TimesOC: Newport driving instructor helps get Saudi women on the road

TimesOC: Newport driving instructor helps get Saudi women on the road
Hessah al-Ajaji drives her car in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi women are driving freely for the first time after decades of risking arrest if they got behind the wheel. (Nariman El-Mofty / AP)

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 4. Here’s what’s been happening around O.C.

Top story

Newport driving instructor helps get Saudi women on the road


Norma Adrianzen has her foot on the gas pedal of history. With the decades-long ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia now lifted, the Newport Beach-based driving instructor is one of just three women worldwide training the trainers who will formally teach Saudi women who hadn’t learned elsewhere. Adrianzen arrived in Saudi Arabia about two months before the ban expired and expects to be there for about a year, possibly two. Daily Pilot

Around the county

UC Irvine geneticist resigns due to sexual harassment


Acclaimed UC Irvine geneticist Francisco J. Ayala has resigned after a university investigation found he sexually harassed four faculty members and graduate students, the university has announced. Los Angeles Times

Doctor is punished for exempting child from vaccines

In a decision that could signal how California’s fierce vaccine debates will play out in the coming years, the Medical Board of California has ordered 35 months’ probation for Dr. Bob Sears, an Orange County pediatrician well-known for being sympathetic to parents opposed to vaccines. Los Angeles Times

Man rediscovers daughter who was told he'd died

“Oh, my God … I think I found your daughter.” Frank Granados of Fullerton never thought he would hear those words. TimesOC

Life & arts

Musco Center welcomes Plácido Domingo

Opera legend Plácido Domingo will return to the stage, country star Rosanne Cash will croon and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming will sing cabaret during the 2018-19 season at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University in Orange. The center’s third season will kick off with jazz band leader Jon Batiste on Sept. 21. TimesOC

Laguna’s art festival season begins

The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair opened Friday to usher in the Laguna Beach festival season. The Festival of Arts begins Thursday followed by the Pageant of the Masters on Saturday. Daily Pilot


San Juan Capistrano mourns Swallow’s Inn proprietor

The Swallow’s Inn, a landmark country western bar in downtown San Juan Capistrano, closed for several hours so staff could attend a funeral Mass for co-owner Steve Nordeck at Mission Basilica. He was 76. TimesOC