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Five things to know this Thursday morning:
1.) A press conference was held yesterday to officially announce Downey as a host city for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. As a host city, Downey will provide meals, accommodations, and training facilities for approximately 100 Special Olympic athletes next summer.
“We are honored and excited to be part of the Host Town program for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Fernando Vasquez. “As an official Host Town, Downey is thrilled to welcome these amazing athletes to our city and we look forward to sharing all of the wonderful things that make our community so special.”
Several local organizations and community members will be partnering up with the city to welcome the Special Olympics athletes. Some of the confirmed community organizations include Coca-Cola, Kaiser Permanente, Downey Chamber of Commerce, Downey Family YMCA, Kiwanis and numerous Soroptimist groups.
“The Host Town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches from around the world our hospitality and our culture,” said Patrick McClenahan, president and chief executive officer of LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee. “This is an important part of the World Games experience and a truly meaningful way for different communities to be part of the Games and create lasting memories for our visiting athletes.”
2.) Councilman Mario Guerra has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Register in his bid for state senate.
“While Mr. [Tony] Mendoza argues that he knows how to make his way through Sacramento, we are not of the belief that familiarity with a broken system is necessarily a good thing,” the newspaper editorializes. “Given how ineffective and monotonous Sacramento has long been, sending back an experienced Sacramento politician probably isn’t the way to reform the status quo.“With his experience in local government, commitment to changing the culture in state government and a clear vision for how California can change direction, we believe Mario Guerra is the best candidate in the 32nd Senate District election.” Register
3.) Downey Police announced they will conduct a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Downey on Friday, Aug. 29, starting at 8 p.m.
4.) Mayor Fernando Vasquez completed the ALS ice bucket challenge after accepting a challenge from Norwalk mayor Marcel Rodarte. After taking the dousing at the Rives Mansion, Vasquez challenged his city council colleagues and other community leaders. Photos
5.) Wilbert G. Lidtke, a longtime Downey resident who earned a Purple Heart for his service in the Pacific Theater during World War II, died Sunday, his family announced. He was 91.
Lidtke earned a B. S. in Chemical Engineering from Lawrence Institute of Technology and in 1950 his company afforded him the opportunity to move his family to Los Angeles to work in the fledgling field of electroplating. During his 38 years of employment he shared his expertise throughout the western U. S., teaching and troubleshooting.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Aug. 28, at Messiah Lutheran Church, where he served in leadership roles for more than 55 years. A full obituary will appear in this week’s paper.