Local police officers
injured in collision with car
Two off-duty Newport Beach Police motorcycle officers were injured
-- one seriously -- on Jamboree Road in Irvine Sunday night when
their bikes collided with a car.
Officers Dave Kresge, 37, and Matthew Chmura, 34, were heading
home when a car being driven by 55-year-old Huntington Beach resident
Jon Lyon turned in front of them, according to police. Kresge
suffered a broken wrist and Chmura suffered a serious leg injury. He
underwent surgery and is expected to remain hospitalized until later
* Firefighters from throughout Orange County gathered this week to
demonstrate the dangers of careless holiday decorating.
Costa Mesa Police Chief Jim Ellis advised people to water and
"shake hands" with their live Christmas tree every day to watch for
signs it's drying out, such as dropping lots of needles. Dry trees
can quickly ignite and spread fire to the rest of a home, he said.
* Costa Mesa Police arrested 10 people this week in what they
believe was a large identification-fraud ring.
Those arrested were allegedly operating the ring out of rooms in a
motel on Newport Boulevard. The arrestees, from throughout Southern
California, were arrested on drug- and fraud-related charges.
* A fire caused extensive damage to the First United Methodist
Church of Costa Mesa on Wednesday.
The fire started in the electrical room of a building at the
church, according to fire investigators. It appears the fire was
started by a homeless person, who knocked over a lighted can of
burner fuel. No charges have been brought in the case.
Newport-Mesa students outpacing state in fitness
Students in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District are more
physically fit than the state average, according to results of the
2003-2004 Physical Fitness Test released last week.
Nearly 30% of the district's students met all six state fitness
standards of aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility,
abdominal strength, trunk-extension strength and upper-body strength,
compared with 27% of students statewide.
Space at a premium in
John Wayne Airport area
Office and industrial properties in Newport-Mesa already command
some of the highest rents in Orange County, and they're expected to
inch slowly upward in 2005. A study released Thursday by the USC Lusk
Center for Real Estate predicts office and industrial vacancies in
the John Wayne Airport area will continue to drop next year because
little new space will be added.
Roman Catholic diocese settles abuse cases
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange on Thursday settled with all
87 plaintiffs who filed civil lawsuits against the diocese alleging
sexual abuse by clergy, teachers or employees.
Terms, which included a monetary settlement and other agreements,
were not revealed pursuant to a court-issued gag order. The amount of
the settlement and other terms will likely be released late next
Costa Mesa-based attorney John Manly handled 27 of these cases,
including eight victims from the Newport-Mesa area. Manly's cases
includes victims who say they were abused by Daniel Murray of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel on the Balboa Peninsula; Michael Harris, former
principal of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, who used to conduct
Sunday masses at St. John the Baptist; and the now-deceased Donald
Stevens, a custodian at St. Joachim Catholic Church in Costa Mesa.
* Planning Commissioner Bruce Garlich conceded defeat Thursday for
the last of three City Council seats, opting not to request a recount
of the 44-vote margin between him and fellow Planning Commissioner
Eric Bever. Bever, fellow commissioner Katrina Foley and former Mayor
Linda Dixon will be sworn in as council members Monday.
* Residents Doug and Jennifer Hansen are offering to pay for
equipment for a playground for disabled kids at TeWinkle Park. The
playground would be in honor of their three-year-old daughter, Angel.
They are soliciting funds through a charity they set up in honor of
their daughter, Angels Charity. The Costa Mesa Community Foundation
is helping the charity raise money.
City officials were receptive to the idea and thought TeWinkle
Park would be the perfect place because of its central location and
amenities. Because the project is eligible for a state grant of up to
$1 million, the city is using the grant opportunity to add
improvements to nearby facilities, such as restrooms and picnic
To donate, go to http://www.angelscharity.com or
Cost concerns, parking not stopping center's momentum
A community center designed with the help of Newport Coast
residents is nearing the end of its design stage, despite concerns
about parking congestion and high costs.
The City Council in February approved the $7-million center, which
will include a full-sized gymnasium, library, meeting rooms and other
amenities for public use. The center will occupy about 22,000 square
feet at the corner of Newport Coast Drive and San Joaquin Hills Road.