New Police Chief Takes Charge In Fair Haven

first_imgBy John BurtonFAIR HAVEN – Joseph McGovern is ready for the job.Probably like every police officer, McGovern explained, “You always want to be chief before you retire.” And that dream came true this week for the veteran officer. On Monday evening he was sworn in to take command of the borough department, where he has worked for 28 years.He has been functioning as the acting chief for the last seven months, since his predecessor, Darryl G. Breckenridge, retired after 30 years in the department, the last ten as chief. He has also continued to serve as the borough Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinator, which he has done for about the last decade.He takes over a department staffed by 13 full-time officers and two part-time Class II and two part-time Class I officers. He continues to look forward to the challenges the position holds, saying, “I’ve got the easiest job, because of past leadership (in the department).” He has worked with this group over the course of nearly three decades on the job. Along with the leadership, “I have good people here,” among the largely experienced department, he continued. “And I know when I’m not here, they’re still doing the right thing.”McGovern started with the department as a young dispatcher and over the years worked his way up through the ranks to captain, having also worked as a detective. During that time, “I’ve held every every position here,” he said.Along with on-the-job training, McGovern has participated in ongoing supplemental training over the years. He is among the 2 percent of local department officers who have attended the FBI education program at Quantico, Virginia. That, and his responsibility overseeing the OEM, is good training for this position, he believes.McGovern and his wife Theresa have lived in the community for 26 years, raising two sons (who, incidentally, have expressed interest in pursuing law enforcement careers.) The eldest, Joe Jr., will be heading for the U.S. Marines following his graduation from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School this spring.The role of chief—and police officer, for that matter—“is really about solving problems,” usually on a daily basis, he said. And that’s all right. “It really is about helping people,” he explained.For a small town with a large number of children, “It really is about community policing,” reaching out to sectors of the community, like the schools where officers regularly appear conducting bicycle safety and anti-drug use programs. “I don’t think you’ll find a better department that has relationships with the schools,” he maintained.Knowing everyone, while generally beneficial, can make the job somewhat difficult at times. A case in point occurred recently with the arrest of a local volunteer fireman, Nicholas Joyce, 19, who was charged with arson. Without speaking directly about this case, McGovern acknowledged it can be tough to take into custody someone he’s known for some time. But, he explained, he relies on the advice that former chief Breckenridge offered, which has become something of a motto for McGovern: “Just do the right thing,” McGovern remembered. “Do it for the right reasons.”last_img read more

Big 3 Durant, Curry, Thompson lead Warriors to 128-111 win over Atlanta

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Curry picked up only one foul the rest of the way, playing a little over 29 minutes.ROOKIE OF THE MONTHYoung was named Eastern Conference rookie of the month for October and November after averaging 15.6 points and 7.6 assists in the first month and a half of the season.Despite the accolades, he isn’t satisfied with his performance.“Personally, I haven’t played the way I wanted to,” he said. “I know I haven’t.”UP NEXTWarriors: Continue their road trip at Cleveland on Wednesday.Hawks: Host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. LATEST STORIES MOST READ No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk All three stars have scored more than 50 points in a game this season.This time, they spread the wealth .FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Our defense set the tone,” Curry said. “Everybody gets to touch the ball.”With Curry scoring 18 points in the opening quarter, this one was never in doubt. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garciacenter_img Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts from the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Atlanta. Golden State won 128-111. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA — Golden State’s Big Three went for balance.Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Kevin Durant had 28 and Klay Thompson chipped in with 27 as the Warriors cruised past the Atlanta Hawks 128-111 Monday night, snapping a six-game losing streak on the road.ADVERTISEMENT Golden State raced to a 34-17 lead in the first 12 minutes — Curry outscored the Hawks by himself — and the defending NBA champions won for only the fourth time in 10 games.Playing for the second time since missing 11 games with a groin injury, Curry hit his first six shots, four of them beyond the arc . He finished 6 of 10 from 3-point range“I think he’s now back in the groove,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looked great handling the ball.”The Warriors led 61-47 at halftime and stretched the margin as high as 24 points, sending the rebuilding Hawks to their third straight loss.“We needed a win on the road,” Curry said. “We kind of didn’t want to give them life.”ADVERTISEMENT “The X-rays were negative,” Prince said. “We’ll have an MRI tomorrow.”For Golden State, Draymond Green missed his ninth straight game with a sprained toe on his right foot. He’s expected to miss at least the last two games of a five-game road trip, which ties the longest of the season.TIP-INSWarriors: Improved to 31-3 when Curry, Thompson and Durant all reach 20 points. … Golden State has won nine in a row over the Hawks, including four straight in Atlanta. … Thompson has scored at least 20 points in nine straight games, the longest streak of his career. … Kevon Looney scored a season-high 14 points . … Quinn Cook picked up five fouls in only 11 minutes.Hawks: Jeremy Lin returned after missing two games with a sprained left ankle, scoring 14 points and converting a couple of three-point plays after drawing fouls on drives to the basket … DeAndre’ Bembry didn’t have much luck trying to guard Durant, picking up four fouls. … Atlanta had 18 turnovers and went 5 of 26 from outside the 3-point stripe. “We’ve got to value the ball a little bit better than we have,” coach Lloyd Pierce said.CURRY’S FOULSThe Warriors star went to the bench after picking up his third foul with 2½ minutes left in the first half.Kerr strolled over near center court, where Vince Carter was checking into the game for Atlanta.“A lot of people paid good money to see him play,” Kerr said, referring to Curry.Carter smiled. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Canadian boxer Stevenson still in induced coma Despite the win, Kerr said he’s not pleased with his team’s performance.“We’re not where we need to be by any stretch of the imagination,” Kerr said. “We’ve been kind of uneven to this point.”John Collins led Atlanta with 24 points , and Trae Young added 20.But it was a tough night for Young, the rookie guard who the Hawks are hoping to turn into their Curry-like centerpiece. He had seven turnovers and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.“I really don’t listen to or care about the comparisons,” Young said. “All I’m thinking about are my teammates and putting them in the best position to win.”The youngster is struggling with his shot, especially from long range. He’s only connecting on 23.9 percent of his 3-pointers.“They’re picking me up full court,” Young said. “They’re not going to just sag off and let me have open 3s. I’ve got to find a way to knock them down. I will.”INJURY REPORTHawks forward Taurean Prince could be out for an extended period after spraining his left ankle when he came down on Shaun Livingston while shooting.Prince hobbled to the locker room in the fourth quarter. Afterward, he headed for home on crutches. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Local Crossfit gym lending a helping hand to Special Olympics Canada

first_imgAside from getting a good night’s sleep prior to the event, athletes should consider bringing what they need to be comfortable for the event including changes of clothes, sleeping bags, toothbrushes, food, and water. Crossfit gyms from both B.C. and Alberta will be taking part in the third annual event.Crossfit Coach Tara Maddigan says the gym is hoping to raise $5,000 for the event, but has also taken notice of the $9,000 raised by another Crossfit gym.“We’re hoping for $5,000. That’s our goal. [The] top gym right now is almost nine so obviously we want top spot,” she explains. “We’re just going to try and collect what we can; we only have a week. We just became aware of this only two weeks ago and got on board, so we have had a very limited amount of time to fundraise but we’re working our butts off.”- Advertisement -Crossfit athletes that want to take part have the choice of competing in the 24 hour event, or shorter events including the 12 and six hour stints. Members of the public are encouraged to come and root for the Crossfit athletes during the gruelling event and they can also contribute to the cause if they wish.“People can still come down. They can check it out. They can donate right there on the spot to the Special Olympics and it will give them a glimpse of what Crossfit is about,” Maddigan says.Advertisementlast_img read more

WHY IS DONEGAL STAR EAMON MCGEE SHOWING HIS ‘HAPPY FACE’?

first_imgDonegal All Ireland footballer Eamon Mc Gee came to the Pamela Bloe Photography studio today to have his Happy Face photograph taken & to show his support for the Happy Faces 2013 event happening this Saturday 6th April. Also included is Kayleigh Bonner, an avid Donegal football follower who was more than delighted to show her Happy Face when Eamon arrived!The Happy Faces event will take place at the studio in Bunbeg from 10am – 5pm this Saturday 6th April.All proceeds from the event goes to the Jack and Jill Foundation which provides respite for families with children with special needs.Spaces are filling up fast so give us a call on 074 95 60450 to book your place or simply show up on the day.  WHY IS DONEGAL STAR EAMON MCGEE SHOWING HIS ‘HAPPY FACE’? was last modified: April 4th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal GAAEamon McGeeHappy FacesPamela Bloelast_img read more

COMMUNITY NOTICE: ROSSES CDP LAUNCH FAMILY TRAINING IN DEMENTIA AWARENESS

first_imgRosses CDP Community News:Care skills Module Level 5: Are you a carer and would like to learn new skills or have been a carer in the past and would like a qualification this is the course for you.Course content of the Level 5 Care skills module includes. Use of equipment with the care setting, application of client care skills. This course runs for 1 day a week for 5 weeks. For further information contact the Rosses CDP 074 95 61686 or mobile 087 9615775. Ceili Classes in the CDP is canceled on Thursday the 22nd of October but will resume on Thursday 29th October at 8pm.Ceili Sunday the 18th October at 8pm Music by Michael Coyle and admission €8. Venue Rosse CDP Chapel Road Dungloe.All welcome.Dementia Aware Donegal: Family training in Dementia . Do your care for someone with dementia. If so come along to the dementia training day on Monday the 9th November in the Rosses CDP Chapel Road Dungloe , 9.45am -3.30pm. This is a free event, booking essential. Contact Diane Donnelly on 087 2770103 for further details.A large selection of toys is now on sale in Siopa pobal na Rosann Main st Dungloe. Parent support group in the Rosses CDP on Thursday the 22nd of October at 10am to 11.30am. All parents are welcome to come along.Playmatters cancelled on Monday the 19th of October in the CDP , It will resume the following Monday the 26th October.Employers Information Night for Community Enterprises: Donegal local Development Company LTD (DLDC) is hosting a information evening for new and existing employers in this sector in the Rosses CDP Chapel Road Dungloe on Thursday the 22nd of October at 7pm to 9.30pm. A human resource expert will give a presentation on employment practices/Employers Responsibilities and be available to answer any questions regarding HR issues for community groups on the night. The workshop is organised for the ‘Employers’ i.e. The Board of Management Members. For further information please telephone Louise Brogan (DLDC) 074 9723368. This information night is free of charge.COMMUNITY NOTICE: ROSSES CDP LAUNCH FAMILY TRAINING IN DEMENTIA AWARENESS was last modified: October 14th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FeaturesNoticeslast_img read more

HAMMER MURDER TRIAL SENSATION: ‘I KILLED VICTIM’ DONEGAL MAN TELLS TRIAL

first_imgFROM JOHN SMITHSON IN READING: A hammer-wielding Donegal Town man told a murder trial that he did kill his business partner – but only because he feared the father-of-three was going to shoot him.Shaleem Amar, who was 33, died from massive head injuries after being battered repeatedly with hammers on November 17 last year.Robert Johnston, known as Derek, admitted at his murder trial at Reading Crown Court that he hit Mr Amar many times with at least one hammer after the pair argued over money owed to their business. Johnston’s sons and business partners Ben, 27, Tom, 25, and their employee Shaun Matthews, 56 – are also accused of murdering Mr Amar at a luxury home he was renting through them in Sunningdale, Berkshire.Mr Amar was found in the back of a van, allegedly owned by the Donegal Town man, covered in sand.Derek Johnston claimed he was at Mr Amar’s house with hammers to build a smoking room for the victim when, he claimed, Amar pulled out a gun.“He was shouting that he was going to kill me and I was defending myself,” said Mr Johnston under questioning from defence lawyer Nigel Rumfitt QC.Johnston said he grabbed a hammer from a Tesco bag on the work top after Mr Amar punched him and started to get his gun, shouting “you’re dead”.“I was thinking if I don’t get the better of him he is going to end up shooting me.“He said ’don’t you speak to me like that, you are f****** dead, I’m going to shoot you.”Johnston said he hit Mr Amar repeatedly on the head with at least one hammer.He said his son Ben broke up the fight, at which point Mr Amar fell to the ground and didn’t get up.Johnston and Mr Amar were partners in a fraudulent business carrying out complicated paper trail VAT fraud, the court heard.The company would claim VAT on goods it “sold” but that didn’t actually exist.The two began to argue over Stg£10,000 owed to them by an Irish transport company to which Johnston had family links.Mr Amar became agitated after Johnston senior called him a “typical little big man” for the way he was acting over the money.Mr Amar was 5ft 3ins tall and sensitive about his height, the court heard.The Johnston men and Matthews had gone to Mr Amar’s rented house to build him a smoking shelter so as not to cause complaints about smoking in the house as Mr Amar was due to hold a Christmas party.The day before the murder, Johnston senior had travelled with Matthews to Ridgeons Building Merchants in Pampisford, Cambridgeshire, to buy the materials necessary to build the shelter.The four then went to Mr Amar’s house the following day in a van and began to unload the equipment but were invited in for coffee.Two split bags of sand were left in the car as the group went in for coffee.It was soon after this that the argument between Mr Amar and Johnston had started.After the fight, Derek Johnston said the four men decided to take Mr Amar to hospital as he was unconscious and bleeding profusely.He, Matthews and his son Ben picked up the victim and put him in the back of the van.Just as they were leaving the property Mr Amar’s wife arrived home.Johnston senior told her Mr Amar had “gone to the airport to meet someone”.Soon after leaving the property, the van was pulled over by police who thought the men may have carried out a burglary in the wealthy area.The four men stepped out of the van, leaving Mr Amar in the back.One of the officers spotted bloodstains and said they were arresting the men for assault.At that point, Johnston senior ran away but only managed to get “about 10 yards” away before being caught.“I just panicked, I realised the situation I was in and I panicked,” he said.Mr Amar died at the scene and the four men were arrested on suspicion of murder.Johnston senior, 57, told the jury his son Tom had no involvement in his business with Mr Amar.Tom had recently moved back home to become a full-time carer for his mother, who had cancer.The trial of Johnston senior, and his two sons, all from Pampisford, Cambridgeshire, and Matthews, from Whittlesford, Cambridgeshire, is expected to run until the end of next week.Mr Martin Heslop QC, cross-examining for the prosecution, said it was Johnston’s plan to kill Mr Amar and take over the business.Mr Heslop said: “If Mr Amar suddenly disappeared, you would be in the driving seat and you would be earning the big money.”Derek Johnston continually denied that the four men parked their van as close to the gate to block access to the house.Mr Heslop said this did not tally with the fact that Mr Amar’s wife had to get the men to move the van to let her into the property.“Mr Johnston, you are telling lie upon lie upon lie,” he said.The case continues. At hearing.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comHAMMER MURDER TRIAL SENSATION: ‘I KILLED VICTIM’ DONEGAL MAN TELLS TRIAL was last modified: November 22nd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal goalkeeper facing a month on the sidelines with hamstring injury

first_img silverware Arsenal also confirmed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles was expected back in full training during early October, quicker than initially suggested following a fracture to his left fibula.Teenage midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has recovered from a hip problem, while defender Dinos Mavropanos should be back in training by the end of the month following his groin injury and Laurent Koscielny has also stepped up his rehabilitation from Achilles surgery.After losing his first two Premier League matches as new Arsenal head coach, Unai Emery has since guided his side to seven straight wins in all competitions. REVEALED LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS 2 MONEY Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won REVEALED Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade ADVICE center_img RANKED BEST OF Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Cech injured his hamstring against Watford Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Leno is set to step in for the veteran keeper Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 2 Arsenal said in an injury update on their official website ahead of the Europa League tie at Qarabag on Thursday that Cech had a “left hamstring injury” and was “expected to return to full training in three to four weeks”.As well as not making the trip to Azerbaijan, the veteran goalkeeper will also definitely miss Sunday’s Premier League match at Fulham.Cech could now face a battle to be fit in time for the home game against Liverpool on November 3.German Leno arrived from Bayer Leverkusen during the summer, but before Cech’s injury had only featured in either the Europa League or Carabao Cup. Arsenal face being without goalkeeper Petr Cech for up to a month because of a hamstring injury.Cech was replaced early in the second half of Saturday’s Premier League match against Watford, with Bernd Leno coming on to keep a clean sheet as the Gunners won 2-0. huge blow last_img read more

LOVING DONEGAL COUPLE DIE WITHIN HOURS OF EACH OTHER

first_imgA LOVING Donegal couple who had been married for 55 years have died within 24 hours of each other.The coffins of pensioners Tommy and Bridget Sweeney lined up together for a joint funeral at their local Corpus Christi Church in Birmingham, England.They had died within hours of each other last week, despite health problems meaning they had spent much of the last year apart after a blissful life together. Tommy, 79, was born in Glasgow but his mum Frances Deeney was from Fanad. He had been blinded by diabetes before a stroke in November left him partially paralysed and in need of round-the-clock care at a nursing home.He passed away in the small hours of last Wednesday.Bridget, affectionately known as Bridie, had been living at Solihull’s Marie Curie Hospice after having been diagnosed with lung cancer.The 87-year-old died just before midnight on Wednesday – never knowing she had lost her beloved husband. Bridie was from Cornaveagh near Donegal Town. The couple married in Glasgow in 1957 after meeting in the close-knit Co Donegal community there.“The togetherness that characterised their life together was also part of their journey into heaven,’’ said their 49-year-old son Thomas.‘‘Knowing they never felt the loss of a partner that had shared a long and very happy 55 years of wonderful family life and marriage together is solace for us.“It was just a tragic coincidence. I don’t think mum knew he’d died – so thankfully they didn’t have to suffer the loss of the other.”He added: “They were real, loving family people. We would always be together and they were a very social couple.” Tommy, a former RAF policeman, moved Birmingham in 1975 before moving to the city completely the following year with Bridie and their four children.They had a fifth child who died at birth.“When my dad knew mum had cancer, I think he gave up the will to live and his health started deteriorating from there,” added Thomas.“He knew how serious it was for her and he just wasn’t interested in being without her. “She went to see him every five or six days, but her health was also getting worse.“But the staff at the Solihull hospice were so caring and compassionate and they made sure my mum’s passing was as comfortable as possible.“They really looked after her well, so we’d like anybody who knew them or who can help to donate to the hospice’s Big Build Appeal.”LOVING DONEGAL COUPLE DIE WITHIN HOURS OF EACH OTHER was last modified: April 13th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal TownFanadLOVING DONEGAL COUPLE DIE WITHIN HOURS OF EACH OTHERlast_img read more

BONKERS! IRISH WATER FIT NEW METER OUTSIDE ‘FAKE’ EMPTY HOUSE

first_imgThe house in Ballybofey where Irish Water have fitted a water meter: Pic North West News PixTO BE fair to the people of Ballybofey, they’ve done a wonderful job disguising some of the empty main street properties – to make the town look that wee bit better.Just beside Bonner’s Corner Bar is a wee cottage, where a lick of paint makes it look as if it’s occupied.But no-one would ever believe it is actually occupied – unless you’re a contractor for Irish Water. For contractors from GMC Sierra decided they’d install a water meter at the house…just in case.Two men spent half an hour on the main street outside the house fitting a water meter for the property which local people say hasn’t been occupied for years.It’s not as if the painted flowers on the wooden boards in the windows even look REAL!“I saw this and thought ‘you couldn’t make this up’,” said one eye-witness. “Two guys from the contractors parked their silver van further up the street, walked down with all their gear and began fitting the meter outside.“It probably means that whoever actually owns that place will have to pay some sort of charge even though they aren’t using water at all.“It was like something out of a cartoon, two cartoon Irish Water boys putting a cartoon meter outside a cartoon house; except no-one is laughing.”Of course it isn’t a cartoon – water charges are very real.But the incident does raise serious questions. Our picture shows the small metal cover over the newly-installed meter.BONKERS! IRISH WATER FIT NEW METER OUTSIDE ‘FAKE’ EMPTY HOUSE was last modified: October 19th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballybofeyempty houseIrish Waterlast_img read more

Los Nietos race an upset in the making?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WEST WHITTIER – In a hotly contested race for three board seats in the Los Nietos School District, challengers Art Escobedo, Grisel Vasquez and Diana Villalba were leading incumbents Gloria Duran and Cathy Martinez in early election returns Tuesday.At the neighboring Little Lake City School District in Santa Fe Springs, two new board members will join the school board. Challenger Gina Almanza-Ramirez was heading the pack late Tuesday.During the campaign for the Los Nietos school board, Duran and Martinez said the district has made strides in test scores over the years, including Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary being named a California Distinguished School.But the challengers disagreed, with Escobedo saying any new board member must break the cycle of low expectations and improve the reading scores of the district’s 2,300 students.Vasquez agreed that the board needs to be held accountable for student performance, while Villalba said she felt it was time for a change on the board.Escobedo, Vasquez and Villalba appeared to be running on a slate, sending out joint mailers to unseat appointed incumbent Martinez and 16-year board veteran Duran.At the Little Lake City School District, four names were on the ballot but incumbent Hilda Zamora withdrew from the race in October. The other two candidates were Ronald Gonzales-Lawrence and Mercedes Uribe .Almanza-Ramirez campaigned on bettering the district’s safety and emergency readiness training, raising student achievement and expanding after-school programs.“I’m just very excited and grateful for the volunteers who believed in me and my issues that I was supporting,” Almanza-Ramirez said. “I’m very fortunate to have wonderful support of the residents in Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs.”If elected, Gonzales-Lawrence said he would help establish a nonprofit organization to raise money for the district and raise enrollment by recruiting the children of people who work in Santa Fe Springs but don’t live there.Uribe worked for the Little Lake district for about five years and volunteered as a PTA president. Tracy.Garcia@sgvn.comSandy.Mazza@sgvn.com(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 or Ext. 3026last_img read more