Merdies Hayes

Staff Writer

323-905-1300 Extension: 1331

Recent Stories

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Community initiative may reduce gangs, help ‘redefine’ Black youth

New pathways to progress, not prison

“We have decided to stop complaining and to get up and do something about the problem.” That’s Ansar “Stan” Muhammad commenting about the nearly-unrelenting stories about “troubled,” “at-risk,” “wayward” and “angry” Black youth here and nationwide who have come to represent a so-called “lost” generation that American society believes may be pre-destined for unemployment, despair and ultimately prison, if adults fail to recognize and act on the many social maladies that plague them.

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Exposition Park

From dinosaurs to space shuttle: a walk through time

Exposition Park has for 100 years been a destination point for millions of Angelenos and visitors to Los Angeles. Whether you’re a sports fan, music fan, history bug, sci-fi enthusiast or even a naturalist, Exposition Park likely offers something of interest to all visitors.

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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.

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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.

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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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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