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OW Staff Writer

Stories by OW Staff

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‘Global Youth Service Day’ at Marie Kerr Park this Saturday

The City of Palmdale continues its “Season of Service” program this Saturday, April 19 with a “Global Youth Service Day” clean up at Marie Kerr Park, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd. as part of the city’s participation in the “National Day of Service” in recognition Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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LPAC prepares for Jukebox Saturday Night

Gala and grand auction will provide funding for arts education

The Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC) Foundation will host Jukebox Saturday Night, its fourth annual gala and grand auction Saturday, June 7, at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the gala, sponsored by Gene Wheeler Farms Inc., will go toward the foundation’s mission of providing art programming and education to the Antelope Valley.

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Gang member sentenced to 106 years in prison for Lancaster assault

A gang member was sentenced Wednesday to 106 years to life in prison for attacking his girlfriend and holding her and her brother at gunpoint in a Lancaster house nearly two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

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Annual California Poppy Festival set for April 26-27 in Lancaster

Two days of music, art, food and fun for all ages

On April 26-27, the 23rd Annual California Poppy Festival will deliver two days of music, art, food and fun with “incredible energy and beautiful weather” at Lancaster City Park, 43011 N. 10th Street West, Lancaster. The festival will feature performers, events and exhibits spanning 35 acres, while offering loads of entertainment and excitement for the more than 40,000 attendees anticipated this year. Residents are encouraged to come together with family, friends and visitors for this annual celebration of the community and the vibrant state flower.

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BeX Grill to offer fundraising chances via Easter Champagne Brunch

Churches, nonprofits encouraged to participate

BeX Grill, 706 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, is offering a unique opportunity for churches and other nonprofit organizations through its annual Easter Champagne Brunch. This year, nonprofits will have the opportunity to transform traditional Easter Brunch into a fundraiser for their organizations. When patrons bring in a flyer from a participating organization, BeX will donate ten percent of their checks to that respective organization.

City announces construction of solar generation project

May meet mandates for renewable power and greenhouse gas reduction

The city of Palmdale has announced the construction of a 976-kilowatt DC solar generation project that will help the city meet California mandates for renewable power generation and greenhouse gas reduction. Scheduled for completion this summer, the solar generation project is expected to eliminate 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data for the region.

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‘Springfest’ tomorrow in Palmdale

The popular Children’s Spring Fest & Egg Hunt will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palmdale Amphitheater. It is free and open to kids ages two through 12.

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Birotte nominated to federal bench

Andre Birotte Jr. has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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Leon T. Garr celebrates his 100th birthday

Dr. Leon T. Garr recently celebrated his 100th birthday and received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Bible Believers Christian College & Seminary for his strong commitment to community, scholarship, and service. Pictured from left are Dr. George Underwood, Dr. Vera Milton, Dr. Matthew Smith, Dr. Ray Ross Sr., Willie Dye, Dr. Steven Davis and Leon T. Garr seated

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April is Austism Awareness Month

At last week’s city council meeting, during a presentation by Councilmember Sandra Johnson, the city of Lancaster announced that it will observe Autism Awareness Month this April.

Lancaster bank robbery suspect arrested

On Tuesday, April 1, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Major Crimes Bureau, executed a search warrant on the residence of suspected bank robber Walter Compton, a 50 year-old resident of Palmdale.

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Greyhound Package Express announces partnership with United We Ship

Greyhound Package Express (GPX), Greyhound’s expedited shipping service, recently announced its new partnership with United We Ship LLC, a Los Angeles-based, single-source shipping and logistics provider. Through this partnership, customers can schedule and track shipments directly from the company’s website and receive same-day courier service in numerous locations throughout Southern California, all while saving an average of 70 percent over other major shippers.

Charles Drew University receives accreditation with commendation

Accreditation period extended for six years

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) this week announced that the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) awarded Accreditation with Commendation to the university’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) program. As a result, the university’s renewed ACCME accreditation period has been extended from four years to a total of six years and runs through November 30, 2019.

Domestic violence exhibit aims to bring hope to survivors

Touring presentation on display at Callie Rose Literary Arts Cafe

Nationally, 15.5 million U.S. children live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year. Each year, one in 10 American teenagers suffers physical violence at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend, and many others are sexually or emotionally abused. Dating violence can inflict long-lasting pain, putting survivors at increased risk of substance abuse, depression, poor academic performance, and experiencing further violence from a partner.

‘My Figueroa’ project hears from local stakeholders

The My Figueroa project may break ground before the end of the year. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee heard from staff and the public about the most practical ways to include along the Figueroa Corridor a stretch of protected bicycle lanes as well as various improvements to make travel between downtown and South L.A. safer and more efficient.

Millions of Californians will see smaller electricity bills this month

Climate Credit boosts energy efficiency

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Air Resources Board this week announced that millions of California households will see a credit averaging $35 on their April electricity bills thanks to a state program to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California consumers can save even more money by investing the bill savings in energy efficient home upgrades, including more efficient lights and appliances.

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UNCF surprises deserving student with scholarship on the ‘Queen Latifah Show’

Ashley Booth receives $30,000

UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, delivered an overwhelming surprise to Ashley Booth, a deserving student at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. As part of the 35th annual UNCF “An Evening of Stars” fundraising show, UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax arranged for the first of three $10,000 checks to be awarded to the freshman, who plans to become a veterinarian.

Less money from food stamps leaves residents hurting

Many still eligible for WIC food checks

Many Los Angeles County residents are hurting, not able to purchase as much food with their CalFresh (food stamps) cards as they were before, because the dollar value has been reduced.

‘Mama’s Fabric’ exhibit wraps at Palmdale Playhouse this weekend

Last chance to view is this Sunday

Art lovers have one more week to view “Mama’s Fabric: Weaving America Together,” an art exhibit on display at the Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th Street East in Palmdale.

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Palmdale City Councilmember Laura Bettencourt steps down

Frederick Thompson may be appointed to the vacant seat

Frederick Thompson may be appointed to the vacant seat

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TV judge and ‘Scandal’ actor have run ins with the law

An actor on the hit TV show "Scandal" was arrested Wenesday on a felony complaint charging him with one count of felony battery with serious bodily injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

Local organizations team up to meet Obamacare deadline

Community and health organizations work together to make sure Angelenos sign up in time

Eight different organizations have come together to help South L.A. residents sign up for health insurance through the Covered California insurance exchange as well as Medi-Cal, county programs and others. The churches, community health centers, labor unions, and community-based organizations will hold a health fair and health insurance enrollment event on the campus of the historic First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles on Saturday, March 29 at 2270 S. Harvard Blvd., near Adams and Western.

Foster agencies receive sex traffic prevention training

More than 50 percent of the children in Los Angeles County who become victims of sex trafficking are in the child welfare system. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors took a step toward closing the training gap for foster parents and foster family agencies to spot signs of when a child is being trafficked.

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The impact of raising the minimum wage on women

Ensuring a robust tipped minimum wage

“Most people who would get a raise if we raise the minimum wage are not teenagers on their first job—their average age is 35. A majority of lower-wage jobs are held by women. These Americans are working full-time, often supporting families, and if the minimum wage had kept pace with our economy’s productivity, they’d already be earning well over $10 an hour today. Instead, it’s stuck at $7.25. Every time Congress refuses to raise it, it loses value because as the cost of living goes higher, minimum wage stays the same.”

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Judy Belk named president and CEO of California Wellness Foundation

First African American woman to hold the position

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Crystal Stairs closing the Nickerson Gardens SAGE Children’s Center

Program has provided high-quality childcare services for 20 years

After 20 years of providing high-quality child care services, Crystal Stairs will close the Nickerson Gardens SAGE Children’s Center, effective June 6, 2014.

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‘Hair’ comes to LPAC this Sunday

The popular 1960s musical Hair will be performed on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC), 750 W. Lancaster Blvd.

Palmdale hosts free emergency preparedness presentation

Palmdale’s neighborhood services department will host a free emergency preparedness presentation on Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 38300 Sierra Hwy, Suite B.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital to host Community Health Fair

Event will provide free health screenings

The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, will host a free Community Health Fair tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center, located at 18792 Soledad Canyon Road.

‘Fahrenheit 451’ comes to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center

Aquila Theatre produces show tonight

With its skill at creating innovative and modern productions of great works of literature, New York’s “classical trained, modernly hip” Aquila Theatre brings new life to Ray Bradbury’s visionary parable of a society gone awry, “Fahrenheit 451,” to the Lancaster Performing Arts Center tonight at 8 p.m.

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SAVES seeks community partners in 17th Annual Feinstein Food Challenge

Program will run through March and April

The city of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) food and shelter program is seeking individuals, groups, churches, organizations and schools to participate in the 17th Annual Feinstein Challenge which will provide matching funds to SAVES.

Housing Authority partners with Veterans Affairs

City will work to provide homes for our nation’s heroes

The Lancaster Housing Authority (LHA) this week announced a partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to offer affordable housing and home loans to veterans.

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Jenesse’s Karen Earl nominated for Von Furstenberg award

Karen Earl, chief executive officer of the Jenesse Center Inc. in Los Angeles, is one of four nominees for the Diane Von Furstenberg “People’s Voice Award.” Earl joins Marlene Sanchez, executive director of the Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco; Rachel Lloyd, founder and CEO of Girl’s Educational and Mentoring Services in New York City, and Veronica Scott, founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan in Detroit, Mich.

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Nonprofit Financial Conference to be held at El Camino College

On Friday, March 21, Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairman Jerome E. Horton and the California Association of Nonprofits will host a free “Nonprofit Financial Conference - Building Financial Capacity for Change” to provide nonprofit organizations with information about millions of dollars in tax credits, refunds, and business loan assistance. Attendees will learn about traditional and nontraditional capital and minimizing the burden of taxation, plus have the opportunity to meet their elected representatives who make decisions that affect small businesses.

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Women’s Empowerment Conference celebrates the ‘Tree of Life’

Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford, founder of The Company International hosted the third annual Women’s Empowerment Conference March 6-8, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 200 S. Pine Ave., in Long Beach.

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There’s the rub

With massage therapy growing in popularity among African-American practitioners and consumers, some fear that changes in state certification could invite trouble back into the industry.

Massage therapy has become so essential to our idea of wellness that certified massage therapist is now one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States, with the U.S. Department of Labor reporting that it is expected to grow 26 percent by 2020.

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KB Home’s ‘Double ZeroHouse’ is a model of water and energy efficiency

Home features net-zero energy usage and zero freshwater usage for irrigation

KB Home estimates that the Double ZeroHouse 2.0 at Dawn Creek can conserve 150,000 gallons of water each year when compared to a typical resale home and landscaping, a reduction of approximately 70 percent. In addition, the ZeroHouse is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes, potentially yielding an electric bill of $0.

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Seahawks’ DeShawn Shead gets day named in his honor

nFirst Palmdale resident to win a Super Bowl

The Palmdale City Council honored Highland High School graduate DeShawn Shead, a member of the 2014 Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks football team, at its March 5 meeting, presenting him with a proclamation that declared March 6 as “DeShawn Shead Day” in Palmdale.

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Residents invited to Earth Arbor Day “cArt aRt” competition

Decorate recycling bins for the chance to win cash prizes

Community members are invited to use their imagination and creative flair to transform an everyday curbside recycling cart into a work of art for the city’s cArt aRt competition, which promotes reusing and recycling household items. Residents, families, school groups, clubs, teams, church groups and other organizations are encouraged to participate in the competition, which is open now through Monday, March 24.

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Hometown Heroes Banner Program accepting applications through March 14

Local military will be featured on The BLVD

The city of Lancaster is asking residents to help celebrate local military heroes by nominating them to be featured on banners which will be prominently displayed along The BLVD in 2014/2015, showcasing the community’s appreciation of their tireless efforts on behalf of our country.

Commemorative Air Force will offer ride alongs

From March 18-23, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron's red-tailed Mustang, named Tuskegee Airmen, will offer a once-in-a-lifetime backseat ride in the rare P-51C fighter airplane at the Torrance Airport and at General William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster.

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Palmdale robotics team wins ‘Rookie All Star Award’

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy (TPAA) robotics team was the top first-year team at the regional competition in Grand Terrace last week, and is now headed for next month’s world championships in St. Louis.

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Senators Wright and Calderon take leave of absence

One awaits sentencing; one awaits trial By OW Staff A trio of Republican state senators failed in their recent effort to oust Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright, who was convicted last month of living

A trio of Republican state senators failed in their recent effort to oust Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright, who was convicted last month of living outside the district he was elected to represent.

Councilmember Parks’ motion solidifies fracking ban in Los Angeles

Councilmember Bernard C. Parks’ motion that asks the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department to report back on utilizing existing city laws to regulate fracking was passed in council Wednesday. The motion backs the fracking moratorium ordinance that was approved in council last week and allows the city to effectively enforce the ban.

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Palmdale to host “Gabriel’s House” ribbon cutting tomorrow

The city of Palmdale, in partnership with The Art Branch, is inviting the public to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for “Gabriel’s House,” located at 38533 4th St. East in Palmdale, on Saturday, March 1.

Buck McKeon blasts new DOD budget

Cutbacks mean ‘fight one, hold one’

Retiring Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R- 25th District) on Monday blasted the new defense department budget proposed by Secretary Chuck Hagel as trying to “...solve our financial problems on the backs of our military—and that can’t be done.”

Walmart helps African Americans pursue higher education, job placement

Company gives $1.75 million in grants to three leading nonprofits

Walmart furthers its commitment to provide greater access to opportunities across 20 U.S. communities with the announcement of $1.75 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation to three of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League (NUL) and United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The grant to UNCF will fund a program to help historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue as a source of quality degrees for African American students. In addition, the grants to NUL and NAACP will fund programs to help individuals receive support to secure and build meaningful careers through training and placement assistance, and help businesses create more job opportunities.

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White House honors ‘Champions of Change’

Kalimah Priforce recognized for STEM Diversity and Access

The White House honored 10 local heroes who are “Champions of Change” for their innovation in creating diversity and access in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. These champions are creating opportunities for young people typically underrepresented in STEM industries by using unconventional approaches to enhance student exposure ranging from photography and film, to Hip Hop music, to coding competitions and community-based workshops.

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LAUSD student inspires first district-wide Arts Fest in Grand Park

Program will culminate March 15

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently announced its first LAUSD Arts Fest 2014, a two-week festival celebrating the arts, beginning Saturday, March 1 through Saturday, March 15, 2014.

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CSU partners with churches to increase number of college-going Black students

CSULA President William A. Covino visits West Angeles during Super Sunday

With the goal of helping increase college access and achievement for underserved communities, Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino addressed the congregation at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles on Feb. 23 during the annual CSU Super Sunday.