Rialto Schools Go All Out With Red Ribbon Pride

We got a chance to ride along in a plain white van with judges and dignitaries as Local Rialto Schools vied for a chance to place in the top three in their region (North, Central & South) to show off their school spirit and celebrate the benefits of living a drug free life. We rode in the Southern Region van this year and had the pleasure of joining Rialto Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila, Board President Dina Walker, Director of Communications Syeda Jafri, Police Lt. Dean Hardin and Rialto Unified School District Security Chief Leary who drove us around.

Carter High School students greet the judging vehicles with cheers – Photo Provided by Rialto USD

Dr. Avila stated, “I echo our Board of Education’s sentiments that participating in this annual drug-free contest makes all our students, staff and parent-volunteers winners, but to keep the contest fair, I wanted make sure that each of the schools; the north, central and south sections, had their own sets of scoring. Again, the feedback from the judges was positive, and reinforces my faith that great things continue to happen at our schools. It was another proud moment to show the community that our schools have their focus on safety and promoting a drug-free lifestyle for our students.”

Each year has a Nationwide theme and this year the theme is “Your future is key, so stay drug free”. Each school that we saw that participated really took the theme and turned it into a visual representation of the overall message. Some schools really went all out which included a miniature version of District Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila (Garcia Elementary) a life size game of Life (Jehue Middle) or even tombstones of celebrities who died from drug and alcohol abuse (Milor High).

Some schools like Simpson Elementary you could see from a mile away and they made sure to get the judges out of the van and on their feet as they danced the Drug Free theme. Rialto Unified is one of the few school districts that has such a strong level of participation because of the importance that the District puts behind the annual event.

First place winners, Hughbanks Elementary School – Photo Provided by Rialto USD

“For years, Red Ribbon Week, here in Rialto, has become a pretty big deal, and that’s great,” said Rialto Police Lieutenant, Dean Hardin. “It was a fantastic commemoration and I was proud of the way that our students, led by staff and parents, participated. Drug use is a real issue, a serious issue for the younger generation and along with addiction, it can lead to anti-social behavior and lack of focus on education. The Police Department was happy to participate and we thank the District for making sure students understand the dangers of substance abuse.” As the South judging van pulled away from Simpson Elementary Lt Dean Hardin could be heard saying out the van window “Be Drug Free” and each time he said it the whole school repeated the mantra.

Schools earned points from 1 to 10 based on creativity, visibility and message. Judges were warned against giving out 10’s too freely as to help district officials from having to deal with tons of tie’s in the point totals. The Red Ribbon Decorating Contest ended in three-way ties for all three places — first, second and third — as well as a “Spirit” award initiated by Dr. Avila. Prize money is $1,000 for first; $750 for second; and $500 for third. The new “Spirit” award is also $500. Cash awards go to each school and are discretionary for each school.

The winning schools are:

1st Place Winners

Northern: Hughbanks Elementary School – $1,000

Central: Casey Elementary School – $1,000

Southern: Garcia Elementary School – $1,000

2nd Place Winners

Northern: Carter High School – $750

Central: Henry Elementary School – $750

Southern: Jehue Middle School – $750

3rd Place Winners

Northern: Kolb Middle & Kordyak Elementary Schools – $500

Central: Bemis Elementary School– $500 

Southern: Kelley & Simpson Elementary Schools– $500

Honorable Mentions

Milor High School – $250

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Changes coming to Rialto Police Department Leadership

Information sent to us today indicates that changes to the top leadership rolls will be coming to Rialto Police Department.

As of October 1st former Police Chief Mark Kling will come on as a “Consultant” to help transition current Police Chief Deanda into “Retirement”. Police Chief Deanda should be well versed in the retirement process as he regularly tells the story of how he was needed so much in the city of Rialto that he was asked to return to work three times after filing for retirement.

In the communication from City Administrator Mike Story he laid out the struggles a quick departure like this will bring “As the city administrator, I must ensure there is a smooth transition of leadership and place leading up to and after chief Deanda retirement. Ideally, organisations have about 1 year to plan the transition of executive leadership. Chief Deanda will be retiring from public service and three short months on December 28th 2017 there for once Chief Deanda submitted and I accepted his notice of retirement, plans for executive leadership transitioning were set into motion. As an organization, filling the position of a retiring police chief is Paramount to community safety, department operations, and intergovernmental Affairs across departments so there are minimal service interruptions”.

Earlier today the Chief was witnessed briefing his command staff on the coming changes in his Department. Those pictured with the Chief at Mimi’s in North Fontana were Captain Andy Karol, Lt Robert Smith, Lt Dean Hardin and Paul Stella. Staff could overheard the chief talking about the memo from Mike Story and the impending changes.

Nobody will ever know the true story on why we have such a quick departure since past leadership has made sure a replacement was already on the ground before major changes took place. For example:

  • When Chief Kling left he had vetted and prepared Captain Tony Farrar for the promotion.
  • Fire Chief Matt Fratus knew he was not going to work forever so he hired Sean Grayson our current Fire Chief to eventually replace him.
  • When Police Chief Tony Farrar was on his way out he secured the promotion and placement of Chief Deanda.
  • Even City Administrator Mike Story announced months ago of his coming retirement at the end of this year.

So when something is outside the ordinary you have to ask yourself what is the real story? What we do know is that the city has found itself under more legal action brought by staff that claim they were fired, discriminated or retaliated against without merit and some of those cases have began to settle out of court. The latest claim was made know yesterday September 26th 2017 when a $125,000 claim was filed claiming misconduct by a former employee of MHM & Associates.

Answers that will need to be answered are:

  • How much is the city going to pay 2 police chief’s?
  • Will Deanda’s removal begin to bring the lawsuits to a close?
  • How do you attract a quality Police Chief in a Financially Strapped city like Rialto?

There are more questions than answers.

Today we got some of the answers from City Administrator Mike Story who said that Mark Kling will be working on a $15,000 dollar contract for three months to help during this transition. Mark Kling is one of the brighter spots in Rialto Police Department history as he led the Police Department out of the scandals of the past and the poor public trust of the police department. City Administrator Mike Story said that this money came out of the city administration budget already earmarked for consulting.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

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Rialto Relay for Life event kicks off tomorrow with a Celebrity Guest

Below is a list of events and some of the awesome things in store for tomorrow. The local celebrity that can be seen in Rialto regularly showing off what is cool to do and see right here in our little town is pretty popular. The exact time for the local celebrity arrival with his ever so popular live video stream that is seen by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users hasn’t been announced but as soon as we find out you will know so stay tuned/

Join Joel Greene as he helps to kick off the Rialto Relay for Life event. This year the Rialto event is looking to raise $30 Thousand to combat cancer. If you would like to help them hit that mark you can donate any amount by clicking here.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

Time: 9:00am

We’ll kick off the event by celebrating everyone who’s been affected by cancer. Whether someone’s been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they gather together for the crowd to cheer them on.

Survivors & Caregiver Lap

Time: 9:30am

Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis. Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. If you know anyone who’s overcome cancer, invite them to join.

Caring for others is such a selfless act, which is why we honor caregivers with a lap. They often walk with the person they’ve supported.

Fight Back Ceremony

Time: 10:00am

Have you ever wanted to see a cement truck up close? Climb inside a cherry picker? Explorer a firetruck? Join us for a second annual Touch-A-Truck event.

Kids Corner sponsored by Target with games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages.

Be your own builder. Join us for a kids workshop sponsored by the Home Depot where kids can use tools to build their own creations.

Time: 4:00 pm

We will talk about what we can do beyond the event to fight back against this horrible disease.

Time: 9:00 pm

Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.

Closing Ceremony

Time: 10:30 pm

We celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together and remember those we’ve lost. Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

Rialto Fire Responds to Brush Fire

Around noon today Rialto fire department responded to a brush fire in the North west corner of a Ayala and the 210 Freeway. A small brushfire had begun in the empty lot next to the Housing Development. In the video above you can see a Rialto fire ladder truck entering into the Gated field as well as a battalion truck.

Rialto Celebrates Dr. Seuss’s Birthday All Across the City

 

Ana Gonzalez - 47th Assembly District Delegate took the liberty of posting this inspirational quote on her Facebook wall today. Thanks Ana Gonzales!

Ana Gonzalez – 47th Assembly District Delegate took the liberty of posting this inspirational quote on her Facebook wall today. Thanks Ana Gonzales!

Rialto Police Department were out at Myers Elementry School. Rialto Police officers participated in the National Read Across America Day by reading to the children at Myers Elementary today – Great job to Officer Nic Parcher (not pictured), Officer Steven Wright, Officer John Lopez, Law Enforcement Technician Noretta Barker, and Officer Randall Peterson.

Photos taken from Rialto PD Facebook Page

Photos taken from Rialto PD Facebook Page

“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO,” and OH THE PLACES WE WENT!” Rialto Unified School District has a rich tradition of celebrating National “Read Across America” day, today, which is also the late iconic children’s author, Dr. Seuss’s Birthday! Thank you to Rialto Police, Fire, City and RUSD School Board officials who took time to develop connections with our wonderfully dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff, and to read to our deserving students. Enjoy some memorable highlights!

 

Myers Elementary Principal, Mr. Alberto Camerena and Library Technician, Ms. Julianna Hernandez hosted the guest readers.

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Myers Assistant Principal said, “Tada! Join in.”

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Myers teacher, Ms. Shannon McCreight, had her hat on and her eyes on the students.

Myers Principal, Mr. Camerena, held the microphone for Rialto Mayor, Mrs. Deborah Robertson, as she read lovingly to several classroom students on a sunny and cool morning.

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Kathy McCracken, from the Rialto Host Lions Club, came in to read to students.

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Noretta Barker, technician from the Rialto Police Department was all smiles and ready to read.

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Rialto Police Department and Target Distribution Center were impressively represented well at Myers Elementary School.

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RUSD Board of Education, Member, Mr. Joseph Ayala enjoyed reading at Myers and Casey Elementary Schools.

RUSD Board Member, Nancy G. O’Kelley read to a preschool class.

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While Myers teacher, Mr. Thai happily stepped back, RUSD Board Member, Mr. Joseph Ayala spoke with the excited students. “We haven’t seen a real live Board Member before,” said one student.

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Picture time at Myers El with Principal, Mr. Cat in the Hat Camerena, RUSD Board Member, Mrs. Nancy O’ Kelley and Preschool teacher, Mrs. Saunders-Hester.

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Casey Elementary School Strategist, Mrs. Michelle Stoker walked students in and dressed accordingly for the day!

Casey Elementary School Assistant Principal, Mrs.Terry Helstad walked happy students out on Read Across America day.

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Casey Elementary Principal, Johanna Cuellar was looking pretty and festive with her students – and ready to promote Literacy on her campus.

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Mrs. Ida Davilla, stands with Rialto Fire Department Firefighter, Earl Meredith, monitoring some excited students who observed the fire engine after the reading portion. Rialto Fire Captain, John Lardner gave students a view of what is stored in a fire engine. “It was just so cool,” smiled one student. “I think I’ll be a fire girl!” Casey Elementary School Strategist, Mrs. Escobar organized the students as Firefighter Dewayne Frederick showed some excited students the fire truck.

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Henry Elementary School’s creative and yummy treats were displayed for Read Across America.

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Kordyak Elementary School Interim Principal, Mrs. Karen Good and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Emily Dominguez rocked their look!

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What’s the 21st Century without a staff selfie? Kordyak Elementary School Secratary III, Ms. Margie Taylors knows the golden rule that before you ask students to participate, you have to model the behavior. Nice shirt Ms. Taylor!

Game on….Rialto High School student-athletes entered the Kordyak Elementary School library with the mission to read to students to help promote literary. “It’s far, one of the best things these students have done, and we’re so proud of them,” said RHS Athletic Director, Mr. Kevin Gilbreth.

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Trapp Elementary School got a treat when newly elected Rialto City Councilman, Mr. Rafael Trujillo, came in to read to Mrs. Valvadino’s kinder class. “I read “Owl Moon,” he smiled.

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Game on….Rialto High School student-athletes read to Kordyak Elementary School students to help promote literary. “It’s far, one of the best things these students have done, and we’re so proud of them,” said RHS Athletic Director, Mr. Kevin Gilbreth.

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The Cat in the Hat doesn’t stick around for many pictures but when he realized that RUSD Board Vice President, Mr. Joseph W. Martinez, aka “Mr. Stem” came onto Casey Elementary School campus to read, he had to grab a picture! After reading, pictures! RUSD Board Vice President, Mr. Joseph W. Martinez, read to students at Casey Elementary School and made some friends on campus.

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Star Readers! Werner Elementary School, much like many RUSD Elementary Schools, celebrated “Literacy Night,” raising a reader and strong emphasis on science and literacy. Kneeling up front, from left to right Werner Elementary School Assistant Principal, Dr. Ayanna Balogun and Principal, Mrs. Andrea Roman show the team spirit.

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Even local businesses are teaming up with local elected leaders with Coffee Nutzz in Rialto hosted a Dr Seuss party where Mayor Deborah Robertson read to the kids and every kid received a free book marker and small vamilla cone from Cones Creamery.

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Welcome Medic Engine 205

Please welcome Rialto’s newest addition to our fleet, Medic Engine 205 (ME205)!! This has been decades in the making and she’s finally in service at Fire Station 201 until a temporary station is built in mid 2017. It will be staffed with a Captain, Engineer and Firefighter/Medic. This new engine will provide an enhanced service to the south end of Rialto. #rialto #rialtofd #rialtofire #engine205 #local3688 #rialtofirefighters #rialtofirefighters3688 #station205

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5th grade student gives hope again for Christmas

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Tyler Nguyen is keeping the true spirit of Christmas and his annual toy drive alive and well again this year as this awesome young Simpson Elementary student looks to help those in need this year with his own toy drive. With the assistance of his family and the Rialto Fire Department this young man is reaching out to those kids that may not receive anything this holiday season. It’s not only the kids he is helping but those parents that would love to buy toys for their kids but must choose food and bills as money is tight.

You can read the story we did on Tyler last year to learn how this all began for this awesome young man.

http://wp.me/p1Otmn-Kr

Here is what Rialto Fire had to say about Tyler on their Facebook Page:

“Meet Tyler. Tyler is a 5th grade student at Simpson Elementary in Rialto. After a successful toy drive of his own last year, Tyler and his family once again showed their generosity and spirit of giving. They hosted a Christmas Party/Toy Drive for Spark of Love. They have already filled two boxes and plan on collecting more before Christmas! They also treated Rialto Firefighters, family and friends to a wonderful homemade Christmas dinner. Thank you Tyler and family for your humble spirit and community service!”

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