Former Diamond Bar teacher gets 15 years in prison for molestation

 By Brian Day, Staff Writer

A judge sentenced a former Diamond Bar middle school teacher to more than 15 years in prison Thursday for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student, officials said.

Ex-Carl Lorbeer Middle School teacher Steven Shane Andrews, 43, of Anaheim, received the maximum sentence of 15 years and 18 months in state prison from Pomona Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho, according to Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

A jury convicted Andrews in March of 17 felony counts related to the a sexual relationship he had with a student between May 2011 and his his Sept. 20, 2011, arrest, authorities said.

Camacho additionally ordered Andrews to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Ardalani said.

Andrews first met his victim at school when she was 13 years old, investigators said. “The defendant taught the victim for about a year before the sexual misconduct began,” Ardalani said in a written statement. “Initially, the incidents transpired at the school, but later also occurred off-campus.”

The crimes came to light when another teacher at the school became suspicious of Andrews’ interactions with the girl and notified the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, she added.

Andrews was placed on leave from the Pomona Unified School District a day before his arrest when school officials learned of the allegations, district officials said. He was fired in December of 2012.

The investigation was handled by the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

Man convicted of fatal stabbing in Rowland Heights

By Rudy Gonzales, Staff Writer

A jury convicted an Ontario man of the Aug. 17, 2013 fatal stabbing of his girlfriend’s brother in Rowland Heights, officials said Wednesday.

Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said jurors on Tuesday found 31-year-old Albert Camacho guilty of voluntary manslaughter and of assault. They acquitted him of four counts of dissuading a witness, she added.

Camacho will be sentenced Oct. 3 at Pomona Superior Court.

Sheriff’s detectives said Camacho and Benjamin Cervantes were arguing on Aug. 17, 2013 at Cervantes’ home in the 1400 block of Gloriosa Avenue in Rowland Heights.

The dispute escalated. Deputies said Camacho stabbed Cervantes several times with a foot-long Asian ornamental knife. Cervantes later died at a hospital.

According to detectives, Camacho allegedly threatened to harm neighbors who witnessed the stabbing if they called authorities. He left the scene. Camacho later turned himself in to the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar station.

Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea releases 10th album

After 15 years of Mariachi music experience and two GRAMMY Awards, the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea celebrate the production and distribution of their 10th album, 15 Aniversario, with a special concert at the House of Blues Anaheim.

The 15-woman band will be celebrating a trajectory of music-making spanning 15 years of Mariachi music imbued with flavors from not only Los Angeles and Mexico but many Latin American and other countries that these women are from.

The concert will take place  Aug. 29 starting at 7 p.m. at the House of Blues Anaheim, 1530 Disneyland Drive and is open to all ages. Seating is first come, first serve.

The multifaceted ensemble, founded in 1999 by Cindy Shea of Hacienda Heights and under the musical direction of GRAMMY award-winning Alberto “Beto” Jimenez Maeda, is a unique group of musically talented women showcasing the true flavor of Los Angeles and the diversity of music found in this city.

In their 15th year, the group recently released their 10th album, 15 Aniversario, a compilation of special songs and a potpourri of classic sounds and lyrics of Mariachi music, including:  a new composition by Beto Jimenez and Ismael Gallegos titled “Estampas de Mi Tierra”, and an inspiring composition and collaborative effort by Beto Jimenez and Latin GRAMMY winner, Paulina Aguirre, titled “Mirando Hacia Arriba”.

“Every day we perform, we see how our music affects our audience.  They are happy; they sing with us; and they dance.  This is why celebrating 15 years of making Mariachi music is so special to me,” said Shea, trumpet player and founder of Mariachi Divas.

“I am delighted to be celebrating 15 years of mariachi music with our fans and the women that have made this group so successful.”

The group has been represented by women from many different backgrounds, from Japanese and Argentinean to Colombian, Cuban and Guatemalan.

 

 

Their second GRAMMY Award was received in 2014 for their 9th album, A Mi Manera, and it made history as it marked the first time any mariachi group ever received two GRAMMYs. Their first GRAMMY Award in 2009, for Canciones De Amor, marked the first time in the history of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences that an all-female mariachi group had been a nominee and a winner.  They have received a total of six GRAMMY nominations and one Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Regional Mexican Song of the Year for their song, “Ay Mi Mexico”, on their album titled Oye.  This year, they also received the Premios Fox Music USA 2013 Award for Best Mariachi and their musical director, Alberto “Beto” Jimenez Maeda, received the Best Male Composer Award.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz holding summit on marriage and family life in Walnut

The changing world poses some great challenges to families today. St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church in Walnut is responding to the challenge by spearheading a Summit on Today’s Marriage and Family Life on Sept. 12-14.
The local church hopes to reach hundreds of men and women from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and nearby dioceses. A free Praise Concert will open the summit on Friday night from 5pm to 11pm.
The Summit Proper on Saturday, from 7am to 10pm, will be highlighted by talks and open forums with Bishop Emeritus Ted Bacani from the Philippines as keynote speaker. A group wedding at 3:30 pm culminates the weekend followed by closing ceremo-
nies from 5pm to 6pm.

Tickets for Saturday’s activities are priced at only $25 each, meals and snacks included. For tickets and information, please call the St. Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Office at (909) 595-9545 or Honchee Natividad at (909) 576-4991

Community library opens today at Nogales High School

The Nogales High School Community Library hours opens today to serve the community with a variety of programs and resources for all ages. The community may park in the school lot, enter through the “H” building pass way, to the library located on the left. (Nogales High School is located at 401 S. Nogales Street, La Puente, CA 91744).

  • Free homework help 3 pm – 5 pm for students grades k-6 (parents must accompany students)
  • Free computer lab (all ages)
  • Check out books (all ages)
  • Story Time / Activity Thursdays 4 pm – 5 pm
  • Quiet places to meet, work or conduct small events

Hours :    Monday-Friday, 3 pm – 7 pm (except school holidays)

For more information, call Louise Garnica (626) 965-3437 ext. 3666

Pedestrian hit near Rowland High

A person was injured Thursday after being hit by a car that police are investigating as a possible DUI, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The crash occurred about 7:35 p.m. on Valencia Street and Otterbein Avenue when the vehicle hit a parked car and the unidentified individual walking near Rowland High School, Officer Art Rubio said.

A witness said the car hit a female pedestrian and pinned her between the school’s fence and the vehicle.

Rubio could not confirm if the car crashed through the school’s fence.

Los Angeles County Fire officials said three people were transported to a local hospital. Their conditions are unknown.

Valencia Street was closed between Otterbein and Edmore avenues.

As of 9 p.m., officers were still on scene investigating.

No arrests have been made.

Our prayers go out to Andrew Osorio family in Walnut

Received a lovely note from Vejar Elementary in Walnut:

Hi Rich,

Thanks again for supporting us with our Have a Heart campaign for Andrew Osorio.

Andrew is currently in ICU at Children’s hospital.  He has been moved to the top of the transplant list.  Our prayers are with him.  Mom reports that he really wants to get out of the hospital because he says, “it’s time to go to school.”

On Sept. 17 at 7 pm I am making a presentation to the board highlighting a star student from Vejar and community members who have made specific contributions to Vejar.

I am going to honor Andrew as our star student for his bravery, his hard work, and his positive attitude that exemplify not just the Vejar Values, but a strong human spirit.

Additionally, I would like to honor you and Kelli Gile as Vejar’s community helpers.  You both went out of your way to publicize our fundraiser to help Andrew’s family.

You spoke with him and the family with a kindness and empathy that helped all feel at ease.  As a result of the hard work of Andrew’s teacher and your publicity, we were able to give the family almost $3000 from the Vejar Community to help with their expenses related to his health.

I hope that you will join us at the board presentation on Sept. 17 at 7 pm  at the WVUSD district board room.

Sincerely,

Jen De Anda

Principal

 

Diamond Bar deputy join Battle of Badges

As a part to get the staff in shape and encourage better health, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department begins its annual battle of the bulge.

Four teams have joined the Battle of the Badges to see who can lose the most weight over the next 10 weeks. The official weigh-in took place Thursday.

Last year, Eli Celnik lost more than 100 pounds, while Pearl Cruz lost 52.

All 45 competitors will be a winner in the long run. Many are like Sgt. Annadennise Briz, a resident of Diamond Bar.

“I’m tired of the extra weight, I haven’t weighed this much since I was pregnant with my last child,” the 47-year-old admitted.

Briz works in the County Services Bureau in downtown Los Angeles. She is a hostage negotiator.

“I helped with the man who threatened to jump off the overpass in East L.A., closing the freeway for hours,” Briz said.

Despite her high-stress job, Briz agrees “it’s just laziness, it’s so easy to grab something quick to eat rather than make something healthy.”

Briz wants to lose 40 pounds. The 5-foot-2 sergeant weighs 179 pounds.

“I think 140 would be an ideal weight for me,” Briz said.

She’ll join her brothers and sisters in the department as they shed unwanted pounds. They’ll follow the Lindora weight loss program to lose 10 percent of their body weight in 10 weeks.

The program includes diet, moderate exercise and motivational tools. The cost is being paid for by the Lean For Life Foundation, Lindora’s nonprofit group that promotes obesity research.

“One of our hopes in establishing Battle of the Badges was to create healthy heroes out of our participants,” said Lindora CEO Cynthia Stamper Graff, whose new book “The New Lean For Life” was given to all the participants.

“My three daughters are so fit and they want me to live a healthier lifestyle,” Briz said. “I’ve already started jogging three miles with a friend three or four times a week. I also want to join a gym in Diamond Bar.”

The busy sheriff’s deputy hopes it will help with her cholesterol.

 

$7.5 billion bond approved for water projects

By Steve Scauzillo Staff Writer

The $7.5 billion water bond measure approved by state legislators this past week could help pay for ambitious local projects, from cleaning the polluted San Fernando Valley groundwater basin to recycling treated sewage for drinking water.

The Los Angeles region depends largely on scarce and expensive imported water, and the bond funds could help reverse that dependence by increasing the local supply, experts say. At the same time, the money could help restore native rivers, improve water quality, capture stormwater runoff and even build some parks.

“It makes more sense to the community to increase our local self-reliance,” said Nancy Steele, executive director of the Council for Watershed Health in downtown Los Angeles. “This is a good investment by the public in our water infrastructure, and in our natural landscape.”

Young Walnut chef competes on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in "Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off" on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut will compete in “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off” on Food Network

Sean Lew of Walnut loves to dance and cook. The 12-year-old already has a million YouTube views of his video dancing to a Lady GaGa song. And now millions more will watch the young chef compete in the season premiere of “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.”

The new season premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on the Food Network. If you don’t already know, the marquee names refer to best-selling cookbook authors Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri.

The famous chefs will once again take eight young chefs under their wings in the second season of “Kids Cook-Off.” And this year, Walnut’s very own junior chef will join Guy’s team.

“I already act and dance, so this was another challenge for me,” Sean said. “I wanted to learn how to cook after watching the chefs at Benihana in Industry cook right in front of me.”

So the home-schooled eighth-grader began cooking at the age of 7. He began with omelets. Sean now cooks at least twice a week for his family in Walnut.

Mom Miya says her son has never taken a cooking class. In fact, the local artist told her son “If you want to learn how to cook, you have to do it yourself.”

The young chef has learned enough to earn himself a spot in the kids’ cooking competition.

“It was a lot of fun, cooking in the kitchen with Guy,” Sean said. “He really gets you to focus and was always by our side.”

Six episodes were shot over three weeks in Huntington Beach. The show begins with a mini-challenge, where the young chefs had to make a family favorite. Sean made a deep-fried eggplant and pork sandwich.

Then it was on to the main event, a street food showdown judged by chef Wolfgang Puck and his family. This challenge celebrated the mobile food trucks rolling into the culinary world. For his entree, the Walnut chef went with a shrimp and seafood pancake.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story CHEF.