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OW Staff Writer

Stories by OW Staff

LPAC hosts The Orchestra

Former members of the Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II will perform as The Orchestra at 8 p.m. May 29 at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.

Memorial Day ceremony set

The Antelope Valley Service Organization Association (AVSOA) will hold its Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. May 25 at Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 2200 East Avenue S, in Palmdale.

New bill redefines term ‘lynching’

Senate Bill 629, a measure to correct an obsolete reference to the term “lynching” in California’s penal code by deleting it, has been approved without dissent by the state senate.

Willowbrook to get new library and senior housing

More than 100 units of affordable housing for seniors, an 8,000-square-foot library, and an employment center will soon replace a blighted lot on the corner of 118th Street and Wilmington Boulevard in Willowbrook.

Southland recognizes veterans

A variety of Memorial Day activities will be held locally to recognize past and present war heroes while honoring men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

‘Watts Re:Imagined’— 50 years after the riots

Community groups launch effort to bring a new Main Street to the L.A. neighborhood

Fifty years after the Watts Uprising, a coalition of community groups have this week launched Watts Re:Imagined – a sustainable redevelopment vision for the South Los Angeles neighborhood.

Knight backs aerospace ‘safety’ bill

Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) this week announced his co-sponsorship of legislation that will promote “safety and certainty” for the commercial space industry.

Kidnap suspect arraigned

A 41-year-old man, who allegedly posed as a police officer in order to kidnap and sexually assault a teenage girl walking home from school in Lancaster, was arraigned in Lancaster Courthouse this week on felony charges. He is being held on $1.2 million bail.

Free city open house set

On May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the city of Lancaster will turn its maintenance yard into a miniature city where families, school groups and interested citizens can see, the many different functions that city personnel perform to keep the town clean and safe.

May 19 is election day

Two candidates vie for South L.A. votes

The polls will open May 19 at 8 a.m., and locally voters will determine who will represent people on the Los Angeles Unified school board in seat number 7.

BOE targets women entrepreneurs

Free conference planned in June

The Board of Equalization will hold a number of seminars to help small business owners. The first is the free Connecting Women to Power Business conference June 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at California State University, Dominguez Hills in the Loker Student Auditorium, 1000 E.Victoria St., Carson. Last year more than 3,500 people (including men) attend the event. The goals this year are to:

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Earn money to start or grow a business

Financial literacy training offered

The West Angeles Community Development Corporation will hold a workshop May 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to introduce its Individual Development Account (IDA) program that can help people start or expand a business, buy a house or enhance their education.

AV gears up to ‘Walk For Change’

Third annual event will be held May 30

The city of Palmdale, Antelope Valley (AV) Youth Build and the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station are partnering for the third annual “Safe Neighborhood Walk for Change” and the inaugural “Kickin’ It with a Cop” kickball game on Saturday, May 30, and are seeking community participation and sponsorship.

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Mystery surrounds lottery ticket

A Palmdale gas station has been placed under investigation after a lottery ticket that should have returned a $75,000 reward to its holder—actually a state lottery inspector—only paid $75 in cash, officials said this week.

Knight calls for water cleanup

Wells shut down due to contamination

Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) this week sent a letter to Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostwick of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting assistance with a long-standing effort to clean the Eastern Santa Clarita River Basin.

Palmdale settles voting rights lawsuit

Will transition to district voting

The city of Palmdale has reached an agreement this week with the plaintiffs in the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) case, and will hold a series of community meetings in the future to explain the upcoming changes to its method of electing its city council.

Leading Black golfer dies

Calvin Peete taught himself the game

Before Tiger Woods, there was Calvin Peete, the most successful African American to play on the professional golfer’s tour. Born in Detroit, Mich., July 18, 1943, Pete did not begin playing golf until his 20s. But despite this late start in a sport where most pros begin learning as children, he was inspired by another Black golfer, Lee Elder, who in 1975 became the first Black man to play in the Masters.

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Breaking the cycle

South L.A. Art Festival celebrates conductors of modern-day underground railroad

Community Coalition (CoCo) will bring together artists and musicians to shine a spotlight on the foster-care-to prison pipeline and the people on the frontlines who work to disrupt it.

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Few sickle cell patients recieve beneficial drug

Study finds medication helps reduce painful episodes

Few American adults with sickle cell anemia are getting a recommended medication that can help them manage pain, breathing problems and other debilitating symptoms, according to a new study.

Free summer engineering program offered

Targets youth in elementary, middle schools

Los Angeles-area students in grades four through eight will now have an opportunity to learn beginning engineering skills thanks to the National Society of Black Engineers’ 2015 Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program.

Community forum set May 16

A community resource fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 at 1715 W. Florence Ave. The event will spotlight many of the options residents have in offering suggestions and/or solutions to problems facing inner-city families.

Supervisors agree to settle racial discrimination suit

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to pay out $725,000 in victims’ compensation and civil penalties to settle claims that the sheriff’s department systematically engaged in racial bias and intimidation of residents of the Antelope Valley.

McCarthy honors local preps

Recognizes Merit Awards

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-23rd) announced on Wednesday the recipients of his district’s 2015 Merit Awards for students in the East Kern and Antelope Valley communities.

‘Book to Action’ set for Palmdale Library

Teaches youth to take their ideas from proposals to reality

On May 12, the Palmdale Library will host its second “Book to Action” at 6 p.m. The event will include a discussion on the book “How to Be An Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, and World—at No Cost.”

BYD signs contract

Will build busses for Long Beach Transit

The Long Beach Transit Board of Directors this week awarded an $11.7 million contract with BYD Motors Inc. to manufacture 10 battery-powered electric busses and charging systems. The deal includes options for additional bus purchases.

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Retail center groundbreaking marks anniversary of 1992 L.A. riots

Construction officially began Wednesday on a $200 million retail center at a vacant lot that has been mostly empty since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with the groundbreaking taking place on the 23rd anniversary of the start of the unrest.

South L.A. beating tape turned over to lawyer

Clinton Alford sues LAPD

A federal magistrate this week ordered the Los Angeles Police Department to give an attorney video footage that she claims shows her client being assaulted by an officer in South Los Angeles.

May 4 is deadline to register to vote

City Council, school district seats up for grabs

Los Angeles City Clerk Holly L. Wolcott reminds eligible residents they must register to vote by Monday, May 4, 2015 in order to be able to vote in the May 19, general municipal election. To be eligible to vote, you must be a citizen of the United States, be 18 years old by election day, not in prison or on parole for a felony, and reside in Council District 4, LAUSD Districts 3, 5, or 7. Registered voters who have moved or changed their names since the last election must re-register to vote.

Knight sets arts reception

Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25th) will host on April 29 a reception for high school students who submitted artwork to the Congressional Art Competition. The event will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Fastframe Valencia, 24204 Valencia Blvd., in Valencia.

L.A. Controller audits paramedic billing

Galperin: City can collect more from insurance companies, enhance emergency care

Los Angelese City Controller Ron Galperin released an audit of the City of Los Angeles Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) billings and collections processes. The report found that billing a larger share of insurance providers, together with the expansion of coverage brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), could generate up to $16.7 million in additional annual revenue—and that this revenue could be used to improve patient services and provide much-needed resources for the LAFD.

Nominations open for 2015 365Black

Community Choice Youth Awards

McDonald’s 365Black Awards launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, which celebrates the pride, heritage and achievements of African Americans year-round, The public is invited to recongnize exceptional youth by nominating someone 13-18 years old within their community to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Sheriff town halls continue

Next local meeting set for Monday April 27 in Exposition Park

The working group tasked with giving the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recommendations on the future Civilian Oversight Commission’s size, scope, structure and responsibilities is hosting a series of nine town hall meetings in Los Angeles County’s five districts to reach out to the community for recommendations and comments.

Agency offers residents lawn mower exchange

Discounts newer electric models

Southland residents can now register to save up to 70 percent on a new electric lawn mower through the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Lawn Mower Exchange Program. Participants can register to purchase one of the more energy efficient electric lawn mowers. According to the SCAQMD, some of the older gas models spew more pollution into the air in a single year than a car driven more than 22,000 miles.

Supervisors carve out $7 million for trafficked children

New court, special services and advocacy will be provided

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week set aside nearly $7 million to address child sex trafficking as part of the 2015-2016 budget. The funds are expected to be used for sex trafficking prevention initiatives, programs and services including the creation of a specialized court for trafficked children in the foster care system.

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LAPD officer charged with assault

An LAPD officer this week was charged with one count of assault under color of authority in the beating of a man in South Los Angeles. Officer Richard Garcia, who has entered a not guilty plea, was videotaped allegedly beating and kicking a man who was being held down during an October 2014 arrest on Avalon Boulevard near 55th Street.

Local students to receive valuable career advice nStudent Empowerment Academy

Student Empowerment Academy

The Student Empowerment Academy Charter High School, 1319 E. 41st. St. in South Los Angeles, will host today at 10:30 a.m. its first student empowerment series. Area business leaders and community stakeholders will converge to highlight a new program, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), to encourage education in these fields as well as to engage and empower students and faculty.

One-third of employers plan to hire in the second quarter

In a recent CareerBuilder forecast, small and large businesses alike plan to raise hiring efforts in the second quarter of 2015. Among companies with 50 or fewer employees, 23 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff over the next three months, up from 18 percent during the same period in 2014.

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‘Great Streets’ program launches modernization of Central Avenue

Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to unveil portions of his “Great Streets” project designed to refurbish a number of the city’s most congested thoroughfares. Central Avenue in South Los Angeles between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Vernon Avenue is scheduled for a makeover tentatively set to begin sometime between December 2015 and March 2016.

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First asthma symposium set

Will explore link between diet and the breathing disorder

Breathe California of Los Angeles County will hold its first asthma symposium May 5 in conjunction with the recognition of World Asthma Day. The two-hour event will be held at the California Science Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include lunch.

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Marketing unhealthy foods unfairly targets children

It’s another David and Goliath story. A small group of South LA parents, alarmed about companies advertising unhealthy foods to their children, has banded together to draw attention to the problem.

LAUSD approves new science academy

All-girls program set to open in 2016-17 school year

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously April 14 to establish the Girls Academic Leadership Academy, Los Angeles, an all-girls science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school on the campus of Los Angeles High School.

The art of performing

LAUSD students strut their stuff

The Los Angeles Unified School District will host a series of free arts festivals in April and May that will give young people across the district an opportunity to display their talents.

Report details Black job crisis

More monitoring and enforcement needed

In a report released April 8, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) detailed some sobering facts about the world of work in the City of Angels.

City launches ‘Save the Drop’

Water conservation program targets residents, businesses

Last fall, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive calling for a 20 percent reduction in water use by 2017 in Los Angeles, and now the city is in the process of spreading the word about its “Save the Drop” campaign.

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Wonder Con moves to L.A.

Arrives in March 2016

“I am thrilled to have Los Angeles be the new home for Wonder Con and am eager to work with Comic Con International to ensure their 2016 convention is the best yet,” said Curren D. Price Jr., chair of the Economic Development Committee, and council representative for the L.A. Convention Center.

Spots open for Palmdale Partners

There are spots remaining for the city of Palmdale’s spring 2015 session of the Palmdale Partners Academy, which will begin on Tuesday, April 14, and continue on consecutive Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. through June 2. The Academy is designed to help citizens gain a better understanding of local government, the community and available resources.

Pablo Cruise, Poundstone take the stage at LPAC

Pablo Cruise will perform at 8 p.m. April 11 at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. The one-night-only classic rock performance will be followed on April 17 by popular stand-up comic Paula Poundstone also at 8 p.m.

L.A. City Council puts focus on bridging local health gap

Residents of Brentwood reportedly live 12 years longer than those in Watts, and more than 30 percent of children in South L.A. are obese compared with less than 12 percent of kids living roughly 21 miles due west.

Waters seeks funding for HIV/AIDS

Leads 66 members of Congresss seeking increased Minority AIDS Initiative funding

Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), a congressional leader on HIV/AIDS issues, called for increases in funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs in fiscal year 2016. The proposed increases were included in two letters to the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations, which were signed by many of the Congresswoman’s colleagues.

Garcetti announces results from study on women and girls in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday announced the initial results of “The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Los Angeles,” the first-ever study focusing on the issues and trends affecting the women and girls in the city of Los Angeles.