Valley News -

2018: A Year in Review

 

Last updated 1/4/2019 at 3:15am

As the new year begins Anza Valley Outlook staff looks to the past on the items that made news in 2018. There was no shortage of excitement from school sports and championships to the harrowing Cranston Fire, which knocked out power to Anza and the surrounding communities for nearly two weeks.

We hope that you enjoy this trip down memory lane, and from the entire staff of Anza Valley Outlook and Reeder Media, wish you all a safe and prosperous new year.

Jan. 5

Cottonwood Elementary School's girls won the Vallecitos Soccer Tournament, which was played Dec. 7 at Vallecitos Elementary School in Rainbow, while Hamilton Elementary School's boys placed second.

The Anza Civic Improvement League raffled off two pieces of Susan Eyer-Anderson original art as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, Wednesday, Dec. 20. The two handsaw blades, "Cahuilla Rocks" and "Running Horses," were illustrated with acrylic paints.

Jan. 12

Cahuilla Casino's the marketing department and winner's club ran a two-week promotional "Toys for Kids" toy drive that resulted in many new, unwrapped toys, which were donated to the Kids of Anza organization's "Season of Giving" for children in the local surrounding communities.

Several local Anza Ramona Pageant cast members participated in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Familiar faces and even famous equines marched across TV and computer screens all over the community, much to the delight of fans, friends and neighbors.

Jan. 19

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting was held. Attended by about 75 community members, the discussion focused on cannabis regulation in the Anza-Aguanga community and the legislation and methods that could be employed as solutions to several issues associated with "pot farming."

The Sage Town Hall Association meeting at Fire Station 28 was packed full as residents from the area came to listen to the speakers from the newly proposed Diamond Valley Estates development project. The suggested plan would make use of 412 acres located behind the Diamond Valley Golf Course.

Jan. 26

The Hamilton High School Bobcats wrestling team competed in a highly contested league duel against Orange Vista High School Coyotes of Perris receiving key pins from freshmen Willy Velasquez, 113 lbs., and junior Austin

O'Toole, 170 lbs., which ultimately were the deciding factors in the win.

A brand-new self-help peer support group held its first meeting at the Destination Place in the Living Hope Church trailer.

Feb. 2

Rich and Genine Macaluso met the needs of the community with their own local olive oil and pomegranate jellies working from their 20-acre Macala Orchards in Sage and warehouse outlet in Hemet.

It was another big win on the books for the Hamilton High School Bobcat wrestling team, as they defeated league rivals Santa Rosa Academy Rangers, 48-27, at home.

Feb. 9

Kim Szymanski, a local woman who lost her son in a tragic car accident in 2017, focused her grief on making sure that type of accident is not repeated by working to have a guard rail installed at the site. Jacob Syzmanski, 26, and his close friend, Jonathan Barksdale, 28, were killed shortly before dawn June 13, 2017, when their 2007 Mustang failed to negotiate a curve on state Route 371 just east of Lakeshore Drive and Bradford Road in Aguanga.

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council hosted its first Cannabis Work Group meeting. The purpose of the assembly was to agree on the format of a working committee and the goals to be reached regarding regulations for the cultivation and sale of cannabis in the Anza-Aguanga communities.

Feb. 16

The 2018 Arrowhead League Wrestling Finals hosted by Hamilton High School delivered nonstop excitement and thrills, when the Hamilton Bobcats became team champions for the third consecutive year.

The second Ricardo Breceda metal sculpture garden Open House in Aguanga drew dozens of area residents to admire and purchase some of the unique life-sized tin sculptures depicting everything from Tyrannosaurus Rex to stagecoaches and conquistadores on Highway 79 South.

Feb. 23

Hosted by Russell Kitchen, the special Valentine's Dance fundraiser held at the Anza Community Hall was a sweetheart of an adventure for all that attended. 

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council hosted its second Cannabis Emergency Regulation Committee meeting at the Anza Pizza Factory.

March 2

The second annual Mudfest drag races were held. A record crowd attended the gathering.

After a couple of weeks' closure due to a reported leaking septic system, the Anza Community Hall re-opened for business. Home to Missy's Place Country Cafe, the hall was closed after a "gray water" system was found to be leaking kitchen sink water out into the parking area on the east side of the building.

March 9

Much to the delight of mountain residents, a beautiful snowfall created fun and a slew of wonderful portunities.

Kevin Short, the general manager of the Anza Electric Cooperative, shared a wealth of information at the Cannabis Emergency Regulation Committee meeting. He addressed the effects of the explosion of large-scale marijuana cultivation on the rural electric cooperative grid.

March 16

The third annual Bulldog Revival hosted by Maximum Power Kennels in Aguanga was held. Despite the threat of rain, about 70 bully breed dogs from all over California came to participate in the show and Iron Dog Competition, which was an American Bulldog Association and American Molosser Association sanctioned event. 

Some groups of people are simply a complete joy to be around, socializing in a good-humored and fun manner, united in a common cause. The TOPS club is that way. Meeting every Wednesday, the Take Off Pounds Sensibly Club, or TOPS for short, is a nonprofit, noncommercial network of weight-loss support groups and a wellness education organization.

March 23

With help from watchful residents in Valle Vista, Riverside County Code Enforcement officers tracked down two men suspected of illegal dumping – who then returned to the scene to clean up their mess. Alert citizens quickly reported the activity to Riverside County Code Enforcement.

More than 300 snowbirds, along with their families and friends flocked to the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater Saturday, March 17, for a special performance of "Ramona," the longest continuous running play in North America.

The play celebrated its 95th year in 2018.

March 30

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council hosted another Cannabis Emergency Regulation Committee meeting at Anza Electric Cooperative's conference room Friday, March 9.

The second annual Fish Fry was held at Sacred Heart Church, Friday, March 23. The thick, hand-battered cod fillets, homemade coleslaw, french fries, fresh rolls and fat strawberries topped with whipped cream were served to many hungry and eager patrons.

April 6

Algebra 1 teacher Patrick McGowan was named the new head football coach for Hamilton High School in Anza, replacing Coach Keith Moorman. 

The Anza Community Building Board of Directors met, and Barbara Keller gave a Treasurer's Report which indicated that operating funds are at dangerously low levels. Board member Keith Richardson explained in his Membership Report that as of March 29, 2018, only 48 people had purchased Community Hall memberships so far this year. 

April 13

Twigs and brush crackled in bright orange flames, ash rained from the sky and a plume of gray smoke rose into the air on Thomas Mountain as dozens of firefighters worked methodically to contain a swath of flames. The scene, seemingly chaotic at first glance, was actually part of a prescribed burn by U.S. Forest Service firefighters that had been planned out long in advance in an effort to reduce grasses and twigs that could help a fire spread.

JAS Sholes thought she had found the perfect tenants. They seemed nice enough – friendly and helpful. Rent was paid on time, and Sholes felt no need to check on her ranch in rural unincorporated Riverside County any time during the four years they rented from her. But she was wrong. The tenants hid various clumps of marijuana plants in several places all over the hilly 40 acres. The small cabin was destroyed and the property covered with trash. Used growing supplies and hundreds of holes where the plants had been cultivated were discovered. Intentional vandalism was done to the tiny historical cabin.

April 20

Cahuilla Casino held a special ribbon-cutting event for new non-smoking room.

Kylie Watson is a bright, friendly, outgoing and energetic 10-year-old girl who has chosen to help unwanted shelter pets in the community by baking doggie biscuits. Kylie manages, bakes and markets homemade dog treats with her organization, Kylie's K-9 Cookies. Since its inception, her endeavor has raised money for a local pet rescue.

April 27

The day was perfect for sunshine, family fun and High Country Recreation's T-ball opening ceremonies at the HCR fields on Mitchell Road in Anza.

Both parents and students were learning about computers and computer programming during Hamilton K-8 School's first "Family Code Night" with a program called, Code.org. For the 14 Hamilton Elementary students and their parents, it was more than an "Hour of Code."

May 4

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council's Cannabis Emergency Regulation Committee held its final meeting at Anza Electric Cooperative's conference room. During the meeting the group studied and prepared its report for submittal to the AVMAC.

Another beautiful day in Anza greeted players for the first day of assessment and training with the new coed flag football league sponsored by High Country Recreation. The Hamilton High School fields came to life with enthusiastic young athletes and their parents and coaches.

May 11

The gym at Hamilton High School was transformed into a magical world of daring tricks and colorful costumes as the fabulous Chinese Acrobats performed dazzling acrobatic stunts and feats of balance, flexibility, coordination and strength. The talented athletes showed how practice, concentration and hard work can turn their bodies into moving works of art and grace.

A man took a spill and was injured while jumping obstacles on a dirt bike path near Anza. The accident occurred about noon at the Cahuilla Creek Motocross Track in the 50100 block of state Route 371, on the northern edge of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation.

May 18

Anza Electric Cooperative was named as one of a select group of utilities that connected the most solar or the most energy storage to the grid in 2017, earning it a spot on the annual Top 10 utility industry lists compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. In survey results, AEC ranked No. 2 on the Utility Solar list, with 1455.5 watts-per-customer installed in 2017. The 2018 listings are the first time AEC has made the alliance's Top 10.

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council's Cannabis Emergency Regulation Committee Chair Edison Gomez-Krauss presented The AVMAC report on suggested cannabis regulations to the council. The gathering was well-attended by members of the public, with about 50 people present.

May 25

Hemet Unified School District board room was packed as students from Hamilton K-8 and Hamilton High School students received certificates for their outstanding performances as the district's "Best Solo and Ensemble Groups" at the Dartmouth Middle School festival.

Hamilton High School's up-and-coming track star, Alexia Delgadillo, continued her conquest by sweeping the long-distance women's 800 and 1,600-meter races in the Dennis Gilbert Small Schools Invitational.

June 1

Sixty students graduated from Hamilton High School, earning their diploma and accolades from the school's faculty, family and friends. Hayley Thrapp served as valedictorian and HyeRin Yoo served as salutatorian at the graduation ceremony held in the school's gymnasium. The senior class farewell was presented by senior class president Samantha Binger.

Emotions ran high at the Anza Valley Christian School's awards night in the Anza Baptist Church sanctuary. Students received honors presented by school administrator Julie Nevills and teachers Cindy Watson and Betty O'Hanlon. Teachers, staff, parents, board members and volunteers were also recognized for their efforts.

June 8

Class of 2018 Hamilton High School senior Nolan Carl Grant became the recipient of the Eagle Scout rank in a ceremony held at Lake Riverside Estates for his leadership project, an "honor ring" to retire worn-out American flags. Grant was the 79th young man in Boy Scout Troop 337 to receive the rank.

Mrs. Wood's fourth grade class at Hamilton K-8 School presented the musical play "Pirates of Grammar Island." The children performed a number of songs, including "Pirates from Grammar Island," "The Sentence Song," and "I'm the Queen of Pronouns." The songs were catchy, educational and full of good humor.

June 15

Voting was brisk at the local precincts for the California Primary Election. The Anza polls were able to process 479 votes on Election Day. There were 232 regular ballots, 74 provisional ballots and 173 vote-by-mail drop-offs.

Graffiti Coffee shop hosted another successful Summer Junkfest flea market and swap meet in the field next to the shop. "The Summer Junkfest is a flea market type setting that allows for the community to come together to share their treasures, talents and of course coffee," Graffiti Coffee's Sarah Tinsley said.

June 22

Aguanga resident Randy Carlson is an accomplished producer, automotive appraiser, writer and TV show host. He is the owner and founder of Carchaeology.com, Oldbug.com and Californiacar.com, and his most recent accomplishment is performing as an auto appraiser on the hot new production, Discovery Channel's "Sticker Shock."

Anza has many opportunities for residents to partake in low-cost or free food distribution programs that occur every week. One of those events is held at a local church in Terwilliger every Thursday. The story of how the supplies get from the distribution point in Temecula to the people in need is due to hard-working volunteers and the organization of one woman and her vision of "no hungry people."

June 29

The Hemet Huckfest came roaring into Anza, at its new location at the corner of Kirby and Wellman roads. The meticulously measured and graded track, jump and landing marks were carefully set up for the event. The thrills were ongoing and the height and distance of the jumps was astounding.

Despite complaints and opposition, Riverside County supervisors unanimously approved a nearly 100 percent increase in waste disposal charges over five years for more than 6,000 residents.

July 6

The 86th annual Anza Lions Club Anza Days festivities were once again an entertaining, exciting and colorful combination of events put on by civic organizations and a great number of volunteers.

The gazebo at Minor Park was temporarily transformed into a pageant stage as Miss Anza contestants vied for the cherished titles. There were four Miss Anza positions to be filled, and the excited young women and girls arrived in their finest attire for the occasion.

July 13

A vegetation fire that broke out near Anza, July 4, was 100 percent contained, according to Riverside County Fire Department officials. The Benton Fire quickly charred 63 acres at Benton Road and Crams Corner Drive in Anza.

The fourth annual Cahuilla Earth Day and Gathering was held and the opening ceremony included a traditional blessing of the grounds, a Cahuilla elder blessing, Cahuilla Tribal Council welcoming, bird singing and a special reading by tribal member Emily Clarke.

July 20

Anza lost an energetic, popular and much-loved young lady to a tragic auto accident. Mariah Garcia was born in Oceanside, Jan. 20, 1998. Her family moved to Anza in 2001 and she grew up in the Hamilton School system where she graduated with the class of 2016.

Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector Jon Christensen was guest speaker for the Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting held at the Community Hall. During the meeting, Bob Giffin read his letter of resignation due to an impending move out of the area. 

July 27

Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington hosted a townhall meeting at the Community Hall in Anza. The discussion centered around Washington's desire to hear from Anza's residents in regard to impending new rules regarding cannabis cultivation and related activities in unincorporated Riverside County. A packed room of over 150 people were in attendance.

A Jersey dairy cow, mother to two weaned calves, came up missing as the result of a brazen theft that took place at the Sage Mountain Farm located on Bahrman Road, right across from the Pizza Factory in Anza, July 13. Owner Phil Noble offered a $1,000 reward for the return of the cow.

Aug. 3

A massive wildfire, started by an alleged arsonist destroyed 12 buildings and damaged five homes in the Mountain Center and Idyllwild area. The fast-moving Cranston Fire tore through the mountain communities amid scorching temperatures and forced thousands to flee their homes under mandatory evacuations for the entire town and areas surrounding it.

The Anza Community Hall was packed beyond capacity and out the door on the sweltering evening of Thursday, July 26, for a meeting called by the Anza Electric Cooperative. The purpose of the meeting was to bring members of AEC up to speed on the emergency situation regarding the Cranston Fire and the effects to the electrical grid in the valley.

Aug. 10

When the Cranston Fire took off out of control the SCE transmission lines that bring power to the Anza Electric Cooperative's small grid were damaged. The power went out in the small mountain communities serviced by the AEC, leaving about 4,000 people without electricity to run their homes and wells. AEC rallied immediately and began the process of returning power to residents' homes as soon as possible.

The days during the aftermath of the Cranston Fire brought out the best in residents of the close-knit mountain communities that were affected by the disaster. From watching out for neighbors, watering others' animals, delivering food and bottled water and fixing generators, to acquiring food, organizing the shelters, bringing supplies to those without transportation, strangers helping neighbors helping friends was the norm during the power outage.

Aug. 17

Weeks of grueling practice and conditioning paid off for Anza's Hamilton High School Bobcat football teams. The players were rough and ready for the coming season, which began with a scheduled battle with Santa Rosa Academy.

The power outage suffered by the members of the Anza Electric Cooperative as a result of fire damage to the import transmission lines up the mountain by the Cranston Fire was somewhat relieved by the actions of the Cahuilla Casino's Mountain Sky Travel Center.

Aug. 24

The Anza Community Appreciation Barbecue held at the Anza Community Hall was a standing-room only event was planned and organized by Bentley Hunt and Danny Stone along with the help of dozens of volunteers and local organizations. Hundreds of people turned out to meet and thank the many first responders who fought the Cranston Fire.

The Hamilton High School football stadium erupted with thunderous cheers time and time again, as the Bobcats won their first game of the season, dominating Santa Rosa Academy 38-6.

Aug. 31

The governing board of the Hemet Unified School District held its regular meeting at the Anza Hamilton K-8 School. The meeting is usually held in Hemet.

Anza Electric Cooperative customers from Mountain Center to Riverside Estates were once again enjoying full electrical services after the devastating Cranston Fire knocked out or reduced power to many members for more than a week. The outages caused water shortages, food losses and job absences that are reminders of just how destructive wildfires can be.

Sept. 7

Many months of unusually frequent earthquake activity left residents of the Anza Valley wondering what it all means. The tremblers ranged in magnitude of less than one to a shake of magnitude 4.4.

Caltrans worked with the U.S. Forest Service and contractor Ames Construction to continue rehabilitation work along state Route 74 from Hemet to Lake Hemet and portions of state Route 243 to Idyllwild damaged by the Cranston Fire. The work was expected to cause some traffic delays in the coming weeks.

Sept. 14

Pacific Crest Trail hiker Kira Moon was reported missing since Aug. 11 with little or no contact with friends and family. Law enforcement was investigating and thanks to social media, the 62-year-old wiry, energetic woman had hundreds of people looking for her. She was later found safe.

The bright dawn revealed a flurry of ballooning activity Sunday, Sept. 2. The field came alive with three of the colorful craft and residents pulled over in awe as the large envelopes filled with hot air and prepared to ascend. Not often seen in the Valley, hot air balloons are much more common in Temecula. But the conditions were perfect and the skyways clear and enjoyable for both pilots, crews and passengers.

Sept. 21

Sacred Heart Church in Anza held a Community Fiesta. The annual celebration was filled with food, fun, games and music. There was a dime toss game, bingo, horseshoe tournament, bake sale, silent auction, live bands and food galore. 

Candidate for Riverside County sheriff Chad Bianco was the guest speaker for the Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting, which was held at the Community Hall.

Sept. 28

With his family by his side, Anza World War II veteran, Dr. Richard Schmitz, accepted the National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier from Christophe Lemoine, consul general of France in Los Angeles, during a special ceremony held at Murrieta's Town Square Park. Schmitz, who was a Private 1st Class during his time in France in World War II, sat solemnly beside three other Southern California recipients of the honor.

Anza Valley residents became aware of several Riverside County Sheriff's deputies riding low-speed UTVs off and on-road in Anza. Some people reported what they believed to be reckless behavior, and many even assumed that the utility vehicles were being used in a raid on a cannabis grow. In fact, the deputies were in class on those days, off-road driver training classes conducted by Coach2Ride instructor Andrea Beach.

Oct. 5

Residents of Lake Riverside Estates held a community yard sale at the lower gate entrance at Lake Riverside Drive and state Route 371. Both new Lake Riverside Estates inhabitants and old participated in a day of wheeling, dealing, fun and treasures.

A disturbing incidence of a fake $20 bill – "prop money" – being passed at a local retailer left Anza residents asking exactly what prop money is and how to spot it. The bill was passed unknowingly to a person in payment.

Oct. 12

The Anza Civic Improvement League and Kids of Anza hosted the second annual Anza Summer Nights Rock 'n' Roll Car Show. Beautiful, unusual and old Anza favorite autos, trucks, bikes and a tractor were displayed in the parking lot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There is a lot of controversy when the word "cannabis," or "marijuana" is mentioned, even in passing. According to trends on social media, it appears that people approve highly, or disapprove highly. Middle ground is uncommon, and residents defend their positions passionately. Jake, an intelligent, well-informed and well-meaning cannabis farmer, explained his passion for the herb and how he got started in the cultivation business.

Oct. 19

Donald Seddon stepped down from the Anza Community Hall board of directors. According to a statement sent to Anza Valley Outlook, from board President Noel Donahue, a board member later identified as Seddon, submitted his resignation through a process of "negotiations" following what was referred to as unacceptable behavior on various social media sites.

The Hamilton High School Bobcats smashed their way to victory against the Sherman High School Indian Braves 54-12. A week later, they lost at home against the Calvary Murrieta High School Warriors, 49-27.

Oct. 26

It had been three months since a fire lit by an alleged arsonist tore through the area, charring 13,139 acres, before being fully contained by firefighters. The Cranston Fire, which was allegedly started by 32-year-old Brandon N. McGlover of Temecula who set nine fires July 25, left much devastation in its wake, from destroyed homes to damaged roadways and burned wildlands in the San Bernardino National Forest. But Mother Nature could not be held back as the burn scar began to spring back to life with new growth.

Anza has several food pantries or ministries to assist people in the Anza Valley to make ends meet. With Anza being termed "economically depressed and underserved," this help is appreciated weekly by retirees, the unemployed and the working poor.

Nov. 2

Magic wands, secret potions, mystical money and all things Hogwarts, plus every single Harry Potter volume to date, were all part of the Harry Potter Halloween celebration at the Anza Valley Library.

Aaron Eason, 38, of Anza surrendered to authorities. He was the last remaining wanted member of a Southern California-based white extremist nationalist group suspected of traveling to various political rallies in California and in Charlottesville, Virginia, to incite riots.

Nov. 9

Due to a communication breakdown, Hamilton High School's Homecoming game was played at California Military Institute instead of at home. Despite this adversity, the Hamilton Bobcat varsity football team showed up ready to play and win. Against all odds, Hamilton lost the game, 60-28. 

Halloween in Anza centered around the Anza Community Hall and the spooky The Kids of Anza Haunted Maze. The maze had been scaring children and adults alike every weekend in October, but the fun came to an eerie crescendo Halloween night.

Nov. 16

Voting totals for Anza Precinct 37982 were reported to be record numbers at the local precinct located at the Anza Community Hall.

The Anza Community Hall hosted the annual From The Heart Holiday Dinner. The fundraiser was well-attended by supporters and friends of the children's charity organization.

Nov. 23

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 319's Community Appreciation Dinner to honor several of Anza's charity organizations in the Anza Community Hall.

Eight veterans of foreign wars received graduation certificates, one of them posthumously, under a program that awards diplomas to former airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines who gave up school to serve their country.

Jerry Arnold of Hemet, Raymond Casares of Hemet, Jack Griner of Thousand Palms, "Ron" Robert Jackson of Hemet, Steve Stone of Homeland, Kenneth Weiner of Murrieta and Charles Whatley of Riverside were furnished diplomas during the 12th annual "Operation Recognition" ceremony at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center.

Nov. 30

Several Anza Boy Scout Troop 319 members performed a good deed for the community when Scoutmaster Norman Faleono and Scouts Zack Vollen, Alex Nashon and Sale Faleono participated alongside other local volunteers in taking down and retiring all 1776 United States flags displayed in Gibbel Park in Hemet.

The Graffiti Coffee Shop held its first year anniversary celebration. Free coffee, a flea market, a bouncy slide for the children and prize wheel spins for giveaways of chocolate-covered coffee beans, coffee scrub, signature cups and tee shirts were the highlights of the event.

Dec. 7

Project 371 founder Bud Elmore and several concerned Anza Valley residents met with Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington's legislative assistant Brian Tisdale at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Anza. A perceived increase in tragic and deadly accidents on state Route 371 has motivated Elmore to become a community activist, determined to do something about the statistics. 

The Celebrate Recovery group at the Anza First Southern Baptist Church hosted guest speakers from the new ministry Broken Chains. Roy and Lisa R. made presentations to the members, sharing their stories of addiction, codependency, revelation and peace. Celebrate Recovery is a Christian church-based, 12-step recovery program that welcomes guest with warmth and support as well as established members. 

Dec. 14

Doggie tail wags, twitching mule ears and joyous non-partisan panting greeted participants and onlookers at the Anza Lions Club Mayor of Anza event. Votes for candidates were given for a donation of one dollar each.

Local plumber and owner of Elect Plumbing and Drain of Aguanga, Steve Gardner answered a call to assist in rebuilding the pipes and gas structures that were destroyed in the tragic natural gas explosions that occurred in September in Massachusetts.

Dec. 21

It's 6 a.m. Sunday. The sun isn't quite up. Cameron and Liz Raaenielsen pull up in their black Ford 150 pickup truck alongside a sleeping homeless man. Cameron, shaking the man who is wrapped up in his blanket, tells him it's time to get up and meet him with a hot cup of coffee at their regular meeting place in downtown Hemet. Other homeless people, some sitting in their cars like Genevieve Ochoa, wake up and drive to Gilmore Street and Florida Avenue where the Raaneilsens are there with hot coffee, a few other goodies and even some clothes. So why do they gather, why for prayer, of course.

The High Country Boys and Girls Club, the inspiration of local community activist Robyn Garrison, began in 2008 with the creation of a 501(c)(3) along with six additional Anza citizens, including longtime Anza resident, now deceased, Alice Hopkins, as board members. The club's purpose, to give Anza's youth a fun, safe and educational place to go and participate in activities.

Dec. 28

A dog attack spurred Riverside County Department of Animal Services to conduct a sweep, searching for stray dogs and violations in Anza. The sweep came after Anza resident Angela Johnson clung to life following a brutal dog attack Dec. 15.

An Arizona woman wanted in connection with a Phoenix homicide reportedly committed suicide at an Anza gas station. The woman, identified as 33-year-old Fiona Luvisi, killed herself when she was confronted by Riverside County sheriff's deputies.

 

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