On Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26th at 11:50am, Fillmore Fire and Sheriff’s responded to a house fire in the 400 block of Market Street. Once on scene, it was evident flames and smoke had already consumed much of the home, causing major damage. Crews worked quickly and were able to extinguish the flames before the gusty winds picked up. Origin of the fire is under investigation.
On Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26th at 11:50am, Fillmore Fire and Sheriff’s responded to a house fire in the 400 block of Market Street. Once on scene, it was evident flames and smoke had already consumed much of the home, causing major damage. Crews worked quickly and were able to extinguish the flames before the gusty winds picked up. Origin of the fire is under investigation.
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Ventura County has been served well by Sheriff Bill Ayub for the past three years. He handled the dual challenge of the devastating Woolsey Fire and skillfully dealt with the horrible loss of life during the Borderline incident. We residents of the eastern part of the county have enjoyed a very low crime rate due to Bill’s anticipation of potential problem areas. He leads a truly first rate team, from Undersheriff Monica McGrath to the newest deputy.

As a resident of Fillmore I get a close look at police activity every day due to the location of our Sub Station and my regular travels around town. Sheriff Bill Ayub is at the helm, successfully serving as our keeper of the peace, making Fillmore the safest city in Ventura County.

For these reasons, I join former Sheriff Larry Carpenter in wholeheartedly endorsing Bill Ayub for a second term as Sheriff of Ventura County.

 


 
Ari Larson, Former City Council Member
Ari Larson, Former City Council Member

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office reported that Fillmore Council Member Ari Larson died from coronary artery disease, and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Larson had also suffered a previous heart attack she was not aware of, and a lung tumor.

It is also reported that Larson avoided doctor visits and that no family members knew of her serious condition. The report stated Larson was not under the care of a physician and took no medication. "She was not known to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or use illicit drugs."

The autopsy report showed "severe narrowing of the three main coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis." The report also stated, "Larson contracted COVID-19 in January and was vaccinated in April." (Quotes, Ventura County Star)

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On November 22, 2021 at about 2:27 a.m., deputies were dispatched to a report of a suspicious vehicle near Carnation Street and Buttercup Street in Fillmore. Deputies located the vehicle and attempted to contact its occupants. The vehicle failed to yield, and a short pursuit occurred. The suspicious vehicle collided with a block wall and the occupants fled on foot. The occupants were not located, and the abandoned vehicle was later determined to be a stolen flatbed truck from the Sylmar area.

The bed of the truck contained numerous items that included a blue Graco bag with an Ultra sander and Dewalt charger inside, potted plants, two rolls of black roofing material, several pieces of 2 x 4 lumber, black rubber boots, Whirlpool microwave oven trim kit, brown construction work belt, two sledgehammers, red Porter Cable air compressor, red gas can, plugin industrial light, one Red Eagle crawfishing kit, black Titan toolbox, and one yellow Karcher pressure washer. These items are currently being retained at the Fillmore Police Station.

Several Fillmore residents have already come forward and identified some of the property not listed above as belonging to them after discovering they were victims of theft. The Fillmore Police Department is asking residents who may have information about these crimes or if it is believed any property listed above belongs to them to call the below listed telephone numbers.

The Fillmore Police Department encourages citizens to immediately report suspicious people and vehicles, and to promptly report any crime they come across by calling 911. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank members of the public for their ongoing support and help in providing information to assist our agency in solving crimes. We are better at what we do because of our community partnerships.

Join us in the fight on crime by following us on Twitter @VENTURASHERIFF, Facebook, Instagram @ VCSHERIFF, and with Nixle by texting your zip code to 888777 to receive local law enforcement and public safety alerts and advisories.

Report Number: 21-156064
Location: Various locations throughout Fillmore
Prepared by: Detective Pewsey
Approved by: Captain Garo Kuredjian

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).

 


 
Fillmore’s Michael Camilo Torres who finished in 16th place in the California Southern Section Division 4 State Cross Championships in Fresno this past weekend. Photo courtesy coach Kim Tafoya.
Fillmore’s Michael Camilo Torres who finished in 16th place in the California Southern Section Division 4 State Cross Championships in Fresno this past weekend. Photo courtesy coach Kim Tafoya.
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On Saturday, Michael Camilo Torres, joined 211 of top distance athletes on the starting line at the California Southern Section Division 4 State Cross Championships. Qualifying runners in this division, toed the line at the renowned Woodward Park course in Fresno.

In a highly competitive meet, Camilo ran in about 20th place through the mile marker in about a 4:48 mile split. At the two mile he had moved into 12th place in the high 10:30’s. Camilo says he tried to move into the top ten, but was unable to move into that group. He finished in 16th place running his second best time on this course in 15:53.0.

Camilo has had a tremendous season. At many of the major meets, he has finished among the leaders. We are proud to have been part of his journey. Thank you for putting us on the map this season Camilo, we are honored. Thank you to all those who have supported us during the season, parents, family, staff, and others. Looking forward to track season.

 


 
Back in June 2021, Fillmore’s Rite Aid closed due to severe flooding. Pressurized water rose through the floor, according to Fillmore Fire Chief Keith Gurrola, possibly compromising the foundation. The rising water was 4 to 5 inches below the electrical outlets and was monitored by Fillmore Fire. Since then, the store pharmacy has been open, with the store itself blocked off.
Back in June 2021, Fillmore’s Rite Aid closed due to severe flooding. Pressurized water rose through the floor, according to Fillmore Fire Chief Keith Gurrola, possibly compromising the foundation. The rising water was 4 to 5 inches below the electrical outlets and was monitored by Fillmore Fire. Since then, the store pharmacy has been open, with the store itself blocked off.
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The well known F on hill in Fillmore in 1986, which went up back in May 1936. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The well known F on hill in Fillmore in 1986, which went up back in May 1936. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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A clipping of Frank Morales in 1980 with Fillmore's F in background.
A clipping of Frank Morales in 1980 with Fillmore's F in background.
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Georgia & Frank Morales
Georgia & Frank Morales
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The F now lights up at night.
The F now lights up at night.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Recently museum staff was sorting files and found the following story about the Fillmore High School “F” up on the hill. The following story was written by Dorothy Lynch for the Fillmore Herald January 10, 1980. We hope you will enjoy it.

One of Fillmore’s best kept secrets has to be the origin of the big white “F” on the hill east of town. Everyone we asked was eager to tell us how the letter is limed annually. But had a soul known of its beginnings. Until a call to Joel Schwartz ended the search. “Frank Morales built it,” his daughter told us.

And so he did.

Mr. Morales, who recently retired from the Fillmore High School custodial department, tells it this way: “The letter went up on May 10, 1936. My cousin, Leonard Riesgo, a friend, Mike Sanchez, and myself were chatting. We knew Santa Paula had letters. It would be nice if we could make an “F” for Fillmore. So we started looking. At first we thought we would make it where the star is now. But that was quite a ways to climb. Then we decided to put where a cross was then. We thought we could see all the valley from there. We took some tools and went there around noon that day and started working. Then went back the next day to finish. It was a pretty good-sized letter. The funny thing is, the city didn’t say anything. They never said anything at all.”

In searching through newspaper copy for May and June 1936, there is indeed not one word regarding the new letter on the hill.

The letter, however, has not always gone unnoticed. Edith Jarrett told us that the Fillmore High School Alumni Association had hunted for information several years ago. Records at the Museum were gone through. People got out old pictures. And finally, Mr. Morales himself offered a $10 reward to whoever could find the builder and the date. Nobody could and the prize was never claimed.

“I finally told Charlie Mozley that I did it. It’s nice to look at it. You can see it from Santa Paula and, on a clear day, if you stand by the letter, you can see the ocean,” Mr. Morales said.

The letter was originally a just a bare spot and burned off at least once in a fire.

Morales, Riesgo and Sanchez vowed to always keep the letter neat, and that they did. One year, however, it snowed on the hill and as the snow melted the deeper snow on the “F” remained, leaving a beautiful sight. It is believed this started the tradition of having the students lime the letter to keep the look of the snow.

Mr. C. J. Herrill, Fillmore High School student advisor, told us, “The work is done the first Saturday in May each year by the freshman class. They lime the “F” and have a class party afterwards. It takes 50 sacks of lime, which are paid for out of the district budget for educational expenses. It takes about two hours of cleaning and liming. This is not a required subject, it’s extracurricular. The “F” is about 50 yards long and 30 yards wide at its widest point. Work is done when the growth is finished and the rainy season is over. We figure it probably won’t grow much until they do it again next May.” He keeps a record of the time it takes from the first hoe to the last liming, and they are back on Highway 126. Then they take a look at it and deduct points if it’s not a good job.

“It’s a tradition and the students like to do as good or better job than the class before them,” said Mr. Herrill.

Harry Bigger, principal from 1955 to 1967, told us that Mr. Herrill’s students developed a unique method of painlessly and hurriedly finishing the lime job. Each student would hold a sack of lime on his or her back and stand at the top of the hill. Then someone would slit the bottom of the bag and the student would run toward the bottom of the letter neatly depositing the lime in the chosen path.

Rumors regarding the “F” on the hill are many. The most common story has it that the lime was not put on the hill during the war so as not to attract attention.

Access to the letter is either by climbing or by driving (as the freshman class does) through Texaco back roads, which is private property.

Considering the fact that all residents of Fillmore live under the “gaze” of the great letter “F” on our hill, and are guided homeward by its presence, we for one are pleased to know its origins and thank Frank Morales, Leonard Riesgo and Mike Sanchez for their contribution to Fillmore history.

Long may it stand.

 


 
Congratulations to Michael Camilo Torres as he advances to the CIF Cross Country State Championships after placing 6th at CIF SS Finals. Photo courtesy Fillmore High School Facebook page.
Congratulations to Michael Camilo Torres as he advances to the CIF Cross Country State Championships after placing 6th at CIF SS Finals. Photo courtesy Fillmore High School Facebook page.

On Saturday, November 20th, the Fillmore boys varsity cross country team returned to Walnut, California, one of 16 teams to compete on the fabled Mt. San Antonio College cross country course. These are the best Division 4 teams in the Southern Section. At this stage, every team’s goal is to be one of the top 7 teams to advance to the State Finals. A tough task indeed.

On an overcast day, Camilo ran in the front pack with the goal of qualifying for the State Championship meet in Fresno. Even though he was not 100% today, he managed to will himself to a 6th place finish, thereby earning a spot on the starting line in Fresno. Camilo earned a medal and covered the course in 15:34.3. Following Camilo was teammate Kobe Lizarraga 96th in 17:48.5, Joshua Estrada 100th in 18:01.3, Nicholas Hurtado 101st in 18:01.4, Eduardo Vigil 105th in 18:08.7, Diego Estrada 108th in 18:26.3, and Angel Garcia 111th in 18:58.6.

As expected, the team competition was very tough. Fillmore was unable to qualify as a team. In the team competition, Fillmore finished in 16th place at the CIF Southern Section Division 4 Cross Country Finals.

So ends another fine season for the Fillmore Cross Country team. But the season continues for Camilo, who will run next week in Woodward Park in Fresno at the California State Championships. His race will start at 9:00 a.m.

 
On Wednesday November 18th, 2021, at 4:56pm, the Fillmore Police Department, City Fire and AMR paramedic were dispatched to a reported traffic collision located at 1154 W. Ventura Street. Arriving fire crews reported two vehicles with all occupants out, no ambulance transport was made. Photo courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Wednesday November 18th, 2021, at 4:56pm, the Fillmore Police Department, City Fire and AMR paramedic were dispatched to a reported traffic collision located at 1154 W. Ventura Street. Arriving fire crews reported two vehicles with all occupants out, no ambulance transport was made. Photo courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Don’t forget to come out for the Annual Fillmore Lions Club Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 4th at 10am.
Don’t forget to come out for the Annual Fillmore Lions Club Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 4th at 10am.
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