Compiled by Gary Walker and Joe Piasecki

Beachgoer struck  by county work truck

A 49-year-old woman was hospitalized in serious condition after she was struck by a Los Angeles County Dept. of Beaches and Harbors maintenance vehicle on May 14.

According to Beaches and Harbors officials, the driver was a veteran employee of the department’s beach maintenance division who had gone to investigate several large pieces of debris that had accumulated near the shoreline at the Via Marina Peninsula.

The Nissan Xterra SUV that the county employee was driving struck the woman, who was lying face down in the sand, at about 10:30 a.m. as he was leaving the shore.

Officials said the victim was alert and oriented after the incident, which remains under review.

The driver “will not be handling beach driving duties until further notice,” said Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman Carol Baker.

Los Angeles police officers interviewed the driver for several hours before releasing him, Baker said.

Lifeguards from the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division and Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics also responded to the scene.

School wins state accolades

Playa del Rey Elementary School has been named a California Distinguished School for 2014, officials announced last Thursday.

Playa del Rey Elementary is one of 22 Los Angeles Unified School District schools to receive the state award for significantly improving standardized test scores for two consecutive years.

It is also one of only 10 LAUSD schools to receive a 2013-2014 Title 1 Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes schools where low-income students have repeatedly posted significant test score gains.

“This award is a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work and vision of Playa del Rey’s school community,” said Playa del Rey Elementary School Principal Valencia Blue.

The school has planned a campus celebration at 2 p.m. Friday.

McKeown takes new role on Westside Cities COG

Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown has been elected secretary of the Westside Cities Council of Governments, a multi-jurisdictional body addressing regional issues such as traffic, social services and sustainability.

The council includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Culver City, and parts of the city of Los Angeles and unincorporated Los Angeles County.

“This is an exciting time to join the COG officers, when Santa Monica is taking the lead on regional bike-sharing — something I’ve long supported,” said McKeown.  “Mobility and traffic are our chief challenges on the Westside, and I look forward to continued multi-city cooperation on transit, traffic management, and responsible, sustainable land use.”

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