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S.C.V. History
July 15
1891 - R.E. Nickel publishes area's first newspaper, The Acton Rooster [story]
Acton Rooster


One year ago, the Santa Clarita Valley lost a son, a brother, a friend, a dreamer. Over the past year, that tragic loss has inspired a community to rally around aviation dreamers through Cajun’s Aviation Dream.

Cajun’s Aviation Dream is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to “carry on the legacy of Maj. Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno by helping stellar young Americans chase their own dreams to fly and pursue their passion for aviation,” according to the website.

Del Bagno, a United States Air Force Thunderbirds team member was killed on April 4, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., during a routine aerial demonstration training flight in his F-16 Fighting Falcon over the Nellis Air Force Base Test and Training Range in Nevada. He was 34 years old.

Del Bagno was not only an elite pilot in the Air Force, but he was a civilian flight instructor, corporate pilot, skywriter, and a banner tow pilot, according to his biography. He also enjoyed snowboarding, water sports, and spending time with family and friends.

“Part of Stephen becoming a Thunderbird was inspiring kids to live their dreams and follow their passions,” said Jeannette Crowder, one of Del Bagno’s sisters and one of the founders of Cajun’s Aviation Dream. “Flying happened to be his passion.”

Through various fundraisers, the foundation’s founders hope to provide scholarships so that other aviation dreamers can have the opportunities and find their passions, just like Del Bagno.

In the year since his death, his family and loved ones have created a nonprofit and have already identified their first scholarship recipients, who will be attending the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) Advanced Air Academy Camp this summer.

“It was a perfect pairing for us. We picked the advanced camp for the 16-18-year-olds. That’s the age Stephen was when he decided flying was his dream,” Crowder said. “When we were picking the kids (to receive the scholarships), they reminded me so much of my brother. This is an opportunity for them to learn and network with the aviation community in hopes of inspiring them to pick a path and find their dream.”

The foundation’s goal is to be able to fully pay for the whole trip for the EAA camp for two teens every year. One fundraiser they’re launching is Cajun’s Climb 2019.

“He was always down to do anything fun. Hiking was one of his big hobbies. He loved to hike,” Crowder said. “He loved Yosemite. He’d go back to Yosemite every time he could. He does a new hike there every time he’d go. Every base that he’s been stationed at, if there was a trail, he would find it.”

The fundraiser can take place anywhere. Anyone interested can register on the foundation’s website. Entrants can go on whatever hike they choose, take a photo and submit it to the website. One registrant from each of the three hiking categories will be chosen to receive a prize. Hiking categories include “Champion Dog Paddler” Hike, “Hero” Hike, and the “Big Cat” Hike.

“The names of the hikes are our specific nicknames that he would give certain people if you were in his close circle,” Crowder said.

“All of the proceeds going directly to the scholarship,” Crowder added. “It’s important to us that all of the proceeds go directly to the scholarship.”

The foundation is currently taking scholarship applications for the EAA Advanced Air Academy Camp 2020 camp. Applications close on December 31, 2019.

“I hope that he’s smiling down on us. I think he proud of us. It’s been hard and healing. It’s almost like he’s guiding it from above,” she said. “I feel like we’re on the path that he would want to be part of if he was still here.”

To donate, register for Cajun’s Climb 2019 and also learn more about Del Bagno and Cajun’s Aviation Dream, visit the website.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jul 15, 2019
Whittaker-Bermite Soil Cleanup Complete, Officials Report
After more than a decade, the Whittaker-Bermite cleanup reached a significant milestone this month as soil remediation efforts in contaminated areas are now complete, according to officials close to the matter.
Monday, Jul 15, 2019
SCV Air Quality Very Unhealthy Monday
Monday's air quality is very unhealthy for all individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Los Angeles County Mountains and unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Pomona-Walnut, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, according to an alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Friday, Jul 12, 2019
Iconic Rock Arch Returns to Sierra Highway Frontage
The Live Oak Manor rock arch, a landmark for Sierra Highway motorists for nine decades, was moved Friday for the third time in history – only about 75 feet from its old location and still visible from the road.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
After more than a decade, the Whittaker-Bermite cleanup reached a significant milestone this month as soil remediation efforts in contaminated areas are now complete, according to officials close to the matter.
Whittaker-Bermite Soil Cleanup Complete, Officials Report
Monday's air quality is very unhealthy for all individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Los Angeles County Mountains and unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Pomona-Walnut, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, according to an alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
SCV Air Quality Very Unhealthy Monday
1891 - R.E. Nickel publishes area's first newspaper, The Acton Rooster [story]
Acton Rooster
1769 - Portolá party sets out from San Diego; first Europeans to "discover" Santa Clarita Valley 3½ weeks later [story]
Gaspar de Portola
1884 - Hardison & Stewart start drilling Star No. 1 oil well in Pico Canyon; later form Union Oil Co. [story]
Lyman Stewart
The Valencia Jazz & Blues Summer Concert Series continues Friday, July 12, with singer-guitarist and series favorite Jim Gibson live on Town Center Drive at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall.
July 12: Jim Gibson to Groove at Valencia Jazz & Blues
The Live Oak Manor rock arch, a landmark for Sierra Highway motorists for nine decades, was moved Friday for the third time in history – only about 75 feet from its old location and still visible from the road.
Iconic Rock Arch Returns to Sierra Highway Frontage
Assembly Bill 392 (AB 392), legislation looking to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings across the state, has received bipartisan support from Santa Clarita Valley lawmakers and now heads to the governor’s desk for approval.
AB 392, Use of Force Bill, Heads to Governor
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has published the agenda for their Tuesday, July 16 meeting starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 16 Meeting Agenda – LA County Supervisors
A man accused of stealing a Ferrari from a Canyon Country residence and then smuggling meth into the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station accepted a plea deal Thursday.
Canyon Country Ferrari Thief Cops Plea, Gets 2 Years
The Lancaster JetHawks added another crazy comeback to the season on Thursday night, beating Stockton 11-10 after overcoming a seven-run deficit at The Hangar.
JetHawks Pull Off Another Crazy Comeback
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert for the Santa Clarita Valley as triple-digit temperatures are forecast for both Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14.
Heat Alert Called for SCV Saturday, Sunday
In separate statements Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva ripped the federal ICE deportations of undocumented immigrants slated to begin Sunday and said he was not aware of any FBI probe into Sheriff's Department subgroups, as reported earlier Thursday by the Los Angeles Times.
Villanueva Rips ICE Deportations, Says He’s Unaware of FBI Probe
Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) and the United States House of Representatives voted Friday to pass the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes funding for major priorities in the 25th Congressional District.
House OK’s Defense Bill; Hill Delivers on Local Funding
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce honored local veterans at its ninth annual Patriots Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Thursday.
Chamber Honors SCV Veterans at Annual Patriots Luncheon
The Santa Clarita Valley business community supported new city rules aimed at enhancing the area’s “business-friendly” reputation and attracting new jobs before the City Council voted Tuesday to approve the regulations.
City Council OK’s New Jobs Creation Overlay Zone
Air quality Saturday will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to an alert Thursday from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
SCV Unhealthy Air Quality Alert Extended to Saturday
The SCV Water Board of Directors approved expedited testing of treatment options for toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS which were recently found in groundwater in SCV’s service area.
SCV Water Testing Treatments to Remove Toxic Chemicals
When it comes to advocating vital issues affecting the community, from water to transportation and CEMEX, the city of Santa Clarita has turned to Mike Murphy since the beginning.
Mike Murphy Says Farewell to City of Santa Clarita
Louie Gonzalez was identified and taken into custody by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies on Thursday as the suspect in a massage parlor robbery case.
Massage Parlor Robbery Suspect Found, Arrested
California utilities will soon be able to access a $21 billion state insurance policy to settle wildfire-related lawsuits and liabilities under legislation approved Thursday by lawmakers.
Lawmakers OK Wildfire Liability Fund for California Utilities
The Lancaster JetHawks opened a homestand after a six-game road swing, losing 15-2 to the Stockton Ports at The Hangar on Wednesday night.
JetHawks Drop Homestand Opener to Ports
A Trump administration-approved logging project in Los Padres National Forest will destroy habitat for endangered California condors and elevate wildfire risks for local communities, conservation groups say in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Feds Sued Over Logging Project OK’d in Condors Habitat
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