The California Highway Patrol, VC Sheriff’s units, ambulance service and the Sheriff’s helicopter responded to a hit and run accident Saturday. An unidentified female driving the impacted car was unresponsive and taken by helicopter to a local hospital. No information was available on a third vehicle involved after the car struck the back of a tractor-trailer.
The California Highway Patrol, VC Sheriff’s units, ambulance service and the Sheriff’s helicopter responded to a hit and run accident Saturday. An unidentified female driving the impacted car was unresponsive and taken by helicopter to a local hospital. No information was available on a third vehicle involved after the car struck the back of a tractor-trailer.
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Police asking anyone with information to contact them

On April 19, 2014, at about 12:34 PM, Fillmore Patrol units responded to a call of a vehicle collision into the Dollar Tree store in the City of Fillmore. When they arrived, they discovered that the driver had driven his vehicle through the front plate glass window of the business and into the store. Fortunately, no one inside the store was injured as a result of this collision and the driver did not sustain any serious injuries. Drugs and/or alcohol were not a contributing factor in this collision.

There were several witnesses to this collision. Witnesses that were not contacted by deputies at the scene are encouraged to call the Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233.

Nature of Incident: Vehicle Collision into Building
Report Number: 14-8913
Location: 745 Ventura Street, Unit A, Fillmore, CA 93015
Date & Time: April 19, 2014 / 12:34 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Patrol
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(P) Male Driver Fillmore 57
Prepared by: Sergeant Rob Yoos
Media Release Date: April 19, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Rob Yoos
805 524-2235
Robert.Yoos@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Randy Watkins

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

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Dr. Adrian E. Palazuelos
Dr. Adrian E. Palazuelos

On April 15, 2014, the Fillmore Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve Dr.
Adrian E. Palazuelos as Superintendent.

Dr. Palazuelos is currently the Associate Superintendent of School Leadership and Support in the Natomas Unified School District located in Sacramento. Board of Education President, Lucy Rangel stated, "The Board, and the community of Fillmore, are fortunate to be able to turn to such a high caliber individual to lead the District. Through our interview and selection process the Board learned about the superior quality and character of Dr.
Palazuelos. In the process of reaching a determination on who would be the next Superintendent, the Board noted how impressed we were not only with his demonstrated achievements in the Natomas Unified School District but also with his vision for creating a high performing school district. We expect great achievements by our students under the capable leadership of Dr. Palazuelos."

Dr. Palazuelos' educational experience includes working in Ventura, Fresno, and Sacramento counties.
He began his career as a bilingual classroom teacher and has held administrative positions as Middle School Assistant Principal, Elementary Principal, Middle School Principal, High School Principal, and currently as the Associate Superintendent of School Leadership and Support in the Natomas Unified School District.

While working as an integral member of the administrative team in the Natomas Unified School District, Dr.
Palazuelos oversaw the implementation of several initiatives that have had a profound impact on the students of Natomas Unified. Under the direction of the Board of Education, Dr. Palazuelos led initiatives at the secondary level to provide increased access for all students to Advanced Placement and the development of an authorized International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Additionally, he led the district implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which encompassed staff professional development in the areas of technology, and the development of common core aligned curriculum alignment guides and the introduction of a new computer adaptive student assessment.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Fillmore Unified School District and look forward to working for a Board of Education whose collective commitment is aligned to creating a high performing school district," stated Dr. Palazuelos. "I am excited to lead a team of certificated, classified, and management staff that can continue to build upon the strong community support for Fillmore schools," he added.

Dr. Palazuelos is a Ventura County native and is bilingual in Spanish. He is married and has three school age daughters. A "Meet the Superintendent" event will be scheduled in the near future, giving all of the stakeholders of Fillmore Unified the opportunity to meet Dr. Palazuelos and to discuss Fillmore schools.

 


 

On Saturday, April 19th, at approximately 4:05p.m., a solo vehicle collision occurred in the 5000 block of Piru Canyon Road southbound, 2 miles north of Lime Canyon in an unincorporated area of Ventura County. A vehicle reportedly entered the northbound lane while traveling southbound at a high rate of speed in what appeared to be an attempt to pass a slower moving vehicle. This action caused the driver of the 1998 Mercury SUV to lose control as his vehicle left the roadway. The car over-turned down the steep 250 foot descending dirt embankment, east facing. The driver was subsequently ejected from his vehicle and sustained major injuries. He was pronounced deceased by Venture count Fire Department personnel at the scene. The driver has been identified as Russell Schwartz, age 50, of Fillmore. Schwartz was an employee of a company that is contracted for services to the lake and campground. Piru Canyon Road was closed form the Piru Lake main gate to just south of the collision scene for approximately two hours during the on-scene collision investigation. Traffic on Piru Canyon Road was affected. The collision remains under investigation by Officer S. Allen of the Moorpark Area California Highway Patrol Command Station.

 


 

Middle School Art Department, Art Books and Art Supplies, $1,350 Doris Nichols; Middle School Pride in America Club Pride in America Programs, $1,500 Laurie Merrill; High School Art Show, Annual Show Expenses, $1,000 Rosalind Mitzenmacher; High School Drama Club, Drama Equipment, Lights, Cameras etc, $5,000 Josh Overton & Kelyn Waterman; High School Band (Band Boosters), $2,000 (plus $9,000 was given in October 2013 for new brass tubas), Greg Godfrey; Sespe Players, Future productions for Fillmore, $5,000 Janet Foy & Chris Villegas; City of Fillmore, Park benches for 2 Rivers Park Tot land, $2,580 Kevin McSweeny; Fillmore Volunteer Firefighters, New recliners for training roon, $7,338 Rigo Landeros (Fire Chief); Boys & Girls Club, Art projects and outgoing expenses, $5,000 Buddy Escoto; Veterans Memorial Building, New Drapes for the Memorial Building, $20,000 Wm. Morris & Annette Cardona; Friends of the Library, Equipment for the new library, $20,000 Patti Walker & Cathy Krushell; Senior Center, Art projects & outgoing expense $20,000 Donna Voelker; Fillmore Historical Society, preservation of 100 years of Ebell memorabilia & Fillmore history on going, $20,000 Martha Gentry & Nancy Bowlin. Presentation made by President Mary Ford & Treasurer Fay Swanson. After 100 years the Fillmore Ebell Club is closing its doors. The last meeting is May 27.

 

[CORRECTION: A correction has been made to this article after its initial publication. The article was corrected on April 23, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. The original article incorrectly stated "Robles coached the girls’ recreational basketball team and founded a youth girl basketball team in town." We apologize for this error.]

There were just a few items on the April 22, 2014 Fillmore City Council Meeting agenda, but one will impact many of the towns’ residents; that being the change in local public transportation. Besides the Council and staff there were about 10 in attendance for the hour long meeting. Other agenda items were approval of the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission appointments along with Weed Abatement and forming an Ad Hoc Committee for the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society (SCRVRHS).

The proposed Heritage Valley Transit Cooperative Agreement presented by City Manager David W. Rowlands was approved unanimously by the Council. The proposal replaces services provided by FATCO and VISTA and is a result of discussions involving the County of Ventura, Santa Paula and Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) creating a Cooperative Agreement for transit service in the Heritage Valley. The change will provide an integrated fixed route and dial-a-ride services in both Santa Paula and Fillmore with an intercity service along Highway 126.

The new Transit Committee CONTINUED »

 
Pictured are Mario’s parents and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.
Pictured are Mario’s parents and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.
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Successful local businessman and community leader, Mario de la Piedra announced his candidacy for State Assembly District 44 this week at a meeting of the Ventura County Republican Party. Mario promises to end the "business as usual" attitude in Sacramento and focus on job creation, protecting our farmers, cutting government spending, and restoring local control.

"I know about job creation, because I sign both sides of the check," said Mario. "California is still pushing job creators out of the state with failed policies. My priority, if elected is to cultivate a renewed sense of entrepreneurship in California. Helping businesses start and grow in California is the only way we are going to bring our state back."

"Make no mistake, those in Sacramento are failing our job creators and the people who depend on those jobs," continued Mario. "They are failing taxpayers, failing farmers, failing small businesses, failing veterans, failing the jobless, and failing future generations."

With agricultural roots going back many generations, Mario's grandfather, Aurelio Larios Guzman, was a farm labor contractor and owner of SAG Farm Labor, a Fillmore-based company with 100employeesthat specializes in contracting farm laborers and refueling and repairing farm equipment. He was tragically killed in a job-related equipment accident in 2001. Mario's parents are Mario & Virginia de la Piedra. Mario's mother, Virginia, is a current member of the Fillmore Unified Board of Education.

"Mario and his family's agricultural history goes back for generations in Ventura County," said Steve Barnard, President, Mission Produce. "He has been an active member of Young Farmer's and Ranchers and knows first-hand the challenges our farming and rancher communities face including water and regulatory concerns. He will make a great Assemblyman."

Mario received his insurance license at the age of nineteen and is a co-founder and owner of Western Yosemite Insurance Services, a full service insurance agency specializing in agribusiness with clients from Morro Bayto Pauma Valley. He is involved in many community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Ventura and the Ventura County Young Farmers and Ranchers. He directed the AG Day Golf Tournament to raise money for local scholarships. A graduate of San Diego State University, Mario resides in Camarillo.

 
Fillmore Fire Department responded with Ventura County Fire, Santa Paula Fire and AMR Ambulance to a traffic collision on Hwy 126 & Pyle Rd. Three passages in a mini have were taken to local Hospitals with minor to severe injuries. No other detail about the accident were available. Photo courtesy Fillmore Fire Department.
Fillmore Fire Department responded with Ventura County Fire, Santa Paula Fire and AMR Ambulance to a traffic collision on Hwy 126 & Pyle Rd. Three passages in a mini have were taken to local Hospitals with minor to severe injuries. No other detail about the accident were available. Photo courtesy Fillmore Fire Department.
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Speakers line up to defend Karen Ashim and denounce Board Member Prado
Speakers line up to defend Karen Ashim and denounce Board Member Prado
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Board Member Prado
Board Member Prado
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The Migrant Education Speech/Spelling & Debate Winners of 2014 were presented by Diana Vides and Coach Marisela Gomez. The winners of Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous English Speech were; Jimena Cortez 1st Place 5th Grade, Anahi Pascual 1st Place 6th Grade, Giselle Perez 2nd Place 6th Grade, Aimee Ramos 3rd Place 6th Grade, Diana Perez 3rd Place 7th Grade, Yulissa Fregoso 1st Place 10th Grade, Jessica Cortez 1st Place 12th Grade. Montserrat Infante won 1st Place 9th Grade for Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous Spanish Speech. Four first place winners from Fillmore will be going to the Speech & Debate State Tournament in Santa Maria representing Ventura County on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May.
The Migrant Education Speech/Spelling & Debate Winners of 2014 were presented by Diana Vides and Coach Marisela Gomez. The winners of Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous English Speech were; Jimena Cortez 1st Place 5th Grade, Anahi Pascual 1st Place 6th Grade, Giselle Perez 2nd Place 6th Grade, Aimee Ramos 3rd Place 6th Grade, Diana Perez 3rd Place 7th Grade, Yulissa Fregoso 1st Place 10th Grade, Jessica Cortez 1st Place 12th Grade. Montserrat Infante won 1st Place 9th Grade for Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous Spanish Speech. Four first place winners from Fillmore will be going to the Speech & Debate State Tournament in Santa Maria representing Ventura County on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May.
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[editor's note: Board Member Prado's most recent Letter to the Editor entitled "Mary Ford, you have no integrity" may be found in the April 17th "Letters" section of of this website.]

A new superintendent was announced at the April 15, 2014 Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board Meeting which was held in the auditorium. With close to 100 in attendance, it was a gamut of high and low emotions as seven Public Comment speakers scolded the Board; the Board later responded to statements and accusations.

The meeting began with recognition of the Migrant Speech & Debate Students and their coaches. Also on the agenda was the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Test Preparation and a profile of the potential non-graduating senior. Items that were not on the agenda, but part of disclosure were the resignation of six FUSD employees: Superintendent Dr. Alan Nishino 6-30-2014, Assistant Superintendent Michael Johnson 6-30-2014, Fillmore High School (FHS) Principal Russom Mesfun 6-30-2014, Director of Special Projects Gary Mayeda 6-30-2014, Athletic Director Matthew Suttle 6-12-2014 and IA Special Ed. Michelle Alvarez 4-14-2014.


Video of the April 15 meeting

The Board introduced Dr. Adrian E. Palazuelos as the new Superintendent for the 2014-2015 school year, who then gave a short speech in both English and Spanish. Palazuelos, who grew up in Oxnard, has worked in Ventura, Fresno and Sacramento counties, having worked most recently as the Associate Superintendent of School Leadership and Support in the Notomas Unified School District located in Sacramento. His employment is a three year contract at $165,000 per year with a $7,500 paid moving expense. The contract also includes the following stipends: an annual $1,500 technology, monthly $500 automobile and $150 phone.

The Migrant Education Speech/Spelling & Debate Winners of 2014 were presented by Diana Vides and Coach Marisela Gomez. The winners of Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous English Speech were; Jimena Cortez 1st Place 5th Grade, Anahi Pascual 1st Place 6th Grade, Giselle Perez 2nd Place 6th Grade, Aimee Ramos 3rd Place 6th Grade, Diana Perez 3rd Place 7th Grade, Yulissa Fregoso 1st Place 10th Grade, Jessica Cortez 1st Place 12th Grade. Montserrat Infante won 1st Place 9th Grade for Combined Prepared and Extemporaneous Spanish Speech. Four first place winners from Fillmore will be going to the Speech & Debate State Tournament in Santa Maria representing Ventura County on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May.

During Public Comments Sherri Wright was CONTINUED »

 
Fillmore Fire Department assisted Ventura County Fire last Wednesday, with a fire in the 4400 block of Santa Paula Ojai Road, near Mupu School. The fire apparently started near a small trailer, pictured above. The trailer was destroyed, two other vehicles were engulfed, and a large Pine tree was consumed. The fire was reported at 1:40 p.m., and knocked down by 2 p.m. One man received moderate to severe burns and was transported to a hospital. Photo courtesy Sebastian Ramirez.
Fillmore Fire Department assisted Ventura County Fire last Wednesday, with a fire in the 4400 block of Santa Paula Ojai Road, near Mupu School. The fire apparently started near a small trailer, pictured above. The trailer was destroyed, two other vehicles were engulfed, and a large Pine tree was consumed. The fire was reported at 1:40 p.m., and knocked down by 2 p.m. One man received moderate to severe burns and was transported to a hospital. Photo courtesy Sebastian Ramirez.
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