Author: Cathy Herrick

Sterling Fire Reported in the City of San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA, June 25, 2015, 8pm – A new fire was reported at 6:30pm called the Sterling Fire now up to 60 acres in size and located east of Del Rosa in the City of San Bernardino, west of Highway 330 and west of the San Manuel Casino.  Calfire, the City of San Bernardino and the US Forest Service are responding with dozers, engines and crews.  According to fire authorities, because of the proximity of helicopters fighting the Lake Fire, quick air response is expected on the Sterling Fire.  At 8:10pm, CalTrans reported that the Sterling Fire tanker...

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Arrest Made in Homicide Fire Coverup

Big Bear Lake, CA – June 24, 2015 –   As we previously reported on April 28, 2015, at approximately 11:20 a.m., deputies of the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station responded to a report of a deceased male at a residence in the 42000 block of Willow Avenue in Big Bear Lake. A relative of the deceased called the Sheriff’s Department after finding the victim, 33-year-old George Kovacevich, dead at the location. Deputies determined Kovacevich to be the victim of a gunshot wound. John David Simmons was identified the next day as the suspect in this matter. Simmons was located and found to be suffering from a gunshot wound. Suspect Simmons was interviewed and then transported to a local area hospital for medical attention. Investigators learned that Simmons and Kovacevich met at the location to trade stolen guns. An argument ensued between Kovacevich and Simmons. Kovacevich shot the suspect Simmons. Simmons returned fire, killing Kovacevich. Simmons then took all of the stolen guns, along with the victim’s identification, and fled the scene. Several hours later, Simmons returned to the cabin where he spread a flammable liquid inside the residence and left the gas stove on in an attempt to destroy any evidence and conceal his involvement in the homicide. On June 19, 2015, the District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against suspect John Simmons for burglary, attempted arson, destruction of evidence, and possession of stolen...

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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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