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Merdies Hayes

Staff Writer

323-905-1300 Extension: 1331



Recent Stories

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Lancaster city officials at odds with CPUC

Water bills much too high

Lancaster city officials say they are fed up with unfair utility rates. With the drought serving as a reminder to conserve as much water as possible, city officials last week expressed displeasure and dismay toward a decision by the state Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) which recommended that water rates be raised for some Lancaster residents who claim they already pay more than the prevailing market value for water.

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Local funding, Common Core among latest strategies for secondary schools

Minority enrollment is new ‘majority’

Although Labor Day has traditionally marked the end of summer, students in the Palmdale School District headed back to class this week. Long gone are the days of the three-month vacation, and many public school campuses have opened this week for the new year.

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Recent thunderstorms bring little relief to parched state

A series of thunderstorms that hit Southern California last weekend delivered torrents of rain and caused flash floods, but did practically nothing to ease the worsening drought. The soil throughout the state is simply too hard and dry to absorb the rainfall which washed away down gullies and ravines almost as most as fast as it hit the ground.

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AV YouthBuild latest grant guides young people to success

Reviving vocational education

Antelope Valley YouthBuild, a Palmdale-based leadership development program that offers vocational training and helps 16 to 24 year olds earn their high school diploma, received a grant of $6,500 from SunPower Foundation this month. The foundation is the not-for-profit arm of SunPower Corp., a world leader in solar technology and energy services.

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‘Get On Up’ captures life, spirit of James Brown

Chadwick Boseman embodies a legend

Well into the storyline of “Get On Up,” Imagine Entertainment’s latest Hollywood biopic, James Brown in 1968 ponders the dilemma of either meeting with President Lyndon Johnson at the White House, or with Black nationalist H. Rap Brown in New York City. Such attention to Brown’s social influence during the turbulent decade is part of the appeal of director Tate Taylor’s film. It is an engrossing, surprising and thoroughly rewarding film for fans of “The Godfather of Soul.” By the way, L.B.J. won out.

July driest month in state history

Pasadena: ‘How are the roses?’

It’s official. California is now under the most severe level of drought since the federal government began issuing regular drought reports in the late 1990s. The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday reported that July was the driest month ever with 58 percent of the state experiencing an “exceptional drought,” the harshest finding based on a five-level scale.

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Lancaster lauded for community service efforts

Cited by League of California Cities

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris is an advocate of building a strong community by means of regular input and volunteer participation from residents. This is taking place daily in Lancaster as the city council commended recently three volunteers from the AmeriCorp and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) programs for their efforts to “lead, inspire and connect” with one another.

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Supervisors postpone vote on increasing services to mentally ill

Children focus of UCLA study

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week postponed voting until Sept. 6 on a motion authored by Mark Ridley-Thomas (Second District) to allocate $20 million to fund diversion of persons with a mental illness away from jail and into community treatment programs.

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Palmdale, Lancaster reach out to find homes for shelter pets

‘Four-footed friends’ can make good companions

Pets may be the great equalizer of mankind. It seems no matter where you live nor what culture or station in life, people naturally gravitate toward a loving companion. Sometimes they’ll have four legs, other times two wings or maybe they live in water.

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Drought exposes new social divide

Wealthy have ‘more green’

The ongoing drought has revealed a startling economic division within California—residents who live closer to the shoreline reportedly have greener grounds than do persons who reside in the eastern regions. It seems these coastal residents are using much more water—at least eight percent more—to keep their lawns green, while others residing inland or near the Nevada and Arizona borders may have to contend with more brown landscapes.



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