Rescue efforts at a Florida condo building challenged by threat of collapse and an approaching storm

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN With days of tireless recovery efforts behind them, search and rescue teams face added challenges with a storm in the forecast and the rest of the Surfside, Florida, condo building threatening to collapse. Rescue teams have been combing through up to 16 feet of concrete since part of the Champlain Towers South came crashing down early last Thursday. So far, 18 people have been confirmed dead and 145 people are still unaccounted for. But concerns about the integrity of the parts of the building still standing could add another level of difficulty to the painstaking recovery efforts. Work was halted for much of the day Thursday as engineers assessed the structure still standing. Access to the collapse zone was then restricted due to safety concerns, but engineers are conducting tests to expand the search into more areas as it becomes safe to do so, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday evening. “Our firefighters looked really, really excited to get back there,” she said, adding, “I am grateful to their hard work that got us back to work on the search…

Preliminary Hearing Date Set for Felon Accused of Killing Woman in Indio

A Sept. 3 preliminary hearing date was confirmed Thursday for a felon accused of fatally beating a woman in Indio. Edwardo Alvarez, 40, was arrested last October on suspicion of killing 32-year-old Madeleine Gutierrez of Indio at a condominium complex in the 47- 300 block of Monroe Street. Alvarez is charged with one court of murder. During a status hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Thursday, Riverside County Superior Court Judge James Hawkins conferred with the prosecution and defense about scheduling, and all sides agreed to proceed with the preliminary hearing in September. The hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for the Alvarez, who is being held on $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. Officers were sent to the Summer Breeze complex about 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2020, on a report of an assault, according to the Indio Police Department. Gutierrez was found dead at the scene, and Alvarez was questioned and arrested soon after, police said. Alvarez and the victim “were acquainted,” according to police, who did not specify the…

Airport in Riverside County Granted Federal Funds for Rehab Project

An airport in Riverside County was among nearly 400 around the country selected to receive Federal Aviation Administration grants intended for infrastructure projects, it was announced Thursday. The FAA awarded March Air Reserve Base $856,115 to “conduct or update miscellaneous study, update airport master plan or study,” according to the FAA. The funding from the fourth round of 2021 Airport Improvement Program grants will pay for projects at 388 airports in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. Historically, the AIP Program receives about $3.2 billion in funding each year. AIP projects promote safety, efficiency, environmental stewardship, infrastructure and security at the nation’s airports. The FAA will award more than 1,500 grants this year for projects that will mitigate environmental impacts, increase accessibility and expand capacity at airports across the United States.

Man killed by train in Indio identified as 23-year-old from Corona

The Riverside County Coroner’s Office released the identity of the man struck and killed by a train Thursday morning in Indio. Matthew Kohatsu, 23, of Corona was pronounced dead at approximately 6:35 a.m. on the railroad tracks near the area of Avenue 48 and Dillon Road. Ben Guitron of the Indio Police Department told News Channel 3 Thursday morning that investigators wee not sure why the man was crossing the railroad tracks in the first place. Union Pacific is handling the investigation. The post Man killed by train in Indio identified as 23-year-old from Corona appeared first on KESQ.

Last US troops set to leave Bagram Air Base Friday, as US withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion

By Oren Liebermann, CNN The last US troops are expected to leave Bagram Air Base on Friday, a senior defense official tells CNN. The departure marks the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan. The full withdrawal of US troops from the country is not complete yet, but expected very soon. This is a breaking story and will be updated. The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed to this report. The post Last US troops set to leave Bagram Air Base Friday, as US withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion appeared first on KESQ.

City of Banning Implements Independent Animal Control

The city of Banning implemented local management of animal control services Thursday, ending a contract with Riverside County. The Banning City Council opted not to renew its three-year agreement with the Department of Animal Services after the 2020-21 fiscal year, believing local control was sufficient to serve residents’ needs. The new fiscal year started Thursday. “That means the county’s animal control officers will not be patrolling Banning,” Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said. He said all pet impounds from Banning that are in county shelters will be transferred to the city’s shelter at 2444 Charles St. More information is available at Neighboring Cherry Valley will continue to be serviced by the county. The city of Beaumont operates its own animal control agency. With the end of the Banning contract, the Department of Animal Services now handles patrol, impound and rescue services in 16 cities countywide.

Man Accused in Cathedral City Slaying Pleads Not Guilty

A 28-year-old man accused in a fatal shooting in Cathedral City pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge. Jose Ernesto Martinez of Desert Hot Springs was arrested Saturday on suspicion of gunning down 27-year-old Isaac Valles of Rancho Mirage earlier that morning. Martinez was arraigned at the Banning Justice Center before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who set bail at $1 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 13 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. Martinez remains held at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio. Along with a murder charge, Martinez faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury. Martinez allegedly killed Valles at the conclusion of a domestic dispute, according to the Cathedral City Police Department, which did not elaborate on the nature of the argument. Officers sent to the 31800 block of Neuma Drive about 2:40 a.m. Saturday found the victim lying in the roadway, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said. Despite first responders’ attempts to revive him, Valles was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives collected “ample witness statements and…

Palm Springs Police Warn About Uptick in ATM, Gas Pump `Skimming’

Palm Springs police Thursday reported an uptick in the discovery of devices placed on ATMs and gas pumps to skim personal information from unsuspecting users. Police did not specify any locations of where the skimming devices had been found, but urged residents and visitors to be vigilant when inputting personal information, and to check their bank accounts for fraudulent activity. Skimmers are malicious card readers attached to the real payment terminals used to harvest data from people who swipe their cards. They can be hard to detect because they don’t prevent the ATMs from working. “Some of these devices are virtually undetectable and are installed into the machine which prevents it from being removed by the user or law enforcement,” according to a police statement. Thieves often have to return to the ATM to collect the data, although personal information can also be accessed wirelessly with thieves using hidden cameras to catch PIN numbers as they are entered into keypads. Anyone who discovers a skimming device is asked to call Palm Springs police at 760-323-8116, and victims of skimming thieves should immediately contact their bank.

VillageFest Set to Return to Downtown Palm Springs

Palm Springs’ weekly street fair is set to return to Palm Canyon Drive Thursday evening following a more than year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. VillageFest will offer shopping and entertainment opportunities between Amado Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The roadway, along with several side streets, will be closed to vehicle traffic. Due to the coronavirus, the weekly gathering will include fewer vendors than before. The event will also initially return with a shortened footprint, stretching about a quarter-mile along Palm Canyon Drive compared a the half-mile length as was common before the pandemic. The street fair is expected to return to its original size at a future point, according to the city. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce is slated for 5 p.m. in front of the Welwood Murray Memorial Public Library. City Council members and other officials are expected to join in the gathering aimed at celebrating the reopening of VillageFest and the library, which is located at 100 S. Palm Canyon Drive. VillageFest shut down in March 2020 at…

Election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom set for September 14

(CNN) — California voters will decide whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in an election on September 14, the state lieutenant governor said Thursday, setting up a nine week window for the Democratic governor to make his case for staying in office. Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis made the announcement after California Secretary of State Shirley Weber certified the recall effort. Newsom’s critics had met the state’s threshold for a recall election in April following a sprawling effort to gather signatures in every county that was backed by key Republican strategists. The drive was largely fueled by anger over the restrictions he put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 throughout last year and during an alarming surge in cases in California during the winter holiday months. Newsom and his team have framed the recall as an effort by supporters of former President Donald Trump, and he signed a law earlier this week to speed up the process — a move critics objected to as an attempt to rush an election that already boasts a ream of challengers. In September, the state’s voters will be asked two questions on the recall…

Person Found Dead Near Desert Edge

Riverside County deputies are investigating a death Thursday near Desert Edge. Investigators arrived in the area of Johnson Road and 15th Avenue around 9:30 a.m. There, they located a deceased person described by the sheriff’s office as an adult victim. As of 2:30 p.m. more invesitgators with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office were arriving on scene to assume the investigation. There were no other details provided. This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

Confirman hallazgo de cuerpo al Norte de Desert Hot Springs

En curso se mantiene una Investigación tras el hallazgo de un cuerpo al norte de Desert Hot Springs. El Departamento del Sheriff del condado de Riverside fue llamado al area de la calle Johnson Road y 15th Street justo antes de las 11 a.m. No tenemos más detalles en este momento, pero las autoridades dicen que estarán en la escena durante la mayor parte del día investigando. The post Confirman hallazgo de cuerpo al Norte de Desert Hot Springs appeared first on KESQ.

Attorney General Merrick Garland halts federal executions, orders review of protocols

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is halting federal executions after a historic use of capital punishment by the Trump administration, which carried out 13 executions in six months. Attorney General Merrick Garland made the announcement Thursday night, saying he was imposing a moratorium on federal executions while the Justice Department conducts a review of its policies and procedures. “The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Garland said. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.” Donald Trump’s Justice Department resumed federal executions in July, following a 17-year hiatus. No president in more than 120 years had overseen as many federal executions. The last inmate to be executed, Dustin Higgs, was put to death at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, less than a week before Trump left office. President Joe Biden has said he opposes the death penalty and his team vowed that he would take action to stop its use while…

California Dolphin