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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Homes and other structures were burning late Thursday evening in Leona Valley, an unincorporated town of 2,200 people that was evacuated earlier in the day because of the fast-moving Crown fire. Inspector Matt Levesque, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said the blaze has burned more than 4,500 acres since it started this afternoon. He said the fire is now generating its own wind, which can hamper firefighting efforts. The number of burning structures and whether they are homes or outbuildings has not been determined.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Powerful thunderstorms pounded mountain and desert areas of Southern California on Monday, dropping steady amounts of rain. The storms, sparked by moist air from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ivo, were reported from the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County to the desert areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, officials said. At the Acton pump station in the Antelope Valley, 2.56 inches of rain was reported in a 60-minute spanĀ  Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
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June 6, 1987 | ANNE Z. COOKE
The Bing cherries in Wade's Cherry Mart, one of several dozen U-pick orchards here in Leona Valley, are ripe and ready for customers today, the same day the town--about 10 miles west of Palmdale--puts on its annual parade at 11 a.m. This year's theme: "Riding High on a Cherry Pie." "Pick one, eat one, pick one, eat two," kidded Tom Wade as he set wooden three-legged ladders between the branches of some of his 400 cherry trees and popped a handful of bright red, sweet Bing cherries in his mouth.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2012 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
When Martha Forth first saw the one-room rural schoolhouse where she would land her first teaching job in 1938, her heart sank. "I thought, I can't do this," recalled Forth, then 23 and a university graduate with a teaching credential from USC. The building stood in a field in the remote Leona Valley, about 10 miles west of Palmdale. There were a couple of outhouses, a windmill that pumped water to the building and no electricity. But Forth knew she had to take the job. It was August.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 1994 | MARK SABBATINI and ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A fire in the Leona Valley tore through 400 acres of heavy brush Monday, partially damaging a large home and destroying 10 smaller buildings and 15 vehicles but causing no major injuries, fire officials said. The fire was 60% contained by 8 p.m. and full containment was expected by midnight. It began about 3:40 p.m. near Lonesome Valley Road and 107th Street West, and was quickly spread by 15 m.p.h.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 1994
A fire in the Leona Valley tore through 400 acres of heavy brush Monday, damaging a large home and destroying 10 smaller buildings and 15 vehicles but causing no major injuries, fire officials said. The fire was 60% contained by 8 p.m. and full containment was expected by midnight. It began about 3:40 p.m. near Lonesome Valley Road and 107th Street West, and was quickly spread through heavy hillside brush by 15 m.p.h.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1994
A 64-year-old Leona Valley man stuck his head through a trapdoor to his attic Friday and came face to face with a rattlesnake. The snake, at the same level as Donald L. Mathews' head, bit him on the neck. Mathews was listed in critical condition late Friday at Antelope Valley Hospital. Mathews was alone in his home in the remote mountain area just west of Palmdale when he peered into the attic to check on some mousetraps, said Capt. Ron Hamilton of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 1994
Two boys admitted that by playing with a cigarette lighter they accidentally touched off a Leona Valley brush fire that charred about 500 acres and caused an estimated $1 million damage, investigators said Tuesday. The fire destroyed part of one house, 10 smaller buildings, 15 vehicles and killed an ostrich in this close-knit West Antelope Valley community, known for its horse ranches and cherry orchards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1992 | AMY PYLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a last-ditch effort to prevent the urbanization of their bowl-shaped valley, residents of a rural area outside Palmdale on Thursday asked the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission to approve a community standards district. The Leona Valley district's primary, and most controversial, provision would limit most future construction to lots of 2 1/2 acres or more "to imitate what is already there," according to Leona Valley Town Council member Mary Ann Floyd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 1994 | SHARON MOESER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The battle between the big developer and the little town is finally over. After five years, five lawsuits and a great deal of bitter feelings on both sides, the developers of the 7,200-home Ritter Ranch and the Leona Valley Town Council, which vehemently opposed the development, have called a truce. Both sides got something in the bargain, which was approved by residents of the unincorporated town over the weekend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2010 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
A wildfire that scorched almost 14,000 acres in Northern Los Angeles County continued to threaten thousands of homes Saturday, although fire officials said they appeared to be gaining the upper hand in the days-long battle. The Crown fire, which has raced across the western Palmdale and Leona Valley areas, was estimated to be 82% contained Saturday afternoon, after destroying four dwellings and five outbuildings. However, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said that the situation remained "very fluid" and that weather conditions would impact the battle enormously.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2010 | By Ann M. Simmons and Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Three wildfires broke out in northern Los Angeles County on Thursday, the worst of which was threatening at least 1,500 homes in Leona Valley, near Palmdale. Some structures have been lost to the so-called Crown fire, officials said, but they will not be able to determine whether those were homes or outbuildings on the many ranches in the area until sometime Friday. Capt. Sam Padilla, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said the Crown fire has burned nearly 6,000 acres and there was zero containment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Homes and other structures were burning late Thursday evening in Leona Valley, an unincorporated town of 2,200 people that was evacuated earlier in the day because of the fast-moving Crown fire. Inspector Matt Levesque, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said the blaze has burned more than 4,500 acres since it started this afternoon. He said the fire is now generating its own wind, which can hamper firefighting efforts. The number of burning structures and whether they are homes or outbuildings has not been determined.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2004 | Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writer
A freelance video cameraman accused of starting a 5,100-acre Leona Valley wildfire testified Wednesday that detectives repeatedly ignored his requests to check videotape and photos he took that, he says, could have cleared him of suspicion. Joshua Harville, 23, of Palmdale said detectives investigating the Sept. 3, 2002, blaze had wrongly insisted that he drove a Toyota Camry to the fire and had also told him -- falsely, he says -- there were eyewitnesses to prove it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2004 | Richard Fausset, Times Staff Writer
The arson trial of a freelance video cameraman began Tuesday with a prosecutor's assertion that the defendant, Joshua Harville, set a 5,100-acre blaze in Leona Valley in order to score exclusive TV news footage. Until his arrest in August, Harville, 23, of Palmdale made his living selling video news clips to local television stations. Officials said his video of the Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2003 | Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
A freelance videographer pleaded not guilty Monday to setting a brush fire in the Leona Valley that charred more than 5,000 acres and destroyed four homes. Joshua Alan Harville, 23, of Palmdale was charged with five counts of arson for allegedly setting the fire. Authorities said he videotaped the blaze and then sold the footage to local television stations for $150. Harville, who was being held in lieu of $1-million bail, faces a maximum of 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 1993 | MATTHEW HELLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In this town with no sidewalks and no stoplights, a stray goat boarding a school bus makes news, schoolchildren walk sheep along the streets, and locals wave at strangers. "If you give a smile out, you get a smile back in return," said Carolyn Meramble, a resident for seven years. "It's like Wavetown, USA."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1994 | SHARON MOESER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Tens of thousands of cherries are ripening on trees throughout this region, readying for the start of the annual "u-pick" season. Nearly all of the 30 cherry farms in Leona Valley are expected to be open to the public today. Growers said that although Leona Valley did not get as much rainfall this past winter as last year, there is an abundance of cherries. "It looks like a very good crop this year," said John Mayfield, owner of Big John's Cherry Orchard. "That last freeze we had. . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 2003 | Andrew Blankstein and Wendy Thermos, Times Staff Writers
A fire that destroyed four houses and consumed more than 5,000 acres last summer was set by a freelance videographer who sold footage of the blaze to television news stations, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said Friday. Joshua Harville of Palmdale, 23, was arrested on suspicion of setting the fire that forced more than 200 people to flee for their lives. He was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2002 | ERIC MALNIC and CAROL CHAMBERS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Light rain and cooler temperatures improved the prospects for firefighters battling major blazes in the Leona Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains on Thursday, and officials predicted that the Leona fire would soon be fully controlled. "We feel confident we've got this fire," said Henry Rodriguez, a Los Angeles County fire captain at the Leona blaze, which was 94% contained Thursday night after charring about 5,100 acres.
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