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Placentia

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2007 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Orange County's largest transportation agency agreed Monday to pay $200,000 to help fund a rail improvement project in Placentia but rejected the cash-strapped city's request that it actually take over the project. Placentia asked the Orange County Transportation Authority to take the lead in the project, which began six years ago but has advanced slowly. The work -- which is expected to result in the silencing of train horns -- involves improvements to eight street crossings.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2007 | Garrett Therolf and Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writers
Already at the brink of bankruptcy, Placentia may now owe Caltrans millions for the improper use of funds allocated to an ill-fated plan to improve rail corridors. A multimillion-dollar assessment could be a crippling blow to a city that has already gone $6 million in debt because of the failed $650-million project.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 2007 | Garrett Therolf, Times Staff Writer
For 13 years, police detectives suspected that two cousins were responsible for Placentia's No. 1 murder mystery, the slashing death of a promising Cal State Fullerton student. But each frustrated investigators by providing the other with an alibi. The physical evidence was never enough to tie them to the crime, and one of the men dismissed the police department's focus on him as a "waste of my time."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2007 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
It's been a rough few years in Placentia, an old railroad town that dreamed of carving out trenches for the trains to eliminate the need for engineers to sound their horns as they rolled through town. After $55 million spent and a near municipal bankruptcy, the trench plans withered and died and two former city leaders were indicted on criminal charges. Now there's some good news around the bend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Capistrano Unified Board of Trustees on Monday named Dennis M. Smith as its finalist to become superintendent. Smith, superintendent of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, would replace Charles McNally, who took over on an interim basis after James Fleming resigned in August after a 15-year tenure marred by controversies including allegations that he kept an "enemies list."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2007 | Dan Weikel, Times Staff Writer
Caltrans is auditing $36 million in state funds given to Placentia's controversial OnTrac project -- the troubled rail plan that has pushed the northern Orange County city to the brink of bankruptcy. Department officials said they were reviewing OnTrac's funding to determine if it was properly spent. They declined to comment in detail, saying it was Caltrans policy not to discuss ongoing audits. The inquiry began in 2005. "They are looking at the whole thing," said City Councilman Russell J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2007 | Dan Weikel, Times Staff Writer
Grossly incompetent bookkeeping that plagued the failed OnTrac rail project is making it difficult for Placentia officials to determine the financial health of the city, the new finance director for the city said Wednesday. Although Terrence Beaman said he had found no indication of accounting fraud by former or current officials, his downbeat assessment only underscored the city's difficult situation. Placentia is about $30 million in debt and faces a $2.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2006 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
For an old railroad town that had had its fill of slow-moving trains rumbling through the city, the ambitious plan to lower the train tracks in downtown Placentia seemed like a natural. By carving out trenches for the trains to run along, engineers wouldn't have to sound their whistles, traffic wouldn't pile up at intersections to wait for passing trains, and the bulky boxcars would no longer clutter the city's historic Old Town district.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2006 | Valerie Reitman, Times Staff Writer
When Michael "Paul" Bridges tried to follow in his father's footsteps and enlist in the Army in December 2001, he was rejected. At 5 feet 11, he weighed 296 pounds. "I'm a lot shorter and a lot fatter than I thought I was," he told his dad, jokingly. Bridges was so determined to get into the Army that he started working out and eating more healthful foods. Eighteen months later, he was 119 pounds lighter, weighing in at 177 pounds at a Fullerton recruiting station.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2006 | Peter Nicholas, Times Staff Writer
When Army Pvt. Jang Ho Kim told his parents earlier this year that he would be going to Iraq, they had one hope: that he would not be deployed to Baghdad, where so many U.S. soldiers have been attacked and killed. Eager to reassure his anxious parents, Kim would call home over the summer and tell them that they didn't need to worry -- he was not in Baghdad. But he was. Kim, 20, whose family lives in Placentia, was one of two soldiers killed Nov.
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