Diamond Bar warns drivers about traffic delays

City of Diamond Bar

Motorists, be advised that if your morning or afternoon commute includes crossing the Grand Avenue Bridge above the 60 freeway, you can expect heavy traffic delays  as a result of a City of Industry road resurfacing project.

The project, which involves grinding and repaving the stretch of road between the freeway on and off-ramps, will result in a single traffic lane open to traffic on both the southbound and northbound sides. The lane reductions coupled with the vehicles exiting and entering the freeways will create significant delays for through traffic.

It is anticipated that the project will continue into the middle of next week; the lane closures by the City of Industry are scheduled as follows:

  • southbound (coming from City of Industry) lane closure from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • northbound (going out of City of Diamond Bar) lane closure to start from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In an effort to help alleviate traffic in the area, City of Diamond Bar has:

  • set up a message board on Grand Avenue between Montefino Avenue and Lavender Drive to inform passing motorists of the road work and encourage alternate routes;
  • worked with Caltrans to increase the timing cycle length at the traffic signals near the freeway on and off-ramps during the morning rush hour; and
  • will schedule Sheriff’s deputies to assist with traffic control as needed.

Questions related to the road resurfacing project should be directed to the City of Industry at 626.333.2211.

Teens arrested on suspicion of breaking into Diamond Bar home

Deputies arrested three teenage burglary suspects Sunday afternoon after they broke into a Diamond Bar home occupied by another teenager, officials said.

The break-in occurred about 12:10 p.m. in the 800 block of Leyland Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Buckner said.

A teenage boy was home alone when the burglars knocked at the door, then forced their way into the house after receiving no response, the lieutenant said.

The victim called 9-1-1 to report the burglary while the teenage suspects were still inside the home, Buckner said. They fled in a blue Honda Civic before deputies arrived, however.

A neighbor managed to take down the license plate number, and deputies soon found it nearby and pulled it over, Buckner said.

Deputies arrested the three teens, who are all about 17 years old, and recovered several hundred dollars believed to have been stolen in the break-in, he said

Industry NFL stadium overshadowed by Inglewood, Carson

Artist's rendering of proposed "Los Angeles Stadium."  Developer, Edward P. Roski, Jr.,

Artist’s rendering of proposed “Los Angeles Stadium.” Developer, Edward P. Roski, Jr.,

By Jason Henry, Staff Writer

Diamond Bar Mayor Steve Tye said Wednesday if he ranked the proposed Los Angeles’ stadiums by their chance of getting build that he would put the one he wants the most at the bottom of the list.

A NFL stadium in Industry, proposed by billionaire Ed Roski Jr.’s Majestic Realty Co., seems more and more unlikely as team owners jockey for properties in Carson and Inglewood, he said. Roski, who wanted a share of the team if one came to the city, never found the support from owners that the newer projects have.

“There was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about it,” Tye said of Roski’s proposal. “Then all of a sudden, nothing.”

With the Raiders, the Rams and the Chargers linked closely to Carson and Inglewood, Tye said he isn’t sure if that leaves a team for Industry.

Walnut Councilmen Tony Cartagena and Bob Pachecho also said Wednesday they have heard nothing about Roski’s plan recently and neither believe it is likely.

Walnut and Diamond Bar settled with Majestic Realty in 2009 over concerns that the stadium would negatively impact their communities. However, the NFL has not written Roski’s proposal off.

“It remains one of the sites we continue to monitor,” stated Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s spokesperson, in an email.

Roski announced his plans to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles with a state-of-the-art, $800 million stadium in Industry in 2008. The website for the Los Angeles Stadium at Grand Crossing still exists, but the site has not been updated in years.

Read more in Jason Henry’s story STADIUM.

Deputy, driver hurt in Diamond Bar crash

(Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

(Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

A deputy and a motorist were injured after a patrol car collided with a sedan Tuesday afternoon. The crash happened just before 12:30 p.m.

Lt. John Saleeby of the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar station said the deputy was responding to a rescue call in Diamond Bar when the patrol car became involved in a traffic collision at Grand Avenue and South Diamond Bar Boulevard.

• Photos: Diamond Bar sheriff’s crash

He didn’t have details about how the crash occurred. The deputy was shaken up and complained of neck pain, Saleeby said. He said the man driving the sedan also complained of pain.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Randall Wright said the crash was reported to the fire department as a traffic collision with persons trapped. He said no one was trapped.

Both the deputy and the driver were transported to a hospital. Lt. Edward Wells said the deputy was treated and released. He didn’t know if the driver is still in the hospital.

The deputy has been with the sheriff’s department for 15 years.

Culbreath facing murder charges for 60 Freeway crash

By Monica Rodriguez, Staff Writer

A Fontana woman accused of killing six people in a wrong-way wreck last year on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar will face the charges at trial.

A judge ruled today that sufficient probable cause existed to support the charges against 22-year-old Olivia Carolee Culbreath at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Pomona Superior Court. Culbreath has been charged with six counts of murder.

She returns to court on Feb. 25 for arraignment on the charges. If convicted she faces a sentence of life in prison. Culbreath is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on $6 million bail.

The defendant was driving a Chevrolet Camaro on the 60 Freeway when she was involved in a wrong-way, head-on crash, the California Highway Parol said. Culbreath drove at speeds close to 100 mph.

The car was headed east on the westbound 60 Freeway when it crashed head-on a sport utility vehicle, the CHP said. After the crash another vehicle crashed into the SUV.

Two women in Culbreath’s car died as a result of the crash. One victim was Culbreath’s sister, Maya, 24, and Kristin Young, 21, of Chino.

 

 

Four people in the SUV were thrown from the vehicle.

The four victims, all from Huntington Park, were Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, Leticia Ibarra, 42, Jessica Mejia, 20, and Ester Delgado, 80.

More details to come.

In deadly Diamond Bar crash, hearing for Olivia Carolee Culbreath postponed

By Monica Rodriguez, Staff Writer

A preliminary hearing for a Fontana woman accused of crashing her vehicle while driving the wrong way on the 60 Freeway and killing six people has been continued to Wednesday.

The hearing for Olivia Carolee Culbreath, 22, which was to be in its third day Thursday, has been taking place at the Pomona courthouse of Los Angeles Superior Court to determine if there’s enough evidence to send the case to trial.

Culbreath is accused of driving a Chevrolet Camaro east on westbound 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar on Feb. 9. About 4:45 a.m. the car crashed head-on into a Ford Explorer, the California Highway Patrol said. Following the initial crash another vehicle crashed into the Explorer.

Two passengers in Culbreath’s car died as did four occupants in the Explorer who were thrown from the vehicle.

Culbreath is charged with six counts of murder for allegedly causing the crash.

Culbreath faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if she’s convicted of the murder charges.

Culbreath, who is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles in lieu of $6 million bail, has been arriving in court in a wheelchair.

At this point she is disabled and requires regular medical care, Culbreath’s lawyers said.

“We don’t know if she’ll ever walk again,” said Daniel R. Perlman, one of Culbreath’s attorneys.

Apply to Diamond Bar planning commission by Jan. 30

The City of Diamond Bar’s City Clerk’s Office will be accepting applications until Friday, January 30,  from individuals interested in filling a vacancy on the City’s Planning Commission. The term of office for this appointment will expire in 2017.

To be eligible to serve as a City Commissioner, applicants must be Diamond Bar residents, at least 18 years of age, and registered to vote.

For more information or to obtain a commission application packet, contact the City Clerk’s office at 909.839.7010 or email cityclerk@diamondbarca.gov

Planning Commission Information

Diamond Bar OKs moratorium on massage parlors

Diamond Bar City Council wasted no time in approving a 45-day moratorium on new massage parlors in the city. The interim ordinance will prohibit the establishment, expansion and relocation of massage parlors for 45 days.

In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1147, which restores local land use authority over massage businesses. Effective Jan. 1, the new law removes the former law’s broad preemption of local massage ordinances.

AB 1147 gives local government the authority to enact regulations to manage massage parlors. The moratorium would maintain the status quo until the city has had time to complete the necessary studies and adopt new regulations.

“A friend at the Rotary Club came up to me and said the last thing we need is for another massage parlor to pop up,” said Mayor Steve Tye. “This is the kind of thing where we have to stay on top of the situation.”

“I’m concerned with the growing number of massage parlors in Diamond Bar,” agreed Councilman Jack Tanaka, who joined his fellow councilmembers in unanimously approving the moratorium.

Tanaka pointed out the number of massage parlors has grown from four to more than 15. Under the old law, the city had to permit seven new massage businesses simply because the owner or the masseuse were certified by the California Massage Therapy Council.

Cities have also seen an increase of illicit massage parlors which engage in prostitution and human trafficking.

“I haven’t heard of any prostitution in our massage establishments, but it has been a problem elsewhere,” Tye noted.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lt. Anthony Tachias said “There haven’t been any reports of prostitution or human trafficking at massage parlors in Diamond Bar. It’s been pretty quiet.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story MASSAGE.

Jimmy Lin joins Diamond Bar City Council

Diamond Bar’s new councilman Jimmy Lin attended his first council meeting Tuesday night. After interviewing 11 candidates, the City Council chose Lin to fill the vacancy left by Ling-Ling Chang, who was elected to the state assembly.

Lin was selected over other candidates, including past 0107_NWS_SGT-L-DBVACANCYcouncilman and mayor Ron Everett and Andrew Wong, president of Pomona Unified School Board. Other candidates were Robert Nishimura, Tulsi Savani, Joyce Young, Shawn Dhand, Peter Pirritano, Ali Jakvani, Kim Hsieh and David Liu.

“I was really impressed with the quality of the candidates … many of you who are very qualified,” said Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Lyons.

“It seems like it should be an easy decision, and it’s not, you (the candidates) made it difficult, that’s a good thing,” Mayor Steve Tye said.

Still, council reached its decision quickly after interviewing the candidates. Lin will serve through November 2017.

“I’m evaluating by what the city needs, the city has some specific needs in the very near future. Things that we are working on, and a couple of candidates fill that need more than other candidates do,” explained Councilwoman Carol Herrera.

“Considering that traffic is one of the greatest problems and challenges that the city faces, I would like to nominate Jimmy Lin,” Herrera said. Lyons seconded the nomination. Lin was approved by a 3 to 1 margin, with Councilman Jack Tanaka voting no.

“I’m not against Jimmy, I just thought there should have been an open discussion. It was unfair to the other candidates to not discuss the reasons for our selection,” Tanaka said later.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story LIN