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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

September 28, 1993|Gary Gorman

FIERY FALL? Last spring, Ventura County firefighters warned that we might be in for a nasty brush fire season when all the grass spawned by winter rains dried up. So far, it hasn't happened. . . . "Mother Nature has been very kind to us," Assistant Fire Marshal Dan Spykerman said, citing the cooler-than-usual summer. But fall is prime time for Santa Anas--those hot, dry desert winds that have fanned some of the county's worst blazes. Until December, he said, "we're still sitting on the edge of our chairs."

DECISION DUE: Ventura County prosecutors are expected to announce today what charges they are filing against Mark Scott Thornton, the kidnaping suspect found with slain nurse Kellie O'Sullivan's car (B1). . . . Before finding O'Sullivan's body Sunday, 275 searchers combing 170 square miles of backcountry stumbled upon dozens of homeless encampments. "Is this evidence?" one after another searcher asked deputies, after hauling back a blanket or clothing from a camp. . . . Notable find: a suspected drug lab discovered near an abandoned hospital in Los Angeles County.

MUSIC MAN: Last year, Boris Brott became only the second conductor in the Ventura County symphony's 31-year history. But he quickly made his mark. "For the first time, we consistently had sold-out houses last year," symphony Director Karine Beesley said. . . . Brott promises more contemporary music this season, but Saturday's program features two composers from the past: Edward Elgar and Sergei Prokofiev. . . . The conductor begins rehearsals with the 90-piece orchestra today.

CHEAP INSURANCE: Universal health insurance may still be years away, but for $2 you can guard against one of nature's most devastating illnesses: influenza, which kills 20,000 Americans a year. . . . Ventura County Public Health will provide flu vaccine at 21 sites around the county, beginning Oct. 6, for people over 55 or with a chronic illness. . . . Public Health Nurse Ellen Dewey cited one possible side effect: "A sore arm."

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