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Quick hits: Lady Bug fire suspect pleads guilty

December 09, 2010

Babatsunian Olunkunle, arrested last October in connection with the small August 2009 Lady Bug brushfire in the Angeles National Forest, pleaded guilty in Pasadena Superior Court last week to one felony charge of recklessly causing a fire to forest land and on Friday was sentenced to two years in prison.

But with credit for time served and good behavior, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Atty. Sean Carney, the 26-year-old native of Nigeria was released from county jail on three years' parole and into a transitional living program.

Forest officials traveling on the Angeles Crest Highway just days before the Station fire broke out noticed smoke rising above the trees and extinguished a small fire about 100 feet from the road. Olunkunle fled the scene, leaving behind a bag of rice and a coffee can filled with water, according to Carney.

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Olunkunle's mother, Taiwo Olunkunle, has said her son began living in the forest after experiencing unspecified personal problems.

Skate park unveils 'chill' new half-pipe

The La Cañada Flintridge Skate Park will celebrate a grand re-opening Tuesday for the official unveiling of a new 20-foot half-pipe.

The Cornishon Avenue haven for local skateboarders first opened in July 2001, but since that time has undergone more permanent improvements.

The new steel half-pipe replaces a 16-foot wooden version and is a definite improvement, according to a handful of local boarders passing through the Valley Sun parking lot.

"It's chill because it's bigger and it's metal, so it's smoother and you get more speed off of it," said Jonathan Barton, a seventh-grader at La Cañada High School.

That means the new half-pipe, said classmate Desi Perez, "is easier to do tricks on."

For all of its benefits, a boarder can't live on skate parks alone but must also roam sidewalks and parking lots to discover naturally occurring obstacles — or so says frequent park user Troy Austin, also in the seventh grade, but at Rosemont Middle School in La Crescenta.

He said the park's smooth concrete surfaces and steel ramps are almost "too perfect" to use all the time.

Mayor Donald Voss will lead a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the park, located at 4490 Cornishon Avenue.

Skaters must sign a liability waiver and wear kneepads, elbow pads and helmets before enjoying the park.

For more information, call (818) 790-8880.

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