2016 Headline News Archive

September 26, 2016 
Transitional Center for Civic Center Homeless Readied for Opening

Two contracts for the operation of a round-the-clock transitional center with emergency shelter beds and enhanced services will be considered Tuesday by the Orange County Board of Supervisors for the former Santa Ana Transit Terminal, which has been renamed "The Courtyard." The plan to use the former terminal was proposed by Supervisor Andrew Do at a special Board meeting earlier this month, with a directive to open the center within 30 days providing access to showers, food programs, storage and comprehensive service referrals.


September 13, 2016 
County Approves Homeless Shelter, Armory Shelter Operator

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has selected Mercy House Living Centers Inc. to operate a new 200-bed year-round emergency shelter and multi-service center in Anaheim to serve those without permanent housing, as well as operate seasonal cold-weather shelters at National Guard armories in Fullerton and Santa Ana. The new center will be located at 1000 N. Kraemer Place and is expected to be opened late next year.


August 10, 2016 
Supervisors Settle Lawsuit Involving County Building

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has settled a lawsuit alleging unsafe conditions at a Social Services Agency building in Orange. Details of the settlement are pending court approval.


July 26, 2016 
Supervisors Honor 30-Year Promise to Dissolve Taxing Districts

Orange County supervisors formally dissolved eight special taxing districts in South Orange County on Tuesday and ordered $4.3 million in property owner tax credits, ranging from $49.84 to $3,664.01 per parcel. The districts were formed between 1986 and 1988 to cover the costs of building public facilities and improvements.


July 21, 2016 
OC Officials Celebrate Expanded Authority for Use of Mental Health Funds

The State Department of Health Care Services has issued a formal ruling that counties can use Mental Health Services Act funding to provide crisis stabilization services to clients on a voluntary or involuntary basis. The move resulted from a bipartisan legislative push by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), supported by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.


July 7, 2016 
New Board Will Oversee County’s CalOptima Health System

A new Board of Directors will meet next month to oversee CalOptima, Orange County's comprehensive health system for low-income residents, after being selected by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. CalOptima contracts with the State of California to administer the $3.3 billion health plan for nearly 800,000 people in Orange County, or nearly one in four of Orange County’s 3.1 million residents.


July 6, 2016 
Orange County Mourns Passing of Former Supervisor Marian Bergeson

County officials mourned the passing of former Supervisor Marian Bergeson, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1994 after a prestigious career in the state Legislature. Mrs. Bergeson left the Board in November 1996 after being appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to serve as California's Secretary of Education.


June 29, 2016 
Supervisors Support Whole Person Care Application

The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the County's application to the State Department of Health Care Services for a pilot program to ensure a more holistic approach to targeting the impacts of homelessness, and promoting mental and physical wellness. If Orange County is selected, a total of $23.5 million would be spent over the course of the five-year program.


June 23, 2016 
Clerk-Recorder Announces Conservation Project and Online Archives Catalog

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen is pleased to announce two exciting enhancements at the Orange County Archives: An extensive conservation project to repair, clean, de-acidify, encapsulate and re-bind property indexes from 1889-1953 and the launch of an online catalog to search Archives collections.


June 21, 2016 
10-12 Million-Year-Old Whale Fossils Discovered at County Landfill

How did ancient sperm whale fossils wind up at an elevation of 1,272 feet? That's what paleontologists explained at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill in Irvine, where a recent fossil find was unveiled with more than 20 sizable pieces, including teeth weighing at least one pound, a flipper bone and portions of jaw and skull bones from a sperm whale dating back 10-12 million years.


June 3, 2016 
County Welcomes New Chief of Human Resource Services

Brenda Diederichs, formerly with the City of Riverside, begins her new assignment today as the County's Chief Human Resources Officer. Diederichs brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience to the County. An attorney specializing in employment and labor law, she served for the past two years as Human Resources Director for the city of Riverside.


May 27, 2016 
Supervisors Approve Plan to Complete OC Bike Loop

Orange County supervisors have approved a seven-year plan to complete the 66-mile OC Loop, a recreational bikeway and trail system that will allow continuous access along the Coyote Creek-San Gabriel River Trails, the Pacific Coast Highway Corridor, the Santa Ana River Trail and the Union Pacific Right of Way Corridor.


May 25, 2016 
OC Health Care Agency’s Public Health Services Achieves National Accreditation

The County of Orange Health Care Agency's Public Health Services division has been awarded five-year national accreditation status by the Public Health Accreditation Board following a rigorous peer-review assessment process. HCA’s Public Health Services now joins a handful of health departments in California to reach this milestone, which demonstrates its capacity to meet the highest standards in providing services to Orange County residents.


May 19, 2016 
Special Workshop Set June 10 to Forecast County Finances

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will convene a special meeting on Friday, June 10, at 9 a.m. for a public workshop to discuss the County's strategic financial plan and evaluate County finances beyond the coming fiscal year. "As we look toward adopting a new Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget in June, it makes sense to discuss some additional forecasting so we have a better sense of what longer-range resources will be available," Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said.


May 9, 2016 
Orange County Unveils FY 2016-17 Recommended Budget

Orange County's Fiscal Year 2016-17 Recommended Budget has been released for review by the Board of Supervisors and the public. Budget hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14, and if needed on Wednesday, June 15, at the Hall of Administration Board Hearing Room, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. The final budget vote is scheduled for June 28, 2016.


April 26, 2016 
Trash Importation Approvals Assure Final Debt Repayment

Unanimous city approvals of agreements to allow continued acceptance of out-of-county trash through 2025 at local landfills will provide the revenue needed to fully repay the remaining creditors from the County's 1994 bankruptcy. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the pact on Tuesday.


April 12, 2016 
Design-Builder, Land Swap Approved for New OC Animal Shelter

The Board of Supervisors selected a designer-builder and took other actions Tuesday to fast-track construction beginning in July on a new $35 million Orange County Animal Shelter to be built on 10 acres of land at the former Tustin Marine base.


April 1, 2016 
Waste Not OC Named Model National Public Health Practice

Waste Not OC, a coalition working to combat food insecurity in Orange County, has been selected as a model public health practice by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The Orange County Health Care Agency’s Public Health Officer lead the creation of this public-private coalition of food banks, health care representatives, restaurants, food distributors, and community leaders with the goal of eliminating hunger and reducing food waste by facilitating surplus food donations.


March 29, 2016 
Landfill Project Brings Green Energy to Orange County

Orange County 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer joined today with government, business and project development officials to officially open the Bowerman Power Project renewable energy facility. The landfill gas-to-electricity plant at the Frank R. Bowerman landfill east of Irvine will power thousands of local homes and businesses, and provide other environmental and economic benefits.


March 16, 2016 
Request for Qualifications Issued for Harbor Revitalization

The County of Orange has formally issued a request for real-estate development companies and/or teams to provide Statements of Qualification detailing their ability and interest in forming a partnership with the County to revitalize Dana Point Harbor.


March 15, 2016 
County Prevails in Court Appeal over Use of Fire Funds

A plan by the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) to allow revenues received for fire protection to be used for any purpose has been struck down by the state Court of Appeal, which upheld a County challenge to the proposal.


March 1, 2016 
County of Orange Selected to Attend National “Stepping Up” Summit

The County of Orange has been selected following a highly competitive process to participate in the National "Stepping Up" Summit aimed at reducing the prevalence of individuals with mental illnesses in jail, to be held in April in Washington DC.


February 17, 2016 
Supervisors Will Discuss Potential for New 20-Year Civic Center Master Plan

An ambitious 20-year master plan that proposes to revamp and reorganize County government services within the Orange County Civic Center in Santa Ana will be presented for review on Tuesday, February 23, during a special study session before the Board of Supervisors.


February 5, 2016 
Clerk-Recorder to Offer Valentine's Day Marriage Ceremonies

For those looking to tie the knot on Valentine's Day, look no further. To accommodate couples, Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen will be opening the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana on this Valentine’s Day from 9 am to 2 pm to perform marriage ceremonies only, even though the special day falls on a Sunday.


February 3, 2016 
Comprehensive Financial Accounting Report (CAFR) and OC Citizens’ Report Released

The Orange County Auditor-Controller released the Comprehensive Financial Accounting Report (CAFR) for fiscal year 2014-15 and the OC Citizens' report, a companion piece written in non-technical language. According to Auditor-Controller Eric H. Woolery, "Orange County had a good fiscal year 2014-15, revenues were up, expenses were down, but the talk of the town is the new line item on the financial statements, the Net Pension Liability or NPL."


January 31, 2016 
Santa Ana Transit Terminal Open to Homeless During Storm

Eighty homeless individuals were housed Saturday evening at the Santa Ana Transit Terminal during Saturday evening rains, the first activation of the temporary shelter since its use was approved Friday by the Board of Supervisors.


January 30, 2016 
Board of Supervisors Praises Capture of All Three OC Jail Escapees

Representatives of the Orange County Board of Supervisors joined Sheriff Sandra Hutchens today as the Sheriff's Department announced the capture of escaped inmates Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu by the San Francisco Police Department. With these arrests, all three inmates that escaped from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana are now in custody.


January 29, 2016 
Supervisors Approve Temporary Shelter for Homeless during Rains

A plan to provide emergency shelter beds for the homeless during El Niño rainstorms at the unused Santa Ana Transit Terminal was approved Friday by the Board of Supervisors in a special meeting held so the beds could be prepared before expected weekend rain.


January 27, 2016 
County of Orange Reports First Influenza-Related Death

The County of Orange Health Care Agency has confirmed Orange County's first influenza-related death in a person under 65 this season. The Public Health laboratory confirmed that the 50 year-old male, who was a resident of Westminster, was infected with influenza B virus.


January 27, 2016 
Federal Officials Approve Use of Transit Hub to Shelter Homeless

A plan to shelter the homeless during El Niño rainstorms at the unused Santa Ana Transit Terminal in the Orange County Civic Center has been approved on an interim basis through June by the Federal Transit Administration. The approval was delivered by letter today, two days after the Orange County Transportation Authority made the request on behalf of the County. The County opened escrow last month to buy the property from OCTA; a proposed lease for the interim use was sent last week to OCTA and required federal approval.


January 26, 2016 
Supervisors Increase Reward for Information on Jail Escapees

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved increasing the reward for information leading to the apprehension of three escaped inmates from the Orange County Men's Central Jail to a total of $200,000. Board members unanimously approved adding up to $50,000 each for information leading to the capture of inmates Hossein Nayeri, 37; Jonathan Tieu, 20; and Bac Duong, 43, who escaped from the jail sometime on Friday, January 22, 2016.


January 25, 2016 
New Property Owner? Check Online to See if You Owe Taxes

Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari L. Freidenrich encourages all new property owners to visit ocgov.com/octaxbill to take advantage of multiple online resources to ensure that all secured property taxes have been paid. Don't be in doubt—check online! It’s quick and simple.


January 22, 2016 
County Seeks Restitution from Former Employee Sentenced for Crimes

The County of Orange formally asked a judge Friday to order former employee Carlos Bustamante to pay restitution as part of his sentencing for multiple crimes committed while he was an employee.


January 14, 2016 
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett Elected 2016 Board Chairwoman

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, has been chosen unanimously by her colleagues to serve as chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors for 2016. She was the Board's vice chair in 2015. Supervisor Michelle Steel, Second District, will serve as the Board's new vice chair for 2016.


January 12, 2016 
New Online Services Available for Property Taxpayers

Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari L. Freidenrich encourages all property taxpayers to visit ocgov.com/octaxbill to take advantage of multiple resources for current or previous owners of real property, boats, aircraft, or business property and equipment. The online information identifies property tax balances and provides copies of tax bills, a link to a GIS map, information on Mello-Roos assessments, penalty cancellation request forms, change of address forms and other services.


January 12, 2016 
Supervisors Applaud Mutual Aid for San Bernardino County

Orange County supervisors thanked Health Care Agency employees Tuesday for providing assistance to County of San Bernardino colleagues in the aftermath of the December 2, 2015, mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 dead and 22 wounded. Nineteen County of Orange behavioral health professionals provided crisis counseling and training services between December 15 and 17.


January 8, 2016 
Court Extends Deadline to Apply to Serve on the Next Grand Jury

Hon. Charles Margines, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, has extended the deadline to apply to be on the next Grand Jury to January 29, 2016. Judge Margines said, "The Court empanels a new 19-member Grand Jury each year to serve a one-year term that begins July 1. We are hopeful that by extending the application deadline, additional qualified individuals will apply, especially residents from the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, Santa Ana and Westminster."


January 7, 2016 
County's Emergency Operations Center Deactivated

As of 8 a.m., the County of Orange has deactivated the Orange County Emergency Operations Center following support of the series of winter storm events. All resources and support personnel have been identified and are on standby ready to mobilize all areas of the Emergency Operation Center if a reactivation is needed.

Residents are urged to monitor local media for the most up-to-date information, as well as follow @OrangeCountyEOC and @OCSD on Twitter.


January 6, 2016 
Voluntary Evacuations Lifted in Silverado Canyon While Flash Flood Watch Continues Through Thursday

The Orange County Emergency Operations Center will lift voluntary evacuations at 8 p.m. tonight for Silverado Canyon homes east of 30311 Silverado Canyon Road due to lighter rainfall forecasted overnight. A Flash Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service earlier today is still in effect until Thursday. The County Emergency Operations Center will transition to Level 1 status at 8 p.m. tonight and is anticipated to remain at Level 1 status through Thursday afternoon.


February 26, 2016 
Demand for Passport Services at Clerk-Recorder Department Continues to Surge

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department experienced a 128% increase in the number of passport applications accepted by the department’s passport units between calendar years 2013 and 2015. In 2013, the department accepted 2,807 passport applications, 3,085 passport applications in 2014 and 6,391 passport applications in 2015.


February 29, 2016 
Orange County Public Works Receives Multiple Awards

Four Orange County Public Works (OCPW) infrastructure projects were honored as industry-best projects in 2015 by the Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at the organization's annual awards celebration on February 18. OCPW’s Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance was also selected among many to receive the Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector award.


March 10, 2016 
First Zika Case Confirmed in Orange County Resident

Testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that an Orange County resident has tested positive for Zika virus. The individual, a Costa Mesa resident, is a male in his 40s who contracted the virus in late January during travel to Central America and presented symptoms in early February. He was not seriously ill and has recovered. The Health Care Agency has contacted the individual to provide counseling to prevent transmission.


April 12, 2016 
3,600 Orange County Food Establishments Receive Awards of Excellence

The County of Orange Health Care Agency (HCA) has issued the 2016 Award of Excellence to 3,630 Orange County food facilities to recognize local businesses for their outstanding food safety and sanitation practices during 2015.


April 27, 2016 
Orange County Clerk-Recorder to Automate Indexing and Redaction Process of Real Property Recordings

Today, Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen took the first step towards implementing software that will automatically index and redact real property documents submitted for recording to his offices. This will make real property records available to the public for review one day after being submitted and recorded.


April 27, 2016 
Clerk-Recorder Expedites Availability of Birth and Death Certificates to the Public

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen would like to announce that his office can now offer certified copies of birth and death certificates to the public 30 days after the life event. Certificates needed within the first 30 days of an event can be obtained from the Health Care Agency.


May 13, 2016 
County Targets Fraud in Workers’ Compensation Claims

A 10-year County employee pleaded guilty today to four misdemeanor counts of insurance fraud and paid restitution of $30,271.80 in full today. He has been placed on three years of informal probation; required to complete 100 hours of community service and pay $100 to the Worker's Compensation Fraud Assessment Fund as well as the statutory fees.


June 10, 2016 
County Efforts Continue to Target Worker’s Compensation Fraud

An ongoing effort by the County of Orange to target suspected instances of worker's compensation fraud resulted in the arrest this week of a man who claimed to have been disabled after an on-the-job vehicle accident.


June 28, 2016 
County Wins 10 NACo Achievement Awards

Ten County of Orange programs earned 2016 Achievement Awards by the National Association of Counties (NACo). "We are proud of our employees who strive to think with foresight, innovation and vision when creating solution-oriented County programs for delivering excellent quality services to Orange County residents," said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.


July 29, 2016 
County Celebrates Groundbreaking for New OC Animal Shelter

Representatives from the County, Orange County cities and animal support groups gathered to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a new Orange County Animal Shelter in Tustin, an innovative facility that will replace the current shelter in Orange, which opened in 1941.


August 3, 2016 
County Invites Public to Celebrate the New La Pata Avenue Connecting South Orange County Communities

To celebrate the largest roadway project in its history, the County of Orange invites the public to a historic ribbon cutting event on Saturday, August 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the La Pata Connector Project, the new 2.27-mile, four-lane roadway extension that will provide a direct connection between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and other neighboring communities.


August 3, 2016 
Orange County Reports First Human West Nile Virus Case of 2016

An Anaheim female in her 60s has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming the first human WNV infection in Orange County this year. The woman was admitted to the hospital in July with symptoms of West Nile Virus, and is still in serious condition.


August 16, 2016 
Health Care Agency Hosts Meningococcal Vaccination Pop-Up Clinics

The Health Care Agency (HCA) is continuing to provide free meningococcal vaccinations to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in Orange County venues serving that community. MSM have been disproportionately affected by the current outbreak impacting Southern California.


August 23, 2016 
Unsecured Property Tax Payment Deadline is August 31

Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich reminds those with unsecured property taxes due for Fiscal Year 2016-17 relating to business property, leased equipment, boats and aircraft to submit payment by Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, to avoid late charges.


August 23, 2016 
Tata Pays $26 Million to Settle Lawsuit over Failed Software

Global software vendor Tata Consultancy Services and its U.S. affiliate have paid the County $26 million to settle litigation over a failed replacement to the County's automated property tax system that initially was to have been completed in 2010 but was never delivered.


July 12, 2016 
New Public Defender Sharon Petrosino Earns Final Board Approval

The Orange County Board of Supervisors made official its selection of Sharon Petrosino as Orange County's new Public Defender. "We are pleased to welcome Sharon in her new and essential role as a part of Orange County's criminal justice system," Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said. “Sharon has shown true commitment and resolve on behalf of her clients and all of the residents of Orange County.”