Brandon Leon, 31 of Fillmore.
Brandon Leon, 31 of Fillmore.

Brandon Leon, 31 of Fillmore, will stand trial in connection with a fatal 2015 crash. He was arrested by the CHP on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and gross vehicular manslaughter.

Leon fled the scene of the accident at Old Telegraph and Seventh Street which caused the death of the Santa Paula passenger in the other vehicle, and injuries to the driver. The CHP record shows the car was westbound on Old Telegraph when Leon entered the intersection at 7th Street colliding with it.

Leon is also charged with leaving the scene of the accident and driving with a suspended license due to prior DUI
convictions. Records show that Leon “had two prior DUI-related convictions and had been sentenced for the second one just ten days before the fatal crash.”

 


 
Details of Corey’s achievements were received from Concordia University in August of 2015: “One year ago Cole was named the starting quarterback to open the 2014 season, earning Concordia Offensive Player of the Week honors in the opener at Minnesota Duluth, rushing for 177 yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts with a long of 33 and completed 12-25 for 130 yards with a long of 21 without committing a turnover. He completed 6-9 for 44 yards and rushed four times for 11 yards in week two at Northern State before leaving the game with a broken footwhich ended his season. The NCAA awarded Cole a medical redshirt.Prior to being named the starting quarterback in 2014, Cole earned NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week Honors was named CU Offensive Player of the Week and was ranked second in NSIC South in kick return average (30.6). Cole also tied an NCAA record with a 100-yard touchdown return. He is a 2011 graduate of Fillmore High School and is the son of Craig and Lynn Cole.”
Details of Corey’s achievements were received from Concordia University in August of 2015: “One year ago Cole was named the starting quarterback to open the 2014 season, earning Concordia Offensive Player of the Week honors in the opener at Minnesota Duluth, rushing for 177 yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts with a long of 33 and completed 12-25 for 130 yards with a long of 21 without committing a turnover. He completed 6-9 for 44 yards and rushed four times for 11 yards in week two at Northern State before leaving the game with a broken footwhich ended his season. The NCAA awarded Cole a medical redshirt.Prior to being named the starting quarterback in 2014, Cole earned NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week Honors was named CU Offensive Player of the Week and was ranked second in NSIC South in kick return average (30.6). Cole also tied an NCAA record with a 100-yard touchdown return. He is a 2011 graduate of Fillmore High School and is the son of Craig and Lynn Cole.”
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Corey Cole
Corey Cole

Submitted By Tom Ito, Fillmore High School Principal

"When we set out to find a new leader for our football program, we wanted someone who shared our values, who had an understanding and appreciation of the community, who showed a true commitment to the overall student-athlete and who believed Fillmore High School Football could return to its past prominence. We found all of that and more in Corey Cole and I know that he will be a perfect fit with the Fillmore Family” said Principal Tom Ito.

Cole, a Fillmore High School graduate, was the Frontier League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. He represented Fillmore High School as a quarterback in the Ventura County East-West Allstar Football Game. Corey attended Concordia University (St. Paul, Minnesota) on an athletic scholarship where he started as a quarterback and was voted team captain in 2015. It was during the 2014 and 2015 seasons that Cole suffered season ending injuries but in adversity he found a silver lining as a player-coach for Concordia University.

"I am truly honored and humbled to join the Fillmore Family," said Cole, "and I can't thank Mr. Ito enough for this incredible opportunity. Fillmore High School is a tremendous institution with a history of football success and I know the passion that so many have for the Flashes will help bring the community together to reach even greater heights. I am excited to get started."

"This is a great day for Fillmore High School Football and the beginning of a new chapter in our football program," said Ito “Corey is the right man at the right time to lead us forward and I am confident that his values are our values and that his teams and student-athletes will make Fillmore proud, on and off the field."

 


 
A known gang member sought on felony warrants eluded Sheriff’s search, Wednesday. K-9, helicopter, and ground search failed to capture the suspect after thorough efforts. At about 1:30 p.m. a deputy attempted to pull a vehicle over when the driver failed to stop. A short vehicle pursuit ended when the driver abandoned the car and fled on foot. He was sought in the 400 block of Central Avenue. The suspect was not found by 3:00 p.m. when the search was ended. Police know the identity of the suspect and a search will continue. The suspect has a gang affiliation.
A known gang member sought on felony warrants eluded Sheriff’s search, Wednesday. K-9, helicopter, and ground search failed to capture the suspect after thorough efforts. At about 1:30 p.m. a deputy attempted to pull a vehicle over when the driver failed to stop. A short vehicle pursuit ended when the driver abandoned the car and fled on foot. He was sought in the 400 block of Central Avenue. The suspect was not found by 3:00 p.m. when the search was ended. Police know the identity of the suspect and a search will continue. The suspect has a gang affiliation.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Parents or Guardians if you allow your child to walk to and from school on their own, please remember these tips:

• Walk with a friend when possible.

• Ask your parents or guardians to help you pick a safe route to school; one that avoids dangers.

• Stick to the route you picked with your parents or guardians. Don’t let friends talk you into shortcuts that are more dangerous.

• When you are near the street, don’t push, shove, or chase each other.

• Never accept rides from people not arranged by your parents or guardians.

• Talk to your parents or guardians and teacher about any bullying that may happen during your walk.

 


 
Photo of the Week "Hillside poppies..." by Bob Crum. Photo data: ISO 1250, 300mm, f/11, 1/400 sec.
Photo of the Week "Hillside poppies..." by Bob Crum. Photo data: ISO 1250, 300mm, f/11, 1/400 sec.
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Spring... and California poppies
Bob Crum
Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Photo by Bob Crum
Photo by Bob Crum
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Welcome Miss Vernal Equinox. You have finally returned. I missed you. As always, you put.. ahem... a 'spring' in my step. Though spring usually brings warmer weather, it may be wishful thinking. Old man winter often has to have a last blast. Have at it Winter. Eventually you will have to leave. Be nice and leave sooner than later.
Spring is an exciting time of the year for wildlife and wildflower photographers. Regarding wildlife, always a thrill to capture a yawing bear coming out of hibernation from under a Pole Creek boulder. Be sure to use a long focal-length lens. Bear breath is ferocious.

Equally thrilling is the bloom of wildflowers. I can't resist photoing wildflowers... from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the Carrizo Plain National Monument and every wildflower bloom in between. It's addictive! Always a delight to see large vistas of California poppies... the state flower. Visualize a sea of gorgeous orange flowers... eye candy... swaying in the spring breeze.

Come spring the hills at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve are sometimes covered by a blanket of orange. There are eight miles of trails through gentle rolling hills and on a good year, poppies galore.

As of March 17th, the Reserve reports: "Poppies have started blooming on the east half of the park. They suddenly exploded into color this week, and can even be seen from across the valley! Due to the late rains, we won't be getting a solid carpet of poppies across the park but the bloom is already better than we were expecting. It will likely be getting a little better over the next couple of weeks, with the peak spread out over late March/early April.” Check the Reserve website for updates."

If you have a poppy itch to scratch, I'll tell y'all a secret on the condition you don't tell anyone because I hate crowds. Take I-5 north to CA-138 E. In previous good years, poppies were prolific in fields on both sides of 138 beginning about 3-5 miles east of Neenach. Best fields of poppies between 190th Street W and 170th Street W as you travel east. Take 170th Street south to Lancaster Road and then east to the Poppy Reserve. In a good year, you'll see fields full of poppies to the south of Lancaster Road.

I haven't been out that way yet this year but planning to shoot the L.A. Air Show this weekend at the Wm. Fox Airfield, Lancaster, weather permitting. If I go, I'll have a report on this year's poppy bloom next week.

In the meantime, why not photograph the patches of poppies off Goodenough road? (see Photo of the Week) Use a polarizing filter for more color pop but remember, a polarizing filter works best at a 45° angle to the sun. Also, because the poppies are on a west facing hill, consider a photo shoot during the golden hour... one hour before sundown. However, because poppies close up under windy conditions and chilly temperatures so they may not be open to photograph during the golden hour. Everything has to be just right for the plan to come together. Might have to wait for a day of calm winds and shoot during the warmer part of the day. Persistence pays dividends. Just sayin'.

Happy photoing.

Send comments, suggestions or questions to bob@fillmoregazette.com

 


 
Fillmore High School Basketball Team was recognized at last nights Fillmore City Council meeting for promoting sportsmanship to the youth in our community “as a Youth Basketball Referee for the 2016/2017 Season.”
Fillmore High School Basketball Team was recognized at last nights Fillmore City Council meeting for promoting sportsmanship to the youth in our community “as a Youth Basketball Referee for the 2016/2017 Season.”
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A public hearing was held at Tuesday's regular meeting concerning transportation needs and priorities as part of a service evaluation currently underway. A community survey is open to all who live or work in the Heritage Valley (Santa Clara River Valley). It can be accessed online at www.HVCommunitySurvey.com. Responses are requested by March 17, 2017.

FILLMORE FLASHES basketball team was recognized by the Council for good sportsmanship and as an example to the youth of our community.

A RESOLUTION determining that modification #1 to tentative Tract Map 5520 for Heritage Valley Parks Specific Plan is a minor modification which can be processed administratively, was approved unanimously.

EL DORADO GETS BACK DOOR ACCESS
The Hearthstone construction company's future housing development will soon provide El Dorado mobile home park its long awaited roadway at the rear of the park. This will greatly facilitate the safe entry and exit from the park, avoiding existing exiting dangers from Highway 126.

CHEVRON letter. The Council approved, by a vote of 2-3, to send a letter approving of the partial release from the Chevron super fund site list. The complete history and reason for this move is to be found in today's Gazette on page 2, by Chevron representative Leslie Klinchuch. Chevron was praised for its continuous efforts to complete the super fund cleanup. Ground water cleanup continues and will take many more years to complete. Out of an abundance of caution, the site can never be used for hospital or residential occupation, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue its oversight. This action will free the city of any historical stigma of chemical dangers and provide valuable space for industrial use.

BLOCKED PARKING SPACES. The problem of blocked parking spaces in housing areas was recognized by Council. A serious problem with the household blocking of parking spaces by such things as basketball stands and cones is recognized. One councilmember stated that 3 parking spaces in front of his home, both sides of the street, were constantly blocked by neighbors. Police Captain Dave Wareham agreed blocking of public parking was a problem. The council will concentrate on public notices with possible future fines after warning offending members.

 


 
Fillmore Volunteer’s enjoying their lunch as the celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Day hosted by the Fillmore Historical Museum.
Fillmore Volunteer’s enjoying their lunch as the celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Day hosted by the Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Submitted By Martha Gentry, Executive Director, Fillmore Historical Museum

Monday, March 13, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Fillmore Historical Museum hosted a luncheon celebrating the museum docents whose donations of their time and expertise make possible the operations and activities of the museum. Docents lead tours, do research, provide programs for organizations in the community and perform a wide variety of activities in their efforts to bring to the community an appreciation of the history of Fillmore, Piru, Sespe and Bardsdale. In 2016 these docents donated 2000 hours of their time to the museum. Also invited were individuals who have an interest in becoming a museum docent. Besides lunch the attendees heard an explanation of museum activities and were able to view the Hinckley House, Depot and Bunkhouse.

 

On March 10, 2017, at approximately 2:45 P.M., Mr. Anthony A. Becerra of Fillmore was driving a 2002, Tan, Chevrolet Avalanche in the driveway of his residence near State Route 126 (East Telegraph Road) and Powell Road. Rochelle Beserra, Mr. Beserra's 3 year old daughter, his daughter's mother and other family member were at the residence. Sadly, Rochelle Beserra was able to avoid adult supervision and wonder into the driveway. Mr. Becerra failed to observe his daughter ahead of his vehicle and collided with her. The parents picked up Rochelle Beserra, placed her in the vehicle and began driving toward Fillmore. Just east of Fillmore Mr. Becerra's vehicle became disabled. The parents were able to contact a relative in the area who responded and then transported all three of them to the Fillmore City Fire Department, Station 91. They arrived at the Fillmore Fire Department a few minutes after 3:00 P.M. and 3 year old Rochelle Besera was in respiratory and cardiac arrest (non-breathing and pulseless). Fire department personnel immediately initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Rochelle Beserra was transported by AMR ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center. Hospital staff worked feverishly in an attempt to resuscitate Rochelle Beserra, but were unsuccessful and she died.

Alcohol and/or drugs are not suspected to be a factor in this collision.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) located and impounded the vehicle Mr. Becerra was driving as evidence.

The collision remains under investigation by the CHP Moorpark Area office. Anyone with information they believe might be helpful is encouraged to call the CHP Moorpark Area office at (805) 553-0800 or the CHP's anonymous "tip line" at (800) TELL CHP.

 
Saturday, at 8:00 p.m. a vehicle crashed into the barrier on A Street across from Fillmore Middle School. The driver’s identity has not been available. No passengers or injuries were reported. No cause for the accident has been reported. The vehicle crossed the northbound lane and landed across the southbound lane.
Saturday, at 8:00 p.m. a vehicle crashed into the barrier on A Street across from Fillmore Middle School. The driver’s identity has not been available. No passengers or injuries were reported. No cause for the accident has been reported. The vehicle crossed the northbound lane and landed across the southbound lane.
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Ventura County’s Regional Food Bank Chosen by Federal Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Caseload of 3,500 Local Seniors

Upcoming Senior Nutrition Program Distributions In Fillmore:
1) Wednesday March 22nd from 9am-11am at the Fillmore Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Ave. Fillmore, CA 93015.
2) Tuesday April 4th from 9am-11am at the Fillmore Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Ave. Fillmore, CA 93015.

FOOD Share of Ventura County is one of just four California food banks recently selected in a competitive bid process to administer a USDA-funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for seniors 60 years of age and older. FOOD Share anticipates enrolling a monthly caseload of 3,500 seniors in the CSFP program and serving them through various distribution points across the county.

One in 12 seniors in Ventura County is hungry, a staggering statistic that is consistent with national numbers detailing the challenges faced by the nation’s fastest growing demographic group. Seven million seniors age 60 and older are served by the Feeding America network each year (Feeding America Senior Hunger Facts). 63% of this population reports choosing between medical care and food, 60% must sacrifice basic utilities or go hungry, and 58% forego transportation in order to eat (Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After 50, 2013). Perhaps even more poignant is that 77% buy cheap, unhealthy food in an attempt to meet their basic caloric needs (Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After 50, 2013).

FOOD Share’s administration of the CSFP nutrition program will address these specific senior challenges on a local level by providing “Senior Kits” on a once-monthly basis to qualifying participants age 60 and older whose income is equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty level, or $15,444 per year. Food items included in the Senior Kits are specifically selected to fill the most common nutritional gaps experienced by hungry seniors. Working in collaboration with the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, the regional food bank currently has five CSFP distribution sites in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Fillmore, and Thousand Oaks. Additional distribution sites across the county are expected in the coming months.

Wholesome, quality nutrients are essential for overall health and wellness for people of every age. Conversely, a lack of access to the foods that provide these crucial vitamins and minerals can lead to the development of health issues and/or the exacerbation of existing conditions. Such adverse side-effects of hunger are even more detrimental for men and women over the age of 60. Feeding America’s study, Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans reports that hungry seniors are “60% more likely to experience depression; 53% more likely to report a heart attack; 52% more likely to develop asthma, and 40% more likely to experience congestive heart failure.”

“Seniors have always been a high priority for FOOD Share because we understand the significant challenges they face accessing the quality food sources and nutrition they need to live healthy lives,” said Susan Haverland, FOOD Share’s Vice President of Programs and Services. “The CSFP program will allow us to expand our outreach to this cherished population and to continue serving them with dignity.”

Seniors can enroll in the program during a distribution event and receive food immediately. Participation in the program requires a simple application, verification of age and residence using a photo ID and utility or other bill, and self-certification of income (no additional documentation required). Seniors who receive food from FOOD Share’s CSFP program are still eligible for CalFresh food stamp benefits. For more information on upcoming distribution dates and locations, seniors can contact their local senior center or visit www.foodshare.com.