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Ventura County

A transvestite's body riddled with bullets. A well-dressed, middle-aged woman lying strangled in a southeast Oxnard ditch. Two buddies shot to death in sleepy Piru. These cases keep detectives wondering at night, the murders of 1995 that remain unsolved. The year was a slightly above-average one for murder in Ventura County: Since Jan. 1, 31 residents have been found shot, strangled, stabbed, starved and otherwise deprived of life.
January 24, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
In July 1980, authorities found 15-year-old Stacy Knappenberger beaten, stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in her Oxnard home.  On Thursday, more than three decades later, a Ventura County Superior Court judge ruled there was enough evidence to charge an Alabama man -- 66-year-old Thomas Coalt Young -- with the crime, according to the Ventura County Star. Knappenberger's case went cold until a task force was able to use DNA evidence to connect Young with the crime. Young will be arraigned in February.
Oxnard remained the murder capital of Ventura County in 1990, recording a 50% increase in homicides that contrasted with a slight decline in murders for the county as a whole. Nine of the county's 20 homicides during the year took place in Oxnard, up from six murders there in 1989. Across the county, homicides dropped slightly from 23 in 1989. The decline in the county's overall murder total continued a decade-long decline from a high of 38 county homicides in 1980.
January 14, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The booming illegal international wildlife trade forced conservationists to do the unthinkable Tuesday: Brand the golden domes of two of the rarest tortoises on Earth to reduce their black market value by making it easier for authorities to trace them if stolen. "It's heartbreaking that it's come to this, but it's the right thing to do," Paul Gibbons, managing director of the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy's Behler Chelonian Center in Ventura County, said as he gently placed a 30-pound adult female ploughshare tortoise on a small table.
July 17, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
At an amphitheater in a Ventura County park surrounded by rolling hills and sandstone cliffs, about 150 people recently gathered to watch an outdoor screening of a film montage called “Oak Park in the Movies.” The film was a compilation of clips from classic movies shot in the 45-year old community of Oak Park at a former movie ranch in southeast Ventura County that served as a backdrop for such vintage films as “Of Mice and Men” (1939)...
July 20, 2013 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Two visitors from Europe are suspected of falling ill with measles in Ventura County, prompting public health officials to remind the public to get vaccinated. Health authorities said one of the visitors was confirmed to have measles, and the other is suspected of contracting the highly contagious disease. The cases were in eastern Ventura County, which borders Los Angeles County. The confirmation of measles comes as cases of the disease have been on the rise in the United States, despite it being virtually eradicated in this country in 2000.
October 15, 2012 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Camarillo print shop owner Tim Anderson can't wait to vote for Democrat Julia Brownley in a key Ventura County congressional race, a contest eyed by both major parties as they struggle for control of the House. Anderson thinks the liberal state assemblywoman and former Santa Monica school board trustee is a good fit, and a needed change of direction, for Ventura County. But Mark Hansen, a regional sales manager, thinks the seat should stay red. He was happy with Elton Gallegly, Ventura County's voice in Congress since 1987, who announced his retirement this year.
October 21, 2012
Set behind wrought-iron gates and sitting on a hill facing the ocean, this Tuscan-style villa in Ventura County was designed for large-scale entertaining. Outside, a motor court driveway can park more than 50 cars. Inside, features include a sports bar den with five plasma TVs and a theater system. Location: 750 Camino Tierra Santa, Camarillo 93010 Asking price: $6.9 million Year built: 2008 Builder-designer: Don Glen Boehm House size: Five bedrooms, 51/2 bathrooms, about 12,000 square feet Lot size: 2.78 acres Features: Includes 1,894 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space, 1,153-square-foot garage with a gym and tanning room, grand entry, two-story living room, two dining rooms, arching masonry and stone walls, hand-carved woodwork, stone crown molding, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and wine coolers, multiple balconies, guest quarters plus a guest house, two-booth recording studio, game/event room, salon with hair cutting bay and nail station About the area: In the first half of the year, 180 single-family homes sold in the 93010 ZIP Code at a median price of $410,000, according to DataQuick.
January 30, 1995 | Times Staff Reports
Completion of Bank of A. Levy Sale: A Ventura County institution officially expires Tuesday when the 112-year-old Bank of A. Levy is expected to complete its sale to First Interstate Bancorp for $86 million in stock. Ventura-based Levy has 17 branches in Ventura County and $625 million in assets.
December 28, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc
High winds and dry conditions are keeping firefighters on alert in Southern California this weekend as local fire agencies have announced plans to boost wildfire resources over the next 24 hours. Santa Ana winds combined with parched brush and single-digit humidity in some areas have prompted a red flag warning through 10 p.m. Sunday, the second in the L.A. area in less than a week. “Our fuel moistures are remaining at critical, critical levels,” said Capt. Mike Lindbery of the Ventura County Fire Department.
November 19, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
A special election is being held today for a state Assembly seat mostly in Los Angeles County that was vacated when Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) was elected to the L.A. City Council. The runoff election in the 45 th Assembly District pits Republican Susan Shelley against Democrat Matt Dababneh. Shelley, 54, is an author and publisher from Woodland Hills. Dababneh, 32, is a chief deputy to Rep. Brad Sherman and lives in Encino. The Assembly district includes Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Northridge, Winnetka and Woodland Hills in Los Angeles County and Bell Canyon in Ventura County.
October 27, 2013 | Eric Sondheimer
When a high school football team knocks off unbeaten teams in consecutive weeks, it's time to pay respect. Oak Park faced its own little playoff-like challenge the last two weeks, taking on the No. 2-ranked team in the Northwest Division, Ojai Nordhoff, then the No. 1 team, Santa Barbara Bishop Diego. Oak Park (8-1) won each time and now can proclaim itself No. 1 in the Northwest Division six weeks before a champion is officially crowned. "It's quite a run," Coach Terry Shorten said.
October 23, 2013 | By Roger Vincent
Decron Properties Corp. has bought a garden-style apartment complex in Moorpark for $84.4 million that it plans to improve and reposition as higher-end residences. The Ventura County apartment market is tightening, Decron President David J. Nagel said, as the region's biomedical and high-tech industries grow. Moorpark is along the 118 Freeway near Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Decron bought the Fountains at Moorpark, a 370-unit apartment community built in 1987. The company plans to spend $9.2 million on renovations that it hopes will make the Fountains more desirable and capable of commanding higher rents.
September 25, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
Hunter Maddox, expected to be one of the top defensive lineman in Ventura County this season, has returned to Westlake after previously deciding to leave last week. He has not played this season because of a school decision.  
September 11, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
The California Highway Patrol is investigating a single-vehicle crash in Ventura County that killed one person and shut down California 126 Wednesday morning. Authorities said that at about 3:50 a.m., a car eastbound on California 126 near the Los Angeles County line crossed over the westbound lanes, went off the side of the road and rolled over, said CHP dispatcher Jorge Ortiz. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash shut down all westbound lanes until about 6 a.m., officials said.
September 7, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
A man who was walking down the middle of a major thoroughfare Saturday and got into a confrontation with deputies was shot by a Ventura County sheriff's deputy, authorities said. The man, who was described as being in his 20s, was taken to a local hospital with at least one gunshot wound, but his condition was unknown, said Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. A deputy who struggled with the man sustained facial injuries, Buschow said. Buschow said the deputy responded to a call at 4:33 p.m. that a man was walking down Ventura Boulevard near Shell Road in an unincorporated area between Ojai and Ventura, waving his arms and yelling.
September 1, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
The Rim fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park became the fourth-largest blaze in California history as it grew to 348 square miles Sunday, officials said. More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which began Aug. 17 and is 40% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. A September 1932 fire in Ventura County that burned 343 square miles previously held the fourth-place spot, Cal Fire said. San Diego's 427-square-mile Cedar fire, which destroyed more than 2,800 structures and killed 14 people in October 2003, remains the largest wildfire in state history.
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