Charges filed in hit and run death of Ventura teen

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office filed charges on Thursday, July 14, against Hermin Martin Henderson, 51, of Ventura, of felony hit and run, for a collision that led to the death of Jonathan Hernandez, 14, on Feb. 18.

Henderson has also been charged with misdemeanor concealing evidence.

Hernandez had been attempting to cross against a red light on Telegraph Road from Saticoy Road when Henderson, who was driving his tow truck at the time, struck and killed him.

Henderson has pleaded not guilty and will return to court for a preliminary hearing on July 27.

In late June, the Hernandez family filed a civil suit against Henderson and his company, Double R Towing.

Hueneme Councilman penalized for vote

California Fair Political Practices Commission will vote during its regular meeting on Thursday, July 21, on the proposed penalty for Port Hueneme City Councilman Jonathan Sharkey, for the decisions he made during the Nov. 9, 2015, Council meeting. During that meeting, Sharkey voted to approve the 2015-2016 city budget and Capital Improvement Program, which included funding for park improvements at two parks located within 500 feet of Sharkey’s residence, in violation of Government Code, section 87100. The proposed penalty is $3,000.

“I was operating on an old standard that no longer applies,” Sharkey said. “I was advised improperly. The agreement was for the minimum fine.”

Sharkey did note that this complaint was filed because of a different complaint he had filed against another city councilmember and that “We will be hearing more on that later.”

— Michael Sullivan

Oxnard police chief heads to Phoenix

Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams has been appointed Police Chief for the City of Phoenix Police Department and will begin in her new role in October, announced Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff.

Williams has served with the Oxnard Police Department since January 2011 and was named “Woman of the Year” in 2016 by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin for her “leadership and community policing efforts.”

For Phoenix, Williams will be the first female police chief in the city’s history, after having been Oxnard’s first female police chief as well. But Williams is no stranger to Arizona, having spent 22 years on the Phoenix police force, serving as assistant chief from 2009 to 2011 before being hired in Oxnard. Her husband, Cody Williams, is a former Phoenix city councilman and justice of the peace, and her son, Alan Williams, plays center for the Phoenix Suns basketball team.

“I’m honored to have served the Oxnard community for the past five and a half years,” said Williams.

Williams trades Oxnard, Ventura County’s largest city, for the country’s sixth-largest city, with a police force that employs 4,000 officers; Oxnard employs around 400.

Local pet shelters to waive adoption fees

This weekend might be your best opportunity to snag a dog or cat on the cheap as both the Ventura County Animal Shelter and the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center will host “Clear the Shelters” events.

S.P.A.R.C. will host its event this Saturday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. where dogs and kittens will be available for adoption. Adoption fees for larger dogs will be reduced to $20, which includes spaying or neutering, a microchip and up-to-date vaccinations.

VCAS will waive fees for all cats and dogs, save a $20 licensing fee, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

S.P.A.R.C. will also offer $10 spaying or neutering for current pets. The shelter is located at 705 E. Santa Barbara St. in Santa Paula. For more information, visit VCAS is located at 600 Aviation Drive in Camarillo. Visit for more information.

The nonprofit All for Love Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 dog rescue, will host a fundraising event at the Ventura Improv Comedy club on Sunday, July 24, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Funds raised will assist the Rescue in providing surgeries for animals in need.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by visiting 445-3535.

Ojai performance of Merry Wives of Windsor canceled

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It, apropos of the drama circling the 2016 Ojai Shakespeare Festival, where a shake-up has forced the cancellation of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which was set to premiere tomorrow (Friday, July 22).

According to Demitri Corbin, producer, director and founder of Peach Tree Theater Company, in order for the show to go on, a certain number of youths would need to be involved. On Thursday, July 14, the last remaining youth – a 17-year-old actor – pulled out after a weeklong back and forth via email with the show’s cast members and production crew.

“I had no choice after seeing that the youth weren’t receiving a wholesome experience,” said Corbin, who will direct the festival’s other show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he says is “in good shape.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream premieres on Saturday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Libbey Bowl, 210 S. Signal St., Ojai.

— Chris O’Neal