Beaumont man celebrates 100th birthday

Dean Cochran, a 20-year resident of Beaumont, celebrated his 100th birthday in March at the Morongo Golf Club in Beaumont, with 120 family members, friends, Elks Lodge members and former co-workers attending. He was born March 10, 1923, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Charles and Rachael Cochran. He had one brother and two sisters, and his father owned a Ford dealership. The family moved to Miami, Ariz., in 1930, and Dean joined the U.S. Army when he was 17. Dean Cochran of Beaumont celebrated his 100th birthday in March 2023. (Photo by Dottie Cochran) While serving in the Philippines during World War II, he was wounded on his 20th birthday and received a Purple Heart and Silver Star, according to a brief biography provided by his family. After his military service, he attended the University of Southern California and, while he was still in college, he married Audrey Compton in 1946 in Maricopa, Ariz. After graduation, they moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked at the Pentagon as a systems analyst. In 1956 they moved back to California, where he worked for Northrop (now Northrop

Where to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the Inland Empire

Each May, the nation honors Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, recognizing the growth and achievements of these diverse communities. The recognition started as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week in 1977, with May chosen because it was the month when the first Japanese immigrants came to the U.S. in 1843, and when the transcontinental railroad was completed thanks to Chinese immigrant labor in May 1869. Asian Pacific communities “throughout history, represent the bigger story of who we are as Americans and embodied the truth that our diversity is our strength as a nation,” President Joe Biden said in a recent proclamation. Biden denounced anti-Asian hate crimes, racism and violent attacks — citing the recent mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay — and promoted legislation and programs that support safety, equity and economic opportunity. Asian Americans are now the Inland Empire’s fastest-growing major ethnic group over the past decade, recently passing African Americans to become the region’s third-largest ethnicity after White and Hispanic residents, according to the 2020 census. From cultural festivals to community panels, here are some events across the region

You can feed and dine with tigers at this Riverside County sanctuary

Sage and Zara’s days are full of naps, sunbathing, playing with toys and feasting on fresh meat, milk, fruits and vegetables. Pampered housecats? Maybe. Except they weigh 350 pounds and have bone-crushing bites. The 2 1/2-year-old sisters, are two of four Bengal tigers living at Diamond Valley Lodge, a 140-acre property in the rural town of Sage that offers the public a chance to dine with and feed caged tigers behind fencing. Director of Wildlife Operations and Education Rob Curtis calls it a “magical” and “highly interactive experience.” “If you’re expecting this to be like the zoo, it’s not,” Curtis said. Zara, a 2 1/2-year-old, 350-pound, Orange Bengal Tiger, runs out of a bath to play with her sister, a Royal White Tiger named Sage, at Diamond Valley Lodge in Sage on Monday, April 24, 2023. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Sage, a 2 1/2-year-old, 350-pound Royal White Tiger, yawns Monday, April 24, 2023, while eating squash after a lunch of chicken and steak at Diamond Valley Lodge in Sage. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) A 4-foot wooden pole is used to feed

Family of slain El Monte police officer sues DA George Gascón for not following ‘three-strikes’ law

The family of slain El Monte police Officer Joseph Santana has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, alleging his disregard for California’s “three-strikes” law enabled a convicted felon to commit the 2022 double homicide that also claimed the life of another officer. The suit, filed Wednesday, May 3, in Los Angeles Superior Court by the officer’s wife, Sasha Santana, along with his three children and parents, also names the county Probation Department and Siesta Inn in East Los Angeles as defendants. It seeks unspecified monetary damages. “Gascón and the probation department need to be held accountable for their failures that resulted in Joseph’s death,” Santana’s family said in a statement. “No family should ever have to endure the pain we’ve been through since the tragic passing of our loving son, father and husband.” On June 14, 2022, Santana, 31, and El Monte police Cpl. Michael Paredes, 42, responded to a report of a stabbing at the Siesta Inn. Santana and Paredes rescued a victim from one of the motel’s rooms before both were shot and killed, allegedly by

Slavery existed in California too, historian tells Redlands audience

As a free state before the Civil War, California would seem untouched by slavery and the debates around it. Yet the real picture is more nuanced. An estimated 500 to 1,500 Black people were “forcibly imported” into California as slaves by their owners, historian Kevin Waite told an audience at Redlands’ A.K. Smiley Library on Tuesday night, May 2. He’s the author of “West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire.” While even 1,500 is a small number compared to the 4 million slaves in the United States in the 1850s, it’s not zero, is it? Waite asked that we imagine the effort it took not only for a White slave owner to travel by horse-drawn wagon across much of the country, but to smuggle in slaves. That, he said, showed how valuable the slaves must have been. The most famous may be Biddy Mason, who was brought from Georgia to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1848, and from there to the Mormon colony in San Bernardino in 1851. She had to walk, driving the animals, across the Mojave Desert. According to Waite’s

Asthma from air pollution costs Riverside families $4,008 a year, report says

A toxic mix of air pollution from port activity, the logistics industry and wildfires takes its toll on Inland families’ health and pocketbooks, according to a new report. Asthma cases stemming from bad air quality cost Riverside families $4,008 a year, according to the report released by the office of Rep. Mark Takano, D- Riverside, on Tuesday, May 2. The report, “State of Air Quality in California’s 39th Congressional District,” is focused on Takano’s district, though at times it refers to data covering the whole county, Taylor Doggett, Takano’s spokesperson, said via email. “Poor air quality has been a continuing problem in Southern California, but this report only further highlights the crisis caused by the rise of e-commerce,” Takano, whose district includes Perris, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley and part of Riverside, said in a news release. “The cost of free shipping is being paid for by the families in my district and across the Inland Empire who’ve developed health problems from the poor air caused by these warehouses.” Strategically located near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Inland Empire, with a blue-collar

San Bernardino cuts ties with Carousel Mall redeveloper to resolve 2021 state law violations

San Bernardino leaders have ended an agreement with the firms they chose to redevelop Carousel Mall. It’s the latest setback in the longstanding plan to revitalize the downtown site, though city brass contend the move is a necessary step to cure violations in how the redevelopment process was handled two years ago. In addition to terminating the exclusive negotiating agreement with Renaissance Downtowns USA and ICO Real Estate Group – known jointly as the San Bernardino Development Co. – the City Council voted Wednesday, May 3, to pay the master developer $100,000 for dissolving the relationship prematurely. Councilmembers Theodore Sanchez, Sandra Ibarra, Juan Figueroa, Fred Shorett and Ben Reynoso favored the move. Councilmembers Kimberly Calvin and Damon Alexander opposed. Neither Calvin nor Alexander explained their no votes Wednesday. As far as redeveloping Carousel Mall, San Bernardino now is where it was more than two years ago when city leaders revived plans to give the shuttered shopping center a second life. From here, City Hall will work closely with the state Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure all provisions of the Surplus Land Act

Peter Thiel says moving to Florida from Silicon Valley is too expensive

By Michael Smith | Bloomberg Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel said he’s reluctant to move his operations to Florida from Silicon Valley because housing prices have soared. “If you buy a house in Miami today versus just three years ago, you’re paying four times as much for a monthly mortgage payment,” Thiel said on the podcast Honestly with Bari Weiss. The Miami region saw its number of million-dollar ZIP codes more than double from the end of 2019 through 2022, according to a Bloomberg analysis of home values in the country’s most-expensive areas. While parts of New York and California, traditional wealth centers, still rank near the top of list of most expensive areas, values in some neighborhoods have actually declined since 2019, Zillow data show. Thiel, a one-time adviser to former President Donald Trump, also urged Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to focus more on economic inequality and less on issues like gender identity and race. “That kind of economic cost is probably not enough to offset all the wokeness in the world or even the taxes,” he said. DeSantis has made a crusade against

Ford autos could be bought in Riverside as early as 1904

In a previous article, I wrote about how one ingenious citrus plant operator used his Model T Ford to “save the day” by powering his citrus sorting machine so he could process the crop and get it to market. As a fairly new member of Riverside’s Orange Blossom Model A Club, I own a 1931 Model A Ford and have marveled at its simplicity and ruggedness. As most know, it was Henry Ford who put America on wheels, the early cars being playthings of very wealthy individuals. With such an important part of Americana on our roads every day, and the fact that Riverside was once the wealthiest town per-capita in the country, I then began to wonder: How far back in Riverside’s history could we go and be able to buy a Ford automobile here in town? The answer, rather surprisingly, is 1904. The 1904 date certainly precedes the Model A (1928-1931) and the very popular Model T (1908-1927), and goes back to the earliest days of regular, non-assembly line Ford production. But readers shouldn’t think of buying a car in 1904 like the

How Inland Empire Future Leaders Program prepares students for success

In the 1980s, Susan Castro, a teacher in the San Bernardino Unified School District, attended a teachers’ conference and come back so inspired that she imagined providing something similar for students. When she discovered there was nothing like this available, she reached out to teachers Frank Acosta and Henry Vasquez. Her peers thought they knew someone who could help and took her to meet with Dr. Tom M. Rivera at Cal State San Bernardino. The four of them put their heads together and organized the first Inland Empire Future Leaders Program (IEFLP) conference in 1985. The program has not missed a year since. Each year, IEFLP services eighth- and ninth-grade Latino students, providing leadership training and cultural education. The six-day retreat takes place in Idyllwild at Idyllwild Pines Camp. Attendees participate in workshops that hone public speaking and leadership skills, provide college preparedness and career activities. The program also includes cultural activities that increase self-esteem. All programming is led by carefully selected mentors who represent sectors such as government, community organization, law, medicine and education. “I’m very strategic every year in creating the program and

Tribes celebrate yucca harvest as climate change, encroachment threaten sacred tradition

Thanks to an unexpectedly wet winter, it’s not hard this spring to spot chaparral yucca blooming on hillsides and ridgelines throughout Southern California. The plant is known as “our Lord’s candle” thanks to its thick green stalk that can grow for as long as 10 years, to more than a dozen feet, before shooting out a massive spike of white flowers shaped a bit like a candle’s flame. And once that flame is extinguished, as the flowers fade, the plant’s life ends. Yucca grows wild on the San Manuel Indian reservation in Highland, where a festival honored the plant used for food, baskets and shoes on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG) Women and girls from the Me-Wuk Indian tribe perform a basket dance during the intertribal Yucca Harvest Festival at the Band of Mission Indians reservation in Highland on Saturday, April 29, 2023. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG) Isabella Delgadillo, and women in the Me-Wuk Indian tribe from Yosemite, perform a basket dance during the intertribal Yucca Harvest Festival on the San Manuel Reservation in Highland on

How making writing a daily habit can improve your mental health

By Madeleine Simmons | Contributing columnist “Writing” and “good” might not be what people typically put together in a sentence, but in this month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight the ways we actually benefit from it. As an educator, I hear a lot of groans when it comes to writing despite it being an activity we engage in daily. We just aren’t mindful of the writing that we are doing, especially as we can become backlogged in keeping up with work emails and other things. There are many studies out there that have cataloged the multiple benefits of writing. The most recent one, “Efficacy of journaling in the management of mental illness” by Sohal, Dhillon and Gill, showed that time spent writing about our inner thoughts and feelings can even reduce the number of sick days we take off work. The researchers observed that writing for longer than 30 days is when mental well-being benefits really started to kick in. Their research also suggests that writing, particularly expressive writing, can help those experiencing or recovering from the emotional trauma associated

Pride flag, other commemorative flags, OK’d to fly at Riverside City Hall

Despite opposition to the idea, commemorative flags — including the pride flag and those for Holocaust Remembrance Day and Black History Month — can now be flown outside Riverside City Hall. The Riverside City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night, May 2, to adopt a policy to display the flags at City Hall and potentially at other city facilities, a city report states. Councilmembers Chuck Conder and Jim Perry voted no. RELATED: A divided Redlands council rejects flying pride flag at City Hall Some speakers said such flags would not represent all city residents and could alienate some people. Supporters of the rule said the flags would celebrate the city’s diversity. Conder called the proposal “divisive.” “Government represents everybody,” he said. “It’s neutral.” Brock Cavett, Riverside LGBTQ+ Pride’s advocacy director and the new vice chair of the city’s Human Relations Commission, backed the commemorative flags. “For me, as an out, queer man, the pride flag is a symbol of acceptance to be who I am,” Cavett said. “It wasn’t until my first pride event, where I saw that flag flying proudly, that I felt like I didn’t

Photos: Farm animals arrive at the 2023 LA County Fair in Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona’s Sheep and Swine Manager Sophia Gaitan directs four-week-old piglets to their display pen as they are delivered to the Big Red Barn in preparation for this Friday’s opening of the LA County Fair at Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) A baby goat from Cal Poly Pomona is held after having its ear pinned in preparation for this Friday’s opening of the LA County Fair at Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Baby lambs, only hours old, feed on their mother’s milk after being delivered from Cal Poly Pomona to the LA County Fair at Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Cal Poly Pomona Animal Science major Jayleen Rodriguez prepares to feed sheep in their display pen at Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Cal Poly Pomona’s Sheep and Swine Manager Sophia Gaitan directs four-week-old piglets out of a trailer as they

Stater Bros. near Kaiser Permanente in Fontana to close June 4

The Stater Bros. at 9954 Sierra Ave. in Fontana is closing June 4 due to an expiring lease, company spokeswoman Charlotte Wall confirmed Tuesday, May 2. No employees at that location were laid off, Wall added, and all were offered jobs at different stores. The Fontana store, which is near Kaiser Permanente, opened in 1954. News of its closure comes shortly after Stater Bros. officials confirmed the Rancho Avenue location in Colton is closing June 18, also due to an expiring lease. Wall did not provide additional comment on the expiring lease and whether there were negotiations to stay. She did, however, say that Stater Bros. is planning to open a new store in north Fontana late next year that will add over 100 union jobs to the community. The Sierra Avenue Stater Bros. presently anchors a shopping center that includes a Rite Aid and a Dollar Tree. There are two other Stater Bros. on Sierra Avenue, one in south Fontana and the other in the northern part of town, near Foothill Boulevard. Brian Whitehead | Reporter Brian Whitehead is a reporter for The San

When will bike, walking path between Redlands and Highland be built?

Q: Highland resident Brent Merideth said he commutes by bicycle into, and through, Redlands. A multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path project had been planned to run parallel to one of the roads connecting the two areas and the path had earned a federal Active Transportation Plan grant some years ago, but the path has not been built. Merideth asked why more car lanes have continued to be added to Inland Empire freeways but the multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians connecting Highland and Redlands hasn’t proceeded. A: Here’s what happened and where the project is at. The brakes were slammed on the Highland/Redlands Regional Connector Project due to high environmental costs. Construction was supposed to start late last year with completion this year. Freeway projects are developed and funded separately. The path project seeks to connect Redlands’ and Highlands’ separate bike and pedestrian trails by building a path that crossed the Santa Ana River along Boulder Avenue/Orange Street. The good news is that efforts continue to fund and build this path. The original construction cost estimate was about $4 million, and the engineering and design

Interim chief resigns from embattled LA County Probation Department

Karen Fletcher, Los Angeles County’s interim chief probation officer, is stepping down after less than two months leading the county’s troubled Probation Department. The Board of Supervisors promoted Fletcher to the department’s top spot in March after firing her predecessor, Chief Adolfo Gonzales. Her resignation letter to the board on Monday, May 1, states her last day will be May 19, and then she will use her “leave accruals until they are exhausted.” “During the next three weeks, I will do everything possible to wrap up my duties and assist with this transition,” Fletcher wrote. “I wish the Department much success in the future.” A Probation Department spokesperson said Fletcher would not provide an interview and that her resignation was a simple retirement following 34 years of employment. Hans Liang, president of the L.A. County Deputy Probation Officers Union, wished Fletcher well in a statement. “Probation officers appreciate the dedication and experience that Karen Fletcher brought to the department,” Liang stated. “Unfortunately, the tools necessary to move the Department forward were not provided.” Fletcher’s exit comes at a precarious time for the department. The Board

San Manuel donates $2.7 million to Sherman Indian High in Riverside

Sherman Indian High School has received a $2.7 million grant for its career technical education program from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Tribal members presented the award during a Wednesday, April 19, ceremony at the boarding school in Riverside to mark San Manuel’s 10 years of supporting Sherman, a news release states. Sherman Indian High School employees and members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are seen April 19, 2023, during a check presentation ceremony in Riverside. The tribe’s $2.7 million grant is for the career technical education program at the boarding school in Riverside. (Courtesy of Sherman Indian High School) Laurena Bolden, a Business Committee member at large for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, speaks April 19, 2023, at a ceremony marking the tribe’s continued support of Sherman Indian High School in Riverside. (Courtesy of Sherman Indian High School) Show Caption of Expand The award is San Manuel’s fifth educational grant to the school, which bring the tribe’s total donations to $12 million for Sherman’s Career Technical Education Pathways Program, according to the release. “Since 2010, our partnership

23rd Annual Show and Go Car Show returns to Riverside

Classic cars will be rolling into downtown Riverside for the 23rd  Annual Show and Go Car Show for Charity. The free event starts at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, and continues Saturday, May 6. The Riverside East Rotary Club is hosting the show, which will be produced by the Old Farts Racing Team So. Cal. About 1,000 classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles are expected to cruise down Market and Main streets between 14th Street and Mission Inn Avenue, a news release states. The Show and Go Car Show for Charity is seen winding through downtown Riverside. The event’s 23rd installment returns to Riverside on Friday, May 5, 2023, and continues Saturday, May 6, 2023. (Courtesy of Bill Nicoletti, Riverside East Rotary Club) The Show and Go Car Show for Charity is seen winding through downtown Riverside. The event’s 23rd installment returns to Riverside on Friday, May 5, 2023, and continues Saturday, May 6, 2023. (Courtesy of Bill Nicoletti, Riverside East Rotary Club) Online registration has closed, but vehicles can be registered at the event starting at 5 p.m. Friday and at 7 a.m. Saturday. The

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida to give Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, seen in 2016, will be this year’s Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture speaker. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images) Kevin Merida, the Los Angeles Times’ executive editor, will deliver the 54th Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture on Tuesday, May 9, at UC Riverside. Merida began his journalism career at the Milwaukee Journal in 1979 as a general assignment reporter and worked at The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post and ESPN before joining the Times in 2021, a UCR news release states. “I want to be the most exciting, innovative media company that exists anchored out in California, which is a country unto itself,” Merida said in an interview with CNN. Since joining the Times, he has worked to expand the paper’s “digital footprint,” the release states. Merida helped win Pulitzers at The Dallas Morning News and The Washington Post and has written books on Barack Obama and Clarence Thomas. The lecture series was founded in 1966 by Howard H “Tim” Hays, former editor and publisher of The Press-Enterprise. Hays spent 51 years with the newspaper before retiring in 1997, when

Decision delayed on plan that could expand 135-acre Corona-area mine

A decision has been delayed on whether a Corona company has a legal right to mine 657 acres in the Temescal Valley to give the company and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians more time to work out their differences. Riverside County supervisors’ 4-0 vote — Supervisor Chuck Washington recused himself, citing a business conflict — following an hours-long hearing Tuesday, May 2, means it will be at least June 27 before the board rules on Robertson’s Ready Mix’s request. The company contends it has vested rights to mine aggregate, tiny rocks used in construction, from 657 acres of an area known as Hubbs Harlow Quarry. It already runs a 135-acre mine on the site. Old maps, photos, newspaper articles, geologic surveys, property deeds and “the county’s prior official determinations” back up Robertson’s claim, the company’s lawyers wrote in papers filed with the county. County planning officials acknowledge Robertson’s right to extract aggregate from its existing mine. But they argued the company had failed to prove its rights to mine the rest and even if it did, “there is clear and convincing evidence that any