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Top Ten Stories of the 1990s

December 30, 1999

Investigators said Famalaro had duped Huber into coming along with him

after her car blew a tire. Authorities said Famalaro sodomized her and

bludgeoned her to death with a set of tools in his Laguna Hills

warehouse.

It took another three years for Famalaro's trial. Though the defendant

came from a household where he reportedly led a loveless childhood, it

couldn't outweigh the brutality of the crime. A jury found Famalaro

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guilty and recommended the death penalty in June 1997. A judge later

upheld that decision and Famalaro currently sits on Death Row.

Through it all, the parents of Denise Huber -- Dennis and Ione Huber

-- remained strong. A book was written about the crime called "Cold

Storage." It is still difficult to find on Orange County bookshelves.

10. 55 FREEWAY EXTENSION. After 20-plus years of debating what and where

the Costa Mesa Freeway should be, its final extension was approved, built

and finally opened in 1992.

The 2.3-mile extension ran from the Orange County Fairgrounds to its

final end point today on 19th Street but not before enduring its share of

controversy.

Back in the 1970s, Caltrans envisioned the freeway would run to the

Pacific Ocean, linking up with Pacific Coast Highway. Staunch opponents,

mostly Newport Beach residents, convinced the state agency to rethink its

plans.

In 1989, the plans were approved to have the freeway extended,

replacing the vast ditch that was there previously. The ditch was a

storage area for construction companies and turned into a muddy lake when

it rained heavily.

For $50 million, business along Newport Boulevard suffered during the

construction while downtown merchants eagerly awaited the profits to

start motoring in.

The freeway was opened in phases with its final part in June 1992.

Although the freeway has a final destination, it isn't uncommon to have a

logjam of traffic on the weekends or during rush hour.SL -- Compiled by

S.J. Cahn, Tony Dodero, Rich Dunn, Jenifer Ragland and Noaki Schwartz

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