818 Roundup: A new school mural and a new street name in Burbank

Good morning, 818. Today is Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Temperatures for today are forecasted to reach a high of 74 and a low of 56 with a 30% chance of rain in the day and an 80% chance at night, according to the National Weather Service.

Here are your local headlines:

Crime and Public Safety

Man arrested after allegedly punching elderly man


A 31-year-old Glendale man was arrested Saturday after punching, unprovoked, an elderly pedestrian in Glendale, police said. Police found Angel Vega nearby and arrested him. He was charged Tuesday with one misdemeanor count of battery. Glendale News-Press

Rise in crime

The number of violent and property crimes reported in Burbank, when combined, jumped 9% last year, according to yearend statistics released by the Burbank Police Department. Property crimes jumped from 2,438 cases reported in 2014 to 2,669 last year, while the number of violent crimes increased by 6%, jumping from 150 incidents in 2014 to 159 last year. Burbank Leader

Glendale pharmacy becomes latest target for thieves


Prescription pills and money were stolen from a Glendale pharmacy early Tuesday morning, marking the latest in a series of pharmacy burglaries in which thousands of dollars' worth of medicine has been stolen. Glendale News-Press

Stolen gun recovered, suspect arrested in traffic stop

Police reportedly seized a loaded, stolen gun from a 23-year-old man during a traffic stop prompted by an expired registration tag Friday. After stopping the car at Brand Boulevard and Monterey Road just before midnight, the officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, and asked the driver and three passengers to step outside, said Glendale Police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot. Glendale News-Press


Civic News and Politics

Section of First Street to become IKEA Way

Despite objections from some prominent Burbank business owners, the City Council last week approved the renaming of a section of First Street in downtown Burbank to IKEA Way, in order to help reduce confusion among shoppers traveling to the Swedish retailer's future store, which will be its largest in the United States when completed. Burbank Leader

Expansion recommended

A report released Tuesday by the National Park Service recommends a "significant" expansion of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include the Rim of the Valley. In its final report, the Park Service recommended expanding the boundary of the existing recreation area to include more than 170,000 acres, bringing it to 323,000 acres and more than doubling its size. Burbank Leader

Looking at the bigger artful picture

Glendale is looking to hire a consultant to help put together a public art master plan aimed at bringing new artwork to public spaces citywide. The plan could be adopted as early as this year and would be backed by the $4.5-million Urban Art Fund, which has been financed by developer fees since 2010. Glendale News-Press

Burbank on Parade expanded

This spring, the street in front of George Izay Park in Burbank will be filled with music, dancing, food trucks and more. The festivities will follow this year's Burbank on Parade, which is set for April 23 with the theme "Our Heroes." Burbank Leader

On to their next level

After nearly five years of sitting idle in storage, a collection of vintage arcade games once owned by a city agency has been sold. Forty-five classic games, including "Tetris" and "Street Fighter," went up for auction last weekend and netted $20,000 from multiple buyers, city spokesman Tom Lorenz said. He noted the final sales tally was about $8,000 less than the collection had been appraised for in 2014. Glendale News-Press



Students put finishing touches on new mural

Students at Thomas Edison Elementary are nearly finished painting a mural on a 100-foot wall depicting children at play, exploring nature and enjoying the great outdoors. The fourth-graders, who have been working on the mural for the last several weeks, have received artistic guidance by retired Los Angeles Unified teacher Helene Cob, a Burbank resident who was brought on to help create the mural by the school's PTA. Burbank Leader

Two times a c-h-a-m-p-i-o-n

Since the Glendale Unified School District began hosting a districtwide spelling bee 40 years ago, fewer than five students have ever won the competition back-to-back. Earlier this month, fifth-grader June Musurlian became the fourth student in those four decades to win the competition in two consecutive years, meaning R.D. White Elementary will continue to keep the winner's trophy on display. Glendale News-Press

Not leaving them behind

In his ongoing push to see a 100% graduation rate, Burbank Unified School District Supt. Matt Hill has been tracking down last year's dropouts and pushing them to complete their studies. Not long after he was hired in July, he began personally calling students who did not graduate as part of the class of 2015. Burbank Leader


In the Community

Longtime community servant dies


Barbara Sykes, who served the Burbank community through her work with a variety of local charities, died Thursday. She was 55. The mother of three and grandmother of two, the Toluca Lake native had been battling cancer for the past year, said her husband, former Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski. Burbank Leader



Ryan Fonseca,

Twitter: @RyFons