A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.
Preliminary hearings have begun for Veronica Aguilar, accused of killing her 11-year-old son after keeping him hidden in a closet for at least three years. The emaciated body of Yonatan Daniel Aguilar was discovered in the family's home on the 2100 block of Santa Ynez Street in Echo Park on Aug. 22, 2016. A prosecutor said they would add a special circumstance charge of torture if the case goes to trial. NBC 4
A driver who took a wrong turn into a park sandbox in Highland Park said he was following instructions from his GPS device. The driver apparently turned off Figueroa Street into Sycamore Grove Park and drove across the grass and got stuck in the sand of a playground next to Ramona Hall. No one was injured. The man waited a few hours before calling the police for assistance. The Eastsider
One of the most underrated needs among the homeless is access to a shower - something that's offered (along with clothing and hot meals) to homeless residents every weekend by the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition. "I feel wonderful. God, I can’t tell you," said Susan Samuelson, after using a four-stalled mobile shower trailer in the parking lot of Silver Lake Community Church. Samuelson has been living on the streets for about a decade and said she hadn't had a shower in "years." L.A. Times
The youngest person in the Los Angeles area participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program is 17-year-old Jimmy Rodriguez of Boyle Heights. Look for his name on a Adopt a Highway sign along an eastbound stretch of the I-10 Freeway between State Street and Eastern Avenue, near his home. The recent Wilson High School grad is out there on the weekends, twice a month, starting at 7 a.m., with other volunteers, picking up litter such as aluminum cans and plastic bags. "I had to convince my family I was serious about it and it wasn’t as dangerous as they thought it would be," he said. The Eastsider
A procession escorted the body of Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Joseph Solano from the county coroner in Boyle Heights to a cemetery in East L.A. Solano was shot while off-duty at a Jack-in-the-Box in Alhambra. He died at a hospital on Wednesday. He was 50. A man from Utah, Rhett Mckenzie Nelson, has been charged in his death and in the fatal shooting of another man in downtown L.A. KTLA
Raul Ruiz, a journalist and activist for the Chicano movement in L.A., has died at age 78. Ruiz may be best known for photographing the police aiming tear gas launchers at the Silver Dollar Café in East Los Angeles, where L.A. times reporter Ruben Salazar was killed in the wake of the National Chicano Moratorium March of August 1970. L.A. Times
A shooting in Highland Park left a homeless man injured. A male transient was struck by once by gunfire in a residential area in the 200 block of Avenue 57. He was taken to a hospital to be treated and is expected to survive. The Eastsider
A new private K-12 school is moving into a former charter school campus in Eagle Rock. The non denominational Christian Judson International School is moving to the Eagle Rock Baptist church campus on Colorado Boulevard this July after nearly three decades in Pasadena. The Eastsider
The public has gotten a look at plans for the nearly empty shopping center that once housed Cypress Park's only major market. The renderings - presented by the developer and leasing agent at a recent neighborhood council meeting - show few major structural changes around the former Big Saver market. Instead, renovations include extensive interior work, such as a new electrical and air and heating systems. On the outside, the company plans to repaint the center, add new canopies and outdoor seating, update the parking lot and remove the red mansard roof that wraps around the building. The bigger question, remains unanswered: What new tenants are going to move in? The Eastsider
Denise Verret, the Interim Director of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, has been nominated to become its permanent director - which would make her the first African-American woman to lead a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "Denise brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and dedication to the task of meeting the core mission of the L.A. Zoo," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, in making the nomination. The Director of the L.A. Zoo oversees more than 1,400 animals and two million visitors each year. Verret would also run the Zoo’s California Condor Recovery program. She has worked for the City of Los Angeles for 30 years, including the last 19 as the Zoo’s Deputy Director, and the last 14 as a Zoo Accreditation Inspector for the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Forever 21 - Lincoln Heights' most prominent company - is trying to avoid filing for bankruptcy, with sales slowing and competition increasing. Earlier this year, the discount fashion retailer sold its Lincoln Heights headquarters and warehouse for $166 million. Now the family-owned firm is working with the prominent L.A. law firm Latham & Watkins to help it reorganize, which could mean closing stores. The Eastsider
Bus-only lanes could run along Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock's main drag, as part of a plan by Metro for a "bus rapid corridor" or BRT between Pasadena and North Hollywood. Not everyone is Eagle Rock is happy about it. The majority of the 150 people who turned out at a recent meeting opposed putting BRT lanes on Colorado, and were dismayed to learn that no options being studied involve bypassing Colorado Boulevard in the BRT. The Boulevard Sentinel & The Eastsider
Construction crews in Atwater Village have installed an angled white tower in the L.A. River channelthat will form a key element of the North Atwater Bridge. The 60-foot-high tower - referred to as a "mast" in this case - stands atop a large concrete base and is located about a half-mile north of Los Feliz Boulevard, rising above the channel and visible to motorists on the nearby 5 Freeway. Numerous metal cables will eventually be strung from the angled mast to support the 300-foot-long, cable-stayed bridge that will carry pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians over the L.A. River. When the remaining section is installed, the mast will reach a height of 125-feet. The Eastsider