Author: Cathy Herrick

First Mountain Bank and PBB Bancorp/Premier Business Bank Announce Merger Negotiations

Big Bear Lake, CA, June 8, 2015 – First Mountain Bank and PBB Bancorp/Premier Business Bank announced today that they have entered into exclusive negotiations for the combination of the two banks.  The parties anticipate that a merger agreement will be signed and terms announced by mid-June 2015.  Vince Smith, Chairman of FMB, stated “We are pleased with the progress of the merger process and the opportunity to combine with Premier Business Bank.  We believe they share our long standing commitment to serve our customers and support our communities.  John Polen, President and Chief Executive Officer of PBB stated “Community banking is the core focus of Premier Business Bank.  I believe that completion of our merger will provide First Mountain Bank more services to offer to it’s customers, more support for it’s community and more opportunities for it’s employees.  Preserving First Mountain Bank’s local identity, local decision making and fine customer base is our number one priority”.  Premier Business Bank operates two banking offices in Los Angeles and Palos Verdes.  First Mountain operates three banking offices in Big Bear Lake, Running Springs and Lucerne Valley.  More information on FMB is available at...

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Big Bear Middle School Receives the 2015 California Gold Ribbon Award

Big Bear Lake, CA, May 5, 2015 – Big Bear Middle School is being recognized as a 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools recipient.  A letter from Tom Torlakson, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, states that the award is a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work, and vision of the Big Bear Middle School’s educational community.  The California Gold Ribbon Schools award was created as a program to replace the California Distinguished Schools Program for middle and high schools in 2015 and focuses on California schools that have made tremendous gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State.  School principal, Dena Arbaugh, tells Kbear that teachers at the Middle School have transitioned into Common Core while focusing on 21st Century learning skills and concepts that teach to the student’s future as opposed to our past.  The “STEM for All” model program gives every BBMS student access to STEM and is helping to close the achievement gap.  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.  The 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools Recognition award and ceremony will be held on May 22nd in San...

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Michael Reyes Still Evades Police

Big Bear, April 24, 2015 – Suspect Michael Reyes continues to evade law enforcement officials according to the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station.  As previously reported by Kbear on March 17th, a suspect matching the description of Reyes was witnessed breaking into a vehicle in the Interlaken Shopping Center followed by an attempted vehicle theft in the Kmart parking lot shortly after.  Reyes is known to travel between the Big Bear Valley and the Highland area.  Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Michael Reyes is requested to call Big Bear Sheriff’s Station at 866-0100.  The public is advised not to attempt to approach or detain Reyes, as he is known to carry weapons and may become agitated if...

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Fugitive Friday Suspect Turns Himself In

Big Bear Lake, CA, April 21, 2015 – The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station reported today that last week’s “Fugitive Friday” suspect, Ray Costido, a parolee at large, turned himself in on Saturday, April 18th, to deputies at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.  Costido remains in custody pending a court hearing date set for April 27th at the San Bernardino County Superior Court.  According to the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station Information Officer, Tiffany Swantek, her department is providing information requesting the public’s assistance on Fridays in an on-going effort to locate wanted individuals who may be in our area.  Information can be reported to the Detective bureau or anonymously by either calling the WE TIP hotline at 800-78-CRIME or on-line at...

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Big Bear Sheriff’s Station Looking for Wanted Man

Big Bear, CA, April 3, 2015 – The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Gary Simrak. Simrak is wanted on an active felony warrant in the amount of $75,000 for possession of a controlled substance for sale, cultivation of marijuana/hashish, and maintaining a drug house. Gary Simrak is a 49-year-old White male, 6’ tall, 210 lbs., with blue eyes and a shaved head. Anyone having information on the whereabouts of Gary Simrak is requested to contact the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station’s Detective Bureau at...

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