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Archive By Author - Jim Holt


Outrage over VA demand growing in SCV

"Support Our Troops" is more than just a bumper sticker for many Santa Clarita residents showing their support for an Iwo Jima veteran cut off from his veterans benefits.

More men and women, young and old - mostly elderly- and more servicemen including more U.S. Marines continue to contact The Signal asking how they can help a local 87-year-old vet after it was reported the Department of Veterans Affairs cut off his VA benefits.

July 05, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Officials want you to use 10% less water

If you drink a liter of water on any hot day this summer, drink nine deciliters instead.

If you water your lawn for 10 minutes, turn the sprinkler off after nine minutes.

July 03, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Duo comes to rescue of Iwo Jima veteran

An Agua Dulce woman and a fellow "Devil Dog" Marine are among those showing their support for one particular troop - a U.S. Marine who fought at Iwo Jima now asked to pay $4,000 to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Wendy, who asked that her last name not be used, wants to set things right between retired Staff Sgt. Carl Diekman of the U.S. Marines Fifth Division and the federal agency demanding he return $3,936 in overpayments made to him.

July 02, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Alleged Hart scandal being probed

An employee at a Hart district high school is being investigated for allegedly having an "inappropriate" relationship with a 16-year-old student, it was reported Monday.

June 30, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Veterans dept. says ex-marine owes nearly $4,000

Picture in your mind the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph of the Second World War.

One of the proudest moments in American history - five brave U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy serviceman working together to erect the Stars & Stripes atop a strategic island in the West Pacific Ocean.

June 29, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


CLWA OKs more consulting funds

Money paid to engineering consultants trying to reduce the amount of chloride entering the water system has increased by more than two-thirds at the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

In June, the agency's Board of Directors authorized $150,000 to be paid to Kennedy/Jenks Consultants for general engineering services which includes the agency's handling of chloride that ends up in the Santa Clara River.

June 26, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Planners working on new women's jail

Los Angeles County planners designing a 1,000-unit women's jail for the Pitchess Detention Center are excited about its innovative circular design and its promise to address overcrowding in jails across the county.

On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors passed a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that sets aside money specifically for new fire stations in Santa Clarita and new barracks at the detention center in Castaic.

June 25, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Offender says he is innocent

John Joseph Gambill's life is falling apart, he says. With a wavering voice, the 48-year-old registered sex offender began to tell The Signal his side of the story but stopped to remove his glasses and wipe his eyes.

"My life is in ruins," he said as he unloaded groceries from his car outside his Saugus mobile home Tuesday. "I'm going through a lot of s--t right now. My mother just died. I'm scarred for life because of this."

June 24, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


County approves sex offender alert system

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Tuesday calling for the development of a countywide alert system that would notify local officials whenever a sex offender tries to register at the address of a state-licensed foster or child care facility.

The motion was introduced by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich at Tuesday's regular board meeting.

June 24, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


County spending plan adds new fire stations

Despite a severe drop in expected property tax revenue and a bare-bones budget, Santa Clarita Valley is slated to get new fire stations and a new barracks at the Pitchess Detention Center within the year.

June 23, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Moms want sex offender gone

Mothers who want a registered sex offender out of their mobile home community were stepping up their efforts Monday to convince him to move.

June 23, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Registered sex offender lives too near school

A registered sex offender listed on the Attorney General's Megan's Law Web site, which alerts the public about sex offenders, lives less than a tenth of a mile from a Canyon Country school, The Signal has learned.

John Joseph Gambill, 48, is a registered sex offender who was convicted for continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, according to the Megan's Law sex offender locator Web site.

June 20, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Water agency tightening security

Security is being tightened around Santa Clarita water plants despite the Castaic Lake Water Agency reporting no direct threats targeting its facilities.

When it comes to the agency's buildings and grounds, topping the list of the agency's goals for the 2008/2009 fiscal year is installation of a video surveillance system put in place at each of its two water treatment plants and its two pumping stations.

June 19, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Hart bison dies after vet care

Scientists and animal specialists are reviewing data today to determine what caused a young American bison to die suddenly Wednesday morning at William S. Hart Park.

The bison, about one year old, died suddenly after emerging from a general anesthetic administered by a local veterinarian, as part of a routine castration procedure.

June 18, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Surprises delay murder trial

SAN FERNANDO - A prosecutor on the verge of tears and a juror nearly fainting delayed closing arguments at the Esperanza Castro murder trial Tuesday as both sides continue to revisit the evidence.

Deputy District At-torney Paula Gonzales was granted extra time to prepare the last segment of her final argument when Superior Court Judge Burt Pines questioned her well-being.

June 17, 2008 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


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Articles By Author - Jim Holt


Appellate court rejects reversal in Newhall Ranch case

A California appellate court has ruled in favor of developers planning to build 21,000 homes on the banks of the Santa Clara River and has tossed out a 2012 court decision opposed to the project.

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


Vandals target cars parked in Castaic driveways

Less than a month after detectives stood amid the rubble of a Castaic classroom trashed by vandals, investigators are now probing three separate cases of car vandalism, with windows of at least two vehicles smashed in at Castaic homes, according to local sheriff's documents.

March 20, 2014 | By Luke Money Signal Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Bouquet cleanup measures approved

U.S. Forest Service officials have approved the first of two emergency measures proclaimed by county supervisors last month in an effort to clean up the sediment-filled Bouquet Creek bed and release much-needed water from Bouquet Reservoir, a Los Angeles County spokesman said Wednesday.

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


UPDATE: Motorcyclist found safe in Canyon Country after night stranded in ravine

An off-road motorcyclist crashed near Rowher Flats in Canyon Country and spent the night at the bottom of a darkened ravine, hiking out of the ravine Wednesday morning, a sheriff's official said.

March 19, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Work truck suspected as cause of brush fire near Gorman

A brush fire that burned more than 100 acres near Gorman on the weekend was apparently caused by the overheated undercarriage of a work truck, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

March 18, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: 25-year-old found dead in apparent heroin overdose

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff officials logged what appears to be the first heroin overdose death of the year Tuesday with the sudden death of a 25-year-old man in Newhall, law enforcement sources said.

March 18, 2014 | by Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Quake near Encino felt by many in SCV

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake Wednesday shook residents awake in parts of Los Angeles and was felt by many in the Santa Clarita Valley.

March 17, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Man faces preliminary hearing in peace officer battery case

A preliminary hearing has been set for as Azusa man charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance and battery of a peace officer following a struggle with law enforcement officers of the California Highway Patrol in August, said a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

March 17, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


UPDATE: Body found at burn site may be shooting victim

A man whose decomposed body was found near Gorman last weekend by firefighters battling a 100-acre brush fire was the victim of foul play and may have been shot, a homicide detective said Monday.

March 17, 2014 | by Jim Holt | Santa Clarita Valley News


Young chess players hit the boards for massive state tournament in Valencia

Scores of dueling chess players walked away from the Hyatt Regency Valencia Sunday hauling trophies almost as big as some of the competitors.

March 17, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


Remains discovered after fire

Human skeletal remains found in a rugged area burned by a brush fire east of Gorman are believed to be "years old," according to one of several investigators who scoured a blackened hillside Sunday.

March 17, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


One dead, one injured after car plunges off Lake Hughes Road

One man is dead and another "glad to be alive" after they both plunged 400 feet down a ravine in a pickup truck Friday night and were found 36 hours later, an investigator with the California Highway Patrol said.

March 16, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


VALENCIA: Motorcyclist injured in Sunday morning crash

A 28-year-old motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries Sunday following a traffic collision involving a car and a "Ninja" motorcycle, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

March 16, 2014 | by Jim Holt | Santa Clarita Valley News


COC student charged with misdemeanor battery

A 20-year-old College of the Canyons student is facing a misdemeanor battery charge following a skirmish on campus that left college football player Joey Cicoria with a bloody nose, according to college, law enforcement and district attorney sources.

March 16, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


An ease for the water squeeze

Six years ago when Santa Clarita Valley water officials told residents to cut back on their water use, a Valencia couple we shall call Jack and Jill complied by turning off their sprinklers.

March 16, 2014 | By Jim Holt Signal Senior Staff Writer | Santa Clarita Valley News


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