Fire near Agua Dulce burns 1,400 acres; evacuations lifted


AGUA DULCE – A fire that broke out early Monday afternoon in the Agua Dulce area quickly scorched about 1,400 acres of brush, prompting evacuations and road closures and causing a minor injury to one firefighter.

Dubbed the “Stone Fire,” the blaze was reported around 12:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, near the 35100 block of Anthony Road and went to a third alarm by 1 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

By early Monday evening, the fire had scorched about 1,400 acres and was 30 per cent contained, though evacuations that had affected nine homes were lifted, a fire department inspector said.

The injured firefighter was taken to a hospital, officials said.

No other injuries were reported and no structures were damaged.

There was no word on what sparked the flames.

Mandatory evacuations had been in effect for Anthony, Hierba and Bass Rock roads, as well as Beauty Vista Lanes, all north of Sierra Highway and Anthony Road was closed north of Sierra Highway, but all evacuations were lifted about 8 p.m. according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A soft closure remained in effect on Anthony Road north of Sierra Highway, but all other area roads were reopened, officials said..

About 350 personnel were on scene at one point, and several helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft, including four air tankers, were deployed. The flames were burning in the medium brush in the sparsely populated, rural area.

Animal control officials were dispatched to the area to assist with evacuations of horses and other animals.

The county Department of Animal Care and Control advised that horses and other large animals could be brought to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds at West Avenue H in Lancaster and dogs, cats and other small pets to the Castaic Animal Care Center at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road or the Palmdale Animal Care Center at 38550 Sierra Highway.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures were cooling as evening approached.

By about 9 p.m., it was 75 degrees in nearby Acton with relative humidity of 46 per cent, and west winds that had been gusting near 20 mph had dropped to single digits.

Soon after the fire broke out, the temperature was closer to 100 degrees with relative humidity of 11 per cent.

Printing glitch might complicate counting of ballots


LOS ANGELES – The number of provisional ballots still set to be counted might be higher than usual, based on a printing glitch that left nearly 120,000 voters off of Los Angeles Country rolls.

A spokesman for the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office said an estimate of the total provisional ballots was expected to be released late Wednesday afternoon and the root cause of the error was still being actively investigated. No additional information was available to explain the source or nature of the glitch.

According to the county, the printing issue affected the voter rolls at 1,530 of the 4,357 precinct locations. A total of 118,522 voters’ names were omitted from the lists. That represents roughly 2 percent of registered voters.

That left some voters — including actor Henry Winkler — surprised to find their names missing when they showed up to vote Tuesday.

Winkler, best known for his long-running starring role as The Fonz on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days,” posted to Twitter that “My name was left off the polling registry” and then later posted a photo of his shirt with an “I Voted” sticker on it, telling followers, “Your turn!!!”

Dean Logan, the county’s registrar-recorder/county clerk, called the problem a “random issue with the print job that ran the paper rosters,” but said the glitch would not prevent anyone from voting. Affected voters were given provisional ballots at the polling place to ensure their votes would be tabulated.

“We are aware and tracking this issue,” Logan wrote on his Twitter page in response to questions from voters. “We apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. Provisional ballots are in place to ensure voters have the chance to vote on Election Day.”

He assured voters that provisional ballots will be tabulated and included in the election results once registration status and eligibility are confirmed.

Technically, the provisional ballots could push Los Angeles County candidates who narrowly failed to pick up a majority into winning territory, but that’s extremely unlikely as it would require voters left off county rolls to turn out in much higher proportion that the overall population — where turnout was 18.5 percent — and vote almost exclusively in favor of Sheriff Jim McDonnell and Assessor Jeffrey Prang.

Whether other close races in various districts might be affected was not immediately clear.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis issued a statement Tuesday urging affected voters to obtain and fill out a provisional ballot.

“Regardless of what our hard-working poll workers say, if you believe you are registered to vote and your name does not appear on the roster at your polling place, you have the absolute right to a provisional ballot,” Solis said. “Please do not leave any polling place without voting through either a regular ballot or by requesting a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted in the election returns once your registration is confirmed.”

The first ballot counting update from the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office is expected Friday, while final certification is tentatively scheduled for June 29.

LA County sheriff’s race headed for runoff


LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell fell short of the majority vote needed for him to avoid a November runoff in his bid for re-election, and he will face sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva in the general election.

McDonnell held a wide lead throughout the night as ballots from Tuesday’s primary were tabulated, but he failed to reach the 50 percent threshold needed to win re-election outright.

Unlike most of the primary races on the ballot, all of the county races are non-partisan.

The race for sheriff took shape as a referendum on McDonnell’s commitment to reform and the concerns of rank-and-file deputies.

The sheriff pointed to successes in a department that everyone agrees he took over in a time of crisis and, like all three candidates, seeks to strike a balance between attracting those who want him to be tough on crime and voters more concerned with reports of deputy brutality in the jails and on the streets.

“While we have worked hard for reform and to strengthen community relationships, we have also succeeded in bringing crime down,” McDonnell’s campaign website states. “We’ve reduced the serious use of force inside the jails, created a series of systems to build greater accountability and established the Public Data Sharing Project to increase transparency. We built the Human Trafficking Bureau to aggressively address a growing regional and national problem that victimizes some of the most vulnerable in our society — our children and young people.”

Villanueva, who has three decades of experience with the department, took the stance of a reformer, saying he challenged executive misconduct during Lee Baca’s administration and is willing to take tough positions.

“Alex plans to rebuild the LASD from the ground up, reforming the organization around the principles of community policing and ethical standards of conduct,” according to his website. “Alex’s experience within the LASD, the military, and as an educator, all point to a transformational leader who can reform the LASD, raise morale, inspire people to aim higher, and improve the relationship between the community and the LASD.”

Villanueva earned the influential endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, along with many smaller neighbourhood party organizations. The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, which is in the midst of contract negotiations, declined to make an endorsement, after failing to get enough polling participation from its ranks to make a definitive choice. Union concerns include understaffing and what it says are flaws in the disciplinary system that have hurt morale and recruiting, but it is not clear that those issues will move most voters.

McDonnell was endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, District Attorney Jackie Lacey, state and county police chiefs associations, as well as the California Peace Officers Association and the Los Angeles Times, though the newspaper’s editorial board faulted McDonnell for failing to more wholeheartedly embrace innovative reforms implemented elsewhere.

Assessor Jeffrey Prang, meanwhile, also fell short of the total he needed to stave off a runoff against one of three deputy assessors who vied to replace him. He will square off in November with John Loew.

Prang, like McDonnell, took over a county department from a leader tainted by scandal, in this case, John Noguez, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly accepting campaign donations in exchange for lowering property assessments.

The county assessor’s office is responsible for evaluating more than 2.6 million real estate and business properties valued at more than $1.4 trillion and managing an annual budget of nearly $200 million and about 1,400 employees.

In addition to taking responsibility for restoring trust in the department, Prang said he has moved to modernize technology and make more information accessible online.

Prang says he will continue to replace and upgrade legacy systems and make sure assessments are fair.

Loew changed his middle name before the 2014 primary for the same post so he could appear on that ballot and this one as John “Lower Taxes” Loew.

All of Prang’s opponents stressed their experience as appraisers, a skill they say is necessary to run the department, while Prang counters that his work in city and county government, as both an elected official and administrator, better suits the job.

Prang is endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, all five members of the county Board of Supervisors, the California Association of Realtors, Service Employees International Union Local 721 and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Appreciation Celebration at Agape Community Church

Pastor George & Donna Todd

The community is cordially invited to join us for a special day of appreciation as we honour

Pastor Bishop George Todd, Jr., and First Lady Rev. Donna Todd for their tireless and loving 29 years of leadership and dedicated service to Agape Community Church and the surrounding communities.

The celebration is scheduled for Sunday, June 10, 2018.   Guest speaker for the 8:00 a.mWorship Service will be Pastor Edward Benson of Shining Light Worship Center in Lancaster. Special guest speaker for the 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Celebration Worship Services will be Youth Pastor Royal Todd of Cable Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Come out and celebrate this joyous occasion with us.

Agape Community Church is located at 1722 East Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA  93535.

For more information call 661-949-1912.

You Work Hard to Raise a Healthy Family: Let WIC Help

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You take care of your family; let WIC take care of you!
WIC is a nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children.
You may qualify for WIC if you:

You may provide for WIC if you;

  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or just had a baby:
  • Have a child under age 5, and
  • Have a low to medium income, and/or
  • Recieve Medi-cal, Calworker (TANF or Cal, CalFresh (Food Stamp)
  • Lives in California

WIC provides:

  • Nutrition Tips and health information
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Check for healthy foods (Like Fruits and Vegetables)
  • Referral to Medical providers and community services

Enroll Early!  Call today to see if you qualify and to make an appointment:

WIC Program Antelope Valley

Q Brothers Bar B Que Catering

John McFadden


John McFadden 2

Q Brothers Bar B Cue Catering

It’s what we Do. All We Do And Good At What We Do
We Cater:

Corporate Picnic
Birthday Parties
Grand Opening
Family Reunions

Block Parties
Office Parties

Call me: John (661) 510-7611
On-Location Cooking Is Available
Big or Small, We Do Them All

We Cook:
Hot Links
Rib Tips

All Dinners Come With Baked Beans and Potato Salad