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May 6, 2015

SPPD: Gang members targeted, 11 arrested by cadre of law enforcement

Dozens of houses were visited by a cadre of law enforcement personnel and 11 people arrested after a two-day series of probation-parole compliance checks specifically aimed at Santa Paula gang members and gang associates.

The Santa Paula Planning Commission will be considering a project on the western edge of the city that would place 79 single-family homes on a steep 35-acre parcel, a proposed development that at a February hearing brought out strong critics.

Santa Paula Police are still investigating a stabbing incident that involved a man and his dog that were attacked in the parking lot of an area church Thursday evening.

Recreation Park can now be called Reservation Park after a new program was implemented.

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On a 3-2 vote, (YES: Michelle Kolbeck and Kelsey Stewart, NO: Chris Wilson, Christina Urias and Diana Ponce-Gomez) board members have voted against allowing students from St. Augustine Academy to participate in Santa Paula High School (SPHS) athletics.

The Santa Paula Unified School District (SPUSD) Board has voted to purchase another property on Palm Court.

A teenager was cited and released and two firefighters transported for heat exhaustion resulting from a stubborn two-alarm fire Saturday in tinder-dry Wheeler Canyon.

It’s going to be the usual spectacular Giant Plant Sale but in a spectacular new location when the annual favorite event for gardeners moves to the former Ford dealership on Hallock Drive!

Although always an aggravation, a sheared off fire hydrant can be a tragedy in a drought.

It’s the final inspection for the city’s newest fire engine, equipment that has been on order for a year but is especially needed since the November 2014 Santa Clara Waste Water explosion when Santa Paula Fire Department lost an engine.

With the drought turning brush into tinder and Santa Ana winds blowing Santa Paula Fire was right on a small spot fire that broke out along Highway 126 Thursday morning.

Six people including a local woman were injured and Santa Paula Fire personnel called for mutual aid to a two-vehicle crash that occurred Thursday in Fillmore.

Nadine A. Vasquez , a student at Isbell Middle School, has been selected for the 2015 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.  She will perform as an Alto at Carnegie Hall in June 2015 with the Honors Junior Choir.  Participation in one of the three Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest rated middle school performers from across North America and select schools internationally.

The long, bumpy road to getting troublesome railroad street crossings fixed, an update on an upcoming financial examination, expanding residency requirements for police officers and whether to sell the city’s vacuum truck will be the major issues faced by the City Council at Monday’s meeting.

Jason Pierce of Santa Paula Chevrolet and sales rep Jamie Torres present a $1000 check to Eric A. Seiler for winning “Best of Show” at the Santa Paula Society of the Arts 78th Annual Art & Photography Exhibit held at Blanchard Community Library from March 10th through April 8th. Eric’s oil painting “The Way It Was” also took two other top spots, the Jury of Your Peers award and first place in People’s Choice. Photo by Bill Spicer.

The City of Santa Paula is putting mulch where its water was as it begins aggressive efforts to adhere to new strict state guidelines.

The inaugural Santa Paula Senior Center Rummage Sale at the Community Center Saturday made everyone happy, especially those that benefit from programs serving senior citizens.

Aurora Cantero has loving children and grandchildren and a neat, new home, but there is an ache in her heart that will never go away: exactly 13 months ago on March 15, 2014, Aurora’s daughter Ashley Moran was found dead in Obergon Park. 

One of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century, Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine, turned 60 on Sunday, a discovery that has saved millions of lives to the present day when the world is 99 percent free of the disease.

Members of Santa Paula Police Explorers Post #2350 were presented to the City Council at the April 6 meeting, a show of strength for the group that trains under the SPPD and serves the community.

The City Council approved a letter that had been pulled in the past from the revised Limoneira Co. development agreement that outlined the intended use of a public safety grant. But, the approval came over the objections of a councilwoman who questioned the lack of pay increases for police dispatchers and clerical workers in the grant.

Close to 100 students attended a recent two-day leadership conference at Santa Paula High School.

It’s almost time for RailFest 2015, an event that attracts thousands of visitors annually and takes place at Central Park in Fillmore with trains also departing from Santa Paula on the weekend of April 25 and 26 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. “Looking Toward the Future” is the theme of this year’s Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society’s (SCRVRHS) RailFest, co-sponsored by the Fillmore & Western Railway. 

Thousands of people hike Santa Paula Canyon each year, but not all of those hikers respect the trails, falls, and water pools by picking up their trash. On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, the Fillmore Explorer Post #2958 spent their spring break hiking up to the Santa Paula Punchbowls near Thomas Aquinas College, collecting bags of trash scattered throughout the canyon. 

Just before Spring Break, the Santa Paula High School auditorium was filled with friends and family as various school musical groups performed for the All District Spring Concert.

A resident of Rancho Santa Paula Mobile Home Park kicks butt — or rather litter — with his one-man crusade to defeat trash.

An acclaimed and prolific artist will be the guest Sunday of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts where Laura Wambsgans will show her prize-winning plein air oil techniques.

Back by popular demand the Santa Paula Historical Society is proud to announce the return of the Melody Hall Music Festival coming to Santa Paula on Saturday June 6th.  Held in the adjacent parking lot located next to the California Oil Museum at 1001 E. Main Street, this free event will showcase seven outstanding bands that will range from Rock & Roll to Big Band Jazz & Swing. 

An enthusiastic audience recently enjoyed a look at nearby Santa Rosa Island from the cozy confines of Blanchard Community Library’s Hardison Room. Dr. Cause Hanna, PhD introduced the crowd to the beauty, history and vitality of the windswept isle, engaging them in a learning experience and appreciation for this rich natural phenomenon located just off our southern coast.

Library Endowment Fund presents check

Public safety, fiscal stability/sustainability, infrastructure/utilities, economic development and transparency are the “Big Five” a wide variety of people have discussed with the consultant that will guide City Council and community goal setting.

America in Bloom (AIB) is always in action but there’s a new urgency in their projects as the date that judges for the national beautification competition will visit Santa Paula approaches.

It took almost exactly seven years but the mayor said the city finally got it right at Monday’s meeting where the City Council authorized issuing $72 million in bonds to buy the long-controversial wastewater treatment plant from the private entity that owns and operates it. 

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