PUBLIC SAFETY Rape retrial begins dramatically The...

PUBLIC SAFETY

Rape retrial begins dramatically

The retrial of a high-profile gang-rape case started this week

with a juror excusing himself, a defense lawyer getting cut off and

chastised by the judge during his opening statements, and tearful

testimony by the alleged victim.

Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann, both 20, and Greg Haidl, the

19-year-old son of former county assistant sheriff Don Haidl, are

accused of gang-raping an allegedly unconscious 16-year-old girl at

the elder Haidl's Corona del Mar home and sexually assaulting her

with various objects. The first trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

Cross-examination by defense attorneys of the now 19-year-old Jane Doe, who they say was a promiscuous, wild teen and a willing

participant, is scheduled to resume Feb. 22.

* Newport Beach police are seeking other children who may have

been victims of a private music teacher accused of molesting a local

girl.

Police arrested Aaron William Hallas, 54, of Garden Grove last

week on suspicion that he committed lewd acts on a girl under the age

of 8, Sgt. Steve Shulman said. Police in another, unnamed city also

investigated Hallas but did not press charges, Shulman said.

* A 167-foot dredge boat shoved off back to sea Tuesday morning

after running aground on a West Newport beach days earlier.

The Eland, which is taking part in a dredging project in the

waters off West Newport, ran aground Feb. 6, landing on the beach

near 68th Street. It took the highest tide of the month and the help

of two tugboats, but the ship made it back to the ocean and didn't

spill any fuel, a California Department of Fish and Game spokesman

said.

COSTA MESA

New appointments made to city commissions

The City Council on Monday selected a slate of five commissioners

each for the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission.

The council voted in December to pick commissioners by a vote of the

full council rather than direct appointment by council members, and

they received 31 applications from current and prospective commission

members.

The new Planning Commission includes Bruce Garlich, Bill Perkins,

Eleanor Egan, James Fisler and Donn Hall. On the new Parks and

Recreation Commission roster are Byron de Arakal, Mark Harris, Wendy

Leece, Robert Graham and David Stiller.

NEWPORT BEACH

The bigger, the better in Corona del Mar

A new home will with cantilevered decks will rise from the bluffs

along Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar, jutting farther out than the

existing homes, but it's only one part of a general thrust toward

building over the water.

After a complicated debate over whether the city can limit how far

out houses project from the bluff, the City Council on Tuesday agreed

to allow Doug Circle to build a home that exceeds the height limit

and has a deck a neighbor complains will block public and private

views.

City officials and some residents said rising property values and

the likelihood of state Coastal Commission approval will lead to more

homes along the bluff being remodeled so they jut out farther than

the homes there now.

POLITICS

A possible reprieve for El Morro residents

Residents would not be evicted from the El Morro Village mobile

home park and instead could stay up to 30 more years, if either of

two bills introduced Thursday by Newport Beach Assemblyman Chuck

DeVore is successful.

DeVore said he proposed the bills as a way to save the state the

money it would spend on razing El Morro Village and creating state

park facilities there, and the bills would bring in as much as $50

million for the state by raising El Morro rents to market rate.

The state Department of Parks and Recreation plans to spend $12

million to convert the mobile-home park to a public park, with 200

parking spaces, a 60-unit campground, restrooms and a lifeguard tower

on the beach. The department has not taken an official stance on the

bill, but it has been firm in its intention to proceed with the park

plan. Eviction proceedings for residents already are underway, and

some residents are expected to leave by April 1.

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