Hockey amateurs face off for cancer in Simi

If you can’t get enough ice hockey in your life, prepare to get your fill as 250 players converge on Simi Valley for a good cause this weekend.

Dozens of ice hockey games will be held, including a skills competition, charity raffle and a presentation featuring the Mayor’s Cup, all to benefit local families living with cancer.

The event was created in 2011 by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Face Off With Cancer Inc., based in Moorpark. At last year’s event, over $75,000 was raised by teams of players who collected pledges from friends and family.

Ryan King, president and CEO of the organization, says that many of the nonprofit cancer organizations focus on finding the cure; Face Off With Cancer focuses on the individual afflicted.

“Where a lot of people end up getting left out is in the financial impact that it has on families and the feeling of aloneness in what comes with having to battle this head-on,” said King. “Our goal is to really make sure that nobody is alone in this face-off with cancer.”

Face Off With Cancer 2016 will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Iceoplex, 131 W. Easy St. in Simi Valley. Registration for players is closed, but King says that volunteers are always needed and can register by visiting www.faceoffwithcancer.org/3on3.

Laut Sentenced

Jane Laut, 59, of Oxnard, found guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting death of her husband, Dave, in March, lost her appeal for a new trial on Aug. 22, and was sentenced on Aug. 23 to 50 years to life in prison.

Superior Court Judge David Worley denied the request after Laut’s attorney, Ron Bamieh, argued that the court erred when it did not allow expert witnesses to testify as to Laut’s state of mind at the time of the crime.

Jane Laut

Jane Laut

“Considering the totality of the record, the court finds no error,” said Worley on Monday morning, adding that even if the witnesses had been allowed to testify, it wouldn’t have been probable that a result “more favorable” to the defendant would have been reached.

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, Worley said that the law requires a minimum 25-years-to-life sentence for first-degree murder and an additional 25-years-to-life sentence for her use of a gun during the crime, and sentenced her accordingly. Dave was a former Olympian and had been working as the athletic director at Port Hueneme High School at the time of his death.

Laut can appeal the decision within 60 days, and will return to court on Tuesday, Aug. 30, to discuss a defense motion to be released on bail while the appeal is heard.

First case of Zika virus in County

Officials announced on Friday that the first confirmed case of Zika virus in Ventura County has been discovered in a female who traveled recently.

Public Health Officer Robert Levin, M.D., said that most people who contract the virus show no or minor symptoms, adding that the female is not pregnant. Many children born to mothers who carry the virus have suffered from microcephaly, a neurological condition that causes an infant’s head to be smaller than the heads of other children of the same age. The Ventura County woman makes the 171st confirmed case of Zika in California.

The virus travels primarily by mosquito, though it can also be transmitted through sexual contact. The mosquito that carries the virus is not thought to live in the state.

Ventura Write for Your Rights celebrates choice

The Ventura County Reproductive Rights Network will host its annual Write for Your Rights event, where supporters can let their legislators know how they feel about reproductive rights.

On Sunday, Aug. 28, attendees can sign a multitude of letters focusing on a range of reproductive health topics, to be bundled and sent to local and national legislators. Write for Your Rights will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St., Ventura. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/VCRRN.

Ventura event for National Overdose Awareness Day

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, Julie Scott-Christian will join a dozen of her friends for an evening run. Not atypical for the self-described amateur runner, but this night is special as it coincides with National Overdose Awareness Day.

Scott-Christian lost her son to a fentanyl drug-patch overdose in 2012.

“What I love about [the run] is the fact that I have people who are willing to come out and support it even though they haven’t lost anyone or know anyone who is struggling,” said Scott-Christian. “Part of my process is to educate people about overdoses because it’s such an epidemic; more people need to be aware of it.”

The First Annual Run/Walk for Drug Overdose Awareness will take place at 6:30 p.m. and will begin at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach promenade, 450 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura.