$10,000 reward offered for details on missing Oxnard girl

Four-year old Kimberly Irene Chavez Lopez is still missing.

A 4-year-old girl is being sought after attempts to locate her have failed. The girl, Kimberly Irene Chavez Lopez, was last seen in the custody of her parents, Mayra Chavez-Lopez and Omar Lopez, and is believed to be either in California or in Tijuana, Los Reyes, Michoacán or Guadalajara, Mexico. Both parents are currently in custody.

The girl was an orphan for her first eight months, until her parents gained custody of the girl. At the age of 2, however, Kimberly was removed from their custody, and in March 2015, returned to the parents. Authorities say that was also the last time a county social worker saw Kimberly.

In July of this year, an anonymous caller tipped Child Protective Services off to instigate a welfare check on Kimberly, which occurred in September. When the girl could not be found, Oxnard Police launched a search. Kimberly’s parents have been in Ventura County jail since Oct. 7, reportedly uncooperative in the investigation.

If you have any information on Kimberly’s whereabouts, you can contact the Oxnard Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 805-200-2370 or text “BUSTED” to the Crime Stoppers tip line plus your message to CRIMES (274673). You can also send tips via email to Detectives Jeff.Kay@oxnardpd.org and Scott.Aaron@oxnardpd.org.

Forest Service bans oil and gas leasing in Los Padres

If you’re looking to pull a Beverly Hillbillies with a new oil well and you’re on the hunt in the Los Padres National Forest, keep moving. The U.S. Forest Service has halted new oil and gas leasing throughout the forest, halting ongoing litigation by certain conservation groups.

The pause will allow the Service to investigate the potential risks of fracking and drilling in the forest, as well as risks to air and water quality and to endangered species such as the California condor. In October, the Center for Biological Diversity, Los Padres Forest Watch and Defenders of Wildlife delivered to the Service a notice of intent to sue over new information regarding the risks of hydraulic fracturing, which they say was unknown when the Service approved drilling in the forest in 2005.

Similarly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew its August opinion that would have allowed oil leasing in the forest.

“We are thrilled that the Forest Service is hitting the pause button and reevaluating whether it really makes sense to auction off these treasured landscapes to the highest bidder,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch.

Cal Lutheran predicts economic slowdown under Trump

California Lutheran University Center for Economic Research and Forecasting has released its 2016 Fourth Quarter California and United States Forecast with a few heavy predictions for the coming year, detailing possible risks associated with President Donald Trump’s policies.

The current forecast predicts that California’s economy will continue to grow through 2017 at a faster rate than the rest of the country, and that “Donald Trump will not succeed in changing (and in many cases may not even attempt to change) many of the policies that are primary drivers of poor economic performance” within the state. Trump’s policies could have a drastic impact on the California economy, however, including that the “repeal of even part of the Affordable Care Act could have dramatic impacts on state coffers” as could changes to federal clean energy, trade and immigration policies as well.

The forecast concludes with a dire warning to “Look for increasing angst in California in the years ahead, at least among economists, if not the voters.”

Ventura Music Festival announces new leadership

The Ventura Music Festival has announced its board leadership for 2017. At the helm is Doug Halter, who will serve as the festival’s president.

Halter is best-known locally as being a prime developer of the Ventura Botanical Gardens and is the owner of Halter-Encinas Enterprises, Inc., a landscaping company.

Rounding out the board is Timothy Smith as secretary, who has past experience on the New West Symphony board; and Larry Velasquez, senior vice president and director of mortgage banking sales with Rabobank, will serve as treasurer.

The lineup for the 2017 Ventura Music Festival to be held in July will be announced on Feb. 21.