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February 20
1906 - L.A. County accepts Mr. H.C. Register's bid to build (Old) Newhall Jail for $2,237 [story]


One hundred fifty college-bound young adults, many of them the first in their families to attend college, including one student who is College of the Canyons-bound, will proudly take center stage and be honored for their success on Tuesday, June 26, as part of the 30th annual “Celebration 2018: Honoring the Academic Achievements of Foster Youth.”

This unique event, featuring the inspiring stories of these exceptional young people, begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, located at 111 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.

Hundreds of friends, foster parents, family members, and social workers will celebrate the proud graduates as they march across the stage to honor this significant milestone in their lives—an occasion marked by academic achievement and triumph over adversity.

“Celebration 2018” is a collaborative effort involving the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, and United Friends of the Children.

DCFS Director Bobby Cagle, Kara Allen Soldati, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Friends of the Children, and Terri L. McDonald of the Los Angeles County Department of Probation will address and bestow congratulations upon the graduates.

“These foster youths have overcome significant obstacles to achieve academic excellence. They know that education is the key to having a different kind of life—one of promise and personal fulfillment. Foster youth are often perceived by the public as damaged goods, destined to struggle throughout their lives. These graduates dispel that myth. Many Celebration graduates will attend prestigious schools throughout the nation pursuing careers in medicine, law, engineering and the arts. A good number of the graduates will seek careers in child welfare, so they can help those youths, who like themselves had to deal with challenges not of their own making. On this night, social workers, family members, caregivers and friends all celebrate what these exceptional youths have accomplished,” said Bobby Cagle.

This year’s featured youth alumnae speaker is Junely Merwin, currently enrolled at California State University Fullerton, graduating class of 2019. Junely, who participated in Celebration 2011, is a Human Services major with a minor in Human Communications. She will share her successes and challenges since leaving foster care, encouraging the graduates to stay focused on their academic goals and personal dreams.

Celebration graduate Fernando Morales, an accomplished jazz bassist, soon to be pursuing his music studies in Spain through the prestigious Berklee College of Music, will perform original compositions onstage with his quartet.

When Diego Tinoco, star of the trending Netflix series On My Block addresses the graduates, they will undoubtedly be tuned in. Set in South Los Angeles, the series centers on a group of friends attempting to balance the challenges of adolescence and life in their predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood, forcing Diego’s character to choose between gang influences and education.

All “Celebration 2018” graduates will receive scholarships and have access to continued financial assistance. Scholarships are donated from a variety of agencies, organizations, corporations and non-profit organizations including Accenture, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Foster Care Counts, Heads Up Youth Foundation, Jane Mabie Memorial Scholarship/ All Saints Church Foster Care Project, Rotary Club of Los Angeles, Torrance Woman’s Club, William and Terumi Kawasaki Foundation, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Omicron Rho Zeta Chapter, Barbara L. and Richard C. Barrett Foundation, Generations on the Move, Project Good for Girls, The Moore Family Foundation, and United Friends of the Children.

Should the public be interested in contributing to the scholarship funds for Celebration graduates, they can contact Charlotte Lewis with DCFS Youth Development Services at (626) 938-1727.

The Celebration graduation starts at 7 pm. Graduates profiled below will be available for interviews in the Green Room from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Media will be allowed to film a rehearsal of the students onstage from 2:30 –3:30 p.m. During the actual ceremony, media will only be allowed to film from the back row of the Disney Concert Hall. If you plan to cover the event, please let us know in advance when you will arrive.

Below are some of the personal and moving stories from “Celebration 2018” graduates, including Madisyn, who is battling Cystic Fibrosis and will soon attend College of the Canyons:
“Cystic fibrosis doesn’t mean you stop dreaming,” says Madisyn.
At 2 weeks old, Madisyn was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease requiring frequent hospitalizations. Growing up, she had to cope with her many health issues without the support of an alcoholic mother and absent father. At age 8, Madisyn’s world spun out of control when her beloved grandfather died, and her mother became suicidal. Her medical condition has not allowed Madisyn to attend traditional schools until recently, yet despite these obstacles, she’s persevered with the support of her grandmother, friends and hospital staff. She receives breathing treatments four times a day and must guard against infection as her immune system is severely compromised. Madisyn has learned to accept her condition and wants others to know they can achieve their dreams despite a cystic fibrosis diagnosis. She is currently working on a short film at her high school to help people learn about cystic fibrosis. Photography, painting, choir, theater, and writing provide creative outlets. Her 3.21 grade point average has earned her acceptance to College of the Canyons where she plans to major in education and business.

Jerry’s new heart beats with a passion to design life-saving devices.
At age 11, Jerry suffered cardiac arrest requiring 7 months on a cardiac support device. After his family relocated to LA from San Francisco, he fell asleep one day in his school’s hallway and woke up several months later with a new heart. His parents were not up to task of providing the necessary medical care, so Jerry was placed in the home of his current foster parent which allowed him to excel at school. Although determined to study medicine, Jerry became interested in electrical engineering. In 8th grade he assembled his own Gameboy, igniting his passion for electronics. He’s the “electrical leader” for his high school’s First Robotics Competition. A well-rounded scholar, Jerry role-plays court cases through his school’s Mock Trial program and is involved in the TEDx Program, designed to help communities, organizations and individuals spark innovative conversation and connection. He envisions a career combining his interest in electrical engineering with his love of medicine. Says Jerry, “My heart’s circulatory system wasn’t fully functioning. Engineering is making things move that aren’t alive. It’s bringing life to something that’s actually inanimate.” His 4.16 GPA has earned him acceptance to the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts where he will study electrical engineering.

“If not a Senator, I can see myself performing on Broadway”
Austin’s journey has been marked by tragedy and heartache. Both his parents suffered from mental illness resulting in homelessness and his father’s suicide three years ago. Says Austin, “my family was shredded, my home was gone, and my future completely dismantled.” He still hears his father’s voice encouraging him to move forward despite the challenges he has faced. Austin has attended the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica since kindergarten where he participates in Conservatory, an intensive theater program. At age 7, Austin started acting in TV commercials and had a recurring role on the TV hit The King of Queens. But Austin tired of auditions and being typecasted. “Theater was different—I could express myself as an individual. He’s starred in 15 productions, most recently Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Rent. Last summer, Austin participated in Northwestern University’s prestigious Cherub’s Program. Austin’s other love is political science. He’s been president of the local Youth and Government Delegation, the state’s premier youth leadership and civic development program and has served as Chair of his school’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee He actively participates in the Black Student Union. Every Saturday, with his great uncle, he passes out lunches to homeless people around the city with the help of friends in the community. Says Austin, “If not a Senator, I can see myself performing on Broadway. I want to
make people think and affect change through politics and theater.”

Talented jazz musician is hitting all the right notes onstage and off.
Fernando’s musical talents have taken him to unimagined heights, jamming with some of the nation’s most renowned jazz artists. He’s hitting all the right notes and will spend this fall in Spain studying his craft as part of Berklee College of Music’s overseas program. Growing up, Fernando’s father was out of the picture and his mother was rarely home to attend to him and his younger siblings. Family and friends helped Fernando fight depression and stay on track. Picking up the bass guitar at age 14 proved to be his salvation. He’s received numerous awards at jazz festivals as an outstanding musician and soloist and was selected to play for the prestigious Southern California Band & Orchestra Association Jazz Honor band. The Stanford Jazz Workshop awarded him a full tuition scholarship which allowed him to learn from jazz legends Ravi Coltrane and Kendrick Scott. He’s also played with Wayne Bergeron, one of the most sought-after musicians in the world. Fernando plans to double major in music performance and audio recording. You can catch him onstage at Celebration 2018 playing his original jazz compositions with his quartet.

Immigrant scholar’s law and psychology studies will allow her to help other vulnerable youth.
– Mariah’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Honduras and El Salvador. When Mariah was 12, her mother abandoned her and her younger sisters, leaving Mariah depressed and anxious. With the support of her aunt and therapist, Mariah resolved her painful issues while challenging herself to excel at Students on Academic Rise Early College High School in Lancaster. An impressive 4.36 Grade point average has her attending UCLA where she will study psychology, and possibly law. She’s already earned a local scholarship from Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. At school, she’s participated in Mock Trial, which allows her to learn about law and practice in courtroom situations. Mariah tutors younger children at a day care and volunteers at a home for the elderly. She’s thankful her aunt has kept her family including her siblings and grandmother together, allowing her to pursue her dream of attending college. Mariah is hopeful that her psychology and law studies will enable her to work in the child welfare system, helping those who like herself find themselves in difficult situations.

From the Middle East back to Los Angeles—Ali is an American Success Story.
Ali was born in the U.S. and relocated to Jordan in the Middle East at age 4. His parents wanted him to meet his extended family, learn about his culture, religion, and to learn how to speak, write, and read Arabic. Acclimating to this new world without his mother by his side was very difficult. After 7 years, Ali returned to the U.S. As a freshman in high school, he now had to work twice as hard on his English skills to complete his schoolwork. Ali was up to the task and was honored for the “best project” at his high school— building a model of a nuclear reactor, with a smoke machine. He’s been on the Dean’s List and Principal’s Honor Roll almost every semester, and served as an American History teacher’s assistant and a peer leader. He will be the first in his family to graduate high school and will attend Pierce College where he will study accounting. Ali wants to give back to the community by helping people with low incomes with their financial issues. When not studying, Ali enjoys weightlifting, football, swimming, water polo, writing poetry, and photography.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas to phase out the use of oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) in County juvenile facilities.
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) announces that the full amount of CalFresh benefits for March will be issued on March 1, 2019 to eligible households.
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Health Officer is extending a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Monday, Feb 18, 2019
In celebration of National Heart Month, the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health, Health Services, and Fire are partnering with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the Los Angeles Fire Department to train 100,000 individuals in Hands-Only CPR.
Monday, Feb 18, 2019
For the second straight year, developers wanting to build 70 homes on The Old Road, near Parker Road, in Castaic, are appealing to regional planners for a one-year time extension.

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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1906 - L.A. County accepts Mr. H.C. Register's bid to build (Old) Newhall Jail for $2,237 [story]
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SCV Water to Discuss Reducing Board Size
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Feb. 20: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas to phase out the use of oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) in County juvenile facilities.
SUPES Approve Motion to Phase Out Pepper Spray in Juvenile Facilities
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) announces that the full amount of CalFresh benefits for March will be issued on March 1, 2019 to eligible households.
County to Issue Single-Day CalFresh Benefits
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Health Officer is extending a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
County Officials Issue Cold Weather Alert for SCV
Castaic Union School District is proud to announce the recipients of the Castaic Schools Teacher of the Year Award.
Northlake Hills Teacher Named Castaic Union’s Teacher of the Year
A woman was killed after her car went underneath a semi truck on the northbound side of Interstate 5 Tuesday, according to CHP officials.
Woman Killed in Collision on I-5 Truck Route
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Academy Announces New Round of Oscar Presenters
College of the Canyons has created a Continuing Education Survey to identify the unique and specific needs of the Santa Clarita Valley community.
COC Requesting Community Input on Continuing Education
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is hosting its third annual CARE SCV, a Cancer Awareness & Resource Expo, at the College of the Canyons Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center on Saturday, March 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
March 2: CARE SCV Cancer Awareness, Resource Expo at COC
Princess Cruises, the world’s largest international premium cruise line, is growing and today major milestones for three ships under construction at the same time were celebrated, at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Princess Cruises Highlights Progress of Three of Its Newest Ships
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (2-9-1) fell to the Warriors of Lewis-Clark State College (4-4-1) in game one on Sunday, 13-6, and the two teams would finish game two in a 2-2 draw in non-conference NAIA baseball action at the Hangar.
Pioneers Face Off Against Lewis-Clark State College
Payless ShoeSource joins the line of retail chains soon to close down in the United States.
Payless Closing All 2,100 Stores
Senator Scott Wilk, (R-Santa Clarita), announced Tuesday that he has introduced Senate Bill 333 (SB 333), a measure to address California's homeless crisis by requiring the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) to develop and implement a long-term, strategic plan to combat homelessness across the state, complete with specific goals and benchmarks.
Wilk Intros Bill Addressing Statewide Homeless Crisis
Washington, DC – Vice Chair of Oversight and Government Reform Committee Congresswoman Katie Hill, (D-Santa Clarita), introduced H.R. 1064, a bill that allows whistleblowers to report concerns about classified programs directly to their supervisors and up their chain of command.
Hill’s Whistleblower Bill Passes House
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California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a 16-state coalition, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and his attempt to divert funding appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
California, 15 More States File Challenge to National Emergency Declaration
The University of British Columbia lost a pair on Saturday when The Master's University received two excellent performances from its starting pitchers in a double-header sweep of the Thunderbirds.
Superb Pitching Leads Mustangs Past British Columbia
The Master's women's basketball team turned the ball over on its final possession, when it trailed by two, and fell 49-46 to Westmont inside Murchison Gym.
Women’s Hoops: TMU’s Win Streak Snapped in Santa Barbara
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Men’s Hoops: TMU Beats Westmont, Moves Into Tie for First Place
The College of the Canyons Sports Medicine Program and Valencia High School Medical Science Academy will host the 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at the college's Valencia Campus on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Feb. 23: 2019 Sports Medicine Professions Fair at COC
Seema Shah, executive director of the North Los Angeles County Volunteer Center (formerly HandsOn Santa Clarita) for the past seven years, is stepping down as ED to work with children to help them develop leadership and social entrepreneurship skills.
Shah Exits North LA County Volunteer Center
The Canyon Country Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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In celebration of National Heart Month, the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health, Health Services, and Fire are partnering with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the Los Angeles Fire Department to train 100,000 individuals in Hands-Only CPR.
Be a Heart Hero: Learn Hands-Only CPR
College of the Canyons defensive back Michael Nacnac became the latest Cougar to sign with a four-year school, with the Hawaii native committing to Clarke University earlier this week.
Cougar Safety Nacnac Signs With Clarke University
College of the Canyons golfers took the first two spots in the individual standings but carded a five-man score of 400 at Bakersfield Country Club on Monday to finish second in its first Western State Conference tourney of the season.
Cougars Men’s Golf Team Swings to No. 2 at WSC Bakersfield
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) is in Germany attending the 2019 Munich Security Conference and visiting NATO Headquarters and the seat of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium as part of a congressional delegation led by the Speaker of the House.
Hill Among Congressional Delegation at Munich Security Conference
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Lady Cougars Stay in the Hunt with 74-63 Win Over Bakersfield
Three people were arrested and five firearms plus ammunition seized by authorities during a two-day compliance operation in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to SCV Sheriff's Station officials.
Three Arrested in SCV Gun Law Compliance Sweep
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I-5 Reopened in Both Directions Through Grapevine
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Hill Joins House Working Group on Addiction
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a 22-year-old Santa Clarita man on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a loaded gun Wednesday night, the station reported Sunday.
Deputies Arrest Santa Clarita Man on DUI, Weapon Charges
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