Deserts

Suspect in custody following barricade in Palm Desert

34-year-old Elizabeth Gaitan of Palm Desert is in custody following an hours long standoff with Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies. Around 9:47 Tuesday morning deputies received calls of vandalism in progress in the 45000 Block of Driftwood Drive, the location of the Mountain Villas. When deputies arrived on scene they located Gaitan who barricaded herself within the home. Giatan will be booked into the John Benoit Detention Center on criminal threats and vandalism. No further information has been provided. This story was updated 8/4/20 5:11 P.M.

Board of Supervisors vote 5-0 to declare racism as a public health crisis

Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Tuesday (Aug. 4) that racism is a public health crisis and vowed to take steps to deal with the issue. The 5-0 vote took place after supervisors heard from several community members who supported the resolution, which indicated that “systemic racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, transportation, and criminal justice.” “America is blessed with incredible diversity that makes us unique and is one of our strengths. But systemic racism in our country continues to limit opportunities for communities of color in ways that damage physical and mental health even across generations,” said Supervisor Chuck Washington, Third District.  “The time to address health disparities is long overdue.” Among the planned actions in the resolution, supervisors agreed to seek more diversity in the county’s workforce and in leadership positions; implement solutions to eliminate systemic inequality in all external services provided by the county; and enhance public education to increase understanding and awareness of systemic inequality and its impact. “This action reaffirms our commitment to address the health disparities among communities of color,” said Kim Saruwatari, director or…

Huge explosion rocks Beirut, injuring hundreds across Lebanese capital

A massive explosion ripped through central Beirut on Tuesday, injuring hundreds of people and blowing out windows in buildings across the city. The blast near the port in the Lebanese capital sent up a huge mushroom cloud-shaped shockwave, flipping over cars and damaging buildings miles away. An “uncountable” number of people were wounded by the blast, the state-run National News Agency reported, and footage from the scene captured the injured staggering through streets in the capital. One eyewitness described the scenes as “like an apocalypse.” A picture shows the scene of an explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. – A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent said. The blast, which rattled entire buildings and broke glass, was felt in several parts of the city. Its exact location was unknown. (Photo by Anwar AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images) There were conflicting reports on what caused the explosion, which was initially blamed on a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port, according to NNA. The director of the general security directorate later…

Wildomar Man Reported Missing Found Safe, Authorities Say

WILDOMAR (CNS) – A 81-year-old man suffering from dementia, who went missing from Wildomar, was found safe Tuesday in San Diego, authorities said. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department put out the call Monday morning that Clyde Waynick had not been seen for more than 24 hours. Waynick was last seen Sunday about 7 a.m. driving away from his home in the 21000 block of Pumice Lane in a Lincoln sedan. No further information was released.

UPDATE: Apple Fire Spreads to 26,850 acres, 15% Contained Tuesday

UPDATE: CHERRY VALLEY (CNS) – A fire that started in Cherry Valley and is raging in the mountains within the San Bernardino National Forest has injured one firefighter, destroyed 12 structures, burned 26,850 acres and was 15% contained Tuesday morning. According to Cal Fire investigators, the blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning diesel vehicle that was leaking burning matter from its exhaust pipe, triggering three separate blazes that eventually merged into one about 5 p.m. Friday in the area of Apple Tree Lane and Oak Glen Road. Fire officials are estimating the blaze could be fully contained as soon as Aug. 17, according to Kate Kramer, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman. The head of the Apple Fire is on a mountainside in San Bernardino County, according to the USFS. Two Cal Fire air tankers and 12 water-dropping helicopters were working to establish containment boundaries, as more than 2,500 personnel on the ground gradually attempted to encircle the brusher. The fire is continuing to spread north, deeper into San Bernardino County, and east into the San Gorgonio wilderness, according to fire officials. Overnight, firefighters continued building…

Vietnam Vet Tries to Protect His Property with Garden Hose

A hose in hand and a fighting attitude. That was 76-year-old Roy Watkins when flames started knocking on his door Friday night. “You’re trying to save your property so anything goes through your mind,” Watkins said. “Just gotta go out there and do it.” Jerrid Harmann, Roy’s son, said his parents come from a different generation of hard workers.  “My parents, they don’t quit, they don’t know how to do it,” Harmann said. “I mean, he had chemo that morning.” Watkins, a Vietnam veteran, has seen a lot in his lifetime but the views from his backyard this weekend are high on the list. “The helicopters bring back a lot of memories,” Watkins said with tears welling up in his eyes. “Anyway, those guys really know what they were doing.” Watkins lives on Apple Tree Lane, off Oak Glen Road, the spot where several small fires broke out before they conjoined to make what’s being called the Apple Fire. On his property, you can see the exact location where the first fire broke out. The wind pushed the flames up and around the corner. The…

There is a technical issue with the state’s electronic disease reporting system

Riverside County health officials urge the public to stay vigilant in protecting themselves from the coronavirus, despite an appearance the disease is slowing locally. There is currently a technical issue with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic disease reporting system. The California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (commonly called CalREDIE) is experiencing delays. Electronic laboratory reporting is not being submitted to CalREDIE’s system in a real-time manner. Riverside County’s positive cases in recent days may appear that the numbers are holding steady or flattening, but that’s simply not true, said Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari. “This is an integration, technical issue,” Saruwatari said. “Simply put, there is a significant lag in how the information is being fed into the system. We’re anticipating significant increases in case reporting this week.” This is why Saruwatari and the county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said it’s as important as ever for residents to battle the virus in every way possible. Embracing the county’s new campaign – Masks are Medicine – is one way to do that, Dr. Kaiser said. “Practicing social distancing, washing one’s hands routinely and…

San Diego Museum of Man announces name change

San Diego, CA (KSWB) — After more than 100 years, the Museum of Man announced Sunday it is changing its name to the Museum of Us. Museum officials said the move is meant to help the museum be more inclusive. The process began several years ago and came to a head after the coronavirus pandemic forced the museum to close in mid-March. “We kept looking at how can we emerge out of all of this as a better version of ourselves,” CEO Micah Parzen said. “It’s really important to us that our name is a reflection of our values as an institution and it reflects who we are and what we stand for and that is being a place that is welcoming to everybody, that sends an invitation to everybody that you belong here.” Museum leaders said the Museum of Us, which specializes in cultural anthropology and has been operational for more than a century, now will offer visitors exhibits which “delve into universal themes that cut across time and cultures.” Parzen said there have been visitors in the past who noted they didn’t identify…

Mexican security forces arrest “El Marro,” alleged leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel

Mexican security forces on Sunday arrested the alleged leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, commonly known as “El Marro” — the Sledgehammer. Federal and state authorities arrested Yépez Ortiz in the central state of Guanajuato, according to a joint statement released by the Guanajuato government and Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Security. At least five other people were detained in the joint operation, and a businesswoman who had been kidnapped was rescued, the statement said. Mexico’s Security Minister, Alfonso Durazo, confirmed Yépez Ortiz’s detention via Twitter, adding that he was detained through an arrest warrant for “organized crime and fuel theft.” In a video posted on his Twitter account, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador praised the arrest. “The Ministry of National Defense, with the local government’s support, achieved this very important detention,” López Obrador said. “We need to continue attending to the causes that provoke violence. We say no to corruption and impunity.” López Obrador has come under fire for his noncombative approach to organized crime, after campaigning on a strategy he dubbed “abrazos, no balazos,” or hugs, not…

1,120 New Coronavirus Cases, 42 New Deaths Reported Over the Weekend in Riverside County

Riverside County health officials report 1,120 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total to 38,131 confirmed cases countywide. There were 42 new deaths reported bringing the county’s total to 737 deaths. Here are the numbers for the Coachella Valley city-by-city: Desert Hot Springs: 760 (+36) cases, 14 (+2) deaths Cathedral City: 1,382 (+44) cases, 22 (+1) deaths Palm Springs: 765 (+16) cases, 26 (+1) deaths Rancho Mirage: 189 (+2) cases, 14 deaths Palm Desert: 785 (+11) cases, 43 (+3) deaths Indian Wells: 35 (+1) cases, 2 (+2) deaths La Quinta: 591 (+11) cases, 15 deaths Indio: 2,632 (+43) cases, 59 (+3) deaths Coachella: 1,920 (+11) cases, 17 (+1) deaths Thousand Palms: 148 (+5) cases, no deaths Bermuda Dunes: 97 (+4) cases, 3 deaths Thermal: 131 (+5) cases, no deaths Mecca: 306 (+4) cases, 7 deaths North Shore: 102 (+2) cases, 1 death Oasis: 241 (+3) cases, 2 deaths Sky Valley: 32 (+3) cases, no deaths Cabazon: 33 (+1) cases, 1 death Anza: 10 cases, no deaths At this time age group, 18-39 continues to have the highest number of confirmed cases in the county…

Military identifies sailor and 7 Marines in deadly training accident off California coast

The military has identified the people presumed dead in an amphibious assault vehicle training accident off Southern California last week. Sixteen were on board the AAV when crew members reported they had taken on water during shore-to-ship operations near San Clemente Island around 5:45 pm PDT Thursday, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Force said in a release Sunday. Five were rescued and taken aboard the USS Somerset, but at least one died and eight others are presumed dead, the release said. Those rescued were wearing normal combat gear including body armor and an inflatable vest. Some were found floating, Gen. David Berger, commandant of the US Marine Corps, said. Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene before being taken by helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. He was a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/4, according to the release. A sailor and seven Marines are presumed dead: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a rifleman…

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is part of the team buying XFL for $15 million

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is teaming up with his ex-wife and a top sports management company to buy the bankrupt XFL football league for $15 million. Johnson — a former WWE wrestling star who has since become one of Hollywood’s most bankable action heroes — and the partners are purchasing the assets of the XFL from Alpha Entertainment, a private company founded by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Alpha filed for bankruptcy in April after ending the XFL season early because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was especially poor timing for the XFL, which was founded as an NFL alternative by WWE (then known as WWF) in 2000. The league played only one season in 2001 — despite a partnership with co-owner NBC Sports — and the 2020 season was meant to be its grand return to action. But even though the XFL didn’t score a financial or ratings touchdown back then, some fans have still hoped for a new football league that could challenge the NFL. That spurred the decision to launch the second iteration of the XFL earlier this year, featuring eight teams,…

Microsoft says it is still talking with Trump about buying TikTok from its Chinese owner

Microsoft says it is still discussing a potential purchase of TikTok, days after President Donald Trump said he would ban the popular short-form video app from operating in the United States. In a blog post Sunday, Microsoft said its CEO Satya Nadella has talked with Trump about buying the app, which is owned by Chinese start-up ByteDance. US policymakers have for weeks expressed concerns about the app as tensions between the United States and China escalate, with many asserting that it could pose a national security risk. “[Microsoft] is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” the company said, adding that it will “move quickly” to talk with ByteDance “in a matter of weeks.” “During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President,” the company added. The Washington State-based firm’s blog post suggests TikTok could avert the ban that Trump threatened Friday night, when he said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to block the app from operating in…

Sheriff’s Officials Ask Public For Help in Finding Missing Wildomar Man

WILDOMAR (CNS) – Authorities sought public help Monday in finding an 81-year-old man suffering from dementia who went missing from Wildomar. Clyde Waynick was last seen Sunday about 7 a.m. driving away from his home in the 21000 block of Pumice Lane, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Joe Narciso. Waynick was wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and white shoes, and is described as white and 5-foot-10, with white hair and blue eyes. Waynick is thought to be driving a dark-green, two-door 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII with Arizona license plates. Anyone who sees Waynick or knows his whereabouts is urged to call 911 or the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station at 951-245-3300.

Rabid bats found in San Bernardino County

Nine bats in San Bernardino County tested positive for rabies, officials announced earlier this week.The total includes four confirmed rabid bats within the past two weeks in Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Apple Valley, the county’s Department of Public Health said Thursday.DPH spokesperson Lana Culp said the department’s lab had […]

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