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April 1, 2015

Coolest event in VC: Santa Paula Cruise Nite to launch 17th season Friday

The coolest event in Ventura County, Santa Paula’s Cruise Nite, is revving up for its 17th season Friday with hundreds of sweet, pre-1975 cars and even more friends strolling historic East Main Street enjoying live music, restaurants, shopping and the vibe of the historic Downtown.

“Be careful, be smart and be safe,” with an emphasis on smart was the motto for Active Shooter Training held in recent weeks at Santa Paula High School.

Detectives from the western Ventura County Narcotics Task Force said Wednesday they have concluded an investigation into local sales of “Spice” — also known as synthetic marijuana — after targeting more than 32 smoke shops throughout the county. Nine shops sold “Spice” to undercover officers including two in Santa Paula.

The Governing Board of the Santa Paula Unified School District has recognized two employees. (Above) Susan Turner was honored as the Educator of the Month for March. She’s a Special Education teacher at Grace Thille School. Elisa Robledo, also from Grace Thille was recognized as the Classified Employee of the Month. Grace Thille Principal Mary Fennell said the school staff wanted to recognize Turner, who was hired three years ago. Fennell said, “She taught the staff how wonderful and rewarding it can be to integrate Special Education students.” Of Robledo, Fennell said, “She’s a perfect fit for Grace Thille.” Above are Superintendent Alfonso Gamino, Principal Mary Fennell, Susan Turner and Board President Michelle Kolbeck

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There were scores of artists and hundreds of art lovers at Saturday’s awards reception for the 78th Annual SP Art & Photography Show where “The Way It Was” was the right way, bringing the top $1,000 Best of Show prize to artist Eric A. Seiler.

The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce likes to say it’s “in business for business” and they helped prove it when they honored several of their own at the annual awards luncheon.

Although the crowd was predominately women men found plenty to enjoy at the LUNAFEST with short films of hope, renewal, happiness, anger and frustration. And whether animation, drama, comedy or documentary the films all had one thing in common: they were for, by and about women.

It was when law enforcement agencies throughout the county began to receive complaints from patrol officers and officers assigned to local schools of incidents where “Spice” was involved that they realized what a growing menace it is. 

Alex Flores is known by many titles, from Agriculture Academy coordinator and Future Farmers of America advisor to Dr. Alex for his touch in working with ill animals.

With development on the horizon, tax revenues up and the looming deal to purchase the wastewater treatment plant and slash the interest rate borne by cost-weary residents Mayor John Procter said the State of the City is definitely looking up.

Described as “an inspiration as a person, businesswoman and trendsetter,” Judy Phelps is used to high-flying awards and the latest for the Santa Paula Airport business-owner included a bravo: Phelps was honored as one of the recipients of the 2015 BRAVO Awards.

In a new lawsuit, two boys say they were sexually abused by a now-convicted Santa Paula priest after the cleric had admitted to LA church officials that he had molested other children.

Entertainers of all ilks are sought for the 24-hour round-the-clock American Cancer Society Relay for Life, one of Santa Paula’s most successful fundraisers being held April 25 and 26 at Isbell Middle School.

City Council and staff had some items of interest they wanted to share at the March 16 meeting, remarks ranging from funding for a public works project to a potential art project a councilwoman asked be on a future agenda.

A discussion on the Limoneira Co. grant to the city that must be matched to boost public safety spun off into a discussion on support staff such as dispatchers and others that help those with their boots on the ground stay grounded.

Pictured are Cheryl Leatherman, President of the Santa Paula Ebell Club, Doug Kadansky, Santa Paula High School Jazz Band Director and Alice McMahan, program chair for Ebell Club, and the Jazz Band in the background. The Jazz Band of Santa Paula High School presented a very enjoyable concert to the women of the Santa Paula Ebell Club at a recent meeting held at Wesley Hall of the First United Methodist Church. The Santa Paula Ebell Women’s Club have a project to financially assist the music programs of the Santa Paula High School and Isbell School. A fundraiser is held each year with proceeds divided between the schools. Garden Market prepared the delicious luncheon for a recent fundraiser by the Women’s Club. The Club presented $500 to the Jazz Band .

The long-shelved issue of the city’s aging accounting system and whether to upgrade or replace same was addressed by the City Council at the March 16, meeting where they asked that all options be explored.

A high-speed pursuit Saturday that started in Palmdale ended in Santa Paula when the suspect behind the wheel of a stolen car took out a fire hydrant and was captured amid the gusher.

Six people were displaced and one man injured by a house fire in a residential section in northwest Santa Paula Friday afternoon, but the blaze was quickly responded to by nearby firefighters.

A Superior Court judge Tuesday sentenced a woman to 40 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a young Santa Paula woman, an aspiring photographer, a homicide that occurred midday in a busy park.

The Santa Paula Unified School District has hired its first Public Information Officer, Letitia Austin.

City and county government officials from throughout Ventura County and a land-use consultant recently joined the board of directors of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. The new members include Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, Camarillo Vice Mayor Mike Morgan, Santa Paula Mayor John Procter, Ojai Councilmember William Weirick, Thousand Oaks Mayor Al Adam and Sandy Smith of Sespe Consulting, representing the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA). Each new member brings a wealth of business and leadership experience to the board, which includes representatives from private-sector businesses, the county and each of its 10 cities. This ensures every sector and community has a voice in EDC-VC’s growing list of programs and services.

The City Council agreed to fund a study on cost recovery for non-developmental city services at the March 16 meeting after hearing that the city is on the losing end of the fiscal stick.

A Santa Paula Police Sergeant had to be transported to the hospital after he was injured in the aftermath of a fight that broke out between two St. Patrick’s Day celebrants at a local pub.

The Governing Board of the Santa Paula Unified School District has heard a proposal from a consulting firm on projected school enrollments and possible school boundary realignment.

One speaker questioned a councilman’s ethics while another urged more police enforcement for illegally parked cars and that pet owners fix their animals, diverse comments made at the City Council meeting.

 Six people were displaced and one man injured by a house fire in a residential section in northwest Santa Paula Friday afternoon, but the blaze was quickly responded to by nearby firefighters.

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