District Attorney Mike Ramos, Supervisor Lovingood team up on welfare fraud

San Bernardino County has put a new focus on welfare fraud with ongoing sweeps, District Attorney Mike Ramos and Supervisor Robert Lovingood said at the annual State of the County presentation.

“We were very vocal about that,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “It was not only individuals committing fraud, we also had to look at the businesses involved. With Mike’s leadership as DA, we are working on those issues.”

District Attorney Ramos cited cases where investigators found welfare fraudsters on drugs and with luxury vehicles in the driveway.

“With Supervisor Lovingood’s ideas and thoughts, we sat down at the table with our Chairman of the Board and the Sheriff’s Department and said ‘Let’s do something about this,’” District Attorney Ramos said. “We had our first sweep about a month ago, here in your region, where we arrested and we’re going to convict people who were committing welfare fraud. We’re not going to put up with it anymore.”

Fall 2016

Sheriff McMahon, Supervisor Lovingood look to future

Sheriff McMahon, Supervisor Lovingood In the annual State of the County presentation, Supervisor Lovingood gave credit to Sheriff John McMahon and his Department for successes in fighting crime. And as revenues improve, Lovingood said he hopes to further strengthen the Sheriff’s Department. In the past couple of years, 25 deputies have been added to unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, without increasing taxes. Last year, the Sheriff’s HOPE team contacted 885 homeless people, found housing for 220 and arranged for services for another 430 homeless people, Sheriff McMahon said.

“With Supervisor Lovingood’s help, we’ve been able to do a number of things in the High Desert: Add deputies to the unincorporated area, by doing some things creatively with overtime and managing our budget. Filling some unfunded positions has had a huge impact, especially in the unincorporated areas,” Sheriff McMahon told the capacity crowd at the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce event.

Sheriff McMahon, Supervisor Lovingood

Lovingood: Inmate crews clear 578 tons of desert trash

Inmate crews clear 578 tons of desert trash One year after the start of an initiative to deploy jail inmates to clean up illegal dump sites, the crews have cleared more than 578 tons of trash and 7,922 tires in the First District, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert Lovingood announced.

Inmate crews cleaned up sites across the Victor Valley and other High Desert communities. In addition to the 578 tons of trash, inmate crews also cleared 168 tons of cement and nine boats at an illegal dump site near Interstate 15 and Dale Evans Parkway.

“Illegal dumping contributes to blight and reduces quality of life and property values,” said Lovingood, who launched the initiative in 2015. “We can prevent a lot of this if residents just call their local waste hauler to have large bulky items collected at the curbside -- for free.”

Board expands efforts to address chronic homelessness

Following the successful County-led effort to house more than 500 homeless veterans in one year, the Board of Supervisors voted to expand that initiative and target chronic homelessness, particularly among youth. In July 2015, the Board of Supervisors vowed to find housing for all homeless military veterans in the county by the end of 2015. Encouraged by the results of the County-led initiative to reduce and end veteran homelessness, the Board endorsed the expansion of the advisory board’s goals and strategic initiatives to focus on chronically homeless individuals, including the most vulnerable veterans and youth, as well as individuals experiencing mental illness, addiction, and other disabilities.

Lovingood moves to strengthen child welfare protections

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert Lovingood said the County needs to seek changes in the law to give San Bernardino County and communities across the country the tools they need to provide better protection to children threatened by abuse and neglect.

Supervisor Lovingood said he will work with other members of the Board to seek changes in state and federal law to allow social workers to administer on-the-spot drug testing when they suspect a parent or guardian is under the influence of illegal drugs. He will also press for allowing social workers to take custody of children whose parents or guardians are under the influence of illegal drugs.

County Supervisors reject Soda Mountain solar project

Soda Mountain solar project The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors rejected a controversial solar project that gained national attention because of its impacts on sensitive areas of the Mojave Desert.

“For a variety of reasons, this is the wrong project in the wrong location,” Supervisor Lovingood said. The three-square-mile project site is along Interstate 15 near the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Solar projects, Lovingood said, are more appropriately suited for disturbed lands such as fallow agriculture lands, brown fields and former mine sites.

“It is hard to justify damaging sensitive desert lands when we have disturbed lands near transmission corridors that are ideally suited,” Lovingood said.

Lovingood: County funds make local impact for seniors, youth

County discretionary funds At the request of Vice Chair Robert Lovingood, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has allocated funds for a wide variety of projects in the High Desert, including special Sheriff’s crime operations and community-based programs for seniors and youth.

The Apple Valley Senior Citizens Club, Victorville Senior Citizens Club and the Hesperia Recreation and Park District’s Percy Bakker Senior Center will each receive $5,000 in County discretionary funds to assist with operations and purchase equipment, Lovingood said.

Other projects include:

County discretionary funds
  • Sheriff’s Department “Operation Desert Guardian” crime sweeps
  • Police Activities Leagues in Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville
  • Citizens on Patrol programs at Sheriff’s stations to purchase equipment, such as radios.
  • Phelan Chamber of Commerce, Phelan Phamily Phun Days
  • Pinon Hills Chamber of Commerce
  • Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce, Mountaineer Days
  • Helendale park lights
  • Spring Valley Lake park improvements
  • Victor Valley Museum
  • Adelanto community program
  • County discretionary funds
  • Orenda Foundation military veterans program
  • Opportunity High Desert regional marketing
  • Meals on Wheels/Barstow Senior Nutrition Program
  • El Mirage, Think Together reading program
  • El Mirage street lights
  • Millionaire Mind Kids
  • Victor Valley Animal Protective League pet adoptions
  • City of Needles, summer youth camp
  • Newberry Springs Senior Center fire suppression system
  • Daggett CSD
  • Baker Community Center refrigerator
  • Hinkley post office
  • TronaCare community cleanup


Halloween hauntings at Calico Ghost Town

Calico Ghost Town Calico Ghost Town now has two separate Ghost Tour experiences to choose from. The first being the original walk up Main Street. You will enjoy learning about the town from the 1880s to today. Not only do you hear the stories of sightings and haunting, but may walk away with your experience to talk about.

The newest tour being offered is a tour exclusively through the Maggie Mine. With the lights turned down low, experience the mine as no one has since the Mulcahy Bros mined it in 1881. The mine has its own haunting’s and stories to be told, along with many more to come. Both tours are offered every Saturday night and last about 60 to 75 minutes. These Ghost Tours are not a theatrical show, they are the truest accounts of history and haunting’s that have been compiled.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Maggie Mine Monday-Thursday or The Other Side (located in the bottle house) Friday-Sunday or calling 760-254-3719 from 9-5 every day. The ticket prices for each of the Ghost Tour is $10 for 11 and over; $5 for 5-10 and 4 and under is free. Pets are welcome to come along also. Like us on Facebook at Calico Ghost Tour. For more information visit www.calicoghosttours.com.

Mysteries at the Victor Valley Museum

Mysteries at the Victor Valley Museum A new special exhibit, “Mysteries at the Museum,” at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley features unfamiliar objects from the Museum’s collections and challenges visitors to figure out their functions using the scientific method. Some of the objects were totally familiar items a century ago; others may seem to be familiar but their function is less than obvious. Museum visitors are invited to observe, question, hypothesize, test, decide, and share their results by posting notes in the exhibit itself and by using social media. The exhibit will continue through December 2016. Mysteries at the Museum and the County Museum’s other exciting events and exhibits reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors. The Victor Valley Museum is located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org.

Cross-valley road project to relieve traffic on Bear Valley Road, link Apple Valley to I-15

Funding to complete a long-awaited corridor across the Victor Valley has been approved, according to Supervisor Lovingood. The corridor will create a new link between Apple Valley, Victorville and the Interstate 15 interchange at La Mesa and Nisqualli roads, easing traffic on Bear Valley Road. Supervisor Lovingood, who also serves as president of the SANBAG transportation agency, and Victorville Councilman Ryan McEachron successfully advocated for a $12.5 million loan to the City of Victorville to complete the city’s portion of the Yucca Loma Corridor.

County libraries offer Ancestry.com

The San Bernardino County Library System has added Ancestry.com to its collection of databases. All San Bernardino County Library databases are accessible for free to county library cardholders and provide an array or career, homework, and just-for-fun resources. Ancestry.com is available in all branches using the library’s public computers and will not be accessible outside of the branches. Ancestry.com provides access to over 12 billion genealogical records, including immigration records, military service records, census data, and much more! Library customers can use Ancestry.com to explore their family history and build their family tree. Stop by your local San Bernardino County Library to start learning more about your past.

Do you have what it takes to take the oath?

County Sheriff’s Department
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is always seeking well qualified people who want to serve their community and truly make a difference. Stretching from the mountains to the High Desert and the valley, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department offers the opportunity to serve in a multitude of diverse assignments. The Department serves over two million residents, employs about 3,300 people, has 15 patrol stations, and responds to about 725,000 calls for service annually. Learn more at www.sheriffsjobs.com.

Highway 395 widening project moves ahead

With traffic expected to increase by as much as 90 percent by the year 2038, Phase One of the Highway 395 Widening Project aims to improve the operational efficiency of the highway by providing one additional lane in each direction, installing a 14-foot median and rumble strips, and modifying signals at various intersections from Highway 18 to Chamberlaine Way in the cities of Victorville and Adelanto. Caltrans District 8 is currently partnering with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to work on the right-of-way and final design for the widening of US-395. It is estimated that the project will go to construction in Summer 2018 and will be completed in Winter 2020.

County library offers free Skillsoft online business and computer skill classes

Skillsoft online business and computer skill classes are now available for free to all San Bernardino County cardholders. Users may brush up on their Microsoft Office skills and take a PowerPoint or Word class or add to their resume with a business accounting or marketing course. Skillsoft provides a rich catalog of Microsoft and business courses for all levels. Each course is available on demand and can be repeated as often as desired. Courses are available wherever cardholders have Internet access and are frequently updated. Additionally, in course coaching is available through an online chat feature. For a complete listing of courses or to begin your Skillsoft course visit your local San Bernardino County Library or visit www.sbclib.org.

Manufacturers showcase planned Oct. 27 - 28

Local manufacturers are invited to participate in the 2nd annual High Desert Manufacturers “Made in the High Desert” showcase event on Oct. 27 -28 at the High Desert Events Center (fairgrounds). The event raises awareness of local manufacturing, educated students and teachers about jobs and career opportunities. Vendors can pre-screen employee candidates and network with other manufacturers. It’s free to participate. For information, contact Susan Drake at (760) 995-8100 or Susan.Drake@bos.sbcounty.gov.


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