San Bernardino

First female K-9 joins San Bernardino Police Department

A three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bella was welcomed into the San Bernardino Police Department on June 1. “Bella began a 3-week training program on June 1 and on June 19 she graduated and immediately went into the field,” said Sergeant John Echevarria, San Bernardino Police Department. Bella’s first evening on the job was met with much excitement as she assisted in a stop where she immediately located cocaine and recovered funds. “In the three-week training program K-9 Bella and her handler completed the state-required 120 hours narcotic detection training course, participated in exercises where she was introduced to scents and odors such as cocaine, meth, heroine, and marijuana. In the exercises, we will hide the scents in a building or a vehicle, she’ll then run the entire obstacle, she alerts her handler when she locates the drugs and then she’s rewarded,” continued Echevarria. Bella is the first female K-9 the department has ever purchased and Echevarria shared that agencies tend to purchase males due to cost. “The primary reason why agencies do not purchase female K-9’s as often as male K-9’s is due to cost.…

Rialto resident helps feed 14,000 people per week in response to COVID-19

Rialto resident, Chandrasekar Venkatraman, president of India Association of Inland Empire (IAIE), has been busy volunteering, coordinating and fundraising to ensure 1,500 residents of San Bernardino and Riverside counties receive a hot meal everyday, in response to COVID-19. The initiative, an effort in conjunction with United Sikh Mission (USM), not only feeds hot meals to those in need, but also to healthcare workers. “Initially, we wanted to try and feed 10 people everyday of the week and then we elevated it up to 25 people per day. I then leveraged my network and connected with USM, who was then serving 175 meals per day…Now together, we’re serving as many as 14,000 hot meals per week,” said Venkatraman. Also a senior program manager for Veolia North America, he said he has received the enthusiastic support of his colleagues, supervisors and supporters at VNA, where he handles a portfolio of major engineering and construction projects. He said that at the start of the pandemic, he reached out to his manager and inquired about volunteering on behalf of IAIE, to assist USM handle, package and distribute food. “Just…

American Red Cross recognizes local volunteers

On Tuesday, June 23, the American Red Cross San Bernardino Chapter recognized several volunteers throughout the county.  Traditionally, the Red Cross honors volunteers during a recognition ceremony banquet.  However, this year in keeping with the COVID-19 safety guidelines and social distancing, San Bernardino County Red Cross Executive, staff members, and volunteers formed a parade of vehicles that drove right up to each recipient’s home. Recipients were instructed to meet the parade of cars at their front yard with family and friends.  All participants were instructed to keep a social distance and use face coverings at all times.  As the procession of cars approached the residences, drivers and passengers would approach on foot, staying a safe distance from the home.  At most residences, volunteers would cheer and carry signs, and many would dance to music provided from a loudspeaker.  John Caviness received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for his service as a Logistics Lead for the San Bernardino County Chapter of the Red Cross. San Bernardino Red Cross Chapter’s Executive Director Yevette Baysinger presented each of the recipients a glass award trophy in recognition and…

San Bernardino native, Colton High graduate, returns home after 7-month deployment aboard Floating City at Sea

A 1996 Colton High School graduate, University of Incardinate Word studentand San Bernardino, California, native returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Chief Petty Officer Mario Gonzales is a hospital corpsman aboard the carrier. As a hospital corpsman, Gonzales is responsible for being a clinic manager. “I am responsible for daily operations of the clinic to include the personal and professional development of the sailors in the department,” said Gonzales. “My favorite part of the job is leading and mentoring sailors and junior officers. They are the future of the Navy. Developing them both personally and professionally, there is no greater feeling than watching the success of the sailors I work for. Seeing them get promoted, completing a warfare qualification or watch standing qualification ensures that Harry S. Truman is ready to always answer the nation’s call.” Following a scheduled return from deployment in March, after operating in the U.S. 5th…

CSUSB fraternity raises money to donate meals to hospital workers

Members of the Delta Sigma Phi Eta Beta chapter at Cal State San Bernardino raised more than $1,000 through a virtual fundraiser to buy meals for hospital workers at Dignity Health Community Hospital in San Bernardino. “We as a fraternity wanted to do something special for the hard-working frontline workers who are currently fighting COVID-19 every day,” said chapter president Adrian Valdivia.  The fraternity used the money to purchase meals from Alanbertos Mexican Food, a family-owned business in San Bernardino, said Valdivia, who graduated this month with a degree in communication studies with a concentration in public relations. The chapter arranged to buy 160 burritos as well as chips and water, Valdivia said. On June 12, at about noon, Valdivia and fellow chapter member Juan Saucedo, a senior majoring in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology who will graduate in the fall, donated the meals to the healthcare workers.  “The members of Delta Sigma Phi are very thankful to everyone who donated for this amazing cause, and we want to acknowledge all the heroes who are currently fighting this disease,” Valdivia said. “Stay strong!”…

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Launches Summer of a Million Meals

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB), the regional food bank of the Inland Empire, has launched the first Summer of a Million Meals campaign following the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure children and families across the Inland Empire can access nutritious food through the summer months. Through the Summer of a Million Meals campaign, FARSB is asking the community to help raise critically needed funds to ensure children can receive food through summer meal programs provided by FARSB and partner charity sites. “For far too many children, the start of summer marks the start of a long, hot, and hungry break. In fact, it’s what we refer to as the hungriest time of the year,” said Stephanie Otero, CEO at Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino. “With so much uncertainty impacting our community, one thing should never be uncertain, and that’s access to a meal,” said Otero. FARSB has set an ambitious $125,000 goal—enough to provide up to one million meals to children, families, seniors, and Veterans in the Inland Empire.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FARSB has aided nearly 100,000 Inland Empire individuals…

San Manuel Casino reopens with safety protocols in place

San Manuel Casino reopened its doors to the public on Monday, June 15, 2020 with safety measures in place after a 3-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The casino was the first tribal casino in California to suspend operations, on March 15, to ensure the health and safety of tribal members, employees, guests and the community. In partnership with Loma Linda University Health, a framework of standards was developed that includes frequent sanitation, health screenings and protocols in identifying those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, in the effort to help prevent and control potential outbreaks of the disease. Photo MJ Duncan: Touch-free temperature scanners at the entrance – guests with 100.4°F and above will not be allowed to enter. “Re-opening our doors safely and responsibly is our first priority,” said San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez. “We have taken our commitment to health and safety one step further by working with Loma Linda University Health’s San Manuel Gateway College on our health screening curriculum and organization-wide training.” According to San Manuel Public Relations Manager Jenna Brady, the tribe had to make the difficult decision to lay…

Tony and Gloria Bocanegra celebrate 65th wedding anniversary

Tony and Gloria Bocanegra are happy to announce their 65th wedding anniversary on June 11, 2020.  Pastor Monsignor Gomez performed the marriage celebration at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Redlands on June 11, 1955, where Gloria had received all her sacraments.  Gloria is a native of Redlands, and Tony was born and raised in the Westside Mt. Vernon neighborhood of San Bernardino. They believe their marriage was blessed, and their strong faith has strengthened them during good and hard times. Their four children – Lisa Marie Fabian, Martin Kerry, Anthony Jude and Maria Renee Gianni have blessed them with 5 grandsons and 1 great-granddaughter. Tony was employed at the San Bernardino Sun Newspaper for 37 years, Mt. View Cemetery and Mortuary in family Service for ten years, and Sinfonia Mexicana for over 22 years. Gloria provided a warm and loving home while employed at San Bernardino County Public Works Agency for 30 years from where she retired. Tony and Gloria were active in the communities of San Bernardino and Redlands for many years.  At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Bernardino, they were honored…

County of San Bernardino declares racism a public health crisis

On June 9, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors declared racism a public health crisis during its regular meeting. “Today we are directing staff to prepare a resolution acknowledging that racism is a public health crisis, which results in societal concerns and may result in measurable detriments to persons and communities of color in the delivery of and access to wellness, economic development and opportunity, public safety, housing, and education,” said Leonard Hernandez, County Chief Operating Officer. Jody Isenburg declaring racism a public health crisis, while reminding County Board of Supervisors that voices of people of color need to be heard on the Countywide Vision Equity Element Group. In addition to Hernandez’s direction, the County will also be adding language to the federal and state legislative platforms stating that the county supports the promotion of equity and social justice, establishing “equity” as an 11th vision element in the “Countywide Vision” with the San Bernardino County Council of Governments, and establish a Countywide Vision Equity Element Group. “We know that change is a constant element of life, we recognized that as we were putting together…

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Loma Linda University Health partner to develop health screening curriculum prior to re-opening

Continuing the decades-long partnership between Loma Linda University Health and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a new curriculum is being built at the Loma Linda University’s San Manuel Gateway College that is specifically designed to help protect the community, guests, and employees of San Manuel. San Manuel was the first Tribal casino to announce a closure, citing the safety of our tribal citizens, guests and employees. The safety of all who live and visit the San Manuel Reservation is also why San Manuel was not the first to open. More than simply sanitizing and taking temperatures, the new San Manuel Health and Safety Plan establishes organization-wide training, expanded cleaning schedules, and, among many other new policies and procedures, several new roles dedicated to preventing further spread of COVID-19. “Re-opening our doors safely and responsibly is our first priority,” said San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez. “We have taken our commitment to health and safety one step further by working with Loma Linda University Health’s San Manuel Gateway College on our health screening curriculum and organization-wide training.” A new curriculum is being developed with the San Manuel…

Legacy of Diana Harrison Martinez lives on through family, IECN, scholarship fund

This is an extraordinarily sad and happy time of year for the Harrison family. While we celebrate the birthday of our matriarch, Gloria Macias Harrison in early June, we also remember our dear daughter and sister, Diana Harrison Martinez, who left us so suddenly and unexpectedly in June 2017. Diana’s legacy lives on through the family of Inland Empire Community Newspapers (El Chicano, which began 51 years ago; the Colton Courier and the Rialto Record; and our online presence through IECN.com) and through scholarship and donation programs at Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College to deserving community college students who represent the ideals that Diana lived by — honesty, integrity, ethical leadership, and community involvement and support. Here are four students that have been assisted by the Diana Harrison Martinez Fund over the last two years: Scholarship recipients, from left: Riane Ferras, Sarah-Beth Roach, Dallas Platter, and Laura Acosta. 2018 Recipient, Crafton Hills CollegeRiane Ferras, Major: Music“My greatest accomplishments are about the willpower and determination I had to overcome obstacles.”Riane has a passion for music and has recently started tutoring others in piano.…

San Bernardino City Unified takes first place in countywide video contest

San Bernardino City Unified School District took first place in the inaugural Countywide Vision Video Challenge. School districts throughout the County of San Bernardino submitted one-minute videos that highlighted schools or programs that align with one of the Countywide Vision campaigns. SBCUSD’s video tied into Vision2Succeed. According to the County of San Bernardino, the Countywide Vision provides a roadmap for future success as it relates to a vibrant and thriving county. The District’s Linked-Learning/Career Pathway programs provide students with hands-on, real-world experience that ties classroom learning to a variety of career possibilities. High school students may participate in job shadowing, apprenticeships, or paid internships with local partners. “Medical careers don’t begin after college,” was the tagline for the SBCUSD video, which highlighted the hands-on lessons in health science and medical technology that the District has made available to some students starting in elementary school. Other career pathways will provide students with a Vision2Succeed in school and in work. The video was produced by the SBCUSD Communications/Community Relations Department featuring a script from Pacific High School students and on-screen talent from Barton Elementary School and Bing…

San Bernardino protesters are not rioters, differentiating the groups

On the evening of Sunday, May 31, hundreds took to downtown San Bernardino to peacefully protest the black lives lost at the hands of white supremacy. In less than a 24-hour time span, the city experienced a peaceful protest led by one group, which was followed by rioting and looting by another group, and finally a citywide cleanup on the morning of Monday, June 1. Photo Maha Rizvi: Protesters made stops at the San Bernardino Justice Center, police department and city hall for the abolishment of racism and police brutality. “As emotional, and at times disturbing as this weekend’s events have been, I choose to see this as an opportunity for us to come together to truly address the systemic racism that has disadvantaged a specific segment of our American family. On June 2, leaders of our community (came) to the County’s Government Center to ask us to listen, to begin the dialogue, and to initiate change right here in San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Josie Gonzales. Back at the peaceful protest, which began at city hall, protesters also made stops…

Juan Pollo donates meals to health care workers during pandemic crisis

For hospital week during the month of May, Juan Pollo partnered with local hospitals and healthcare organizations to donate meals to the noble and honorable staff working the frontlines. We want the heroes who continue to work tirelessly inside hospitals and healthcare facilities to know that the Juan Pollo family is here for them. In just one week, Juan Pollo donated 300+ meals and helped serve the community with this act of kindness. Juan Pollo was able to feed nine hospitals and health care organizations across the Inland Empire. In total, 344 meals were donated from nine Juan Pollo restaurants. Many of these Juan Pollo restaurants, Anaheim, Covina, Chino, Highland, San Bernardino, North Pomona, South Pomona, Upland, and North Ontario, delivered their donations to their local communities, with many locations having hospitals as their neighbors. Chloe Okura, HR Manager at Juan Pollo, was inspired by a local restaurant who was sponsoring an ​Adopt a Doctor/Nurse program. Seeing this act inspired her to organize something similar for Juan Pollo. Chloe says, “​We realized Hospital Week was right around the corner and lots of our owners stepped…

San Bernardino City Unified School District valedictorians and twins make Class of 2020 history

The Class of 2020 will go down in history for several reasons, but in the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), there are a few top students who deserve an extra spotlight. The SBCUSD Class of 2020 proudly boasts three African-American valedictorians from three different high schools. All three will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Delta Rho Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Kyla Duhart is not only Indian Springs High School’s first African-American valedictorian, she is also a student Board of Education member and a future SBCUSD math teacher. It’s no surprise that several colleges and universities were eager to welcome Duhart, including Grand Canyon University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, but she is planning to attend Azusa Pacific University and earn her teaching credential. Matthew Jackson is one of three San Gorgonio High School valedictorians. Prior to attending San G, Jackson was a student at Rodriguez PREP Academy. In the future, Jackson will be attending the prestigious Stanford University where he will study electrical engineering to prepare for a career in the renewable energy industry.…

CSUSB to offer additional financial aid in virtual summer session

Cal State San Bernardino will offer additional financial aid to encourage students to enroll in the 2020 summer session before the university converts this fall to a semester schedule from a quarter schedule.  Summer session courses will be conducted virtually.  “We encourage our students to enroll and attend our 2020 summer session,” said CSUSB President Tomás Morales. “The university is committed to helping our students, especially our graduating seniors, and encouraging them toward completing their degrees and graduating in a timely fashion. We have dedicated a substantial amount of financial aid to help them save money.” Along with offering a wide range of courses this summer, CSUSB has allocated more than $2 million in additional financial aid, including funds toward the Graduation Initiative Grant for seniors graduating in summer 2020.  The virtual format comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the university to temporarily suspend all face-to-face classes and all non-essential on-campus operations. The virtual format will also allow students in the summer session to take courses both synchronously and asynchronously. This will allow students the flexibility of continuing with their studies,…

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