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Johnson and Chaparral topple Yucaipa in Beaumont Tip-Off Classic

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Photos and Story By BOB OTTO

BEAUMONT, CA – Temecula Chaparral’s Xavier Johnson proved too much for Yucaipa to overcome as the Pumas defeated the Thunderbirds, 62-37, in the second round of the 2009 Beaumont Tip-Off Classic boys’ high school basketball Tournament, Wednesday, at Beaumont High School.

After a slow first half in which he scored only six points, the left-handed shooting Johnson, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, got hot in the second half, torching the Thunderbirds for 12 points in the third quarter and 8 in the fourth.

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Vintage cars the envy of the neighborhood

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Photos By Bob Otto / Freelance Writer & Photographer

CALIMESA, CA – When Dan Healy backs either one of his cars out of his garage, some of his neighbors turn a bit green with envy. For one of those cars is a 1961 Chevrolet Impala convertible, while the other is a 1924 Ford Model T. Two vintage automobiles that turn heads wherever Healy drives them.

But what’s even more impressive is the history behind Healy’s collection. They’ve been in the family for a combined 133 years. Since they first rolled off the car dealers’ showroom floors.

Healy’s late wife, Beverly, bought the Impala from her father, who owned a Chevrolet dealership in Toluca, Illinois. When Beverly saw the white Impala with black convertible top and wide, white-stripped tires, she wanted it.

“I was single at the time and with her when she bought it new in the fall of 1960,” Healy said. “It was parked in the showroom and she said, ‘I like the looks of that car.’”

And so it seems, do others. Healy says he will never sell the car, but one potential buyer made a strong pitch. “This guy said he would give me $100,000,” he said. “I told him no, but he said, ‘name your price.’”

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See Photos of Yucaipa Horse Show

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Photos By BOB OTTO / Photographer & Writer

YUCAIPA, CA – The Morgan Horse Club of Southern California hosted a open horse show, Saturday, at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center located on California Street. Riders and horses from throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties competed in the event in 42 categories.

See the talented riders and their horses in action by visiting the photo gallery:

Continue To Open Horse Show Gallery

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Open Horse Show popular at Yucaipa Equestrian Center

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Photos and Story BY BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – Twenty long years had passed since Tracy Beck had seriously ridden and competed in horse shows. But she showed no rust from her time away from the show arena, as she and her partner, Stormy, claimed back-to-back blue ribbons Saturday at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center.

The Morgan Horse Show Club of Southern California hosted an Open Horse Show at the popular equestrian center, which drew competitors from throughout southern California.

And Tracy and her 11-year-old daughter, Madison, were two of the riders who performed well in the event. And mom and daughter shared Stormy, whose birth name is, “JJ SK’s Spring Storm” in several of the 42 events.

Tracy and Madison’s delighted smiles and the strokes and hugs they lovingly bestowed on Stormy – owned by James and Sandra Flanagan of Shamrock Morgan’s in Ramona – showed their pride in the 10-year-old beautifully mannered Morgan.

“His canter was perfect, he was gorgeous,” Tracy said after winning blue ribbons in the English Pleasure age 16/Over, and English Country Pleasure events. “He was consistent and steady, and he walked well.”

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Yucaipa Thunderbirds Football Playoff’s On The Line Tonight

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Photos By BOB OTTO / Writer & Photographer

YUCAIPA, CA – The Rialto Carter Lions and Yucaipa Thunderbirds meet in the final game of Citrus Belt League play tonight at Yucaipa. And for one team, the season will continue, while the other will pack up its gear and call it quits.

Both teams come into tonight’s game tied for fourth in the CBL with 3-3 records. And the game has huge ramifications. The winner will lock up fourth place and earn the league’s fourth seed into the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Playoffs.

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Yucaipa and Calimesa honors veterans

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – About a half dozen veterans, many in wheel chairs, took their rightful place of honor near the amphitheater stage at Yucaipa Community Park for Veteran’s Day ceremonies on Wednesday.

They served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. A ceremony could have been held in the comfort of Braswell’s Yucaipa Valley Convalescent Home, which is home for all of them now in their elderly years.

But they insisted upon coming to the Yucaipa Veteran’s Day Ceremony instead.

“This is big, an important occasion for them,” said Linda Nagai, Activities Director at Braswell’s.

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A foul mood morning

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

YUCAIPA – I’m in a foul mood this morning, a carryover from yesterday’s encounters with trashy kids and their trashy parents, an arrogant cop, a text-driving idiot, and an overzealous Riverside County zoning official.

Let’s start with the text-driving idiot. While driving on the 215 Freeway towards Perris and a horse rescue ranch, I came upon a woman, in her late 20s to mid-thirty’s putzing along at about 52 miles per hour in the slow lane.

I glanced over at her to see what the problem was, and saw her texting. As she rested her cell on the steering wheel, her thumbs were flying and her eyes bouncing up and down as she furtively took peeks at the road ahead.

I stayed alongside her for about 100 yards to see if she would notice me glaring at her. She didn’t once glance to her left. Idiot.

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Check out Yucaipa Thunderbirds boy’s varsity water polo photos

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

See more YHS boy’s varsity water polo pictures by checking out the photo gallery on the link below.

By BOB OTTO / Writer & Photographer

HEMET, CA – The Yucaipa High Thunderbirds, spurred by a relentless defense, defeated the Hemet High Bulldogs, 7-1, in a pre-season water polo match, Tuesday, at Hemet.

To See a slide show photo gallery of the match, click on the link below.

Click Here For Photo Slide Show

I pray the Lord my soul to take

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – I remember back when I was a little boy, my mother pulling the covers up tight all around me and clasping my hands together in prayer like all good Catholic mothers did with their children at bedtime.

And then we would recite the bedtime prayer that she insisted I repeat over and over until the words were forever locked in my memory.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep…”

Looking back and seeing myself lying as an innocent little cherub in bed, I can’t imagine the Lord not wanting to keep my soul. But that was then.

He might not be so willing today.

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Fire blazes dangerously close to Yucaipa

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By BOB OTTO / Yucaipa, CA

YUCAIPA, CA – The Oak Glen fire aka the Yucaipa Fire (since named the Pendleton Fire) burned its way southwest toward Yucaipa and came within 100 yards of Fremont Heights Mobile Home Park late Monday afternoon.

Air tankers and helicopters fought the blaze that started about 3 p.m. with fire retardant material and heavy water drops, but the fire continued to flare up and move southwest at a slow, but steady movement toward the mobile home park located at the edge of the foothills in east Yucaipa.

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