[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]


Sierra Bancorp LogoSierra Bancorp parent of Bank of the Sierra, today announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter and the year ended December 31, 2014.

Sierra Bancorp recognized net income of $15.240 million for the year in 2014, an improvement of $1.871 million, or 14%, relative to net income in 2013.  The increase over the prior year is the result of higher net interest income, gains on the sale of OREO, non-recurring investment gains and a reduced loan loss provision.  These favorable variances were partially offset by non-recurring costs stemming from our acquisition of Santa Clara Valley Bank, lower deposit service charge income, higher costs resulting from our core software conversion in early 2014, higher salaries and benefits expense, and a higher tax accrual rate.

The Company’s return on average assets was 1.03% in 2014, up from 0.96% in 2013.  The Company’s return on average equity also increased to 8.18% in 2014 from 7.56% in 2013, and diluted earnings per share increased to $1.08 in 2014 from $0.94 in 2013.  For the fourth quarter of 2014 Sierra Bancorp had net income of $3.653 million, an annualized return on average equity of 7.73%, and a return on average assets of 0.93%.

Total assets were up $227 million, or 16%, in 2014, due primarily to net growth of $167 million in gross loan balances and an $87 million increase in investments, partially offset by a lower level of non-earning cash and due from banks.  Loan volume was favorably impacted by the purchase of $33 million in residential mortgage loans in March, growth of $33 million in outstanding balances on mortgage warehouse lines, strong organic growth in agricultural loans and commercial real estate loans, and the addition of approximately $62 million in balances in November via our acquisition.  The increase in investments also includes $44 million in investment securities acquired from Santa Clara Valley Bank.  Total nonperforming assets, including nonperforming loans and foreclosed assets, were reduced by $21 million, or 46%, during the year.  Total deposits increased $193 million, or 16%, during 2014, with around $108 million of that growth coming from our whole-bank acquisition.  Non-deposit borrowings increased $25 million.

“The recently-concluded year was an extremely busy and eventful one for us, with noteworthy results including the launch of the Bank’s management succession plan, a core system conversion, the upgrade of customer-facing technology, the rebranding of the Bank, and the successful execution of a whole-bank acquisition,” commented James C. Holly, Chief Executive Officer.  “Acquisition costs negatively impacted our financial performance, but those costs were lower than originally projected and were largely offset by other favorable variances.  We’re very pleased with the robust financial results achieved in 2014, including a dramatic reduction in nonperforming assets, strong loan and deposit growth, and increased net income,” he further observed.  “We feel that the stage is set for a successful year in 2015, as well, and I look forward to participating in the continued growth and progress of Sierra Bancorp and Bank of the Sierra,” concluded Holly.

Financial Highlights

Net income declined by $216,000, or 6%, in the fourth quarter of 2014 relative to the fourth quarter of 2013, but was up $1.871 million, or 14%, for the year in 2014 relative to 2013.  The primary factors contributing to these variances include the following:  An increase in net interest income; a reduced loan loss provision; non-recurring acquisition costs, which were offset in large part by non-recurring gains on the sale of OREO and investment securities; a drop in overdraft and returned item fees; non-recurring life insurance proceeds received in the fourth quarter of 2013; recurring acquisition-related expenses commencing mid-fourth quarter 2014, including personnel and occupancy costs; and ongoing costs associated with our core banking system conversion in February 2014.

Net interest income was up by $1.423 million, or 11%, for the comparative quarters and by $3.761 million, or 8%, for the year in 2014 compared to 2013.  Our net interest margin reflects a drop of seven basis points for the quarter and one basis point for the year, but net interest income was favorably impacted by increases in average interest-earning assets totaling $163 million for the fourth quarter and $101 million for the year in 2014.  Net interest income includes non-recurring income such as net interest recoveries on non-accrual loans and prepayment penalties, which totaled approximately $82,000 and $169,000 for the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2013, respectively, and $505,000 and $330,000 for the year in 2014 and 2013, respectively.  The favorable impact of interest recoveries in 2014, however, was offset in part by lower loan yields resulting from the continued competitive environment for quality loans.  Another significant factor in the Company’s results of operations in 2014 was the loan loss provision, which was zero in the fourth quarter of 2014 relative to $1.500 million the fourth quarter of 2013, and was down $4.000 million, or 92%, for the comparative years.

Total non-interest income fell by $286,000, or 6%, for the quarterly comparison, and by $1.232 million, or 7%, for the annual comparison.  The largest component of non-interest income, service charges on deposit accounts, declined by 10% for the fourth quarter and 8% the year due in large part to lower overdraft income.  Bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) income was also down $95,000, or 18%, for the fourth quarter and $510,000, or 29%, for the year in 2014 due primarily to fluctuations in income on BOLI associated with deferred compensation plans.  We realized $381,000 in gains on the sale of investments in the fourth quarter of 2014 relative to no gains in the fourth quarter of 2013, and had $667,000 in gains for the year in 2014 relative to only $6,000 in gains during 2013.  Other non-interest income was down $327,000, or 19%, for the comparative quarters and declined $636,000, or 10%, for the comparative years, due in part to $397,000 in non-recurring life insurance proceeds received in the fourth quarter of 2013.   The year-to-date period was also unfavorably affected by higher pass-through costs associated with our low-income housing tax credit investments, and lower fees on merchant accounts resulting from a $100,000 non-recurring signing incentive received in conjunction with our conversion of merchant processing to a new vendor in the first quarter of 2013.

Total non-interest expense increased by $2.101 million, or 19%, for the comparative quarters, and by $1.560 million, or 3%, for the year-to-date comparison.  The largest component of non-interest expense, salaries and benefits, increased by $951,000, or 18%, for the quarter, and by $1.006 million, or 5%, for the year in 2014.  Compensation expense was impacted by regular annual salary increases as well as staffing associated with our acquisition, which is ultimately expected to add around $2 million to annual expense.  A lower level of deferred salaries directly related to successful loan originations also had a negative impact on expenses in 2014, as did higher group health insurance premiums and year-end accrual adjustments for bonuses and the Company’s contribution to its 401(k) plan.  The annual comparison was further impacted by non-recurring overtime costs related to our core conversion in 2014, although that was offset by lower deferred compensation expense accruals related to the aforementioned drop in BOLI income, as well as lower expenses associated with stock options.  Occupancy expense increased by $73,000, or 5%, for the fourth quarter, and by $70,000, or 1%, for the year in 2014, due primarily to costs associated with our newly-acquired branches and higher utilities expense.  Other non-interest expenses increased by $1.077 million, or 27%, in the fourth quarter of 2014, and by $484,000, or 3%, for the year.  The primary variables impacting other non-interest expenses include the following:  acquisition costs of $1.803 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $2.070 million for the year; net costs associated with foreclosed assets, which were reduced by $936,000 for the fourth quarter and $2.949 million for the year, due mainly to higher gains on the sale of OREO in 2014; a timing-related drop of $235,000 in marketing costs for the quarter, but a $272,000 increase for the year due in part to costs incurred in conjunction with our recent rebranding efforts and the acquisition; increases in data processing expense, deposit costs and supply costs totaling $594,000 for the fourth quarter and $1.871 million for the year in 2014, due primarily to ongoing costs associated our software conversion and upgrades in February and our acquisition in November; lower deferred compensation plan accruals for our directors (related to the aforementioned drop in BOLI income); higher debit card losses and operational charge-offs in 2014; and non-recurring credits against telecommunications costs totaling $155,000, which were received in the first half of 2014.

The Company’s provision for income taxes was 31% of pre-tax income in the fourth quarter of 2014, relative to 19% in the fourth quarter of 2013.  For the year, the Company’s book tax rate was 29% in 2014 relative to 19% in 2013.  The higher tax provisioning in 2014 is primarily the result of an increase in taxable income relative to the Company’s available tax credits, but also includes an adjustment to true-up tax accruals subsequent to the filing of our 2013 income tax returns in September 2014.  Taxable income excludes income associated with bank-owned life insurance and most of our municipal investments.  Tax credits arise from our investments in low-income housing tax credit funds, as well as certain hiring tax credits.

The acquisition of Santa Clara Valley Bank in November 2014 had a significant impact on balance sheet growth for the year, including increases in loans, investments, and deposits as detailed below, as well as the addition of a $1.064 million core deposit intangible and an increase of $1.364 million in goodwill.  Balance sheet changes during 2014 include an increase in total assets of $227 million, or 16%, due to growth in loans and investments net of reductions in foreclosed assets and balances due from banks.  Gross loans increased by $167 million, or 21%, due to the purchase of $33 million in residential mortgage loans in the first quarter of 2014, strong organic growth in agricultural real estate loans, mortgage warehouse loans, commercial real estate loans, and commercial loans, and the acquisition of $62 million in loans from Santa Clara Valley Bank.  Reclassifications made in the course of our core conversion contributed to the increase in real estate loans but understate the true increase in commercial loans.  Investment balances were up $87 million, or 20%, due to the acquisition of $44 million in investment securities from Santa Clara Valley Bank and the purchase of mortgage-backed securities as we deployed excess liquidity.  Cash and due from banks was down $28 million, or 36%, due in large part to a lower balance of excess interest-earning funds held at the Federal Reserve Bank.

Total nonperforming assets, including non-accrual loans and foreclosed assets, reflect a reduction of $21 million, or 46%, during 2014, with much of the decrease resulting from the sale of a total of $10 million in nonperforming loans in the second and third quarters, and a material pay-down on one of our largest nonperforming loans in the fourth quarter.  The Company’s ratio of nonperforming assets to loans plus foreclosed assets was 2.52% at December 31, 2014, compared to 5.62% at December 31, 2013.  All of the Company’s impaired assets are periodically reviewed, and are either well-reserved based on current loss expectations or are carried at the fair value of the underlying collateral, net of expected disposition costs.  In addition to nonperforming assets, the Company had $12 million in loans classified as restructured troubled debt (TDRs) that were included with performing loans as of December 31, 2014, a reduction of about $3 million relative to TDRs at December 31, 2013.

The Company’s allowance for loan and lease losses was $11.2 million as of December 31, 2014, down slightly from the $11.7 million balance at December 31, 2013.  Net loans charged off against the allowance totaled $779,000 in 2014 compared to $6.547 million in 2013.  Due to loan growth and credit quality improvement, and the fact that Santa Clara Valley Bank loans were acquired at their fair values, the overall allowance declined to 1.16% of total loans at December 31, 2014 from 1.45% at December 31, 2013.  Management’s detailed analysis indicates that the Company’s allowance for loan and lease losses should be sufficient to cover credit losses inherent in loan and lease balances outstanding as of December 31, 2014, but no assurance can be given that the Company will not experience substantial future losses relative to the size of the allowance.

Deposits reflect growth of $193 million, or 16%, during the year ended December 31, 2014, due to $108 million in deposits acquired from Santa Clara Valley Bank and strong organic growth in core non-maturity deposits.  Core non-maturity deposits were up $197 million, or 23%, for the year, including over $90 million in non-maturity deposits from the acquisition.  There were also significant changes in the composition of deposits, due in part to the transition of approximately $40 million in non-interest bearing demand deposits into interest-bearing transaction accounts during the course of our core conversion, and the fact that $37 million, or 35%, of the deposits acquired from Santa Clara Valley Bank were money market deposits.  Non-maturity deposit growth was partially offset by a $5 million reduction in wholesale brokered deposits.  Junior subordinated debentures remain the same, but other interest-bearing liabilities increased by $25 million during 2014 due to borrowings to support strong loan growth, and borrowings acquired from Santa Clara Valley Bank.

Total capital increased by $5.4 million, or 3%, to $187 million at December 31, 2014.  The increase resulted primarily from the addition of net income to retained earnings, net of the impact of the acquisition, cash dividends paid, and the Company’s repurchase of 623,348 shares in 2014 (including 172,001 shares repurchased during the fourth quarter).  At December 31, 2014, we had 76,652 shares remaining for repurchase out of the 700,000 shares authorized under the current program.  Risk-based capital ratios, while still robust, dropped during the year due to an increase in risk-adjusted assets and the impact of the acquisition.

About Sierra Bancorp

Sierra Bancorp is the holding company for Bank of the Sierra (www.bankofthesierra.com), which is in its 38th year of operations and at over $1.6 billion in total assets is the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley.  The Company has over 400 employees and conducts business through 28 branch offices, an online branch, a real estate industries center, an agricultural credit center, and an SBA center.

The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future de­velopments and their potential effects on the Company.  Readers are cautioned not to unduly rely on forward looking statements.  Actual results may differ from those projected.  These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including but not limited to the health of the national and California economies, the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled employees, customers’ service expectations, the Company’s ability to successfully de­ploy new technology, the success of branch expansion, changes in interest rates, loan portfolio performance, the Company’s ability to secure buyers for foreclosed properties, and other factors detailed in the Company’s SEC filings, including the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.

CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT

(in $000’s, unaudited)

3-Month Period Ended:

Year Ended:

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

Interest Income

$ 14,509

$ 13,188

10.0%

$ 55,121

$ 51,785

6.4%

Interest Expense

641

743

-13.7%

2,796

3,221

-13.2%

   Net Interest Income

13,868

12,445

11.4%

52,325

48,564

7.7%

Provision for Loan & Lease Losses

1,500

-100.0%

350

4,350

-92.0%

   Net Int after Provision

13,868

10,945

26.7%

51,975

44,214

17.6%

Service Charges

2,136

2,381

-10.3%

8,275

9,022

-8.3%

Bank-Owned Life Insurance Income

434

529

-18.0%

1,278

1,788

-28.5%

Gain (Loss) on Investments

381

667

6

Other Non-Interest Income

1,370

1,697

-19.3%

5,611

6,247

-10.2%

   Total Non-Interest Income

4,321

4,607

-6.2%

15,831

17,063

-7.2%

Salaries & Benefits

6,154

5,203

18.3%

22,926

21,920

4.6%

Occupancy Expense

1,645

1,572

4.6%

6,344

6,274

1.1%

Other Non-Interest Expenses

5,090

4,013

26.8%

17,105

16,621

2.9%

   Total Non-Interest Expense

12,889

10,788

19.5%

46,375

44,815

3.5%

   Income Before Taxes

5,300

4,764

11.3%

21,431

16,462

30.2%

Provision for Income Taxes

1,647

895

84.0%

6,191

3,093

100.2%

  Net Income

$ 3,653

$ 3,869

-5.6%

$ 15,240

$ 13,369

14.0%

TAX DATA

Tax-Exempt Muni Income

$ 732

$ 747

-2.0%

$ 2,936

$ 2,737

7.3%

Interest Income – Fully Tax Equiv

$ 14,903

$ 13,573

9.8%

$ 56,702

$ 53,195

6.6%

NET CHARGE-OFFS (RECOVERIES)

$ (236)

$ 1,648

$ 779

$ 6,547

-88.1%

PER SHARE DATA

3-Month Period Ended:

Year Ended:

(unaudited)

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

Basic Earnings per Share

$0.27

$0.27

0.0%

$1.09

$0.94

16.0%

Diluted Earnings per Share

$0.26

$0.27

-3.7%

$1.08

$0.94

14.9%

Common Dividends

$0.09

$0.07

28.6%

$0.34

$0.26

30.8%

Wtd. Avg. Shares Outstanding

13,759,516

14,204,092

14,001,958

14,155,927

Wtd. Avg. Diluted Shares

13,894,490

14,383,249

14,136,486

14,290,150

Book Value per Basic Share (EOP)

$13.67

$12.78

7.0%

$13.67

$12.78

7.0%

Tangible Book Value per Share (EOP)

$13.08

$12.39

5.6%

$13.08

$12.39

5.6%

Common Shares Outstanding (EOP)

13,689,181

14,217,199

13,689,181

14,217,199

KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS

3-Month Period Ended:

Year Ended:

(unaudited)

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

Return on Average Equity

7.73%

8.53%

8.18%

7.56%

Return on Average Assets

0.93%

1.10%

1.03%

0.96%

Net Interest Margin (Tax-Equiv.)

4.01%

4.08%

4.01%

4.02%

Efficiency Ratio (Tax-Equiv.)

67.46%

64.31%

66.75%

66.08%

Net C/O’s to Avg Loans (not annualized)

-0.03%

0.21%

0.09%

0.81%

AVERAGE BALANCES

3-Month Period Ended:

Year Ended:

(in $000’s, unaudited)

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

% Change

Average Assets

$ 1,551,370

$ 1,391,999

11.4%

$1,481,349

$1,389,853

6.6%

Average Interest-Earning Assets

$ 1,410,920

$ 1,248,136

13.0%

$1,344,490

$1,243,801

8.1%

Avg Loans & Leases (net of def fees)

$ 911,436

$ 789,452

15.5%

$ 859,981

$ 804,533

6.9%

Average Deposits

$ 1,299,598

$ 1,160,766

12.0%

$1,236,461

$1,158,546

6.7%

Average Equity

$ 187,411

$ 179,967

4.1%

$ 186,393

$ 176,779

5.4%

STATEMENT OF CONDITION

(in $000’s, unaudited)

End of Period:

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

$ Change

% Change

ASSETS

Cash and Due from Banks

$      50,095

$      78,006

$ (27,911)

-35.8%

Securities and Fed Funds Sold

511,883

425,044

86,839

20.4%

Loans Held for Sale

105

(105)

-100.0%

Real Estate Loans

704,230

577,839

126,391

21.9%

Agricultural Production Loans

27,746

25,180

2,566

10.2%

Comm’l & Industrial Loans & Leases

113,771

103,262

10,509

10.2%

Mortgage Warehouse Lines

106,021

73,425

32,596

44.4%

Consumer Loans

18,885

23,536

(4,651)

-19.8%

    Gross Loans & Leases

970,653

803,242

167,411

20.8%

Deferred Loan Fees

1,651

1,522

129

8.5%

    Loans & Leases Net of Deferred Fees

972,304

804,764

167,540

20.8%

Allowance for Loan & Lease Losses

(11,248)

(11,677)

429

-3.7%

    Net Loans & Leases

961,056

793,087

167,969

21.2%

Bank Premises & Equipment

21,853

20,393

1,460

7.2%

Other Assets

92,433

93,614

(1,181)

-1.3%

     Total Assets

$ 1,637,320

$ 1,410,249

$ 227,071

16.1%

LIABILITIES & CAPITAL

Non-Interest Demand Deposits

$    390,897

$    365,997

$   24,900

6.8%

Int-Bearing Transaction Accounts

386,334

282,721

103,613

36.6%

Savings Deposits

167,655

144,162

23,493

16.3%

Money Market Deposits

117,907

73,132

44,775

61.2%

Customer Time Deposits

298,902

298,167

735

0.2%

Wholesale Brokered Deposits

5,000

10,000

(5,000)

-50.0%

    Total Deposits

1,366,695

1,174,179

192,516

16.4%

Junior Subordinated Debentures

30,928

30,928

0.0%

Other Interest-Bearing Liabilities

31,451

5,974

25,477

426.5%

    Total Deposits & Interest-Bearing Liab.

1,429,074

1,211,081

217,993

18.0%

Other Liabilities

21,155

17,494

3,661

20.9%

Total Capital

187,091

181,674

5,417

3.0%

    Total Liabilities & Capital

$ 1,637,320

$ 1,410,249

$ 227,071

16.1%

CREDIT QUALITY DATA

End of Period:

(in $000’s, unaudited)

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

$ Change

% Change

Non-Accruing Loans

$      20,678

$      37,414

$ (16,736)

-44.7%

Foreclosed Assets

3,991

8,185

(4,194)

-51.2%

    Total Nonperforming Assets

$      24,669

$      45,599

$ (20,930)

-45.9%

Performing TDR’s (not incl. in NPA’s)

$      12,359

$      15,239

$   (2,878)

-18.9%

Non-Perf Loans to Gross Loans

2.13%

4.66%

NPA’s to Loans plus Foreclosed Assets

2.53%

5.62%

Allowance for Ln Losses to Loans

1.16%

1.45%

OTHER PERIOD-END STATISTICS

End of Period:

(unaudited)

12/31/2014

12/31/2013

Shareholders Equity / Total Assets

11.4%

12.9%

Loans / Deposits

71.0%

68.4%

Non-Interest Bearing Dep. / Total Dep.

28.6%

31.2%

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    LOCAL BUSINESS LINKS
    LOCAL BUSINESS HEADLINES
    FINANCIALS OF LOCAL INTEREST
    MARKETS & METALS
    error : cannot receive stock quote information
    STOCKS OF LOCAL INTEREST
    error : cannot receive stock quote information
    CURRENCY CONVERTER

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
    A Castaic man was charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire in one of three domestic violence incidents in the SCV Friday and Saturday.
    Man Allegedly Tries to Kill Ex-Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire
    College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus officials will break ground on the Science Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
    Jan. 24: Science Center Groundbreaking at COC Canyon Country Campus
    The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named Canyon High School sophomore Lluvia Partida the 2018 Youth of the Year.
    Lluvia Partida Named SCV Boys and Girls Club 2018 Youth of the Year
    The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host five grand openings for local businesses in February 2018 - Fantastic Sams, Bodhi Leaf Coffee, Kaiser Permanente, Farmers Insurance and Open Trails E-Bikes.
    February: SCV Chamber Hosts 5 Grand Openings
    California State Parks is taking reservations for the spring tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi, site of a Kawaiisu Native American village.
    Reservations Open for Tours at Tehachapi Native American Village Site
    The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve will be open March 1 through May 13 (Mother’s Day) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
    March 1: California Poppy Reserve Center Opens in Antelope Valley
    The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve’s two-day volunteer training for the 2018 spring wildflower season will be held on February 3 and February 10, both Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Feb. 3, Feb. 10: Poppy Reserve Volunteer Training for 2018 Wildflower Season
    The 2017 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey again ranked Santa Clarita among the best cities for doing business in Southern California.
    Survey: Santa Clarita Among County’s Best in Cost of Doing Business
    Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia is being delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. today due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
    Small Plane Landings for Movie Shoot in Valencia Until 4 p.m. Today
    Adam Rubio's game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning resulted in TMU's 5-4 win over Marymount California University Saturday.
    Mustangs Rally to Beat MCU in the Eighth
    With Robert Winslow on the mound, TMU won 13-0 over visiting Marymount California University at Master's in the second game of Saturday's double-header.
    Master’s Baseball Team Wraps Opening Series in Dominating Fashion
    The No. 4 Mustangs men's basketball team scored a 74-71 win over Westmont before a capacity crowd Saturday in the team's 18th straight victory, and fifth straight to open Golden State Athletic Conference play.
    Master’s Holds off Westmont for 18th Straight Win
    Hannah Forrar scored 16 points Saturday night but The Master's University women's basketball team still lost to Westmont 62-55.
    Westmont Rises Over Mustangs 62-56
    It’s not too late to register for the College of the Canyons spring 2018 semester, which will run from Monday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, June 1.
    Not Too Late for COC Spring Registration
    Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies caught and arrested two men and two women from Bakersfield allegedly using credit cards stolen in Santa Clarita to purchase items at a Centre Pointe business.
    4 Alleged Credit Card Thieves Arrested on Multiple Charges
    Caltrans has reopened U.S. Highway 101 in between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara after nearly a nearly two-week closure due to mudslides.
    Caltrans Reopens Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara
    A 38-year-old man was arrested on charges including theft and forgery in Stevenson Ranch early Thursday morning.
    Man Booked for Alleged Theft, Forgery in Stevenson Ranch
    L.A. County health officials have extended a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley through Monday night due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures.
    SCV Cold Weather Alert Extended Through Tonight
    In the ninth inning Friday, with Master's well on its way to a 15-7 season-opening win over Marymount California University, Coach Monte Brooks sent Josh Robison to the plate if for no other reason than to see what would happen.
    TMU’s Robison Hits 3 Homers in Season-Opening Win
    Here is the Castaic/Val Verde public safety and crime information report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of January 1, 2018
    Crime Blotter: Theft, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic-Val Verde
    Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, capping off an eight-year stint leading one of the largest metropolitan police forces in America.
    L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck Abruptly Announces Retirement
    1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
    1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
    1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
    Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard will be delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, January 22 due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
    Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia to Prompt Street Closures
    Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
    Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
    Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
    Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
    2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
    Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
    Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
    SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
    The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
    Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
    CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
    Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
    Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
    Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
    Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
    Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
    Flu Outbreak Eases in L.A. County, But Still Widespread
    The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
    Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director