Fontana teachers go to court to get counselors brought back

By Jim Steinberg Staff Writer
Posted: 11/05/2011 09:23:21 PM PDT

FONTANA – The teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the school district seeking to reinstate laid-off counselors on the basis of seniority.

The legal action, filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court, contends that the Fontana Unified School District’s practices violate the California Education Code, a charge the district denies.

Pat Mazzulli, president of the Fontana Teachers Association, said the district created new job categories after it laid off 68 counselors at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
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Defense says man didn’t commit Grand Terrace robberies

SAN BERNARDINO – The family and lawyer of a Lancaster man who is accused of robbing a Grand Terrace liquor store three times in 2009 say he isn’t the armed man who authorities see in surveillance videos.

Derik Carl Garcia appeared Friday before Judge Harold Wilson in San Bernardino Superior Court, where lawyers set a jury trial for Garcia in December. He returns to court Nov. 23.

Garcia, 30, is charged with robbing Smart Time food store at gunpoint in August and twice in December 2009. Sheriff’s detectives have surveillance videos that show a Hispanic man robbing the store on Barton Road, near Canal Street, according to the defense.
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Program to offer discount for old, unpaid traffic tickets

SAN BERNARDINO – Have an old, unpaid traffic ticket that you just haven’t taken care of? Now is your chance.

Starting in January, the Superior Court of San Bernardino County will be offering a 50-percent discount on some old, unpaid traffic tickets.

It’s a limited time “amnesty program” being offered in all 58 counties statewide. Court officials estimate more than 6 million cases across the state could qualify.

“This is a win-win,” Ron Overholt, interim administrative director of the courts, said in a press release last week announcing the program.
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Two Vagos motorcycle club members seek lower bail

SAN BERNARDINO – Four local members of the Vagos motorcycle club, who were arrested earlier this month in a raid across Southern California, appeared before a Superior Court judge Tuesday.

Two of the men, Thomas Henry Gibson and Andrew Eloy Lozano, sought bail reviews by Judge Michael Dest in San Bernardino Superior Court to have their bail reduced.

Lozano’s lawyer Mark McDonald, who substituted-in to represent Gibson, 60, of San Bernardino, told the court that Gibson is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

But based on his client’s charges of possession of marijuana for sale and participation in a criminal street gang, McDonald argued that $50,000-100,000 bail “is more appropriate.”
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Court culls mountains, burn areas from jury pool in Old Fire case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Superior Court judge has ruled that residents from the local mountains and northern portions of San Bernardino and Highland will not be among potential jurors in the upcoming trial for suspected Old Fire arsonist Rickie Lee Fowler.

In discussions Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court over a defense motion to exclude jurors from those areas, Judge Michael A. Smith acknowledged that residents in those areas may be “particularly more sensitive” to fire issues.

Lawyers grappled with the idea during court appearance for Fowler where discussions occurred about how best to exclude residents from the pool of potential jurors who may been evacuated, impacted or even lost a home during the devastating wildfire.
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