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Granite Hills unveils new Visual and Performing Arts Academy

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APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (news release) – Granite Hills High School unveiled the new G.R.E.A.T. (Granite Recording and Entertainment Arts Training) Academy, Apple Valley Unified School District’s first official visual and performing arts career pathway, at the regular Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 18. The new CTE/AME pathway was presented by Chuck McCall, Granite Hills High School Principal, to the Board and a standing-room-only crowd of GHHS students and teachers.

The G.R.E.A.T. Academy will combine Granite Hills’ thriving visual and performing arts programs with career and technical training in the performing and recording industry. Components will include dance, drama, instrumental music, vocal music, stagecraft and production.

Videos were shown to the Board to showcase student testimonials and to demonstrate Granite Hills’ newly purchased industry standard recording equipment, as well as music written and recorded by GHHS students. Student testimonials were given by students looking to study music at UC Berkeley, students interested in writing music, beat artists and others hoping to work in the entertainment industry. Students thanked the Board for their support in turning the plans for this academy into a reality.

Staff at Granite Hills have been working for four years to design this CTE academy around industry standards in order to best prepare students for future education and work in this field.

In developing the program, GHHS has worked with industry advisors including a broadway performer, local performers, local businesses in the arts and entertainment field, and representatives from the Southern California arts and entertainment industry. McCall also explained that the visual and performing arts teachers involved in the Academy have gone back to school to get their Career Technical Education Credentials.

(Photo courtesy Apple Valley Unified School District)

“Teachers are stepping outside of the box and changing the way they deliver instruction allowing students to take charge of their education and to flourish. The G.R.E.A.T. Academy is a shining example of this new innovative thinking,” said McCall. “The academy will allow our students to reach creative levels that were not possible in the past. I am so proud of our staff and am excited for the students who will take part in shaping the G.R.E.A.T. Academy.”

Granite Hills High School is now accepting registration for the new pathway. If you are interested in the Recording and Entertainment Arts field or would like more information about the G.R.E.A.T. Academy, please contact Granite Hills High School at 760-961-2290.

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Swim coach, 31, arrested after missing Apple Valley teen was found hiding in his bedroom

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Detectives locate the missing teen from Apple Valley and arrest 31-year-old John Casillas for concealment of a child from a parent

The suspect is employed as a swim instructor at several different swimming academies.

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Authorities searching for a missing 16-year-old girl found her hiding two weeks later in the bedroom of her 31-year-old former swim coach, officials said.

Detectives at the Apple Valley Station have been investigating a missing teenager since July 22, 2020. During the past two weeks, detectives followed up on several leads and authored several search warrants to locate evidence and determine the whereabouts of the missing teen, officials said.

Authorities discovered the 16-year-old victim had been communicating with John Casillas, her former swim coach.

According to a news release, On Wednesday, August 5th detectives served a search warrant at John’s home in the 1200 block of West 31st Street in San Bernardino and found the victim hiding in John’s bedroom. John’s father, 62-year-old Alfonso Casillas, was also at the residence.

“At the same time, detectives contacted and detained John at a local country club where he taught swim lessons. John and Alfonso were transported to Sheriff’s Headquarters for further investigation,” stated the release. “Apple Valley and Crimes Against Children Detectives determined that John was aware of the victim’s age and the ongoing search for her. Additionally, Alfonso knew the victim was a juvenile and did not alert law enforcement.”

Authorities said John was arrested and booked at West Valley Detention Center for PC278, Concealment of a Child from Legal Guardian/Parent with bail set at $50,000. On Thursday, August 6th at 5:45 a.m. John posted bail and was released from custody.

Regarding criminal charges against Alfonso, detectives will submit the investigation to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Sheriff’s officials said John is employed as a swim instructor at several different swimming academies and has contact with many juveniles in the course of his employment.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Gus Garcia, Apple Valley Station at (760)240-7400. Callers can remain anonymous and contact WeTip at 800-78CRIME or www.wetip.com.

(John Casillas booking photo courtesy of Apple Valley Police Department)
Photo courtesy of Apple Valley Police Department

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Apple Valley man, 21, arrested for Elder Abuse after pushing relative to the ground

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APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A 21-year-old male on parole is facing new charges of Elder Abuse after allegedly pushing his 71-year-old relative to the ground and causing injuries, officials said.

On Sunday, August 2, 2020, at about 3:00 PM deputies from the Apple Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the 11800 block of Chimayo Road reference a battery report.

When deputies arrived they found the female victim with several lacerations to her arm after she was thrown to the ground by the suspect identified as Justin Patrick Flores.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jackie Alban said the victim was looking for her vehicle keys when she noticed Flores had them. “She asked him for her car keys but Flores refused, pushing her to the ground two times. The victim hit her head on the rocks and sustained several lacerations to the arms, stated Alban.

Flores was arrested for PC368(B)(1) Elder Abuse, PC148(A)(1) Obstructing a Peace Officer, PC415(2) Unreasonable Noise, and PC3056 Violation of Parole, a felony.

According to public court documents, in 2020 Justin has 6 open criminal cases against him both in Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga. In 2019, he had 7 charges in several counties.

Flores is currently being held without bail and is scheduled for arraignment in a Victorville courtroom on August 11, 2020.

(A view of the last 25 criminal related cases located in San Bernardino Count for Justin Flores)

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Apple Valley News

Town of Apple Valley offers day camp, reopens fields for youth sports

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APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (August 5, 2020) — The Town of Apple Valley has reopened some recreation programs, including Distance-Learning Day Camp and the use of its parks and ballfields for youth sports trainings and practices. The change comes as a result of revised industry guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health announcement on August 3.

“The Town’s Distance-Learning Day Camp will allow us to serve Apple Valley parents and guardians who need additional support and a safe environment for their children during the workday,” said Parks and Recreation Manager David Coleman.

Day Camp was developed in accordance with all state and county public health regulations. Camp capacity has been reduced to ensure safe physical distancing and staff members have been trained on proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures, which will be conducted throughout the day. 

In addition to fun games and activities, Town recreation staff will support children as they work on their school-assigned curriculum. Town staff do not provide tutoring services and are not intended to replace a child’s primary educational instructor. Day Camp will be offered as long as possible or until in-person school resumes.

Youth sports clubs and programs will also be allowed to resume use of the Town’s parks and ballfields. Per state guidelines, physical distancing of at least six feet is required and outdoor activities are strongly encouraged. Face coverings must be worn at all times unless the activity is conducted outdoors and players are properly following social distancing guidelines.

Games, tournaments and competitions are not allowed at this time as they encourage crowds.

“Although we won’t see any official games being held just yet, we are excited to once again share Apple Valley’s parks and fields with our youth leagues,” said Coleman.

California’s guidance on youth sports can be found at covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance

For information on the Town’s available programs visit avrecreation.org or call (760) 240-7880.

(source: Town of Apple Valley news release)

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