News Briefs


Search called off for phantom hang glider

January crime stats up in Malibu

Crime statistics in Malibu were higher in January 2012 than they were last year and in 2007, according to crime statistics released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The statistics cover Part I crimes, which include violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery and assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny theft, grand theft auto and arson).

In Malibu, there were 22 such crimes reported during the month of January. Last January, 21 Part I crimes were reported and 18 were reported in 2007.

While the increase in statistics in most crime categories was marginal, the rise in burglaries was significant. There were three burglaries in Malibu during the first month of ‘07, five last January and 10 last month.

Crime statistics decreased in most of the other towns in the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station jurisdiction. To see the statistics in full, visit

Malibu terrier competes in Westminster Dog Show

A wire fox terrier named Eira owned by local breeder Torie Steele competed this week in the 136th Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Eira, known as “Grand Champion Steele Your Heart” on the competition circuit, was named Best in Show at the 2011 National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day in Philadelphia. Winning the Westminster show would make her the third dog to win the canine double-crown, earned by winning the National Dog Show and Westminster.

The terrier competition was set to take place Tuesday evening. As of press time, the results of the competition were not known.

Last Busch Drive meeting Feb. 22

City of Malibu public works officials will meet with the community for a fourth time on Feb. 22 to discuss public encroachment removals along Busch Drive. The meeting will take place at the Malibu High School library at 7 p.m.

On Nov. 22, 2010, the City Council directed public works staff to create a design showing an eight-foot clearance from the edge of travel ways along Busch Drive and then host neighborhood community meetings to determine potential neighborhood concerns and support.

For more information, contact Public Works director Bob Brager at 310.456.2489 x247

City seeks proposals for hotel report

The City of Malibu’s Planning Department is reviewing an application for the Rancho Malibu Hotel Project, which proposes the construction of a 146-room luxury hotel on the vacant land at the northeast corner of Malibu Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway, according to the city.

On Feb. 3, a Request for Proposals was released to seek qualified environmental consulting firms to prepare an Environmental Impact Report Supplement for the proposed luxury hotel project.

The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 24 at 4 p.m.

To see the project plans and description and the Request for Proposals, visit

Questions about the project can also be directed to senior planner Stephanie Danner at 310.456.2489 x276.

Deputy settles lawsuit over Mel Gibson DUI

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy James Mee, who filed a workplace discrimination suit in connection with his DUI arrest of actor Mel Gibson, reached a settlement with lawyers for Los Angeles County Tuesday, according to City News Service. The trial was expected to begin the same day.

Lawyer Christopher Keosian, who was representing the county, confirmed that a settlement had been reached, but did not divulge the terms of the agreement.

Mee arrested Gibson for drunk driving in July 2006 in Malibu. During the arrest, Gibson made a number of anti-Semitic comments and slurs. The actor later apologized, blaming his behavior on alcoholism.

Mee, who is Jewish, included Gibson’s remarks in his arrest report. He alleged he was later told to remove the comments by his superiors and place them in a separate report, giving Gibson preferential treatment.

Mee says he was subjected to repeated disciplinary action after the incident and overlooked for six or seven other positions, including that of motorcycle deputy. The deputy sued the county in response to the treatment he alleges he received. He filed his workplace discrimination suit in September 2010.

Lawyers for the county attempted to have the case dismissed in January, but Scheper ruled the workplace discrimination suit could go to trial, which was scheduled to start Feb. 14.

Country star’s new sitcom set in “materialistic” Malibu

According to multiple entertainment sources, ABC has picked up a comedy pilot starring country singer and actress Reba McEntire titled “Malibu Country.” The half-hour, multicamera sitcom will be produced by “Reba” executive producer Kevin Abbott, who is also writing the project. McEntire will also executive produce the pilot.

The show focuses on McEntire’s character, who divorces her rock star husband after he cheats on her, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She then moves her family from Nashville to Malibu to start a new life. Once in Malibu, McEntire’s character attempts to revive her singing career and keep her kids “from being corrupted by the materialistic and rarified Malibu world.”

McEntire’s website states the show is scheduled to begin filming in April and is expected to hit the small screen in August.