Chino High School celebrates 2024 graduation

Chino High School seniors said goodbye Tuesday, May 21, during a jubilant commencement at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. Chino High School graduates celebrate Tuesday, May 21, 2024, as streamers are shot into the air during graduation at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chino High School graduate Eva Escobar celebrates on stage during commencement at the Toyota Arena in Ontario on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chino High School seniors Sebastian Alvarado, left, and Nicholas Bergiadis relax as classmates line up before the Tuesday, May 21, 2024, commencement at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chino High School senior Abraham Rivera acknowledges family members Tuesday, May 21, 2024, during commencement at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Families cheer for Chino High School graduates during the Tuesday, May 21, 2024, graduation at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Chino High School valedictorian Rosario Chavez gives her speech Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. (Photo by

91 Freeway traffic at Riverside’s Adams Street exit could improve with project

Planned upgrades to the 91 Freeway’s Adams Street interchange in Riverside, which regularly backs up with traffic, are a long time coming. An initial project report from Caltrans and the city of Riverside, which are partnering on the project, mentions that an earlier study completed in the 1990s “was not advanced due to a lack of funding.” Here are some questions and answers about the project. Why is the work proposed? Put simply: Traffic is bad. The report notes that Adams Street is “one of the primary north-south arterials” connecting local traffic to the freeway. It also connects major thoroughfares Victoria Avenue and Arlington Avenue. Two major sites flank the freeway at that spot: California Baptist University to the north and the Riverside Auto Center to the south. The Adams Street exit of the 91 Freeway in Riverside is seen Thursday, May 16, 2024. A proposed project aims to address congestion on the highway and nearby intersections. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Traffic moves toward the Adams Street exit of the 91 Freeway in Riverside on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The

Project aims to improve 91 Freeway congestion at Adams Street

Planned upgrades to the 91 Freeway’s Adams Street interchange in Riverside, which regularly backs up with traffic, are a long time coming. An initial project report from Caltrans and the city of Riverside, which are partnering on the project, mentions that an earlier study completed in the 1990s “was not advanced due to a lack of funding.” Here are some questions and answers about the project. Why is the work proposed? Put simply: Traffic is bad. The report notes that Adams Street is “one of the primary north-south arterials” connecting local traffic to the freeway. It also connects major thoroughfares Victoria Avenue and Arlington Avenue. Two major sites flank the freeway at that spot: California Baptist University to the north and the Riverside Auto Center to the south. The Adams Street exit of the 91 Freeway in Riverside is seen Thursday, May 16, 2024. A proposed project aims to address congestion on the highway and nearby intersections. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The Sun/SCNG) Traffic moves toward the Adams Street exit of the 91 Freeway in Riverside on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, The

Riverside newsman Mel Opotowsky was fearsome, respected, loved

Former Press-Enterprise reporters said they lived in fear that Mel Opotowsky, the managing editor, would take an interest in their work. Yes, his attention might mean their story was headed for page one. But there was a downside. “You wrote the story and Mel would see the holes. He would say ‘Call him back. Call him back,’” recalled Jim Richardson, who was at the paper from 1976-83. “He would go through your story like a velociraptor, slashing, tearing and cutting,” said Phil Pitchford, a reporter from 1990-2008. “Stories of people being scared of Mel are all true,” admitted Ray Smith, there from 1986-2001. “If he came out of his office, people would think he was coming to talk to them. They’d hide. They’d run down the stairs.” If you were in his presence, Mel O., as he was nicknamed, might not need to say anything. He might just peer over his glasses with his piercing blue eyes. Apparently that was enough. Opotowsky, who came to Riverside in 1973 from Newsday and retired in 1999, died April 18 at age 92. We had an extensive obituary

San Bernardino council to review city manager Charles Montoya’s performance

A week after he fired the city’s finance director, San Bernardino City Manager Charles Montoya may face the same fate. Late Monday, May 20, the city announced a special closed-doors City Council meeting that comes a week after Barbara Whitehorn, the former director of finance and management services, publicly announced her termination and raised concerns about the cost of the planned renovation of City Hall. According to the agenda for the meeting Wednesday, May 22, the council is expected to discuss evaluating, dismissing and appointing a city manager. It’s been eight months since the council hired Montoya, a veteran public administrator, bringing an end to a contentious nine-month process to replace former city manager Rob Field. Montoya was offered the job Oct. 18 and formally started as city manager on Oct. 30, with a salary of $325,000 his first year. The council’s planned review of his performance Wednesday is the second such review this year. The council discussed the issue behind closed doors May 1. According to Montoya’s contract, the council must conduct at least one performance review of his work each year. Sign up

No right turns on red at this 215 Freeway off-ramp in San Bernardino, here’s why

Q: Mike Murphy of Colton asked why a right turn on the red light is not allowed at the southbound Inland Center off-ramp on the 215 Freeway in San Bernardino, and if not allowing right turns on a red light or stop sign is common. A: Some intersections with visual obstacles don’t allow right turns on red lights because traffic engineers have deemed it to be unsafe. This isn’t new. Usually when a right turn on a red is not allowed (a sign will be posted saying you can’t make a right turn on the red light), it’s because there is a visual hazard or something at the intersection which blocks the driver’s view, said California Highway Patrol Officer Dan Olivas of the Inland Division. At this location, there is a large fence on the freeway overcrossing protecting a pedestrian crosswalk and it could be obstructing the view, Olivas said, looking at images online of the location. Q: Patricia James of Temecula noted that the law requires all vehicles registered in California to have, and display, front and rear license plates. She said that about a

Pasadena minimum wage set to go up July 1

The hourly minimum wage will rise from $16.93 per hour to $17.50 on July 1 for all Pasadena businesses, the city announced Monday. Pasadena’s minimum wage provides a steeper increase than the state’s wage hike, which rose from $15.50 hourly in 2023 to $16 on Jan. 1. The new pay rate will remain until it rises again on June 30, 2025. The Pasadena City Council adopted its own minimum wage ordinance in March 2016, which according to city officials was “prior to the State of California’s action, and the state’s minimum wage does not preempt Pasadena’s minimum wage ordinance.” Following several mandated annual increases, Pasadena’s minimum wage is currently adjusted based on “an amount equal to the change in the consumer price index,” according to the city’s announcement. On April 1, the state’s minimum wage for all national fast-food chain restaurants became $20 an hour. This supersedes Pasadena’s ordinance, so all fast-food establishments within the city limits must pay the higher rate. More information on California’s minimum wage for fast-food workers is available from the Department of Industrial Relations at Dir.Ca.Gov/Dlse/Minimum_Wage.htm. “Recognizing the importance of the

Cal State LA graduations start as pro-Gaza protesters vow to stay ‘until more is decided’

Inside the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the atmosphere was thick with joy on Monday, May 20, the first day of six commencement ceremonies for graduates of Cal State L.A. At the same time, about eight miles east, a serene, yet determined scene emerged at the university campus’s “Gaza solidarity encampment,” which entered its 20th day in front of the school’s gymnasium. On one hand, students were celebrating the future. On the other, it was clear that the impact of recent weeks was resonating. ‘Just the beginning’ The events set for Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21 are hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where officials said over 5,700 students would be conferred as graduates of the Class of 2024. “You are here to acknowledge your amazing accomplishments of your education. Thank you for choosing us,” said CSULA President Berenecea Eanes in her opening remarks Monday morning, during a ceremony for graduates in the College of Business and Economics. “The world desperately needs you to be who you are, to take care of your families, to be critical thinkers, to continue

2,300 students graduate from Chaffey College in 2024

Chaffey College’s Class of 2024 earned some 3,300 degrees and certificates and included seven valedictorians. There were also more than 29 high school students who graduated through the dual enrollment program, according to a news release from the college. “Whether you are going on to a four-year college or university or entering the workforce, you are taking your Chaffey education with you and making our communities and our world a better place,” said Chaffey College Superintendent/President Henry D. Shannon. The commencement ceremonies were held Thursday, May 16. The cumulative GPA of the Class of 2024 was 3.23, a slight increase from 2023, according to the release. The oldest graduate is 78-year-old, and the youngest is 15. Chaffey College graduates “accessorized” their caps and gowns for the ceremony held at the Toyota Arena in Ontario on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. (Photo by Jeanine Hill, Chaffey College) Chaffey College Superintendent/President Henry D. Shannon welcomes the graduates to the ceremony held at the Toyota Arena in Ontario on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. (Photo by Jeanine Hill, Chaffey College) A Chaffey College graduate, adorned in flowers, shows off her diploma

Cal Poly Pomona graduation ceremonies hand out nearly 7,000 degrees

More than 6,900 students are now graduates of Cal Poly Pomona. RELATED: Graduation 2024 schedule: Dates, times for Inland Valley high schools, universities In campus ceremonies between Friday, May 17, and Monday, May 20, the university handed out bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from summer 2023, fall 2023 and spring 2024, a news release states. A graduate cheers Friday, May 17, 2024, after receiving his diploma at the Huntley College of Agriculture’s graduation at Cal Poly Pomona. (Courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona) Graduates pose for a photo at the College of Business Administration graduation at Cal Poly Pomona on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (Courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona) Graduates show off their diplomas Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the College of Engineering commencement at Cal Poly Pomona. (Courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona) Family and friends pose for a photo with their graduate at the Huntley College of Agriculture graduation Friday, May 17, 2024, at Cal Poly Pomona. (Courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski, Cal Poly Pomona) Students prepare to graduate from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona on

Remembering those who served in the nation’s wars, in combat and on the homefront

For my column nearest Memorial Day, I pore through newspapers of our past and find stories – big and small – that recall those who served during the nation’s wars, in combat and on the homefront. Here are a few worth remembering: A great escape In a story seemingly right out of Hollywood, Army Pfc. Lloyd C. Greer of Ontario returned to American lines in Italy after being missing for 90 days in World War II. He was part of a machine gun platoon in February 1944 in the midst of heavy fighting. Other members of his platoon were forced to withdraw, but he refused to budge. He was last seen surrounded by the German troops, according to the Sun of June 11, 1944. Greer was officially declared missing in action on March 1. Miraculously, he was recovered by an American patrol after 90 days. Greer had spent much of the time away as a German POW, but he managed to escape his captives and hide in the nearby mountains. He said he wandered for 19 days before he was rescued. Later that year, he

Photos: Class of 2024 valedictorians and top scholars for San Bernardino County and Inland Valley

Name: Brenda Guzman-Reyes — Age: 17 — High school: Eisenhower Senior High School — GPA: 4.61 — High School Activities or Groups: Sobobans, Elite Eagles, Academic Decathlon — After Graduation/College Plans: Attend university to study chemical engineering or material science — Career Goal: Chemist working with textiles — Parents: Olivia Guzman Reyes, Jesus Guzman Name: Manuel Perez-Bacaro — Age: 18 — High school: Eisenhower High School — GPA: 4.64 — High School Activities or Groups: Cross country, Track and Field — After Graduation/College Plans: After graduation I plan on attending to UC Irvine in majoring Criminal Justice — Career Goal: Looking to become a FBI agent — Parents: Name: Daniel — Age: 17 — High school: Eisenhower High School — GPA: 4.85 — High School Activities or Groups: – Eisenhower Golden Eagle Marching Regiment – Ike’s Golden Gazette (school newspaper) – Eisenhower Afro-Latin Ensemble – Eisenhower Concert Band – Volunteer at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center – Soloist for Pace Percussion Ensemble — After Graduation/College Plans: I will be attending UCLA majoring in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics on the premed track — Career Goal: Doctor

Photos: Class of 2024 valedictorians and top scholars for Riverside County

Name: Christina Chimal — Age: 17 — High school: Ramona High School — GPA: 4.67 — High School Activities or Groups: Marine JROTC Captain Mock Trial Lead Trial Attorney ROTC Expert Marksman ROTC Raiders Team ROTC Drill Team Asian Student Union President 4th Degree Black Belt (Taekwondo) National Collegiate Taekwondo Association High School Champion — After Graduation/College Plans: Committed to University of California, Riverside majoring in Business Economics, planning to pursue a degree in law — Career Goal: To become a lawyer and to pursue the pathway of becoming a judge — Parents: Christina Solorio & Pedro Chimal Name: Odera Arene — Age: 18 — High school: Martin Luther King High School — GPA: 4.53 — High School Activities or Groups: ASB commissioner , Choir, MUN president , Researcher at UCR, 2023-2024 Student School Board member, Jazz Combo bandleader — After Graduation/College Plans: Harvard College — Career Goal: Physician — Parents: Tagbo Arene and Oluwatoni Arene Name: Kyle Allen — Age: 18 — High school: Citrus Hill High School — GPA: 4.44 — High School Activities or Groups: Leadership Baseball — After Graduation/College Plans: Attending

Fontana OKs $1,000 deposit on campaign signs beginning with 2024 election

Hopeful politicians in Fontana must now pay a refundable $1,000 deposit if they plan to display campaign signs around town. The Fontana City Council approved the fee Tuesday, May 14. The fee ordinance went into effect the same day. Candidates running for city offices in the November 2024 election will be required to pay the deposit fee. The deposit is “a measure to ensure accountability among candidates and reimburses the city for costs associated with removing non-compliant campaign signs,” according to a report prepared by city officials. The city intends to remove any signs in public rights of way belonging to candidates who have not paid a deposit. The city would remove the signs and bill candidates, though there is currently no process for that. In addition, the city may expand the deposit requirement to candidates seeking other offices, even state legislative seats. Bobbi Jo Chavarria, a former mayoral candidate who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, called the deposit a deterrent for future council candidates in Fontana. While a $1,000 fee may be “no big sweat” for some, Chavarria said, “$1,000, even for someone who makes above

Animal intake at San Bernardino shelter could double to 12,000 in the next year

San Bernardino’s animal shelter is poised to double its intake in the coming year following the city’s agreement to partner with three neighboring communities. Starting July 1, the San Bernardino Animal Shelter will provide animal services for Colton, Fontana and Rialto. The city already has contracts with Grand Terrace and Loma Linda. In 2023, the shelter took in 6,000 animals, two-thirds of them dogs, according to Kristine Watson, director of San Bernardino’s animal services department. Next year, she said, the shelter will likely take in 12,000 animals. A trio of German Shepherds wait to be adopted as they stand in their kennel at the San Bernardino Animal Shelter in San Bernardino on Thursday, May. 2, 2024. The shelter received $4 million from the city for temporary shelter improvements as the city looks to take over shelter services for Colton, Fontana, and Rialto in July. The shelter will use the money to install temporary facilities to house the increased animal population. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG) A husky and another dog wait to be adopted as they stand in their kennel at the

Colton Joint Unified sues San Bernardino County again over Bloomington industrial project

The Colton Joint Unified School District is suing San Bernardino County for allegedly circumventing state environmental laws and not properly addressing its concerns over potentially adverse impacts when it approved a 260,000-square-foot warehouse in Bloomington. The school district voiced its opposition to the project in letters to the county Planning Commission in September 2023 and then the Board of Supervisors in January, but the county approved it anyway, according to the lawsuit, filed on Feb. 21 in San Bernardino Superior Court. Attorneys on both sides are scheduled to meet at the San Bernardino County Government Center on Thursday, May 23, for a settlement conference, court records show. A person walks near a home adjacent to a warehouse in Bloomington on Thursday, March 31. (File photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) The lawsuit marks the second time in the last four years the school district has sued the county over burgeoning industrial development in Bloomington, making it somewhat of an environmental steward in its efforts to guard against potential threats to the health and safety of its students and their families. “It is interesting that they’ve

Why a drug treatment unit for juveniles in LA County custody closed just months after opening

Los Angeles County has shut down a much-needed drug addiction treatment unit at a juvenile detention facility in Sylmar over attorneys’ concerns about the involuntary placement of juveniles into the program. The Substance Use Disorder Unit, championed last year in the wake of a fatal overdose and multiple hospitalizations within the juvenile facilities, was meant to provide “close supervision and intensive programming from counselors” to addicted youth confined specifically within the Barry J. Nidorf Secure Youth Treatment Facility. The county partnered with the Tarzana Treatment Center on the pilot program in late 2023. But by early May, youth inside the specialized unit were removed “at their request” and involuntary placements were halted until the dispute can be resolved, according to the Probation Department. “Discussions with the Court are ongoing to ensure proper placement of youth into this specialized unit,” probation officials said in a statement. “Meanwhile, Tarzana Treatment Center continues to have counselors on site daily to provide services for all youth through a variety of treatment options at Barry J. Nidorf SYTF. Providing appropriate rehabilitative care is a top priority for the Probation Department.”

Check out these hidden gems at the LA County Fair before the gates close

The LA County Fair is home to beloved attractions such as the Big Red Barn and midway, but fairgoers looking for something off the beaten path should check out these hidden gems in the fair’s final days. From train cakes to roller skates, there’s something for every fair fan to enjoy before the gates close on the 2024 season for the final time on Memorial Day. Children use the U.S. Forest Service lookout tower in America’s Great Outdoors at Fairplex in Pomona during the 2024 LA County Fair on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Mares, 12, of of Ontario Tree Circus safety director Grayson Keating climbs a tree at The Hill at the Fairplex during the 2024 LA County Fair in Pomona on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Children pose for a photograph with a display on The Hill during the 2024 LA County Fair at Fairplex in Pomona on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) America’s Great Outdoors offers hidden gems at Fairplex in Pomona during the 2024 LA County