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From The Signal Archives: Budgets and investigations

Posted: July 2, 2009 8:22 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Editor’s note: As The Signal celebrates 90 years of service to the Santa Clarita Valley, we offer this peek into the SCV of days past. Following is from the first week of July 1976 in The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise.

A timely budget precedent
“All Santa Clarita Valley schools are now richer than they were last week,” reads one front-page story regarding a bill providing $270 million as a one-time boost for California’s financially distraught schools.

The move was “among the last-minute hangups which caused the state to enter the new fiscal year Thursday without a budget.”

The stopgap appropriation, known as the Rodda bill, would provide schools with $37 for each elementary student and $38 for each high school student, which amounted to roughly $300,000 for the Hart district at the time.

Welcome to Canyon County?
“County: Many puzzles” was the story of an eventually thwarted attempt by a group of civic-minded individuals who tried to secede from Los Angeles County.

Canyon Country was the first community to gather the proper number of signatures to conduct a study by the County Formation Review Commission.

The study was the first of its  kind under the new county-formation law that was passed in 1975.

There were ominous signs from the get-go that portended failure for the effort: “The Commission is running into knotty problems on which they get conflicting legal advice.”

Birthday parade for Uncle Sam
The Santa Clarita Valley celebrated America’s 200th birthday with its annual parade through downtown Newhall, a tradition dating back to 1926.

“Special celebrities include actress La Wanda Page, who plays ‘Aunt Esther’ on the TV series ‘Sanford and Son’; Gil Stratton, radio and TV personality; the KGIL news team; and Under Sheriff Sherman Block.”

Block eventually became sheriff of Los Angeles County.

Six Flags Magic Mountain President Jay Thomas will be the grand marshal of this year’s parade, which will also include Sheriff Lee Baca.

Open-and-shut case
 “A joy ride and vandalism spree ended with five Santa Clarita Valley youths going to jail in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

“Deputies drive to the end of Hasley Canyon Road after getting a call regarding a stolen road grader.”

When sheriff’s deputies found the five boys in the stolen 1967 Chevrolet, “The grader’s engine was still hot and four windows had been smashed out. Damage was estimated at $200.”

One of the victims was reported to be a witness against one of the alleged vandals in a different case.

Robbery at Valencia bank
Business was slow at Valencia Citizens Savings and Loan Association, next to the Safeway store in Old Orchard, when a young man with a yellow straw cowboy hat walked in one afternoon.

The man walked to the teller and, holding his hand down by his belt as though he had a gun, demanded money.

The bank robbery was the first in Santa Clarita “since the spectacular April 21 $150,000 heist at Santa Clarita National Bank on Lyons Avenue,” The Signal reported.

Patrolman shot by wife
Sheriff’s homicide detectives released information about the shooting of California Highway Patrol Officer Terrill Morris, 29.

A source “told The Signal Morris got home and his wife began berating him for being a poor husband. She got out of bed and grabbed a pistol.

“Morris got out of bed fearing his wife was going to shoot herself and a moment later found himself shot.”



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