will end. Period.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story: Redevelopment

Pathfinder Park bustles with activity in Rowland Heights


Pathfinder Park is an electrifying place. Not because of the towering transmission lines that crisscross the park, nor because of a new community center coming in the new year.

The popular park in Rowland Heights is a bustling place. Four senior groups call the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation facility home.

The small center is also headquarters for the county’s tennis programs in the San Gabriel Valley. In fact, the expanding program began at Pathfinder’s three courts.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Pathfinder.