Deserts

These are the new spacesuits for the first woman and next man on the moon

A human hasn’t landed on the moon since 1972, but NASA’s Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface by 2024. Part of that process involves upgrading the classic spacesuits worn by Apollo-era astronauts in the 1960s and 70s. NASA revealed two new spacesuits for the Artemis astronauts on Tuesday with live demonstrations. The suit for the planned landing at the lunar south pole is called the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU, because the red, white and blue suit itself is a bit like a spaceship in the way it protects the astronauts, NASA said. A second orange suit called the Orion Crew Survival System will be worn during launch and re-entry in the Orion spacecraft and provide thermal protection for the astronauts. The suits improve on the technology used in the Apollo suits as well as those currently used by astronauts on the International Space Station. These will also accommodate more sizes and provide more comfort and mobility. Bearings replace zippers for more mobility in the pressurized suits. When NASA created the first space missions, they knew…

Giuliani and a key federal agency defy House Democrats’ impeachment subpoena

Rudy Giuliani will defy House Democrats’ impeachment subpoena, a letter his attorney sent to Congress on Tuesday said. Jon Sale, Giuliani’s attorney sent a letter to Congress informing them that Giuliani will not be providing documents that were requested by subpoena. The Office of Management and Budget also does not plan to turn over the documents that impeachment committees subpoenaed, a spokeswoman said, pointing to a letter earlier this month from White House counsel Pat Cipollone saying it speaks for OMB as well. The White House letter slammed the impeachment investigation as “constitutionally illegitimate” and made clear the administration does not plan to cooperate. Giuliani is also now parting ways with his personal attorney Jon Sale who has represented him in impeachment matters, Giuliani told CNN. Sale will stop representing the former New York City mayor shortly, Giuliani told CNN. Sale had been working for Giuliani after the House of Representatives subpoenaed Giuliani for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry. “Jon was helping me with assessing (the) congressional request. He will submit his letter and he will be finished with what I asked him to do,”…

City Officials to Discuss Spending of $10 Million for Homeless Concerns

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Rancho Mirage, who helped Palm Springs secure $10 million for one-time homeless assistance, is scheduled to attend a meeting of a city subcommittee meeting Thursday to talk about prospective solutions and uses for the state funding. The 5 p.m. meeting of the Affordable Housing and Homelessness Standing Council Subcommittee, comprised of Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors and Councilwoman Christy Holstege, will be open to the public. The meeting will be held at the Palm Springs Fire Department Training Center, 3000 E. Alejo Road. Kors and Holstege worked with Mayes to secure the one-time award, which was included in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently finalized state budget, to help homeless residents in need of shelter, behavioral health assistance, employment opportunities and other services. “By partnering with the state, Palm Springs will now have the tools it needs to address the root causes of homelessness,” Mayes said when the award was announced last month. At the meeting, Kors and Holstege will release an updated report highlighting the city’s actions to address homelessness, including securing housing for about 200 homeless residents and setting up emergency overnight…

Debris Fire Burns in Thermal

A debris fire burned 20 acres in Thermal and was 0% contained Tuesday morning. The pile caught fire and was reported at approximately 4:32 p.m. Monday near 66th Avenue and Martinez Road, according to Cal Fire Riverside. No structures are threatened, but residents with a sensitivity to drift smoke were advised to stay indoors. About 50 firefighters were on scene.

Desert Hot Springs to Appoint New Police Chief

Jim Henson, who has been serving as acting Desert Hot Springs police chief since May, will be appointed to the full-time position Tuesday evening by the City Council. Henson took over the post on an interim basis following the resignation of Chief Dale Mondary, who acknowledged inappropriately texting a woman two years ago. Henson, who has served in law enforcement for 28 years, joined the Desert Hot Springs Police Department in 2005. He worked in the Patrol and Detective divisions before being promoted to sergeant in April 2014. In February 2015, Henson was promoted to commander, and in March 2017 he was promoted to the rank of deputy chief, overseeing the daily operations of the department. Henson has received multiple awards during his tenure in Desert Hot Springs, including Officer of the Year in 2009 and 2011 and the Mayor’s Big Heart Award in 2019. Henson will be officially appointed during the City Council meeting at 6 p.m.

California Man Who Had Body in His Vehicle Killed Four Family Members

The man who confessed to police that he had a dead body in his vehicle and had killed three other people at his home was identified by police as Shankar Hangud, a 53-year-old from Roseville, California. Roseville Police Capt. Josh Simon said Hangud drove to Mt. Shasta Police Department on Monday with the body of an adult male of East Indian descent in his vehicle. Hangud allegedly told police that three other victims were in his apartment more than 200 miles away, and police then found three bodies there, Simon said. The victims, two adults and two juveniles, all of East Indian descent, are believed to be members of Hangud’s family, Simon said. Roseville officers learned of the man’s confession around noon, when they received a call from Mt. Shasta police, who detained the suspect after he came in. Roseville is about 20 miles from Sacramento and about 212 miles from Mt. Shasta. Simon said police are not yet releasing a motive for the killings. Hangud is being charged with four counts of murder and will be prosecuted in Placer County, Roseville authorities said. Police are still…

Calimesa Blaze 100% Contained

Residents of the Calimesa Mobile Home Park were recovering Tuesday, one day after firefighters reached full containment of a brush fire that killed two people, destroyed 76 mobile homes and charred 1,011 acres. The so-called Sandalwood Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Thursday. Riverside County Fire Department officials announced at 5:35 p.m. Monday that it had been fully contained. The blaze started when the driver of a trash truck dumped his burning load, igniting nearby dry grass, at Sandalwood Drive and Seventh Street, near an Interstate 10 exit ramp. The property owner for the mobile home park was allowing residents to enter the property Monday and access their homes while sheriff’s deputies remained in the area to respond to any law enforcement calls for service. The Calimesa Fire Department took over command of the blaze Monday. The department had been in joint command with the RCFD, Cal Fire-San Bernardino County and the Yucaipa Fire Department. Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted at 1 p.m. Saturday for the area north of the mobile home park. Authorities said residents returning home should use County Line Road as…

Stagecoach Lineup Announced for 2020

Carrie Underwood, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett will headline next year’s Stagecoach country music festival, organizers announced Tuesday. The annual three-day event at the Empire Polo Club in Indio will take place April 24-26 — one week after weekend two of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, according to Goldenvoice, the concert promoter for both festivals. Rhett will headline Friday’s first night of the festival, which will also feature Brett Young, Dustin Lynch, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X and others. Underwood will headline Saturday’s slate, which also includes ZZ Top. Sunday’s finale is headlined by Church, but also features Alan Jackson, Jon Pardi and Bryan Adams. Tickets for the 2020 event are available at StagecoachFestival.com. Passes cost $319 and $349, or $379 and $409 with the inclusion of a shuttle pass. Individual shuttle passes are $70. Ticket prices increase to $829 for corral reserved seating in section C-2. Corral standing pit passes and coral reserved seating in section C-1 are both $1,299. Preferred parking is $89, while car camping costs $155. Camping companion parking for an additional vehicle is $55. RV camping is…

Christopher Columbus statues vandalized in California and Rhode Island

Vandals threw red paint on statues of Christopher Columbus in San Francisco and Providence, Rhode Island, as people around the US prepared to celebrate the Italian explorer. Workers in San Francisco scrubbed away the paint on the monument Sunday and worked to remove graffiti that said “Destroy all monuments of genocide and kill all colonizers.” Many groups have called for the holiday to be renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day to recognize the native people who were driven out by European explorers. San Francisco is one of several cities that observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The San Francisco statue is near the Coit Tower, a popular tourist spot, and a lot of people were there on Sunday to watch the Blue Angels perform. “It’s really, really great from up here, but unfortunately whoever decided to deface this statue — that’s just a terrible thing to do,” Steve Leiker told CNN affiliate KRON. Gina Williams, who said her grandparents are part Apache, told KRON that she understood why someone might vandalize the statue, but said it was the wrong way to send a message. “This was unnecessary,” she told KRON. “These are…

Vegetation Fire Breaks Out in Oasis

A vegetation fire broke out Monday afternoon in the agricultural community of Oasis near Thermal. The blaze, said to be burning in heavy fuels 5 to 8 feet tall, was reported around 1 p.m. in the 82900 block of Johnson Street, according to Cal Fire Riverside. There was no immediate word on what sparked the fire, which had blackened about 25 acres by 3 p.m. About 40 firefighters were on the scene.  

Police Investigating Possible Hate Crime at Palm Springs Eatery

Police put out a call Monday for witnesses to a possible hate crime that occurred at a Palm Springs restaurant. On Oct. 4 around 7 p.m., a fight broke out between three people inside Wang’s in the Desert at 424 S. Indian Canyon Drive, according to a Palm Springs Police Department statement, which said investigators “believe this incident may be a hate crime.” The department is releasing few details about the investigation for now, according to Lt. William Hutchinson. “We need witnesses to come forward to corroborate the information we do have,” he told City News Service. “Providing the information publicly may damage the investigation at this time.” One of the three involved in the brawl is considered the primary suspect, according to police, who described him as a Hispanic or white man in his late 20s to early 30s, around 6 feet tall with dark short hair. He was wearing a light colored baseball cap, a tan long-sleeve shirt and dark pants when last seen. Anyone with information about the fight was asked to call PSPD Detective Edman Escallada at 760-323-8129.

California to Require Public Colleges to Offer Abortion Medication, With a Catch

California will be the first state to require public colleges and universities to offer abortion medication at campus health centers. The new legislation was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s a reversal from former Governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed the measure last year. The law takes effect in 2023 and will only be implemented if a state commission can raise more than $10 million in private donations to pay for it.

DSUSD Hears Parent Concerns on School Closed over Corrosion

James Madison Elementary School is shut down this week after a contractor hired to modernize the school found several buildings to be structurally unsound on Friday. The buildings include the administration building, library and several modular classrooms. According to a report released by the district, the engineer found support columns to be so rusted at the base, they were worried they would not be able to hold up in high winds or earthquakes. Mold was also found. Sunday night, Desert Sands Unified School District held an emergency meeting to approve a temporary shutdown of James Madison Elementary School in Indio.  During the meeting, Pam LaPointe, a teacher who works at the school and spoke during public comment, lauded the district’s swift action but was still worried, “I’m a little concerned that on Friday night we had a BBQ at Madison and on Saturday there was Saturday school after hearing of the news on Friday at 5:00 when the LPA firm notified you or us so I‘m just concerned that maybe it wasn’t even quick enough but thank you again for making it this quick.” Mary…

Amber Alert expanded for 3-year-old girl last seen at birthday party in Alabama

An Amber Alert has been expanded to surrounding states as authorities search for a 3-year-old girl last seen at a birthday party in Birmingham, Alabama, city Police Chief Patrick Smith said Monday morning. Two people are being questioned in the disappearance of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, Smith said at a news conference. Smith said there does not appear to be any connection between the two people and the girl’s parents. The chief said police found a Toyota Sequoia with beige trim that investigators think may have been used in the girl’s disappearance. Earlier, police said they were looking for a Toyota 4Runner. “Unfortunately, investigators have not received any information on the location of Kamille,” Smith said. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement Monday saying she was working with Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr to offer a $5,000 to anyone with information on Kamille. “I am staying engaged with law enforcement officials on both the state and local levels,” Ivey’s statement read. “While the search for Kamille and the investigation into the case are ongoing, it is imperative that we remain vigilant and report any information that may…

Local cancer survivors promote awareness during Rams and Chargers games

VICTORVILLE — A group of local cancer survivors took part in Sunday’s NFL “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign at stadiums in Southern California.The cancer survivors from the High Desert joined other survivors as they took the football field to promote cancer awareness during the Los Angeles Chargers game at Dignity Health Sports Park and Los Angeles Rams game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.Some of the local cancer survivors that participated […]

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