IKEA OPENS AT HOME RANCH
Little tiny Allen wrenches capable of constructing an entire
kitchen will abound as the new Costa Mesa Ikea will open its doors
for business this spring.
The Costa Mesa Ikea is proposed to be much larger than its
Southern California counterparts and will boast three eateries,
professional design consultants, three life-sized home models and a
supervised children's play center, which includes a learning center.
Depending on whom you talk to, the Ikea portion of the Home Ranch
project proposal will bring in one of two things: a big-box retailer
with lots of traffic or a responsible corporation that's a good
neighbor. Regardless of the actual outcome, the Swedish are coming.
TRIAL BEGINS FOR FORMER NEWPORT EMPLOYEE
Trenton Veches, the former Newport Beach recreation coordinator
accused of sucking young boys' toes, is expected to face jury trial
in March. Veches, 32, faces 28 criminal felony charges of indulging
in lewd contact with minors and one misdemeanor count of possessing
child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts. Also,
three parents of boys said to have been molested by Veches have filed
a civil lawsuit against the city seeking damages for alleged
negligence in hiring Veches. That case will likely be heard this year
as well. Veches faces multiple life terms if convicted.
TRIAL STARTS FOR SUBSTITUTE TEACHER
A 35-year-old substitute teacher accused of sexually assaulting
several female students -- at least one of them a Newport-Mesa
student -- is expected to get a jury trial later this year.
The Huntington Beach resident faces 17 felony counts of sexual
assault and one count of witness intimidation. He was first arrested
Sept. 13 after a therapist who treated one of the victims told police
about it. Haluch posted $250,000 bail the same day.
A second warrant on four fresh charges led to another arrest on
Sept. 30. Haluch is now in Orange County Jail. He has pleaded not
guilty to all charges.
TRIAL BEGINS FOR ASSISTANT SHERIFF'S SON AND FRIENDS
Yet another trial to expect this year is the case of three teenage