Local news

Longtime Inland Empire economist John Husing put out his latest economic forecast Tuesday with a prediction that during 2021 the region will regain most jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leading the recovery this year will be growth in logistics, construction and healthcare wrote Husing in his newsletter. According to Inland News Today, Husing predicts this year will see jobs numbers just below pre-pandemic or 2019 levels.

Lisa Ferdinando/OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Riverside County will start giving the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine to 12- to 15-year-old’s as early as the end of this week. 

Once the county receives guidance from the federal government and state it will expand eligibility of the Pfizer vaccine to this age group said county public health officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung at Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting. Until then, he is encouraging everyone else to continue to get their doses.

Southern California air regulators delivered a major win last week in the fight to improve the region’s toxic air quality. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports they voted to hold warehouses accountable for the diesel truck pollution they attract with a rule that’s the first of its kind in the nation.

During over three hours of public comment, the South Coast Air Quality Management District heard a clear message of overwhelming support from Inland Empire locals like her said Andrea Vidaurre of the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice.

County of San Bernardino

San Bernardino County is looking to fight off sluggish COVID-19 vaccination numbers with the appeal of fire trucks and ice cream this weekend at a vaccine pop-up.

This is part of a new county program called “Our Shot for Hope” that will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to walk-ups.

The Voice on KVCR is a weekly discussion with the Black Voice News editorial team about important issues in the inland region. This week KVCR's Megan Jamerson spoke with reporter Kori Skillman about the FDA's decision last week to start the process to ban menthol cigarettes. They discuss how it might affect the Black community and what took so long.

Anthony Victoria/ People's Collective for Environmental Justice

Every summer, a blanket of smog settles in the Inland Empire, helping to rank the region’s air quality among the dirtiest in the nation. Now, a new report is raising concerns about how the logistics industry is contributing to this growing problem, and comes ahead of a vote on a rule aimed at cleaning up the industry’s emissions. 

The Voice on KVCR is a weekly discussion with the Black Voice News editorial team about important issues in the inland region.

This week KVCR's Megan Jamerson does another deep dive into COVID-19 pandemic data with Alex Reed, a Black Voice News data researcher and project associate with Mapping Black California. They discuss Reed's analysis of several trends affecting the Inland Empire’s Black community from case rates to vaccinations. 

City of Redlands

The Redlands planning commission is considering the approval of a project that would overhaul the vacant Redlands Mall which has been closed since 2010.

The developer’s proposal is for a mixed-use five story project. 722 residential units would sit above ground level restaurant, retail and office space. Underground parking and open spaces with trees and walkable areas are also part of the plan.

The plan’s development of streets and walking paths would also allow easy access to the city’s future Metrolink station four blocks to the north.  

The Voice on KVCR is a weekly discussion with the Black Voice News editorial team about important issues in the inland region. This week KVCR's Megan Jamerson spoke with Executive Editor Stephanie Williams about her report on how informal rules in leadership rotation can exclude women and minorities from positions of power within city goverments. They discuss Williams' report where she focused on how these dynamics played out in Fontana's Planning Commission in March.

Wildfire season is here and bi-lingual resources are available online for Riverside County residents to become prepared. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports one local non-profit is using trusted community messengers to prepare the Latino community for natural disasters.

Martha Carrasco, a retired civil servant, regularly canvasses her Jurupa Valley neighborhood handing out emergency preparedness information. Carrasco said for some in the Latino community, communicating in Spanish is preferred and there is also the benefit of receiving it from a trusted messegner.

Last week, KVCR-News reported on a series of grants awarded by the Southern California Association of Governments to non-profits working toward affordable housing solutions with a racial equity lens. Now, the five Inland Empire non-profits who received a combined $425,000, are sharing more about their affordable housing projects and what they hope to acheive.

Submitted/U.C. Riverside

Two U.C. Riverside physicists are working to understand the rules for how viruses build themselves, something that could drive the development of new drug therapies for COVID-19. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson spoke with them ahead of a free virtual event Tuesday, April 20 where they will discuss how their research can help us better understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Are viruses alive? And why do physicists study them? These are two questions Dr. Roya Zandi is often asked.

Inland Empire Asian American leaders on Wednesday spoke out against hate crimes locally and nationally during a telephone town hall that was attended by 2,600 community members. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports, the event focused on the unique traumas faced by the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic

The use of offensive words to describe COVID-19 like “Kung-Flu” and “Wuhan Virus” played a role in stirring up mass resentments and blame said Riverside’s Congressman Mark Takano, a Japanese American and vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

The Voice on KVCR is a weekly discussion with the Black Voice News editorial team about important issues in the inland region. This week KVCR's Megan Jamerson spoke with reporter Cheetara Piry about her coverage of an anti-racism summit hosted in March by the Moreno Valley based Center Against Racism and Trauma.

Submitted/Ontario International Airport

Passengers traveling to Hawai’i can now bypass the state’s mandatory quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test when flying through Ontario International Airport. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports the airport is the first in Southern California to receive this exception.

Instead of a 10-day quarantine, travelers must show proof of a negative COVID test taken by a trusted partner within 72 hours of departure, according to the announcement from the governor of Hawai’i.

www.ou.org

Both Riverside and San Bernardino County announced Tuesday April 13 that they are following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration(FDA) recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Jonson vaccine. This follows the report of six patients developing a rare and serious type of blood clot after the one dose shot.

scag.ca.gov

Five Inland Empire non-profits received grants to support their affordable housing projects from the Southern California Association of Governments in March. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports that the association called SCAG for short, says these awards are part of a commitment to elevating policy solutions with a racial equity lens.

“It’s been a difficult history in America with housing policy," said President of SCAG and Vice Mayor of Long Beach, Rex Richardson. "You can’t point to the good old days of housing policy. It’s an area that needs to continue to improve.”

grassrootsprogress.org

In California, it can be hard to keep track of county level elections because not all races require runoffs and the timing of when elections happen varies. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports that a proposed state senate bill aims to reduce confusion for voters across the state including here in the inland region.

Lisa Ferdinando/OFFICE OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

San Bernardino made the move to open up COVID-19 vaccinations immediately to people age 16 and older who live and work in the county Tuesday. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports on this and other recovery news.

Nine days before the state guidance to do so, Board of Supervisors Chair Curt Hagman said it is time to fully expand vaccine eligibility. The county is currently receiving 60,000 doses of vaccine per week and is expecting that number to continue to increase weekly by 10,000.

riversideca.gov

The city of Riverside is accepting items for a time capsule that will be buried at the new Main Library in downtown Riverside.

Residents can bring items like photographs, documents and objects no bigger than two inches through April 30.

“We are excited to bring the new main library to our Riverside community,” said the City of Riverside’s Library Director, Erin Christmas in a news release. “This time capsule is a fun way to show the future stewards of our libraries what it was like to be a Riversider in the 21st century.”

One in ten Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders reported hate crimes and hate incidents in 2021, according to survey results released by AAPI Data and SurveyMonkey Tuesday. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports, this rate which is higher than the national average is driven by a specific harmful stereotype.

Submitted/County of Riverside

Riverside County partners gave the one millionth COVID-19 vaccination dose at a clinic in Beaumont Wednesday. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports.

The milestone dose was given to 65-year-old retired nurse Shirley Ann Gruenke of Cherry Valley.

“It was a surprise, but I sure thank you all,” said Gruenke, in a news release. “You know, I went back and forth saying I was not going to get the shot, but when I got COVID in December and I felt sick, I said I’m ready for it. I’m getting my shot.”

City Council Offers Up $30k Reward

Apr 1, 2021
City of Riverside

Earlier this week, the Riverside City Council approved a reward of $30,000, for the duration of 60 days, for information that leads to the identification and apprehension of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Keith Allen.

Ken Lund/Creative Commons

Caltrans would like to extend the Brightline West high-speed rail project from Apple Valley to Rancho Cucamonga.

The proposed project called the Cajon Pass Segment would add 50 miles of track along the I-15 corridor, ending with a station near the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink train station.

Inland News Today reports that the privately funded rail project would first connect Apple Valley to Las Vegas over 170 miles of track.

The public can provide feedback on the Cajon Pass Segment before April thirteenth.

U.C. Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation is hosting an Inland Empire Policy Summit this week with a focus on building a more equitable future during COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts.

While this is the third policy summit the center has hosted, Director Karthick Ramakrishnan says this time it’s different.

City of Redlands

The city of Redlands is partnering with local groups and faith organizations to host a vaccine clinic at Citrus Valley High School on March 30. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson has more on the clinic that aims to reach the underserved community. 

For people without transportation who live in the North Redlands area, a bus may be available to bring them to the clinic. Residents should ask about this service when they register for the vaccine according to a city news release.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Three San Bernardino County women allegedly were co-conspirators in an operation to smuggle large amounts of fentanyl and heroin through Southern California airports. 

Inland News Today reports that Chavon Amber Sayles, 28 of Chino was arrested by federal authorities at her home on Wednesday on indictment charges of recruiting drug couriers.

According to the indictment, from June 2018 to March 2019, the couriers moved the drugs through Hollywood Burbank Airport, Long Beach Airport and Ontario International Airport to Ohio, Oregon and elsewhere in the country.

Submitted/County of Riverside

Riverside County replaced its top health officer as pandemic recovery efforts continue. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson has more on the Tuesday announcement.

In a press release, the county said Dr. Cameron Kaiser was released early Tuesday of his duties as health director after nearly 10 years.

Then in a closed meeting session the same day, county supervisors chose to appoint Dr. Geoffrey Leung as the next health officer effective immediately.

San Bernardino County’s public health director, Corwin Porter, officially stepped down to start his retirement at Tuesday's county board of supervisors meeting. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports on this and more from the latest county board of supervisors meeting.

Porter said after serving the county for 33 years in various roles, he will now be spending alot of time with eight grandchildren.

Riverside County health officials say improvements in vaccine shipments means supply is now outpacing demand. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports on the latest from Tuesday's Riverside County board of supervisors meeting.

Dr. Geoffrey Leung, of the Riverside University Health System, told county supervisors this is partly because federal shipments are now going directly to community health centers and retail pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Walmart.

Pages