Police Files

UPS store gets unexpected delivery – and it could have been tragic

On Saturday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. a Porsche crashed through the UPS Store on Coast Highway. Early reports suggest that the driver was cut off, resulting in this accident.

While LBPD has yet to release details, it is clear that if this had happened just a few hours later, someone – or several people – could have been killed or severely injured at this popular location.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Lorraine Hornby

Porsche crashes into UPS store

Terri Meisberger, who owns the UPS Store with her husband Mark, told Stu News:

“We’re just so grateful that the store was closed [at the time of the accident] and that nobody was injured. That’s all we could really ask for. It could have been so much worse. It’s a little inconvenience, but everyone is ok. We’re ok.”

“The copier that’s in the front went flying into the back mail boxes and is demolished. We had to get [the site] boarded up that day, right away, because it was completely open. It’s temporary. We’re hoping to get a banner made that says we’re still open.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Marshall Aren

This car was also involved in the accident

“We can rebuild, the store can be repaired. We appreciate everyone’s understanding during our “remodel.”

Stu News is following up with LBPD and will provide more details about the accident as they become available. 

 

Food delivery man caught on video stealing resident's Nikes

On Friday, March 2, a Laguna Beach resident living on Cliff Drive had his Nike sneakers stolen – he had left them outside his front porch, most likely to dry out because of the rain, and because that’s what you do when you live in a small town like ours.

But sadly, even if you live in a small town, you’re not immune from thieves. 

Someone took his Nikes…

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Now you see them, now you don’t

Fortunately for the resident, he had a doorbell camera set up, and caught the thief red-handed on video stealing his shoes.

The sneaky suspected sneaker thief, as seen here, was delivering take-out food to the victim’s next-door neighbor when he brazenly snatched the victim’s shoes on his way out.

“I can confirm that this happened and that detectives will follow up and see where it leads us,” said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota.


Police Files

“Well-dressed bandits” are now wearing stripes: LBPD detectives arrest second suspect in last summer’s five-business burglary

Laguna Beach detectives have connected the final piece of the puzzle in last summer’s jewelry heist at The Shops at The Cliffs, which resulted in the loss of over $200,000 in merchandise for five Laguna Beach businesses. 

On Wednesday, LBPD Detectives traveled to Oceanside and arrested 26-year-old Alexander Kenneth Joe Aguirre, after arresting 30-year-old Edward Torrison, also in Oceanside, in September 2017. Detectives from LBPD believed early on that the burglaries were related to a series of thefts that occurred in South Orange County. 

Submitted photo

Thanks to LBPD detectives’ thorough and awesome efforts, these “well-dressed bandits” have both been arrested: on the left, Alexander Kenneth Joe Aguirre; on the right, Edward Torrison

Early on in the investigation, detectives identified one of the suspects, Edward Torrison, 30, a resident of Oceanside. On September 26, 2017, detectives from LBPD went to Oceanside and after a short foot pursuit (which also resulted in the suspect severely injuring a gecko), Torrison was placed under arrest. Torrison was subsequently convicted and sentenced. He is currently in prison, serving a 32-month sentence.

Detectives continued the investigation in search for the second suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Alexander Kenneth Joe Aguirre.

On February 28, LBPD detectives arrested Aguirre in the city of Oceanside on two counts of burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Detectives located stolen jewelry hidden inside of a bedroom belonging to Aguirre. All of the found jewelry was confiscated and held for evidence. Aguirre was booked and later transported to Orange County Jail.

“Laguna Beach Police detectives had an unwavering determination to apprehend both offenders and their hard work resulted in another arrest of someone who tried to victimize our business community,” said Captain Jeff Calvert, LBPD.

 

Have Coffee with a Cop…and lifeguards…and firefighters…and emergency personnel…on March 10

The community is invited to join neighbors, officers and emergency personnel for coffee and donuts on Sat, March 10 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach (31872 Coast Hwy). 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Firefighters, police and emergency personnel want to talk to YOU

Personnel from Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach Police Department, Laguna Beach Fire Department, Laguna Beach Lifeguards, OC Parks, OC Lifeguards and Doctors Ambulance will be present. There will be a vehicle display and photo opportunities. 

The purpose of this event is to open lines of communication and build relationships with citizens. There are no agendas or speeches, just a chance for citizens to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the emergency personnel in their community. 

The police officers, lifeguards, firefighters and paramedics hope for a great turnout so that they can meet plenty of members of the community.


Police Files

Local homeless man is arrested more than 30 times in three years

At 6:43 p.m. on Saturday, Feb 24, officers responded to 2442 S Coast Highway following a report of a possible burglary in progress. 

“The property manager reported that a man was seen on the surveillance system entering a vacant but furnished apartment building...which is set to rent for $5,000 per month,” said LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota.

“Officers arrived and established a perimeter around the property. After speaking with the property manager, officers checked the building and found an unlocked door to apartment #2. LBPD K-9 Ranger led the search, which resulted in the discovery of a subject hiding in a bathroom.”

The suspect, Reese Westenberger, 53, a local homeless man who has been arrested “in excess of 30 times since 2015” according to LBPD, had broken into the furnished rental home and admitted to the police that he had been living there for one week. 

According to LBPD, there were no drugs or alcohol found on the scene.

Westenberger was taken into custody and later transported to OCJ. His bail was set at $50,000.

 

Scammer pretends to be a high-level City employee with thousands in grant money to give to businesses

Last week, Ruben Flores, owner of Laguna Nursery, was thrilled to hear that he might be eligible for thousands of dollars in grant money from the City. But only for a moment. 

“On one hand, as a small business, you’re like ‘thank goodness, we need this. And then as a rational person you say, this doesn’t sound right,’” Flores says.

Flores’s instincts were spot on. He explains what happened. 

“Through Facebook messenger, [the scam artists] messaged me from a high-level City employee’s Facebook page, representing to be that person. They said they could help get me a federal grant.”

“They kept texting back and texting back, and they were fairly persistent in telling me how we could get up to $200,000 and that we needed to fill out this form with different personal information.”

Sgt Cota says, “This is a one-hundred-percent scam. The scammers ask for money upfront, in this case $1,000, in order to get the transaction to move forward for payment.”

Ruben told Stu News that the scammer, using the City employee’s Facebook account, told him to message a person by the name of Russell Miller to get the details about the supposed grant.

“Then he said, if you give me $1,000 within the next 30 minutes, I can get you $40,000. That’s when I knew for sure it was sketchy.”

Flores reported the incident to the LBPD, who are now investigating. The “Russell Miller” Facebook page has since been taken down.

 

Heroin bust on Canyon Road after early-morning search of Mercedes – and then an unexpected find 

Sunday morning at 12:41 a.m., officers at the intersection of El Toro Road and the southbound off-ramp of the SR-73 observed a grey Mercedes stopped beyond the limit line (approximately three feet), a violation of California Vehicle Code 21453(a). 

Officers pulled behind the vehicle and noticed the car’s registration tabs were also expired.

Inside the vehicle, officers found twelve individually packaged baggies of heroin. 

“The driver of the Mercedes, Matthew Erik Logan, 45, and passenger Gloria Renee Reid, 49, both of Fountain Valley, were charged with three drug related charges and possession of counterfeit money,” said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Cota.

Logan had $1,300 in his possession, $1,100 in counterfeit bills. 

A search by a woman jailer revealed four unused hypodermic needles and a Skittles bag of heroin in and around Gloria Renee Reid’s genital area.


Police Files

“Armed and dangerous” felons arrested after midnight in North Laguna, after “blacking out” their car and fleeing on foot

At 12:42 a.m. on Thursday morning, Feb 22, Laguna Beach Police Dispatchers received a license plate alert about an armed and dangerous felony vehicle, a 2017 Chevy Equinox, travelling inbound on Laguna Canyon Road. 

Nighttime patrol officers were alerted and the vehicle was located on the 600 Block of Laguna Canyon Road. 

According to LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, the Chevy then turned onto 100 Cliff Drive, where it “blacked out” – in other words, the driver turned off the headlights in an attempt to evade detection.

But the fleeing felons fortunately were detected.

“The vehicle was abandoned at the intersection of Rosa Bonheur and Cypress Drive and the felons fled on foot,” Sgt Cota said. ”Two men were eventually located. Clifton Young Jr (34) was found on Cedar Way. He was in possession of a stun gun. Rylan Robinson (24) was located on Cliff Drive while trying to enter an Uber.”

“Both men are from Long Beach and have criminal records. LAPD was contacted and responded to take custody of the men.”

Several masks, beanies, and hoodies were found inside the vehicle, which was impounded and placed on an evidence hold for LAPD.

 

London man is TASERED in the buttocks after hitting Hennessey’s staff

On Sunday, Feb 18 at 9:27 p.m., officers responded to Hennessey’s (213 Ocean Ave) after a report about a combative man, later identified as Luke Ewers, 34, from London, who was refusing to leave the premises.

“When officers arrived, Ewers was physically fighting the manager and security staff of Hennessey’s,” LBPD spokesperson Jim Cota said. 

“An officer deployed his TASER in an attempt to control Ewers’ violent actions. The probes connected with Ewers’ lower back and buttocks area and effectively stopped the attack. Ewers was taken into custody for disturbing the peace and being drunk in public.”

Ewers was transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, where the TASER probes were removed by the medical staff.

The men he attacked with punches and elbows are doing fine. In fact, they’re sitting pretty, which is probably more than can be said for Ewers, who was transported to LBPD jail after Mission Hospital.

 

Head-on collision at Solana and S Coast Hwy results in cut-and-rescue: Driver suspected of DUI

On Wednesday, a head-on traffic collision occurred at Solana and S Coast Highway resulted in a cut and rescue operation. 

Preliminary reports from LBPD’s Sgt Jim Cota indicate that one vehicle was headed southbound in the #1 lane and collided with another vehicle that was headed northbound in the #1 lane. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ryan Keller

Head on traffic collision believed to be caused by DUI

The person believed to be at fault is a 53-year-old man from Riverside, suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.

A 2000 White Chevy Blazer and a 2004 Black Volvo S60 were involved. Both vehicles sustained major damage. 

The driver who was not at fault, a Dana Point resident, is still in the hospital with internal injuries. 

The investigation is ongoing.


Police Files

Update on officer-involved shooting: audio and video recorded the interchange between cops and distressed woman

The 36-year-old Huntington Beach woman who was shot by police on Sunday after emerging from her vehicle with a gun in her hand, has been medically upgraded from critical to stable condition, said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota on Wednesday. 

“LBPD will seek charges against the female suspect,” said Sgt Cota.

An investigation is currently underway by both LBPD and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident. Video and audio recordings from patrol vehicles and residences are being reviewed, which will shed light on the interchange between cops and the distressed woman, who is reported to have threatened to take her own life, as well as the number of bullets fired.

 “Officers verbally attempted several times to let them help her with her ongoing issues,” said Sgt Cota. “(They) were very patient and attempted to help her.”

Stu News will continue to follow and report on this story in the coming weeks.

 

Three suspects arrested and charged in connection with assault at The Saloon

On August 11, 2017, at 1:30 a.m., Laguna Beach Police Officers responded to a fight in progress in the 400 block of South Coast Highway. Officers contacted two separate victims of an assault and began an investigation into who committed these acts of violence. 

At the conclusion of the initial investigation, it was determined that three male subjects assaulted two male Laguna Beach bar patrons and a Good Samaritan female who tried to intervene. Both male victim sustained injuries, including broken bones and lacerations. The female victim sustained minor injuries.

Laguna Beach Police Detectives began a lengthy investigation in the search for the individuals responsible for the assault. Over a dozen interviews were conducted during the investigation and hours of video reviewed. At the conclusion of the investigation, three male suspects were ultimately arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Battery with Serious Bodily Injury.

The three males were identified as City of Ontario resident Jeremy Bishop (pictured here), Daniel Little (not pictured), and Joshua Little (not pictured). Both Daniel and Joshua Little reside in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

“This lengthy and time-consuming investigation serves as a reminder that our police department will pursue any individual(s) who commit acts of violence in Laguna Beach. Our Investigations team did an outstanding job identifying, locating, and arresting these three suspects,” said LBPD Captain Jeff Calvert.

--From a press release

 

Laguna Beach enjoys an overall reduction in crime for 2017, although burglary is up 10 percent

The Laguna Beach Police Department is happy to report a reduction in crime for 2017. The Police Department tracks crime and a number of other statistics on a yearly basis in an overall effort to evaluate their effectiveness as well as identify areas of community outreach and enforcement.

While larcenies have dropped significantly, there has been an increase in residential burglaries. These burglaries are attributed to unlocked doors and open garage doors. “This is a reminder that we can prevent a majority of property crime by taking the time to properly secure our homes,” said Chief Farinella. The decrease in larcenies are directly related to the increased staffing of Beach Patrol Officers which were funded through Measure LL and the Strategic Plan. These once part-time positions are now full-time, providing a much-needed added layer of presence on the beach, which is where we saw the decrease in the crimes.

Other highlights:

No fatal traffic collisions: Second year in a row

Traffic collisions are down 12%

Total calls for service are up 4%, equaling 1,919 additional calls

Citations are up almost 100%, which is attributed to the additional Beach Patrol Officers enforcing local municipal codes such as no alcohol and glass on the beach.

CERT is now over 300 members strong, CERT Academy graduated Class #9

Citizen Academy participates are now over 400 strong with the graduation of Class#24

The below are Laguna Beach statistics for 2017 Part I Violent Crimes, as compared to previous years. 

Tables courtesy of LBPD

The below are Laguna Beach statistics for 2017 Part I Property Crimes, as compared to previous years. 

Every police department is mandated to report Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on a yearly basis, so that increases and decreases in crime can be tracked and evaluated on a national level. The reporting of crime is separated into two classifications, Part I and Part II. Comparing these statistics year-to-year can tell a story both locally and nationally, and help police agencies strategically focus their resources. Part I crimes are the only crimes that are mandated to report. Reporting of Part II crimes is not mandated, and include crimes such as forgery, vandalism, and drug abuse violations. The Laguna Beach Police Department does track these crimes in an effort to identify trends.

--From a press release


Police Files

Man urinates on street, refuses to cooperate with police: Forgets he has a large firecracker in his pants

On Saturday, Feb 10 at 12:52 p.m., on the 1100 block of S Coast Hwy, Randy R Sison, 41, of Mission Viejo, was cited for urinating in public – normally a relatively minor infraction – but he refused to sign the necessary citation. 

“If you don’t sign a citation, you automatically get arrested and go to jail,” LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota told Stu News.

That’s when things got interesting.

After Sison was taken into custody and prior to entering the jail, officers asked him if he had any contraband on him, otherwise he would be charged with an additional crime.

“Upon booking him, officers found a large firecracker in his possession,” Sgt Cota said.

The firecracker was an M-250, with a fuse three inches long, measuring three quarters of an inch in diameter – that is to say, a large firecracker.

And the large firecracker was in his right front pant pocket.

“I forgot I had it on me,” Sison said, according to LBPD.

Sison was charged with “possession of a dangerous [and illegal] firework or explosive,” in jail with him.

He was transported to Orange County Jail and faces a felony charge.


Officer-involved shooting rattles community: Woman had gun in hand upon emerging from vehicle

At 2:41 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 11, the Laguna Beach Police Department received a call about an apparently distressed woman in a blue gray Lexus SUV driving erratically.

“More than one call came in. At least one (or more) caller(s) indicated that this person appeared to have a handgun visible in her possession,” said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota.

While officers were responding, another caller reported speaking to a woman who had a gun in the area of St. Ann’s and Gaviota. The woman with the firearm had asked the bystander to call the police because she wanted to take her own life.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Police gather at the crime scene

Officers arrived in the 100 block of St. Ann’s and made contact with the distressed woman, later found to be a 36-year-old Huntington Beach resident. She was parked at the far end of the cul de sac on Saint Ann’s facing the beach, alone in her car.

“She was initially uncooperative with the officers,” said Sgt Cota. “One officer approached her on foot. The other officer pulled up behind her vehicle and exited on foot. Then the woman emerged from the car with a gun in her hand. The officer on foot discharged his weapon. The woman was struck in the upper torso.”

Officers immediately rendered aid and called paramedics, who also worked on her. She was transported to Mission Hospital – Mission Viejo, where she underwent surgery.

As of last night, she remained in critical condition. 

No officers were injured during the incident. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kim Pearson

A bullet penetrated a window at the Laguna Riviera: The room was unoccupied

It appears that at least one bullet went through the window of an unoccupied room at the Laguna Riviera hotel during the incident, as seen in this photo provided by hotel owner Kim Pearson. LBPD is not commenting on the number of bullets fired.

Sgt Cota tells us that the Laguna Beach Police Department will conduct an investigation and review of this incident through a multi-step process that evaluates the legal, policy, and tactical considerations surrounding the event. 

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office responded as standard protocol and will conduct a parallel and independent investigation.

--Lynette Brasfield


Police Files

Graffiti on the rise in Laguna? LBPD says no, but it happens, and if you see it, report it

Walls, trees, you name it, are susceptible to graffiti. Even plants, sometimes. We’ve all seen writing on some of the succulents in Heisler Park.

According to LBPD’s Sgt Jim Cota, these markings are not on the rise in Laguna Beach, despite recent reports, for example of the graffiti at Victoria Beach. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Aurora Clabaugh

Recent graffiti at Victoria Beach

However, they want to be sure, as we all do, to keep our town as free of graffiti as possible.

The LBPD suggests that anyone who happens to observe someone in the act of applying graffiti should call the police immediately, but not make any sort of contact with the suspects.

If suspects are caught, they face a misdemeanor vandalism charge (if the damage is under $400). 

If graffiti is seen after the fact, police will ask the reporting party to explain as much information as they can about the case.

Either way, the community is urged to be vigilant to prevent our beautiful beaches and buildings from being vandalized.


Police Files

Scam alert: Letter claims to know about “secrets you are keeping from your wife”

A reader sent us a copy of a letter he received from a scam artist and would-be blackmailer, delivered via snail mail. The reader knew he had no reason to be concerned but was shocked, naturally, that this scam was in play. He dropped the letter off at the police station.

Stu News asked police to comment but at press time had not heard back. Common sense suggests that residents ignore these demands and advise police should they hear from “BadBird-93.”

Here are excerpts from the letter:

“My name is BadBird-93 and I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. More importantly, I have evidence of what you have been hiding. I won’t go into the specifics here in case your wife intercepts this, but you know what I am talking about. “

“You don’t know me personally and nobody hired me to look into you. Nor did I go out looking to burn you. It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job around Laguna Beach. I then put more time than I probably should have. Frankly, I am ready to forget all about you and [redacted] and let you get on with your life. So I am going to give you two options that will accomplish that very thing. These two options are to either ignore this letter, or to simply pay me $8,150.

Let’s examine those two options in more detail. 

Threats

Option 1 is to ignore this letter. Let me tell you what will happen if you choose this path. I will take this evidence and send it to everyone in your life, especially [redacted] And as insurance against you intercepting it before she gets it, I will also send copies to her friends, family, associates, and all your neighbors on and around [where you live/redacted]. So even if you decide to come clean to your wife, it won’t protect her from the humiliation she will feel when everyone she knows finds out your sordid details from me. 

Option 2 is to pay me $8,150. We’ll call this my “confidentiality fee.” Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. You go on with your life as though none of this ever happened. Though you may want to do a better job at keep your misdeeds secret in the future. 

“Letter cannot be traced to me”

At this point you may be thinking, “I’ll just go to the cops.” Which is why I have taken steps to ensure this letter cannot be traced back to me. So that won’t help, and it won’t stop the evidence from ruining your life. I’m not looking to break your bank. I just want to be compensated for the time I put into investigating you. 

“Confidentiality fee”

Let’s assume you have decided to make all this go away and pay me the confidentiality fee. In keeping with my strategy to not go to jail, we will not meet in person and there will be no physical exchange of chas. You will pay me anonymously using bitcoin. If you want me to keep your secret, then send $8,150 in BITCOIN to the Receiving Bitcoin Address listed below. Payment MUST be received within 9 days of the postmark date on this letters envelope. If you are not familiar with bitcoin, attached is a “How-To” guide. You will need the below two pieces of information when referencing the guide.”

The letter then goes on to explain exactly how to pay the scammer via Bitcoin.

Don’t be taken in. We’ll update this story when we hear from the LBPD.

 

Bookkeeper charged with defrauding Laguna Beach business owner of over $265,000

On January 22, 2016, Laguna Beach Police Detectives began a grand theft investigation against Nhora Johanna Tellez, a resident of Costa Mesa. The investigation began when a Laguna Beach business owner identified his bookkeeper/office manager, Tellez, as the person who defrauded him of over $80,000 from his marketing business, Laguna Coast Corporation.

Tellez was the bookkeeper and office manager at the victim’s business and had access to the victim’s financial information. It was discovered that Tellez had accessed and changed the login information for all of the victim’s investments and credit card accounts. Tellez created passwords for each online account and notifications of access or fraud to these accounts was rerouted to an email address held by Tellez.

This lengthy investigation revealed that Tellez devised and executed a scheme to defraud and obtain money from Laguna Coast Corporation by gaining the trust of the owner, who allowed her to gain control over the financial accounts. Documents and business records obtained in this investigation were forwarded to the Orange County District Attorney Major Fraud Unit, which, upon further review, determined that Tellez had embezzled approximately $265,390.67. Tellez used the money embezzled from the victim for a variety of personal expenses including veterinarian visits, entertainment expenses, living expenses, and vacations that involved the purchase of airline tickets. Cash advances were also conducted at various ATM’s throughout Orange County. Images of the ATM cash advances were obtained, and Tellez was positively identified as being the individual who completed the fraudulent transactions. To date, none of the embezzled funds have been returned by Tellez to the victim.

On January 24, 2018, Laguna Beach Police Department Detectives arrested Nhora Johanna Tellez in the City of Costa Mesa for California Penal Code 487-Grand Theft.

“This lengthy and time-consuming investigation serves as a reminder that our police department will pursue any individual(s) in positions of trust who take advantage of businesses and innocent victims. We brought in every available resource, including our partners from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, to ensure that this case would be appropriately investigated, prosecuted, and justice would be served,” said Captain Jeff Calvert, LBPD.


Interim Fire Chief Kirk Summers reaches the end of his term and the search is on for a new fire chief

Stu News contacted Fire Chief Kirk Summers this morning to ask about a recent vegetation fire – and Chief Summers, responsive as always, let us know the details – but also reminded us that his term is coming to an end in two weeks. Chief Summers, we hardly knew ye! 

The time has gone by so quickly since he was appointed, and we’ve not had any major fires, fortunately, though Chief Summers has presided over a department that has done sterling duty in helping battle the Thomas Fire and other California blazes.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

A great fire engine photo because, why not?

Here’s the deal about the fire last week in Laguna, for starters, at the 2300 block of Hillview Drive. (Arson is not suspected.)

“It was a small fire that had lots of potential,” Chief Summers told us. “Our guys jumped on it hard and kept it small. Captain Maxon and the first arriving crew of Engine 3 did a great job knocking down the fire.  The cause of the fire is undetermined at this point.

“It was nice to get some rain a couple of weeks ago but with the warm, dry weather we have been experiencing, we are right back in to fire season (still beats Chicago!),” Summers added. “Our residents need to use the same degree of caution that they would in August or September. Even in the absence of a severe wind, a slope driven fire in one of our canyons could cause great damage.  Our residents need to keep fire safety in mind all year round and keep native vegetation cut back and ornamental vegetation trimmed and well-watered.”

We hear you, Chief. But what’s up with you, we asked? And who will succeed you?

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Interim Fire Chief Kirk Summers

“All is good here. I am wrapping up my last couple of weeks here at LBFD. I am teaching an Incident Command class next week at the County EOC and then the week of the 12-15, that will be it! Then back to retirement for a while…I keep saying that.”

Stu News called City Manager John Pietig to find out how the search for a new fire chief is going. He tells us that since Feb 15 is Chief Summers’ last day, plans are already in place for Division Chief Tom Christopher to serve as interim chief until an appointment is made. Christopher will handle the day-to-day fire chief responsibilities until a permanent fire chief comes on board.

“We are still reviewing the final candidates and it’s going to be a month or so before we are able to make an announcement,” Pietig said.

We wish Chief Summers all the best for his retirement, though we suspect this will be another short retirement for this dedicated firefighter.

--Lynette Brasfield

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

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