Hacienda La Puente and Rowland school districts sue Industry for $100 million

Two local school districts are suing Industry, alleging the city owes them more than $100 million in payments dating back decades. The Rowland Unified and Hacienda La Puente Unified school districts filed the breach-of-contract lawsuit last month against the city and its redevelopment agency, citing an agreement forged in the 1970s that entitles each of the districts to annual payments from Industry.

The lawsuit does not specify how much money they are seeking, but in supporting documents, an attorney for the districts claims Industry owes an amount “estimated to exceed” $100 million.

Read more in J.D. Velasco’s story INDUSTRY.

Diamond Bar and Walnut heroes honored at L.A. County Fair

Parades and local heroes will highlight the L.A. County Fair community days for cities in the Inland and San Gabriel valleys.

Civic, governmental, business, nonprofit group and school officials in each city will honor exemplary volunteers and activists for improving the quality of life for children, families and senior citizens on their individual community days.

The community parades start at 5 p.m. and circle the fairgrounds before the hero recognition ceremonies.

Community days are Sept. 6, Diamond Bar and Sept. 27, Walnut.

Community heroes are Orien Pagan, Josh Chen and Richard Malooly, Diamond Bar; Debbie Dobson, Walnut.

Rowland Unified saying goodbye to Superintendent Maria Ott

Rowland Unified will say goodbye to Superintendent Maria Ott tonight at a community reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the administration building. The popular administrator is retiring to become an executive in residence at the USC School of Education.

Beginning in October, Ott will teach and work on educational leadership projects at USC.

Community members gathered Tuesday to say farewell to Ott, who has transformed the school district over the past seven years. They came to recognize her 41 years of service to public education.

Read more about her career at OTT.

Parts of Walnut lose water service

When Jerry Willsey brushed his teeth Saturday morning all he got was a mouth full of toothpaste. His house had no water.

The incident marked the third time that Willsey, who lives with his 92-year-old mother, has gone without H2O at his hillside home in the last two months.

He and about 30 other residents in the northeast corner of Walnut were affected by a combination of increased water usage at adjacent Forest Lawn cemetery and a busted water pump that “created intermittent/interrupted water service at some higher elevation locations,” according to a report from the city of Walnut.

Golden State Water contractors were busy Wednesday installing a new booster pump in the hillside above Stockton Pass Road and hope to have the problem fixed by Friday, said Ben Lewis, district manager of Golden State Water Co.

Lewis confirmed that he met with Forest Lawn supervisors and they agreed to adjust their watering patterns while repairs to the system are being performed. He said Forest Lawn didn’t cause the problem.

Walnut’s report said Golden Sate will consider long-term solutions to pumping water uphill into hillside areas of Walnut, including installing additional pumps.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story WATER.

Diamond Bar salutes Olympic athlete with hometown scrapbook

There is no argument with saying U.S. women’s Olympic soccer player Alex Morgan is the most talked about athlete in town – maybe even a hero.

But there is a debate over how to honor her.

From a Facebook post that says “give her the keys to the city” to a caller to City Hall who wanted to throw the gold medal winner a parade down Grand Avenue, the suggestions keep on coming.

Last week, the city decided on putting together a community scrapbook by spreading pages throughout the city at City Hall, the new Diamond Bar Community Library, and inside the hilltop Diamond Bar Center located across the street from the exclusive gated community The Country.

Residents have until Oct. 1 to jot down a short note or draw a colorful do-dad using felt pens provided at each station festooned with a blow-up of the London Olympics star who hails from here. In early October, the pages will be bound into a scrapbook and presented to Morgan and/or her family, most likely at a City Council meeting, said Cecilia Arellano, city spokesperson.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ALEX.

Diamond Bar man accused of molesting students takes plea deal

A Diamond Bar man accused of molesting two students while he was a teacher at Foster Elementary School in Compton accepted a plea deal Tuesday.

Ronald Sture Hoppe, 46, pleaded no contest to two felony counts of lewd acts on a child and two amended counts of misdemeanor lewd conduct, said Deputy District Attorney Adrian Roxas in a statement.

Jury selection was set to begin for his retrial when he entered the plea. Hoppe’s 2010 trial ended in a mistrial.

Roxas said Hoppe was originally charged with molesting three students, but charges were dropped involving the third girl.

Hoppe groped one of the victims during the 2005-2006 school year and the second girl the following year.

As part of the plea bargain, he agreed to complete 52 weeks of sex offender classes. He is barred from having any contact with children other than his family members. He also cannot work at a school or any type of business involving children.

Read more in DEAL.

Tiny Tykes Soccer offered in Hacienda Heights

Tiny Tykes Soccer will be offered at Steinmetz Park in Hacienda Heights. The league is for children 3 to 6 years old. The $50 fee includes jersey, shorts, socks and trophy.

Coaches for the new league are still needed. Registration will close Monday, Sept. 10. Steinmetz Park is at 1545 S. Stimson Ave. For information, call 626-934-7041.

Hacienda Heights groups fill backpacks with school supplies


New Horizons Caregivers, the Rotary and Delta Kappa Gamma packed hundreds of backpacks with love and school supplies this weekend. They’ll distribute the special packs to needy students in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.

“We filled 340 new backpacks and 240 grocery bags with all the school supplies that children need to go back to school,” said Cathy Jamieson, executive director of New Horizons.

The groups gathered at Dibble Auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 18, to sort the supplies and fill the much-needed care packages.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story BACKPACKS.

Nogale High under renovation in Rowland Unified


Forget studying in the library. It’s gone. And so are many of the science labs.

Students at Nogales High School will find some big changes when they return to school for the new year on Aug. 20. The La Puente campus has begun a massive renovation project that will literally transform the face of the high school.

“It’s our 50th anniversary and I like to say we’re giving the school a face-lift,” said Principal Nancy Padilla. “The students and staff are really excited about all the construction work.”

Contractors began tearing up the school this summer. Nogales’ library has literally been gutted. And the science wing is suffering a similar fate as work crews remodel the labs and classrooms.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story NOGALES.

Rep. Royce drops out of Rowland Heights meeting

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, dropped out of Monday night’s forum on the Affordable Healthcare Act citing an unexpected conflict, according to organizers.

His Democratic opponent in the race for the 39th Congressional District seat, Hacienda Heights school board member Jay Chen, said Royce dropped out “within hours of learning that I would attend.” He accused the Republican of ducking him in what could be seen as a debate.

But Royce, through an aide, said Chen “muscled his way into the event,” and thereby tried to make it more of a debate. “By inviting a candidate, that turns it into a political and partisan event,” said Dave Gilliard, a Royce campaign aide.

Royce could not spend the time necessary to engage with Chen because he has other commitments, Gilliard said. He was prepared to give a “short update” on the healthcare law, that’s all.

The long-term congressman had accepted an invitation to speak on the issue as a guest of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council earlier this month.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story CANCEL.