San Joaquin Valley town defaults on bond

The struggling San Joaquin Valley town of Chowchilla, best known for its dairies, prisons and sensational 1976 school bus kidnapping case, has defaulted on a municipal revenue bond payment.

Chowchilla has been hard hit by plummeting home prices, a nearly 18 percent unemployment rate and a $1 million budget shortfall.

The Los Angeles Times says the city failed to make its January payment on a bond issued to renovate its City Hall. Chowchilla drew down on reserves to make a payment last summer.

Assistant City Administrator Wayne Padilla said Thursday that he will draw down on bond reserves to make the payment.

On July 15, 1976, 26 children and a school bus driver were kidnapped for ransom and buried 16 hours in a moving van in a quarry.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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