Following the Leader

a lineup of updates and tidbits Burbank and beyond

Archive for August 2009

Thanks to nearby fires, Burbank still waiting to get on new field

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The Burbank High football is finished. (Scott Smeltzer / The Leader)

The Burbank High football is finished. (Scott Smeltzer/The Leader)

The Burbank High football team has been waiting months to get onto its new on-campus football field.

The project was finally finished Friday, and the Bulldogs had the green light to start practicing on their state-of-the art artificial turf.

As of Monday, the Bulldogs still hadn’t practiced at the venue.

The Bulldogs haven’t been able to practice since Friday because of unhealthful conditions due to the smoke from nearby fires.

“It’s a bummer,” Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. “You can go out and walk on the new field, but we haven’t been allowed to practice on it yet. We were really looking forward to breaking in our new field.”

Burbank hasn’t been able to practice at all because of the conditions.

‘We can’t even go through our plays in the gym,” he said. “They won’t let us.”

Missing practices is detrimental for Burbank, which opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday in a nonleague Zero Week game at Simi Valley.

The running track has also been finished, and Bulldogs’ Coach Darin Wolf said Monday that is team hasn’t been allowed to try it out either.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jeff Tully

August 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm

One arrest, nine vehicles impounded in DUI checkpoint

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The Burbank Police Department Traffic Bureau Saturday conducted a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint at Hollywood Way and Oak Street, leading to one arrest, two drug citations and nine impounded vehicles.

Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said the purpose of the operation was to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence and reduce the number of people seriously injured and killed in alcohol-related traffic collisions.

The 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. checkpoint, details of which are copied  below, was funded by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • 946 vehicles passed through the checkpoint
  • 919 drivers were screened for signs of driving under the influence
  • No drivers were arrested for driving under the influence
  • 8 citations were issued to unlicensed drivers
  • 2 citations were issued to drivers with a suspended license
  • 4 citations were issued for driving infractions
  • 1 citation was issued for an equipment violation
  • 9 vehicles were impounded
  • 2 misdemeanor citations were issued for having marijuana in a vehicle
  • 1 driver was arrested for possession of burglary tools

Written by Christopher Cadelago

August 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Burbank’s Kauppila chooses Stanford

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Burbank High senior Lonnie Kauppila will play in college at Stanford.

Burbank High senior Lonnie Kauppila will play in college at Stanford. (Scott Smelzer /The Leader)

Since he was old enough to hold a bat, Lonnie Kauppila has worked hard on his baseball skills.

All the hard work has apparently paid off  for the Burbank High senior, as Kauppila received interest by some of the most prestigious collegiate baseball programs in the nation.

When he narrowed down his choices, he settled on Stanford. He has been accepted to the university and plans to verbally commit to the Cardinal.

Along with receiving offers from the University of Oregon, University of Oklahoma, Duke University and University of Portland, he also received interest from USC, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine, Long Beach State, Miami, Cal Berkley and UC Irvine, among others.

Kauppila made an instant impact in the Bulldogs program after transferring from Crescenta Valley a year ago. A slick fielder and fine baserunner with a great deal of speed, Kauppila was arguably the most successful — and one of the most feared — players in the Pacific League in 2009.

Along with being named a first-team all-league selection, Kauppila was named the 2009 All-Area Athlete of the Year, joining his brother, Kris, who earned the honor with the Falcons in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jeff Tully

August 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Sports

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Crime report recap

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The following were taken from reports filed at the Burbank Police Department:

Burbank Police Officers. (Alex Collins/The Leader)

Burbank Police Officers. (Alex Collins/The Leader)

A 46-year-old North Hollywood woman was scammed out of $200 Aug. 16.  She was promised a parking lot attendant job in Burbank and was handed an employment application and was told to complete it. She called him and drove to Bank of America downtown. She was told by the man, who she met at the bus stop, that he needed $300 dollars for uniforms. She only had $200, which she gave him. The remaining $100 was to be taken out of the victim’s first paycheck. She returned the next day but the suspect never showed. The man is described as Latino, 60 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall with gray or salt and pepper hair. She called him Gabriel.

A 73-year-old resident was robbed of her purse as she returned home from the bank Aug. 17.. She parked in the 4200 block of McFarlane and as she was getting out of the car a Latino man grabbed her purse off her shoulder. He jumped into a nearby vehicle and was last seen speeding off northbound on Rose Street. Police searched the area but could not locate the suspect or vehicle. The suspects was described as a Latino man, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 200 pounds, wearing a blue baseball cap, jeans and over sized dark shirt. The second suspect, described as the same height and weight, was wearing a black polo shirt, blue jeans, black gym shoes, a sliver watch on his left wrist, and a black wristband on his right wrist. The vehicle is a gray four-door sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima.

Police on Wednesday arrested two residents for stealing a golf cart from the DeBell Golf Club facility maintenance yard. A witness saw the pair driving the cart in a nearby residential area. Police were dispatched to the location and apprehended the men as they attempted to return the cart. The men had entered the unlocked maintenance yard, found the cart with the keys in the ignition and decided to take it. Both men were placed under arrest for grand theft and booked at the police jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Christopher Cadelago

August 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Is Burbank field ready for some football?

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The new Burbank High football field.

New Burbank High football field. (Scott Smeltzer/The Leader)

Football players at Burbank High are chomping at the bit to get a chance to practice on their new football field for the first time.

However, the Bulldogs might only have to wait a few more days to get their first feel of the new facility.

Some final preparations on the field itself were being taken care of on Tuesday, and first-year Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said he hopes to have his squad trying out the field by the end of the work week. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jeff Tully

August 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Bob Hope Airport nabs environmental award

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Photo courtesy of Bob Hope Airport

Courtesy of Bob Hope Airport

The Airports Council International–North America on Monday announced that Bob Hope Airport will receive the 2009 Environmental Achievement Award for Environmental Management at its annual conference in Austin, Texas.

The award acknowledges Hangar 25, known as the world’s first aviation facility certified platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Hangar 25 this month gained international notoriety when the Avjet-operated Boeing Business Jet carrying former President Bill Clinton and two freed journalists landed at Bob Hope Airport on their return flight from North Korea.

Unveiled by the development team of Shangri-La Development and Shangri-La Construction and operating partner Avjet Corporation in Dec. 2008, the 62,000 square-foot facility was constructed to house private aircraft ranging in size from small corporate jets to Boeing 757-200s.

“Airports have many innovative programs designed to address the environmental impact of their operations,”  ACI-NA President Greg Principato said in a statement. “The ACI-NA Environmental Achievement awards recognize those airports that set an example for the industry by going above and beyond regulatory compliance standards to protect and preserve the environment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Christopher Cadelago

August 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Prep football season less than two weeks away

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Sam Bethany was an all-league player last season for Burbank High.

Sam Bethany was an all-league player last season for Burbank High.

In less than two weeks, the 2009 high school football season will begin.

It was a productive 2008 football season for the three area programs. While no teams were able to win league championships, Burroughs, Burbank and Bellarmine-Jefferson highs were all able to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

In addition, the Bulldogs and Guards overcame some long standing
droughts, as each won their opening playoff contests.

If the three hope to find success during the 2009 campaign, they will have to get by some tough opponents in nonleague play.

Nothing has changed with Burroughs’ nonleague schedule, as it will
play the same three opponents as last season before embarking in its
seven-game league campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jeff Tully

August 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm