Orange balloons

Orange balloons represent the 17 people killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida during National Walkout Day at Chino High School in March. Other schools in the Chino Valley district held similar events.

Proposed construction projects at the men’s and women’s prisons in Chino, lawsuits involving government officials, the mental health of Chino Valley students, the suicide of a well-liked pastor, increasing utility rates, an abandoned golf course in an upscale neighborhood, charter schools, and new construction projects dominated Chino Valley news in 2018.

In addition, the Chino Valley gained national recognition for a school board member’s reference to Hitler, a one-day high temperature reading, a world class high school drumline squad, a junior high team that made pouring milk onto cereal an engineering feat, and a creative challenge team that won regional, state and world level awards. 

January

●Just two weeks into the new year, seven traffic accidents are reported on Carbon Canyon Road by police. The results of the second phase of the Carbon Canyon traffic study are expected to be made public in January 2019.

●A 17-year-old Chino High student, Saul Perez-Martinez, dies Jan. 1 from complications of pneumonia. Chino Valley, along with the rest of the country is hard hit by flu and pneumonia cases at the end of 2017 and into early 2018.

●U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Yorba Linda) who represents Chino Hills in the 39th Congressional district announces he will not seek re-election after serving since 1992. He is replaced by Rep. Gil Cisneros in the November election.

●A 37-year-old transient, Lie Liu, is jailed after more than 700 marijuana plants are found growing inside a Chino Hills rental home.

●State Senator John Newman (D-Fullerton) representing Chino Hills in the 29th District is the target of a recall for supporting the gas tax and vehicle fee increases. He is recalled in the June 5 election and replaced by Ling-Ling Chang.

●In an annual homeless survey, 28 individuals in Chino are counted and six in Chino Hills. In January 2017, Chino reported 26 and Chino Hills reported three. 

●Former Chino educator and local philanthropist Donald D. Bremer dies Jan. 14 at his Oceanside home. He was a former Boys Republic principal and former president of the Chino Rotary Club, as well as a substantial contributor to both.

●Boat parade advocates ask the city council why the residential Chino Hills Boat Parade was banned in December 2017 with little notice. Capt. Darren Goodman, now police chief in Upland, says it was a directive from the sheriff’s department. Councilmembers say they will work to have a residential parade in 2018, but those efforts fail. By year’s end, the Kiwanis Club, which had coordinated the residential parade, say it will not happen because of the liability costs associated with it. But, one rogue boat owner takes to the streets of Los Serranos right before Christmas, to the surprise and delight of residents there.

●Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Greg Stachura tells the Measure G Citizens’ Oversight Committee that all schools will receive security upgrades as part of the first issuance of $208 million of Measure G school construction bonds. Voters approved a total of $750 million for Measure G in 2016.

●Chino Valley school district’s advisory naming committee approves naming Don Lugo High’s baseball field the “Joe Marcos Field.” Coach Marcos retired in 2015 after 42 years at the school, winning 504 games and 10 league championships. The field is officially named in his honor in June.

●Chino Valley Fire board members vote 3-2 to increase their salary from $150 to $157.50 per meeting. Mike Kreeger, Harvey Luth and Sarah Evinger-Ramos vote yes, John DeMonaco and Ed Gray cast no votes.

●A new species of sea slug is named after Chino Hills resident Brook Peterson, a scuba diver and underwater photographer, who discovered the creature while scuba diving at Catalina Island in 2014.

●A former part-time City of Chino employee, Alan Mitchell Carrera, 25, is arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography and jailed after an investigation showed he may have inappropriately touched students at E.J. Marshall Elementary’s after-school program. 

●Complying with state laws, the Chino Valley school board votes 3-2 to approve a policy to allow students to be absent from school without their parents’ or guardians’ knowledge or consent in cases of medical emergency or confidential medical appointments. 

●Coroner’s officials identify 17-year-old Marinel Enriquez Ladores, a senior at Ayala High School, as the person fatally struck by a suspected hit-and-run drunk driver at Chino Avenue and Peyton Drive. A memorial was placed at the intersection.

●A proposal by the County of Riverside to build a 163-acre off-road motorsports facility called Prado Raceway at the southern end of the 71 Freeway adjacent to Chino Hills State Park has the City of Chino Hills worried. The city submits written comments of opposition to the county on the environmental impacts.

February

●The Chino Valley school board approves the use of the former school site of Oxford Preparatory charter school by Allegiance STEAM Academy THRIVE Charter School (ASA). Measure G pays for improvements to the school site, which opens in August with 480 students. 

●Former Chino city councilman and civic leader Martin Salgado dies Feb. 7 at his Chino home. During the sixties, when Chino was beset by gang fighting, Mr. Salgado worked to bring his community and the police department together through the Chino Concerned Citizens Group and the Community Action Council.

●The Chino Valley school board votes to keep Don Lugo High football coach Greg Gano after 200 supporters attend a board meeting. He was facing disciplinary action in an undisclosed incident regarding football players in late 2017. Later, Trustee Irene Hernandez-Blair accuses the coach of leaving freshman football players unsupervised during incidences of   harassment that resulted in suspension of several students. 

●Chino Police Lt. Kevin Mensen, Officer Trisha Mayberry, Chaplain George Sasso and facilities coordinator Dean Carbone receive top honors at the Chino Police Department’s annual awards ceremony.

●Glenmeade Elementary in Chino Hills celebrates its 50th anniversary with a morning program on Feb. 23 modeled after the school’s original dedication ceremony. The school was opened on Jan. 2, 1968.

●A demonstration garden is built by the City of Chino Hills containing fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees on Bayberry Drive where it turns into Valle Vista Drive.

●Several churches meet with local police, city representatives and non-profit organizations to share resources for the homeless.

●The Chino City Council okays a study to explore the annexation of 1,548 unincorporated acres of San Bernardino County that surround Chino. At year’s end, the study had not been completed.

●Lago Los Serranos, a community of 95 townhomes at the southwest corner of Ramona Avenue and Bird Farm Road in Chino Hills, is finally under construction after grading started four years ago and stopped.

●Three Los Angeles County men are arrested by Chino Police after an attempted murder, robbery and assault at a house party in the 3900 block of Yellowstone Circle in Chino. 

●Chino Hills Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Guillen and good Samaritan Chris Hurley of Chino are named heroes after saving a reportedly suicidal teen from the edge of the 71 Freeway near Chino Hills Parkway. Throughout the year, the Champion learns of two confirmed suicides and one confirmed suicide attempt leaving the victim in serious condition. Those three were Chino Hills High students.

●An $8,500 Rolex watch accidentally flushed down the toilet in 2016 by Chino Hills resident Celia Twiford is recovered by a City of Chino Hills worker in a drain less than a mile from the woman’s home. 

March

●Ayala High senior Joshua Rodriguez of Chino is awarded a $40,000 scholarship through Southern California Edison to pursue his education in the field of science.    

●Four high schools in the Chino Valley Unified School District participate in National Walkout Day to protest the mass killing of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida by former student Nikolas Cruz. At an assembly held at Chino High for parents, local police officers explain how students from elementary through high school in the Chino Valley are being trained to respond to school intruders.   

●On the heels of the mass Parkland shooting at a school in Florida, a Townsend Junior High student is arrested by Chino Hills Police, becoming the third student or former student in a week to face charges of making criminal threats against a school. 

●The intersection of Pomona Rincon Road and Soquel Canyon Parkway becomes crowded with apartments, a hotel, and retail buildings on all three corners during a building boom.

●A youth basketball training facility in Chino Hills with two full-sized basketball courts, a fitness room, and children’s recreation area is approved for the Gordon Ranch Marketplace on Chino Hills Parkway and Eucalyptus Avenue. It was under construction by the end of the year.

●Twenty-one junior and high school students are unhurt when the Chino Valley Unified school bus they were riding in collided with a pickup on Carbon Canyon Road.

●The family of a Chino Hills man who died in a motorcycle accident in 2017 establishes the KAMS Foundation to help underprivileged youth through sports and mentoring. Kamran Siddiqui was 22 when he lost his life after hitting a street sign on Kimball Avenue in Chino.

 ●Three Chino police employees are deemed legally justified for shooting and killing an armed man inside a Santa Anita Place home while an eviction notice was being served. The incident involves gunfire and ends with the man setting his house on fire. His body is found the next day.

●Residents in the College Park and Preserve are awakened by a call from the City of Chino’s notify system that a prisoner at California Institution for Men is missing. The inmate is found in an unauthorized area of the prison three hours later. 

●A 50-bed mental health facility is expected to be built at California Institution for Men in Chino. Residents from the nearby College Park neighborhood voice their concerns about the proposal at prison’s citizens advisory committee in April. A meeting is held by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in summer and an environmental document produced in December. Another meeting is set for Jan. 10 at Chaffey College Community Center.

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