Deserts

County Officials to Give Guidelines on Cooling Centers

As we start to reach triple-digit temperatures, one concern moving forward is cooling centers and how they will operate as we continue to practice social distancing. People who are familiar with the heat know how important to keep cool and as we move into the summer months. Organizers say they do plan on opening cooling centers, but right now they are waiting on guidance from the county to do so. The Joslyn Center in Palm Desert has been a designated Riverside County cooling center and they plan on continuing their service this summer. “Cooling centers don’t officially start till June 1st, so we are waiting on guidance from the county of riverside on that,” said Jack Newby, Executive Director of the Joslyn Center. County officials are working on guidelines for cooling centers and are looking at the possibility of opening sooner than June 1st. “If the weather continues to be a factor, which it sounds like it might be. we might have to begin our season sooner, but we can’t do anything until we are actually able to coordinate with all of our community partners,”…

House Approves $480 Billion Package to Help Small Businesses, Hospitals and Expand Covid-19 Testing

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a roughly $480 billion package to deliver aid to small businesses and hospitals and expand Covid-19 testing, the latest attempt by lawmakers to blunt the devastating impact of the pandemic. The vote was 388-5. The measure passed the Senate earlier this week and will now go to President Donald Trump, who has expressed support for the legislation and indicated that he will sign it. The total price tag of the bill is approximately $484 billion. It will add to the already historic levels of spending to deal with the pandemic by authorizing an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to help small businesses struggling from the economic deep freeze triggered by coronavirus. Funding for the program ran dry earlier this month, prompting an outcry from the business community. In addition, the legislation provides $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers to address coronavirus expenses and lost revenue and $25 billion to facilitate and expand Covid-19 testing. The increased funding for testing comes at a time when there is widespread recognition that…

Riverside County Now Has 100 Coronavirus Deaths

There are now 3,218 confirmed coronavirus cases in Riverside County with 134 new cases reported Thursday. One additional fatality was reported, bringing the countywide total to 100 deaths. 229 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 84 of them being treated in intensive care units. The documented number of people who have recovered from the virus is 904, up 115 from Wednesday. Riverside county’s public health officer said Tuesday that coronavirus cases are now growing at a much slower rate, telling the Board of Supervisors that “targeted” removals of restrictions tied to the COVID-19 emergency may continue in the coming weeks. “Overall, the (growth) trend is blunting,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser said during the board’s meeting. “It’s possible that restrictions can be relaxed or modified without losing protection.” Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the supervisors that only about half of the county’s hospital beds were occupied, though two-thirds of ICU beds were full. Ventilator usage for respiratory failures stemming from COVID-19 and other hospitalizations were at one-third capacity. Projections by Kaiser and other county health officials earlier this month predicted far broader burdens on health care…

Cathedral City Appoints George Crum as Permanent Police Chief

Cathedral City Interim Police Chief George Crum has accepted an offer to return to the city as its permanent police chief. City Manager Charlie McClendon made the announcement Thursday. Police Chief Crum served as Cathedral City’s police chief for three years prior to Travis Walker who was placed on paid administrative leave last May amid sexual harassment allegations. Anthony Yoakum first filled Walker’s position before taking a position with the city of Beaumont before Crum returned on February 24, 2020 to fill the role of interim police chief. “We are very excited to have Police Chief Crum return to Cathedral City,” stated City Manager Charlie McClendon.  “While our police chief for three years, he energized the department, created great community relations, and instituted policies that not only helped lower our crime rate, but addressed complex issues like homelessness.”  Chief Crum will immediately begin his role and will earn a salary equal to his annual salary when he retired in 2017 at $211,331.54.  “I feel it is my duty to leave retirement and come back to Cathedral City as we face these unprecedented times,” said Police…

New Autopsy Results Show Two Californians Were the First Coronavirus Deaths in the U.S.

New autopsy results show two Californians died of novel coronavirus in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first US death from the virus. These deaths now stand as the country’s earliest two attributed to the coronavirus, a development that appears to shift the understanding of how early the virus was spreading in the country, health experts told CNN Wednesday. Northern California’s Santa Clara County announced the autopsy results Tuesday. The two were a 57-year-old woman who died in her home in the county February 6, and a 69-year-old man who died at home in the same county on February 17, officials said. The United States’ previously understood first coronavirus death happened on February 29 in Kirkland, Washington. The two in California had no “significant travel history” that would have exposed them to the virus, Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s chief medical officer, told reporters Wednesday in San Jose. “We presume that each of them” caught the virus through community spread, she said. “(This) tells us we had community transfer far earlier than we had known, and that indicates the virus was probably introduced and circulating…

Parks to reopen

SAN BERNARDINO — County officials loosened up the public health order on Wednesday, announcing that parks, golf courses and other outdoor recreation areas will begin reopening Saturday.The announcement comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom loosened the stay-at-home order and let hospitals resume scheduled surgeries — the first step toward reopening the state, which has been shut down since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.San Bernardino County officials […]

Two DSUSD educators named Riverside County Teacher of the Year

Two Desert Sands Unified School District educators were named Riverside County’s Teachers of the Year. They’re two of four to be given this award from the county. One of the winners is Tom Buck who teaches career and technical education at Indio High School. “One of my student’s favorite things is that I do a lot of very cheesy jokes in the classroom and I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself in front of them,” said Buck. “All of the cheesy humor and all of the public failing is a good way to kind of building a family relationship.” The other winner is Jodie Fecera, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Palm Desert Charter Middle School. “It’s indescribable because I’m still friends with students that I taught my first year at Indio High School and they keep in contact and kids check in constantly,” said Fecera. Both have been working hard this year to navigate the uncertain world of education, including closed classrooms and distant learning. “Its really difficult coming up with lessons for a food class because you don’t know financially…

Hear top Country Performers on SiriusXM’s ‘Stagecouch Weekend’ beginning Friday

Stagecoach is now “Stagecouch.” “Storme and I should be out in California in the desert for Stagecoach and we have been for the last three years and so we decided to bring this awesome show to you guys,” said Buzz Brainard. That’s right you can still listen to this year’s Stagecoach lineup,  but this time from your home sweet home beginning on Friday. “They were all set to play at stagecoach and now they’re playing in their living rooms for Stagecouch. You’re not going to miss the festival. It’s just going to be a little different,” said Storme Warren. If you don’t have SiriusXM, don’t worry. You can still get your country on! They’re doing a free streaming access period. “They’re going to do little mini sets so we will get to see some of it. The best part is we will get to see what their houses look like. We will still have drinks together we are just going to do it from our own homes,” said Brainard. And if country music is not your thing, then check out the documentary, “Coachella: 20 Years…

Dr. Rick Bright Blames Political Motives for his Abrupt Reassignment

Dr. Rick Bright, the director of the agency responsible for leading the charge on the production and purchase of vaccines in the Trump administration, released a statement Wednesday blaming political motives for his abrupt reassignment. Read the statement in full: “Yesterday, I was removed from my positions as the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response by the Administration and involuntarily transferred to a more limited and less impactful position at the National Institutes of Health. I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way. “I have spent my entire career in vaccine development, in the government with CDC and BARDA and also in the biotechnology industry. My professional background has prepared me for a moment like…

Riverside County Now Has Over 3,000 Confirmed Cases

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Riverside County passed the 3,000 mark Wednesday, with 124 new cases and six additional fatalities, bringing the countywide totals to 3,084 cases and 99 deaths. Of the 250 people hospitalized with COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — 81 are being treated in intensive care units, up from 72 on Tuesday, according to the Riverside University Health System. The documented number of people who have recovered from the virus stands at 789 — up by 32 from Tuesday. Riverside county’s public health officer said Tuesday that coronavirus cases are now growing at a much slower rate, telling the Board of Supervisors that “targeted” removals of restrictions tied to the COVID-19 emergency may continue in the coming weeks. “Overall, the (growth) trend is blunting,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser said during the board’s meeting. “It’s possible that restrictions can be relaxed or modified without losing protection.” Emergency Management Director Bruce Barton told the supervisors that only about half of the county’s hospital beds were occupied, though two-thirds of ICU beds were full. Ventilator usage for respiratory failures stemming from COVID-19 and other…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!