Deserts

Another Group Wants the Proposed Downtown Palm Springs Arena Moved

Frank Tysen with Advocates for Better Community Development or ABCD is no stranger to fighting projects he sees unfit. He’s a former USC professor of urban planning who’s been doing it for decades.  “I used to be on the state environmental quality study council in the late sixties and there were two oil refineries planned for the pass which I  got involved in and stopped the building of them,” says Tysen. Now in his eighties, he says he was done fighting until he got word of the 300 thousand sq. ft. sports and entertainment arena slated for Downtown Palm Springs, “That basically would finish Palm Springs the way we know it, the traffic, the parking, the noise the pollution, the everything, it would completely kill Palm Springs.” He filed a letter with the city and Dept. of Interior and sent it to other leaders outlining those issues including police and fire safety issues to try to get the arena moved out of downtown and closer to the freeway. “I’m not against the project, I’m against the location,” says Tysen. We reached out to the Agua…

Salton Sea Authority Ready to Move Beyond Studies

Governor Gavin Newsom proposes millions from next year’s budget to help restore the Salton Sea, but will those millions be put to use soon? Kitty Alvarado has an exclusive interview with the general manager of the Salton Sea Authority for insight on the money spent over the years and progress on the restoration project proposed.

Federal proposal would allow airlines to block emotional support animals from flying

A federal proposal unveiled Wednesday would significantly limit the types of animals entitled to fly in aircraft cabins as emotional support animals. It’s a crackdown the industry has sought amid concerns some passengers are bringing their untrained pets aboard by fraudulently passing them as emotional support animals. The result, the industry and Transportation Department have said, is an increase in incidents such as bitings aboard planes. “The days of Noah’s Ark in the air are hopefully coming to an end,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents 50,000 crew members. The proposal would free airlines from the requirement to accommodate passengers’ emotional support animals and reclassify them as pets. Airlines have greater leeway to determine their pet policies, including charging passengers fees and setting size limits. It would continue to require airlines accommodate service animals, but restrict that category to dogs only. The current regulations allow a limited list of service animals species, including miniature horses. The department is considering expanding the proposal to allow miniature horses, but is concerned they are less agile in the confined spaces of an aircraft, according to…

Bail Reduced For Thermal Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Underage Relative

A Thermal man charged with molesting a teenage relative had his bail reduced Wednesday from $1 million to $55,000, in the wake of the dismissal of a kidnapping count. The bail reduction approved by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky came two weeks after another judge ordered 36-year-old Elit Barroso Miranda to stand trial on three counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 for alleged crimes that occurred between April and May 3 last year. Superior Court Judge Russell Moore ruled Jan. 8 that the evidence submitted by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office was insufficient to hold Miranda to answer on a count of kidnapping with intent to commit lewd acts, as well as a related sentencing enhancement allegation attached to one of the lewd act counts. The district attorney’s office can still amend the charges to include kidnapping at a later date, Moore said at the time. Miranda could have been exposed to a life sentence in state prison without the possibility of parole had he been held to answer to the kidnapping charge. Miranda, who is being held at…

Four Dead in Plane Crash at Corona Airport

Four people were killed Wednesday when a single-engine airplane crashed just northeast of Corona Municipal Airport, triggering a fire. The plane crashed shortly after noon while the pilot was trying to take off from the single-runway, non-towered airport. “The unidentified aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told City News Service. “The aircraft was destroyed.” According to Corona police, fire crews reached the crash site within 10 minutes and found the plane in flames, which were doused after burning about a quarter-acre of brush. No homes or other structures were in the immediate vicinity. A witness told The Press-Enterprise the plane struck a fence, overturned and caught fire, never making it more than three feet off the ground while trying to take off. “He didn’t pull back and he was too fast at the end of the runway,” Dorothe Voll, a pilot, told the paper. “And then he flipped and everybody was running and it started on fire. Then you had two explosions. … We brought over fire extinguishers but it was all engulfed.” Gregor said the FAA and the National…

Wuhan coronavirus death toll rises to 17 with 547 infected says China, sparking fears of wider spread

The death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus has risen to 17, as dozens more cases were reported across China and as far afield as the western United States sparking fears of a possible pandemic. Top officials at the World Health Organization will convene for an emergency meeting in Geneva Wednesday, to decide whether the quickly developing outbreak constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern,” and what recommendations should be made regarding it, including potential cross-border screening, greater surveillance and rolling out treatment programs. Chinese health authorities said Wednesday that at least 547 cases had been confirmed in the mainland, with eight new deaths linked to the virus in Hubei, the central Chinese province of which Wuhan is the capital. Cases were also confirmed in the Chinese territory of Macao and the self-governing island of Taiwan. Beyond China, officials in Washington state confirmed the first case on US soil Tuesday. Cases have also been reported in South Korea, Thailand and Japan, and suspected cases detected in Australia. Worldwide a total of 555 cases have been confirmed since the outbreak was detected in mid-December. China on Tuesday announced it was adopting Class A prevention and control measures,…

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani drop ‘Nobody But You’ music video

It feels like Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani just gave us a glimpse into their home life. “The Voice” coaches and real-life couple have dropped the music video for their duet “Nobody But You.” The song is on Shelton’s latest album, “Fully Loaded: God’s Country,” which was released in December. The music video shows the pair enjoying coupledom, from eating french fries at a diner to hanging out with the other woman in Shelton’s life — his dog Betty. There is even what looks like private home videos of the pair. “Directed by Sophie Muller, the award-winning talent behind Shelton’s “God’s Country” video, “Nobody But You” shows the couple from two different worlds coming together to create one blended and loving life,” a statement on Shelton’s official site reads. The video was filmed in Oklahoma and Los Angeles, two of the places the couple reside. The statement quotes Rolling Stone’s description of the video as “[mirroring] the song’s message of devotion and wanting to share every moment with the person they love.” Shelton, 43 and Stefani, 50, confirmed their relationship in 2015. Both had teased the video’s…

Antonio Brown and his trainer have been accused of battering someone at his home, police say

Police say they’re investigating someone’s complaint that former NFL star Antonio Brown and his trainer “battered” him at Brown’s South Florida home on Tuesday — a complaint that has led to the trainer’s arrest. No charges were immediately filed against Brown, who police say they’ve unsuccessfully tried to contact. Police have not identified the alleged victim or described the relationship between the three people. The investigation started with a 911 call that someone made about a disturbance at Brown’s home Tuesday afternoon in the Florida city of Hollywood, about a 25-mile drive north of downtown Miami. An alleged victim told responding officers that Brown and Brown’s trainer, Glen Holt, assaulted him, police said. Police believe Brown was at the home when the assault is alleged to have happened, but officers haven’t been able to contact the former star wide receiver. “Officers attempted to made contact with Mr. Brown, but were unsuccessful,” Hollywood police said in a news release. Holt, 35, of Miami Lakes, was arrested on a felony charge of burglary with battery, police Officer Christian Lata told reporters Tuesday evening. Asked whether Brown was…

George Conway calls for more thorough investigation in impeachment trial

Conservative attorney George Conway called Wednesday for a more thorough investigation in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, telling CNN, “this is a trial where they should want to hear the evidence.” Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Conway argued that if “everyone’s so sure that the evidence will exonerate” Trump, then the Republican-led Senate should hear from witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Republicans have so far resisted such efforts, including the subpoenaing of documents, to which Conway said, “There’s no justification not to.” Senators are obligated to hear all of the evidence, “not some of it or none of it,” Conway said. “And if there’s evidence that’s not in the record already, they should be going out and allowing the subpoena to be issued in the name of the chief justice of the United States for that evidence. That’s what a trial is. That’s what this is supposed to be for.” A Washington lawyer who was considered for multiple Justice Department posts early in Trump’s tenure, Conway has emerged as…

Republicans consider ‘contingencies’ if witnesses are sought in impeachment trial

The White House has been involved in discussions with GOP allies over the last several days to make sure they’re ready in the event Democrats get enough votes to allow witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a senior administration official and a person familiar with the matter tell CNN. The sources say part of those discussions involve the implications, such as executive privilege concerns, if former and current White House officials such as Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are forced to publicly testify. Testimony from those officials could add key revelations to the inquiry because of their first-hand knowledge of the administration’s dealings with Ukraine. “There are a series of contingencies. We’re prepared,” the senior administration official said. The sources would not disclose what the contingencies are. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats have pushed for the Senate to hear from four witnesses, including Bolton and Mulvaney, and to subpoena documents that the White House blocked from the House’s impeachment inquiry. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says…

Senate impeachment trial: Republicans vote to table Schumer amendment seeking documents

Senate Republicans defeated an amendment from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday to subpoena the White House for Ukraine documents on the opening day of the bitterly fought impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The amendment was killed by Republicans on a party-line vote, 53-47. Schumer is proposing additional amendments — including to subpoena the State Department — which are also likely to be defeated by Republicans as the Senate debates a resolution to set the rules of the trial. The debate over the trial rules played out after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed the resolution detailing the procedures shortly before the trial gaveled in Tuesday amid concerns from some key Senate Republicans and an uproar from Democrats. The new resolution will give the House impeachment managers and the President’s team three days each to make their 24 hours of trial arguments, instead of two as McConnell had initially proposed. There were also changes to the section of the resolution that would not have admitted the House’s evidence without a vote — now, evidence will be admitted automatically unless there is a motion from the President’s team to throw out evidence. But…

Indio Parents Plead Not Guilty in Beating, Shaking Death of 3-Month-Old Boy

An Indio couple pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges stemming from what authorities called the beating and shaking death of their 3-month-old son, Marco. Leonardo Daniel Alvarado Fernandez, 33, and Zue Urias, 26, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder after police responded to a report that two parents had brought their dead child into John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio with traumatic injuries. In addition to murder, Fernandez was also charged with torture, two counts of wilful cruelty to a child and assault on a child under 8 years old resulting in death. The murder charge against him includes a special circumstance allegation of inflicting torture, making him eligible for the death penalty if the district attorney opts to pursue it. Urias was charged with murder and assault on a child under 8 years old resulting in death. The murder charge against her does not include a special circumstance allegation. With the help of an interpreter, Fernandez and Urias both pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday. In a court declaration in support of increased bail, Indio police Detective Kelly…

18-year-old Apple Valley man, Barstow boy arrested after shooting death

An Apple Valley man and a 14-year-old boy from Barstow have been arrested in connection with the suspected gang-related shooting death of a San Bernardino man last year, authorities said Tuesday.Denzel Paulk, 18, and the unidentified teenager were arrested Jan. 15 after detectives identified them as responsible for the shooting, which occurred Dec. 29, 2019, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.Deputies responding to a person shot just […]

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