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Archive By Author - Jim Holt


Killer’s life in jury’s hands

Parents who still shudder about the day 5-year-old Desarie Saravia's body was dumped on a front lawn on their quiet cul-de-sac in Castaic say the man convicted of killing her deserves the sentence he now faces.

July 10, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


5.4 quake rattles, leaves no major damage

You can call it wobbly, you can call it undulating, but you cannot call Wednesday's earthquake harmful in any way - at least in the Santa Clarita Valley.

July 08, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Jury deliberates in Rodriguez trial

SAN FERNANDO - Jury deliberations are under way this week in the murder trial of Antonio Rodriguez, 29, who is charged with sexually assaulting his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter and killing her in a Castaic park bathroom.

July 07, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Defense rests in Rodriguez trial

SAN FERNANDO - There is no evidence that 5-year-old Desarie Elizabeth Saravia was sexually assaulted by the man accused of beating her to death inside a Castaic park bathroom, the man's defense lawyer said in closing arguments Tuesday.

July 07, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Prosecution closes case with photos

SAN FERNANDO - The prosecution wrapped up its case against accused child killer Antonio Rodriguez on Friday by letting some of the more than 100 injury pictures tell the stories of brutality in the savage beating death of 5-year-old Desarie Elizabeth Saravia.

July 03, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Businesses balk at fees

A planned sewer-system hookup fee - part of a package of sewer-fee rate hikes proposed Santa Clarita Valley-wide - is necessary to avoid future bond measures, a sanitation district official said this week.

July 02, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


They called him ‘Daddy’

SAN FERNANDO - Lawyers representing a man accused of beating to death his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter wrapped up their case Wednesday with further testimony that he was a caring man whom the little girl called "Daddy."

July 01, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Locals hope to flush out truth about potential sewer-rate hike

Sanitation District officials who held the first of a series of public information meetings on a proposed sewer-rate hike met with criticism and confusion from about 50 people who attended.

July 01, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Family testifies accused was father figure

SAN FERNANDO - Antonio Rodriguez, who is accused of beating to death his girlfriend's daughter, was a caring father figure who took the child and her brother to his mother's house every day to feed them, according to testimony offered in court Tuesday.

June 30, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Murdered girl’s blood found in motel room

SAN FERNANDO - Prosecutors wrapped up their case against accused murderer Antonio Rodriguez on Monday with crime analysts saying they found blood belonging to the murdered girl, Desarie Elizabeth Saravia, and her brother inside a blood-splattered Van Nuys motel room.

June 29, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


The sewage-rate hike’s salty effect on business

Hiking Santa Clarita Valley business owners' fees to pay for a salt-ridding machine is not the way to encourage new business to locate here, some owners say.

June 28, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Experts describe wounding of lifeless little girl

SAN FERNANDO - A veteran emergency room physician said Friday he had never seen a patient injured as badly as tiny 5-year-old Desarie Elizabeth Saravia when she arrived lifeless at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital one afternoon in 2004.

June 26, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Tragic details unfold through pictures

SAN FERNANDO - A crayon drawing done by a badly beaten boy three days after his 5-year-old sister was savagely beaten to death in a Castaic park bathroom gave jurors a glimpse into the children's shared suffering Thursday as a murder trial continued.

June 25, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Meadows works out with the best of ’em

Having exercised with students almost every other day for a month, teachers at Meadows Elementary School will have little problem jumping for joy today when they learn their school is a finalist in a statewide challenge to keep kids fit.

June 23, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Reliving Desarie’s final moments

SAN FERNANDO - Two Castaic women described in court Wednesday what happened the day a lifeless, naked young girl ended up on their quiet suburban street.

June 23, 2010 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


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Articles By Author - Jim Holt


1 injured, 2 dogs found after I-5 rollover in Valencia

Two dogs left stranded on the highway Sunday morning after the pickup truck they were in crashed and sent the driver to the hospital are "doing well" at the Castaic Animal Care Center, a center spokesman said.

March 30, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


From helper to author

From the time she was a little girl running barefoot through the woods, bringing wounded animals home to mend, Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks has made it her mission to care for animals, she said, and now she's put her journey in writing.

March 30, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Castaic brush fire knocked down

Sparks from the broken axel of a vehicle towing a boat may have started a small brush fire in Castaic Sunday afternoon, according to emergency response crews.

March 30, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Motorcyclist injured in I-5 collision

A motorcyclist was injured and taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital on Sunday following a traffic collision near Gorman involving the motorcycle and a truck, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

March 30, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Son recovers from knife attack allegedly committed by father

A 24-year-old man stabbed several times, allegedly by his father, has been released from the hospital and has left the state to visit his mother, a person close to the man said.

March 27, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Canyon Country man arrested on assault charge

A Canyon Country man was arrested on suspicion he assaulted someone with a deadly weapon following an alleged knife incident Wednesday night, a spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station said.

March 27, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Gorman crash victim identified as Fontana man

California Highway Patrol officers Wednesday identified the truck driver killed in a Tuesday Interstate 5 truck crash as 42-year-old Richard Topete of Fontana.

March 26, 2014 | by Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Legacy teacher arrested for inappropriate conduct

A teacher at a private Santa Clarita elementary and middle school was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriate contact with an 11-year-old student, investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

March 26, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Man killed in two-truck crash near Gorman

A box truck and a tanker fully loaded with jet fuel collided on Interstate 5 near Gorman on Tuesday, killing the tanker truck driver.

March 25, 2014 | by Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Car hits butterfly sculpture

The butterfly sculpture that adorns a median near Central Park in Saugus was packed up and taken to Santa Clarita City Hall on Monday after it was hit by a car.

March 24, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


LAPD chaplain injured in bike incident

A Los Angeles Police Department chaplain was injured in the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday when the motorcycle he was riding crashed in Valencia, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

March 24, 2014 | by Jim Holt | Santa Clarita Valley News


You’ve got a friend in her

Sarah Kennedy is fast becoming Santa Clarita Valley's ambassador of goodwill for kids with special needs - one gumball at a time.

March 24, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Vandals strike again in Castaic

Local sheriff's deputies already investigating incidents of vandalism at Castaic school classrooms and, more recently, to cars parked on the street now have more incidents of vandalism to add to their list.

March 24, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Massage parlor crackdown conducted in Newhall

A crackdown on Newhall massage parlors Wednesday netted one arrest for prostitution and several citations for city code violations, according to a spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

March 21, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Missing hiker gratefully returns home

Injured hiker Brian Napoli is back at home in Valencia after more than a week in the hospital for injuries suffered in a fall down the rocky side of a mountain, he said this week.

March 20, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


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