2013 - A YEAR IN REVIEW: Notable moments
Friday, December 27th, 2013
Issue 52, Volume 17.
The growing communities in this region have seen major changes in health care and infrastructure as well as stories of change, development and achievement. These same communities have also seen changes that have been a sad reminder that the passing of time doesnít always bring the best of things for people. But although sad and unfortunate stories are common in every year-end review, we are reminded that people in this area are constantly bringing innovation and sharing goodwill with others. As we move into the New Year, letís not forget all the things that 2013 has gifted us with.
Jan. 18 – Smith named MVP as Riverside County dominates
Bryce Smith from Vista Murrieta High School was named Most Valuable Player in the 28th Annual Inland Empire All-Star Classic Football Game between Riverside County All-Stars and San Bernardino County All-Stars on Jan. 12, 2013. Riverside County won the contest 30-2.
Feb. 15 - Dornerís body found inside Big Bear cabin after gunfight
The manhunt for a fired Los Angeles police officer suspected in the slayings of four people was over on Feb. 12, 2013 after charred human remains were found in the burned-out mountain cabin where he was believed to have been holed up during a gun battle that claimed the life of a San Bernardino sheriffís deputy.
Mar. 8 - Breweries bring dimension to the region
Many family-run microbreweries opened in the Valley during 2013 that brought with them variety, dimension, and taste. Among them are Wiens Brewing Company, Refuge Brewery, and most recently, Garage Brewing Co. which opened in November 2013.
Mar. 15 - Cool, classic and chrome cars featured at annual Rod Run show
From hot rods to vintage classics, residents from around the Valley displayed their vehicles during the popular event on March 8-9, 2013.
Mar. 29 - Beloved musician killed in robbery; hundreds mourn
Fallbrook resident and talented, lifelong musician Larry Robinson, 64, sustained fatal injuries during the course of a robbery at a music store in Old Town Temecula on March 22, 2013. Hundreds of fans, friends, and fellow musicians continue to mourn his death and the case remains unsolved.
April 5 - Main Street Bridge in Old Town Temecula closed for construction
Main Street at Murrieta Creek between Pujol and Old Town Front Street was closed entering the month of April 2013 for construction of the Main Street Bridge. A new steel trust bridge with 10-foot wide sidewalks along both sides was set to replace the bridge. The bridge currently remains under construction.
May 5 - Temecula runner sidesteps injury, but experiences emotional upheaval after Boston Marathon bombing
The pair of terrorist-linked bombings that rocked the finish line of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon race left a nation in shock. The lives of Tammy Draughon, her husband, and four children were dramatically reshaped by the explosions that killed three race onlookers and wounded 264 others.
May 31 - Former Temecula intern hired as permanent city manager
Aaron Adams was officially hired as city manager of Temecula on May 28, 2013. The unanimous closed session decision was announced with a measure of fanfare shortly after the start of a public meeting.
June 7 - Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival
celebrates 30 years
Balloons soared high from March 31 to June 2, 2013 during the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, which marked 30 years of being in operation. The event, proving to be the biggest yet, ran on a budget of approximately $42,000.
June 14 - Locals selected in MLB draft
Over 1,200 athletes were given the opportunity to play professional baseball during the MLB draft held June 6-8, 2013. Six local players were part of that draft: Tyler Wade; Terrian "Trae" Arbet; Luke Persico; Brandon Dixon; Chase Johnson and Trevor Bayless.
June 21 - Hospitality house unveiled amid
memories, hopes, prayers, promises
A six-year struggle to establish the areaís first hospitality house marked a key milestone on June 15, 2013 in Temecula. The opening of Jacobís House provided hope and a place to stay for family members of ill patients. The facility was startedby Shawn Nelson, the former city manager of Temecula, after his 24-year-old son Jacob was killed in a car collision.
July 12 - Half-brother of Terry Smith arrested for murder; human remains believed to be 11-year-old missing boy
Terry "Juju" Dewayne Smith disappeared from his Menifee home at approximately 7:30 p.m. on July 7, 2013. The boy, who was autistic, was loved by family, friends and neighbors. Smithís half brother Skylor Atilano, 16, changed his story following Smithís disappearance and was arrested on suspicion of murder on July 10, 2013 after officials discovered the 11-year-oldís remains in shallow grave 75 feet behind the family home in the 33000 block of Helen Lane. Atilano is currently incarcerated awaiting the continuance of his trial.
July 19 - Lightning in a Bottle attracts thousands to Lake Skinner
The week-long, "green" festival Lightning in a Bottle attracted over 60,000 individuals to the Lake Skinner grounds on July 11-15, 2013. The festival moved from its prior location in Orange County in celebration of its ninth year.
Aug. 9 – Falls Fire chars 1,400 acres
Members of the community in Lake Elsinore worked hand in hand with members of the Fire Department to put out a blaze more than 1400 acres in size on Aug. 9, 2013. The blaze, which came to be known as the "Falls Fire," took place in the hills just west of the city and necessitated the voluntary evacuations of three residential communities.
Aug. 30 - Piece of Temeculaís modern history goes on the real estate sales block
The Meadowview home of Pat and Dick Birdsall, who were key figures in the cityís birth and gestation, was listed for $460,000 in the month of August 2013. The home was of Temeculaís first female mayor and the only resident who had a park, one of the largest in the city, to be named after them during their lifetime.
Sept. 27 - Officials attempt to piece together situation after Ronald Reagan statue found burnt
An arson attempt left part of a standing statue of former President Ronald Reagan burnt and covered in soot on Sept. 20, 2013 at the Ronald Reagan Sports Park. The statue – which features Reagan holding a shovel in one hand and cowboy hat in the other – has been at the park since Feb. 8, 2012. The case remains under investigation.
Sept. 27 - Temecula man arrested for threatening women, including Miss Teen USA with "sextortion"
"Miss Teen USA" Cassidy Wolf, 19, was the victim of an extortionist who released a naked photo of her when she did not comply with his requests to send him more explicit material. The perpetrator – Jared James Abrahams, 19 – turned himself over to the FBI in Orange County and later pled guilty to charges that he was responsible for hacking into the computers of women all across the globe. He is expected to receive his sentence in March of 2014.
Oct. 18 - Hospitalís opening is calm on the outside, but buzzing behind the scenes in Ďcommand centerí
October 14, 2013 marked the opening of the long-awaited Temecula Valley Hospital. The first plan for the facility was submitted in 2004 by Southwest Healthcare, but it would take many years and three development plan submissions until the hospital would finally get underway.
Nov. 21 - McStay family remains discovered in desert
A tragic discovery shed new light on one of the most puzzling law enforcement cases in recent history when authorities confirmed skeletal remains found Nov. 11, 2013 in the Mojave Desert were those of the McStay family of four from Fallbrook. Joseph McStay, 40, his wife, Summer McStay, 43, and children Gianni, 4, and Joseph, 3, disappeared from their home in early February of 2010, never to be seen alive again.
Dec. 6 - Supervisors approve Temecula Wine Country
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 on Dec. 3, 2013 on an expansion that will divide most of the remaining unincorporated area in the Temecula Valley Wine Country into space for additional wineries, houses, and equestrian land. The development is an important one for the Temecula Valley, which is expected to have approximately 170 different wineries in the coming decades.
Alex Groves contributed to this article.
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