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Wednesday, Dec 25 2013 06:00 AM

2013: Year in Review

Related Photos

Members of the Board of Directors of Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District toss ceremonial shovelfuls of earth Thursday afternoon at the official groundbreaking for the new Tehachapi Hospital. From left are Dr. Kim Horowitz, Dr. Sam Conklin, Dr.Gary Olsen, Henry Schaeffer with grandson, Duane Moats and Hospital CFO William Van Noy. Photo by Nick Smirnoff

2013 is almost over and we take this opportunity to review some of the milestones and major stories covered this year.

This week we present January through June; next week we will cover July through December:

January 2013

* Former Tehachapi News co-publisher Warren Johnson died at age 91.

* Marlena Gilliland was installed as president of the Tehachapi Republican Women, Federated.

* Dollar General proposed construction of a new store on Tucker Road.

* The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District announced it would break ground on a new hospital in March.

* Jeff Hodge was named General Manager of Bear Valley Community Services District.

* The Tehachapi Planning Commission approved a controversial motel project in the Capital Hills area. Opponents said the motel was too close to the airport.

* Bear Valley Police Chief Joe Pilkington was let go during his probationary period. The former Kern Council Sheriff's officer had been in the position since March 2012.

Assemblywoman Shannon Grove presented a Memorial Resolution for the late Marjorie Owens to her daughters.

* Ed Grimes was named Citizen of the Year; Souza Family Vineyard was named Small Business of the Year and McDonalds was named Large Business of the Year by the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce and the Tehachapi News.

* Claudia White was installed as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce.

February 2013

* Airport business owner Ken Hetge filed an appeal of the Tehachapi Planning Commission's approval of a motel project in Capital Hills.

* The Board of Trustees of Tehachapi Unified School District approved a controversial new curriculum for grades 6 to 12. The curriculum was required due to a legal settlement reached between the district and the government following the September 2010 death of middle schooler Seth Walsh.

* Tehachapi Flower Shop celebrated 50 years of business.

Parents and teachers expressed opposition to a possible move of sixth grade classes to accommodate Abernathy Collegiate Charter School on the Jacobsen Middle School campus. The board decided against the move and Abernathy was ultimately housed in a different area of the campus.

* Linda Costelloe-Clough was named president of the Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors and Tammy Wallace was named Realtor of the Year for 2012. The real estate group also honored the Tehachapi News as Affiliate of the Year for 2012.

* Former school board candidate Steven Vogel, 26, was arrested on 5 counts of having sex with minors.

* The Tehachapi City Council denied Ken Hetge's appeal of a planning commission decision, clearing the way for a new hotel to be built in the Capital Hills area.

* The City of Tehachapi reached a settlement with Darnell Oliver, paying her $25,000 for damages related to a 2011 drug raid.

* The Tehachapi Performing Arts Center Foundation announced close of escrow on property on Red Apple on which it hopes to build a performing arts center.

March 2013

* Results of the California Physical Fitness test showed that only 46 percent of students in Tehachapi Unified School District passed.

* Customers of Golden Hills Sanitation attended a meeting to learn about options as Kern County and City of Tehachapi staff began working to see what solutions might be available for the beleaguered private sewer system.

* Stallion Springs held its annual "Chilly Dip."

* Well known Tehachapi pilot and flight instructor Gordon Davis died after crashing his plane in Wyoming.

* Terri Roseberry was named the Tehachapi Unified School District's Classified Employee of the Year for 2013. Anna Hoffman was named 2013 Teacher of the Year and also selected as California Continuation Education Association District V's Teacher of the Year.

* Joseph Singer was named "Mr. Warrior" in Tehachapi High School's annual competition.

* Perri Rhodes was named "Miss Tehachapi" in a pageant held locally.

* Matt J. Young was hired as District Manager of the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District.

* Culminating decades of work, a groundbreaking was held in the Capital Hills area for a new Tehachapi Hospital.

April 2013

* Tehachapi High's cheerleaders were honored by the City Council for their first place win at the International Cheer Competition.

* Hundreds of youngsters turned out for the annual egg hunt sponsored by Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District.

* An all-community clean-up effort was held in conjunction with Earth Day.

* A Kern County Sheriff's deputy was arrested on sexual assault charges.

* Levi Bryant Jr. of Tehachapi was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while outside his vehicle along Highway 58.

* A 21-year-old man was killed by a Bear Valley Springs police officer who responded to a call of a disturbance at the home of the man's parents.

* Tehachapi High School principal Bev Thonmpson and Jacobsen Middle School principal Susan Ortega announced their plans to retire at the end of the school year.

* The annual fishing derby was held at Brite Lake.

* Five Tehachapi High students headed to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Science Bowl. Team members were CheyAnne Anderson, Sam Gillam, Max Greason, Brandon Chao and Ryan Bilotta.

* The Tehachapi City Council proclaimed April 25 as "Red Hat Day" in honor of members of the Aga Uka chapter of the Red Hat Society.

* The Tehachapi City Council approved a concept plan for an event center to be built near the rodeo grounds.

* Triassic Legacy Vineyard, owned by Chuck McCullough, debuted its first vintage wine.

* Paul Kaminski, principal of Cummings Valley Elementary, was chosen to be the new principal at Jacobsen Middle School and Scott Heitman, a TUSD administrator, was chosen to be the new principal of Tehachapi High, both assignments to begin with the 2013-14 school year.

* Tehachapi school bus driver Roberta Miller was named 'Bus Driver of the Year' for Southern California by the California Highway Patrol.

May 2013

* Increased rail traffic through the Tehachapi Pass was identified as a sign of an economic upturn.

* The organization formerly known as the Tehachapi Hospital Foundation donated $250,000 toward construction of the new Tehachapi Hospital. The check was presented by Virginia Staabs on behalf of the Tehachapi Foundation for Health and Wellness.

* The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an "incidental take" permit for the California Condor, paving the way for Terra-Gen to proceed with its Alta East wind development between Tehachapi and Mojave.

* Former Tehachapi News General Manager and well-known local Realtor Al Crisalli Jr. died.

* The Kern County Grand Jury issued a report critical of the Board of Directors of Bear Valley Community Services District and alleging Brown Act violations.

* Wells Education Center was open with new offices for Tehachapi Unified School District revitalizing the former Claude L. Wells elementary school site near downtown Tehachapi.

* Three Valedictorians were chosen for Tehachapi High School -- Brandon Kuong Chao, Cesar Andres Garcia and Alexis Diane Schoenberg. Ryan Joseph Bilotta was named Salutatorian.

* A new plaque was installed honoring those who have died in wars as part of Memorial Day observances in Philip Marx Central Park.

June 2013

* Boy Scouts honored the flag during a Flag Day retirement ceremony on June 14.

* Tehachapi Federal Credit Union merged with Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

* Closure of the Dye Natatorium, Tehachapi's public swimming pool, was announced due to mold and other problems.

* Julie Boesch was chosen to replace Paul Kaminski as principal at Cummings Valley School; Laura Barba was chosen as vice principal of Tehachapi High School, both for the 2013-14 school year.

* Plans to "double-track" portions of the railway between Tehachapi and Bakersfield were said to be scaling back due to funding issues; Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett shared concerns about environmental review of the project that would bring additional train traffic through the city.

* Master carver Arnold Given, who died in January, was honored by the Tehachapi Valley Arts Association.

* Police services were cut in Stallion Springs following failure of a ballot measure that would have provided additional funding.

* Golden Hills Community Services District gave Benz Sanitation a five-year notice of its intent to contract for such services.

* Stallion Springs Police Chief Brad Burris resigned and Sgt. Mike Grant was named the new chief.

* The Tehachapi City Council awarded a near $2.9 million contract to renovate the former Spencer California clothing factory on "C" Street for a new police station.

* Kern County firefighter Paul Abarquez ripped a hole in the wall of a burning home in Golden Hills to rescue a woman.

* The City of Tehachapi released a revised Environmental Impact Review for the proposed Walmart project.


Next week: July through December

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