Man robs bank in Rowland Heights

A man escaped with about $1,000 after using a note to rob a bank branch Wednesday, authorities said.

The crime was reported about 10:30 a.m. at the Bank of the West, 19005 Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Chavez said.

The robber handed a teller a note demanding cash and was last seen fleeing north from the bank on foot, officials said.

He was described as a white man in his mid-30s, with blond hair and blue eyes, about 6 feet 3 inches tall and 185 pounds, wearing a tan jacket over a blue hooded sweat shirt, Chavez said. He was unshaven.

The Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, as well as the FBI, were assisting in the investigation.

Rowland adult education offers spring session

The spring session of the Rowland Adult and Community Education begins Jan. 23. Registration for the community education fee-based classes has begun.

Registration for English as a Second Language or Citizenship classes takes place in the classroom on the first day.

Asian cooking workshops will include: Thai Cooking Made Easy, Sushi Made Easy, Chinese Dim Sum Made Easy Japanese Cooking Made Easy and Fancy Sushi Made Easy.

Other classes are Basic Drawing for Beginners, Line Dancing, International Folkdance, How to Become a Mystery Shopper and Other Fun Ways to Earn Extra Money, and Public Speaking.

In partnership with Boston Reed College, Rowland is offering Clinical Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Assistant, Electronic Health Records System Technologist and Billing and Coding Specialist.

For more information, call 626-965-5975 or visit the office at 2100 Lerona Ave., Rowland Heights.

St. Vianney’s to hold golf tournament to rebuild church

Because insurance claims will only pay for a portion of the cost of last year’s fire, the parish of St. John Vianney Church is holding a golf tournament to help raise the difference.

Golfers can register for the charity tournament online at the church’s Facebook page, Rebuild SJV-Golf. The church is also seeking additional sponsors for the event.

The Rebuild St. John Vianney Church golf tournament will take place March 26 at the Friendly Hills Country Club in Whittier.

Sponsorship levels vary from $125 to $10,000. The chuch needs to raise about $6 million to rebuild.

The church sanctuary and part of the priest’s quarters of the popular Hacienda Heights church were burned in an arson fire on April 16, 2011.

Don’t forget about early start

In Jay Chen’s 2011 Year-In-Review, he mentioned various milestones from 2011 for the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. These included a failed recall attempt against him, a HLPUSD board member, and his free college application seminars.

But what he did not mention may be more important:
The changing of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. School will start three weeks earlier and end three weeks earlier. The change was controversial and may be trend-setting.
Here’s a section from our story which ran in December:

The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District board voted 4-1 Thursday night to start the next school year on Aug. 7, three weeks earlier than usual. It is the first local school district to adopt an early start calendar for the entire PreK-12 population.

School will let out May 21, 2013, instead of in late June. A similar calendar was adopted for the 2013-14 school year.

Some may call that decision of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest school district one that affects the most people — parents and children. It affect thousands of families in La Puente and Hacienda Heights, who will have to adjust summer vacations. It could also lead to other districts doing the same thing.

Quite a milestone.

Sen. Huff of Diamond Bar elected senate leader

In an afternoon caucus meeting Wednesday, Senate Republicans unanimously elected Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, to succeed Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, as Senate leader.

A release from Huff’s office crowed about the news – “Unanimous vote puts Huff in Control” – after the senator indicated last week his expectation there would be enough votes to support his bid.

“I’d like to thank my Senate Republican colleagues for their unwavering support and look forward to working with Majority Leader Darrell Steinberg and the Governor on the state budget and other issues facing California,” Huff said in a statement.

“The Governor has indicated that he will work with Republicans when possible, and Senate Republicans are open to compromise and crafting true, bipartisan solutions,” Huff said, hinting at but not elaborating on an answer to the question on everyone’s mind: what will this mean for budget gridlock?

Tiny Tikes take to basketball court in Hacienda Heights


They may only be 3 feet tall, but these guys and gals can really dunk. Doughnuts, cookies, Twinkies. They still have a ways to go to dunk a basketball, but at least they’ll learn to have fun on the courts in the new tiny tikes basketball league in Hacienda Heights.

“My son played tiny tikes basketball in another league and he had so much fun, I thought we should try it here,” explained Louie Guerrero, recreation director at Steinmetz Park.

So the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is signing up boys and girls 3 to 6 years old. Practice will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m., beginning Jan. 10. Games will be played from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, starting Jan. 21.

Hacienda Heights woman turns 103


Esther Casillas de Capacete celebrated her 103rd birthday in Hacienda Heights on New Year’s Day.


Surrounded by her extended family, Esther celebrated her life alongside her nine children, 50 grandchildren, 102 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Born in 1909 in Jalisco, Mexico, Esther immigrated to the United States at age 64, after the passing of her husband, and became an American citizen at age 87.

Hacienda Heights Woman’s Club meets Thursday

The Hacienda Heights Woman’s Club invites women of all ages to join the group.
They meet the first Thursday of every month.

Meetings begin at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon in the clubhouse at 1917 S. La Mesita Drive in Hacienda Heights.

For information, call membership chair Diana Wood at 626-330-5228 or Sigi Williams at 626-333-1774.

Steinmetz Senior Center raises $300 for homeless

Seniors at the Steinmetz Senior Center are starting the new year by helping the homeless. They’ve been collecting cash to buy clothing and toiletries for the less fortunate.

“Steve Barba came up with the idea to help the homeless in the winter shelters at local churches,” said Irma Ochoa, co-chair of the fundraiser.

Ochoa was pleasantly surprised by the support of the seniors.
“I wasn’t sure how the seniors would take it, but they began donating $5, $10, $20 for our project,” she explained. “We raised almost $300 in three weeks.”