Tow truck driver found guilty in death of teen

Hermin Martin Henderson, 52, of Ventura, has been found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident where a 14-year-old bicyclist was killed in 2016. Henderson was also found guilty of concealing evidence.

Henderson was charged with felony hit-and-run for the collision that led to the death of Jonathan Hernandez, 14, on Feb. 18, 2016. Henderson had also been charged with misdemeanor concealing evidence for allegedly replacing the front license plate of his truck with the back. Henderson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Hernandez had been attempting to cross against a red light on Telegraph Road from Saticoy Road around midnight in February when Henderson, who was driving his tow truck at the time, struck and killed him. Henderson washed the underside of his truck following the crash and surveillance video taken from an orchard near to the scene of the incident showed that Henderson braked after hitting Hernandez.

Henderson, owner of Double R Towing, is also being sued in civil court by the Hernandez family. Henderson faces a maximum of four years in prison, should the felony conviction stand, and will be sentenced on July 20.

Public forums to be held on SoCalGas

The California Public Utilities Commission will host several public forums in Ventura County, giving customers of the Southern California Gas Company, also known as SoCalGas, an opportunity to give input and share their perspective on a proposed rate increase beginning in 2019.

SoCalGas has requested a rate increase to a total of $2.99 billion in 2019, a 19 percent increase over 2018, and an additional 8.54 percent increase in 2020, 6.19 percent increase in 2021 and 6.18 percent increase in 2022. A typical customer, says the company, would see a $7.54 increase to the bill in 2019.
No official decision will be made at the forum.

The forum will be held on Thursday, June 14, with information sessions beginning at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. followed by public forums at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center Ventura Room, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard. For more information, visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/PPH.

County should prepare for extended drought

When the rest of California pulled out of a years-long drought in 2016, the only remaining county deep in the severe category was none other than Ventura County. Now, officials say that the drought in Ventura County has dramatically worsened and that residents should be prepared for the long haul.

Despite a big storm that rolled through the county earlier this year, which triggered the mudslide in Montecito that killed 21, the county has remained in severe drought for at least five months straight, during the period typically known as the rainy season.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Kenneth VanWig wrote in an update regarding fire conditions that the brush that has shifted from green to yellow as it hugs the hillsides is “becoming more and more receptive to burning every day.”

Residents are urged to conserve water, though conservation has become compulsory with the signing into law two bills aimed at curbing water usage per person per day to 55 gallons, decreasing to 50 by 2030.

Replica Vietnam War memorial makes stop in Ventura

The Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County will be hosting a half-scale mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from June 21 through June 25 at the Ventura County Government Center, replete with an honors ceremony remembering those whose names appear on the monument.

The “Original Moving Wall” has inscribed upon it over 100 names of veterans from Ventura County.
The wall will be located at 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura and viewable 24 hours a day. Volunteers will assist visitors in finding names on the wall. For more information, visit www.lzventura.org.