Deserts

Apple Valley “State of the Town” highlights new business growth

APPLE VALLEY — Residents can expect to see smoother roads and a number of business developments in the next several years, town officials told attendees of the “State of the Town” event on Wednesday.About 200 people gathered at the Apple Valley Conference Center for lunch and to learn about updates in the area.Much of the presentation focused on highlighting new and expanding businesses, which Councilmember Art Bishop said pay impact fees and sales […]

Social Bike Clubs Pop-up in the Desert

Social bike rides are getting people off their phones and onto the street, several groups in the desert meet-up a few nights a week to ride their bicycles together and in some nights the rides attract upwards of a hundred people. Arturo Aviles started the Coachella “U Rad Cru” with just a handful of his friends, it was an idea for them to spend time together and ride the bicycles they always wanted as children but are now able to afford. “They didn’t have that GT BMX Bike because there wasn’t enough money to buy it,” Aviles said. “Now they get to buy that remake in a bigger frame and they get to ride so people like the movement, people like what’s going on it’s becoming popular.” It is popular enough that the number of riders keeps growing with people of all ages. Aviles said, “Kids are always on their phones, I-pads, computers, and now you see parents bringing kids out to the rides.” Julio Garcia is one of the many who spotted the riders around the city a few months back and he was…

Middle School Janitor Goes “Above and Beyond” the Call of Duty

Being a janitor isn’t always easy, especially at a middle school. Most of the time they get the dirty work but Otis, a janitor at Palm Desert Charter Middle School, does every task with a smile on his face. NBC Palm Springs shadowed the beloved worker on Wednesday as he got ready for the first day of school on Thursday. “I like the power washer,” Otis said with a big grin. “It’s like a big water gun and I have fun with that.” You can tell Otis is in the halls of the school through his signature sounds: jingling keys and a monstrous laugh. “I need something hung, he’s here,” Tracy Beidenbach, a teacher at the school, said. “I need something painted, he paints it for me.” She said Otis wears more than one hat when he’s on the clock and never complains while doing his duties; to the parents, it shows. Oan Oh has sent three kids to Palm Desert Charter Middle School. Each one has told her separately and together how much they love Otis. “He’s helpful, he plays sports with them, he’s…

Trump again says he’s looking ‘seriously’ at birthright citizenship despite 14th Amendment

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is “seriously” considering ending US birthright citizenship despite the fact that such a move would face immediate legal challenge and is at odds with Supreme Court precedent. “We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship,” Trump told reporters outside the White House, echoing his administration’s previous vow to unilaterally end the process by which babies born in the country automatically become citizens. The President did not elaborate on what he meant. Trump’s statement came as the administration announced a proposal to detain undocumented families together indefinitely, replacing the agreement that set a 20-day limit for holding children. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship and states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The ability of a president to end birthright citizenship has been extensively challenged by a range of lawmakers and legal scholars — including one of Trump’s own judicial nominees. James Ho, a Trump appointee to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals who is highly…

Man Drowns In Palm Springs Swimming Pool

An 82-year-old Palm Springs man drowned in his backyard swimming pool, police confirmed Wednesday. Authorities responded to a 911 call made around 4:10 p.m. Tuesday from a home on Marion Way near Joshua Tree Place, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Casavan. The Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau was investigating the octogenarian’s death. His name was not immediately released.

Two US service members killed in Afghanistan

Two American service members were killed in action Wednesday in Afghanistan, the NATO-led international military coalition in Kabul said. The coalition’s statement said the names are being withheld for 24 hours while families are notified. While details surrounding the deaths were scarce, the news of more American deaths in Afghanistan comes as the Trump administration continues to engage in discussions about a potential US withdrawal from the country after nearly 20 years at war. Taliban attacks have not slowed down in recent years or months, even as the US has continued talks with the group. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the US is talking to the Afghanistan government and the Taliban and he is “looking at different things” in the region. Speaking at the White House, Trump lamented about the US involvement in the country, which is nearing its 18th year, calling it “ridiculous” and repeating a claim that the US “could win that war in a week if we wanted to” but that he does not “want to kill 10 million people, 10 million Afghans … because that’s what would have to happen and I’m…

Young Child Left Alone in a Coachella Elementary School Classroom

It’s a new school year, but the year isn’t off to a great start for one 6-year-old boy from Coachella. His mother says he was locked in his classroom with no way of getting out. 6-year-old Mark was excited to get the new school year off to a good start. Instead, the first-grader at Peter Pendleton Elementary School in Coachella is traumatized, “I got left alone from class. I started crying.” Mark’s mother, Roxanne, says she went to drop off lunch for her son, but she was left sitting in the school’s office for nearly 30 minutes. She says, “they told me, no, he hadn’t shown up.” Finally, she says Mark did show up…in tears. “He told me his teacher had locked him inside of a room because he didn’t finish work,” she says. Roxanne took her 6-year-old home for the day, but returned to the school to get answers from his teacher. “His teacher said, ‘yes I did tell him to stay in and do his work, I just didn’t think he was going to listen,’” says Roxanne. NBC Palm Springs reached out to…

At least 27 people have been arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since the El Paso and Dayton shootings

When authorities arrived Friday to arrest a 15-year-old in Florida after threats to commit a school shooting showed up on a video game platform, he told them he was joking, they said. “I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum,” the boy wrote using a fake name, according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office report. The teen is one of more than two dozen people who have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in one weekend this month in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The raft of cases follows a directive by the FBI director immediately after the two early August massacres for agency offices nationwide to conduct a new threat assessment in an effort to thwart more mass attacks. The FBI was concerned that US-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by the attacks to “engage in similar acts of violence,” the agency said in a statement. Indeed, it was a tip to the FBI that sent sheriff’s deputies to the home of the Florida teen,…

Instagram debunks viral meme that it will soon use your photos against you

Sorry, Julia Roberts, Usher, Pink, and even Governor Rick Perry — you’ve been duped. Adam Mosseri, chief of Instagram, wants users to know the service isn’t getting ready to use your photos against you. “Heads up!” Mosseri wrote in a post on his verified Instagram Story. “If you’re seeing a meme claiming that Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true.” The meme, which appeared as a block of text, went viral on Tuesday claiming Instagram is planning to roll out new changes to its privacy policy to let old messages and private photos be used in court cases against its users. “Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today,” the post states. “Even messages that have been deleted.” The message urges users to share the image, saying that it would “give notice to Instagram [that] it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action” against anyone who reposted it. It also makes a vague reference to a local news station. “Channel 13 News talked about the change in Instagram’s privacy policy,” it read. It’s a similar hoax that has long made…

Salton Sea Odor Advisory Continues Wednesday

An odor advisory for the Coachella Valley will remain in effect Wednesday because of elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide wafting up from the Salton Sea and creating the smell of rotten eggs. The South Coast Air Quality Management District first issued the advisory Sunday after detecting hydrogen sulfide concentrations at 239 parts per billion — exceeding the state standard of 30 parts per billion — in a sparsely populated area immediately downwind from the Salton Sea. The odor advisory was set to expire Tuesday morning, but that day, the district extended it at least until Thursday evening. Winds from the south are expected during daylight hours Wednesday and Thursday, and elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide are expected in the air on those days, particularly in the morning, according to the AQMD. “Over the past week, hydrogen sulfide concentrations have been elevated when winds are blowing out of the south, especially during the morning hours,” according to an AQMD statement. Elevated levels of the gas near the lake are relatively common and are a product of natural processes in the water. There is increased potential for…

Police release sketch, video of suspect in Cal State Fullerton stabbing death

Police on Tuesday released a sketch and video of a suspect who apparently sought out a retired California State University Fullerton administrator and stabbed him to death on campus. Surveillance video released by police showed the suspect running near the crime scene and leaving a parking lot in a black 4-door sedan with black wheels and dark tinted windows believed to be a newer model BMW X6. A backpack holding an incendiary device and items that could be used for an abduction were found beneath the car in which Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, of Hacienda Heights, was found stabbed to death, authorities said. The backpack also held a knife not used in the stabbing, along with zip ties, wigs and other disguise materials, police said in a statement Tuesday. The suspect is believed to have been injured during the attack, with lacerations on one or both hands, according to police. Investigators appealed to the public for help identifying the suspect. Chan had retired from the school but worked at the international student affairs office as a consultant, officials said. His body was found Monday morning…

Jewish leaders outraged by Trump saying Jews disloyal if they vote for Democrats

President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats, saying “it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Trump was speaking to the press in the Oval Office about two Democratic congresswomen barred from entering Israel over their involvement in the movement to end international support for the country because of its policies toward Palestinians. “Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump added. “Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel?” He added, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” The remark led critics to argue the President was dabbling in the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty,” which questions the loyalty of Jewish citizens. “It’s unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty…

Restaurant Owner Posts Message of Appreciation for Immigrants

Zin American Bistro is sending a message of appreciation to immigrants through a poster in the back of the restaurant. It reads: Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the restaurant is fully staffed with immigrants coming from all over the world, according to the owner, Mindy Reed. “I’m proud of that,” Reed said with a smile on her face. Reed said her Belgium boyfriend was the inspiration behind opening the restaurant. He was the main chef until he passed away ten years ago. “When he became an American citizen, it was one of the best days of his life,” Reed said.  Therefore, standing up for immigrants is personal to her. Reed created the message soon after the election. Mindy said through the years she’s posted the paper and taken it down several times due to wear and tear but just recently put it up again. “Last week kind of just made me feel a little bit touched,” Reed said. “I need to just say this again.” In the past, Reed said the message prompted some negative reactions. During one instance, a table stood…

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