New water cuts coming for Southwest as Colorado River falls into Tier 2 shortage

(CNN) — An extraordinary drought in the West is drying up the Colorado River and draining the nation’s largest reservoirs — Lake Mead and Lake Powell. And amid the overuse of the river and the aridification of the region, the federal government is implementing new mandatory water cuts and asking states to devise a plan to save the river basin. The federal government announced Tuesday the Colorado River will operate in a Tier 2 shortage condition for the first time starting in January as the West’s historic drought has taken a severe toll on Lake Mead. According to a new projection from the Department of the Interior, Lake Mead’s water level will be below 1,050 feet above sea level come January — the threshold required to declare a Tier 2 shortage starting in 2023. The Tier 2 shortage means Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will have to further reduce their Colorado River use beginning in January. California will not yet have cuts made to the water they receive from the Colorado River. **This image is for use with this specific articleonly** Boaters cross the Arizona-California bor…Luis

Two Men Arrested for Allegedly Stealing About 470 Gallons of Diesel Fuel

(CNS) – Two men were behind bars Tuesday for allegedly stealing diesel fuel from the Mecca Travel Center. Pablo Jose Huertas, 25, and Eliseo Laglera, 20, were arrested Monday evening on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Pablo Jose Huertas, 25, and Eliseo Laglera, 20, Huertas, of Los Angeles, was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, and Laglera, of Huntington Park, was booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center. They were both held on $250,000 bail. Deputies responded to a report of diesel fuel being stolen at around 4:30 p.m. Monday when they allegedly found Huertas and Laglera pumping diesel fuel into a storage tank, according to authorities. The two suspects allegedly pumped around 470 gallons of fuel, worth over $2,700, without paying by manipulating the fuel pump mechanism, authorities said. Authorities said the suspects are part of a larger theft ring and ask that anyone with information about the crimes contact Deputy Pasch or Deputy Zazueta with the Thermal Sheriff’s Station at 760-863-8990. Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

Desert Rental Costs Stay High as Inflation Eases

Inflation is easing but rental prices in the desert are not. “I think people feel this sense of like, ‘I’ve done something wrong,’” CEO and Founder of Lift to Rise, Heather Vaikona, shared. “‘I haven’t worked hard enough or I didn’t make good enough decisions.’ You can’t gain a market that’s working like this.” According to the 2020 census, the median household income for Palm Springs was about $58,000 with only slight adjustments over the past couple of years. But according to Zillow, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Palm Springs now is nearly $1,900, up nearly $300 during the same period.  That means people who make the median household income spend over a third of their paycheck on rent and are then considered to be under housing cost burden. In general, this means people are struggling to pay their rent. “For folks who live here and work year round, the cost of housing is still high, and it’s still increasing,” Vaikona continued. “We still have a crisis deficit supply. So there’s just not enough housing, period. Particularly, not enough housing for

Riverside County Reports 9 More Monkeypox Cases; Total Now at 87

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County reported nine more confirmed or probable monkeypox cases Monday, raising the overall number to 87. Jose Arballo, a spokesman for Riverside University Health System, said all the new cases were men, with three in Western Riverside County and six from the Coachella Valley. Last Monday, Arballo reported the total probable/confirmed cases stood at 59. There were 34 probable/confirmed cases the previous Thursday. Two cases originally reported in Riverside County have since been assigned to San Bernardino County. Riverside County Public Health Officer Geoffrey Leung signed a public health emergency proclamation last week in an effort to focus attention on the virus, according to a statement from Riverside University Public Health. “We have seen the devastating physical effects of monkeypox on those who have been infected, as well as the emotional toll on partners, family and loved ones,” Leung said in a statement. “Now is the time for Public Health, our community partners and local leadership to reinforce our commitment to work together to slow and eventually stop the spread of this virus.” Today, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors ratified

Palm Springs Tramway Reopens After Flood Forces Week Closure

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway reopened today after flooding caused by rain forced its closure the past week. “Our staff has worked tirelessly the past six days to clean up from the August 8 storm event. All systems have been tested and several tons of rock and sand deposited by the flood have been cleared,” Tramway General Manager Nancy Nichols said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back and appreciate their understanding during this closure period.” Tramway spokesman Greg Purdy told City News Service that the tramway closed last Monday at 4:30 p.m., affecting 234 customers. “We weren’t able to let them down the road until the mud flow subsided,” Purdy told CNS. Customers were able to go down the tram and exit through the road by 6:20 p.m. the same day. The tramway remained closed through the week and ticket agents called customers with advanced tickets during the closure to issue refunds or tickets for a later date. The tramway resumed its regular operations on Monday at 10 a.m., but ticket sales were not immediately available

Fatal Crash Involving Motorcycle Reported In Palm Desert Area

PALM DESERT (CNS) – A fatal crash involving a motorcycle occurred today in the Palm Desert area. The crash was reported shortly after 8 a.m. at Washington Street and Tucson Circle, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. VEHICLE VS MOTORCYCLE – 8:08AM Washington St X Tucson Ci, Palm Desert. Fatal traffic collision involving a motorcycle. 1-confirmed fatality, 1-minor patient transported by ground to an area hospital. Washington St is closed for an unknown duration. pic.twitter.com/4k8I2mnwdG — CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) August 15, 2022 One person died and another person was taken to a hospital for treatment. Traffic was routed away from the area while an investigation was conducted. Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc. CNS-08-15-2022 09:08