UNIONDALE, NY – JULY 22: Chris Weidman (R) lands a kick on Kelvin Gastelum (L) during their UFC Fight Night middleweight bout at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 22, 2017 in Uniondale, New York. Ed Mulholland/Getty Images/AFPUNIONDALE, N.Y. — Chris Weidman sat on top of the Octagon, his arms outstretched, his mouth agape.It had been a long time since he could experience that feeling.ADVERTISEMENT Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ “This is a surreal feeling,” Weidman said. “This is an indescribable moment. I wanted to come out here and prove myself.”After spending much of the first two minutes feinting and circling, Weidman successfully wrestled Gastelum to the canvas. But with seconds left in the round, Gastelum landed a hook to Weidman’s chin that dropped the former middleweight champion before the bell rang.“Thirty more seconds and I could have finished the fight,” Gastelum said.Weidman then relied on his wrestling skills against the former Ultimate Fighter winner, setting up opportunities to land hard, accurate punches in the third. Following a sequence in which the two grappled alongside the cage, Weidman took down Gastelum and transitioned to the submission. After a few moments, Gastelum tapped out.Weidman hopped the cage and celebrated with 11,198 of his Long Island fans before returning to the octagon to hugged family and team members.ADVERTISEMENT Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans “I did it in the Nassau Coliseum. I grew up five minutes down the road,” said Weidman, who later pushed for a fight with current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. “Bisping has been running. I’m the champ. I’m the best guy in the world. I think people know that.”The bout headlined the 13-fight card in the first UFC event to be held at the Coliseum. Six of the 26 fighters were from Long Island, and overall, nine were from New York state.But there was not much a home field advantage, with Weidman, Chris Wade and Shane Burgos the only New Yorkers to win.Darren Elkins earned a split decision over Dennis Bermudez in the semi-main event. Elkins routinely used his wrestling to neutralize Bermudez in the first two rounds of the featherweight fight. Bermudez pressured Elkins in the third, but ultimately lost his second straight fight and his fourth out of sixth overall.Patrick Cummins earned a split decision over Gian Villante in a light heavyweight fight. Cummins suffered a gash over his left eye due to an inadvertent head-butt in the first round.Cummins was taken to a hospital for examination, but tweeted a photo of his face from an ambulance.No. 4 ranked bantamweight Jimmie Rivera kicked off the main card with a unanimous decision over No. 9 Thomas Almeida. The win was Rivera’s 20th straight, and might have put him in line for a title shot. During an in-cage interview after the fight, Rivera challenged former champions TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, who was working the show as an analyst for Fox.Wade beat Frankie Perez, and Burgos topped Godofredo Pepey.Junior Albini knocked out Tim Johnson 2:51 into the first round, Marlon Vera submitted Brian Kelleher with a first-round arm bar, and Jeremy Kennedy improved to 11-0 with a unanimous decision over Kyle Bochniak.Chase Sherman had a unanimous decision over Damian Grabowski, and Alex Oliveira knocked out Ryan LaFlare with an uppercut at 1:50 of the second round. Eryk Anders, a former Alabama linebacker, remained unbeaten with a first-round knockout of Rafael Natal, and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos took a split decision over Lyman Good. MOST READ Seven hundred and ninety one days, to be exact.“It feels like a championship,” Weidman said, after he submitted Kelvin Gastelum with an arm triangle choke at 3:45 of the third round Saturday night in a UFC on Fox event at Nassau Coliseum. “I can’t wait to tell my kids I won.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Weidman the former Hofstra wrestler fighting just across the Hempstead Turnpike from the university’s campus, snapped a three-fight losing streak to improve to 14-3. Gastelum dropped to 14-4-0 with one no-decision.The win was Weidman’s first since knocking out Vitor Belfort at UFC 187 on May 23, 2015. LATEST STORIES McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano According to the UFC, the show did a $1,088,332 gate. Goodman and Zaleski dos Santos received bonuses for Fight of the Night, while Albini and Oliveira earned Performance of the Night bonuses.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:15Trump signs Anti-Semitism order at Hanukkah event00:50Trending Articles01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite McIlroy wastes fast start, rues ‘opportunity lost’ at British Open Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
MOST READ UP’s Juan Gomez De Liano splits the defense of UE’s Jason Varilla (L) and Christopher Conner. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonUniversity of the Philippines started its campaign with a convincing 87-58 win over University of the East in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.After a tie at 33 at the end of the first half, the Fighting Maroons used a strong third quarter and outscored the Red Warriors 25-12 to break away.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nash, Kidd highlight 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame class Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal UP held a 58-45 lead at the start of the fourth and that margin just ballooned as the game progressed.Javi Gomez de Liaño gave UP a 72-50 lead midway through the fourth connecting with younger brother Juan for the layup that capped off the Fighting Maroons’ 14-5 run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“It’s probably the first game jitters but we just had to remind ourselves that we know what to do regardless whether it’s a man or zone defense put against us,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol, whose team got slowed down in the second quarter with UE’s zone defense.UE’s defensive scheme capitalized on UP’s mistakes with the Red Warriors scoring eight points off the Maroons’ turnovers in the first half. LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments “This is just the start, I’m just happy we’re able to get this win and hope we could capitalize on this momentum,” added Perasol.Bright Akhuetie put up 15 points and 18 rebounds in his first game for UP while Paul Desiderio scrapped for 12 points, on 5-of-18 shooting, and 10 rebounds.Alvin Pasaol had 14 points and seven boards to lead the Red Warriors.RELATED VIDEO Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award
Prosecutor Samson Weah regarded the witness with a cunning eye. “What happened afterward, Joe Boyd?” “He told me that if he had his way, I would be dead.” “Why?” The witness grimaced, and said, “Because he said I was following his wife.” “Did you?” “No.” The prosecutor’s smile was triumphant, and sweeping his head away from the spectators, said, “Boyd, what happened at your first meeting?” Smiling, the witness said, “Well, I met her when she indicated she wanted to speak with me. I went closer to her and she said she had lost money to buy food for her son and wanted me to help if I could. “I thought about it and felt the need to help since she had approached me on the issue. It was not that I was really interested to spend money that easy.” A murmur swept across the courtroom. The prosecutor said, “What happened next, Boyd?” With still a smile at the corner of his mouth, the witness said, “I pulled out a wad of bills and took out Ld500 and handed it to her. “She told me how great she was to have met me, and even explained that since I moved in the area, she had had some admiration for me.” “Like a secret admirer?” The witness smiled, and said, “That kind.” “How did you feel then?” “Well,” the witness said, “I’m a man and when someone is admiring me secretly, I felt a bit good.” The prosecutor smiled. “She did suggest something to you?” Folding his hands and releasing them, the witness said, “Yes, she gave me the idea she was interested in me.” “Did you know she was married?” “No,” the witness said, “but I knew she had a child.” “Ok,” the prosecutor said, “then what happened?” “I told her I was kind surprise that a beautiful woman like her was still a spinster. “She smiled and said she was waiting for the right man. “When I asked her about the father of her child, she played my question down and said rather that it was a mistake she made in her life.” “Did you really believe her?” “Of course,” the witness said, “for I did not put any word in her mouth. “I then suggested to her that since she was a single woman and I was also a single man, I think the chemistry was perfect.” The courtroom exploded into a mild laughter, and Judge Thomas Moore answered with his gavel to restore calm, and with the statement, “The court will not hesitate to hold any spectator contempt and therefore the court insists that spectators must behave as proceedings continue.” “Thanks Your Honor,” the prosecutor said, and returning to the witness, said, “with correct chemistry, you decided to do what?” With a smile wedged at the corner of his mouth, the witness shifted his position and said, “We planned to meet and that same evening, we met at a local drinking spot. “Later I realized that a man who had come with her, identified himself as Willie Jones, was in fact the man she was living with.” “What did Willie Jones tell you about his relationship with Dorothy Toe?” The witness hesitated and said, “He told me he was her brother.” “Tell the court what occurred one week after your meeting.” Folding his hands, the witness adjusted his position and throwing his head back, said, “He came to me with a request for USD500.” “What was the reason for his request?” The witness said, “He said he needed the money to take care of some business, though he did not explain the nature of the business.” “What did you tell him?” “I told him I did not have that much.” “What was his response?” The witness said, “It was then that he began to threaten me, accusing me for going after his woman, and when I asked him about it he mentioned Dorothy Toe’s name, and I was shocked.” “Did anything intimately take place between you and Dorothy Toe?” “Yes,” the witness said, in a low tone of voice, as spectators craned their ears to listen to his answer, murmurings of excitement. “Mr. Boyd, did you kill Willie Jones or did you have any intention to do him any harm?” “No,” the witness said, “I did not,” and turning away to regard defense counsel Jason Doe, the prosecutor said, “Your Witness.” “You did not kill Willie Jones?” “No.” “But you an affair with the woman he introduced you to as his sister?” “Yes.” “And Willie Jones had come to you to credit USD500?” “Yes.” “But according to your testimony,” the lawyer said, “he wanted the USD500 to do a business that he did not tell you?” “Yes.” “And according to your testimony, when you refused to grant his request, only then that he began to accuse you and threaten you?” The witness shifted his position and said, “Actually, it was not the first time he had come to me for help. I remember two days after we had met, I gave him a USD50.” “What was the objective of the USD50?” “To help him.” “Did he ask for the money or any more at all?” “No,” the witness said, “he did not ask.” “Do you have the habit of dishing out money to people you meet?” Suddenly, the prosecutor was on his feet. “Your Honor,” he said, “it does not matter for a man to do good even if he is not asked, and counsel is finding a way for the witness to contradict himself on the good that he had done to a man who turned out to be the cause of another’s murder.” Judge Thomas Moore who had been following the proceedings, lowered his glasses beyond his nose, and glaring at the defense counsel said, “Does counsel have any defense?” In a swift counter, Jason Doe frowning, gazed at the direction of the judge and said, “Your Honor, the situation demands a careful discovery of information from the witness on what could be the inherent motive behind the eventual murder of the decedent. “I suspect some justifying conditions that apparently led to the eventual murder of the decedent that can only be understood by considering the motive of the witness.” “Very well,” Judge Moore said, “you may continue with your cross examination.” “By your testimony, it means that you encountered the decedent at least on a number of occasions?” “Yes.” “And at each occasion, he was civil in his approach to you?” “Yes,” the witness said, “it was only after he found out what had been going on with Dorothy that set him up to crash out.” “On one of the occasions,” the lawyer said, “particularly after you testified he had explained about his relationship with Dorothy Toe, did it occur to you that he was not being truthful?” “Yes,” he said, “but at some point I did not want to argue since I realized that woman was too big a person not to know what she wanted in life.” “And it did not suggest to you that the man that had come with her once in your meeting was expendable?” “Objected to as not proper-cross examination, reaching to a conclusion,” the prosecutor yelled. “Sustained,” Judge Moore said.Jason Doe ambled his way to the defense table and after a brief consultation with Janet Lovebird, his private secretary, returned to the witness. Smiling, the lawyer said, “When Dorothy Toe, according to your testimony gave the indication she was interested in a relationship with you she did not suggest that Willie Jones should be done away with?” “No.” “She also did not suggest that you should elope to another city or town?” “No.” “But by your admission, she claimed that she was a single woman and you also were single and actually would it not have been nice for both of you?” “Well…I am the man and I did not want to venture into that area.” “Did it come into your discussions after all?” “Yes,” the witness said, “it came at two times.” “Now, suppose the suggestion to elope was worth considering, it did not imply that someone had to die to get that achieved, right?” “Yes.” “However,” the lawyer moved in from another angle, “could you tell this court how it occurred that a woman who was willing to elope with you would turn around to murder the man she was willing to run away from?” “She apparently had her own motive.” “Could it be a motive that you apparently suggested?” “No.” “But at some point, you wanted her for yourself?” “That’s a fact for all men.” “But then you apparently realized she was with someone, Willie Jones in this case?” “Though I wanted her for myself…but…but…” “Why are you hesitating?” “I’m trying to form my words correctly.” “Have you formed them now?” “I need a little bit of time.” “How much time?” “A time…I’m still getting your question clearly in my mind.” “Go ahead and get it I’m waiting.”The witness mopped his face with a white handkerchief, readjusted himself and stared moodily at the lawyer. The lawyer turned his gaze to his client, defendant Dorothy Toe, whose tear-filled eyes, spoke nothing but the humiliation of having been accused for her husband’s murder. The preliminary trial was getting to its end, and though she had endured some of the most horrible scathing remarks against a woman whose life had been strangled by the murder of a man she had loved with all her life. She knew she was done, even if justice prevailed and she was pronounced innocent of the crime. Though she was unable to even imagine how life had been ruined with all the publicity, it could be that she would be able to remake her life. It was a hard equation, but the most painful was the insinuations and claims by the plaintiff that a loving wife would turn to murder and put her life in jeopardy. Her thoughts were interrupted when Jason Doe said, “How much more time do you need?” “I hate it when you shoot questions out to me like that.” “Ok,” the lawyer said, “you wanted the woman for yourself and were prepared to eliminate any competitor,?” “It’s more than that.” “Which means what?” “It was a form of frustration for me.” The lawyer turned swiftly to stare at Judge Moore, who also could not help but gave a deep frown, and address the court, “This is one of the cases that has exposed a man’s desire to use illegal means to achieve what he did not have and while the human mind is capable of inducing actions, the court finds it intriguing that on many times, people behave irrationally. “It makes little sense for one man to maneuver to get rid of another when the chances are that there are many other human beings that fill in the same position. “But we live in a different time and it makes sense to predict that man stands at the threshold of making the world better or unworthy and hence the search for justice demands a more vigorous campaign. “With the hope that somewhere in our mind man will be able to agree to be satisfied and leave others alone, and therefore this trial is concluded and the witness will be held for further prosecution and meanwhile the defendant is ordered released.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
United Kingdom-based expert, Colonel Russell Combe has handed over to Government his final report on the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP).The document was handed over to President David Granger at the State House on Wednesday in the presence of top-ranking Police and military officers.While the report focuses primarily on reforms within the Guyana Police Force, Combe explained that there were measures also included to address issues plaguing the Prison and Fire Services as well as the Coast Guard of the GuyanaUK security expert Colonel Russell Combe handing over the SSRP report to President David Granger on Thursday at State HouseDefence Force (GDF).During a meeting with then British Prime Minister David Cameron back in 2016, President Granger had requested that the multimillion-dollar SSRP be revived.The US$4.7 million security sector pact was initially launched in 2007, but was scrapped two years later, after major disagreements between the then Administration and the UK Government over some of the conditions of the plan.According to President Granger, with this report, his Government will now try to correct errors.Recalling all the previous attempts at security reform, the Head of State posited that the root cause of the escalation in crime in Guyana was narcotics trafficking.However, the UK-based security expert explained that tackling the cause of crime was outside of his current capacity.“(Cause of crime) is driven by economics and whilst that’s an important area to tackle, that’s not an area where I would be in the position to offer advice to the President. He needs to look at that along with his other government strategies and… hopefully, there will be resources to improve in that area with the oil and gas exploration taking place in Guyanese waters,” he asserted.Nevertheless, Combe went on to posit that the presentation of the report was not just the beginning or end of efforts to reform the local security sector.“The report is dynamic; it’s not to represent just the beginning. Activities supported by the United Kingdom have already commenced: the training of (Police’s) Strategic Planning Unit last year and then in November, there was consultancy on the marine capability of the Police Force and indeed engaged with the Coast Guards as well… So, this is not the beginning, nor is it the end,” he noted.The Colonel added that the report did not only contain his views on issues facing the security services in particular the Police Force but was a compilation of previous reports.“I also want to stress that it’s a dynamic document, one that will be built upon throughout my period of return, and also a reference document for the various security sector players and actors,” he outlined.The UK expert further stated that they do not want to see the report sitting on a shelf, gathering dust. In fact, he noted that the report was compiled in such a way that it can be broken up and separated into parts to be dealt with by different groupings.Colonel Combe is expected to return in April this year to oversee the implementation of his recommendations. His new tenure will see him in Guyana until March 2019.
SACRAMENTO – Democrats began a debate Tuesday on how to extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Californians, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ideas were not on the table. A near universal coverage plan by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, passed its first committee, over the objections of the minority Republicans. Another plan, by Senate President pro tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, will be heard today. Neither of the Democrats is going as far as the governor, who wants to require every Californian to have health insurance. And it’s not yet clear how the governor’s proposal, which has not been embraced by either Democrats or Republicans, will factor into the debate. His advisers say they deliberately avoided putting his plan into a bill to prevent it from being picked apart in hearings. Instead, they appear to be waiting to bring it up in negotiations later in the legislative session. But Nu ez offered no estimates on what his plan would cost. An economist is still crunching the numbers. Republicans predicted it would be too expensive and said the costs eventually would be picked up by the state. “Literally, we are just opening our doors to the entire world at the expense of California’s generous taxpayers,” said Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks. Democrats are rejecting the fees Schwarzenegger wants to levy on doctors and hospitals to help pay for his plan, much of which relies on increased federal funding. Schwarzenegger’s advisers have been meeting for months with interest groups, seeking their support. But a consensus has yet to develop. Schwarzenegger seemed to acknowledge the difficulty Tuesday during a luncheon address to the California Medical Association in Sacramento. He asked doctors to look beyond their narrow self-interest and support his plan despite the fees they would have to pay. “Of course, everyone will have their thing about it,” he said. “We cannot provide health care and represent everyone. We have to look for the big goal here.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But the absence of a bill means the Legislature is moving forward with a very different approach from the $12 billion plan Schwarzenegger outlined in January. Both Nu ez and Perata have rejected the idea of mandatory health insurance, the linchpin of the governor’s plan. Unions oppose the idea, unless the working poor are heavily subsidized, an expensive proposition in a state that has more than 6 million uninsured people. Instead, Democrats want to cover all children and many adults, through a combination of government subsidies and a requirement that most businesses insure their workers. Democrats passed a similar business mandate in 2003, only to watch voters repeal it the following year with Schwarzenegger’s help. In presenting his plan to the committee, Nu ez called it conservative and said it was urgent for the state to act now to avoid an implosion of the state’s health care system. “I don’t think that we can miss this opportunity,” he said.
0Shares0000Nakumatt FC head coach Mwangi named May Fidelity Insurance Coach of the MonthNAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 – Demoted Nakumatt FC tactician Anthony Mwangi has been named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for May.With his fete Nakumatt became the 1st team to scoop both player and coach’s gong in a single month following Boniface Mukhekhe’s crowning last week. The 33-year-old Mwangi was in charge of Nakumatt’s technical bench when they recorded three victories and a draw to claim the most number of league points in May.Ten points garnered in their best run of the season also lifted Nakumatt from relegation zone to mid table comfort. Sofapaka also recorded three victories and a draw but Batoto Ba Mungu tactician John Baraza lost out to Mwangi on superior goal count.In spite of the stellar performance in May, Mwangi has since been redeployed to the role of assistant coach with American Melis Medo taking over as the head coach.Nakumatt launched their May campaign with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Zoo FC in Kericho followed by a 2-2 draw against AFC Leopards in Machakos.They then defeated Tusker FC 2-1 in Machakos before beating Posta Rangers 2-0 in the last match of the month at Camp Toyoyo Grounds. The good run saw them move from the foot of the Kenyan Premier League table to 12th position.Mwangi, a former Liberty Academy, and Mathare Youth coach took home with Sh75,000 courtesy of sponsors, Fidelity Insurance, and personalized trophy. He attributed the fine run on financial incentives brought in by new owners and paid tribute to Melis who had just joined the team in a consultancy capacity then.“The injection of financial investment by new owners helped transform the team during that month but I must give credit to the players for rising to the occasion. We previously went into games without proper training but since finance was availed preparations were better. The players did their part and I’m grateful it won me this award,” The soft spoken Mwangi remarked0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Lancaster, Palmdale median home prices follow state slideBy , Staff WriterPALMDALE – Palmdale’s median home-sales price slipped in January for the second month in a row and Lancaster’s median also declined, evidence that California’s cooling home market is reaching the Antelope Valley. Palmdale’s median price for both new and resale homes slipped to $350,000 in January, down from $356,500 in December and the record $365,000 median price in November. The January price was still 16.7 percent ahead of a year ago, according to statistics released by the California Association of Realtors. In Lancaster, the January median was $315,000, off from the record $323,000 reached in December and 31.3 percent ahead of a year earlier, the association’s figures said. In Rosamond, the January median was $259,000, down from the $272,000 record set in December. Rosamond’s January median was 21.3 percent ahead of prices a year earlier. Los Angeles County’s January median was $495,750, up from $495,000 the month before but down from $500,000 in November. The Los Angeles County January median was up 20.2 percent over a year ago. Tehachapi’s median increased to $279,250, up from $276,000 the month before but still below the record $310,000 in November. The Tehachapi price was 25.5 percent ahead of a year ago. Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during January 2006 were: Los Altos, $1,700,000; Newport Beach, $1,501,000; Laguna Beach, $1,385,000; Burlingame, $1,200,000; Los Gatos, $1,075,000; Calabasas, $1,045,000; Santa Barbara, $1,027,500; Danville, $936,000; Dana Point, $875,000; Encinitas, $862,500. Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in January 2006 compared with the same period a year ago were: Sonoma, 78.2 percent; Atwater, 62.3 percent; Barstow, 59.1 percent; Sanger, 54 percent; Ridgecrest, 49.6 percent; Banning, 48.9 percent; Hesperia, 47.2 percent; Walnut, 46.9 percent; Lake Arrowhead, 45.9 percent; Upland, 45.1 percent. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Statewide, the January median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California was $551,300, up 0.5 percent from December but well below the $568,730 statewide record set in August. Statewide, January sales decreased 24.1 percent compared with a year ago, the association said. “The California real estate market is beginning to experience the soft landing that we expect to be the underlying dynamic driving the housing market this year,” said association Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The number of homes for sale has risen to a six-month supply, which will translate into a slower rate of price appreciation than we experienced in 2005.” Of 20 markets the association tracks, the numbers of homes sold went up during January in only one: the High Desert, which includes the Antelope Valley and is the state’s most affordable. “We expected January sales to fall below the record that was set in January 2005. The decrease was intensified by interest rates crossing the key psychological threshold of 6 percent in the last quarter of the year, and by weakness in consumer confidence due to the residual effects of Hurricane Katrina,” said association President Vince Malta. “However, interest rates remain near their historic lows, and we expect sales activity to accelerate as we move into the traditional selling season.”
SANTA FE SPRINGS – Flags on city buildings waved at half-staff Thursday as hundreds of city officials, residents and family members attended funeral services for a longtime employee who died of cancer. Lupe Contreras, who worked for 18 years for the city, died of cancer May 5 – eight days before her 37th birthday. Mike Mendez, director of parks and recreation services, where Contreras worked for most of her career, said flying the flag at half-staff “is usually done for the president of the United States,” but “we decided to do it because of how she impacted everyone” in the city. Contreras worked with area high school students and also helped create the city’s Tiny Tots preschool program that helps young children prepare for kindergarten. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsShe had stepped down from her position earlier this year because of her illness. “She just has done amazing things in my life,” said Marla Tejeda, who took over the preschool program. “She always inspired me to do the best in my life. She encouraged me to go back to school.” About 400 people attended a funeral Mass for Contreras at St. John of God Catholic Church in Norwalk, where Contreras lived. About 50 city employees attending the services wore red staff shirts and jackets in her memory. In a homily, the Rev. Bernard Leheny of St. John of God said Contreras was an optimistic person whose life, though cut short, was “well-lived.” “She accomplished in 36 years what many of us do in longer periods of time,” he said. Mendez said Contreras’ philosophy on life mirrored the Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz’s popular song, “La Vida Es un Carnaval,” “Life Is a Carnival.” The song’s lyrics go: “Life is a carnival. It’s more beautiful to live singing.” Contreras is survived by her parents, Celia and Gilbert Contreras; brothers Gilbert and Rick Contreras; and sister Frances Contreras. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Mexico-based Cemex is opposing the city’s plan to change the zoning and annex the Soledad Canyon land, where the company intends to mine 56.1 million tons of sand and gravel, calling the measures another attempt to foil the company’s bid to mine the area. In letters written to the city, the company’s lawyers accuse Santa Clarita of trying to circumvent environmental laws by annexing the land it owns without comprehensive environmental studies. The Bureau of Land Management holds mining rights and has leased those rights to Cemex. “Santa Clarita is required to prepare an environmental impact report under (state environmental laws) for any project that may result in a significant effect on the environment,” said a Sept. 29 letter written by attorney Kerry Shapiro, of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP, on behalf of Cemex. The letter is included in information city planners will present tonight to city planning commissioners. The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed zoning amendments and annexation, and send the issue to the City Council for an Oct. 25 hearing. If the council approves the measure, an application could be made to the Local Agency Formation Commission, which oversees municipal boundary changes in Los Angeles County. “We would be making an application to LAFCO as soon as the City Council has authorized us to do so,” Senior Planner Kai Luoma said. At issue is the city’s plan to annex 1,885 acres east of city boundaries in Canyon Country, including about 1,000 acres it owns. The BLM has agreed to a deal that would allow Cemex to mine for 20 years, a plan the city is fighting. The city found annexation and the prezoning required for the site would have no significant environmental impacts. In lieu of preparing a comprehensive environmental report, the city has conducted an initial study, a negative declaration, which Shapiro asserts is insufficient. The city’s plan to prezone the acreage would allow for development including suburban residential, very low-density residential and open space or parkland. A mineral-oil conservation area would overlap a portion of the open space area. Luoma said the mineral zoning designation would ensure the resources could be extracted now with the proper entitlement and would be protected for future extraction. “The annexation will give the city no authority over the operation of a lawfully approved aggregate mine on the site,” Luoma said. He said the city would like to bring the city-owned acreage under its jurisdiction to take advantage of the open space. Letters of opposition were also sent to the city by grading company C.A. Rasmussen Co., LLC, and its attorneys. The company, which owns land adjacent to the acreage the city wants to annex, opposes the annexation on the grounds it “is simply a manipulation of California land use regulations for the purpose of serving the city’s political agenda of stopping the nearby mining,” said a Sept. 16 letter signed by C. Dean Rasmussen on behalf of the company. Under U.S. law, the federal government has the right to mine the land or lease the mining rights. The mine is on hold while lawsuits wend their way through the courts. “(Cemex) is entitled to mine the Soledad site pursuant to two contracts executed by the BLM in 1990, as well as a (BLM decision), allowing for production of up to 56.1 million tons of mined materials, and approval of local land use entitlements by the County of Los Angeles issued in June 2004,” Shapiro wrote. An appeal is pending in Cemex’s suit against the county, and the city’s own lawsuit against the county is on hold pending an appeal in the case. The city has sued federal agencies, claiming they approved Cemex’s lease without proper environmental review. Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255 email@example.com