OC sheriff, fire chief won’t reconsider practice that delayed helicopter rescue of fatally injured Fontana boy

Leaders of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Fire Authority are refusing to reconsider a practice that required dispatchers to send a fire helicopter to retrieve a badly injured child even though it was 18 minutes away while a sheriff’s helicopter was close by. The 7-year-old Fontana boy died of his injuries in the 2019 traffic accident on the 241 Tollway east of Anaheim Hills, causing some to question if he might have survived with a faster helicopter response. At issue is the current practice not to use sheriff’s rescue helicopters to transport victims from nonrural, paved areas. That practice is now under fire by the former head of the sheriff’s aviation unit and an email ostensibly from an emergency dispatcher for the Orange County Fire Authority. Some trustees on the fire board say Sheriff Don Barnes and Fire Chief Brian Fennessy should meet and find a way to ensure more victims aren’t left waiting while a sheriff’s helicopter is readily available. But Barnes and Fennessy now say there is nothing to talk about, pointing to an agreement between the two agencies that limits the…

Words of remembrance for Santa Ana’s ‘original elote man’ help ease son’s grief

Adrian Mora, grieving from his father’s death, went on Facebook Friday to ask this: Does anyone remember him? He was “the original elote man” who drove through Santa Ana selling fresh corn on the cob in the 1980s. Turned out that, yes, many long-time residents do indeed recall Servando Mora and his sweet corn. “Of course I remember him,” wrote one resident on Facebook. “… (M)y mom and dad would love to get corn from him. Deepest condolences to you and your family. What an amazing father, great entrepreneurial spirit and (he) made a great product.” Most of the hundreds of comments people posted on Facebook since Jan. 29, when Servando Mora died of COVID-19, expressed condolences. Some also shared stories about the deaths of their own relatives. And Adrian Mora comforted them as well. But it was the comments from people who clearly remembered his dad that brought Adrian Mora great joy. Some shared memories from their youth, running up to Mora’s two-tone truck bearing fresh corn. One person remembers the older Mora selling corn at Madison Park during Little League games. Several remember…

Inland Empire health officials warn against Super Bowl parties

With the Super Bowl set to kick off Sunday, Feb. 7, Inland Empire county officials are urging the public to help secure a win against the coronavirus by avoiding gatherings of people from different households as they watch the game. In Riverside County, Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 2, that the event “gives us a little bit of concern.” In San Bernardino County, a similar message is being sent through an ad campaign. Saruwatari said county health officials “want people to continue to mask and maintain social distance and also minimize mixing of families, even for something like the Super Bowl so that we can make sure we continue to go down in our case rate.” San Bernardino County on Tuesday launched an ad campaign called “Keep it Small” to discourage gatherings that would violate state health orders. The message will be spread on the county’s social media and websites, as well as possibly digital banners, spokesman David Wert said. Related links Super Bowl ban: LA County restaurants, breweries can reopen outdoors – but with no TV…

Traffic piles up as 3,500 vaccinated against coronavirus at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana

Traffic was heavy as San Bernardino County’s first coronavirus vaccination super site got underway Tuesday, Feb. 2, with plans to vaccinate 3,500 people. The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana booked all 3,500 appointments within 17 minutes, with people over 65, medical workers and first responders eligible for the vaccine. Chino resident Tom Connelly, 70, sits in his convertible Mustang as he receives his initial dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine by licensed vocational nurse Tracy Fairley at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana during San Bernardino County’s first “super site” to distribute the vaccine Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. The site was giving out 3,500 first doses of the vaccine. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Recipients wait in line to receive their dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana during San Bernardino County’s first “super site” distribution Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. The site was giving out 3,500 first doses of the vaccine. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds A health care worker prepares to give out a dose of the Moderna…

OC sheriff won’t reconsider practice that delayed helicopter rescue of fatally injured Fontana boy

Leaders of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Authority are refusing to reconsider a practice that required dispatchers to send a fire helicopter to retrieve a badly injured child even though it was 18 minutes away while a sheriff’s helicopter was close by. The 7-year-old Fontana boy died of his injuries in the 2019 traffic accident on the 241 Tollway east of Anaheim Hills, causing some to question if he might have survived with a faster helicopter response. At issue is the current practice not to use sheriff’s rescue helicopters to transport victims from nonrural, paved areas. That practice is now under fire by the former head of the sheriff’s aviation unit and an email ostensibly from an emergency dispatcher for the Orange County Fire Authority. Some trustees on the fire board say Sheriff Don Barnes and Fire Chief Brian Fennessy should meet and find a way to ensure more victims aren’t left waiting while a sheriff’s helicopter is readily available. But Barnes and Fennessy now say there is nothing to talk about, pointing to an agreement between the two agencies that limits…

Coronavirus: Here is each county tier level and vaccination totals in California on Feb. 2

As of Tuesday, Feb. 2, California had fully vaccinated 1.5% of its population. According to the California Department of Public Health’s Vaccine Dashboard about 6.25 million doses have been shipped and of those 3.64 have been administered. Los Angeles (917,491), San Diego (365,205) and Orange (301,433) counties have administered the most doses to date. About 99% of the data is recorded by the patient’s county of residence. This map from Bloomberg shows how California compares to other states in doses per 100 people, as of Feb. 1. California vaccination phases: Current tier assignments In California, 54 of its 58 counties are in the purple tier (considered widespread risk), three counties in the orange tier (moderate risk) and one in the red tier (substantial risk) according to the state’s four-tier coronavirus tracking system. On Nov. 24, the state had 41 counties in purple, 11 counties in red, four in orange, two in yellow. Counties are assigned to a tier based on metrics showing the speed and the spread of the virus in their borders. The states progression in tiers since Sept. 22: State metrics: Sources: covid19ca.gov,…

As coronavirus vaccination efforts grow in San Bernardino County, key numbers improve

San Bernardino County continues to see week-over-week improvement in three key metrics state officials use to track the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus. While the county remains in the purple tier, meaning there is widespread risk, state data released Tuesday, Feb. 2, show its adjusted case rate, positivity rate and health equity metric, or positivity rate in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, are on the decline for a third consecutive week. As of Jan. 23, San Bernardino County had an adjusted case rate of 50.2, a positivity rate of 12.7% and a health equity metric of 13.9%. Though still far from what is needed to reopen more indoor businesses, the numbers represent large drops compared to three weeks ago, when those figures reached pandemic highs of 102.8, 24.1% and 26%, respectively. To advance on the state’s color-coded tier system, a county needs two consecutive weeks of a seven-day adjusted case rate between four and seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5% and 8% and a health equity rate between 5.3% and 8%. Meeting these benchmarks would move the county from the…

Montclair and Big Bear Lake denounce Capitol riot and urge other cities to do the same

The heady issues of democracy, as played out in our 245-year-old republic, are getting a boost in San Bernardino County from a surprising source: local governments. So far, two cities — Big Bear Lake and Montclair — adopted resolutions in the past few weeks in support of the Constitution of the United States, singling out the principles of free and fair elections, checks and balances on a tri-lateral form of government, honest debates, free speech and the peaceful transition of power. What prompted the unusual resolutions was the breach of the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6 by a mob accused of trying to stop Congress from certifying the election of President Joe Biden. Five people were killed as a result of the rioting. As of Tuesday,  Feb. 2, police have arrested and charged 230 people in connection to the breach. FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioting supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Historians say Trump’s legacy and his electoral undoing will be largely shaped by rhetoric aimed at stirring his largely…

Ritchie Valens’ concert in Pomona was among his last

Feb. 3, 1959 is the date Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, on tour together in the Midwest, died together in a small plane crash that had a giant impact on the popular imagination. “The day the music died,” as Don McLean later put it in “American Pie.” Valens, born Richard Valenzuela, grew up in Pacoima and was only 17 when he died. He left a small body of work, but it’s good enough to have made me a latter-day fan. It helps that my beloved Pomona plays a part. Ever alert to the local angle, I wrote on the 60th anniversary — Feb. 3, 2019 — about Valens’ two live performances in Pomona. That was that, until last weekend, when out of the blue, a few small details about the second concert came to light. Fortuitous timing: I can put them on the record, as it were, in time for the 62nd anniversary. The Iowa plane crash that claimed Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson ran as banner news atop the Pomona Progress-Bulletin on Feb. 3, 1959. (Courtesy of…

Coronavirus vaccination efforts ramp up in Riverside County as key numbers improve

As Riverside County ramps up vaccination efforts, the three key metrics state officials use to track the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus all improved from last week, data released Tuesday, Feb. 2, show. Yet, even with successive week-over-week drops, the county’s adjusted case rate and positivity rate still lead the state, while its health equity metric, or positivity rate in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, ranks fourth. As of Jan. 23, Riverside County had an adjusted case rate of 70.7, a positivity rate of 16.6% and a health equity metric of 18.5%. The county’s latest adjusted case rate is half of what it was three weeks ago. Neighboring San Bernardino County also continues to see week-over-week improvement in these three key figures. To advance on the state’s color-coded tier system, a county needs two consecutive weeks of a seven-day adjusted case rate between four and seven daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a positivity rate between 5% and 8% and a health equity rate between 5.3% and 8%. Meeting these benchmarks would move the county from the purple tier, meaning there is widespread risk of transmission, to…

Inland Empire Community Foundation names first African American board chair

Inland Empire Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds has been named the first African American Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Dr. Brown-Hinds will succeed outgoing Chair, J. Sergio Bohon. The Foundation also appointed three new officers, Nefertiti Long, as Vice Chair, Kathy Johnson, as CFO, and Jeremy Hobbs as Secretary. IECF also welcomes new Board member, Ann Sheffer. “I want to thank Sergio for his leadership and support, particularly during this time of great concern for our nonprofits and communities in the Inland Empire,” said Michelle Decker, President and CEO of IECF. “As we start 2021, I’m excited to have Paulette as our new Board Chair. During her tenure, our Board has become stronger and more diverse as well as thoughtful. Her skills as a networker and community leader will help us build a stronger culture of philanthropy for the IE.” “We are in unprecedented times and now, more than ever, as the region’s largest and oldest community foundation, our mission to strengthen philanthropy in the Inland Empire will play a significant role in helping the social sector lead through our…

Emergency evacuations declared due to storms, families return home

On Thursday morning, January 28th, San Bernardino County declared emergency evacuations of the recent burn areas surrounding the cities of Yucaipa, Forest Falls, Oak Glen, Mountain Home Village, and Mentone. Several displaced households were directed to the American Red Cross Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) setup at Redlands East Valley High School in the City of Redlands. Heavy rains and mudslides were expected to cause dangerous life-threatening conditions in the recent mountain burn areas. All residents in the affected areas were ordered to evacuate before the storm descended upon their communities. Savannah Davis, her five kids, and her mother found out about the evacuation on Thursday night and the Red Cross placed them at the DoubleTree. The kids were excited about being away from home, but Savannah and her mom Shawn Baker were very concerned about damage to their home and/or if there would be a way to get back home if roads were affected. Red Cross volunteers established a 24/7 TEP for affected residents to register for hotel rooms. Snacks and hydration were also available at the TEP location. Red Cross volunteers were there to…

Riverside County public libraries reopening, with coronavirus limitations

Many Riverside County libraries will reopen to the public Monday, Feb. 8, with limitations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the county announced. Visitors will have “limited access” inside libraries for an hour, a county news release states. Masks must be worn by staff and patrons. Related Articles Riverside County official warns against Super Bowl parties 3,500 being vaccinated against coronavirus at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana Biden administration to send vaccines to pharmacies Why Disneyland killed its annual pass program Capt. Tom, WWII vet and UK fundraising hero, dies at 100 Floor decals will encourage social distancing, the number of public computers will be reduced and common-area lounge furniture will be removed. The maximum capacity for each branch will be determined by the number of available computers and the space needed for browsing bookshelves. Libraries will resume normal business hours. Digital and curbside service will be available, as will hand-sanitizer stations and sneeze guards at all transaction counters. Information: 951-369-3003 or www.rivlib.net.

Cajon High takes first place in County Mock Trial finals

The Cajon High School Cowboys took first place in the 39th Annual San Bernardino County Mock Trial finals when it defeated Los Osos High School in the event finals held virtually on Jan. 23.. Cajon now advances to the California Mock Trial Finals scheduled for March 18–21, 2021. “Mock Trial was an adventure that turned into a joy ride of growth and camaraderie,” said head coach Robert Grande. “The students did this for the City of San Bernardino, the local community, and most importantly for Cajon High School.” The victory marked the second title in three years for Cajon as it advances to the state competition in March. The team from San Bernardino City Unified won their first County title at the 2018-2019 competition. “We are excited for another opportunity to participate in the state Mock Trial competition. It is a great honor because we know we have competed against several phenomenal teams, such as Los Osos,” said Cajon Principal Teenya Bishop. “Our hopes are that we can continue to represent our school, District, and county well.” Los Osos High of the Chaffey Joint Union…

Riverside County official warns against Super Bowl parties

With the Super Bowl set to kick off Sunday, Feb. 7, Riverside County’s public health director is urging the public to help secure a win against the coronavirus by avoiding gatherings of people from different households to watch the game. Kim Saruwatari told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 2, that the event “gives us a little bit of concern.” She said county health officials “want people to continue to mask and maintain social distance and also minimize mixing of families, even for something like the Super Bowl so that we can make sure we continue to go down in our case rate.” Related links Super Bowl ban: LA County restaurants, breweries can reopen outdoors – but with no TV screens What Southern California casinos are doing for Super Bowl 55 Riverside County focusing coronavirus vaccine efforts on those 85 and older Riverside County’s January coronavirus deaths double December’s record Riverside County reaching out to those who need second coronavirus vaccine dose After spiking in December and January, the county’s COVID-19 case rate, the rate at which coronavirus tests come back positive, and other…

Stater Bros. Charities’ Harvesting Hope campaign raises more than $435,000

Stater Bros. Charities recently announced that its Harvesting Hope in our Community campaign raised more than $435,000 to provide meals to people in the communities served by Stater Bros. Markets. During the November and December campaign, customers and employees contributed in Stater Bros. stores by donating loose change in the coin canisters or adding a $5 donation card during checkout and contributed online by scanning a QR code or sending a text. The funds raised will provide up to 3.9 million meals to individuals and families in need, according to a news release. “These funds come at a critical time as we head into the new year and our neighbors continue to struggle through the pandemic and economic downturn,” Nancy Negrette, chairman and president Stater Bros. Charities, said in the news release. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our valued customers and employees during these challenging times. Their support ensures food gets into the hands who need it most,” Negrette said. All funds raised in the campaign will stay local, with a large portion benefitting regional food banks and the remaining funds going…

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