Longtime Inland Empire journalist and KVCR contributor Cassie MacDuff and KVCR's Benjamin Purper review some of the big Inland Empire news stories from the past week, including:


Tickets to Palm Springs’ 21st annual Modernism Week are now available online. The event recently postponed its in-person events to April due to the pandemic.

In a blog post, Modernism Week explained the delay gives more time for the region’s health status to improve and for the event to make additional safety accommodations for the public.

Masks will be required for all in-person events scheduled from April 8 to 18 and will include architectural tours, a car show and a cocktail event.

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

Diocese of San Bernardino/YOUTUBE

Bishop Alberto Rojas officially took over as head of the San Bernardino Catholic Diocese in December. Rojas arrived almost a year ago in anticipation of Bishop Gerald Barnes’ retirement, and he hopes to soon finish a cycle of visiting all 92 parishes and 10 missions in the region. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson recently had the chance to speak with the Bishop.

Today on Inland Edition, Lillian Vasquez speaks with Michael Osur, Assistant Director for Riverside County Public Health. Michael is one of the key people working on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Riverside County. He shares the latest important information. Also on the show, Lillian talks with Ryan Hagen, a reporter with Southern California News Group which includes The Sun. Ryan shares information about restaurants and the requirements connected to Stay at Home orders.

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

  1. UC Riverside astronomers are among a team of researchers studying “Super Earth”, a planet about 50% larger than Earth.
  2. California counties are learning that the state system to register high-risk healthcare workers during Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccinations is presenting challenges.
  3. Governor Newsom is calling for schools to begin welcoming students back to classrooms next month.

Riverside University Health System

Inland Empire counties are quickly learning that the state system being used to register people for the COVID-19 vaccine can cause challenges. 

Riverside County director of public health Kim Saruwatari told her board of supervisors on Tuesday that vaccine registrations on the county’s website are filling up so fast that some people who are eligible to get the vaccine during Phase 1a of the distribution can not get appointments.

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:


The Riverside County Department of Social Services will begin hosting its annual conference on human trafficking prevention virtually on Monday. 

Dr. Katariina Rosenblatt, a trafficking survivor and author of the book Stolen, will speak at the conference on Thursday. She said trafficking is a challenging problem to bring awareness to.

Longtime Inland Empire journalist and KVCR contributor Cassie MacDuff and KVCR's Benjamin Purper review some of the big Inland Empire news stories from the past week, including:


Just In From NPR:

Nearly 30 sworn police officers from a dozen departments attended the pro-Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol last week, and several stormed Capitol with rioters and are facing federal criminal charges as well as possible expulsion or other discipline.

The officers are from departments large and small. There was veteran officer in Houston, the nation's eighth-largest department; a sergeant in the small town of Rocky Mount, Va., and a group of Philadelphia transit officers.

The U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands sent a jubilant tweet on Monday, claiming to have "made some history today." He had welcomed Taiwan's de facto ambassador into the U.S. Embassy for a meeting.

The White House push to vaccinate against the coronavirus will have a new name and new leadership under the Biden administration.

The "Operation Warp Speed" name will be retired, incoming White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Friday. She said there was an "urgent need to address the failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution." Psaki did not say what the new name will be.

Sean Urbanski, a former University of Maryland student who stabbed and killed a Black Army lieutenant at a bus stop in May 2017, was sentenced to life in prison for what prosecutors said was a racially motivated hate crime.

A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge handed down the life sentence for Urbanski, 25. However, the judge denied the prosecution's request for a sentence without parole.

"I'm absolutely satisfied that justice was served," said Maryland State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy, whose office prosecuted the case against Urbanski.

Strict Security Measures In Place Across The Nation Ahead Of Inauguration Day

Updated 4 p.m. ET Law enforcement officials are bracing for possible serious security breaches and violent assaults ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in next week. State and federal officials are taking no chances as the countdown begins for Inauguration Day. The heightened security comes after a violent siege at the U.S. Capitol last week from pro-Trump extremists that resulted in the death of five people and forced lawmakers into hiding. The FBI is seeing "an extensive amount of...

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'I May Not Get There With You': An Eyewitness Account Of MLK's Final Days

Clara Jean Ester was a college student at Memphis State College in Tennessee when she bore witness to a series of pivotal moments in civil rights history. As a junior, Ester joined the Memphis Sanitation Strike in 1968, alongside African American sanitation workers who were calling to demand better working conditions and higher wages. A young Clara Jean Ester graduated from Memphis State College, now known as the University of Memphis. Now, Ester is a retired organizer and Methodist deaconess...

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$1,400 Checks And Help For The Jobless: What's In Biden's Plan To Rescue The Economy

Updated at 8 pm ET President-elect Joe Biden has long pledged he would deliver an aggressive plan to address the raging coronavirus pandemic and the painful recession it spawned. On Thursday, he did just that, proposing an ambitious $1.9 trillion relief plan that includes $1,400 stimulus checks, additional benefits for the unemployed, as well hundreds of billions of dollars for struggling businesses and local governments. "The crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight," Biden said...

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Mask-Wearing, Social Distancing Improve, But Too Slowly, Survey Shows

Americans are being more careful to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus but are still not being careful enough to slow the pandemic, especially with worrisome, apparently more contagious new variants looming. That's the conclusion of the latest findings, released Friday , from the largest national survey tracking behavior during the coronavirus pandemic. "It's good news-bad news," says David Lazer of Northeastern University, who is helping run the survey with colleagues at Harvard,...

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Science, Technology, And Medicine From NPR

A Medical Treatment For Meth Addiction Proves Effective In New Trial

For the first time, a medication regime has been found effective for some patients with meth addiction in a large, placebo-controlled trial. It's welcome news for those working with the growing number of people struggling with meth addiction. "It's progress and it's quite significant," says Dr. Nora Volkow , director of the National Institute on Drug Addiction, which funded the two-year clinical trial involving roughly 400 patients. The study was published Wednesday in The New England Journal...

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'MLK/FBI' Humanizes A Civil Rights Icon's Legacy

A year ago the official Twitter account of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tweeted , "Today, the FBI honors the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." It was accompanied by a photo of the FBI Academy's reflecting pool, where a quote from King is etched in stone: "The time is always right to do what is right." This wasn't the first time the FBI sent out a statement honoring the slain civil rights leader on the holiday that bears his name, and the responses to the...

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Justice Department Knew 2018 Border Policy Would Separate Children From Families

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions knew his "zero tolerance" policy on illegal entry along the Southwest border in 2018 would separate children from their parents, a watchdog office reported on Thursday. Despite warnings that the government couldn't care for the children, he pushed forward with the policy. As a result, more than 3,000 children were separated from their families. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a critical review which found the...

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What We Know So Far: A Timeline Of Security Response At The Capitol On Jan. 6

The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a security failure, an intelligence failure — or both. How could security forces in the nation's capital be so swiftly and completely overwhelmed by rioters who stated their plans openly on a range of social media sites? President Trump had even tweeted on Dec. 19: "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" Washington, D.C., is known for its multitude of law enforcement agencies — a fact reflected in the agencies involved in...

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We Need To Be Able To Feel

I can think of no better summation of our shared experience over the last year than "A World Lost," the title of the piece that opens Maria Schneider's Data Lords . A slow, foreboding dirge in an oblong time signature, it instantly sets a tone of somber contemplation. Revisiting it now, as an overture to the most critically acclaimed jazz album of 2020 , I hear a chronicle of pained nostalgia — mindful of the unbearable losses of life and livelihood, and the more slippery deprivations of...

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'WandaVision': The Next Era Of The MCU Will Be Televised

It's been a while since we saw the logo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — those fast-flipping comics pages, that stirring anthem of strings and brass and clashing cymbals — and I'm pleased to report that it retains its power to act as visual appetizer, whetting our collective palate for the mix of iconic, larger-than-life, vibrantly colored acts of selfless heroism, cosmic stakes and petty intra-hero squabbling that is the Marvel brand. It's tacked to the opening of all nine episodes of...

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Pandemic Fuels Record Overdose Deaths

After their son died, Jackie and Robert Watson found a stack of popsicle sticks in his Milwaukee apartment. He'd written an affirmation on each one. "I am a fighter." "Don't sweat the small stuff." "My kids love me." Brandon Cullins, 31, had been working with a drug counselor, who advised him to write the messages to himself. Picking up the popsicle sticks, the Watsons were able to see how hard their son wanted to kick his battle with cocaine. But they also wondered why he hadn't asked them...

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Coronavirus World Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Outbreak

This page is updated regularly. Explore the chart below to find a country-by-country breakdown of new and total cases since January. In late spring and early summer, new COVID-19 cases were largely driven by cases in the Americas. While the U.S. has consistently had the most new daily cases of coronavirus in the region, Brazil's new daily cases increased rapidly between May and August. However, in September, several countries that had previously flattened their curve saw a resurgence in cases...

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