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Street Beat: May 18 to May 23, 2022

Wednesday, May 18 Panga landing. Agate Street Beach. 9:44 a.m. Officers were dispatched after a resident observed a panga boat landing on the sand and about 16 people running towards 100 Agate St. Officers immediately detained nine individuals at Agate Street and Ocean Way. The same resident witnessed five individuals enter a...

Budget talks remain ‘cautiously optimistic,’ Laguna Beach officials say

By Megan Miller, Special to the Independent Fire safety and public infrastructure improvements led the Laguna Beach City Council’s budget talks Tuesday night. Though revenues from the previous year have exceeded expectations, the proposed $125 million budget for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year remains “cautiously optimistic,” wrote City Manager Shohreh Dupuis. Already...

Longtime city clerk, former councilmember Verna Rollinger has died

Verna Rollinger, a long-time Laguna Beach city clerk and former councilmember, died from renal failure early Thursday. She was 77. Rollinger served for 27 years as the Laguna Beach City Clerk. She was elected to the City Council in 2008 but was denied a second four-year term in 2012. She...

Laguna Beach school community remembers beloved El Morro principal

By Megan Miller, Special to the Independent A crowd of at least 200 parents, students, teachers, and school staffers gathered Wednesday evening at Laguna Beach High School to grieve for El Morro Principal Chris Duddy, who died in his sleep Tuesday. Duddy served Laguna Beach schools for 24 years, 17 of...

Retiring El Morro principal Chris Duddy dies in sleep

El Morro School principal Chris Duddy died in his sleep Tuesday, school district officials said in a press release. He was 57. Duddy was slated to retire on June 30. He had served the Laguna Beach schools community for 24 years. "We are deeply saddened to inform you that our beloved...

Festival of Arts, Terra settle lawsuits over unpaid rent, building mishaps

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach has inked a deal with Terra restaurant’s operator to settle cross-complaints, including claims of unpaid rent and unpermitted construction, court records show. Terra Laguna Beach, Inc. president Mohammad Honarkar agreed to pay $368,209 for rent due from as far back as April 2020...

Laguna Beach mulls NDA with Cal Fire, OCFA over Coastal Fire probe

Laguna Beach is on track to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with county and state agencies regarding the inter-agency investigation of the Coastal Fire’s cause. On Tuesday, the City Council will consider authorizing City Manager Shohreh Dupuis to execute the agreement being coordinated by the Safety and Enforcement Division of...

Male mountain lion captured in Newport Beach

A male mountain lion was tranquilized and taken into custody by wildlife officers after it walked into a Newport Beach residential neighborhood Friday, authorities said. It’s the same radio-collared cat that was spotted in Laguna Beach earlier this month and will be returned to the Santa Ana foothills. The mountain...

Street Beat: May 11 to May 18, 2022

Wednesday, May 11 DUI. Diana Paola Garcia, 33, of Irvine was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving with a prior DUI charge. She was held on a $10,000 bail. Drug possession. Ronell Josh Mance, 30, of Rancho Cucamonga was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor methamphetamine possession. He was held on a...

Laguna Beach man celebrates 80th birthday with physical fitness feat

By Barbara McMurray, Special to the Independent To mark his 80th birthday, Kevin Walsh had an idea different from most new octogenarians. No party, no cake, no bucket-list trip with his wife of 52 years, Tomi. Walsh’s birthday wish was to do 50 pull-ups and 100 push-ups in five minutes or...