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KVTA Local News

VENTURA COUNTY RECOVERING FROM THE STORM

KVTA News Sunday February 19, 2017

(Photo courtesy Bob Kilpatrick, Caltrans, showing boulders on Highway 33)

The one fatal victim from Friday's massive storm has been identified as 18-year-old Josue Trinidad of Thousand Oaks.

His body was found Saturday morning after being swept away in the Conejo Creek area of Hill Canyon.

His three hiking companions were safely rescued.

Meanwhile, crews from several different local, state and federal agencies continue to clean up and repair the damage left by Friday's massive storm in Ventura County.

Highway 101 NB in La Conchita was fully reopened Saturday morning but other roads, like Highway 33 through the Los Padres National Forest (see photos), remain closed.

Caltrans District Supervisor Bob Kilpatrick sent out this email along with the photos Sunday regarding the situation on Highway 33 through the Los Padres National Forest...

"Highway 33 is closed from the Wheeler Gorge Campground to SR 166 near Cuyama. 

There was more activity at the Ojai Quarry last night with a large boulder landing in the southbound lane. It was not safe to work under the slope last night, but it will be removed today. This is still in the closure area."

Meanwhile, for the status of other streets and roadways in Ventura County that were impacted by the storm, go to http://www.vcemergency.com 

Many property owners and residents throughout the county are cleaning up mud and debris deposited by storm waters.

FATAL CRASH IN VENTURA SUNDAY MORNING

KVTA News Sunday February 19, 2017

(Top photo courtesy Roxanna Baldonado/Bottom photo courtesy Maria I)

Updated--A man was killed, a woman injured, in a solo vehicle crash in Ventura Sunday morning.

Police say it happened at 6:47 AM at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Telephone Road near the County Government Center.

They say the vehicle, driven by a 21-year-old female, crashed into a signal light pole at the southwest corner of the intersection in front of the 76 gasoline station.

Pollice say the 21-year-old male passenger died at the scene while the female driver was taken to VCMC with serious injuries but is expected to survive.

The crash shut down southbound Victoria at Telephone for several hours.

The names of the male fatal victim and injured female driver have not been released yet and police say they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

SANTA PAULA MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

KVTA News Sunday February 19, 2017


Santa Paula police say they've arrested a man for attempted murder of a young woman in what they say was an incident of domestic violence Saturday afternoon.

Police say that around 1 PM officers responded to a report of an injured woman the area of Las Piedras Park in the 700 block of Ojai Road.

They found an 18-year-old female suffering from massive swelling on both sides of her face.

Police say their investigation determined that the female was in a vehicle with a young man that was parked in the area of Mill Park when he became angry and allegedly beat her on the head, face and back.

They also say she was choked to the point that she believed he was trying to kill her.

The victim eventually fled and called police.

She was taken to Santa Paula Hospital with what police described as non-life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, police arrested 20-year-old Joshua Stephenson of Santa Paula and accused him of attempted murder, inflicting corporal injury to a cohabitant and assault with a deadly weapon.

He was booked into the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $505,000.

STORM CAUSES FLOODING, SLIDES, ROAD CLOSURES, RESCUES AND ONE DEATH


(Photos courtesy Ventura County Fire and Ventura PD)

(Updated 12:30 PM Saturday 2-18-17)--A powerful storm that brought drenching rains and damaging winds, closed major roadways, flooded homes, toppled trees, caused power outages, several water rescues and one death Friday in Ventura County.

Searchers looking for a missing hiker in the Hill Canyon area of Thousand Oaks found the man's body Saturday morning about a quarter mile from where they rescued three other men who had reported their companion had been swept away in a swollen creek.

The fatal victim has been identified as 18-year-old Josue Trinidad of Thousand Oaks.

Between 3-10 inches of rain was recorded around Ventura County and more is on the way (see rainfall totals at bottom of this post).

The northbound 101 was closed at Highway 33 in Ventura for more than seven hours because of mud across lanes in the La Conchita area.

One lane was reopened around 8:30 PM and the freeway was fully reopened Saturday morning.

That was just the largest of several road closures across the county.

For information on that and to check the status of road closures and other official information go to http://www.vcemergency.com

Meanwhile, several swift water rescues were conducted from Thousand Oaks to Ventura with one person still missing.

In Thousand Oaks three men were rescued by Air Squad 9 and the swift water rescue team when heavy rains quickly flooded the Conejo Creek barranca west of the 1200 block of Camino Dos Rios.

A fourth man was swept away and a search was conducted until Saturday morning when a man's body was found about a quarter miles from where the other men were safely rescued Friday.

In Ventura, a man was rescued near the mouth of the Ventura River when he became stranded on an island and two people and two dogs were rescued from the Santa Clara River in east Ventura.

In all cases, the people got stranded on islands created by rapidly rising rivers and creeks.

Winds tore down trees and ripped down power lines causing power outages.

Flooding plagued homes throughout the county with the latest several homes in the 3500 block of Glen Abbey Lane in Oxnard.

Firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders handled scores of weather related calls throughout the county.

There was at least one positive aspect to the storm a much-needed 5-10 inches of rain in the watersheds surrounding the lakes and reservoirs around Ventura County.

The rain is continuing today (Saturday) with a short break on Sunday and then more rain Monday.

Here are rainfall totals as of 12:30 PM Saturday...

Ventura 4.37

Oxnard 5.07

Camarillo 3.02

Port Hueneme 5.40

Ojai 6.01

Santa Paula 5.12

Fillmore 4.44

Thousand Oaks 5.03

Moorpark 3.12

Simi Valley 2.80

Matilija Canyon 9.92

Red Mountain 7.88

Nordhoff Ridge 8.86

 Hopper Mountain 6.28

Old Man Mountain  10.05 

For continuous rainfall updates go to http://www.vcwatershed.net/fws/gmap.html

The National Weather Service in OXNARD has issued a
 
 * Flash Flood Warning for...
   Ventura County in southwestern California...
 
 * Until 400 PM PST
 
 * At 110 PM PST, Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated
   heavy rain falling across the warned area. Flash flooding is
   expected to begin shortly if not already occuring. Flash flooding,
   mud, and debris flows are likely below the Solimar and Camarillo
   Springs burn areas. 
 
 * Some locations that will experience flooding include...
   Solimar Burn Area...
   Springs Burn Area...
   Oxnard...
   Ventura...
   Camarillo...
   Fillmore...
   Ojai...
   Santa Paula...
   La Conchita...
   and Highway 33 between Wheeler Springs and Rose Valley Road.
 
 PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
 
 Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
 deaths occur in vehicles.
 
 Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
 creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as
 well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.
 
 Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you
 can do so safely.
 
 A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring.
 If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately.
 Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate
 precautions to protect life and property.
 
 A Flash Flood Warning for a recent burn area means that flooding and
 debris flows are imminent or occurring. Residents living in or
 immediately below the burn area should take immediate precautions 
 to protect life and property. Quickly move away from the burn area 
 only if it is safe to do so, otherwise shelter in place and move 
 to a second storyor the highest location in your home to stay out 
 of the path of fast-moving water and debris flows.
 

Rain And A Lot Of It In Ventura County

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017


Ventura County is the "bullseye" for an "atmospheric river" that's expected to dump several inches of rain starting Thursday (tonight) through Monday and especially tomorrow (Friday).

Here is what the National Weather Service is saying...

"A weakening cold front approaching from the northwest may bring light to moderate rain to Southwest California Thursday.

A stronger system Friday, may be the most significant storm of the season, especially for Santa Barbara South Coast and points south.

Widespread heavy rain is becoming more likely Friday into early Saturday, heaviest for the Santa Barbara South Coast and southward.

Updated rainfall estimates are 2-6 inches for coasts and valleys and 5-10 inches for south facing foothills and coastal mountain slopes focused from the Santa Barbara South Coast southward.

Possible impacts due to potentially widespread heavy rain include flooding for urban areas and small streams, flash flooding with mud and debris flows, especially near and below recent burn areas, and mud/rockslides near canyon walls.

Travel delays are also likely due to reduced visibilities and slick roads with water ponding on some roadways.

Additionally, strong and potentially damaging southerly winds with this storm system may lead to numerous downed trees and power lines."

Meanwhile, residents of portions of Camarillo Springs will be under a voluntary evacuation order.

Other areas of concern will be the Solimar Burn area along the 101 just northwest of Ventura, all streets and roadways that tend to having flooding problems in heavy rain, and those roads and highways that are prone to mud and rock slides.

In addition to the heavy rain there will be high surf and coastal flooding problems due to the high seas and high tides.

Here are some links to check for rainfall totals and official information during the storms...

For official information from the Ventura County Office of Emergency Services...

http://www.vcemergency.com

For road closures and road conditions...

http://vcwatershed.com/webeoc/status_report.php

http://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx

For rainfall totals...

http://www.vcwatershed.net/fws/gmap.html

For weather information...

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/lox/

Overall Crime In Oxnard Declines

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017

Oxnard police say overall crime in that city declined in 2016 for the first time in five years.

The numbers out today show that overall crimes, both violent and property crimes combined, dropped by 7.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

That was due to a nine percent drop in overall property crimes.

Violent crimes rose by three percent last year compared to the year before.

In violent crimes, the number of homicides in 2015 and 2016 were the same, 12.

However, rapes rose by more than 228 percent, 21 in 2015 and 69 in 2016.

Robbery increased by more than 11 percent but aggravated assaults dropped by almost 13 percent.

As far as property crimes were concerned, burglaries were down more than 11 percent, motor vehicle thefts dropped by almost six percent and other types of thefts dropped by more than nine percent. 

Among property crimes, the only increase was in arsons, up by almost 67 percent from the year before.

West Ventura Recycling Center Robbed

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017

Ventura police say a recycling center in west Ventura was robbed by two men, one with a gun.

It happened around 2:20 PM Thursday at 985 N. Olive Street.

Police say two men entered the business and one produced a handgun and demanded money.

The suspects took money from the manager and also the cash box and then fled on foot westbound on Warner Street.

Police looked for them but did not find them.

No one was hurt. 

The only description given was two unknown race males in their later 20's to early 30's.

Oxnard Teens Arrested For Attempted Carjacking

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017

Oxnard police say they arrested two juveniles in connection with an attempted carjacking Thursday morning.

They say a 67-year-old Oxnard man told them he was washing his car in the area of Robert Avenue and N. A Street shortly before 10 AM Thursday when he was confronted by two male juveniles.

He told police that one of the juveniles was armed with a knife and demanded the victim turn over his car keys.

The victim refused and ran for help.

Officers responded and located the juveniles in the 500 block of N. A Street.

Police say they tried to run, but were caught and taken into custody.

Police say the victim identified the juveniles and security video from a local business backed up his story.

The 13 and 14 year-old males were arrested for attempted carjacking and elder abuse.

Ventura County Hate Crime Investigated

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department is seeking public help in identifying the suspects in a series of hate crimes in the Oak Park community near Thousand Oaks.

They say that on February 11th deputies responded to several calls from people who said hand written anti-Semitic notes were left on seven homes and the Chabad of Oak Park.

The notes contained swastikas and derogatory messages.

With the exception of the Chabad of Oak Park, it appears the seven homes were selected at random and did not specifically target Jewish residents.

Some of the suspects were captured on video placing the notes at homes and a vehicle.

Both Ventura County and Federal law enforcement agencies are attempting to identify the suspects who are believed to be in the teens to early 20's.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects in the attached video. If you have any information on this crime or can identify the suspects, please contact Detective Marta Bugarin at (805) 371-8342 or at Marta.Bugarin@ventura.org.

Woman Accused Of Stealing From Simi Charity Group

KVTA News Thursday February 16, 2017

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff)

The former Executive Director of the Simi Valley Community Foundation has been arrested on grand theft and forgery charges.

Ventura County prosecutors say that 58-year-old Joanne Abruzzese allegedly stole about 55-thousand dollars over the course of about two years.

Deputy District Attorney Tom Frye tells KVTA News that the foundation serves as an umbrella for local charities to coordinate and maximize resources.

He says the defendant used foundation checks to pay her mortgage.

Abruzzese was arrested Wednesday morning and later bailed out of custody.

If convicted she could face up to five years behind bars.

Scare At Simi's Royal High A Misunderstanding

KVTA News Wednesday February 15, 2017

(Photo of Royal High School from Copter 3 during Wednesday incident)

A fake rifle used by the drill team at Royal High School in Simi Valley touched off a tense morning for students, teachers and parents Wednesday.

School authorities and police received a report around 8:20 AM that a person carrying a rifle was seen on campus.

That prompted a lockdown not only of Royal High but also Santa Rose of Lima Catholic school across the street.

Royal Avenue and other streets were closed while the Simi Valley SWAT team scoured the campus looking for the "gunman."

The sheriff's Copter 3 and media helicopters swirled overhead and worried parents waited nearby.

Then, around midday, after the SWAT team and searched for the suspect, investigators determined that the "gunman" who was seen was actually a member of the Royal High School Drill Team, and the rifle was actually a ceremonial fake gun used by the drill team and not a real firearm.

Victim Of Fatal Crash Near Ventura Identified

KVTA News Wednesday February 15, 2017

UPDATED---Ventura police have released new details about the circumstances that led up to a fatal crash late Tuesday night.

They say that at 11:30 PM police responded to the parking lot of the Circle K in the 11000 block of Citrus Drive off Wells Road in east Ventura to a report of an intoxicated subject who was fighting.

Police say the individual, later identified by the Medical Examiner's Office as 36-year-old Sean Coulter of Santa Paula, had struck a patron in the face in an unprovoked attack that led to the fight.

An officer investigating the incident was talking with a witness when he saw Coulter drive out of the parking lot and hit a parked vehicle.

Police say that Coulter then fled northbound on Wells Road.

The officer tried to catch up to Coulter but lost sight of him when he turned from Wells Road to Foothill Road.

The officer continued eastbound on Foothill and spotted Coulter's vehicle overturned around Alison Canyon Road.

Police say when his vehicle overturned, Coulter was ejected and killed.

His female passenger was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters.

She was taken to VCMC and is now reported in stable condition.

Foothill Road was closed between Wells and Olive for at least ten hours while the CHP investigated the crash.

VPD Clears Out Homeless Camp Near Community Park

KVTA News Tuesday February 14, 2017

(Photos by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

Ventura police staged a sweep of a large homeless encampment in the Harmon Barranca that runs along the west side of the Community Park at Telephone and Kimball roads.

They found about 20 separate camps that had been generating complaints from nearby residents and park users.

Police Sergeant Jerry Foreman tells KVTA news that the sensitive environment in the barranca was being damaged by the people living there.

They found human waste among the piles of debris left by the homeless camps.

Foreman says people living in the camps might have been contributing to crime in the area and they found numerous bicycles that were likely stolen.

People who lived in the homeless camp were given a week’s notice to clear out and only three people were still there when police arrived Tuesday morning.

Two accepted assistance offered by social service workers and the other refused help.

No Charges In Crash That Killed Ventura County Firefighter

KVTA News Tuesday February 14, 2017

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office said today they will not file charges in connection with the crash that killed Ventura County Firefighter Ryan Osler in September of last year.

Osler and Ventura County Firefighter Adam Price were responding to the Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base in the early morning hours of September 21, 2016.

Price was driving the tanker truck, or water tender, westbound on Highway 246 when they overturned and rolled over at the roundabout at Purisima Road.

Osler was killed, Price was injured.

Santa Barbara County DA Joyce Dudley says that it was dark and foggy at the time of the crash.

She says that after an investigation by the CHP and a review by her office, "no evidence was found of criminal negligence sufficient to support any charges against Mr. Price."

Dudley called the crash "a tragedy that highlights the dangers our first responders willingly face every day."

She added, "I extend my deepest sympathy to Ryan Osler's family and loved ones, along with my heart-felt condolences to Adam Price, his loved ones and all the men and women of the Ventura County Fire Department."

East Ventura House Fire Displaces Four

KVTA News Tuesday February 14, 2017

(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)

The Ventura City Fire Department says four people were displaced by a house fire Monday night.

The fire was reported shortly after 10:30 PM in the 600 block of Cachuma Avenue.

When firefighters arrived on scene they found heavy black smoke coming from multiple openings in the single story, single family home.

The occupants were on the front sidewalk.

Firefighters made an aggressive attack with some going into the home while others provided vertical and positive pressure ventilation.

The fire was knocked down within 16 minutes but it caused damage to a bedroom and some surrounding rooms.

Damage estimates were placed at $250,000.

No one was injured but the four adults and two pets were displaced by the fire.

The Red Cross was helping out.

The cause is under investigation.

Man Arrested After Punching Ventura Police Officer

KVTA News Tuesday February 14, 2017

Ventura police say they arrested a man after he fled from officers and then fought with them Monday.

The incident began shortly before 7 PM in the 2700 block of E. Main Street.

Police had received several 911 calls about a man running in the roadway who was throwing objects at passing vehicles and kicking parked cars.

Officers responded and found the man near Main Street and Telephone Road.

They say when he saw the officers, the man fled on foot onto the Saint Bonaventure High School campus.

Officers ran after the man and caught up to him near the corner of Dos Caminos Avenue and Telegraph Road.

Police say as the officers tried to take the man into custody he punched one of them in the face and continued to struggle until several officers finally subdued him.

Police say 20-year-old Juan Plascencia of Ventura was taken to VCMC to be checked out for what appeared to be symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance and to be treated for some minor injuries suffered in the struggled with officers.

One officer also suffered a minor injury.