On Friday, August 20th at 2:47pm, police responded to a call that two people had been stabbed at Fillmore’s Dollar General, located at 1154 Ventura Street. When deputies arrived on scene they observed a male suspect with a knife attempting to flee the area. He was later identified as Cesar Pedro Villanueva, 21, of Fillmore. Police were able to detain him at the scene.
On Friday, August 20th at 2:47pm, police responded to a call that two people had been stabbed at Fillmore’s Dollar General, located at 1154 Ventura Street. When deputies arrived on scene they observed a male suspect with a knife attempting to flee the area. He was later identified as Cesar Pedro Villanueva, 21, of Fillmore. Police were able to detain him at the scene.
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Cesar Pedro Villanueva, Fillmore, 21
Cesar Pedro Villanueva, Fillmore, 21

Patrol Deputies assigned to the Fillmore Police Station arrested (S) Cesar Pedro Villanueva, after he stabbed two people inside the Dollar General store located at 1154 Ventura Street in the City of Fillmore.

On August 20th, 2020, at 2:47 PM, patrol deputies responded to the Dollar General Store to a call of a stabbing that had just occurred. When deputies arrived at the scene, they observed a male subject, later identified as Cesar Villanueva, running away from the Dollar General Store, holding a folding knife in his hand. Villanueva also matched the description of the suspect. Deputies attempted to stop Villanueva, but he was uncooperative and non-compliant with their verbal commands. Deputies were able to prevent Villanueva from fleeing and detained him.

Ventura County Sheriff Major Crimes and Fillmore Police Station Detectives responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. Detectives determined that Villanueva was inside the Dollar General Store when he confronted a delivery driver who was stocking product inside the store. Villanueva stabbed this victim in the arm with a knife. Villanueva then stabbed a second male victim in the chest and the back with the same knife. The second victim was merely shopping at the store when confronted by Villanueva.

Both victims had moderate injuries and were transported to the Ventura County Medical Center via ambulance. Both were treated for their injuries and later released.

Villanueva was arrested and charged for two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of resisting arrest. Evidence was recovered that directly linked Villanueva to the crime and he was positively identified as the suspect. Villanueva was booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility and his bail was set at $50,000.

Detectives are seeking any additional witnesses or potential video evidence of the suspect or the incident.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Nature of Incident: Stabbing Suspect Arrested
Report Number: 20-114668
Location: Dollar General Store, Fillmore
Date & Time: 08/20/2020 @ 2:47 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, Fillmore Police Patrol and Investigations
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age
(S) Cesar Pedro Villanueva, Fillmore, 21
Prepared by: Sergeant Albert Ramirez
Approved by: Captain Brian Slominski

 


 
An illegal marijuana operation west of Fillmore near Snow Canyon was raided on Tuesday, August 25, around 10am. Reports of four helicopters and multiple sheriffs and forestry units on scene. There are no further details at this time.
An illegal marijuana operation west of Fillmore near Snow Canyon was raided on Tuesday, August 25, around 10am. Reports of four helicopters and multiple sheriffs and forestry units on scene. There are no further details at this time.
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A helicopter loading some of the seized contraband onto a Sheriff ’s vehicle.
A helicopter loading some of the seized contraband onto a Sheriff ’s vehicle.
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On Tuesday, August 25th at 4:26pm at the corner of Sespe Avenue and A Street, Fillmore Fire and Police Departments responded to a large dumpster fire behind the fruit packing house along the railroad tracks. Crews extinguished the flames quickly. Cause of the fire is under investigation.
On Tuesday, August 25th at 4:26pm at the corner of Sespe Avenue and A Street, Fillmore Fire and Police Departments responded to a large dumpster fire behind the fruit packing house along the railroad tracks. Crews extinguished the flames quickly. Cause of the fire is under investigation.
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The Cottage Hotel, the rooming house owned by the Turner family and also served as Fillmore's first "Post Office." Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The Cottage Hotel, the rooming house owned by the Turner family and also served as Fillmore's first "Post Office." Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Elbert B. Turner, who was Fillmore’s first postmaster. The Fillmore Post Office opened in 1887.
Elbert B. Turner, who was Fillmore’s first postmaster. The Fillmore Post Office opened in 1887.
The intersection of Central and Main circa 1905. The second Post Office was on the NE corner in a store owned by C. C. Elkins, the third was in the building on the NW corner, owned by Richard Stephens.
The intersection of Central and Main circa 1905. The second Post Office was on the NE corner in a store owned by C. C. Elkins, the third was in the building on the NW corner, owned by Richard Stephens.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

By Ellen Finley, 1988

The Fillmore Post Office was established on October 24, 1887, with the appointment of Elbert Bailey Turner as first postmaster. Since Fillmore was not recorded as an official city until August 1, 1888, there was a post office before there was a city.

Prior to Mr. Turner’s appointment, the people of Fillmore had to go to Bardsdale for their mail. In those days there was no bridge across the Santa Clara. Fording the river was often dangerous and sometimes impossible. Bardsdale’s first postmaster, Royce G. Surdam, appointed May 18, 1887, was a good-natured, accommodating man. Having carried the mail sack from the Fillmore Railroad Station to Bardsdale, he would often go back across the river with the mail for Fillmore in his vest pocket.

In late 1887, Fillmore consisted of the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (at that time in an old boxcar) and four other buildings. One was a rooming house run by E. B. Turner and his wife, located on the west corner of what is now Main and Central. According to Mrs. Turner, the first post office in Fillmore was a goods box in a front bedroom of their rooming house. After about a year, the post office moved to the railroad depot and Mr. Turner appointed George Tighe assistant postmaster. Mrs. Turner quotes her husband as saying there was not any money in the position of postmaster and it was no honor to work for nothing.

On Christmas Day, 1887, Caswell Carl Elkins and his family arrived in Fillmore. As soon as possible, Mr. Elkins erected a two-story building on the east corner of Main and Central where the Bank of A. Levy now stands. The first floor was a badly needed general merchandise store; the Elkins family, for a time, used the second floor as their residence. On March 26, 1889, C. C. Elkins was appointed Fillmore’s second postmaster and kept the post office in his store.

The big store building at the east corner of Main and Central remained the location of the post office for about ten years. During this period, Mr. Elkins was devoting most of his time to the citrus industry, apparently leasing his stock and store. In 1891, the store was run by L. H. Amsbury and his partner, George S. Barnes. Amsbury was appointed postmaster on September 14, 1891. Next to lease the store was C. G. Willman who was appointed postmaster on February 18, 1892. By March 8, 1895, however, Willman, who was in failing health, sold out to James Duncan. The Ventura Free Press related that, while Mr. Willman was to go to Honolulu for his health, his wife, Miss Edna, was to continue to serve the patron of the post office. Public sentiment apparently favored letting Willman run out his term, but since there was a “large crop of aspirant for the position of postmaster”, this did not happen. On April 8, 1895, S. A. Guiberson, Jr. was appointed postmaster and, shortly thereafter, both Mr. and Mrs. Willman departed for Honolulu.

During Guiberson’s tenure as postmaster, the post office probably remained at the same location, the store now run by James Duncan. Duncan was a Scotsman, “just over from the land of oatmeal and shorter catechism.” Coming to Fillmore to visit friends, he found the whole valley area extremely attractive so decided to stay. Soon after he took over the store from Willman, Duncan hired as a clerk a young countryman, Richard Stephens. The two soon became partners. Ads for Duncan and Stephens pointed out that the store was the location of the post office as well as a telephone. By January 28, 1898, the partners had moved their business across the street to an old tin building on the west corner of Main and Central; the Elkins’ store had been sold to C. A. Harmonson. On November 17 of that same year, James Duncan died. A week later, on November 25, Richard Stephens was appointed Fillmore’s sixth postmaster a position he was to hold until 1915, making him the first Fillmore postmaster whose tenure lasted more than a few years. Stephens’ appointment was vigorously opposed by the Elkins family, probably because the post office would then be moved from their store. But the one thing that could have kept him from being appointed was not known to the opposition – he had not yet become an American citizen.

 


 

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today the filing of two misdemeanor charges against Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Leonard Herrera Lopez (DOB 8/6/71). Lopez is charged with engaging in sexual activity with a female inmate at the Ventura County jail, a violation of Penal Code section 289.6(a)(2). He is also charged with entering the cell of the same female inmate without another employee present, in violation of Penal Code section 4021(b). Both state law and Ventura County Sheriff’s Policy prohibit custodial staff from entering the cells of opposite sex inmates unless accompanied by a same-sex staff member.

The inmate was assigned to a unit under the control and supervision of Lopez. Lopez is alleged to have entered the inmate’s cell unaccompanied by other jail staff in the early morning hours of September 6, 2019. Once Lopez was inside the inmate’s cell, he is further alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct with her. The inmate later reported the conduct to other jail staff.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau immediately launched a comprehensive investigation. Under state law, inmates cannot provide legal consent to engage in sexual activity with custodial staff. Lopez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 11 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Lopez faces a maximum possible sentence of 365 days in jail.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims. Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice

 


 
This photo was taken by a firefighter at the Hathaway Gate between Lake Piru and Hasley Canyon.
This photo was taken by a firefighter at the Hathaway Gate between Lake Piru and Hasley Canyon.
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At approximately 2pm on Monday, August 17th, a vehicle fire spread to nearby brush on Piru Canyon Road, sparking what is now the Holser Fire. By Tuesday morning the fire had spread to over 3,000 acres, requiring voluntary evacuation from Highway 126 to north of Lake Piru, east to Val Verde, and west to Piru Canyon Road, excluding the town of Piru. As of Tuesday morning, the fire was 20% contained, but burning only three miles west of Hasley Canyon, a community of upscale ranches. Firefighters took advantage of the lower temps and higher relative humidity overnight to perform firing operations to secure the fires edge while taking advantage of natural barriers. This photo of the destruction of the Holser Fire was taken by a firefighter in Oak Canyon near the Hathaway Gate just east of Lake Piru. The Hathaway and Lechler families have land-leased (Spanish grants) over 12,000 acres in the area for generations. Cooperating Agencies: Ventura County Fire Dept., LA County Fire Dept., Cal Fire, USFS R5, VCSO, with over 400 fire personnel involved.

 
Red Cross volunteer fires up flood lights at the evacuation center at Fillmore Middle School on Monday, August 17, 2020. Photo courtesy American Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer fires up flood lights at the evacuation center at Fillmore Middle School on Monday, August 17, 2020. Photo courtesy American Red Cross.
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Volunteers were on site at Fillmore Middle School to assist evacuees due to the Holser Fire

Fillmore, CA – Local Red Cross volunteers opened a Temporary Evacuation Point in anticipation of assisting those forced to evacuate their homes due to the Holser Fire. The evacuation point was established at the Fillmore Middle School as a rest site for those affected, to access their needs and for the Red Cross to present lodging options. In order to follow CDC COVID-19 safety protocols, the Red Cross is working with community partners to secure accommodations, which may include a dormitory-type shelter or hotels.

“We are prepared to provide food, water and COVID-19 safety resources here at this evacuation point,” said Red Cross volunteer Michael McGehee. “Normally we would open a shelter for all the evacuees, but due to COVID-19, we will provide individual spaces with more social distancing.”

HOW TO STAY SAFE DURING WILDFIRES
Be Prepared – Have a Plan – Stay Informed
• Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply.
• Add masks, hand sanitizer and gloves to your kit as well to protect you from COVID-19
• Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
• Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to wait for an official evacuation order. If you feel threatened, be sure that you leave with time to spare.
• Confine all pets to one room so you can quickly and easily take them and go if you need to evacuate. Keep pets on leashes or in carriers, as they can scare easily and run-away during disasters.
• Back your car into the driveway for a safer and more efficient way out. Park in an open space facing the direction of escape. Make sure you have at least a ½ tank of gas.
• Visit redcross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App for more preparedness tips and safety checklists, localizable alerts, Shelter Locator and more.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

Help people affected by disasters like earthquakes, wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

 
Preparing for remote school to begin, drive-thru pickup was open last Wednesday, August 12th at the Fillmore Middle School parking lot. Nurse Karen was there to collect immunization records, while Assistant VP Cara checked to make sure everyone was enrolled.
Preparing for remote school to begin, drive-thru pickup was open last Wednesday, August 12th at the Fillmore Middle School parking lot. Nurse Karen was there to collect immunization records, while Assistant VP Cara checked to make sure everyone was enrolled.
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Assistant VP Cinda handed out the “goody” bag to new 7th grade enrollee Heather Furness, containing books and class schedule. At the end of the well-organized parade (not pictured) was site computer tech Carlos, making arrangements for every student to have a laptop for remote school due to the coronavirus.
Assistant VP Cinda handed out the “goody” bag to new 7th grade enrollee Heather Furness, containing books and class schedule. At the end of the well-organized parade (not pictured) was site computer tech Carlos, making arrangements for every student to have a laptop for remote school due to the coronavirus.
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The Fike family of Fillmore had an unpleasant surprise last week when a 7-year old rattlesnake was discovered in a pipe near their home in the foothills north of Fillmore. Fillmore fire responded and lured him out, sending him to snake heaven, then promised to return the skin to the family.
The Fike family of Fillmore had an unpleasant surprise last week when a 7-year old rattlesnake was discovered in a pipe near their home in the foothills north of Fillmore. Fillmore fire responded and lured him out, sending him to snake heaven, then promised to return the skin to the family.
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Joseph Fike, 5, who is brave enough to handle the large deadly snake.
Joseph Fike, 5, who is brave enough to handle the large deadly snake.
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Bill Edmonds
Bill Edmonds

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Bill Edmonds.

Bill and Lynn began their life together serving in Venezuela in the Peace Corp in 1964, an exciting time for the newly married couple. While there they adopted two little girls and would go onto have two more children.

Bill graduated from UC Berkeley with a Masters and worked in Community Organizing for 8-years with the YMCA. While at Berkeley he was on the track & field team, starting what would become a life-long passion. For years he was an official with the NCAA, travelling across the US to college track events, an activity Lynn said he loved. He began his teaching career in Lynwood before coming to Fillmore, where he taught from 1984 to 1996 at Sespe Elementary.

He was a member of the Fillmore Lions Club since 1984, serving several times as President. Bill was also the chairperson of the Lions Student Speaker Contest since 1987, just retiring in February of this year.

Bill was an avid Wizard of Oz Club member, collecting memorabilia and 1st editions of the popular L Frank Baum series.

Together Bill and Lynn raised their four children, though they unofficially adopted two more girls, taking them into their home for 12 years. Other youngsters were invited into their family at different times, and that shared love of family is the Edmunds’ true legacy. Lynn said Bill was always “very open and giving, very accepting and loving” about having the house full of children. The names of their children are: Petra, Carmen Felicia, Bill, Jon , Maria de Carmen and Maria Guadalupe. “Each of our children have added to our lives in amazing ways. Bill delighted in watching musicals with them, going to sporting events, coaching their softball teams, celebrating their lives as they grew up, each in very different ways,” said Lynn.

Bill and Lynn also have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

****

Lynn is out of town, spending time with her family, but she was kind enough to send the following memories of Bill to the Gazette to share with the community that loved and respected him.

“As I am contacted by persons who are offering their condolence, I am amazed by the number of people that knew Bill closely. He knew many people that I didn’t even know that he knew and considered him a good friend.

Bill and I were married in 1964 and had been moved by President Kennedy’s words to “not ask what the country can do for you, but for what you can do for the country”. In response we joined the Peace Corps seven days after we were married and after training in Massachusetts, we moved to Caripito, Venezuela where we were assigned to teach Physical Education in the local high school, Liceo Monagas. With our faltering Spanish and our lack of understanding of the culture, it was difficult. Bill was well prepared for the assignment as he had been a PE major at UC Berkeley, but I was not. Every day he taught me the lesson that I would teach the next day and we both then researched the vocabulary that we would need to teach the lesson.

The high school at that time was run similar to colleges in the United States. The students would all arrive at school at 8 but many wouldn’t have a class until 10 or later. Their classes were spaced irregularly, so there were always students roaming the campus and it became the habit of many of those roaming to go to the outside bleachers to watch the “gringos” teach. Many of the students were delightful, supportive, and caring but some were out to heckle and abuse us. They would shout profanities, throw items onto the court, and interfere in our lessons to the best of their ability. This was a challenging time for us. Bill simply ignored it, but I was miserable. Every day I told Bill that I wanted to return to the USA. Every day he answered with the same phrase; “I understand how miserable you feel, and you certainly have the right to return. I’ll take you to the airport and see you when my tour of duty ends, and I return”. I stayed one more day an additional 634 more days and now consider it a major and enduring turning point in my life. This story is to me an example of his love but also his drive to make the world a better place in our small way as well as cementing our relationship. We both felt that our time in the Peace Corps improved and changed us much more that we changed Venezuela.

Bill carried his drive to improve not only himself, but his community. He celebrated the service and multiple ways that the Lions Club interacted with the community through the Peace Poster Contest, the Student Speaker Program, and the Scholarship for high school seniors.

Bill enjoyed teaching and often invited his students to go to movies, athletic games, museums, and hikes with us. He would load five or six students into the bed of his small pickup (impossible to do now) and head out. One day I was waiting for him at the Fillmore High School bleachers to watch the Santa Paula/Fillmore game and he and his students came up the steps to sit with me. I heard one of the fans say, “Here comes Bill Edmonds with his flock of chickens.”

Bill would often be found with his dog, Oreo, at Starbucks, going to the Union Bank, walking around town. He loved animals and over the years we had multiple pets, most of them rescues, including dogs, cats, fish, parrots, miniature rabbits, Indian Runner ducks and chickens. When we lived in Downey, we had a rooster that would wake the neighbors much earlier than they wanted to be awakened, so Bill decided to quiet his crowing. Every night he put the rooster in a cage and then loaded 10 blankets tucked around it. He then added wooden sides and a wooden top. We could still hear the muffled crowing, but we thought that the neighbors were saved. When we moved to Fillmore we gave the rooster to a friend that had a ranch...much to the delight of the neighbors who told us that they still heard his muffled crowing in spite of all Bill’s attempts to quiet it.”

Bill passed away quietly at home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

To honor his life and legacy, Friends and Admirers were invited to Bill and Lynn’s home in Fillmore on Saturday, August 8th to drive thru/walk up and contribute to a remembrance table that was set up in the front yard (inset). They were welcome to bring a note or item associated with Bill to honor him. Please consider making a donation to One Step a La Vez (PO Box 192, Fillmore, CA 93016), the Fillmore Lions Club Scholarship Fund, or to a charity of your choice in Bill’s name.

“Thank you for having a special place in Bill's big heart. He truly loved his family, friends, and his community”. With gratitude, Lynn and family.