Walnut woman gets 20 years to life for killing husband, pet

Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba said Socorro Mora got 16 years to life in prison for fatally stabbing George Mora, 47, on Oct. 19, 2011 at his home in the 21600 block of Brookside Court.

In addition, the 46-year-old Mora also received four years and eight months for stabbing to death the family pet, Snowflake, and for attacking her husband on Sept. 13, 2011.

Saba said Mora was ordered to pay over $17,000 in restitution to the victims for counseling and for funeral expenses. She must also pay over $20,000 in restitution fines, the prosecution added.

A Pomona Superior Court jury on May 12 convicted Mora of second degree murder, cruelty to an animal and corporal injury to a spouse.

The last charge stems from an incident that happened a month before the murder.

Authorities said Mora attacked her husband on Sept. 13, 2011, scratched herself and claimed he did it. George Mora ended up with scratched and bleeding arms, according to the prosecution.

He later filed for and received a restraining order.

A judge ordered Mora to move out of the family home. On the day she was supposed to leave, Sept. 24, 2011, family members discovered the place ransacked and Snowflake the dog dead.

Mora allegedly broke into the Walnut house on Oct. 19, 2011. Her attorney said she knew George Mora wasn’t at the house and wanted to get some of her things.

George Mora arrived home and found his estranged wife.

The defense said an argument between the couple escalated into a knife fight. The defense claimed it was self defense.

L.A. County Fair salutes Diamond Bar, Walnut

 By Monica Rodriguez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

High school marching bands, parades and a chance to honor outstanding residents from communities across the Inland Valley and beyond are some of the features of the Los Angeles County Fair’s Community Days.

A total of 16 cities plus Los Angeles County will have a day dedicated to them. Diamond Bar will march in on  Sept. 11, followed by Walnut on Sept. 26.

As part of the Community Days program, residents are able to purchase tickets for $5 when they present their city’s Community Day coupon at the ticket booth on the day their city is being honored. Tickets can also be purchased online.

 

 

“That’s a great value,” said Fair spokeswoman Renee Hernandez.

Each city’s celebration is organized with the involvement of its Community Committee, she said.

At each city’s celebration residents are recognized for their contributions during Community Heroes ceremonies.

The cities’ high school marching bands participate in Community Day parades as do service organizations, nonprofit groups and other members of the community.

Local businesses also participate through Business Expos organized on a city’s day of recognition.

 

 

Community Days are part of nurturing community spirit, Hernandez said.

Nine of the cities that are part of the Fair’s Community Day program also participate in the Big Yellow Bus Partnership Program.

With the help of this program, school districts in the nine cities receive assistance to pay for transportation to take their students to the Fair, Hernandez said.

Once at the Fair students can take part in the FairKids Field Trip Program, which is open to all schools free of cost as well as to students who are home-schooled.

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

 

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.

Caltrans posts closures for 60 freeway this week

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close portions of SR-60 from the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the Orange Freeway (SR-57) separation, as part of a pavement rehabilitation project.  Closures are as follows and subject to change.

Monday, August 4, through Friday, August 8

Eastbound SR-60

  • 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane CLOSEDbetween I-605 & Azusa Avenue

Westbound SR-60

  • 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Friday, August 8, through Sunday, August 10

Eastbound SR-60

  • 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.     – Seventh Avenue on-ramp CLOSED
  • 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between Seventh Avenue & Hacienda Boulevard
  • 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound I-605 to eastbound SR-60 CLOSED

Westbound SR-60

  • 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Fairway Drive and Old Brea Canyon Road on-ramps CLOSED
  • 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Nogales Street
  • 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound SR-57 to westbound SR-60 CLOSED
  •  Friday 11:59 p.m. to Saturday 5 a.m.  –FULL FREEWAY CLOSUREbetween southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Detours will be posted. New pavement will improve mobility and enhance safety for motorists.  Flatiron West Inc. is the contractor on this $121.5 million project which is expected to complete fall 2014.

Paola Mendoza sworn in as student trustee at Mt SAC in Walnut

Mt. San Antonio College student Paola Mendoza was sworn in as the new student trustee for the 2014-15 academic year during the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees’ July 23 meeting. 

As student trustee, Mendoza, 19, will present the student perspective on policy issues before Mt. SAC’s governing board.

She will have only an advisory vote, which does not count toward the passage or failure of a motion. The advisory vote helps the board know how the student trustee stands on issues and strengthens the student role in the college’s shared governance process.

Mendoza, a resident of Ontario, is a psychology major and carries a 3.6 GPA. She has served as a senator with the Mt. SAC Associated Students (student government) and holds memberships in the campus Psychology Club and IDEAS Club, which serves as an advocate for undocumented students.

After she graduates from Mt. SAC, she plans to transfer to UCLA as a psychology major.

West Nile Virus found in Creekside Park in Walnut

Two samples of mosquitoes found in traps at Creekside Park tested positive for West Nile virus, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reported Friday.

This is the second time mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been discovered in the San Gabriel Valley in the past few weeks. The discovery in Walnut follows one in San Marino’s Lacy Park earlier this month, according to mosquito abatement officials.

In Walnut, two of the four samples taken on July 11 tested positive for the virus, said Jason Farned, SGVMVCD spokesman. The San Marino discovery was found during the first week of July, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

“We expect it every year so it is not a surprise that they are here in the San Gabriel Valley,” Farned said. “It is not a matter of if, but when, every summer.”

Creekside Park is the site of Walnut’s summer concert and movie series, a Tuesday night weekly event which usually attracts 1,000 people, said City Councilwoman Mary Su.

She said the city will hold a press briefing at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Creekside Park, 780 Creekside Drive, to inform residents and advise them on how to take precautions.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story VIRUS.

Walnut High’s Garrett Lim named All-Star Teacher

Walnut High teacher Garrett Lim waves from All-Star Teachers trolley in All-Star parade.

Walnut High teacher Garrett Lim waves from All-Star Teachers trolley in All-Star parade.

Walnut’s very own Garrett Lim took to the field Tuesday for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Kim doesn’t play for the Dodgers, the Angels or even the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But still, the 34-year-old marched onto the field to the cheers of thousands of fans. Lim was one of 30 All-Star Teachers selected by Target, People magazine and MLB.

The campaign honors outstanding teachers who make a real impact in the lives of their students.

“This is an awesome tribute to Garrett as he represents all educators at the Midsummer Classic,” said Walnut High Principal Jeff Jordan. “Garrett is truly one of Walnut’s finest.”

Lim was treated as a VIP during the All-Star activities. He and his wife enjoyed a four-day trip to Minnesota, with all expenses paid.

“We were part of the pre-game parade, too,” Lim said. “It was overwhelming to see so many people lining the streets and cheering.”

They even stayed at the same hotel housing the baseball players. Lim met several in the elevators and lobby.

“I got to meet Cal Ripken at a special reception held for the teachers,” Lim said. The Walnut resident even had his photo taken with the Baltimore Orioles legend. He also met Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

All of which was great for a big baseball fan like Lim. A passion that he shares with his students at Walnut High.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ALL-STAR.

Caltrans posts closures on 60 pavement project

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close portions of SR-60 from the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to the Orange Freeway (SR-57) separation, as part of a pavement rehabilitation project.  Closures are as follows and subject to change.

Monday, July 14, through Friday, July 18

Eastbound SR-60

  • ·         10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • ·         11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane CLOSEDbetween I-605 & Azusa Avenue

Westbound SR-60

  • ·         11 p.m. to 5 a.m. – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • ·         10 p.m. to 4 a.m. – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 20

Eastbound SR-60

  • ·         10 p.m. to 8 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between I-605 & Azusa Avenue
  • ·         7 p.m. to 9 a.m.     – Seventh Avenue on-ramp CLOSED
  • ·         12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between Seventh Avenue & Hacienda Boulevard
  • ·         11 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound I-605 to eastbound SR-60 CLOSED

Westbound SR-60

  • ·         12 a.m. to 4 a.m.   – Up to three lanes between southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue
  • ·         10 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Fairway Drive and Old Brea Canyon Road on-ramps CLOSED
  • ·         12 a.m. to 8 a.m.   – HOV lane CLOSED between southbound SR-57 & Nogales Street
  • ·         11 p.m. to 10 a.m. – Connector from north- and southbound SR-57 to westbound SR-60 CLOSED
  • ·          Friday 11:59 p.m. to Saturday 5 a.m.  –FULL FREEWAY CLOSUREbetween southbound SR-57 & Azusa Avenue

Detours will be posted. New pavement will improve mobility and enhance safety for motorists.  Flatiron West Inc. is the contractor on this $121.5 million project which is expected to complete fall 2014.

Verizon Fi0S helps Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity in Walnut

 Volunteers from Verizon FiOS created a trench in Walnut home build.

Volunteers from Verizon FiOS created a trench in Walnut home build.

On Saturday, Verizon FiOS Southern California donated $2,500 to the Pomona Valley branch of Habitat for Humanity to help address the critical issue of essential, basic housing for U.S. Veterans and their families as part of the “Salute to Service” Veterans Build Program.

Local Verizon employees volunteered their time last year towards a home build in Walnut. This year, volunteers installed solar panels and retaining walls, created a trench for the underground pipe and cleared brush for future projects.

The FiOS SoCal Campaign supports local causes, sharing its success with the communities where its employees live and work. Verizon believes in making a positive impact on the communities it serves.

The Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity “Salute to Service” Veteran’s Build Program is dedicated to building new, sustainable homes for United States Veteran families in the Pomona Valley area.

To learn more about Verizon FiOS’ SoCal community involvement, visit www.FiOSSoCal.com.