Megan Jamerson

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As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close for Muslims this Sunday, a Riverside mosque continues to adapt to keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community for Muslims, is usually a time of large gatherings and shared meals. Instead, like all other religious groups, the Islamic Center of Riverside had to adjust to COVID-19 restrictions.

"It feels really strange and awkward. Nobody imagined this sort of thing could happen.”

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Community organizations making phone calls to remind historically undercounted Inland Empire residents to take the census have adjusted their scripts to include a coronavirus welfare check. 

Italia Garcia, knows it must be strange to get a phone call from someone you don’t know asking you how you are.

“Sometimes you know, people are not very receptive to that, but for the most part people have been very very receptive to our calls," says Garcia.

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A bill proposed by State Assemblymember James Ramos, that would reduce rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, moved one step closer to state law Tuesday. 

The bill, introduced to the state assembly in February by Highland’s Assemblymember James Ramos, unanimously passed the Public Safety Committee on May 19.

In a press release, Ramos, the former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, says the murder rates of Native American women can be ten times the national average on some reservations.

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Riverside County expanded its coronavirus testing, on Monday, to include walk-up sites in Moreno Valley and Cathedral City.

Residents can now be tested at two county operated walk-in testing sites. Sites include a location at Crossword Christian Church in Moreno Valley and a screening site in Cathedral City.

These will be the first walk-in sites operated by the county. There are already eight state run walk-in testing sites in the area.

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Researchers at the University of California Riverside(UCR) say the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the Inland Empire’s decade of growth in nonprofits.

Non-profit startups have increased by 42 percent over the last decade in the Inland Empire, but it could all be at risks due to pandemic related financial hits says Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director of the Center for Social Innovation at UCR.

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CalTrans has installed a sign on State Route 38 to honor the memory of a Mentone based U.S. Forest Service firefighter.

  

The sign in honor of U.S. Forest Service firefighter Brent Michael Witham was installed near Mentone to rename a section of State Route 38 between Mill Creek Bridge and Mountain Home Creek Bridge in his memory on April 29.

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Couples wishing to get married during the COVID-19 shutdown have a new option in San Bernardino County with online video marriage ceremonies. 

“I now pronounce you married. You may seal your vows with a kiss.”

That’s Melissa Garcia, Chief Deputy Recorder for San Bernardino County performing their first ever video wedding for Yucca Valley residents Trent and Crystal Bell on May 11.

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Riverside County Superior Court announced it will be extending its closure of non-essential matters through the end of May.

Citing COVID-19 related concerns and compliance with federal, state and local guidelines, the court closure, extended now through May 29 will affect most court appearances including jury trials and jury duty summons.

The court remains open for limited emergency matters and notes that all visitors are required to be masked and maintain six feet of social distance.

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